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Annan ends visit to Moscow as Russian officials pledge support for UN

During separate meetings with officials from both houses of Parliament — the Duma and the Federation Council — Mr. Annan discussed a wide rage of international issues, including the Balkans, the Middle East, globalization and terrorism. In a surprise move that departed from the scheduled programme, the Chairman of the Federation Council awarded Mr. Annan the Peter the Great Prize at a ceremony attended by many of the 100 members of the Council. Thanking the Chairman on behalf of the UN and all of its staff members, the Secretary-General said, “I think that through me, he was honouring them.”The Secretary-General also held talks with Russian Foreign Minister Igor Ivanov on areas of mutual concern, including Georgia, Nagorny Karabakh, Tajikistan, Afghanistan, Sierra Leone, Angola, the Democratic Republic of the Congo, Iraq and the Balkans.Speaking to reporters at a press conference following the meeting, the Foreign Minister said his country “highly appreciates the personal contribution of Secretary-General Annan to the strengthening of the role of the United Nations.” “Russia will support the candidacy of Kofi Annan for a second term as Secretary-General,” Mr. Ivanov said.According to a UN spokesman, the Secretary-General’s talks with the Russian Foreign Minister also touched on a proposal by the United States to build a new antiballistic missile system. Commenting on that issue yesterday in response to questions from the press, Mr. Annan said, “We must be sure that the new antiballistic missile system does not lead to another arms race.” He added: “The US Government has indicated that strategic discussions are required — long and deep strategic discussions — on this issue. I believe that dialogue has begun and the US administration has sent envoys around the world to explain their position.”The Secretary-General heads next to Amsterdam for a brief stopover before going to Geneva, where on Thursday he will address the annual meeting of the World Health Assembly. read more

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Nanomachines that drill into cancer cells killing them in just 60 seconds

first_imgMotorised molecules that target diseased cells may deliver drugs or kill the cells by drilling into the cell membranes. The ‘motor’ is a rotor-like chain of atoms that can be prompted to move in one direction, causing the molecule to rotate at high speed.Dr Robert Pal of Durham University said: “We are moving towards realising our ambition to be able to use light-activated nanomachines to target cancer cells such as those in breast tumours and skin melanomas, including those that are resistant to existing chemotherapy.“Once developed, this approach could provide a potential step change in non-invasive cancer treatment and greatly improve survival rates and patient welfare globally.” The prostate cancer cells start to 'bleb' or disintegrate, as seen in the bottom image  Motorised molecules that target diseased cells may deliver drugs or kill the cells by drilling into the cell membranes.Credit:Tour Group/Rice University A graphic showing the tiny nanomachine Credit:Tour Group/Rice University The molecules could be used either to tunnel into cells carrying therapeutic agents, or to act as killer weapons that blast open tumour membranes.Videos showed the cancer cell membranes bubbling under the assault.Without an ultraviolet trigger, the motor molecules located target cells but then remained harmlessly on their surfaces. The scientists, whose work is reported in the journal Nature, created several different light-activated motorised molecules designed to home in on specific cells.They found that the nanomachines needed to spin at two to three million times per second to overcome nearby obstacles and outpace natural Brownian motion, the erratic movement of microscopic particles suspended in fluid. Nanomachines which can drill into cancer cells, killing them in just 60 seconds, have been developed by scientists.The tiny spinning molecules are driven by light, and spin so quickly that they can burrow their way through cell linings when activated.In one test conducted at Durham University the nanomachines took between one and three minutes to break through the outer membrane of prostate cancer cell, killing it instantly.   The prostate cancer cells start to ‘bleb’ or disintegrate after just 60 seconds, as seen in the bottom image Credit:Robert Pal/Durham University) The researchers are already proceeding with experiments in microorganisms and small fish and hope to move to rodents soon, ahead of clinical trials in humans if animal testing is successful. Want the best of The Telegraph direct to your email and WhatsApp? Sign up to our free twice-daily  Front Page newsletter and new  audio briefings. When triggered, the molecules rapidly drilled through the cell membranes.Dr James Tour, a member of the international team from Rice University in Houston, US, said: “These nanomachines are so small that we could park 50,000 of them across the diameter of a human hair, yet they have the targeting and actuating components combined in that diminutive package to make molecular machines a reality for treating disease.”In this study we have shown that we can drill into cells, animal cells, human cells using these nanomachines, they will attach to the surface and then a light will be shone upon them and they will drill right into the cell.”For many years I never had envisioned the nanomachines being used medically, I though they were way too small, because they are much much smaller than a cell, but now this work has really changed my thoughts on this and I think therapeutically this will be a whole new way to treat patients, it’s going to be an excellent application for cancer treatment, not just for killing of cells but for the treatment of cells, interacting with the human body using molecular machines.” A graphic showing the tiny nanomachine last_img read more

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