One dead three severely injured after explosion at Indian shock wave lab

first_img NEW DELHI—The explosion of a gas cylinder left one researcher dead and three others seriously injured yesterday in a shock wave lab at one of India’s premier research facilities. It’s unclear what caused the blast, which took place at 2:20 p.m. local time at the Laboratory for Hypersonic and Shock Wave Research of the Indian Institute of Science (IISc) in Bengaluru.The explosion shook the entire neighborhood, according to scientists from the nearby National Institute of Advanced Studies. Manoj Kumar, 32, an employee of a startup named Super-Wave Technology, died on the spot, IISc says. The three wounded were employees of the company as well. The startup was launched in 2016 by two faculty members of IISc’s aerospace department.IISc’s shock wave lab opened half a century ago; it was upgraded in 2011 with funding from BrahMos Aerospace, a joint Indo-Russian venture that makes a supersonic cruise missile called BrahMos. Researchers at the lab have developed several potential applications for shock waves, including the delivery of drugs and vaccines, artificial insemination of livestock, oil extraction, and even the production of fruit juice. The facility now houses four sophisticated shock wave tubes that can use liquid hydrogen, oxygen, nitrogen, and helium to generate shock waves. The main building of the Indian Institute of Science in Bengaluru Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country By Pallava BaglaDec. 6, 2018 , 4:40 PM Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe One dead, three severely injured after explosion at Indian shock wave labcenter_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Pallava Bagla Email “There was no fire, it was an explosion of a gas cylinder,” IISc Director Anurag Kumar, an electrical engineer, tells Science. Kumar declined to speculate on the cause of the accident and confirmed IISs is cooperating with a police investigation, while the institute’s safety office is conducting its own audit. Students and researchers at IISc do not go through a mandatory safety training, Kumar says: “It is left to individual professors to instruct the staff on safety as they are the most knowledgeable about the equipment they handle.”IISC, which employs about 450 scientists on a sprawling campus, has “a very good safety record,” says biochemist and former IISc Diretor Padmanabhan Balaram, who says this is likely the first death because of a research-related accident in the institute’s 110-year history. Balaram worries the accident could put a dampener on shock wave research, a promising field in which IISc has invested “handsomely,” he says.Kumar says there will be suitable compensation for the injured and the family of the deceased scientist.*Update, 7 December, 7 p.m.:  According to The NEWSMinute, an online portal, Indian police on 7 December “booked” IISc professors G. Jagadeesh and KPJ Reddy for allegedly “causing death by negligence” and “causing grievous hurt by act endangering life or personal safety of others.” Jagadeesh and Reddy manage Super-Wave Technology Private Limited, the company that employed Kumar and his three injured colleagues.*Correction, 7 December, 7 p.m.: A previous version of this story incorrectly stated that BrahMos is the world’s only supersonic cruise missile.last_img read more

Girl molested in Virar society Residents set to be booked for assault

first_img mumbai crime, mumbai security guard assaulted, virar society, virar society guard beaten, mumbai news, latest news, pocso act The guard has broken limbs and injuries around his eyes and skull. (Representational image)A DAY after a 22-year-old security guard was stripped and assaulted by the residents of a society in Virar West for allegedly molesting a six-year-old girl, the police are in the process of registering an FIR against the residents. Post Comment(s) Top News The girl’s mother had alleged that the man followed her daughter to their house and touched her inappropriately on the stairs.“We are trying to get all the CCTV camera footage from the area to find out how long he was missing from duty and why he followed the girl. He has been booked under Protection of Children from Sexual Offences Act. But the residents should not have taken the matter in their own hands,” the officer said.“By the time we rescued him, he was unconscious. We are investigating all angles,” a senior officer said. Chandrayaan-2 gets new launch date days after being called off P Rajagopal, Saravana Bhavan founder sentenced to life for murder, dies Ayodhya dispute: Mediation to continue till July 31, SC hearing likely from August 2 Advertising Advertising Written by Gargi Verma | Mumbai | Published: July 17, 2019 2:12:21 am The guard, who was discharged from a private hospital on Tuesday evening, has been accused of molesting the girl when she was returning from her tuition classes on Sunday. “While the girl’s mother approached the police, the society residents beat him with shoes, slippers and bats. They also stripped and paraded him. We rescued him and took him to a private hospital,” said a police officer.A senior inspector said: “He has broken limbs and injuries around his eyes and skull. However, once the doctors gave him a fitness certificate, we brought him to the police station and took his statement. The process of registering an FIR against the society residents, who assaulted him, is underway.”The guard, hailing from Bihar, had moved to Virar a couple of years ago and had no immediate family here, the police said. “In the beginning, he used to stay with his cousin. Then he started working as a security guard and used to live on the society premises,” an officer said.last_img read more

