Arsenal worry as Togos coach seems ready to gamble on Adebayor

first_imgThis article is more than 10 years old This article is more than 10 years old Togo Emmanuel Adebayor’s fragile fitness is set to be tested this weekend after the Togo coach, Jean Thissen, revealed he intends to play him in the World Cup qualifier against Cameroon despite the Arsenal forward having yet to feature for his club since injuring a hamstring six weeks ago.Adebayor pulled a hamstring during the goalless north London derby against Tottenham Hotspur on 8 February with Arsène Wenger insistent last week that he would not be ready to make a first‑team return until the Premier League game against Manchester City on 4 April. Arsenal released him to the Togo squad initially on the understanding that he would not feature in their qualifier, to be played tomorrow in Accra, Ghana, though that stance appears to have mellowed.However, while Wenger will be anxious the player does not suffer a relapse, the club are somewhat reassured by the fact that the striker trained fully all last week and will hope that the 25-year-old will benefit from the run-out Thissen appears set upon. “Adebayor hasn’t joined up with us in Lome for nothing,” said the Belgian. “He is here to play against Cameroon. He is the main man with the national team, my captain, and the nation can count on him. He is a wonderful player who has always given his best for the country, so he will be a boost to the squad as this is a huge match for Togo.”The forward trained with his team-mates in front of around 4,000 spectators at Lome’s municipal stadium on Wednesday and will travel with the team to Ghana for tomorrow’s qualifier, Togo having been banned from playing at home after violence flared during a 2-0 defeat to Mali there in October 2007. Arsenal expect him to report back to London Colney on Monday to resume his preparations for the game against City, with the club’s Champions League quarter-final against Villarreal to follow three days later.The Chelsea playmaker Deco is in line to make a surprise appearance for Portugal in tomorrow’s critical World Cup qualifier against Sweden less than two weeks after Guus Hiddink feared the midfielder would be ruled out for the rest of the season after suffering hamstring damage. The 31-year-old, who first suffered a thigh problem in the build-up to the Champions League tie with Juventus, hobbled from the pitch against Manchester City on 15 March having managed just 41 minutes of his first start since January.Hiddink was initially concerned that he may have lost the player for the rest of the campaign, though he tempered that pessimism last week by declaring he was “not totally sure” how long it would take for Deco to recover. “It is not the same problem as before, but in another spot,” said the Chelsea temporary manager. “He was totally cured before, but we’ll have to take time to train him very well. It’s not a matter of two or three days.”But the Portugal team doctor, Henrique Jones, said yesterday: “There is a very good chance he will be able to play against Sweden. He feels good after the training he has done and it looks really promising that he will be fit for Saturday. The willpower and determination of the player have been important in his recuperation, though we should still be cautious.” World Cup 2010 Premier League World Cup 2010 Arsenal First published on Thu 26 Mar 2009 20.48 EDT Share on Twitter Share on WhatsApp Cameroon football team @domfifield Share on Facebook Share on Pinterest Share via Email Emmanuel Adebayor Thu 26 Mar 2009 20.48 EDT Dominic Fifield news Emmanuel Adebayor said he is eager to be with his Togo team-mates for this weekend’s World Cup qualifier, but Arsenal fans will be keen for him not to play. Photograph: EDDIE KEOGH/REUTERS Premier League 2008-09 Topics Share on LinkedIn Share on Twitter Shares00 Reuse this content Share on Facebook Arsenal worry as Togo’s coach seems ready to gamble on Adebayor Share on Messenger Share via Emaillast_img read more

