28 Oct '16, 9pm

Bats can be model for human medicine

Bats are often viewed with distaste, except in Chinese culture, where the characters for bat, bian fu, evoke the term for prosperity, fu. So for the Chinese, bats are a symbol of good fortune and longevity. Professor Wang Linfa, 56, from the Duke-NUS Medical School, believes there might be truth in this. Although they are natural hosts of viruses such as Nipah, Hendra and Sars, bats themselves are largely immune to the deadly diseases. They also have an average lifespan of 20 to 30 years - generally 10 to 20 times longer than that of their land-bound rodent cousins. Also, studies have shown that bats do not get cancer easily. These are some reasons Prof Wang, who is director of the emerging infectious diseases programme at Duke-NUS, believes the study of bats could unlock novel cures for diseases in humans. Some bats found in Singapore There are more than 1,000 species of ...

Full article: http://www.straitstimes.com/singapore/bats-can-be-model-f...

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