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Thread: Singapore Also Can
06-12-2012, 11:58 PM #6189
S'pore scientists discover cells that cause HPV-related cervical cancers
Posted: 12 June 2012 1422 hrs
SINGAPORE: Scientists in Singapore have discovered a set of cells in the womb that causes human papillomaviruses or HPV-related cervical cancers.
Cervical cancer is the seventh most common female cancer in Singapore and about 200 cases are diagnosed every year.
Infection with HPV is the most common cause or risk factor for cervical cancer.
HPV infection causes a pre-invasive cancer, known as Cervical Intraepithelial Neoplasia, which are pre-cancerous lesions that can progress and potentially become invasive cancer if left untreated.
The team of scientists, from research agency A*STAR's Institute of Medical Biology and Genome Institute of Singapore, worked with clinicians from Boston's Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) in this study.
They found that a set of cells, located at the cervix, have unique biomarkers that are seen in all forms of invasive cervical cancers linked to HPV. This means that the signature markers of these particular group of cells can provide a way of distinguishing potentially dangerous pre-cancerous lesions from benign ones.
Their research was published in the prestigious journal, Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences this week.
The team also showed that these cells do not regenerate when excised. It said these findings have immense clinical implications in the diagnosis, prevention and treatment of cervical cancer.
For example, it raises the distinct possibility that removing this set of cells in young women could reduce their risk of cervical cancer.
Dr Christopher P. Crum, Director of Women's and Perinatal Pathology in the Department of pathology at BWH, said: "It has been a decades-old mystery why cervical cancers caused by HPV arise only from a discrete region of the cervix, known as the 'squamocolumnar junction', despite the presence of the virus throughout the genital tract.
"The discovery of these cells finally resolves this mystery and will have wide-ranging impact, from developing more meaningful animal models of early cervical carcinogenesis to clinical implications."
Dr Wa Xian, Principal Investigator at IMB, said: "Our study also revealed that this exotic population of cells does not reappear after ablation by cone biopsy.
"This finding helps to explain the low rate of new HPV infections in the cervix after excisional therapy and also raises the distinct possibility that pre-emptive removal of these cells in young women could reduce their risk of cervical cancer. This could be an alternative to current vaccines which only protect against HPV types 16 and 18."
Added Dr Frank Mckeon, Senior Group Leader at GIS: "Our previous work on esophageal cancer opened up the possibility of 'preventive therapy' to stamp out the disease by eliminating this small group of cells. This recent work in the cervix further validates this concept and raises important possibilities for early intervention to prevent malignancies linked to very small populations of these unusual, discrete population of cells."
In a landmark paper published in Cell in June 2011, Dr Wa and Dr Mckeon identified a novel mechanism for the evolution of highly aggressive cancers in collaboration with BWH and NUS.
They discovered that a discrete population of cells at the junction of the esophagus and stomach were linked to precursors of esophageal cancer (Barrett's metaplasia).
It was the first time scientists realised that some cancers originate from just a small set of cells that are unique from the other cells that reside around them.
06-13-2012, 12:11 AM #6190
Singapore economy to expand 3% despite euro zone crisis
Published on Jun 13, 2012
Economists have upgraded their forecast for the Singapore economy even as they warn of the huge risks that remain. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
By Aaron Low
Economists have upgraded their forecast for the Singapore economy even as they warn of the huge risks that remain.
A survey of 21 private sector economists by the central bank said that the economy will expand by 3 per cent this year, up from 2.5 per cent in a previous survey.
Construction and tourism are expected to do well, while manufacturing and exports should hold up despite the euro zone crisis, they said.
Inflation will climb to 4.2 per cent for the whole year, on the back of strong property rentals and car prices while unemployment will stay low at 2.3 per cent.
06-13-2012, 10:39 PM #6191
Former DJ buys iconic Rediffusion
Posted: 14 June 2012 0529 hrs
Screen grab of Rediffusion website.
SINGAPORE: Former radio DJ-turned-Chinese-language school principal, Madam Chang Mei Hsiang, has purchased the Rediffusion brand, its archives and equipment in an effort to bring the iconic radio service back on air.
A press conference has been scheduled on Friday where she will reveal more of her plans.
Mdm Chang told Chinese daily Lianhe Zaobao that she had fond memories of Rediffusion, which she joined in 1985 after arriving in Singapore from Taiwan.