A Summary Of FCPA Enforcement Statistics

first_imgFCPA Professor was the place to visit in January for in-depth Foreign Corrupt Practices Act enforcement statistics from 2014 as well as comparisons to historical statistics.If you missed the daily posts, no worries, this post consolidates in one place the statistics published on FCPA Professor in January.*****This post highlighted SEC enforcement of the FCPA in 2014.  Take-away points: (i) of the 7 corporate enforcement actions from 2014, 6 enforcement actions (all but the Avon action) were administrative actions; and (ii) of the 7 corporate SEC FCPA enforcement actions from 2014, 0 (0%) have thus far resulted in related SEC charges against company employees.This post highlighted DOJ enforcement of the FCPA in 2014.  Take-away points: (i) in the 7 corporate FCPA enforcement actions from 2014, the DOJ collected approximately $1.25 billion in criminal fines, an all-time record in terms of yearly FCPA settlement amounts; and (ii) of the 7 corporate DOJ enforcement actions in 2014, 1 (14%) has thus far resulted in related DOJ prosecutions of company employees.This post compared corporate FCPA enforcement in 2014 to prior years. Take-away point: while settlement amounts the DOJ and SEC collected in 2014 (approximately $1.6 billion set an all-time high), the number of core corporate enforcement actions in 2014 was below historical averages.  (Note:  many FCPA Inc. participants are calling 2014 settlement amounts the second-highest of all-time behind 2010.  Not true, as such 2010 figures include the $400 million BAE settlement, an enforcement action in which the company was not even charged with FCPA violations).This post highlighted the alleged “foreign officials” in 2014 corporate enforcement actions.  Take-away point: 60% of enforcement actions involved, in whole or in part, employees of alleged state-owned or state-controlled entities (ranging from power and electric companies, hospitals and labs, an oil and gas company, and an aluminium smelter).This post highlighted certain facts and figures concerning the DOJ’s prosecution of individuals for FCPA offenses in 2014 and historically.  Take-away points: (i) 75% of corporate DOJ enforcement actions since 2008 have not (at least yet) resulted in any DOJ charges against company employees; and (ii) since 2008, a private entity DOJ FCPA enforcement action is approximately three times more likely to have a related DOJ FCPA criminal prosecution of an individual than a public entity DOJ FCPA enforcement action.This post explored why so few corporate DOJ enforcement actions result in related DOJ prosecutions of company employees. Take-away point: (i) the reason may be the quality of the corporate enforcement action as there is only a 9% chance (since NPAs and DPAs were first introduced to the FCPA context in 2004) that a corporate enforcement action resolved solely with an NPA or DPA will result in related criminal charges of company employees compared to a 71% chance of related criminal charges of company employees if the corporate enforcement action was the result of a criminal indictment or resulted in a guilty plea by the corporate entity to FCPA violations.Finally as it relates to DOJ prosecution of individuals, this post highlighted how approximately 90% of criminal corporate FCPA enforcement actions between 1977 and 2004 resulted in related charges against company employees compared to this new era of FCPA enforcement when approximately 75% of DOJ criminal corporate FCPA enforcement actions have not resulted (at least yet) in related charges against company employees.This post highlighted certain facts and figures concerning the SEC’s prosecution of individuals for FCPA offenses in 2014 and historically.  Take-away points:  (i) since 2008, 83% of corporate SEC FCPA enforcement actions have not (at least yet) resulted in any SEC charges against company employees; (ii) compare that statistic to the following:  between 1977 and 2004, 61% of SEC corporate FCPA enforcement actions resulted in related charges against company employees.last_img read more

Austria Sell 100Year Bonds – But Who Are the Buyers

first_img « Interest Rate & Currency Pegs Austria was able to sell its second 100-year bond in history at just a yield of just over 1.00%. Some argue that capital has been forced to buy anything that has a yield which the ECB has been forcing negative interest rates. Why would anyone in their right mind buy a 100-year bond for 1%? The buyers appear to be pension funds who MUST own government debt as a matter of law.Austria launched the sale of a 100-year bond on Tuesday after overwhelming investor interest gave its debt officials confidence it could become the first Eurozone country to sell a “century” bond publicly through a group of banks. There has been no paper on this part of the yield curve. Because of comments by Draghi, it is also expected that positive yielding paper will vanish in the Eurozone. As it stands, it will take investors 44 years to recoup their original capital. That will surely be a huge loss.Austria is planning to sell the bonds via syndication to help access a wider base of investors. The banks involved are Bank of America Merrill Lynch, Erste Group, Goldman Sachs, NatWest Markets and Societe Generale. There is a serious problem brewing where as a matter of law pension fund must buy government paper and at low rates, the pension funds face massive failures going into the next 6 years. Categories: Interest Rates center_img Australia Lowers Rate to Historic Low of 1% »last_img read more

