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October 19th, 2016 by admin

L2 – Traduction 2: suggestion de corrigé

A Blood Test to Detect Cancer

It is a revolutionary discovery.  French oncologist Patrizia Paterlini-Bréchot at the Necker Children’s University Teaching Hospital has developed a blood test which detects all cancers at an early stage.

French health minister Marisol Touraine regards this new test as the ‘promise of a major shift in cancer treatment because it is particularly simple to use, and therefore easy to implement on a larger scale’.

This technical feat, achieved by Patrizia Paterlini-Bréchot, a professor of cellular biology and oncologie at the Necker Children’s University Teaching Hospital (University of Paris-Descartes) consists in detecting the cancerous invasion at the very beginning of the disease. ‘Thanks to tests on animals, we knew that these (cancerous) cells are present in the blood for years before the appearance of metastases, and patients die because of these metastases, not because of the initial tumor.  Just as the AIDS virus does, these cells mutate, and because of this have time to become more and more resistant,’ said the researcher.

After seven years of research, a large box has been produced in which the tests called ISET (Isolation by Size of Tumor cells) can be carried out.  This test can detect the presence of these tumor cells which are larger than blood cells among the 5 billion red blood cells and 100 billion white blood cells in 10ml of blood.

The efficiency of the test has been proven by the results obtained at the university teaching hospital in Nice, where a cohort of at-risk patients (heavy smokers with pulmonary disease) was followed for 6 years.  Thanks to the test, researchers detected tumor cells in the blood of five patients well before the lung cancer was visible on an x-ray.  The patients underwent an operation, and were cured of this most lethal of cancers.

When the tumor cells are identified in the blood, specific medical imaging examinations are required to screen for the tumor, she explained. Based on your predispositions and your medical history, we begin for example with the breast in a woman and the prostate in a man, and scan the whole body if we do not find it.  In the future it should be possible to identify the organ from which the tumor cells come and thereby save time.  Proteins found in the cancer cells will indicate in which organ they originated.

It will also be possible to use this test for patients who are in remission in order to verify that the cancer has not returned, and allow oncologists to change and adapt treatments for diagnosed patients.  The test has recently come onto the market, costs 486€ and is not reimbursed by social security.  Even if it is not useful for everyone, and not widely available, it seems that this major discovery, if developed on a larger scale, will increase life expectancy in mankind.  Worldwide, 15 million cases of cancer occur every year.


September 28th, 2016 by admin

L2 Traduction 1 – suggestion de corrigé

Europe to take a second look at the effects of BPA on health

In early 2015 the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) concluded that exposure to bisphenol A (BPA) posed no risk to consumers’ health.

On April 26th 2016 the EFSA announced that they would review the effects of BPA on the immune system in 2017-2018, to take into account recent studies which had pointed out the risks if this chemical substance for children and fetuses.  Despite calls to prohibit this substance, which is thought to be an endocrine disruptor, and has been banned for use in feeding bottles in Europe since 2011, the EFSA stated that exposure to BPA did not present “any risk for consumer health”.  This decision led to France being out of step, just as they were introducing a blanket ban on all food recipients containing this antioxidant and plasticizer.

Dutch Pressure

However, the EFSA announced on April 26th that they were setting up a “workgroup consisting of international experts, to evaluate new scientific elements regarding the potential effects of BPA on the immune system”. The new data come from a report published by the Dutch National Institute for Public Health, which analyzed two studies on prenatal and perinatal effects of BPS on the immune system.  The report “recommends that research on alternatives to BPA be promoted and that consumers be advised to reduce their exposure,” according to the EFSA. At the request of the Netherlands, the European agency has decided to “specifically examine the toxicity of BPA for the immune system in the light of these new findings.” “The studies had not yet been published” when the EFSA issued its previous evaluation of the risks of BPA, they stated.

