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The functioning of an important gene protecting cells from cancer is discovered by a Catalan-American study

July 4, 2013 01:52 AM | CNA

50% of tumours are related to mutations of this gene, according to the researchers. A study developed by the Bellvitge Institute of Biomedical Research (IBIDELL), based in Greater Barcelona, and the University of Cincinnati have discovered the role of the noncoding 5S rRNA molecule. This molecule regulates the P53 Tumour Suppressor Gene, which protects healthy cells from turning into cancerous cells. When the cell functions correctly, the levels of P53 are low and stable, but when something wrong is detected, the levels increase and cause the cell’s death, avoiding the development of a tumour. The director of the study, George Thomas, explained that understanding how the P53 works and regulates itself is extremely important since “more than half of the tumours present mutations of this gene”.

Cisco Systems to set up an innovation lab in an old factory of Barcelona's 22@ technological district

May 14, 2013 11:15 PM | CNA / Gaspar Pericay Coll

The Mayor of Barcelona, Xavier Trias, emphasised that Cisco’s new centre will put the Catalan capital “in the forefront” of smart city projects. Cisco will invest €4.5 million in its new centre working on electric mobility, smart lighting and other urban projects. On top of this, the American company will also invest another amount, yet to be determined, to renovate the Ca l’Alier factory, which is owned by the City Council and has been transferred to the American company in exchange for the renovation. In addition, Trias – who is on an official trip to the United States – and the Mayor of San Francisco, Edwin M. Lee, agreed to increase the cooperation between the two cities, starting with setting up a regular direct flight connection.

Barcelona is the fourth European city with the most tourists after London, Paris and Rome

April 12, 2013 01:16 AM | CNA

The number of tourists in Barcelona hotels grew by 0.7% in 2012 compared to the previous year. In total, Barcelona hosted 7.44 million tourists in the city’s hotels. A study by the Barcelona Tourism board revealed that the significant increase in foreign tourists compensated for the 6.8% drop in Spanish visitors. The number of tourists from Russia and Eastern Europe increased by 32%, those from the United Kingdom grew by 12%, those from the United States grew by 4.7% and those from Germany increased by 4.3%. Spanish visitors continue to be the largest group of guests to Barcelona hotels, with 1.62 million people.

Nine US and four Catalan universities aim to promote international masters programmes together

April 9, 2013 05:03 PM | CNA / Clara Roig

The Consortium for Advanced Studies of Barcelona (CASB), made up of 9 of the most important universities from the United States and 4 Catalan public universities from Barcelona, is considering implementing international masters degree programmes and summer courses together. 300 American students have already come to Catalonia to study through the CASB. According to the American universities, the Catalan language is not an obstacle but an added value to the cultural and social experience of studying in Barcelona.

The Liceu Barcelona Opera House begins seeking international sponsorship

April 5, 2013 08:09 PM | CNA / Marine Berton

Barcelona’s Liceu Opera Theatre aims to attract philanthropic funds from the United States and establish cultural, social and economic links between the institution and American civil society to strengthen the image of the Liceu, one of Europe’s main opera houses. The Liceu Barcelona Opera House Foundation in New York plans to raise $100,000 in the first year. Other European opera houses and festivals such as the Paris National Opera, the Royal Opera House in London get between $200,000 and $700,000 each year. The project is launched by the Gran Teatre del Liceu and Levante Capital Partners with the participation of Baker & McKenzie.

Tito Vilanova arrives in Barcelona after his two-month treatment in New York

March 26, 2013 06:01 PM | CNA

FC Barcelona’s Coach has landed on Tuesday morning, at about 8:05 at Barcelona El Prat Airport, after two months in New York when dealing with his illness. Jordi Roura and Aureli Altimira, who joined him on the flight home, will be taking this afternoon’s training session at the Ciutat Esportiva. Last December Vilanova underwent surgery for his parotid ailment relapse and in January he flew to the States to continue with his cancer treatment. In late 2011, Tito Vilanova had a first tumour removed from his parotid gland.

Catalan Grífols buys 60% of Progenika Biopharma and posts a net profit of €257 million

March 7, 2013 07:26 PM | CNA

The company, which is based in Greater Barcelona, is the world’s third leader in blood derivatives pharmaceutical products. Last year, it bought out its main competitor in the United States, Talecris. Grífols had a €2.62 billion turnover in 2012 and almost doubled its sales compared to the 2011 figures. The company’s net profit last year quadruples that of 2011. The good results are due to a significant reduction in debt levels and Grífols’ penetration into the United States market. Besides, this week it announced it bought for €37 million the 60% of Progenika Biopharma’s capital, a Basque biotechnology company specialised in the design of diagnostic tests.

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.

Grifols makes net profit of €133.5 million in the first half of 2012

July 31, 2012 07:42 PM | CNA / David Tuxworth

The Catalan pharmaceutical company Grifols, the third world leader in the production of blood plasma based technologies, has seen its turnover increase by 15% in the first half of 2012 to €1.32 billion. Its net profit for the first half of 2012 was €133.5 million, seven times that of the previous year. The company’s success is attributed to its wide geographical consumer base and the recent purchase of US based Talecris Plasma Resources.

A project from Girona wins international award for designing a sustainable home in Alaska

July 2, 2012 06:36 PM | CNA /Anna Corbatera

An architectural project drawn up by teachers, ex-teachers and students at the University of Girona (UdG) got the third prize in the ‘Living Aleutian Design Competition’, one of the most prestigious sustainability competitions of the world. The test consisted in making a house of 150 square meters which was 100% sustainable in Alaska, a place that must stand extreme weather.

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).

Abertis to become world leader managing highways after integrating OHL’s business in Brazil and Chile

April 25, 2012 10:47 PM | CNA

The Barcelona-based multinational will manage more than 7,500 kilometres of toll highways worldwide and will increase the company’s annual turnover by €1 billion. The Catalan company Abertis will become the world’s leader in the highway management sector after adding OHL’s concessions in Brazil and Chile. In exchange, OHL would buy ACS’s shares in Abertis, which represent 10% of the Catalan company. The operation is not fully closed yet, pending to be approved by the respective boards, but it has already been officially announced.

CaixaBank meets all the new provision requirements and earns €48 million in just one term

April 20, 2012 12:22 AM | CNA

Spain’s largest bank presented its results for 2012’s first quarter. Barcelona-based CaixaBank has reduced its profits by 84% compared to the same period last year in order to immediately fulfil all the new financial requirements decreed by the Spanish Government in February. The Catalan bank has allocated €2.44 billion in provisions in the last quarter. CaixaBank’s CEO explained they wanted to concentrate their efforts in this first quarter. Besides, the bank’s President explained that despite Repsol-YPF’s episode in Argentina, they will carry on with their expansion plan in the Americas, with the support of Carlos Slim, opening new branches in Chile, Colombia and the United States.