At the station, she was among the most popular DJs and had the support of many listeners.
Apart from being a DJ, Mdm Chang also took on the role of programme producer for seven years.
She told Lianhe Zaobao that her intention is to help preserve a part of Singapore's heritage, as the radio station had witnessed the country's development over the past 63 years.
Rediffusion, Singapore's only subscription-based radio broadcaster, went silent from April 30 as losses piled up.
In its heyday, it attracted more than 100,000 subscribers who tuned in for everything from American rock 'n' roll music to Chinese dialect programmes by master storytellers such as Lee Dai Sor, Ng Chia Kheng and Ong Toh.
The broadcaster's decision to sign off sparked calls from listeners, clan associations and even Members of Parliament to preserve dialect programming. - TODAY
06-13-2012, 10:50 PM #6192
Ex-DJ brings radio broadcaster Rediffusion back to life
The Straits Times
Published on Jun 14, 2012
Ms Chang plans to relaunch Rediffusion. -- PHOTO: ZAO BAO
By Royston Sim
Iconic radio broadcaster Rediffusion will be back on air again early next year, resurrected by one of its former deejays.
Ms Chang Mei Hsiang bought Rediffusion's brand name, audio-visual materials and broadcasting facilities last week.
The Taiwan native, now a Singapore citizen, told The Straits Times that she intends to relaunch the 63-year-old radio service which, mired in financial trouble, went silent on April 30. She said she initiated talks to buy it when news of its impending closure broke in April.
Her motivation: Sheer affection for the place she regards as 'her first home in Singapore'.
06-13-2012, 10:54 PM #6193
Sentosa to roll out new cable car line in 2015
Published on Jun 14, 2012
Sentosa is rolling out another cable car service in 2015 to make it easier for the growing number of visitors to get around the island. -- ST FILE PHOTO
By Jessica Lim
Sentosa is rolling out another cable car service in 2015 to make it easier for the growing number of visitors to get around the island.
The 860m-long link - half the length of the current cableway linking Sentosa to Mount Faber - will transport visitors within the island between the three main clusters of attractions at Merlion Plaza, Imbiah Lookout and Siloso Point.
The new line will be able to hold up to 38 cabins.
The current three-station link, at 1.72km, holds 68. It was opened in 1974, but has been upgraded four times since.
06-14-2012, 04:32 AM #6194
New book on Singapore's environmental goals launched
Published on Jun 14, 2012
DPM Teo Chee Hean (3rd from right), launches a book for Singapore's national climate change strategy at a book launch event at Ngee Ann Polytechnic. -- ST PHOTO: NG SOR LUAN
By Feng Zengkun
A new book outlining Singapore's green goals and measures to achieve them was launched by Deputy Prime Minister (DPM) Teo Chee Hean on Thursday at the Ngee Ann Polytechnic.
The 136-page document was compiled by the National Climate Change Secretariat, and includes information on energy usage here as well as previously-announced policies such as the Energy Conservation Act and an emissions-based vehicle scheme, which will both kick in next year.
The Republic will emit about 77.2 million tonnes of carbon dioxide by 2020 if nothing is done.
It plans to lower this figure by 7 to 11 per cent, and will increase its commitment to 16 per cent if a legally-binding agreement is reached globally.
06-14-2012, 09:40 PM #6195
More meet Olympic 'B' marks here
by Tan Yo-Hinn
04:46 AM Jun 15, 2012
SINGAPORE - National swimmers Lionel Khoo and Jeremy Kevin Mathews are the latest to meet the "B" qualifying times in their respective events for next month's London Olympics.
Jeremy, 17, clocked a personal best of 2min 04.09sec to finish second in the men's 200m individual medley at the South-east Asia (SEA) Swimming Championship at the Singapore Sports School, meeting the "B" timing of 2:04.38 as Singapore collected another five gold medals to lead the standings with 10 golds after two days of competition.
Team-mate Quah Zheng Wen, 15, won the event in a national record of 2:03.79 which also met the "B" timing, with Malaysia's Ian James Barr third (2:07.14).
Lionel, 16, also met the Olympic "B" timing for the men's 100m breaststroke by winning the event in 1:02.79, ahead of Malaysia's Yap See Tuan (1:03.67) and Indonesia's Dennis J Tiwa (1:04.48).
Danny Yeo also set a national record in the men's 100m freestyle of 50.66, bettering Clement Lim's previous mark of 50.68.