African swine fever keeps spreading in Asia threatening food security

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) REUTERS/Kham Email By Dennis NormileMay. 14, 2019 , 2:45 PM ASF is harmless for humans but spreads rapidly among domestic pigs and wild boars through direct contact or exposure to contaminated feed and water. Farm workers can unwittingly carry the virus on shoes, clothing, vehicles, and machinery. It can survive in fresh and processed pork products; it is even resistant to some disinfectants.Endemic in most of Africa, the ASF virus jumped to the nation of Georgia in 2007 and has since spread through Russia. It probably entered China in imported pork products last summer. Infected animals suffer high fever, internal bleeding, and, most often, death, and there is no treatment. “There are promising vaccines under development,” says Yolanda Revilla of the Severo Ochoa Center for Molecular Biology in Madrid, who co-authored a recent review on ASF vaccines—but they’re still at least 3 or 4 years away from the market. Until then, reducing transmission is the only option.But keeping the virus at bay is fiendishly difficult given how small holders in Asia raise their pigs. Swill feeding—giving pigs kitchen and table waste in which the virus can persist—is “a common practice, but very high risk,” says Juan Lubroth, chief veterinarian at the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations’s (FAO’s) headquarters in Rome. Studies of 68 outbreaks in China concluded that 34% were caused by swill feeding, 46% by contaminated vehicles and workers, and 19% by the transport of live pigs and products.The Chinese government has banned the use of nonheated swill and doesn’t allow swill feeding at all in provinces with ongoing outbreaks. But convincing farmers to drop this and other risky practices is a challenge, Lubroth says.To stem outbreaks, China also culls all pigs in a 3-kilometer zone around an infected herd, sets up inspection and disinfection stations to control farm traffic within a 10-kilometer buffer zone, and closes live pig markets in the affected region. But how well such measures are protecting the country’s more than 400 million domestic pigs is unclear. The monthly number of new outbreaks reported to the Paris-based World Organisation for Animal Health peaked in October 2018 at 34, dropped to just four in January, but has gradually climbed since then, hitting 10 in April.Many observers believe other outbreaks go unreported. “Given the limited effectiveness of control tools, it just cannot be that they have been able to contain the disease,” Pfeiffer says. Chinese media have reported cases of dead pigs dumped in rivers and ditches. And some provinces may be ignoring outbreaks because provincial governments are partly responsible for compensating farmers for culled pigs. To be convinced China is making progress, “We would need to see detailed surveillance data, and detailed reports on each of the ‘resolved’ outbreaks,” Pfeiffer says. Rather than deliberately misinforming international animal health organizations, Pfeiffer suspects China’s veterinary infrastructure is simply overwhelmed.Even if it’s unsuccessful, China’s response might be hard for neighboring countries to match. The Vietnamese government recently acknowledged that many of the 29 affected provinces didn’t respond adequately because of a lack of funds and space to bury dead pigs, according to a Reuters report this week. “The world and Vietnam have never faced such an extremely dangerous, difficult, complicated and expensive [animal] epidemic as this,” agriculture minister Nguyen Xuan Cuong said in a 13 May statement. The government said it would enlist the military to help control the outbreak. In Cambodia, too, “There is limited knowledge and experience on preventing, detecting, and responding to outbreaks,” says Alexandre Huynh, FAO’s representative in Cambodia. “Human, financial, and material resources” are lacking as well, he adds.Ultimately, containing ASF will probably require a long and challenging restructuring of the hog industry so that only operators large enough to invest in biosecurity remain, Pfeiffer says. Lubroth adds that such a restructuring helped Spain and Portugal eradicate ASF after it became established there in the early 1960s—but the process took 35 years. The transition might be faster in China, with its resources and a powerful central government. But it could take many decades for its Asian neighbors to build a safer pig industry. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe SHANGHAI, CHINA—The spread of African swine fever (ASF) in Asia is taking a worrisome turn. First reported in northeastern China in August 2018, the highly contagious, often fatal pig disease quickly swept through the country, causing the death or culling of more than 1 million pigs. In recent weeks, it has jumped borders to Vietnam, Cambodia, Mongolia, Hong Kong, and possibly North Korea. Animal health experts agree that the disease will inevitably spread farther. And many of the newly hit countries are even less prepared to deal with ASF than China, they say, which has so far failed to end its outbreaks.Vietnam and Cambodia “probably do not have the technical abilities to be able to control ASF,” says François Roger, an animal epidemiologist at the French Agricultural Research Center for International Development in Montpellier. He believes the virus will soon surface in Myanmar and Laos, which have “weak veterinary infrastructures and surveillance systems,” and it may become endemic in Southeast Asia. If so, it would pose a continuing threat of reintroduction into China, even if that country succeeds in controlling its own outbreaks. A reservoir of endemic disease could also pose a wider threat: ASF-contaminated pork products have already been confiscated from air travelers in South Korea, Japan, Taiwan, and Australia.The crisis is not only causing economic hardship, but also threatens food security in the region. In Vietnam, where pork accounts for three-quarters of the meat consumption, more than 1.2 million pigs across the country—4% of the national herd—have now died or been killed, the Vietnamese government announced on 13 May. “This is probably the most serious animal health disease [the world has] had for a long time, if not ever,” says Dirk Pfeiffer, a veterinary epidemiologist at City University of Hong Kong. African swine fever keeps spreading in Asia, threatening food security A man transports piglets in Thanh Hoa province in Vietnam, a country heavily affected by African swine fever where pork accounts for three-quarters of the national meat consumption.last_img read more

