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Better odds

first_imgA genetic clue uncovered by Harvard researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute enables doctors to predict, for the first time, which children with T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (T-ALL) are unlikely to benefit from standard chemotherapy for the disease and should therefore be among the first to receive new treatments in future clinical trials.In a study in the Journal of Clinical Oncology, which was published online today  (July 19), the investigators report that young people with T-ALL whose leukemia cells harbor an intact TCR-gamma gene generally have a poor response to “induction” chemotherapy — the first course of drugs given at the time of diagnosis to spur cancer remission. Patients with this high-risk marker will be prime candidates for clinical trials in which therapies currently in development are tested.“Even though we can cure a large subset of children with T-ALL, about 25 percent of pediatric patients with the disease die of it, either because first-line chemotherapy fails, or because they relapse after being in remission for a year or two,” said the study’s lead author, Alejandro Gutierrez, a Harvard Medical School (HMS) instructor in pediatrics at Dana-Farber. “Until now, there has been no way of determining ahead of time whether a patient is likely to be helped by the standard regimen of front-line drugs.”ALL, a cancer of the white blood cells, is the most common malignancy in children. T-ALL, which affects lymphocytes (lymph cells) known as T cells, accounts for about 15 percent of all pediatric ALL cases, or about 1,500 new diagnoses annually in the United States, according to the American Cancer Society.To see if T-ALL cells contain any hints of their likelihood to resist traditional chemotherapy, investigators performed genomic tests on leukemia cells from 47 children with T-ALL, 25 of whom were long-term survivors, nine of whom failed to achieve complete remission after induction chemotherapy, and 13 who relapsed after going into remission.  The molecular test, known as comparative genomic hybridization, probes thousands of genes to see if any are present in unusual quantities in the cells.“We found that patients whose cells did not have rearranged DNA in the TCR-gamma gene were the most likely to fail induction therapy. Of the 47 samples studied, eight had this particular high-risk marker. Six of those patients did not respond to first-line chemotherapy,” said Gutierrez.Tumor samples from patients whose disease relapsed after going into remission were found to have TCR-gamma rearrangements at the time of diagnosis.  In some of these patients, however, rearrangements were not found after relapse.  Researchers believe that such patients almost certainly had a small number of leukemia-initiating cells without rearrangements at diagnosis, but in quantities too small for detection, said the study’s senior author, A. Thomas Look, an HMS pediatrics professor at Dana-Farber. After the DNA-rearranged cells died in response to chemotherapy, the remaining chemo-resistant cells came to predominate.Other molecular studies are giving scientists leads as to which genes and gene pathways are responsible for the ability of some T-ALL cells to defy conventional chemotherapy, said Gutierrez. Some of these genes are known to be targeted by drugs currently being studied in clinical trials for other diseases, raising the possibility that they might be effective for certain T-ALL patients as well.“Given the relatively high failure rate of conventional induction therapy for this disease, there is an urgent need to test alternative chemotherapy agents in patients,” Gutierrez remarked.  “Routine testing for rearrangements in TCR-gamma,” which could be accomplished fairly inexpensively with a standardized test, “would enable us to identify which patients could gain the most benefit from these agents.”The research was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the William Lawrence Foundation, and the Community Foundation of the National Capital Region.Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is a principal teaching affiliate of the Harvard Medical School.last_img read more

More Details on Gemma Arterton’s Star Turn in the West End’s Made in Dagenham

first_img View Comments Design will be by Olivier winner Bunny Christie and choreography by Aletta Collins. We now have more details of the previously reported news that Gemma Arterton is to lead the stage adaptation of the hit film Made in Dagenham in the West End. Adrian Der Gregorian will also star in the Rupert Goold directed musical comedy, with a book by Richard Bean (One Man, Two Guvnors), music by Grammy winner David Arnold (Sherlock) and lyrics by Olivier winner Richard Thomas (Royal Opera’s Anna Nicole). Performances will begin at the Adelphi Theatre on October 9 with opening night set for November 5.center_img Essex 1968. Like millions of other working women, each morning Rita O’Grady (Arterton) is just trying to get her husband Eddie (Der Gregorian) out of bed, get the kids off to school and get to work at the factory on time. But life is about to change forever when it’s announced that the girls in the sewing room of Ford’s Dagenham car plant will have their pay grade dropped to “unskilled.” Quickly drawing on a strength she never knew she had, Rita leads her friends in a battle against the might of Ford and the corruption of the Union supposed to protect them. As the girls’ inspiring journey gets bigger than anyone could have imagined, the pressure is too much for some, but can Rita keep up the fight and the happy home she’s worked so hard for?last_img read more