As "B" qualifiers, whether they can earn a ticket to the July 27 to Aug 12 London Games will depend on the availability of invites handed out by the sport's world body FINA, which is expected later this month. Visit www.seaswim.org for full results and ticketing details. TAN YO-HINN
Photo by WEE TECK HIAN
06-14-2012, 09:49 PM #6196
Athletics: Singapore aims to be top three in the region
By Patwant Singh | Posted: 14 June 2012 2239 hrs
Young Singapore athletes (Photo: Channel NewsAsia)
SINGAPORE: Singapore athletics was a powerhouse in the region during the sixties, seventies and eighties. That golden era could be revived, with a new batch of athletes who could carry the country's hopes high.
At April's South East Asian Youth Athletics Championships, Singapore came out tops as the overall team based on points.
Of greater significance was the performance of a few individuals.
Sprinter Shanti Veronica Pereira finished second in the 200 metres race, despite a slight injury.
"I am more focused on the Singapore SEA Games in 2015 and I will just be training and training every day," she said. "I am hoping to go below 25 seconds or maybe 24.7 by 2015."
Another star of the meet, 18-year-old Ng Chin Hui, who won the 400 metre Boys' U-21 race.
"I just qualified for the World Juniors based on my time," he said. "I'll take it as an opportunity to gain exposure because the athletes are of pretty high standards."
Field events are also where young Singaporeans are excelling.
One of them is pole vaulter Chan Sheng Yao from Hwa Chong Institution, who is aiming for gold in the 2013 Myanmar SEA Games.
"Right now, my target is to break the national record, 5 metres, and from there and from there onwards, next year it will be the World Youth Championships," he said.
"I need to use the World Youth Championship as a platform for me to cross a higher height, because my ultimate target is to win the World Youth Championship."
The new management team at Singapore Athletics is fully behind these youngsters.
"We have set aside at least for overseas competition about S$80,000 to S$100,000 per year just on the youth and junior athletes," president of the Singapore Athletic Association (SAA) Tan Weng Fei said.
Besides SAA, the Singapore Sports Council has also taken note of the capabilities of the young athletes.
"The key thing is to keep them healthy and injury free and keep them with a high level of competition," chairman of SSC Richard Seow said. "I think this competition is important. They need to compete more against the regional teams, against the Asian teams and I think that is going to do well for Singapore."
This group of young athletes have their work cut out for them as they try and help Singapore win at least seven gold medals at the 2015 SEA Games, a target set by Singapore Athletic Association as part of their plan to be the top three in the region.
06-14-2012, 09:52 PM #6197
Lee set to be Singapore's first Olympiccanoeist
by Philip Goh
04:46 AM Jun 15, 2012
SINGAPORE - Kayaker Geraldine Lee Wei Ling is set to become Singapore's first-ever canoeist at the Olympic Games.
The Singapore National Olympic Council (SNOC) and the Singapore Canoe Federation (SCF) received the official notification from the International Canoe Federation on Monday that Singapore has qualified for a place for the women's K1 500m event at the London Games (July 27-Aug 12).
Lee, who turns 25 next week, has been nominated for the spot and her participation is pending confirmation from the SNOC.
Lee won gold in the K1 500m and also took home three silver medals at last year's SEA Games in Indonesia. But it was her performance at the Asian Canoe Sprint Championship last October in Tehran that caught the eye, when she came within sixth-tenths of a second to securing an Olympic place.
06-14-2012, 10:04 PM #6198
Geraldine Lee picked for canoeing event in London Olympics
A picture of Geraldine in her canoe:
06-14-2012, 10:18 PM #6199
The changing face of outdoor playgrounds
Play areas today feature sophisticated attractions and cater to 3 generations
Published on Jun 15, 2012
Matthew Tan (right), three, playing with his sister (in purple top) and friends at a playground in Sengkang. Bouncy rubber mats and new designs now create the fun factor at playgrounds. -- ST PHOTO: NEO XIAOBIN
By Goh Shi Ting , Sarah Giam and Teo Wan Gek
Attracting children to outdoor playgrounds is no child's play for planners of such facilities.
Today's young ones have too many distractions, from video games to PlayStation consoles, vying for their time and attention.
For Ms Irene Neo, 45, her childhood was marked by playtime on simple swings, see-saws and monkey bars.
NEW ONES MORE CHALLENGING
Old ones aren't as fun or challenging, and have less variety.