Networks of sponges could capture DNA to track ocean health

first_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) To track the biological health of oceans, researchers use cameras, satellite images, and, increasingly, DNA shed directly into the water. But capturing genetic material in the sea is a tough task: Scientists must sift through massive amounts of water to dredge up their samples. Now, marine biologists have discovered that sponges are very good at “sponging” up DNA. More research is needed, but eventually a network of sponges planted throughout the oceans could provide an easy readout of how the diversity of plants and animals nearby is doing.“It’s a clever idea,” says Eske Willeslev, an evolutionary geneticist at the University of Copenhagen who was not involved with the work. “It could make studies of biodiversity easier and more consistent.”Across the planet, biologists are scrambling to catalog all the world’s plants and animals before they disappear. Traditionally, that meant going out and collecting samples of every species. In the past 20 years, however, researchers have been collecting and sequencing DNA from soil, water, air, and even the guts of other organisms. This so-called environmental DNA, or eDNA, can tell what plants, animals, or microbes are present in a given environment. By Elizabeth PennisiJun. 3, 2019 , 11:00 AM As these sponges filter water for food, they collect DNA that can be used for biodiversity surveys. At the University of Salford in the United Kingdom, marine ecologist Stefano Mariani had focused his eDNA efforts on the marine environment. But he always found the processing of samples to be “fiddly, cumbersome, stressful, and wasteful.”So he decided to see whether animals that filter seawater to get their food might also be reservoirs of eDNA. First, he tried shrimp guts, but because these invertebrates are picky eaters, he decided the eDNA they sucked in was not reflective of what was out there. But sponges don’t discriminate. “A sponge the size of a football can filter nearly a swimming pool worth of water in a day,” he explains. Mariani got DNA from nine sponges previously collected from the Mediterranean and Antarctica, and used them as his test cases. To see how the process might work for species conservationists are most concerned about, he tried to isolate any vertebrate DNA inside using special molecular probes. DNA could be in the sponge tissue, or on particles trapped in its channels.The results were even better than Mariani expected. He and colleagues isolated DNA from 31 types of organisms, including Weddell seals, chinstrap penguins, and rock cod, the team reports today in Current Biology. What’s more, the Antarctic and Mediterranean sponges contained DNA from different sets of creatures, reflecting the different species that lived in the two different places. So it was easy to tell where the sponge—and the eDNA—came from.Mariani says scientists might one day use these DNA-capturing sponges along with robots and autonomous underwater vehicles to filter water and extract DNA. The robots and vehicles are promising, says Mariani, “but they are also big, expensive, and not the easiest to handle, transport, and maintain.” If sponges could be used instead, even a citizen scientist could retrieve DNA data by simply clipping off a small piece of a sponge, he predicts.Paul Hebert, a biodiversity scientist at the University of Guelph in Canada, sees limited application for sponges as biodiversity sensors, because the bottom-dwelling creatures don’t live in the open ocean, where it’s really hard to survey creatures by other means. He also notes that because all sponges filter water at different rates, it might be hard to compare eDNA collections from different ones.Still, Hebert thinks the new work is inspiring. “Forget natural sponges,” he explains. “I like the idea of a techno-sponge,” a humanmade version that would mimic the techniques of real sponges to capture eDNA. He says he can envision schools of techno-sponges plying the seas or sitting on the sea floor collecting valuable data. And even if such sponges—or their natural cousins—prove impractical, Hebert adds, “It was fun to consider the possibility that the ocean bottom is littered with autonomous DNA samplers.” A. Riesgo center_img Networks of sponges could capture DNA to track ocean health Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Emaillast_img read more

