Oklahoma State will face a tougher test this Saturday against the Central Michigan Chippewas, who played the Cowboys very tough a year ago, before falling 24-13. Central Michigan, who finished 7-6 and lost 21-14 to Minnesota in the Quick Lane Bowl a year ago, bounced Presbyterian 49-3 last weekend in their season opener. While the Chippewas are excited for another crack at the 22nd ranked Cowboys, CMU head coach John Bonamego stressed the importance of playing solid in all facets of the game and avoiding costly turnovers, speaking to CM Life, a Central Michigan University publication:“We’re going to have to play well in all three phases,” he said. “We can’t have a bunch of penalties, we have to take care of the football and defensively we have to be very sound.”The Chippewas will lean heavily on Senior QB Cooper Rush, who threw for an impressive 3,848 yards and 25 touchdowns last season, and rushing for 3 more scores. Going into a hostile environment such as Boone Pickens Stadium, Rush will be invaluable for the Chippewas looking to pull off the upset. Bonamego didn’t sound too concerned with the road atmosphere in Stillwater, compared to the other MAC teams on the schedule for the Chippewas.“It’s more about the 22 players on the field than it is the 60,000 in the stands,” Bonamego said. “College stadiums can get loud, but we work with that all the time.”Despite the lack of concern, the Chippewas have been preparing this week for the raucous BPS by having crowds making noise at their practices while the offense is looking to snap the ball, which shows their awareness for what awaits for them in Stillwater. Look for the senior QB Rush to come in prepared and unafraid as Central Michigan squares off against the Cowboys this weekend.“This will be a good test for us in a lot of ways,” said Mike Gundy. “I’ve always been a big fan of the quarterback (Cooper Rush). He’s a potential NFL player. They’ve got eight returning starters on defense. They have some guys back in the running game. We’re going to continue to push forward. We need some quality work. We’ve got some areas that we certainly need to improve in. I feel like we’re making some strides in important areas of our team, but we still need to practice. I’m looking forward to a good week getting ready for Central Michigan.”If you’re looking for the comments section, it has moved to our forum, The Chamber. You can go there to comment and holler about these articles, specifically in these threads. You can register for a free account right here and will need one to comment.If you’re wondering why we decided to do this, we wrote about that here. Thank you and cheers!
As the October 14 deadline approaches for affiliates to sign on with Touch Football Australia, more and more people are contacting the office, asking how the decision their affiliate makes will affect them. In the past couple of weeks information packs were sent out to every affiliate Australia-wide (with the exception of NSW affiliates), containing info on the unitary model of managment and the process and benefits of affiliation with Touch Football Australia (TFA). This article contains 10 FAQ’s about the NTL, what this means for elite players, info for coaches/referees/selectors, insurance, assets and more. If you are wondering the importance of your affiliates decision for you as a general Touchie, click here for the full story: 1) I’M AN ELITE PLAYER. WHAT HAPPENS TO ME? Players must be part of an affiliated competition to be eligible to participate in the National Touch League (NTL) and all other competitions run or sanctioned by Touch Football Australia (TFA). Players from unaffiliated competitions will not be able to play in regional, state, interstate, national or international competitions. This follows through into Regional, State, and National representative teams, with only players from affiliated competitions being eligible for selection. This is no different than the rules in place already. The current NTL “Conditions of Entry” require that all participating ATA NTL Permit holders and CB’s and Participants must be fully financial with the ATA and abide by the laws and by-laws of the ATA – ie you (Participants) will not be eligible to be a part of the NTL if you are involved in a non-affiliated competition. Representative players are also currently chosen from affiliated competitions only. Talent ID and high performance support of all kinds, including funding assistance to events, camps, sports science and medicine – will only be available to players from affiliated competitions. There will be no elite pathway for athletes involved in unaffiliated competition. Rumours of “elite competition” against New Zealand teams are false. The Touch New Zealand Board has informed us that they will not be sanctioning any competition between non-affiliated regions in Australia with affiliated members of TNZ. Please note: NSW players are not affected, as under the new constitution NSW is a member in its own right. 2) I’M AN ACCREDITED COACH / OFFICIAL. WHAT HAPPENS TO ME? Touch Football Australia (TFA) is the peak body for the sport and is recognised by the Australian Sports Commission (ASC). TFA runs courses and accredits coaches and officials under the auspices of the National Coaching Accreditation Scheme and the National Officiating Accreditation Scheme of the ASC. To be eligible to further your career or knowledge as a coach or official under these schemes, you will need to be a part of an affiliated competition. Only TFA will run nationally recognised courses as these courses are copyright and non-affiliated bodies will not be able to run them. In addition only TFA will offer qualifications for coaches and officials that will be recognised nationally and internationally. Assessments for coaches and officials will only be available at TFA sanctioned competitions. State and national coaches, referees and selectors will be chosen from among those involved in affiliated competitions only. 3) AS AN AFFILIATE, WE RUN / WANT TO RUN AUSTOUCH. WHAT IMPACT DOES THE UNITARY MODEL HAVE? AusTouch is the official vehicle for introducing juniors into the sport. It was developed by Touch Football Australia (TFA) with assistance from the Australian Sports Commission and is copyright. No unaffiliated organisation will be able to run AusTouch programs or use AusTouch resources. 4) OUR AFFILIATE NEEDS SERVICE FROM DEVELOPMENT OFFICERS. HOW DOES THE NEW MODEL IMPACT ON THIS? Development Officers from the TFA offices in each state will provide service to affiliated competitions only. 5) OUR AFFILIATE RUNS/IS PLANNING TO RUN SPORTING PULSE FOR OUR COMPETITION MANAGEMENT. IF WE DON’T AFFILIATE, WHAT HAPPENS? Only affiliated competitions will have access to Sporting Pulse, which is paid for through affiliation fees. If TFA does not receive an affiliate’s fees, then it cannot provide the service to them. 6) WILL WE BE INSURED IF WE DON’T AFFILIATE? No. Affiliation fees paid to TFA include a component for insurance which is immediately forwarded to the national insurance provider along with details of whom is paying the insurance. If fees are not paid, you will not be covered. Non-affiliated competitions may seek other insurance arrangements. However, by virtue of large purchasing power, TFA is able to offer low rates and good cover. Alternative arrangements by smaller organisations are unlikely to be competitive or offer comparable benefits. 7) WHAT HAPPENS TO THE NTL PERMITS? The current arrangements for Permits in all states except Qld will not change, since all affiliates will become part of TFA. The current arrangements for NSW Permits will not change. 8) I’M FROM A QLD REGION THAT DOES NOT SUPPORT THE NEW STRUCTURE. WHAT HAPPENS TO OUR NTL PERMIT? TFA owns and allocates all Permits. The TFA Board will reconsider the allocation of Permits in Qld on the basis of the number of affiliates that become members of TFA as of October 14, 2005. TFA will cancel Permits currently allocated to those regions that are not part of the new structure. Sunshine Coast will be allocated the current Rustlers Permit. TFA affiliates across the Rustlers drawing area will be eligible to be a part of the Permit but athletes from non-affiliated competitions will not. Brisbane City will retain their Permit. 9) HOW MUCH WILL AFFILIATION FEES COST UNDER THE NEW STRUCTURE? For the upcoming season, fees will remain as they are now. However, once the new structure is fully in place and we are able to budget effectively, fees will be reviewed for season one 2006. 10) OUR AFFILIATE HAS ASSETS. IF WE BECOME PART OF TFA DO WE HAVE TO TRANSFER THEM TO TFA? No. Affiliates continue to operate as they do now. Assets of affiliates will not be affected; they will not be transferred to anyone at any time.