At the beginning of 2015, the European agency recommended dividing the safety threshold for human exposure to this substance by twelve.  Nevertheless, real human exposure to BPA, which can notably be found in till receipts is “three to five times lower” than the new threshold, and is regarded as “without danger”, they said.  The agency had identified “doubts about BPA’s potential impact on the health of the mammary gland as well as the reproductive, metabolic neuro-behavioural and immune systems.” These effects, in addition to a possible implication in the development of cancer, “are regarded as unlikely, but cannot be rejected,” they added.  France took a critical view, with the French ecology minister, Segolène Royal, questioning “the influence of lobbies” on the publication by the EFSA, an agency that was founded in 2002 after a series of food scares.



April 20th, 2016 by admin

L2 – TV Review preparation

Next week you will be asked to write a review of a pilot episode.  Your work will count towards your final mark for the semester.

Here are some examples of newspaper reviews of pilot episodes to give you an idea of how to approach the exercise.

November 25th, 2015 by admin

L2 SPS – Traduction 3

Doubt cast over the effectiveness of e-cigarettes for stopping smoking

A group of 16 American experts claims that there is no evidence that electronic cigarettes can be recommended as a way to quit smoking.

Tobacco kills half of those who smoke it, and accounts for almost 6 million deaths per year worldwide.  Anything goes when it comes to quitting: nicotine substitutes (patches, gum, tablets, inhalers), drugs, behavioral and cognitive thearapy, or even alternative medicine.  ”But what about e-cigarettes?” you might ask.  The 16 experts on the US Preventive Service Task Force, an American group working on prevention in public health, will tell you that there isn’t enough evidence to show that these devices are effective for stopping smoking.

American Guidelines

The experts came to this conclusion after analysing the results of over fifty studies about the effectiveness of the various methods for smoking cessation.  They published their synthesis a few days ago as a set of recommendations for health professionals.  In it the scientists stress the lack of proof concerning the effects of e-cigarettes and do not recommend their use.

“There are hundreds of studies on the subject, but only 3 are randomized, and therefore the most reliable.” explained Jean-François Etter, a professor of Public Health at the University of Geneva.  ”In a randomized study patients are randomly assigned to one of two identical groups, and in just one of them electronic cigarettes are used.  This allows us to prove causality between e-cigarette smoking and cessation.”

In their view, only two methods are effective for curing addiction to smoking.  The first is medication, using varenicline (commercially sold as Chantix or Champix), buproprion (an antidepressant called Zyban) or nicotine substitutes.  The second is cognitive and behavioral therapy, whch is recommended in particular for pregnant women as a way to avoid the possible side effects of medication on foetal development.

In France

The French tobacco addiction prevention service (Office français de prévention du tabagisme, or OFT) has noted that the commercial success of e-cigarettes coincides with a fall in cigarette sales (-7.6% at the end of 2013) and a reduction in the use of traditional methods of giving up.  In a statement published last year the OFT states that “e-cigarettes are a lot less harmful than traditional cigarettes” and that “replacing tobacco smoking with e-cigarettes can reduce health risks”.  Since 2014 the national health authority has also been recommending to doctors not to discourage the use of e-cigarettes for people who wish to give up smoking.

Despite the prudence of the authorities, the e-cigarette is viewed by many smokers as an alternative to tobacco.  A study of 15000 people carried out in 2014 by the national institute for health prevention and education showed that more than 80% of vapers said that e-cigarettes had enabled them to reduce their tobacco consumption, on average by 9 cigarettes each day.

October 21st, 2015 by admin

L2 – Translation 2

Retinal Implants Bring Hope to the Blind

Retinal implants could allow the blind to partially recover their sight.  At the Vision Institute in Paris, two blind men explained how their artificial retinas work to health minister Marisol Touraine.

Suffering from pigmentary retinopathy, a hereditary disease causing progressive loss of vision, Jean, 72, and Claude, 60 wear a prosthetic device designed to partially restore their sight. Such medical progress could concern thousands of French people who suffer from the disease.

Since his retina operation two years ago, Jean still remembers the first time he wore his glasses. “It was phenomenal.  I hadn’t seen in 20 years, and suddenly there was all of this.  I said (to the doctors) “it was like fireworks”.  Those fireworks were the flashes that enabled him to see shapes, movement and contrast.