Deciphera presents Phase 1 clinical results of DCC2618 in patients with gastrointestinal

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 22 2018Deciphera Pharmaceuticals, Inc., a clinical-stage biopharmaceutical company focused on addressing key mechanisms of tumor drug resistance, announced the presentation today of updated preliminary results from its ongoing Phase 1 clinical study of DCC-2618, the company’s broad-spectrum KIT and PDGFRα inhibitor, in patients with gastrointestinal stromal tumors (GIST) as a proffered paper presentation at the European Society of Medical Oncology (ESMO) 2018 Congress in Munich, Germany.”We are extremely pleased with the preliminary results presented today that we believe demonstrate the potential of DCC-2618 to provide improved, durable clinical benefit for GIST patients from second-line through fourth-line-plus,” said Michael D. Taylor, Ph.D., President and Chief Executive Officer of Deciphera. “While the data set is still maturing, we believe the median progression free survival value of 42 weeks observed in second-line GIST patients strongly supports our planned randomized Phase 3 study, INTRIGUE, in second-line GIST patients, which we expect to initiate before the end of the year. In addition, the disease control rate and objective response rate observed with DCC-2618 in second-line GIST patients continues to exceed the values reported in previously published, centrally-read, registrational trials for sunitinib.”The presentation reported preliminary results with a cutoff date of August 31, 2018 that include investigator-assessed median progression free survival (mPFS), objective response rates by best response (ORR) and disease control rates at 3 months (DCR) as determined by Response Evaluation Criteria in Solid Tumors (RECIST) version 1.1 across 178 patients receiving DCC-2618 at doses of ≥100mg daily:Notes: (1) Includes nine unconfirmed responses: 2nd line (n=1), 3rd line (n=3) and ≥4th line (n=5); (2) Does not reflect one PR reported after cutoff date, which would result in an ORR in 2nd line of 21% and an ORR in 2nd line and 3rd line combined of 22%; (3) Excludes five patients due to missing data at the time of data cutoff (n=2), lack of first tumor assessment (n=1), withdrawal of consent prior to first assessment (n=1) and unrelated death at C1D4 prior to first assessment (n=1); (4) 59 of 67 combined 2nd line and 3rd line patients received 150mg once daily; and (5) Censored patients for mPFS were 2nd line (58%), 3rd line (52%), 4th line and 4th line plus (35%) and 2nd and 3rd line (55%).”The preliminary progression free survival data and objective response rates observed with DCC-2618 are very encouraging across all lines of therapy presented: second-, third-, and fourth-line and beyond,” said Suzanne George, M.D., Director of Clinical Research, Center for Sarcoma and Bone Oncology and Senior Physician at the Dana Farber Cancer Institute and Associate Professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School. “There is a clear unmet need for effective and well tolerated options for patients with metastatic GIST beyond the first-line.”Highlights from the proffered paper include:Related StoriesMathematical model helps quantify metastatic cell behaviorStudy reveals link between inflammatory diet and colorectal cancer riskFDA