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Chinese scientists develop new chemical method for stem cell creation

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, May 1st, 2018

Animation of stem cell

 

A team of Chinese scientists is currently developing a chemical method for stem cell creation that will help cure life-threatening illnesses sooner than most people think, at the Guangzhou Institute of Biomedicine and Health (GIBH) in south China.

Stem cells might be the most powerful cells in the human body. When harvested and reinjected into humans, they help regrow and regenerate cells that were damaged or lost due to illness and injury.

“We extract some cells from a patient, then convert them into stem cells which can grow a new organ,” said Li Dongwei, lead researcher at the GIHB.

Experts said they now have a way to create stem cells in a lab.

“The best way is to use chemicals. All you have to do is just culture the cells in different culture media, and hopefully, you can accomplish the same feat,” said Dr. Pei Duanqing, director of the GIHB.

That feat is converting somatic cells, virtually any cell in an adult body, into pluripotent stem cells, the type that can be used in a multitude of ways. The older, less functional cells are soaked in a cocktail of 10 different chemicals, which converts them into valuable stem cells.

According to Pei, past stem cell creation methods involved experiments using viruses, but the chemical method is much more practical. People should be consuming Vitamin C, one of the substances in the cocktail regularly, he added.

For years now, scientists in labs like the one in Guangzhou have been able to turn back the clock on somatic cells with the help of stem cell experiments.

“That’s a whole new science of human physiology that we have to work with. And I think that’s far more complicated, and that will require further investment and also careful planning,” said Pei.

The team said trying their current approach in humans could trigger serious side effects, like cancer, but by continuing the research, they will develop safer methods for stem cell treatments, which will become affordable for the average patient in the future. — Reuters

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Robots fly, dance, and make cocktails at China’s World Robot Conference

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, August 16th, 2018

 

Robots on display in China | Reuters

 

China’s third annual World Robot Conference kicked off in Beijing on Wednesday (August 15), with robotic flying, dancing, and cocktail-making all on display.

German automation firm Festo showcased its bio-inspired semi-autonomous robotic bat. The robot flies on a fixed track using a motion-tracking camera. Images and flight patterns are fed into a central computer, where a virtual counterpart can improve the robot’s flight plans.

One of the most eye-catching exhibits was a bartending robot with automated arms that can handle all the shaking, stirring, muddling and garnishing necessary to make up a cocktail in just one minute. The robot, developed by a group from the northeastern Chinese city of Harbin, will cost around US$300,000 once available.

Another popular highlight at the conference is a life-size replica of former Chinese NBA basketball star Yao Ming, which entertains visitors by shooting hoops.

China is still one of the largest markets for industrial robots with a growing demand for various kinds of products.

The World Robot Conference runs from August 15 to 19, with over 300 experts and entrepreneurs participating to showcase their works. — Reuters

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Violent tornado touches down in north China, ravaging villages

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Tuesday, August 14th, 2018

 

Amateur footage of Tornado | Reuters

A rare tornado touched down in Jinghai District of north China’s Tianjin Municipality Monday afternoon, snapping utility poles in half and causing damage to local residences.

The tornado was formed at around 17:30 and barreled through swathes of crop fields and several villages.

Videos taken by local residents showed the sizable tornado from a distance and the glass roof shaking while the fierce wind carrying debris across.

Fortunately, no one was severely injured except a man in Xiwuli Village who was slightly bruised, according to the emergency response team.

Xiwuli village was one of the most affected areas with a utility pole snapping in half then hitting a car. A cottage was flattened while damage to varying degrees has also been caused to some orchards.

The clear-up work and repairs to the broken power facilities are currently underway. — Reuters

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Chinese President Xi Jinping to visit PH in November

by UNTV News   |   Posted on Thursday, August 9th, 2018

FILE PHOTO: (Left-Right) Philippine Pres. Rodrigo Duterte and China Pres. Xi Jinping (PCOO)

 

MANILA, Philippines — Chinese President Xi Jinping’s expected visit to the Philippines by year-end is the latest sign of improving relations between the two countries.

Malacañang said that President Xi’s visit will take place after the APEC Summit in Papua New Guinea in November.

But prior to his visit, a deal on the proposed joint exploration in the West Philippine Sea may possibly be forged.

This is after Foreign Affairs Secretary Alan Peter Cayetano confirmed that President Rodrigo Duterte has approved the creation of a group that will study the proposal.

The Palace also expects Xi to visit Davao City, the home town of President Duterte.

“He was looking forward to visiting the Philippines and I remember in China, the President even invited him not just to come to the Philippines but to come to his house and have dinner in his house in Davao,” Roque said. — UNTV News & Rescue

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