Weekly unemployment claims jump 302

first_imgFor the week of October 23, 2010, there were 1.054 new regular benefit claims for Unemployment Insurance, an increase of 302 from the week before, as claims are trending upward in October. Altogether 7,697 new and continuing claims were filed, an increase of 292 from a week ago and 2,284 fewer than a year earlier. The Department also processed 2,706 First Tier claims for benefits under Emergency Unemployment Compensation, 2008 (EUC08), 81 fewer than a week ago. In addition, there were 1,520 Second Tier claims for benefits processed under the EUC08 program, which is an increase of 4 from the week before. The Unemployment Weekly Report can be found at: http://www.vtlmi.info/(link is external). Previously released Unemployment Weekly Reports and other UI reports can be found at: http://www.vtlmi.info/lmipub.htm#uc(link is external)last_img read more

The March 2018 Issue of Blue Ridge Outdoors is Live!

first_imgWe’re excited to announce that our March 2018 issue is out! In this issue we take a look into the region’s best trout towns, the endangered Red Wolf, murder in the mountains, and we head down to the coast to profile some folks from our beaches.A Note From The EditorThe Red Wolves’ Last StandQuick HitsWhat’s New This MonthCode Red: The Endangered Red Wolf May Go Extinct In The Wild This YearRight On The Edge: Navy Training Range Adjacent To Valving Grounds Spells Trouble For Endangered Right WhalesA Really, Really Long Walk In The WoodsFlashpointPay To Play? User Fees Can Provide More Political Clout For Outdoor Groups But The Forest Services Is Still Far More Focused On Firefighting And Logging.Featured ArticlesTrout Towns: 8 Fly FavoritesDown By The SeaOf Artists And AthletesA Murder In The Woods: The Mystery Behind Shenandoah National Park’s Last Homicide206 Miles: Teams Tackle The Smoky Mountain RelayTrail MixExpanding A Country Heartlast_img read more

