Davos is a busy resort in a beautiful alpine playground. The town extends for several kilometers along the broad Landwasser River Valley, between two giant mountain ranges. The area is called "the holiday corner of Switzerland" and is home to some of the best developed winter sports centres in the world. Apart from these tourist centres, Davos is relatively unspoiled, boasting beautiful alpine lakes and exquisite mountain settings. Few resorts in the world have more extensive slopes, or offer more for all standards. During the mid-19th century, the area became known for its health benefits. The clean, dry air and high altitudes provided the perfect environment to recover from tuberculosis and other lung ailments prevalent at the time. Many of the old sanatoriums have been converted to present-day hotels. In 1877 a natural ice rink was built, which became the first step towards the development of a world-class winter sports destination. Flanked on both sides by stunning mountain views, this setting provided a natural attraction. The high Landwasser Valley is wind protected by forested mountain slopes. It was, and remains, a perfect environment to enjoy nature at its finest throughout the year. Skiing and boarding in Davos is excellent and seven distinct ski areas have been developed in the immediate area, so snow sports enthusiasts can spend a week and ski a different resort every day. Although the mountain setting is spectacular, much of Davos' architecture is undistinguished. The area has the hustle and bustle of a busy town, with only two major roads to handle the flow of traffic. Many lift and cable car systems have been renovated in the course of the last decade. The dining is exceptional, the nightlife can hop, and cultural activities regularly poke through the snow.
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10 Wonderful Medical Breakthroughs of 2011
2011 was an exciting time for the medical industry, with thousands of scientific breakthroughs bringing hope to patients and health experts across the world. Here is a list of 10 wonderful medical developments of 2011.
1. Cancer Vaccine – Cancer vaccine on the market by 2020
A vaccine that could prevent 70 per cent of lethal cancers was developed by scientists in 2011, with hope that it could be on the market by 2020. In tests on mice the vaccine shrunk tumours by 80 per cent, and researchers now hope to pilot it on people within 2 years.
2. Glowing Brain Tumours
Last year, an experimental technique to make brain tumours glow began testing in UK trials, and could soon be used to aid surgeons across the country. Participants will receive a treatment which will make the tumours glow under UV light during surgery. The glowing edges will enable surgeons to remove it more accurately.
3. Yervoy – Revolutionary skin cancer drug
A drug which increases the chance of surviving the deadliest type of skin cancer was licensed for use in the UK last year. The new drug is the first advancement in treating the disease since the 1970's.
4. Alzheimer's Brain Scanning
A revolutionary brain-scanning technique for Alzheimer's disease entered the final stages of a trial, leading to hopes that patients could have access to it by the end of 2012. The test makes an earlier diagnosis possible for the first time, increasing the quality and even the length of a patient's life.
5. Cancer Gene Test
Scientists in the US have found a way to screen cancer patients for a wide range of cancer-causing mutations. This method could soon be used in routine clinical practice, leading to the development of targeted cancer treatments.
6. IBS Smart Pill
Doctors in London became the first to use a new 'smart pill' to help people with irritable bowel syndrome (IBS). The new SmartPill System is a small capsule, which delivers accurate and detailed information about the stomach and the insides. After swallowing the capsule it travels through the system, and analyses pressure, temperature, acidity, and the rate at which food moves inside.
7. Cancer Drug cures Chronic Fatique Syndrome
2011 saw hope for people all over the world who suffer from chronic fatigue syndrome. A small Norwegian clinical trial discovered that a cancer drug relieves the symptoms of chronic fatigue syndrome, and can even eradicate the condition completely.
8. Bionic Lens – Projecting medical information in front of your eyes
A new generation of contact lenses is being developed by researchers in USA, which could one day project up-to-date medical information in front of the wearer's eyes. The scientists envisage hundreds more pixels could be embedded in the flexible lens to produce complex holographic images.
9. Curcumin – Spice with cancer reducing properties
November saw curcumin, a spice commonly found in Middle Eastern recipes, being hailed for its cancer-reducing effects. Researchers found that a synthetic version of curcumin, the substance which gives turmeric its hallmark yellow colouring, inhibits the growth of prostate cancer cells.
10. Squalamine – Virus killer found in sharks
It was reported that a new compound found in dogfish sharks' tissue could soon be trialled as a treatment for viruses in humans. Diseases like dengue, yellow fever and hepatitis B, C and D could be stopped in their tracks by the revolutionary treatment.