At the age of eighteen Jean was diagnosed with a congenital disease. “I was told ‘At the age of 50 or 60 you might become blind’.”  On public transport, he used to bump into people because they were not in his field of view, he told us.  At work, he went from one manual job to another, and admits to having hidden his problem for a long time, afraid he would be fired.  At 51 he lost his sight completely.  It was around the age of 18 that Claude, who lives in Avignon, started to have blurred vision. Glasses managed to correct what he thought was simply myopia, but now illness has caught up with him.

“When I was offered artificial retinas, I said yes right away” said Claude emphatically .  “It was a gift from above” added his son Julien.  “I hope to recover some of my vision, gain more independence and watch TV”, said this retired farmer whose brothers are also affected by pigmentary retinopathy.  Only five months after the surgery, it is however too early to perceive any possible changes.

Jean assures us he is able to go walking with his wife, often avoiding obstacles all by himself.  He has also succeeded in estimating a person’s height or even spotting a match on the table and grasping it. “It has changed my life a little,” he told us.

Artificial retinas from 50 to 60 pixels

To perceive visual information the patient wears a pair of goggles equipped with a miniature camera and a portable electronic device which relays the visual data to the eye implant. The latter, grafted to the retina transforms visual information into electrical stimulations which are sent to the brain, Serge Picaud, director of research at the Vision Institute, told us.  The patient can perceive at best 50 to 60 pixels in black, white or grey.  This will help him to have a better sense of direction but he won’t see colors, he explained.

To improve their vision, the patients are subjected to rehabilitation exercises: recognizing numbers, letters, or objects of different sizes, or shades of grey.  The aim is to stimulate memory because these prostheses are intended for people who were previously able to see.  The long term objective is to help patients become independent again, to be able to recognize faces, and then read complex texts,” explained Serge Picaud.

Currently, fewer than 10 people have a retinal implant in France, including Jean and Claude, for whom the intervention was fully reimbursed by social security.  Between 20000 and 40000 people suffer from pigmentary retinopathy in France.


September 30th, 2015 by admin

L2 – translation N°1

Voici une proposition de corrigé :

Dark chocolate makes the brain more alert and attentive

A new study shows that eating dark chocolate with 60% cocoa content can stimulate the brain and improve alertness and attention span.

This is great news for chocolate lovers.  A new study published in NeuroRegulation shows that low-sugar dark chocolate can increase the brain’s attention span, and help people get over the afternoon slump.  The analysis, which was partly sponsored by (the) US chocolate company Hershey’s, is the first to examine the effect on the brain, but also the first to use an electroencephalogram to study cognitive ability after eating chocolate.

Larry Stevens, a professor of psychology at the University of Arizona wanted to find out whether people who ate chocolate experienced an immediate stimulant effect. Chocolate has always been recognized as a vasodilator: it dilates the blood vessels and lowers blood pressure in the long term.  But chocolate also contains powerful stimulants.

Useful for those with high blood pressure

In a series of tests, the scientist and his team analysed the brain activity of 122 volunteers aged 18 to 25, asking them to eat dark chocolate with a cocoa content of 60%. The EEG then took images of their brains.  Michelle Montipoli, who was still a student when the study was carried out, ran the EEG test phase which consisted in measuring the sample sizes based on the weight of the participants who were blinded to the study.

The results of the study showed that the brain of those who consume chocolate produced more signs of   vigilance and attention.  Their blood pressure also increased over a short period. “Chocolate is a stimulant and activates the brain in a special way” says Larry Stevens.  “It can increase brain characteristics of attention, and it also significantly affects blood pressure levels.”   When your vision becomes blurred, eat a piece of chocolate!

The advantages of theanine

The most important finding however, was that this chocolate with 60% cacao content contains theanine, an amino acid which is present in green tea, and which acts as a relaxant.  “Theanine is a really fascinating substance which lowers blood pressure and produces what we call alpha waves in the brain that are very calm and peaceful” explains Stevens. “We thought that if chocolate increases very high blood pressure, theanine lowers it, and so perhaps theanine would counteract the short-term hypertensive effects of chocolate.”

