Research doctors working at Vall d'Hebron have created a test to detect prostate cancer (read article in Castilian here, La Vanguardia). The test is thought to improve early diagnosis and to detect genetic alterations characteristic of cancer cells present in urine. The test has been tested so far in about 200 men who went to the hospital with the suspicion that they might have the disease. The test has been able to accurately distinguish those with cancer and those without. Jaume Reventós, chief of the Biomedical Research Unit at the Institut de Recerca Vall d'Hebron reported the findings yesterday. With more than 3000 new cases diagnosed each year, prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer for men in Catalunya. The new test is not intended to replace current testing for early detection but to complement them. The current tests however have the disadvantage that more than half of the suspected cases turn out to be benign. In these cases, biopsies, could be prevented with the new, more accurate test. "Our idea is that the test is applied in cases where the PSA indicates a suspicion of cancer. Thus we could rule out many cases of cancer without the need for many biopsies," said biologist Andreas Doll.
Residents of Barcelona are charging €700 rent for balconies that offer views of the Pope (read article in Castilian here, El Periodico). Other citizens of the Sagrada Familia area are asking €2,000 for two days for their flats. More than 20 residents are currently offering their balconies for Pope Benedict XVI's visit on November 7th. One advertised on Loquo advertises a whole floor, which promises "lateral views of the church" and is asking for €2000 for the weekend, whilst one that is just 400 metres from the main entrance of Glòria is charging €1000. A third, more economical option, a room for just €70 for the night of the Pope's visit. One of the residents is said to have received over 20 calls and emails. Koldo, who is renting his balcony out, with seating for seven people and is asking for between €600-€700, says: "I have had calls from about 15 people." The prices are significantly larger that those asked for in Pamplona during San Fermin - the average charge there is €60 per person. During Holy Week in Seville, prices for renting balconies can reach as much as $3,000 for the week.
The General Strike planned for September 29th, is the first to have made a previous agreement on transport services (read article in Castilian here, El País). The strike has become the first to be undertaken with a beforehand agreement made between Government and unions for a minimum transport service. After eight hours of talks at the Minstry of Development, representatives of the department and union organisers from the UGT and CCOO, have closed with an outline of minimum services which includes all transportation, (air, rail, ship and road). This works out as rail transport - 25 percent of service on the suburban rail network (30 percent at peak times) and 20 percent of the AVE. Air transport will function with 10 percent of intrapeninsular flights, 50 percent between the mainland and the islands and 20 percent of flights to European routes and a further 40 percent of all other international flights. The talks proved particularly difficult with regards to air transport, the unions agreed to include international flights within the minimum package of services, despite not being in the initial offer. On the road and maritime there were no difficulties as both parties took the model given by the government from the previous strike in 2002.