Thursday, February 23, 2006

Hepatitis B vaccine and cure may be just around the corner

Hepatitis B vaccine and cure may be just around the corner
Danielle Cronin
Thursday, 23 February 2006
The Canberra Times

Hepatitis B vaccine and cure may be just around the cornerDanielle CroninThursday, 23 February 2006 A vaccine developed in Canberra could hopefully cure people with the potentially deadly infection hepatitis B, specialist Professor Nikolai Petrovsky said yesterday.
In a reported world first, Canberra company Vaxine is testing the vaccine developed by Professor Petrovsky and Dr Peter Cooper, of the Australian National University's John Curtin School of Medical Research.
"We've got two ambitions," Professor Petrovsky said.
"The first is to use it in the traditional sense of the vaccine, which is to take people who haven't been exposed to the virus and protect them against the virus, so we're very confident that we will achieve that.
"The ambitious part of the project is we believe that there's a good chance we may be actually able to treat people who are already infected with the virus and use the vaccine to basically help the immune system to eradicate the virus."
Professor Petrovsky worked on the compound when he was a specialist at Canberra Hospital.
Hepatitis B is one of the world's most common liver infections, affecting about 30 per cent of the population, or 2billion people, at some time.
About 350 million people are chronic carriers and one million people die each year from liver failure caused by hepatitis B.
The virus can be spread through contact with the blood of an infected person, from mother to child at birth, during unsafe sex, sharing needles, and unsterilised tatooing or piercing equipment.
Professor Petrovsky said most people fought off the infection, but in about one in three cases the virus lodged in the liver, causing serious damage that could lead to failure. There were drugs to slow down the process, but no cure.
The vaccine combined a protein from the virus and a special agent taken from the natural sugar found in dahlia flowers.
"It is designed to encourage the immune system to attack and destroy the hepatitis infection more effectively. It may ultimately lead to the world's first cure for chronic hepatitis B infection," he said. "Although still early days, this new vaccine should be of major benefit to people who respond poorly to current hepatitis B vaccines, including people with immuno-deficiency, diabetes, elderly people and people with kidney disease.
"We may actually be able to treat people who have the virus and cure them of the virus. If we do that, that's going to be pretty revolutionary."
It would take a few months to complete the first phase involving testing the safety and efficacy of the vaccine on about 24 people who were not infected.
Professor Petrovsky said the next stage would be "very exciting" when people with hepatitis B were given the vaccine.
Vaxine chief executive Ted Stapinski said the vaccine could be a financial boon. If the test results were positive, the company would forge a partnership with a pharmaceutical company to market the vaccine and list on the stock exchange. Professor Petrovsky helped set up Vaxine, a Canberra company focused on developing vaccines for infectious diseases.
The United States' National Institute of Health recently gave a grant - worth more than $3 million - to Vaxine and Flinders University to develop vaccines to protect against bioterrorist attacks.

Sunday, February 19, 2006

Bateman's Bay

well... not gonna write a lot about this place as i think its one of the worst bay i have ever been to... and i am not sure why so many Canberans love to go there...

Look how cacat the bay is.....

This is prob the best view of the whole journey... with the mountain covered with fog

Friday, February 17, 2006


This week has been a very depressing week for me. I have not been able to concentrate on my a matter of fact.. everything i do.. my heart hasn't been with me i think...

Two of my best friends got married this week. Mien got ROM in Singapore on V-day and PL got married on the 16th Feb.

For the whole week.. i tried searching on zuji for the cheapest ticket to fly home so that i can make it to the dinner tomorrow night.. i tried thinking about the leave or sick leave i could take to attend the wedding... i tried imagining everyone getting excited and happy with the occasions.. i tried to think about ways i could get malcolm to come with me...i think and think during work.. when i am cooking... when i am taking shower.... and yet.. i did nothing.... i wonder why?

I often think i am the kind of person who is willing to do anything for my friends... esp the six of us... i mean... the wedding is once in a life time... i have savings.. well.. i don't really have a lot of time....but i didn't do anything....i wonder what has changed?

Yesterday... i can really feel the bond there... mom called me early in the morning while i was at work.. saying that she attended the pre-wedding party.. bird's parents were there.. everyone was there.. then at about 11.30am hooi called... say PL was in the midst of the tea ceremony... everyone talked to me briefly on the phone eventhough i could not hear them very well because of the poor reception in the office.. i was feeling so happy yet so sad...i was not part of it..

You know.. i think the six of us are going to be the closest best friend ever one could ever find... we went through happiness and sadness, sickness and health... and we are getting stronger every day or year...when one of us is in trouble... there is no doubt that everyone would help.. in a different way...

I think the best of it is that each and everyone of us bond with each other in a unique way... its like having five sisters...

I can imagine all of us grow up and grow old together till death do us apart......

To Mien... i am very happy that you found the one u love... but i will forever be worried about u because u will be so far away in a foreign place... May you and Roger have a long lasting & loving marriage.

To PL...i know u r a strong girl..but i will still worry about you... life long partnership needs to be cultivated with patience & compromisation....Wish you and Hume a happy & loving life together.. forever...

Thursday, February 16, 2006

Thank YOU

Love the Red Roses that you sent

Overwhelmed with warmth by your act of love

Very happy because we made it through another year

Eventhough life lately has brought us much tear

You are the sunshine after the rain

Of which i will cherish

Until the day we are apart

Sunday, February 12, 2006

Chinese New Year @ the Farm

While everyone spent Chinese New Year with their relatives and friends.. we had the most relaxing time at the farm. U got to envy us after looking at the photos...

Top of Australia - Mt Kosciuszko

Yes!... We conquered the highest peak of Australia on Australia Day!
At the Peak , 2228 above sea level.
That's Keith & me with the magnificient background of the Kosciuszko National Park. It was quite chilly at the top despite the scotching hot temperature of 38 degree ceicius at the foot of the mountain

From the pictures... it may not seem hard to walk up the slope... but i almost could not make it to the top!
The surrouding landscape seemed like the place where Lord of The Ring was filmed.