Joseph Mariathasan: Why crypto-currencies won’t stay the course

first_imgIt is crypto-currencies, of course, that are driving interest in blockchain technology rather than transaction processing. Bitcoin has made the initial investors millionaires or even billionaires, at least on paper.But if, as appears to be the case, most of the market capitalisation of bitcoins is held by a very small number of initial investors, the majority of later investors face a serious risk of massive losses. The initial controlling investors need to sell their bitcoin investments to monetise their value. Selling requires an ever-increasing number of willing buyers. For an asset that produces zero income, and whose increasing value is solely determined by increasing numbers of buyers, it smacks of a Ponzi scheme. Initial investors, whether the famed Winklevoss twins – who, it seems, may have owned 1% or so of bitcoin at one stage – or others, would have to find willing buyers to monetise paper gains. Any large-scale selling by major investors is very likely to trigger a selling panic.The supply of bitcoin may be limited, but the supply of crypto-currencies as a whole is unlimited with no major barriers to entry.Bitcoin mining entrepreneurs are reputed to be setting up facilities where power can be accessed cheaply. But electricity consumption required to “mine” bitcoins is estimated to already be larger than the consumption of 159 countries including Ireland and Nigeria. One report claims that if electricity consumption keeps increasing at current rates, bitcoin mining will consume all the world’s electricity by February 2020. That in itself suggests that there will be a reaction, if only from countries like China who are focussed on reducing pollution from coal fired power stations. If most new bitcoins are being manufactured in China at a time when pollution control is at the forefront of China’s policy drive, it seems inevitable that there will be a clampdown on such non-productive activity.It is true that crypto-currencies are not fiat currencies subject to central bank manipulation. The argument that drives investment in bitcoin is that the supply of bitcoin is limited. That may be true, but the supply of crypto-currencies as a whole is unlimited with no major barriers to entry. Money has many uses, particularly as a medium for transactions and as stores of value. Bitcoin was touted as a medium of transactions, although its popularity here seemed to rest on the ability to hide illegal transactions. That usage looks set to decrease, however, as its popularity has increased with transaction costs and transaction times increasing to unacceptable levels quite apart from the high intra-day volatility that makes any transactions subject to ridiculous amounts of currency risk.As a store of value, crypto-currencies may have as much long-term stability as tulips in 17th century Netherlands. Many crypto-currencies, as regulators in the US and the UK are warning, are clearly scams. Some are well intentioned, others are circumventing listing rules to crowdfund possibly interesting investment opportunities.But the ultimate killer of crypto-currencies as alternative money is that there are no unique characteristics that would make one crypto-currency preferable to another, unlike real currencies, which are backed by central banks and whose valuations, for better or worse, are ultimately backed by the reputation of the central banks themselves. Cryptocurrencies perhaps, are better regarded in the same way as having a flutter on the national lottery. Worth having a bit of fun with maybe, but perhaps not worth mortgaging your house for! A somewhat dubious bond salesman once said to me: “You can fool all of the people some of the time, and some of the people all of the time and that’s the market I am going for!”.I suspect that he is probably heavily involved in initial coin offerings today. When every person on the street talks about bitcoin, it is not difficult to think that 2018 will see a bitcoin crash.Blockchain technology may well be a super way of undertaking many types of transaction processing in a more efficient manner than current software technology allows. The question, justifiably perhaps for most people should be, so what? It may well significantly reduce transaction costs for share dealing and other activity, but is this going to represent a game changer in any sense?It is difficult to see why this should be the case. For long term institutional investors, as against high frequency traders, transaction costs are important, but not necessarily the critical issue when it comes to investment.last_img read more

PSA Inspects Shell’s Flexible Risers on Draugen

first_imgPetroleum Safety Authority (PSA) Norway has carried out an audit of Norske Shell (Shell) focused on the replacement of flexible risers on the Draugen field.The audit focused on the Shell’s work on replacing flexible risers on the Draugen field in the Norwegian Sea.The object of the audit was to verify that the new flexible risers for Draugen were designed and manufactured in compliance with the company’s requirements and statutory regulations.Topics of the audit included status and plans, risk handling, involvement of operations, governing documents, analyses, non-conformity handling, follow-up of suppliers, verification activities, learning and documentation.The audit identified no regulatory non-conformities, but two improvement points. These concerned the areas of risk management and investigations and continuous improvement, PSA said.PSA has given Shell a deadline until September 01, 2018, to provide feedback with its assessment of the improvement points.last_img read more

Books still matter – John Drinnan

first_imgNZ Herald 11 September 2015Books still matterBooksellers should be thanking Family First, which is seeking a changed designation for the prize-winning book Into The River. The family values lobby group believes the book by Ted Dawe is too sexual, and has obtained the first interim ban on a book in 22 years.There is something quaint about focusing on a book, given all the sex and violence on TV, and the fact that the most illiterate teen can see any number of sexual practices online.Family First director Bob McCoskrie accepted the disparity, but said Into The River had a high profile because it won top prize in the 2013 Children’s Book Awards. In my opinion that suggests the call for an age restriction is about carving a legal notch in Family First’s headboard, rather than protecting impressionable young readers.But McCoskrie does have a point in insisting on a reliable certification process, so people can make an informed choice.Meanwhile, Family First is delving into the media business – albeit in a very limited way. Family First TV – available on the internet – is a commercial relationship with a video-on-demand firm Good TV, which provide family-friendly entertainment. Good has similar arrangements with other groups and also trades in its own right.http://www.nzherald.co.nz/business/news/article.cfm?c_id=3&objectid=11511047last_img read more