grants accelerated approval to new treatment for refractory multiple myelomaPreliminary Clinical Activity in Second-, Third-, Fourth- and Fourth-Line-Plus GIST Patients Demonstrates the Potential for Durable Clinical Outcomes with DCC-2618 For 178 GIST patients treated at doses above ≥100mg daily, DCC-2618 was generally well tolerated. Among the treatment-emergent adverse events (TEAEs) reported by investigators (>10%), regardless of relationship to DCC-2618, the most common were: alopecia (50%), myalgia (44%), fatigue (43%), constipation (34%), hand-foot skin reaction (32%), nausea (30%), decreased appetite (28%), weight decreased (24%), abdominal pain (23%), diarrhea (23%) and lipase increase (23%). Among the 178 GIST patients treated at doses above ≥100mg daily: Progression Free Survival (mPFS): The mPFS values observed with DCC-2618 were 42 weeks in second-line patients and 40 weeks in third-line patients. Previously published results for approved therapies from centrally-read registrational trials reported a mPFS for sunitinib of 24 weeks in second-line patients and a mPFS for regorafenib of 21 weeks in third-line patients. In fourth- and fourth-line-plus patients, where there are currently no approved therapies, the observed mPFS with DCC-2618 was 24 weeks. Published studies have reported a mPFS of 4-6 weeks for similarly heavily pre-treated patients who did not receive an active therapy. Disease Control Rate (DCR): The observed DCRs at three months of 79% in second-line patients and 83% in third-line patients exceed the previously published results for approved therapies from centrally-read registrational trials of 60% for sunitinib in second-line patients and 53% for regorafenib in third-line patients. The DCR observed for DCC-2618 in fourth-line and fourth-line-plus patients was 66%. Objective Response Rate (ORR): The observed ORRs of 18% in second-line patients and 24% in third-line patients continue to exceed the previously published results for approved therapies from centrally-read registrational trials of 7% for sunitinib in second-line patients and 5% for regorafenib in third-line patients. These values do not include a partial response in one second-line patient that was observed after the cutoff date, which would result in an ORR in second-line patients of 21%. The ORR observed for DCC-2618 in fourth-line and fourth-line-plus patients was 9%. Prolonged Treatment Duration in GIST Patients Receiving DCC-2618 – Cutoff Date of August 31, 2018 Updated Safety Data Continue to Demonstrate a Favorable Tolerability Profile for DCC-2618center_img In the second-line cohort, as of the cutoff date, 17 patients received DCC-2618 at doses of ≥100mg daily for >6 months with 65% (11 of 17) of these patients remaining on study. In the third-line cohort, as of the cutoff date, 20 patients received DCC-2618 at doses of ≥100mg daily for >6 months with 75% (15 of 20) of these patients remaining on study. In the fourth-line and fourth-line-plus patients, as of the cutoff date, 46 patients received DCC-2618 at doses of ≥100mg daily for >6 months with 74% (34 of 46) of these patients remaining on study. 14% (24) patients experienced dose reductions due to TEAE. 11% (19) experienced treatment discontinuations due to TEAE. Source:https://investors.deciphera.com/node/7256last_img read more