- Mr Tew Choon Hou, who takes his eight-year-old son to the adventure park in Bishan every other weekend
OLD TYPES STILL ATTRACT
He noticed the big train... recently and kept bugging me to take him there.
- Ms Ang Hui Fern, who used to take her four-year-old nephew only to the newer playgrounds near her block
But her eight-year-old son Justin, whom she takes to the playgrounds in Bishan Park weekly, needs a greater X factor to get his adrenaline flowing.
06-14-2012, 10:26 PM #6200
National Cadet Corps clubs for post-secondary students
Apex-I clubs will offer chance to get in shape and ease into BMT
Published on Jun 13, 2012
NCC cadets from Pasir Ris Secondary School attending a basic survival course conducted by retired warrant officer Tamiselvam Perumal Arunachalam, who was in the SAF's Commando Unit. -- ST PHOTOS: MUGILAN RAJASEGERAN
By Jermyn Chow, Defence Correspondent
Clubs linked to the National Cadet Corps are being set up in junior colleges, polytechnics and the Institute of Technical Education (ITE) to prepare young men for service in the armed forces.
They will give the less fit a chance to get in shape, and ease them into the basic military training they will have to do during national service.
The National Cadet Corps (NCC) usually runs clubs in secondary schools, but is now reaching out to older students who are nearly ready to be called up. Its commandant, Lieutenant-Colonel Adrian Koh, said the move will allow it to help former cadets, who would otherwise 'just disappear from the system'.
Popular CCAs among students
POPULAR co-curricular activities (CCAs) in post-secondary institutions include:
Track and field
(No Badminton )
English language drama and debating society
•Clubs and societies:
Community service and cultural club
It will be beneficial to young men who are 'counting down to national service'. The experience will also help teach them about citizenship.
06-14-2012, 10:31 PM #6201
NDP 2012 to combine old favourites and new acts
Published on Jun 13, 2012
Spectators waving their mini Singapore flags and cheering excitedly during the National Day Parade (NDP) at Marina Bay Floating Platform on Aug 9 2011. A mix of old and new awaits spectators at this year's NDP. -- ST PHOTO: BRYAN VAN DER BEEK
By Jermyn Chow
Spectators at this year's National Day Parade will get to see the old and new during the ceremonial parade.
While perennial favourites like the precision drills of the troops will be showcased at the parade, the soldiers will thrill the crowds with a brand-new marching song, one specially penned this year by citizen soldier Syawaludin Kassim.
Also new: The navy and air force servicemen on parade will be wearing their new grey or blue pixelated camouflage, which their army counterparts have been wearing since 2009. They are part of the 140-man contingent who will be marching out of the spectator stands to pay tribute to some 900,000 men who have undergone National Service since it started in 1967.
Among them is entrepreneur Clarence Tan, who will be commanding the 2,000-strong parade. As part of the tribute, naval boats and warplanes will be performing air and sea stunts to wow the crowds.
06-14-2012, 10:37 PM #6202
Leave wild boars alone, say Old Upper Thomson residents
They say animals aren't a nuisance; others against 'crossbow culling' option
Published on Jun 15, 2012
A group of wild boars spotted near a condominium in Old Upper Thomson Road. Some residents say that sightings of the creatures are part and parcel of the charm of living near the forest. -- PHOTO: ONG SAY LIN
By SIAU MING EN
Residents living on the fringes of the Lower Peirce forest, where wild boars roam, want the National Parks Board (NParks) to leave the animals alone.
'I hardly see them and they haven't been a nuisance at all,' said Mrs Laura Loke, a 57-year-old retiree who has lived in the area for more than 10 years.
In fact, sightings of the creatures are part and parcel of the charm of living near the forest, said 56-year-old Bernard Teo, a semi-retired businessman.
'When you buy a house here, you should already be prepared to see some of these wild animals; it's all part of nature,' he added.
06-14-2012, 10:41 PM #6203
New round of upgrades to Changi Terminal 1
Arrival hall to be expanded, while basement, road will be redeveloped
Published on Jun 15, 2012
Changi Airport's Terminal 1 is headed for another round of renovations, just as the finishing touches are being put on its four-year makeover. -- ST PHOTO: ALPHONSUS CHERN
By Karamjit Kaur, Aviation Correspondent
Changi Airport's Terminal 1 is headed for another round of renovations, just as the finishing touches are being put on its four-year makeover.