An extensive survey of 903 species of Canadian birds, fish, mammals, reptiles and amphibians over more than four decades has found that half of them are in serious population decline.Declining species lost a total of 83 per cent of their numbers between 1970 and 2014, says the report released Thursday by the World Wildlife Fund. Species protected by federal legislation shrank nearly as quickly as those that weren’t.“In general terms, the Species At Risk Act does not seem to have made any difference,” said WWF president David Miller. “There’s an incredible urgency to reverse the decline.”The Living Planet Index could be the most comprehensive assessment of wildlife numbers in Canada.The organization looked at 3,689 different populations of 386 kinds of birds, 365 fish species, 106 different mammals and 46 reptiles and amphibians. It combined more than 400 datasets from government, academe, industry and citizen science using a peer-reviewed method developed by the Zoological Society of London.Overall numbers for all 903 species decreased by eight per cent over the 44 years studied.A total of 45 species were stable and 407 increased. Many of those benefited from large-scale conservation measures.Waterfowl, which increased by 54 per cent, have enjoyed widespread wetland preservation. Birds such as falcons are no longer harmed by DDT and grew by 88 per cent.Others on the increase were generalist species such as deer or geese that live well alongside humans.The survey found a familiar combination of reasons for declining populations: habitat loss, climate change, invasive species and pollution.Miller said it was surprising to find legislation such as the Species At Risk Act, passed in 2004, has done nothing to slow the decline.“What the science says is that it hasn’t made a material difference to the species.”Species listed under the act declined by 63 per cent over the study period. As well, the study suggests the rate of decline may have actually picked up after the act was passed.Part of that is due to the time it takes for action. Miller points out the St. Lawrence beluga was known to be at risk even before the act was passed, yet it took until 2015 for protections to be put in place.“There have been incredible delays in taking the steps mandated under the act.”The legislation may no longer be the best tool to protect wildlife, said Miller. There are too many shrinking species to protect each one individually.“We probably need a different approach,” he said. “The challenges are so complex and have multiple causes. You can’t rely simply on a plan for species. You have to look at a whole ecosystem.”There isn’t, for example, much that can be done to halt the slow disappearance of Pacific killer whales until scientists understand why chinook salmon — the orca’s main food — are declining.It will take networks of protected areas to reverse the trends, said Miller. He noted the survey does show that a collective approach — such as that taken to protect waterfowl — can make a difference.But the breadth and speed of the decline means action must be taken quickly.“Even for us, it’s sobering to see the results,” Miller said.“The declines are exceptionally serious. We need real urgency to take action.”— Follow Bob Weber on Twitter at @row1960
Login/Register With: A 50th anniversary is a big deal for a cultural institution. There’s enough history to celebrate, consider and, in some instances, reconsider. There’s the opportunity to refresh the institution’s profile and evaluate its position within contemporary art discourse. It’s an occasion, too, to strategize, to wonder, “Now what? Sure, we’ve made it this far – but what needs to be done to ensure another half-century?”The McMichael Canadian Art Collection is in the midst of just such a rumination – an exercise brought into even sharper focus last week when the famous woodsy gallery here, 40 kilometres northwest of Toronto, named British museum professional Ian Dejardin as its new director and chief executive officer. Lest we forget, it was 50 years ago this summer that the McMichael first opened its doors to the public as a Crown corporation of the province of Ontario. The deal that, on paper at least, transformed the McMichael from the fiefdom of founders Robert and Signe McMichael into a public trust had been reached in November, 1965. However, extensive and expensive renovations to the site meant that its roughly 200 artworks weren’t ready for their close-up until July.Alexander Young Jackson, October Morning, Algoma, 1920. (Toni Hafkenscheid/ University of Toronto Purchased by the Hart House Art Committee 1931/32) Advertisement Facebook Called, initially, the McMichael Conservation Collection of Art, the “collection” referenced in the moniker was unashamedly Canadian. Or at least unashamedly Canuck in its devotion to art of a particular ilk, namely oil sketches, drawings and paintings by the Group of Seven, Emily Carr and their contemporaries and followers, plus work by First Nations artists. Advertisement Advertisement LEAVE A REPLY Cancel replyLog in to leave a comment Twitter
Porsche The reason why those figures, especially the average speed and temperature numbers, matter is that electric vehicles have historically had the problem of losing power and efficiency as their battery packs start to heat up with use. That the Taycan was able to maintain such high average speeds over such a long distance at such high ambient temperatures tells us a lot about the level of engineering that Porsche has put into the Taycan.This is part of why we’re so excited for the first all-electric Porsche, even more so than with other carmakers, because there are very few other organizations that have Porsche’s resources, engineering ability and bull-headed commitment to avoiding compromise.Porsche’s Taycan is slated to make its global debut on Sept. 4. Share your voice 42 Photos Enlarge ImagePorsche’s electric Taycan managed to travel over 2,000 miles in 24 hours at the Nardo test track in Italy. Porsche Everything that Porsche builds has some kind of sporting pretenses as well as a serious commitment to build quality. To see if its first fully-battery electric vehicle, the Taycan, can live up to Porsche buyers’ expectations, the company decided to take it to the Nardo test track in Italy and run it until it broke.Except it didn’t break. Porsche announced on Monday that the Taycan ran for a nearly continuous 2,128.1 miles in 24 hours with breaks only for fast charging and driver changes and was able to maintain an average speed between 121 and 133 mph. And it was able to do that with track temperatures well above 120 degrees and ambient temperatures of up to 107 degrees. Porsche Taycan on ice in Sweden 2019 Chevy Camaro ZL1 Convertible review: A topless thrill ride 2020 BMW 745e xDrive review: A plush plug-in with power and presence 2 More From Roadshow Tags 2020 BMW M760i review: For both the driver and the driven Porsche Electric Cars Performance Cars Comments
Share Yasin Akgul/AFP/Getty Images/Via NPRA new report finds that 2017 was one of the hottest years ever recorded. Here, a man dives into the sea in Istanbul in July 2017 during a heat wave that caused record temperatures in much of Turkey.NOAA has released the latest State of the Climate report, its annual checkup on our planet.So, how did Earth fare in 2017?Greenhouse gases in the atmosphere: record highs. Global surface temperature: near-record high. Sea surface temperature: near-record high. Global sea level: highest on record.Warm global temperatures have been a strong trend in recent years: the four warmest years on record all occurred since 2014, and last year was among them. In fact, 2017 was the warmest non-El Niño year ever recorded.The past three years were “substantially warmer than the previous — kind of establishing a new neighborhood in terms of global temperature,” said Deke Arndt, a climatologist at NOAA and the lead editor of the report. “And 2017 reinforced that.”Several countries reported record high annual temperatures: Argentina, Uruguay, Spain and Bulgaria. And Mexico had record high annual temperatures for the fourth year in a row.NOAA’s report, based on contributions from 500 scientists in 60 countries, was released today on the website of the American Meteorological Society.The findings show the extent to which humans have already changed key aspects of our climate as we’ve increased concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere.The Arctic continued to warm, and preliminary data show that the world’s glaciers have continued to diminish, with the average glacier losing 72 feet off its top since 1980.A coral bleaching event from 2014 to 2017 was “the longest, most widespread, and almost certainly most destructive on record,” the report notes. Mass coral bleaching used to occur at a rate of once every 25–30 years in the 1980s. But now it happens about every six years, and it’s expected to accelerate as the oceans keep warming. Severe bleaching is now occurring faster than reefs can recover.The report shows a number of small shifts in our climate metrics – shifts that can drive extreme events like the heat waves, downpours and wildfires we’ve seen in recent weeks.“We’ve had something on the order of one degree [Celsius] or so of global warming,” says Radley Horton, a climate scientist at Columbia University’s Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, who wasn’t involved in the new report. “It doesn’t sound like much, but already it’s producing more frequent heat waves. We’ve had globally less than a foot of sea level rise in the last century. Again it doesn’t sound like much, but for certain regions it’s already causing a fourfold increase in the frequency of coastal flooding.”What’s most surprising in the report, he says, are the hints that we may be reaching tipping points where change accelerates or becomes irreversible.“The further we push the climate system by increasing greenhouse gas concentrations, the greater the potential that we get a sudden surprise — something that climate models and their predictions aren’t able to prepare us for,” Horton says.Last year saw a new record low in the extent of Arctic sea ice in the winter. As sea ice melts, there is less of its white surface reflecting the sun’s rays, and more dark blue ocean absorbing the sunlight. That can create a positive feedback loop in which warmer oceans drive a faster decline of Arctic sea ice than climate models had predicted.Just a decade ago, Horton says, the models predicted that the Arctic could be ice-free in the summer by 2100, while more recent models suggested that could happen by 2050. “Scientists are now concerned it could happen in the next couple decades,” he says.However, not every aspect of climate was record-breaking last year. Tropical cyclones were only slightly above average. Only the North Atlantic basin had an above-normal season, with hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria all causing huge destruction, in the basin’s seventh most active season in 164 years.And fire activity was at its lowest globally since at least 2003 – but the U.S. had by far its most expensive fire season ever, with more than $18 billion in damages.The report “highlights the urgency for us as a society to reduce greenhouse gas emissions,” says Horton, “and prepare our most vulnerable communities for some of these climate changes that we’re locked into.”Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
