Showing posts with label chinese. Show all posts
Showing posts with label chinese. Show all posts

Saturday, March 31, 2012

Lin-surgery! Knicks guard done for regular season

Jeremy Lin
Jeremy Lin
Jeremy Lin will miss the rest of the regular season because he needs knee surgery that will sideline him six weeks and could leave the Knicks without their star point guard in the playoffs - if they make it that far.

Lin had an MRI exam this week that revealed a small, chronic meniscus tear and he has elected to have surgery next week in New York.

With the regular season ending April 26, the biggest story in basketball this season is done unless the Knicks make a deep postseason run.

Speaking slowly during a pregame press conference, Lin was unable to hide his disappointment with the decision that was reached earlier Saturday after a painful workout.

“It (stinks) not being able to be out there with the team,” he said.

Upcoming: Lin-surgery.

He was barely holding on to a place in the NBA back in February. Now, after the back-to-back Sports Illustrated covers and popularity around the world, and now it’s over.

“If this was done very early in the year, obviously … I don’t know where my career would be. I could be, would be definitely without a job and probably fighting for a summer league spot,” Lin said. “But having said that, this happening now hurts just as much, because all the players, we really put our heart and souls into the team and into season, and to not be there when it really matters most is hard.”

The Knicks will continue to turn to Baron Davis in place of Lin, the undrafted Harvard alum who became the starter in February and turned in a series of brilliant performances, kicking off a phenomenon that was called Linsanity.

Lin is averaging 14.1 points and 6.1 assists, but the numbers only tell a small part of the story.

The Knicks were under .500 and looking like a mess when Lin was given a chance to play extended minutes at point guard for then-coach Mike D’Antoni on Feb. 4 against New Jersey.

Lin, the first American-born player of Taiwanese or Chinese descent to play in the NBA, scored 25 points with seven assists in that New York victory, was inserted into the starting lineup two days later against Utah, and took the Knicks on a seven-game winning streak that gained world-wide attention.

The 23-year-old Lin left the Knicks’ easy victory over Detroit last Saturday after feeling discomfort, saying afterward he could have returned for the fourth quarter if the game had been close. He took part in shootaround before their game Monday and at first believed he could deal with the pain.

Though the swelling went down, the pain never did. He said he got three or four opinions that all said the same thing, and after testing it again Friday and Saturday, he decided to have the surgery.

“I can’t really do much. Can’t really cut or jump, so it’s pretty clear that I won’t be able to help the team unless I get this fixed right now,” Lin said before the Knicks played Cleveland. “It’s disappointing for me, it’s hard to watch the games and I think I’d want to be out there obviously more than anything right now. But hopefully, it’s a six-week rehab process but I tend to heal fast, so hopefully I can come back as soon as possible and still contribute this season hopefully.”

It’s the second serious injury loss of the week for the Knicks, who are in eighth place in the Eastern Conference. Amare Stoudemire is out two to four weeks with a back injury, leaving the Knicks without their second- and third-leading scorers for perhaps the remainder of the regular season.

Davis still isn’t 100 percent after a herniated disk in his back kept him out of action until February. The Knicks also have Mike Bibby and Toney Douglas, plus rookie Iman Shumpert as point guard options, but none as good as Lin.

“We’ve got to go on, but he’s a big piece of our puzzle and what we were doing as of late before he actually went out,” interim coach Mike Woodson said. “All’s not bad. Again, we’ve got three veteran point guards sitting over there and the rookie we could play some at the point. We’re just going to have to make do until he’s able to get back into uniform. But it is a big blow.”

Lin flourished in D’Antoni’s offense, and there was immediate speculation he would struggle - or even lose his starting spot - when Woodson replaced him on March 14. Instead, Lin kept on rolling, leading the Knicks to six wins in seven games before he was hurt.

Woodson said he’s known of players that have played through meniscus tears, but that only Lin knows his body. Lin knew he would need surgery eventually, but hoped to delay it until after the season.

“He’s elected to have the surgery and we’ve got to respect that, because only he knows the pain that he’s feeling. And there is a problem, so it’s got to be fixed,” Woodson said.

The Knicks had already tried three point guards when they finally turned to Lin, who had been cut by Golden State and Houston before signing with the Knicks. D’Antoni immediately elevated him to the starting lineup after his performance against the Nets, and Lin responded with the greatest beginning stretch ever for a starter.

He was the first player with at least 20 points and seven assists in each of his first five starts since the Elias Sports Bureau began charting starts in 1970. He had a 3-pointer to win a game in Toronto, scored 38 points to outplay Kobe Bryant in a national TV victory over the Lakers, then had 28 points and 14 assists in another nationally televised victory over the NBA champion Dallas Mavericks.

All along, the frenzy around him increased. Commissioner David Stern said he had never seen so much interest created by one player in such a short period of time. Knicks games were picked up by TV stations in basketball-crazed Asia, and Lin actually pleaded for privacy for his family in Taiwan.

Lin will be a free agent after the season and said he hopes to return to New York, but otherwise wasn’t thinking that far in the future.