Jim Marsh Classic IMCA Modified features pay $1,000 to win

first_imgTONOPAH, Nev. – Both Xtreme Motor Sports IMCA Modified features at Tonopah Speedway’s Jim Marsh Classic will pay $1,000 to win.The Saturday, Aug. 8 and Sunday, Aug. 9 main events are qualifiers for the 2016 Fast Shafts All-Star Invitational ballot.Pre-entry for the Modifieds is $75 or $100 at the gate.The grandstand opens at 6 p.m. and racing starts at 7 p.m. on Saturday; on Sunday, the front gate opens at 11 a.m. and the green flag flies at noon. Pit passes are $20.More information is available by calling 775 277-0282 and at the www.tonopahspeedway.com website.last_img read more

Lady Chargers Dethrone Lady Titans

first_imgNorth Decatur High School Girls Varsity Volleyball beat Tri Jr/Sr High School 3-0. 25-15, 25-17, 25-8The Lady Chargers started the week off with 2 quick matches vs the Titans! We came out with a lot of energy and had great communication! Also, minimal receiving errors led to our success!The JV won 25-10 & 25-18Sammi Luttel adder 4 digs, 10 assists and 5 acesMadelin Hoover contributed 2 blocksCaroline Stapp 2 aces & 6 killsBrittany Krieger 2 acesErin Schwering 6 killsThe Varsity won 25-15, 25-17 & 25-8Olivia Bohman totaled an awesome 10 aces and the team total was 19 aces! She also added 9 digsErika Kramer 8 killsKara Muckerheide 21 assists & 6 digsMadelyn Bohman 7 killsWe take on the South Decatur Cougars tomorrow for the Civil War Trophy!!Courtesy of Chargers Coach Ashley Gauck.  North Decatur Girls 8th Grade Volleyball beat Waldron Jr. / Sr. High School 2-1. 10-25, 25-22, 15-8The 8th Grade Lady Chargers fought hard in a close match with the Lady Mohawks, but with outstanding teamwork the Lady Chargers were able to pull away with the victory!Courtesy of Chargers Coach Becky Bingham.last_img read more

Late Remo Stars player killed by policeman laid to rest

first_imgRelatedPosts Family of slain footballer demands justice NPFL Week 13: Two away wins as El-Kanemi whip Akwa United LMC’s disciplinary measures should be more severe – Omokaro Late Remo Stars Football Club Vice Captain, Kazeem Tiyamiyu, has been buried but the question remains about his death. The 21-year-old, who played in defence for second tier side Remo Stars, was knocked down and killed in an apparent hit and run, but his club alleged that he was a victim of police brutality. Attended by his family, friends and teammates, Tiamiyu was tucked in the traditional white shroud (kaftan) used to wrap bodies and buried in line with Islamic burial custom. “We lit up Kazeem Tiyamiyu (Kaka)’s path to Al-Jannah yesterday night and he was buried today at his family house in Ajaka, Sagamu, Ogun State,” Remo Stars announced. Midfielder Toyeeb Gidado paid tribute to his teammate and described him as a “great person”. “It’s sad to say goodbye to someone you play alongside, a great person because this could’ve been anyone of us,” Gidado told BBC Sport. The club’s President, Kunle Soname, and the Nigeria Football Federation boss, Amaju Pinnick, paid a condolence visit to the family this week. The circumstances surrounding Tiamiyu’s death have been widely condemned across the country as it reportedly happened while he was in a vehicle being detained by the Special Anti-Robbery Squad of the Nigeria Police. It led to a protest march – demanding justice and for SARS to be disbanded – by thousands of residents in Sagamu, which is about 50km north-east of the commercial capital, Lagos. At least three people were reported to have died during the protest march, with police saying that they are “still investigating” these claims. “No father wants to bury his son and this is heartbreaking for my family because Kazeem was on the verge of travelling to Europe for trial,” Fasasi, the father of the late footballer told BBC Sport. “What happened, why was he killed and how does a family recover from this. These are the questions no one can answer.”Tags: Kazeem TiamiyuRemo StarsToyeeb Gidadolast_img read more