Despite a hotly contested debate between District Mayor Muriel Bowser and Metro executives, the Washington Metropolitan Area Transit Authority (WMATA) begins its SafeTrack repair and replacement program this weekend.Metro released its revised scheduled for almost a year of maintenance work that will require trains to share a track or take entire stretches of track out of service for weeks at a time. Click on the image to see a larger version. (Metro)The accelerated track work plan addresses safety recommendations and rehabilitations needed to ensure passenger safety and system wide efficiency.In accordance with the plan, as announced by WMATA General Manager Paul Wiedefeld in May, Metrorail would shutter at midnight on weekends and expand its weekday maintenance schedule by single-tracking certain lines and shutting down line segments for several weeks at a time.Bowser petitioned the transit agency in a five-page letter just days ago asking that alternatives be made to the plan which, she said, would adversely impact “the late night riders and nighttime workers who support and sustain the District’s economy.” Metro Board Chairman Jack Evans dismissed the concern in an e-mailed statement.“As I can only say to the bars, restaurants, hotels: [Metrorail] will close at midnight. There is no option to not close at midnight. And we will work with everybody to try and figure out how we can provide, if possible, some alternative transportation methods,” Evans said. “I think every jurisdiction, including the District, is raising issues with events, etc. that they have, that they would prefer not to have them disrupted, but as [Wiedefeld] said, ‘If I start accommodating one, we’re going to be back to where we started. And we’re never gonna get this done.’ So, this is my plan, as he said, and we’re sticking with it.”SafeTrack accelerates three years’ worth of work into approximately one year, using a “Safety Surge” method that shuts down entire segments of each line for extensive repair. Due to reduced capacity and longer expected travel times, Metrorail riders are encouraged to consider using alternate travel options while safety surge work is scheduled on their line. Trains and platforms are expected to be extremely crowded during peak periods and customers may experience extended delays. During line segment shutdowns, limited shuttle bus service will replace trains between the shutdown zones.
Explore further More information: Fluid flow control with transformation media, Yaroslav A. Urzhumov, David R. Smith, arXiv:1106.2282v1 [physics.flu-dyn] arxiv.org/abs/1106.2282AbstractWe introduce a new concept for the manipulation of fluid flow around three-dimensional bodies. Inspired by transformation optics, the concept is based on a mathematical idea of coordinate transformations, and physically implemented with anisotropic porous media permeable to the flow of fluids. In two different situations – for an impermeable object situated either in a free-flowing fluid or in a fluid-filled porous medium – we show that the object can be coated with a properly chosen inhomogeneous, anisotropic permeable medium, such as to preserve the streamlines of flow and the pressure distribution that would have existed in the absence of the object. The proposed fluid flow cloak completely eliminates any disturbance of the flow by the object, including the downstream wake. Consequently, the structure helps prevent the onset of turbulence by keeping the flow laminar even above the typical critical Reynolds number for the object of the same shape and size. The cloak also cancels the viscous drag force. This concept paves the way to energy-efficient, wake-free propulsion systems, which control and prevent wake formation through a smart spatial distribution of propulsion forces.via PhysicsWorld Citation: Wake cloaking simulated in lab – objects move through water without leaving a trace (2011, July 25) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2011-07-cloaking-simulated-lab-.html Velocity prole and streamlines of flow around and through the porous spherical shell surrounded by a viscous fluid. (See ref. below for details). Image credit: arXiv:1106.2282v1 This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. © 2010 PhysOrg.com (PhysOrg.com) — Metamaterials researchers Yaroslav Urzhumov and David Smith, working at Duke University have built a simulation of an object that can move through water without leaving a trace and claim it’s a concept that could be built and used in the real world provided more research is done. In their paper, published on arXiv, the two describe how they programmed the use of metamaterials applied to an object, along with tiny water pumps, into a model to simulate an actual object moving through water without dragging some of the water with it that would normally cause turbulence. The two show, by use of a sphere, how an object could be covered with several layers of a mesh of wire or blades, from large ones nearest the object, too much smaller ones farthest away. The idea is to make up for the difference in movement between the object, and the stillness of the water it’s moving through, all while parting the water in ways gentle enough to cause cloaking and then allowing it to reseal after the object passes. The metamaterials provide the cloaking, while pumps are used to move the water at differing speeds in the different layers to keep the water from being dragged along as the object moves through it.The paper comes after what seems like one announcement after another in new cloaking technologies; first an invisibility cloak, then ones that cloaked sound, electric and ocean waves and even a time cloaking device; all are based on new so-called metamateriasl (materials with properties not found in nature).The advantages of the use of such technology are obvious; without drag, boats or submarines could go farther and faster while using less fuel, and if they ran nearly silent in doing so, it would herald the age of new stealth boats and ships that would be difficult if not impossible to detect by enemies looking for them. In the model created, the object was bullet sized and moves just a few millimeters per second, but the authors suggest that if an actual boat was to be made, it might make more sense to try to reduce just the drag, rather than try to hide the wake as well, as that would likely be much easier to actually make. The authors do not plan to try to build a real world boat, due they say, to lab constraints, but suggest a collaboration with another facility might be feasible. Next generation cloaking device demonstrated
‘Synthetic’ chromosome permits repid, on-demand ‘evolution’ of yeast (Phys.org) —A multinational effort to replicate the genome of brewer’s yeast has been launched. Led by Professor Jef Boeke of John Hopkins University in Baltimore, and with teams in China, India, Great Britain and other countries, the goal of the effort is to build artificial chromosomes to replace the 16 normally found in yeast cells. If successful, the effort will mark the first time the entire genome of an organism with a nucleus has been artificially replicated. © 2013 Phys.org Sacharomyces cerevisiae cells in DIC microscopy. Credit: Wikipedia. Citation: Multinational effort underway to build synthetic yeast using artificial chromosomes (2013, July 12) retrieved 18 August 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2013-07-multinational-effort-underway-synthetic-yeast.html This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. Explore further Besides the possibility of providing new insights into how chromosomes work, the project hopes to also serve as a means of learning how to program an organism by altering its genetic functions. Yeast with artificial chromosomes, for example, could be programmed to serve as an engine to manufacture antibiotics, vaccines, biofuels, etc., instead of alcohol.A team of scientists successfully replaced the DNA of a bacteria cell back in 2010, but it had no nucleus, meaning it was a much simpler organism. Replicating all of the chromosomes in a yeast cell will require far more effort. For that reason, the work has been split between teams working at various facilities around the world. Each team will design one chromosome on a computer, which will then be sent to a central facility for its actual creation. Once all of the teams have built their chromosomes, a single yeast cell will be stripped of its natural chromosomes to be replaced by their artificial counterparts—giving it an entirely artificial genome. The project is expected to be expensive—the British team alone has received £1m from the U.K government to fulfill its part in the project which is expected to be completed by 2017.The yeast cell was picked for the project because it is a relatively simple organism—it’s one celled and has only 6000 genes. One the other hand, it’s sufficiently complex to further the science of bioengineering. Another plus is that yeast, because of its ability to convert sugars to alcohol, is seen as a becoming a more useful organism if its DNA could be controlled directly by creating new chromosomes in the lab and replacing the ones that nature gave it.