Biomedical engineers stop cancer cells from moving and spreading

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 21 2018A new study by University of Minnesota biomedical engineers shows how they stopped cancer cells from moving and spreading, even when the cells changed their movements. The discovery could have a major impact on millions of people undergoing therapies to prevent the spread of cancer within the body.The research is published today in Nature Communications, a leading research journal.Researchers have known for years that tumors have patterns that are like little “highways” that cancer cells use to move within the tumors and ultimately toward blood vessels and adjacent tissue to invade the body. Patients who have high numbers of these patterns in their tumors have a lower chance of surviving the cancer.What the researchers haven’t been able to figure out until now is how the cells recognize these patterns and move along them.In this study, the University of Minnesota team examined in the lab how breast cancer cells moved and used medicines to try to stop the cells. When they stopped the mechanisms that serve as the motor of the cells, the cells surprisingly changed the way they moved to an oozing-like motion, almost like a blob.Related StoriesTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerStudy: Nearly a quarter of low-risk thyroid cancer patients receive more treatment than necessaryUsing machine learning algorithm to accurately diagnose breast cancer”Cancer cells are very sneaky,” said senior author Paolo Provenzano, a University of Minnesota biomedical engineering associate professor and a Masonic Cancer Center researcher. “We didn’t expect the cells to change their movement. This forced us to change our tactics to target both kinds of movements simultaneously. It’s almost like we destroyed their GPS so they couldn’t find the highways. This stopped the cells in their tracks. The cells just sat there and didn’t move.”Ninety percent of cancer deaths are due to the cancer spreading throughout the body. Putting the brakes on cancer cell movement would allow physicians the time to use other therapies to improve survival rates of patients.The researchers studied the cells in the lab in two-dimensional, engineered microenvironments, that are almost like a microchip with cells. These microenvironments mimicked how the cells behave as they do in a tumor and allowed researchers to speed up their research.”By using these controlled network microenvironments, we were able to test hundreds of cell movement events in hours compared to one or two in the same time frame by imaging a tumor,” said Erdem Tabdanov, a University of Minnesota biomedical engineering postdoctoral researcher and first author of the study.The next steps for the research team are to expand the types of cancers studied and begin animal trials. Within a few years, the researchers hope to move to clinical trials in humans. They will also study how the medicines interact and what side effects may result.”Ultimately, we’d like to find ways to suppress cancer cell movement while enhancing immune cell movement to fight the cancer,” Provenzano said.Source: https://twin-cities.umn.edu/news-events/researchers-stop-sneaky-cancer-cells-their-trackslast_img read more

Scientists focus on epigenetics to identify factors involved in Hispanic childhood obesity

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 27 2018Are there changes that affect genes and fuel a person’s propensity to develop obesity? That’s a question under study at Texas Biomedical Research Institute. Associate Scientist Melanie Carless, Ph.D., is Principal Investigator of a $3 million, four-year grant from the National Institute of Diabetes, Digestive and Kidney Diseases to research this hypothesis.The Centers for Disease Control calls U.S. obesity an “epidemic,” with 40% of adults and 19% of children considered obese. Within children, however, there are disparities among ethnicities. Hispanic children have the highest rate of obesity at 26% compared to African American (22%), Caucasian (14%), and Asian (11%) children.Dr. Carless and her collaborators will be studying an area of research called epigenetics – which describes changes to our DNA, RNA, or proteins that are affected by both the environment and genetic makeup and that regulate gene and protein expression. Her team will be examining a specific area of epigenetics, DNA methylation, which is capable of switching genes on and off.”If we start at the cellular level and then look at whole organisms like the human body and how we use energy, then we can identify pathways that are involved in the development of obesity and also potentially mechanisms by which we can intervene and treat obesity,” Dr. Carless explained, “we are trying to relate changes at a person’s cellular level to the physical expression of obesity to identify mechanisms for treatment.”The first part of the study involves a group of 900 Texas Hispanic children who have a high propensity for obesity. Scientists will combine physical data like caloric intake, physical activity, energy expenditure, metabolic rate and glucose levels with another factor measured in a blood sample called DNA methylation. Methylation is a biochemical process where methyl groups are added to DNA in a way that changes the expression of certain genes, and often the production of proteins. They will test whether methylation of specific genes is related to the physical data collected to increase risk for obesity.Related StoriesNew anti-obesity drug trial set to launch at Alberta Diabetes InstituteResearch team receives federal grant to study obesity in children with spina bifidaUranium toxicity might have caused obesity and diabetes in Kuwait, finds new studyIn the second phase of the study, scientists will compare changes in blood with changes in muscle tissue and muscle cells and see how these changes correlate. Using blood samples, scientists will induce pluripotent stem cells (or master cells) which can be directed to develop into skeletal muscle cells for experimentation.Part three of the study involves the use of CRISPR (a new technology to alter DNA sequences and modify gene function) to go into cells and change the methylation levels at specific sites to see what impact that has on the cells and how they might utilize energy. That information could lead to more targeted drug therapies for obesity, or someday, editing to correct an underlying issue at the DNA level.”I think it’s really important,” Carless explained. “Obesity can be a huge factor in serious medical problems including diabetes, high blood pressure, atherosclerosis, and heart disease. We need to understand how obesity develops at a young age and the impact this might have on health later in life. If we can start to reduce the rates of obesity in the U.S., we will start to see a decline in multiple other disorders.” Source:https://www.txbiomed.org/news-press/news-releases/texas-biomed-scientists-targeting-factors-involved-in-hispanic-childhood-obesity/last_img read more