The arrival hall on the first floor of the four-storey facility will be expanded outwards to boost the terminal's capacity from 21 million to 24 million passengers. The basement will also be redeveloped, as will the road that now separates the building from the carpark, Changi Airport Group (CAG) told The Straits Times on Thursday.
There are also plans to link the main terminal building to a new multistorey complex that will be sited at the terminal's open-air carpark, CAG spokesman Ivan Tan said, though how this will be done has not been finalised yet.
Construction will begin within 12 months, from April next year.
06-14-2012, 10:56 PM #6204
Kallang development plans under review
Small sites may be combined to form larger ones for mixed-use projects
Published on Jun 15, 2012
Development plans for the Kallang area are being reviewed in a bid to breathe new life into the rejuvenation of the precinct. As part of this shake-up, the vacant Kallang Airport site (above), which once housed the People's Association (PA) headquarters, could be added to redevelopment plans. -- ST PHOTO: AZIZ HUSSIN
By Esther Teo, Property Reporter
Development plans for the Kallang area are being reviewed in a bid to breathe new life into the rejuvenation of the precinct.
The Government is looking at amalgamating smaller development sites there into larger sites that could then be used for major mixed-use developments.
As part of this shake-up, the vacant Kallang Airport site, which once housed the People's Association (PA) headquarters, could be added to redevelopment plans.
SITES UNDER REVIEW
The issue entered the spotlight this week when the National Development Ministry announced that it is removing two hotel sites on the Kallang Riverside from the reserve list of the Government Land Sales programme for July to December for review. The sites were made available for sale in June 2009, and again in June last year, but did not draw any acceptable bids from developers.
06-17-2012, 11:57 PM #6205
S'pore Open will stay elite
SBA willing to meet badminton body's new minimum prize money of S$317,500
by Dan Guen Chin
04:45 AM Jun 18, 2012
SINGAPORE - The Republic's marquee badminton event, the Li-Ning Singapore Open, is not in immediate danger of losing its place in the Badminton World Federation (BWF) Super Series despite competition from other countries keen to join the top-tier classification.
The present 12-leg Super Series circuit will begin a new four-year cycle from 2014 and one of the existing tournaments will have to make way for a newcomer, upon a successful evaluation by the BWF.
This means there is a possibility the Singapore Open may get the chop when the current cycle expires at the end of the 2013 season.
The current series is headlined by the The All-England Open and the lucrative Korean Open, with other stops in Indonesia, China, Denmark, Japan, India, Hong Kong, France, Malaysia and Singapore.
At the BWF Annual General Meeting in Wuhan last month, the six countries which currently host a lower-tier Grand Prix Series tournament each - Thailand, Taiwan, United States, Canada, Switzerland and Germany - have made it clear that they wish to elevate their events to Super Series status come 2014.
Singapore Badminton Association (SBA) chief executive Bobby Lee attended the Wuhan meeting and told TODAY that Singapore is not taking its status in the elite of world badminton for granted.
"We have a fight on our hands," said Lee. "Since the BWF are sticking to the 12-leg series, one of us has to make way for a newcomer, if they are successful in their bid."
But Lee is confident Singapore will remain in the elite circuit, given the Republic's good organisational capabilities and track record.
"We have reasons to be confident. There is a great venue in the Singapore Indoor Stadium.
"We have the infrastructure to support the event and we draw good crowds too, reasons the BWF cannot ignore," said Lee.
And to reinforce their bid for the new cycle, the SBA are preparing to meet the new minimum prize money level of US$250,000 (S$317,500) set by the BWF to become a potential Super Series host. The current Super Series requires at least a minimum of US$200,000, which is the total offered at the Li-Ning Singapore Open starting this week.
"Exactly how much more we are prepared to increase is yet to be decided. But the SBA council is supportive of a new bid after the 2013 season," said Lee.
"There will always be a Singapore Open, irrespective of whether we have a title sponsor or not. In short, the show must go on.
"The Singapore Open is our showcase and a way of saying thanks to all our stakeholders who have contributed to the development of the game in Singapore."
The SBA are expected to make an official bid by September, after which the BWF's evaluation committee will make their final recommendations.
A BWF spokesman said that it was unlikely that the world body would increase the number of Super Series events given the congested calendar.
"The fear is that it will lead to players' fatigue by having too many events," he told TODAY.
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