Kolkata: A 18-year-old youth was killed in an accident at the AJC Bose Road flank of Vidyasagar Setu on Saturday morning. According to locals, the youth was doing stunts and driving his motorcycle without placing his hand on the handle bar.Police informed that on Saturday around 7:15 am Lalu Sahani was driving his motorcycle towards AJC Bose Road when he lost control over his two wheeler and rammed into the median divider. As a result, Sahani and the pillion rider, identified as Amit Balmiki, fell on the road. While Sahani sustained multiple injuries, Balmiki had minor injuries. The duo was immediately rushed to SSKM Hospital where Sahani was declared brought dead. Balmiki was provided with first aid and discharged later. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeFew eye-witnesses informed police that Sahani was riding the motorcycle at high speed without placing his hands on the handle bar. Sources informed that Sahani’s family members told cops that on Saturday morning when all the family members were asleep, Sahani took his elder brother’s motorcycle without informing him. They went to Princep Ghat and later went towards Howrah. The accident happened when Sahani was returning to Kolkata and tried to show stunts to his friend. Police also came to know that both of them were riding the motorcycle much above the speed limit without proper headgear. Though police questioned several eye-witnesses, sleuths are mulling to interrogate Balmiki to know what exactly happened. Also, cops are checking the Close Circuit Television camera footage to find out how the accident happened.
Kolkata: Kolkata Municipal Corporation’s Health department has directed all Puja committees to take up cleaning of its pandal premises at the earliest to prevent the outbreak of vector-borne diseases. The health officials of the Ward level have been instructed to keep a vigil on such places on a regular basis to ensure that they do not emerge as a breeding ground for vector-borne diseases.”The things used for making pandals may act as small pockets of stagnant water. The weather office has predicted rain early next week. Aedes Aegypti mosquitoes that cause dengue breed in clear water. So we want to ensure that water does not accumulate in the premises of such pandals and accordingly, Puja committees have been instructed to clear such spaces at their earliest,” a senior official of KMC’s Health department said. Also Read – Rain batters Kolkata, cripples normal lifeIt may be mentioned that the KMC started awareness campaigns against dengue from the beginning of the year as a result of which the vector-borne disease has been very much under control in its areas. “Our novel initiative of involving Puja committees in dengue drives and awarding those conducting awareness activities in the best possible way has yielded excellent results. We will start this venture from August next year so that more Puja committees come forward,” said Atin Ghosh, Member Mayor in Council (Health). The Swastha Bandhab Sharad Samman for awarding Puja committees for dengue drive witnessed 1,605 applications.
Friday, October 28, 2016 Tags: WestJet, WestJet Vacations << Previous PostNext Post >> Posted by Tweet TORONTO — WestJet and WestJet Vacations welcomed travel agents and travel industry partners to the fourth annual WestJet 2016 Travel Partner Awards, held last night in Toronto at the Four Seasons Hotel.Over 200 guests attended the cocktail party and gala, toasting their relationship with a WestJet Platinum cocktail – a mix of prosecco, grapefruit juice and blue curacao – which resembled the company’s trademark shade of blue, before a lavish dinner in the sparkling Aria Ballroom.WestJet’s Vice-President of Sales, Lyell Farquharson officially welcomed attendees and explained that the awards were “a way to recognize our partners in front of their peers. Many of our partners are growing along with us, and it’s great to see us growing together.”Hosted by WestJetters Tim Paul (Manager, Sales Strategy and Planning) and Matt Djorsev (Business Development), 13 awards were handed out based on sales criteria of the past year by travel partners.Interspersed with ticket giveaways to WestJet destinations and prizes from sponsors AMResorts, Barbados Tourism Marketing Inc., and Bahia Principe Hotels and Resorts, hosts Tim and Matt entertained the crowd with jokes and a few self-deprecating comments, such as recent news that a WestJet airplane had to be diverted to Greenland last week.More news: Air Canada’s global sales update includes Managing Director, Canada & USA SalesFarquharson and Jane Clementino, WestJet’s Director of Agency Sales, handed out the following awards:Top Growth Canadian Tour Operator Sales – Voyzant Inc.Top Online Agency – Expedia.caTop Group Incentive Convention Sales – Uniglobe TravelTop Sales Barbados – Transat Travel Travel Distribution CentreTop US Agency – Travel LeadersWestJet Encore Top Sales – American Express Global Business TravelTop Sales AM Resorts – Ensemble Travel GroupWestJet Vacations Top Guest Count Growth – Redtag.caWestJet Vacations Top Revenue Growth – Flight Centre Travel GroupTop Sales Bahia Principe Hotels & Resorts – Flight Centre Travel GroupTop Growth Travel Management Company – HRGTop Guest Count Growth – Travel Nation CanadaTop Revenue Growth – Merit TravelWestJet Airlines Ltd. Is celebrating its 20th anniversary in 2016 and was recognized by the Peter B. Gustavason School of Business at the University of Victoria as Canada’s most trusted airline this month. Waheeda Harris WestJet rolls out the blue carpet for travel agents About Latest Posts Waheeda HarrisA traveller from a young age, Travelweek contributor Waheeda Harris is pop culture obsessed, loves spicy food and is happy to wander around our planet with her camera in hand. Latest posts by Waheeda Harris (see all) Celebrity Equinox, Celebrity Edge stars of JetSet3 fam – April 23, 2019 Unleash the power of cross-company digital transformation to revolutionize your CX – February 8, 2019 On location: Cabo San Lucas welcomes the stylish Riu Palace Baja California – December 20, 2018
Avis India recently launched its international self-drive service on their website (www.avis.co.in) and mobile app for the Indian travellers travelling to foreign destinations. This launch makes Avis the first car rental company in India which has the capability to enable customers to book self-drive cars in 170 countries with over more than 5,500 rental locations.As outbound tourism is booming, the future of international self-drive is very promising. With the upcoming months being the most preferred season for international travel for Indians, customers are increasingly looking for self-drive services in top international locations such as the U.S., UK, New Zealand, Australia, South Africa, Canada, Ireland, France, and Spain, among others.Customers using Avis services also get a ‘Pay-Later’ option, wherein they can reserve the car with Avis and make the payment at the time of collecting the car at the rental station abroad. Customers also benefit from Avis India’s commitment to deliver an ideal rental experience, with features like instant booking confirmation, GPS, one-way rental, unlimited mileage, option to add an additional driver, child safety seat, as well as car insurance that covers theft and damage.Commenting on the launch of the international self-drive service, Sunil Gupta, Managing Director and CEO, Avis India said, “At Avis, our commitment is to provide world class car rental experience to all our customers. All of our new service initiatives and innovations are aimed towards achieving this goal. With our comprehensive network of rental locations and customer support, we are confident that travellers from India will appreciate the comfort, convenience and experience that this service will offer to them. Avis India aims to deliver unparalleled comfort and peace of mind to Indians travelling abroad.”Additionally, as part of the introductory offer, Avis India will provide complimentary international airport lounge access to all the customers who book a car during the first month of its services.
