Every week, HEADlines brings you the latest news, stories and commentaries
in education and healthcare. This week, get insights on the latest developments in healthcare.
The human genome… fully decoded at last!
It has been more than 40 years since the world started its journey to uncover the full genome of the homo sapien species through the Human Genome Project (HGP). In 2003, with much fanfare and headlines, scientists declared the human genome complete and closed the HGP.
In actual fact, it was not yet complete.
The HGP left about 8% of our DNA unexplored in 2003. These were the hardest to sequence regions with repeating letters that were impossible to read using the technology of that time. That is, until a group of young scientists from around the world came together on the Slack platform, and finished the task in May this year, completing the readout of all 3.055 billion letters across 23 human chromosomes. It uncovered more than 100 new genes and millions of genetic variations, some of which probably play a role in diseases.
As impressive as this sounds, scientists say that the sequencing of a complete human genome is but one snapshot. The next milestone will be to study the genomes of diverse populations beyond the completed one of European descent. When technology has sufficiently matured, comparisons between individuals will be far more meaningful to understand human history, biology and health.
Healthcare in the Spotlight
The New York Times: Germany will offer vaccine booster shots starting in September
In developed countries, the momentum is growing for giving additional doses to the fully vaccinated, amid growing fears of more pandemic waves and costly lockdowns.
Scientific American: ‘Breakthrough’ infections do not mean COVID vaccines are failing
Getting flu again postinoculation is more common than a return case after a COVID shot.
The Straits Times: Singapore team finds drug cocktail effective against COVID-19 Delta variant
Using an AI platform and live testing, researchers at the Institute for Digital Medicine, NUS, have derived an optimal combination of drugs with the correct dosages to treat Covid-19 patients.
World Economic Forum: Why helping people to age well is a new healthcare priority
A broader focus on delaying or even reversing aging will lessen the probability of age-related diseases, and bring incredible value to a person’s life as compared to treating single diseases.
The Washington Post: The robot will see you now: Health-care chatbots boom but still can’t replace doctors
Chatbots are increasingly used in healthcare to triage patients, but we are still some way from them taking over the doctor’s role.
Medical News Today: Colourful fruit and veg may reduce risk of cognitive decline
A large study has found a link between eating foods rich in antioxidants called flavonoids and a significantly reduced risk of experiencing early signs of cognitive decline.
The Conversation: 5 ways climate-driven ocean change can threaten human health
As the climate changes, the ocean is also changing. And that’s putting our health at risk.
The New York Times: A hotter future is certain, climate panel warns. But how hot is up to us.
Nearly 1 billion people worldwide could swelter in more frequent life-threatening heat waves. Hundreds of millions more would struggle for water because of severe droughts.
How to prevent oral & skin problems from
Source: Raffles Medical Group
The pandemic has proliferated a new staple accessory in our daily wardrobe – face masks. Here are some tips to prevent two common problems that arise with wearing a mask, namely “Mask Mouth” and “Maskne”.
Meeting the huge energy growth in Southeast Asia would require a doubling of power generation. Yet, we are faced with uncertainties with conventional fuel supplies and difficulties in finding sufficient renewable energy sources to meet our energy targets.
Join us at our third webinar of this series and learn about the complexities and advancements made in the energy dimension of the water-energy-food nexus!