Stevens hopes that these results will encourage manufacturers to investigate further and to consider the health benefits of producing a bar of chocolate with high cacao and theanine content.  Millions of patients nationwide suffer from high blood pressure and eating chocolate bars every afternoon could be beneficial.  In this way, their blood pressure could fall to normal levels, and they would be more alert and attentive.





November 19th, 2014 by admin

L2IS translation – doc 3

Voici le fruit de vos efforts combinés :

SMS/Text messages to stop smoking

Public Health programs transmitted by mobile phone are effective for stopping smoking.

Encouragement and advice by text message are a useful aid for people who are trying to put an end to their addiction to smoking. According to a review of medical literature, which was published by Cochrane, smokers who benefitted from this type of coaching are in fact more likely to be abstinent after six months.

Researchers analysed the results of five studies on some 9000 people of all ages who wanted to stop smoking and who were registered for programs to stop smoking by cellphone. Every day they were sent several audio or text messages. In one of the studies, (the) participants received short videos showing (the) different ways to stop smoking.

The researchers (Auckland University, NZ) noted that the benefits of using these methods were twice as high as in a control group, even if results vary from one study to another. “Nowadays cellphones are part of daily life, particularly for young adults,” they point out. “It’s a way to transmit public health messages which happens to be effective, and probably cheaper than helplines”.

Gift points

(The) Scientists are calling for new studies (to be carried out) to measure the effectiveness of smartphone applications which are currently being developed. Some are being created by pharmaceutical laboratories. One of them aims, for example, to motivate ex-smokers by informing them in real time of the health benefits of stopping. After inputting information about their smoking habits, subscribers receive daily messages indicating estimated life expectancy gain, improvement in heart attack risk and respiratory capacity, or even financial savings.

Another app reproduces the gaming process in the hope of encouraging quitters to hold fast, by giving them points for each cigarette that they don’t smoke. According to Christophe Leroux, spokesman for the ligue contre le cancer, “these tools are potentially interesting, but they only work for smokers who are already in the process of giving up, mainly those who regularly try to quit.”

October 22nd, 2014 by admin

L2IS Translation – doc 2

Here is the complete text from your collective effort :

Diabetes : a single injection of nano-insulin for 10 days’ peace of mind

This invention from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) with injectable nanoparticles could one day spare patients with type 1 diabetes from monitoring their blood sugar levels and injecting insulin. This development, which was presented in the journal ACS Nano, could maintain a normal blood sugar level for 10 days through a single injection.

Because these nanoparticles are able to detect blood glucose levels and react in real time secreting the necessary quantity of insulin, thereby compensating for the deficient pancreatic islet cells in patients with type 1 diabetes. The blood sugar level is thus kept “under control” and the patients’ quality of life is improved, making them more serene.  At present these patients are obliged to prick themselves several times a day to control their blood sugar levels. In case of hyperglycemia/high blood glucose, patients inject (themselves with) insulin which metabolizes excess sugar.

An injectable nanogel which responds to variations in glucose levels

The MIT team created a solid biocompatible system which reacts quickly to changes in blood sugar levels and is easy to administer. “Thanks to extended release mode, the quantity/amount of insulin (which is) secreted corresponds to the needs of the organism” explains Daniel Anderson, associate professor of chemical engineering at MIT. So it is an insulin delivery system which behaves a bit like an artificial pancreas, automatically detecting glucose levels and secreting insulin as needed. The injectable gel looks a bit like toothpaste and contains a mixture of oppositely charged nanoparticles which attract each other maintaining the gel intact and preventing the particles from drifting away once inside the body. Each nanoparticle contains spheres of dextran, which is a modified polysaccharide charged with an enzyme which transforms glucose into gluconic acid. When the blood sugar levels are high the enzyme produces large quantities of gluconic acid and makes the local environment a little/slightly more acidic, causing the dextran spheres to disintegrate and release insulin.

Just one injection for 10 days of glycemia/blood sugar control

In mice with type 1 diabetes, the researchers show that a single injection of nanogel could maintain blood sugar at normal levels for/over a period of 10 days. The scientists/The team/They are now trying to optimize the particles so that they can react even more quickly to variations in blood glucose levels. They still have to test the particles on humans, using the right dosage.