“I’m not even worried about that right now,” he said. “It’s not like a career-ending thing or it’s not something that will bother me. Once it’s fixed, it’s fixed, it’s the most simple surgery you can have and so I’m more concerned about the season.”

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Saturday, January 14, 2012

China seeks to unlock secrets of herbs, roots

Preparing Herbal Medicine
(Reuters) - Chinese legends have long extolled the benefits of the Tian Shan Xue Lian, a rare white flower found in snowcapped mountains that is revered as a panacea, an elixir so powerful it can supposedly bring the dead back to life.

But in laboratories in Shanghai and Hong Kong, scientists are poring over this cusped, wrinkly flower the size of an avocado, from which they hope to develop a new drug to treat irregular heartbeat, or atrial fibrillation, a serious disease that raises the risk of stroke.

In the quest for better and newer drugs, scientists in China are re-examining traditional Chinese medicines TCM.L -- roots and herbs that have been used for thousands of years -- to find and reproduce the active ingredients so they may be made into drugs that can be easily manufactured and consumed.

But unlike many Chinese drugmakers who already sell TCMs in powders and capsules, scientists are going a step further by putting these experimental medicines through rigorous clinical tests so that they may find wider acceptance globally.

"This flower has been used for thousands of years in Xinjiang, Tibet and India to treat a range of illnesses...For the Chinese, it was used for 'disorderly heartbeat,'" said Li Guirong, a cardiology professor at the University of Hong Kong.

"I have worked eight years on this. Our aim is to return an irregular heart rhythm to normalcy...with a drug that has fewer side effects," he said.

As Beijing shifts its growth engine to cleaner hi-tech industries, committing $1.7 trillion over the next five years to nurture them, Chinese scientists are enjoying unprecedented government support and access to funding to design better drugs and diagnostic tools for chronic illnesses such as heart disease and cancer.

Backed by government funding, Li and colleagues at the Shanghai Institute of Materia Medica began studying eight years ago the Tian Shan Xue Lian, or Herba Saussureae Involucratae, which thrives 3,000 metres above sea level in the Tibetan highlands.

They extracted its key ingredient, acacetin, created its synthetic twin and found success in experiments on dogs with atrial fibrillation.

They are now refining the compound and hope to begin human trials in three years with China National Pharmaceutical Group Corp , parent of the country's largest Hong Kong-listed drug distributor Sinopharm Group Co Ltd (1099.HK).

"We received a patent for it (acacetin) and hope to make it into a drug together with Sinopharm. We hope to market it in China and internationally eventually," Li said.

While TCM has been used for thousands of years, it is far less understood and accepted outside of China. By subjecting TCM-derived compounds to clinical trials, experts hope to prove their efficacy and sell them into foreign markets.


Coinciding with China's push to upgrade its domestic drug sector, Western drugmakers are muscling into China to maintain margins amid a patent cliff and fall in earnings in Western markets.

In the last two months alone, Merck & Co Inc (MRK.N), Pfizer Inc (PFE.N) and Astrazeneca Plc (AZN.L), have announced ambitious research plans with Chinese companies to design new drugs for Chinese patients and also announced plans to expand their distribution grids.

The reason is simple: China's prescription drug market, set to be the world's second largest by 2020, is estimated to be worth more than $110 billion by 2015, from $50 billion in 2010, according to various industry researchers.

While much attention is paid to what Western drugmakers are doing in China, insiders say significant resources are quietly being directed to TCM research and the best TCM drugs will eventually figure among the world's prescription medicines.

In the last two years, the government has allotted 6.7 billion yuan to support biotechnology companies and the search for new drugs.

Apart from Sinopharm, which aims to compete globally with quality and well-accepted drugs, other notable TCM producers are Yunnan Baiyao Group Co Ltd (000538.SZ), which makes an anti-bleeding powder, Zhangzhou Pientzehuang Pharmaceutical Co Ltd (600436.SS) and Jiangsu Hengruli Medicine Co Ltd (600276.SS), all keen to put more resources into R&D over the next five years.

Beijing Tongrentang Co Ltd (600085.SS) will focus on developing products using rare raw materials that have strong medicinal qualities, while China Shineway Pharmaceutical Group Ltd (2877.HK) will give priority to state-protected and patented Chinese medicines.

This reverse approach -- working backwards with proven TCMs to find the active compound -- has been encouraged by China's best-known medical export, the anti-malaria drug artemisinin.

Artemisinin is derived from the sweet wormwood shrub, which has been used for thousands of years to treat malaria. A project by the Chinese army in the 1960s managed to isolate the active compound and it has since become the world's best line of defence against the disease.

"We will see a rebalancing away from what was an exclusive focus on Western chemical drugs to include more traditional Chinese medicines," said Jason Mann, pharmaceuticals and healthcare analyst with Barclays Capital in Hong Kong.

"The Chinese government is supporting TCM. It is a key heritage; something to be proud of. Five thousand years of history can't all be wrong. And it is just pragmatic. These are difficult, expensive diseases. Whatever approach you can take to keep patients healthy and out of hospital will be good."

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