Home > Current Events > Year 2007 July
A review of stories making the headlines.

Chinese eat dinosaur bones as medicine
Forbes (http://www.forbes.com), 5 July 2007

Villagers in central China spent decades digging up bones they believed belonged to flying dragons and using them in traditional medicines. Until last year, the fossils were being sold in Henan province as "dragon bones" at about 25 cents a pound. Scientist Dong Zhiming of the Institute of Vertebrate Paleontology and Paleoanthropology of the Chinese Academy of Sciences said that these bones were from a 60-foot-long plant-eating dinosaur that lived 85 million to 100 million years ago. These bones, rich in calcium were sometimes boiled with other ingredients and fed to children to treat dizziness and leg cramps. Other times they were ground up and turned into a paste applied directly to fractures and other injuries.

Eu Yan Sang scholarship for NTU's TCM students
The Business Times (Singapore), 5 July 2007

Eu Yan Sang International has announced a new university scholarship for Nanyang Technological University's (NTU) TCM students. The scholarship, Singapore's first, will be available to undergraduates enrolled in NTU's double-degree programme in Biomedical Sciences and TCM. The five-year double-degree programme consists of three years of study in NTU's school of Biological Sciences and the remaining two years of study at Beijing University of Chinese Medicine (BUCM). Eu Yang Sang is offering up to three scholarships of $10,000 a year for each of the final two years of study at BUCM.

University to consider retracting paper
South China Morning Post , 7 July 2007

A Baptist University review panel will consider retracting a search paper written by academics at its TCM School and published in a Dutch journal should be retracted. The journal wrote to one of the articles' authors seeking clarification about whether papers it and two other journals published in 2005 about a new formula for treating rheumatoid arthritis were describing the same experiment. A Japanese publication, the Journal of Pharmacological Sciences, retracted one of the articles last month.

Pumpkin may hold key to treatment for diabetics
The Hindu (www.hindu.com), 10 July 2007

Scientists have discovered a compound in pumpkin that has been known to promote the regeneration of damaged insulin-producing beta cells in diabetic rats, thereby improving the level of insulin in their blood. Laboratory data showed that diabetic rats that had been fed pumpkin extract had only five per cent less plasma insulin and eight per cent fewer insulin-positive cells than normal healthy rats, according to a research paper published this week in the US-based Journal of the Science of Food and Agriculture. Xia Tao, one of the lead authors and a professor at the College of Life Science, emphasised that further research was needed to evaluate the effects in human beings. He said that the results were in line with the traditional Chinese idea that "pumpkin is a good food for diabetics". This is the first time that scientific proof has ever been provided for this idea.

1,500-plus acupuncturists to gather for traditional Chinese medicine conference
PeopleíŽs Daily Online (http://english.people.com.cn), 12 July 2007

Over 1,500 acupuncturists from nearly 30 countries will gather in Beijing this October, to discuss the future of the technique. This will be the 20th anniversary of the World Association of Acupuncture. The forum, running from Oct. 20 to 22, with the theme of "acupuncture: looking back and looking forward", will have eight sub-forums on topics like education, the evolution of acupuncture and needle therapy practise and assessment. An exhibition of new methods and technologies in the field will also be held.

Kepala Batas Hospital first to integrate traditional and modern medicine
The Nation (http://thestar.com.my), 18 July 2007

The Kepala Batas Hospital in Penang, Malaysia will be the first government hospital to incorporate traditional and complementary medicine in September. The hospitals will introduce three modalities of traditional and complementary medicine íV herbal preparation, acupuncture and traditional massage. Under the project, three oncologists from Beijing's Traditional Chinese Medicine Guang'anmen Hospital and the Universities of Traditional Chinese Medicine in Shanghai and Nanjing each would be attached to hospital for three months. If proven successful, the scheme will be extended to other public hospitals.

Six dead in clash over strange fungus
The China Post (http://www.chinapost.com.tw), 19 July 2007

A clash in China between two groups of Tibetans over the right to harvest a TCM killed six people and injured over 100 others, according to officials. According to the Hong Kong based Information Center of Human Rights and Democracy, six people from Sangdu Town were killed and 110 injured after villagers from neighbouring Dengpo Township used semi-automatic weapons and grenades at them on a bridge crossing. The harvesting of caterpillar fungus (also known as cordyceps), an expensive Chinese herbal medicine, is a major industry in the area. This fungus is thought able to be able to fight tumours and boost the immune system. Chinese athletes are known to use the medicine to help them recover after competition.

Pakistan, China Agree to Enhance Collaboration in Traditional Medicine
Associated Press of Pakistan (http://www.app.com.pk/en/), 19 July 2007

Pakistan and China agreed to enhance collaboration in the field of traditional medicine and benefit from each other's expertise and experience in the area. The agreement was reached at a meeting held in Islamabad recently between the Vice Health Minister of China, Mr. Wang Guoqiang and Federal Health Minister Mohammed Nasir Khan. Establishment of a University of Traditional Medicine in Pakistan with Chinese support was also discussed.

Hong Kong's traditional Chinese medicine laws 'putting public at risk'
The South China Morning Post , 23 July 2007

Graham Player, an Australian-qualified acupuncturist and member of the Chinese Acupuncture Associati'on has been practising since 1979. He can speak Cantonese but doesn't know the written TCM terms needed to sit the registration exam. "The government has decided to allow any listed/registered practitioner of Chinese medicine who practices any of the various TCM modalities íV acupuncture, herbs, bone setting íV to have the legal right to practise all three modalities, even though that practitioner may not have any training at all in those other modalities," Mr Player said. He suggests the Australian government approach be adopted, of practitioners only being registered in areas in which they have the required qualifications and experience, such as acupuncture, herbs or bone setting."

First service center for the "sub-healthy" established in China
China Business News (http://www.interfax.cn), 31 July 2007

Zhonghe "Sub-health Service Center" the first organization engaged in "sub-health research, management and related services" has just been set up in Beijing. Being sub-healthy means a person whose general health and well being is below average, and has problems such as being overweight, listless and run down. Chen Yixin, vice chief of the psychology promotion committee under the Chinese Psychological Society, said at a national health conference last year that people with sub-health problems "don't suffer functional/organic diseases or defects, but they usually feel tired, bored, helpless, anxious, and even have slow reactions or decreased adaptability." The center is under the direct supervision of the State Administration of Traditional Chinese Medicine.

Compiled By:
Jennifer Eagleton, BA, MA (Asian Studies), Integrated Chinese Medicine Holdings Ltd.