New study adds evidence to efficacy and safety of lowdose vaginal estrogen

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Dec 19 2018Despite its proven effectiveness in treating the genital symptoms of menopause, low-dose vaginal estrogen therapy remains underused largely because of misperceptions regarding its safety. However, a new study that followed women from the Nurses’ Health Study demonstrates that its use is not associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease or cancer. Results are published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).Between 25% and 70% of postmenopausal women are affected by an array of genital and urinary issues collectively known as the genitourinary syndrome of menopause (GSM). Common symptoms include vaginal burning and irritation, a lack of lubrication, pain during intercourse, and urinary tract infections. Unlike hot flashes, which often accompany menopause, GSM symptoms do not resolve over time, are chronic, and can become progressively worse without treatment.Related StoriesGenetic contribution to distractibility helps explain procrastinationLiving with advanced breast cancerAntibiotic combination effective against drug-resistant PseudomonasLow-dose vaginal estrogen therapy is the preferred and most effective treatment for GSM and is recommended by multiple professional societies, including NAMS, the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists, and the Endocrine Society. Multiple studies document the superior effectiveness of vaginal estrogen over nonhormone therapies and demonstrate that it provides better symptom relief than oral estrogen therapy.As a result of misperceptions regarding its safety (which partially stem from the FDA-issued black-box warning that relates to systemic hormone therapy), vaginal estrogen therapy is not prescribed as often as it could be, leaving many postmenopausal women to experience a lower quality of life. A new study that followed women from the Nurses’ Health Study for more than 18 years, however, concluded that vaginal estrogen was not associated with a higher risk of cardiovascular disease, cancer, or hip fractures. This included risks for myocardial infarction, stroke, and pulmonary embolism, as well as breast, endometrial, ovarian, and colorectal cancers.Study results appear in the article “Vaginal estrogen use and chronic disease risk in the Nurses’ Health Study.””Over-the-counter vaginal lubricants and moisturizers are often used as first-line treatments for women with symptoms of GSM,” says Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, NAMS executive director. “Persistent symptoms often need therapies such as local vaginal estrogen, intravaginal dehydroepiandrosterone, or oral ospemifene. This study adds to a growing body of data showing the long-term efficacy and safety of low-dose vaginal estrogen, which works primarily locally with minimal systemic absorption.” Source:https://www.menopause.org/docs/default-source/press-release/vaginal-estrogen-and-chronic-disease-risk-12-19-18.pdflast_img read more

Positive personality traits may help to reduce risk of developing type 2

first_imgReviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Jan 24 2019It has been said that a good personality can help one succeed in life. But can it also guard against disease risk? A new study based on data from the Women’s Health Initiative (WHI) shows that positive personality traits, such as optimism, actually may help to reduce the risk of developing type 2 diabetes. Results are published online today in Menopause, the journal of The North American Menopause Society (NAMS).More than 30 million Americans, or 9.4% of the US population, have diabetes. The prevalence of diabetes increases with age, with a 25.2% prevalence in those aged 65 years or older. Type 2 diabetes is the most common type, accounting for 90% to 95% of all diagnosed cases in adults. Obesity, a family history of diabetes, race/ethnicity, and physical inactivity are major risk factors for diabetes. But these are not the only determinants.Accumulating evidence supports the fact that depression and cynicism also are associated with an increased risk of diabetes. In addition, high levels of hostility have been associated with high fasting glucose levels, insulin resistance, and prevalent diabetes. Few studies, however, have investigated the association of potentially protective personality characteristics with diabetes risk.The objective of this study was to examine whether personality traits, including optimism, negativity, and hostility, were associated with the risk of developing type 2 diabetes in postmenopausal women. The study went on to explore whether the association could be mediated by behavioral pathways, such as diet, physical activity, smoking, or high alcohol consumption.Related StoriesNew biomaterial could encapsulate and protect implanted insulin-producing cellsObese patients with Type 1 diabetes could safely receive robotic pancreas transplantMothers with gestational diabetes transferring harmful ‘forever chemicals’ to their fetusThe study followed 139,924 postmenopausal women from the WHI who were without diabetes at baseline. During 14 years of follow-up, 19,240 cases of type 2 diabetes were identified. Compared with women in the lowest quartile of optimism (least optimistic), women in the highest quartile (most optimistic) had a 12% lower risk of incident diabetes. Compared with women in the lowest quartile for negative emotional expressiveness or hostility, women in the highest quartile had a 9% and 17% higher risk of diabetes, respectively. The association of hostility with the risk of diabetes was stronger in women who were not obese compared with women who were.As a result of these outcomes, the study concluded that low optimism, high negativity, and hostility were associated with increased risk of incident diabetes in postmenopausal women, independent of major health behaviors and depressive symptoms.Study results appear in the article, “Personality traits and diabetes incidence among postmenopausal women.””Personality traits remain stable across one’s lifetime; therefore, women at higher risk for diabetes who have low optimism, high negativity, and hostility could have prevention strategies tailored to their personality types,” says Dr. JoAnn Pinkerton, NAMS executive director. “In addition to using personality traits to help us identify women at higher risk for developing diabetes, more individualized education and treatment strategies also should be used.” Source:http://www.menopause.org/last_img read more