Categories: News,Noble News State Rep. Jeff Noble today announced the Senate Judiciary Committee has unanimously approved his legislation to pull the state medical licenses for doctors convicted of sexually abusing a patient under the guise of a medical procedure – in Michigan or any other state.“It’s simply abhorrent when a licensed professional takes advantage of their position to sexually assault anyone,” said Noble, of Northville. “A health care professional has the responsibility to protect us and help us feel better, not violate our trust and induce a lifetime of trauma. Anyone who does that, in Michigan or across this nation, should be stopped cold to protect all patients.”Noble’s plan requires a conviction under partner legislation that provides stronger criminal penalties for health care professionals who engage in sexual contact or penetration under the guise of a medical treatment. Current Michigan law does not require a doctor who is convicted of such sexual misconduct to have his or her medical license revoked, with suspensions or fines among possible penalties.Noble’s House Bill 5789 joined a landmark bipartisan package approved Wednesday and advancing to the Senate. The plan was developed in response to the Larry Nassar sex abuse scandal.“Not all doctors are Larry Nassar, but anyone who commits similar crimes should no longer be allowed to practice as a licensed doctor,” Noble said. “Medical professionals, educators, students, several private and public organizations and even survivors of Nassar’s crimes all spoke before a House committee and agreed that Michigan must improve its protections against sexual assault. This is one part of making that a reality.”##### 07Jun Senate panel advances Noble bill to revoke medical licenses for sexually assaulting patients
Third, Celsion’s LTSL technology promotes an accelerated release of the drug when and where it will be most effective. That allows for direct targeting of organ-specific tumors. Celsion’s LTSL technology has shown that it’s capable of delivering drugs to the tumor site at concentrations up to 30 times greater than those achievable with chemotherapeutics alone, and three to five times greater than those of more traditional liposome-encapsulated drug-delivery systems. The company’s first drug under development is ThermoDox, which uses its breakthrough LTSL technology to encapsulate doxorubicin, a widely used chemotherapeutic agent that is already approved to treat a wide range of cancers. Currently, ThermoDox is undergoing a pivotal Phase III global clinical trial – denoted the “HEAT study” – for the treatment of primary liver cancer (hepatocellular carcinoma, or HCC), in combination with radiofrequency ablation (RFA). RFA uses high-frequency radio waves to generate a high temperature that is applied with a probe placed directly in the tumor, which by itself kills tumor cells in the immediate vicinity of the probe. Cells on the outer margins of larger tumors may survive, however, because temperatures in the surrounding area are not high enough to destroy them. But the temperatures are high enough to activate Celsion’s LTSL technology. Thus, the heat from the radio-frequency device thermally activates the liposomes in ThermoDox in and around the periphery of the tumor, releasing the encapsulated doxorubicin to kill remaining viable cancer cells throughout the region, all the way to the tumor margin. ThermoDox is also undergoing a Phase I/II clinical trial for the treatment of recurrent chest wall (RCW) breast cancer (known as the “DIGNITY study”), and a Phase II clinical trial for the treatment of colorectal liver metastases (the “ABLATE study”). But most of the drug’s (and hence the company’s) value is tied up in the HEAT study. The HEAT trial is a pivotal 700-patient global Phase III study being conducted at 79 clinical sites under a special protocol assessment (SPA) agreement with the FDA. The FDA has designated the HEAT study as a fast-track development program, which provides for expedited regulatory review; and it has granted orphan-drug status to ThermoDox for the treatment of HCC, providing seven years of market exclusivity following FDA approval. Furthermore, other major regulatory agencies, including the European Medicines Agency (EMA) and China’s equivalent, have all agreed to use the results of the HEAT study as an acceptable basis to approve ThermoDox. The primary endpoint for the HEAT study is progression-free survival – living longer with no cancer growth. There’s a secondary confirmatory endpoint of overall survival, too. Both the oncological and investing community are eagerly awaiting the results, which are due any day now. So then, why are we on the sidelines now, right when the big news is due to hit? That all goes back to why Celsion was such a good investment to begin with, and what it can tell us about finding other big wins in the technology stock market. A Winner in the Making When we’re looking for a strong pick in the biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, and medical devices fields – once we have established the quality of the technology itself and ensured it will likely work as expected – there is a simple set of tests we apply to ensure that we’ve found a stock that can deliver significant, near-term upside. The most critical of these are: The technology must provide a distinct competitive advantage over the current standard of care and be superior to any competitors’ effort that will come to market before or shortly after our subject’s does. In other words, it must improve outcomes, by improving patients’ length or quality of life (i.e., a cure for a disease, or a maintenance medication with fewer side effects), or lower costs while maintaining quality of care (i.e., a generic drug). A therapy that does both is all the better. There must a clear path to market in the short term, or another catalyst to propel the stock upward. An investment in a great technology does not always make for a great investment. You have to consider the quality of the management team and structure of the company, including its ability to pay the bills and get to market without defaulting or diluting you out of your positions. And of course, time. The biggest and most frequent mistake investors make in technology is assuming that it is smooth and short sailing from concept to market. Reality is much harsher than that, and in biotechnology and pharmaceuticals in particular – with a tough regulatory gamut to run – the timeline to take a new technology to market can be anywhere from a decade to thirty, forty, or even fifty years. Liposomes are a perfect example of that. Twenty years ago, I probably could have told you a story about a technology that was very similar to what was laid out above. It would be compelling and enticing to investors of all stripes – a breakthrough technology with the promise to revolutionize cancer care by making chemo less toxic and more effective at the same time. Yet had you invested in that promise alone, chances are you’d be completely wiped out by now, or maybe – just maybe – still waiting for a return. That is why we invest in proof, not promises. So, how does Celsion stack up against our four main proof points? Time to market: When we first recommended Celsion, it was in Phase III pivotal trials. This is the last major stage of human testing usually required before a company can submit an FDA New Drug Application and apply to market the product. The process of bringing a drug to market, even once a specific compound has been identified and proven to work in vitro (in the lab), is perilous. Many things can go wrong along the way. If you look at investing in a company whose drugs are just entering Phase I clinical trials, for instance, it is still unclear if the therapy is effective in vivo (in the human body). This is a critical stumbling block for many companies, whose promising compounds immediately prove less effective or more dangerous than testing suggested. Even if Phase I goes well, it can take up to a decade and sometimes longer to get from there to market with a drug. And then, even Phase II trials often leave treatments five or more years from market – though there are exceptions in cases where a therapy is proven very effective or a disease has so few treatment options available. But shortcuts are rare, and investors have to consider the time and expense (which leads to fundraising and ultimately dilutes your return) of getting from A to Z. In this regard, Celsion made a uniquely great investment. When we first recommended the company, it was in the midst of a pivotal Phase III trial and looked to be about a year or so away from its first commercialization. (Though, speaking to the length of these trials, this one had been started back in 2008.) With many of the most high-profile companies in the industry – those working on vogue treatment areas and conditions, like hepatitis C treatments of late – when they get this close to market, the large banks bid up stocks to high levels, content to squeeze just a few percentage points out at the end. They have to be conservative, since they’re investing large amounts of other people’s money. However, biotechnology is such a fragmented space with far more companies than Wall Street can possibly cover in depth, that coming across a gem like Celsion late in the game with a potentially big win is not as uncommon as you’d think. The “efficient market” hypothesis fails to account for the fact that no one can know everything, including every stock. And Celsion had gone all but unnoticed for some time. Payer acceptability: Celsion has the benefit of developing a 2.0-style product, an improvement over something that already exists. RFA is already in relatively widespread use and has proven effective enough that most every insurance and benefits provider will cover it. Even the early generations of LTSL, while not quite as safe or effective as desired, were enough of a benefit to gather pretty solid support from payers. Celsion, through its clinical trial process, has proven its unique blend is safer, better tolerated by patients, and much more effective than its predecessors. Thus, payer support at a reasonable price is a pretty sure bet. Market size: When we originally recommended Celsion, we stated that the company was sitting on a multibillion-dollar opportunity. And we stand by that statement. However, just because something is eventually worth that amount does not mean it’s bankable today as a short-term investment. So we try to keep our analysis narrowly focused on what can be directly counted on and measured. In Celsion’s case, that’s the Phase III treatment, Thermodox, and the one area in which it is being studied: primary liver cancer (HCC). Even just in this narrow band, however, we see the market opportunity for Celsion as in excess of $1 billion. HCC is one of the most deadly forms of cancer. It currently ranks as the fifth most-common solid tumor cancer, and it’s quickly moving up. With the fastest rate of growth among all cancer types, HCC projects to be the most prevalent form of cancer by 2020. The incidence of primary liver cancer is nearly 30,000 cases per year in the US, and approximately 40,000 cases per year in Europe. But the