The key process behind the metastasis of colon cancer is discovered by Catalan scientists

November 12, 2012 11:25 PM | CNA

Scientists from the Colorectal Cancer Laboratory at the Barcelona Institute of Biomedical Research (IRB) have discovered the essential process that allows colon cancer cells to metastasise. They have concluded that tumour cells need to form alliances with healthy cells in order to be able to colonise other organs. Tumour cells can survive in the transition period during the metastasis process thanks to a protein (interleukin-11), which is produced by healthy cells that are exposed to another protein (TGF-beta) present in the tumour’s microenvironment. This discovery may lead to new treatments and diagnostic proceedings for colon cancer patients. A test to predict relapse cases and target treatments is likely to be ready in 5 years. The study has been published by the prestigious journal Cancer Cell.

World pioneering technique developed by a Catalan hospital removes two tumours without surgery

October 27, 2012 12:05 AM | CNA / María Belmez

For the first time in the world, Barcelona’s Vall d’Hebron Hospital removes two tumours through the body’s natural holes without the support of laparoscopy. This technique allows the patient to recover much quicker, since there are no external wounds to cicatrise. They have successfully removed a colon tumour and a stomach one, from two different patients who had recovered without complications.

The Center of Regenerative Medicine in Barcelona discovers a new path for Parkinson’s potential treatments

October 18, 2012 12:32 AM | CNA

A study developed by researchers from Barcelona’s Center of Regenerative Medicine and California’s Gene Expression Laboratory of the Salk Institute identified a mutation in the nucleus of human neural stem cells that is linked to Parkinson’s, which may help to diagnose the disease and open a new field for targeted treatments. The prestigious journal ‘Nature’ published the study, which could also help to explain why the Parkinson’s disease is often associated with clinical depression and anxiety. The Center of Regenerative Medicine in Barcelona is directed by Juan Carlos Izpisúa, who participated in the study; it is located in the Barcelona Biomedical Research Park, next to the Hospital del Mar.

Telefonica brings €7.8 million and a downtown building to Barcelona’s Mobile World Capital

October 10, 2012 01:33 AM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

Barcelona will hold, at least until 2018, the status of being the world’s mobile industry capital. Every year Barcelona hosts the world’s main event in this industry, the Mobile World Congress. This event is part of a broader project: the Mobile World Capital, which plans activities and events throughout the year and works to make Barcelona the greatest business and technological centre of the mobile industry. The Spanish telecommunication giant Telefonica announced it will bring €7.8 million to develop this project. Furthermore, it will allow MWCapital to use 1,800 square metres of a building located in Barcelona’s main square – Plaça Catalunya – to show the latest technological developments.

Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center appoints the Catalan Josep Baselga as its new Physician-in-Chief

September 5, 2012 11:30 PM | CNA

The New York-based centre is considered the world’s best hospital in the fight against cancer. Dr. Baselga will direct a team of 834 doctors attending more than 123,000 patients per year. The Catalan doctor is currently Chief of the Division of Hematology/Oncology at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH), Associate Director of the MGH Cancer Center, and Scientific Director of the Vall d’Hebron Institute of Oncology (VHIO) in Barcelona. Furthermore, Dr. Baselga holds a Chair of Medicine at the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona (UAB). The Catalan doctor will combine his new job in New York, which will start on January 1st, with his position in Barcelona’s centre.

A Catalan-led study shows malaria determined the evolution of the human genome in the Asia Pacific

September 5, 2012 11:23 PM | CNA / David Tuxworth

A team of researchers led by a researcher from the Barcelona Centre for International Health Research (CRESIB) examined incidences of malaria in analyses involving 1,975 children between 0 and 14 years old in Papua New Guinea. The study found that children with a specific genetic defect had increased protection against Plasmodium vivax malaria. The results challenge the theory that only the most deadly malarial parasite had an affect on the evolution of the human genome.

New Smart City initiatives to be discussed by international experts in Tarragona

September 4, 2012 11:37 PM | CNA / David Tuxworth

The Smart Cities Meeting Point will be held on September 9th and will welcome experts from across Europe. The event brings together professionals experienced in the area of city development who will put forward their visions for more efficient and sustainable cities. The goal is for Tarragona City Council is to learn about new technological innovations, put itself at the forefront of technology and improve the day to day lives of its citizens.

Catalonia is presented as a biotechnological cluster at Bio Boston 2012

June 23, 2012 12:00 AM | CNA

The President of the Catalan Government, Artur Mas, travelled to Massachusetts and New York to promote Catalan businesses and present Catalonia as one of the main biotechnological clusters and tourist destinations in Europe. In addition, Ernst & Young presented their report on life sciences companies and research centres in Catalonia, which indicates that almost 30% of this sector’s turnover in Spain comes from Catalan businesses.

Manuel Castells awarded the Holberg Prize, considered Sociology’s Nobel

June 7, 2012 11:46 PM | CNA

The Barcelona-raised sociologist Manuel Castells has received the 2012 Holberg International Memorial Prize in Bergen, Norway. This award is considered to be the equivalent of a Nobel Prize in the field of sociology. The jury considered his book ‘Communication Power’ to be “essential for a new understanding of politics”. Castells holds the Wallis Annenberg Chair at the University of Southern California, he is Research Professor at Catalonia’s distance-learning university (UOC) and Professor Emeritus at the University of California (Berkeley).

MasterCard opens an office in Barcelona attracted by the Mobile World Capital

May 31, 2012 10:42 PM | CNA / Esther Romagosa / Lara Hitos

The North-American company will launch later this year the ‘PayPass Wallet’, a global technology platform that unifies physical and digital payment systems. Master Card has just opened an office in Barcelona in order to take advantage of the synergies in a “pulse for future technological development” according to the president of MasterCard Europe, as Barcelona, was proclaimed World Capital of Mobile Telephony. MasterCard Europe has only one office per country, so Catalonia will be the first exception: with the opening of the new office in Barcelona, the company has two locations in Spain.

Catalan Mesoestetic Pharma Group exports 85% of its production and is present in 62 markets worldwide

May 19, 2012 12:18 AM | CNA / Bertran Cazorla

The Catalan company Mesoestetic has built a new factory that multiplies by ten its previous facilities. Furthermore, the company will increase its staff by 30%. The Catalan Minister for Business and Employment has praised the company as a model for innovation and internationalisation. He has spoke of the long tradition of the pharmaceutical industry in Catalonia as well as the Catalan economy’s export capacity.

Barcelona sets up Spain’s first totally digitalised court

May 5, 2012 12:14 AM | CNA / Pol Solà

After a year of trials, Barcelona’s court of first instance number 37 will work only with computer files, eliminating the use of paper. The Catalan Government, in charge of managing the court’s offices in Catalonia, has developed an IT system that will enable court staff but also citizens to carry out every process in a faster and more efficient manner. The plan to develop the system began in 2006 and its development has had a cost of €5 million. The Government’s plan is that by 2019 every court in Catalonia will be fully digital.

Magnetic field invisibility discovered by Barcelona-based researchers, a first step towards the invisibility of light

March 23, 2012 10:32 PM | CNA

Researchers from the Universitat Autònoma de Barcelona, in collaboration with a team from Slovakia’s Science Academy, have developed a cylinder that is invisible to magnetic fields and any object put inside cannot be detected. No one had ever achieved such results in such a simple manner, with much precision in the theoretical calculations and conclusive results in the laboratory. They believe this scientific discovery might be a first step towards light’s invisibility. Their research has been published in the prestigious journal ‘Science’.