Study Less than 50 of US adults exposed to courtordered antismoking advertisements

first_imgHistorically, certain ethnic groups and those of lower socioeconomic status have been targets of tobacco industry marketing, which has led to high rates of tobacco use and tobacco-related diseases in these populations. These at-risk groups should, ideally, have had the most exposure to these advertisements, but on the contrary, they have had the least.”First author Onyema Greg Chido-Amajuoyi, M.B.B.S., a postdoctoral fellow in Epidemiology According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), tobacco use remains the leading preventable cause of death in the U.S., claiming an estimated 480,000 lives each year. Tobacco use also is the leading preventable cause of cancer, responsible for roughly 30% of all cancers and 90% of all lung cancers.The ‘corrective statements’ were mandated in a 2006 judgment by U.S. District Judge Gladys Kessler, and began to run on prime-time television and in 50 key U.S. newspapers in November 2017. MD Anderson applauded these advertisements as an important step to inform Americans about the harms of tobacco use.The current study assessed data from 2018 Health Information National Trends Survey, a nationally representative, population-based cross-section survey of U.S. adults sponsored by the National Cancer Institute. The study analyzed responses from 3,484 adults, including 450 current smokers, collected between January and May 2018 on self-reported exposure to the anti-smoking advertisements.Exposure was lowest among adults 18-34 (37.4%), those with a high-school or lower education (34.5%) and those with a household income less than $35,000 (37.5%). Among current smokers, exposure was lowest in the Hispanic population, at just 42.2%. When compared to other nationally funded anti-smoking campaigns, the reach and penetration of these industry-sponsored ads were suboptimal. Our hope, as cancer prevention researchers, is for more people to see these ads and to avoid tobacco or consider quitting. Based on our findings, future efforts in this space need to be more targeted to reach key populations.”Senior author Sanjay Shete, Ph.D. The researchers did find that exposure rates increased as the campaign’s duration increased, with 41.3% exposure reported in February 2018 and 46.8% exposure reported in May 2018. This underscores the need for sustained advertising to see long-term public-health impact, explained Shete.The authors recognize certain limitations in the study inherent to using a survey of this type. Responses were self-reported and therefore prone to recall and certain biases. Also, the survey is cross-sectional, so a causal link between exposure and cessation attempts cannot be made. Finally, there was no distinction between exposure to television or to print advertisements, which may have enabled further insight. Source:University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Jul 15 2019The tobacco industry’s court-ordered anti-smoking advertisements reached just 40.6% of U.S. adults and 50.5% of current smokers in 2018, according to new research from The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. Exposure to the advertisements was even lower among certain ethnic and socioeconomic subgroups historically targeted by tobacco industry marketing.The findings, published today in JAMA Network Open, should be considered when planning future anti-smoking ads to reach youth and at-risk populations, explained senior author Sanjay Shete, Ph.D., professor of Biostatistics and Epidemiology and deputy division head of Cancer Prevention & Population Sciences.last_img read more