situation worldwide is far worse, with HCC growing at approximately 750,000 cases per year, due to the high prevalence of hepatitis B and C in developing countries. If caught early, the standard first-line treatment for primary liver cancer is surgical resection of the tumor. Early-stage liver cancer generally has few symptoms, however, so when the disease is finally detected, the tumor is usually too large for surgery. Thus, at least 80% of patients are ineligible for surgery or transplantation by the time they are diagnosed. And there are few nonsurgical therapeutic treatment options available, as radiation and chemotherapy are largely ineffective. RFA has emerged as the standard of care for non-resectable liver tumors, but it has limitations. The treatment becomes less effective for larger tumors, as local recurrence rates after RFA directly correlate to the size of the tumor. (As noted earlier, RFA often fails at the margins.) ThermoDox promises the ability to reduce the recurrence rate in HCC patients when used in combination with RFA. If it proves itself in Phase III, there’s no doubt the drug will be broadly adopted throughout the world once it is approved. A quick look at the numbers: According to the most recent data from the National Cancer Institute, the incidence rates of HCC per 100,000 people in the three major markets are 4 in the US, 5 in Europe, and approximately 27 in China. Based on these incidence rates, the total addressable market in these three regions (which we will conservatively assume to be the total addressable worldwide population for the time being) is approximately 400,000 (12,000 in the US, 40,000 in Europe, and 351,000 in China). Assuming that 50% of HCC patients are eligible for nonsurgical invasive therapy such as RFA, approximately 200,000 patients worldwide would be eligible for ThermoDox. Further assuming an annual cost of treatment for ThermoDox of $20,000 in the US, $15,000 in Europe, and $5,000 in China, in line with similar treatments of the same variety, we estimate that the market potential of ThermoDox could be up to $1.3 billion. Not to mention the countless thousands of lives saved. (And that’s before the rest of the developing world comes online.) Of course, this is an estimate of ThermoDox’s potential assuming 100% market penetration – something that simply never happens. While we expect ThermoDox in combination with RFA to become the standard of care for primary liver cancer, a more reasonable expectation for maximum market penetration after a six-year ramp-up to peak sales (from an expected approval in 2013) is probably 40%. Improving outcomes or lowering costs: This is exactly what the Phase III trial was intended to prove: efficacy beyond a shadow of a doubt. Given preliminary data and earlier trial results, it was already a pretty sure thing, so in our model, we assumed about a 70% chance of success (to be on the conservative side, as always – it’s better to be right by a mile than to miss by an inch). Once we incorporate that probability of success into our model, we come to a probability-weighted peak sales figure in 2019 of approximately $365,000,000 annually. The average-price-to-sales ratio among the big players in biotech these days is about 5. If we apply a sales multiple of 3 (i.e., just 60% of the average) to Celsion’s probability-weighted peak sales for ThermoDox in 2019, we come up with a value for the company of nearly $1.1 billion, which would equate to about $33 per share if it did not issue any new stock between now and then – that’s more than 17 times where the stock was trading when we recommended a buy. And remember, these numbers are only for ThermoDox under the HCC indication. Our Move to the Sidelines With final data from the current Phase III pivotal trial due expected to come in within the next few weeks, Celsion’s stock has ballooned in value from the $2 range to $7.50 or so in the past few weeks. Now, that’s a far cry from the $33 price we mentioned above, but remember, that’s a target for 2019. And it doesn’t allow for a whole range of things that could go wrong. Chief among those concerns is that the Phase III data come in more poorly than expected. Even just a small variance in efficacy or a simple question about safety can knock a few hundred million dollars off those sales figures. Or it can push trials back a year or two, delaying returns and sending short-term-minded investors, like those who have recently bid up CLSN shares, retreating to the hills for the time being. Further downfield there is sure to be competition as well, and of course we may get those miraculous chemo-free treatments mentioned up front. In short, we don’t have a crystal ball and can’t tell you what the world will look like in 2019. If you believe yours is clear, ask yourself if you thought touchscreen phones and tablets would outsell traditional computers by 3 to 1 globally in 2012. If not, you might want to give the crystal a polish. To be clear, the value of Celsion in the near term hinges on a binary event – the results of the ongoing HEAT trial. We are of the opinion that CLSN represents one of the best opportunities we’ve come across since we started this letter, and that the probability of a successful trial is high. Nevertheless, there is substantial down side if the trial is unsuccessful. And it could take years to recover, if ever, on news of a delay from any concerns raised. We’d already advised subscribers to take a free ride early on in our coverage of the stock, taking all of the original investment risk away. However, even with that protection, the short-term potential is still more heavily weighted to the down side. Thus, we booked our profits and stepped to the sidelines on this one. Celsion continues to be a model, even at today’s prices, for a great biotech investment with significant upside potential. But we’re content to wait for the market to hand us another, similar opportunity. The pages of Casey Extraordinary Technology are filled with investments just like Celsion – up-and-coming technology companies the market has yet to discover. Subscribe today and save 25% off the regular price, as always backed by our unconditional money-back guarantee. Bits & Bytes More 3D-Printer Magic (Gizmag) Last week, we noted some of the cool things people are doing with 3D printers. But it’s hard to keep up. The tech is blasting ahead so fast that this week we couldn’t resist adding another. Researchers at the University of Warwick, already known for its cutting-edge tech research, have created a cheap, plastic composite that can be used even with low-end 3D printers to produce custom-made electronic devices. The potential here is staggering. Tablets – Hotter than We Thought (Computerworld) Global market-research company IDC has revised its estimate for sales of tablets for 2012 upward by 4.5%, to 122.3 million units. Apple is expected to lose market share to surging Android-based devices. Whose Internet Is It? (GamePolitics) Well, the US Congress appears to think it’s the people’s. Other countries disagree, and have been trying to wrest control of the ‘Net from our hands for a while now. Many want the UN in charge. But this week, the House unanimously passed a Senate resolution calling on the US government to officially oppose any transfer of Net control to the UN. We’d guess this battle is far from over, though. Tattoo You? (Gizmag) Next time you see a runner with a smiley-face tattoo on his or her arm, you might be looking at a sophisticated metabolic sensor, designed to detect stress due to exertion. Of course, we aren’t always in a smiley frame of mind, are we? So if we could just cross one of these things with a mood ring… We are not ones for bragging about our accomplishments. Whether you believe in such mystical forces as karma or not, it’s generally a good rule that those who take too much credit for their successes are soon rewarded with a streak of the opposite, just to keep them humble. However, it is just as important to take stock in your achievements as it is your failures, if you are going to learn and grow as an investor (or in any pursuit). As such, this week I want to introduce you to the story of a company that we recommended to our investment advisory subscribers back in April 2012. It’s since gone on to gain significantly. The stock rose 297% from our initial recommendation to the day the “sell” call was made. What’s important about this small company is why it made our investment list to begin with, and what its characteristics can tell us about successful speculation in the arena of up-and-coming technology companies. Sincerely, Alex Daley Chief Technology Investment Strategist Casey Research Anatomy of Great Technology Investment By Alex Daley, Chief Technology Investment Strategist Traditional cancer treatment options are little more than a crude mix of “slash, burn, and poison” – that is surgery, radiation, and chemotherapy. There are radical new treatments in labs and trials all over the world that promise to throw out this trifecta; no other disease has received more of the research interest and funding that have defined modern biotechnology over the past three decades. I’m not going to tell you about any of those here. Sure, many of them will be wildly successful and make many investors fabulously wealthy over the next few decades. But most will fail. And those that don’t will take a long time to turn a profit for investors. Yet, there is one small company whose unique twist on cancer treatment is proving to be a major upgrade. We profiled this company in a recent edition of Casey Extraordinary Technology, and it turned in a gain of over 167% for subscribers in just six months’ time. It may yet make billions more still for investors. You see, in recent years chemotherapy has become the core treatment for most cancerous malignancies. And while these toxic cocktails of chemicals have proven effective at destroying cancerous cells, they also have one problem. A big one. Chemo, being essentially a poison, doesn’t just attack cancerous cells – it attacks a broad range of healthy cells too. As a result, the treatment can sometimes be as harmful as the cancer itself in the short run. The side effects are awful, and its use can quickly erode patients’ health. Some have even described chemo as a “cure that’s worse than the disease.” This sad state of affairs for the world’s second most-prevalent chronic disease is why the cancer-research arena has been exploding over the past few years with the goal of developing more targeted, less-toxic therapies – in other words, to do a better job killing cancer cells while leaving healthy cells alone. That’s exactly what Lawrenceville, New Jersey-based Celsion Corp. (CLSN) has the technology to do. And chances are the company is on to one of the biggest cancer-treatment breakthroughs in decades. How It Works Our story starts with liposomes. These nanosized artificial vesicles are made from the same material as our cell membranes – natural phospholipids, i.e., a version of the chemicals that make up everything from fat to earwax, and cholesterol. Not long after their discovery in the 1960s, scientists began experimenting with liposomes as a means of encapsulating drugs, especially cancer drugs. Why? Something called the “enhanced permeability and retention” (EPR) effect. This is a property of certain sizes of molecules – for example, liposomes, nanoparticles, and macromolecular drugs – which tend to accumulate in tumor tissue much more than they do in normal tissues. It’s a useful feature for a cancer drug. Thus, they offer a potential way to combat the two biggest drawbacks of traditional chemotherapeutics: systemic toxicity and low bioavailability at the tumor site. In other words, the drugs now employed are themselves are toxic to normal cells, and they tend to get largely used up before they even reach the tumor site. Early attempts to encapsulate drugs inside liposomes did an okay job of dealing with the toxicity issue, but bioavailability at the tumor site was still limited. Our immune system saw to that. Just like virtually anything else artificial we put into our bodies, traditional liposomes were seen as invaders. Thus, they were rapidly cleared by the mononuclear phagocyte system, the part of the immune system centered around the spleen (yes, we do use it) that destroys viruses, fungi, and other foreign invaders. However, a breakthrough arrived when scientists came up with a new way to sneak these artificial compounds into the body undetected by our defenses. The process gave us what are call “PEGylated” liposomes, with a covalent attachment of polyethylene glycol polymer chains. The effect of attaching these little plastic chains to the end of the liposome was to create a “stealth” liposome-encapsulated drug that was hardly noticed by the system. Problem solved, right? Well, not exactly. A lot of hard work went into getting drugs into liposomes to reduce toxicity, then a bunch more into stopping our immune system from kicking in. But there was still yet another problem. The drug-release rates of these stealth liposomes were generally so low that tumor cells barely got a dose. Scientist had made them so stealthy that they even skated right by cancer cells, usually failing to kill off the tumors. After decades of experimenting with liposome-encapsulated cancer drugs, scientists still had not been able to safely deliver therapeutic concentrations of the chemotherapy drugs to all tumor cells. They had to devise a way to induce drug release when and where it would be more effective. The next big idea came in more recent years, as scientists devised temperature-sensitive liposomes. Heat them and they pop, releasing the drugs just when you need them to. From stealth to non-stealth in a matter of seconds, and right on target. Fortunately, they were able to make it work, but unfortunately, not at temperatures that didn’t essentially cook patients from the inside – sort of defeating the purpose of keeping the chemo at bay to reduce collateral damage. They failed to perform at tolerable levels of heat or time. Fifteen minutes of baking and still only 40% or so of the drug was released, and it took temperatures up to 112° Fahrenheit. It might not sound like much, but it was enough to be intensely painful and damaging as well. That’s where Celsion came in. It’s designed and developed a novel form of these temperature-sensitive chemo sacks – the first of their kind to work effectively and safely – otherwise known as a lysolipid thermally sensitive liposome (LTSL). Celsion’s liposomes are engineered to release their contents between 39-42° C, or 102.2-107.6° F (thus, another translation of LTSL has become “low-temperature sensitive liposome”). And they release the contents at an extremely fast rate, to boot. A Better Way to Use Chemo These unique properties of Celsion’s LTSL technology make it vastly superior to previous liposome technology for a number of reasons. For starters, the temperature range is much more tolerable to patients and won’t injure normal tissue. Payers should be easily convinced to cover the new therapy at profitable rates. In the modern world of health care, failure of a treatment to garner coverage from government medical programs like Medicare and the UK Health Service, and private insurance companies (which generally cooperate closely to decide how to classify and whether to cover a treatment) is usually a game-ender. Payers have a responsibility not just to patients but to their shareholders or taxpayers to stay financially solvent. This means that if a therapy does not provide a compelling cost/benefit ratio, then it won’t be covered. For instance, if you release a new painkiller that is only as effective as Tylenol and costs $1,000 per dose, you’re obviously not going to see support. Second, the temperature range takes advantage of the natural effect mild hyperthermia has on tumor vasculature. Numerous studies have shown that temperatures between 39-43° C increase blood flow and vascular permeability (or leakiness) of a tumor, which is ideal for drug delivery since the cancer-killing chemicals have easy access to all areas of the tumor. These effects are not seen at temperatures below this threshold, and temperatures above it tend to result in hemorrhage, which may reduce or cease blood flow, hampering drug delivery. It’s the Goldilocks Effect: The in-between range is perfect. The market must be measurable and addressable. There must be some way to say specifically how many patients would benefit from a therapy, and to ensure that those patients have providers caring for them that would make efficient distribution of the therapy possible. For instance, a successful treatment for Parkinson’s disease might be applicable to hundreds of thousands of patients, with little competition from other treatments, whereas a treatment for Von Hippel-Lindau (VHL) might only reach hundreds. If the goal is to recover years of research investment and profit above and beyond that, then market size matters, as do current and future competitors that might limit your reach within a treatment area.
Healthy women with normal pregnancies can opt to have labor induced without worrying that the decision will make a cesarean section more likely, according to a major study published in this week’s New England Journal of Medicine.Obstetricians currently induce labor when a delivery has failed to progress, or if a woman is far overdue for giving birth. But when women who have no medical need for induced labor have talked to their doctors, “We’ve been saying, ‘Well you know one thing you need to know is it does increase the C-section rate,’ ” says. Dr. Uma Reddy, an obstetrics researcher at the National Institute of Child Health and Human Development.That advice was based on some older medical research. But researchers had doubts about that conclusion. So Reddy helped organize a study involving more than 6,000 first-time mothers with uncomplicated pregnancies, to put the idea to the test.Half the pregnant women followed the normal course of labor; the other half had labor induced when the baby was full term, at 39 weeks. Overall, mothers and babies did fine when labor was induced with a drug.”I think the most surprising finding was a decrease in the C-section rate,” Reddy says.That rate dropped from 22 percent among the women who weren’t automatically induced to 19 percent for those whose labor was induced. Dr. William Grobman, the study’s first author and a professor of obstetrics at Northwestern University, says it’s an important goal to reduce the rate of cesarean sections in the U.S. So even a small percentage drop in the rate can have benefits overall.But an individual woman might or might not consider that 3-percentage-point drop a big deal. “I think that’s not really for me to decide,” he says. “I think that’s for patients to decide.”As expected, women who opted to have their labor induced spent more time in the labor and delivery suite.Even so, Grobman says, “I also think it’s important to recognize women who planned to be induced had fewer days in the hospital and their children had fewer days in the hospital after delivery.”The study found that women whose labor was induced were less likely to develop pre-eclampsia, an abrupt and life-threatening increase in blood pressure. Their babies were less likely to need help breathing. So all in all, it seemed medical intervention was a net plus.That was certainly the story for 33-year-old Kelli Rojek, a Chicago woman who opted into the study and whose labor was induced. She thought about the risk of having a longer labor.”The concern I was most aware of was that it can slow down labor and it can cause some headaches or nausea afterward,” she told NPR.But she also saw benefits.”It was actually rather convenient for us,” she says, “because we have a dog at home and we were able to call our families and say, ‘Hey, we’re going to go in at 11 p.m. on this day, and can you guys come up to take care of the dog and then come up to the hospital afterward?’ “Quick labor runs in her family, Rojek says. By 6:30 the next morning, her son, Harrison, came into the world.”The doctor actually told me that I should never share my story with my friends,” she says, “because they wouldn’t want to hear how fast and easy things went!”Lisa Kane Low, immediate past president of the American College of Nurse-Midwives, says the study was done well and provides useful information but that she is concerned that doctors and their patients will be nudged toward this more medical approach to childbirth.”Some of the things that go along with an induction may not be part of what they had planned for their overall birth experience,” Kane Low tells Shots. “It does require an IV, it does require that you have continuous electronic fetal monitoring to be safe, and it requires the use of different medications in order to start the labor process. And all those things need to be factored into what someone was hoping for their overall birth experience.”And the potential benefits can be hard to convey, Kane Low says.”If you say to somebody, ‘We could really reduce your risk of a cesarean by inducing your labor,’ people who are very fearful of a cesarean may say, ‘OK, I’m willing to [make that] trade-off and take the medical induction, even though that’s not what I might want because it’s going to reduce my risk.’ But, yet, the absolute reduction is very small, overall.”Plus, this study was done under optimal conditions, she notes. The hospitals all followed the latest recommendations about when to do a C-section, and the women were 23 or 24 years old, on average — which is younger than the general age of women who give birth.The March of Dimes, which has a campaign to encourage women to have full-term deliveries, issued a statement noting that because the study group was so selective, “[m]ore widespread implementation of induction at 39 weeks may yield much less favorable results, and thus should be considered with caution.”The study did not compare the overall costs of induced labor versus the traditional path — which can end in vaginal delivery, cesarean section or induced labor.Reddy agrees that there are balancing pluses and minuses behind the decision to induce labor. “I think it’s going to be up to the individual woman, because there are going to be strong opinions either way.”You can reach Richard Harris at firstname.lastname@example.org. Copyright 2018 NPR. To see more, visit http://www.npr.org/.
be_ixf; php_sdk; php_sdk_1.4.18 https://www.blackenterprise.com/jay-z-invests-promise-app-bail/ https://www.blackenterprise.com/jay-z-invests-promise-app-bail/ Q&A With Jay-Z, Michael Jackson Biographer Zack…Jay-Z Becomes Fifth Black Billionaire in the U.S.Black-Owned Vegan Cookie Company Closes $1 Mill… Every year about 12 million people are crammed into jails across the country while 62% are kept in custody simply because they cannot afford to post bail (the monetary requirement that individuals awaiting trial must pay in order to be released.) As a result, the U.S. jail system has become overpopulated and filled with mostly black, brown, and poor people who’ve committed low level, non-violent offenses.Racial Disparities in the SystemStudies show that black and Latinx people are more likely be detained in jails pretrial without a conviction for the crime that they were accused of committing and are less likely to be able to make bail. Meanwhile, black men are forced to pay bails that are 35% higher compared to white men, while Latino men pay 19% more than white males. These detentions often lead to the loss of employment, housing, and children.In addition to disproportionately affecting people of color, it costs taxpayers $38 million a day to keep people in jail despite the fact that many end up not being charged with or convicted of a crime.A New Promise for Bail ReformTo aid in the effort to reform the system of cash bail and mass incarceration, Shawn “Jay-Z” Carter’s company, RocNation, invested in Promise, an app that is creating “a cost-effective and more humane alternative to incarceration.” Promise provides clients with financial assistance with bail costs along with other services to get people out of jail and keep them from going back. For instance, the app offers those on probation or parole with an “intelligent calendar” that sends reminders of court appearances, drug testing, and other important dates. In turn, this will help prevent people from going to jail for missing payments or forgetting dates. Additionally, the startup will provide individualized referrals and support for job training, housing, and counseling.“People are going to jail because they look at a piece of paper and misread it, or are going to jail because they can’t afford a class because they’re instead paying child support,” Promise co-founder Phaedra Ellis-Lamkins told TechCrunch. “If we’re putting people in jail because they’re poor, brown or black, we’re spending money the wrong way.”In a statement, Jay-Z applauded Promise for using technology and compassion to reduce recidivism and create safer communities. “We are increasingly alarmed by the injustice in our criminal justice system,” he said, reports Rolling Stone. “Money, time and lives are wasted with the current policies. It’s time for an innovative and progressive technology that offers sustainable solutions to tough problems.” The rap icon also credited the Promise team for “building an app that can help provide ‘liberty and justice for all’ to millions.”Promise works by charging local and state governments a fee and working for government agencies to monitor and support people who are released from jail or who are under community supervision.Promise, which is part of Y Combinator’s current batch of startups, also received investments from the venture capital groups First Round Capital, 8VC, and Kapor Capital, raising more than $3 million in a first round.This isn’t the first app developed to help people pay for jail bonds. Help Bond Me, launched by an African American entrepreneur, Ben McFarlin, is another app designed to crowdfund bail money.
People with HIV have been failed by the government’s new disability benefit, according to new research.The research by the National AIDS Trust (NAT) found that only three-fifths of people living with HIV were found eligible for the new personal independence payment (PIP) after being reassessed.NAT says its research has confirmed long-standing fears that people with HIV would not receive the support they needed under PIP, which is supposed to help cover people’s extra disability-related costs.Its report shows that only three-fifths (63 per cent) of the 1,000 people with HIV who were previously receiving disability living allowance (DLA) and had been reassessed for PIP were awarded the new benefit.This compares with 73 per cent of all DLA claimants who had been reassessed and were awarded PIP, according to the figures, published by the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) last December.One charity that works with NAT, River House, described yesterday (Wednesday) how a 57-year-old man who was diagnosed last October with HIV and also had chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, had been awarded zero points after a PIP assessment in April.An appeal to the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) – the so-called mandatory reconsideration stage – was refused in late June.By this time, his health had deteriorated even further and he was admitted to hospital, where he was diagnosed with untreatable lung cancer.He was due to receive DWP’s decision on a fresh PIP application this week, but died on Monday morning.Another River House service-user with HIV has described how he had to start using foodbanks after his PIP was suddenly stopped because he missed a renewal deadline by just two days after he was diagnosed with cancer.DWP refused to reconsider removing his PIP and he had to wait more than 16 weeks to be assessed again.He said: “From the moment that my PIP stopped, I lost the uplift in my ESA [employment and support allowance] that I received because I was now not receiving PIP.“While I waited to be assessed for PIP and again for ESA, I had to borrow small amounts of money from friends [and] organisations that support people living with HIV and I was a regular visitor to local food banks.”The NAT analysis also shows that people with HIV who had been claiming DLA were more likely (43 per cent) than the average DLA claimant (30 per cent) to see their level of support cut if they were awarded PIP after a reassessment.According to last December’s figures, only about 1,000 of the 7,920 people living with HIV who were claiming DLA at the start of the PIP rollout in 2013 – which itself was about 10 per cent of all those with HIV in the UK – had been reassessed.The charity says that not everyone living with HIV in the UK has benefitted equally from modern treatments – for example, long-term survivors and people diagnosed late – and some will have life-long health problems as a result of HIV. One study found that two-thirds of people living with HIV in the UK have at least one other condition, in addition to HIV, and 38 per cent have more than one additional condition.Deborah Gold, NAT’s chief executive, said: “The evidence so far is that PIP is not working for people living with HIV who need extra support.“The assessment is not fit for its stated purpose, to identify the disability-related barriers to participation and independence experienced by people living with HIV. “The tick-box eligibility criteria describe only the most basic aspects of existence, such as physical capacity to consume food and bathe, without any understanding of the social context of life with a serious long-term condition.”Among the charity’s many concerns about the assessment process are that it fails to accurately capture: the risk of isolation due to HIV-related anxiety; the need for support with nutrition; and the importance of adhering to HIV medication.Sarah Radcliffe, NAT’s director of policy and campaigns, said that the research – the first to be carried out into the impact of PIP on people with HIV – shows that the concerns raised when the abolition of working-age DLA was announced in 2010 were not baseless.She said the way the assessment was devised “means people living with HIV will not have their support needs identified – or where they are picked up, this will not necessarily translate to support”.And she said the social model “rhetoric” used by DWP when it introduced the new benefit – focussing on how social factors create barriers to participation for disabled people – “has not translated to reality for PIP”.Instead, she said, the PIP assessment “looks a lot like the work capability assessment’s notorious ‘tick box’ medical approach”.She added: “The descriptors used are proxies for a basic existence and not for barriers to participation or the extra costs associated with an active, independent life.“It is not too late to improve PIP for people living with HIV. The vast majority are yet to be reassessed. “It is time to look again at PIP, from scratch, and make sure it lives up to its stated goals of promoting participation and independence.”A DWP spokeswoman said in a statement: “We introduced PIP to replace the outdated DLA system – it takes a much wider look at the way someone’s health condition or disability impacts them on a daily basis and is tailored to suit each individual’s needs.“Decisions are made following consideration of all the information provided by the claimant, including supporting evidence from their GP or medical specialist.“Under PIP, 28 per cent of claimants are now receiving the highest rate of support, compared to 15 per cent under DLA, and anyone who disagrees with a PIP decision has the right to appeal.”But DWP figures from last December also showed that fewer than half (about 126,000) of the 254,000 people previously receiving the higher rate mobility component of DLA secured the same level of mobility support when reassessed for PIP.And unpublished DWP figures obtained by DNS in March showed nearly half of disabled people subject to “planned reviews” of their eligibility for PIP were having their existing award either cut or removed completely.NAT has produced free resources on PIP for people living with HIV and the services who support them