The New Dementia Story Part 1 Roger

first_imgby, Marigrace Becker, ChangingAging ContributorTweetShareShareEmail0 SharesRoger at a Seattle Alzheimer's Cafe Roger at a Seattle Alzheimer’s CafeA man named Roger was diagnosed with dementia.That’s the beginning to a story shared by five million Americans, the beginning to a story shared by possibly 15 million Americans by the year 2050, the beginning to a story shared by another person every 68 seconds. And how we tell that story matters, especially for Roger.So how do we tell this story? And who gets to tell it?Easy question, right? We know the dementia story. We’ve heard it for decades from the media, from senior service providers, from our own mouths. It’s a story of fear, shame, loss of meaning, loss of identity, and social isolation. According to this story, a person living with dementia loses the ability to connect, communicate, create, contribute or care for themselves, and therefore wastes away to a “death-within-life” existence. This is the old dementia story.But there’s a new dementia story being told, and it’s being told by people like Roger living with dementia.The last time I heard those statistics about the increase in Alzheimer’s Disease, I was in a meeting with Roger. He turned to a friend also living with early stage memory loss, raised his hand for a high five, and exclaimed: “Hey, we’re on the rise!”This spirit of embrace, this spirit of optimism, reflects the new dementia story – a story of hope, joy and meaning. For Roger, the new dementia story is a story of connection, deepening relationships, boldness and creativity.The new dementia story is a story not of isolation, but of connection. Roger participates in a walking group at Seattle’s Woodland Park Zoo, designed for people living with early stage memory loss. He is a member of the Gathering Place, an enrichment program for people living with early stage memory loss. Roger also attends the newly forming Alzheimer’s Cafes throughout Seattle, a phenomenon popping up in cities nationwide. For Roger, dementia has meant new connections and new forms of communication.“I enjoy the Alzheimer’s Cafe experience because it’s one place where I can interact with people who are further along in the process,” Roger said. At one Alzheimer’s Cafe, Roger sat next to a man living with more progressed dementia. The man at first scowled at Roger, then stared, and finally reached his finger out toward him. In response, Roger chose to mimic the man’s action, reach out, and touch fingertips. The connection – the silent communication – touched Roger deeply.“I didn’t question what was going on,” said Roger. “I just followed along. As long as he was willing to interact with me, I was willing to be there. He taught me ‘this is how I would do it – this is how I would communicate.’ He was sincere, and that’s what he had to offer.”Roger’s story is a story of continued connection, not isolation. “I look for the opportunity to engage,” he said.The new dementia story is not about losing close relationships, but deepening them. Roger said, “when I was diagnosed, there were a lot of tears for my wife and me, just like for most. As we went on, we got deeper and deeper in love. She has taught me a lot in a very tender way. The more she shares, the more I love her, the more she loves me. The further along we go, the more in love we seem to be. It’s mostly because of an equal exchange. I’ll walk up to her and hug her, she’ll say, ‘I love you too.’ This love seems to be of a higher order. There’s a reciprocation, a capacity to share ourselves. The more we allow ourselves to love and to share, the deeper it gets.”The new dementia story is not about shame or fear, but boldness and confidence in identity.“I look for every opportunity to tell someone that I have Alzheimer’s disease,” Roger said. “I like to say, ‘I’ve got it, I’m not gonna give it to you, now let’s talk about it!’”Roger works to reduce stigma related to dementia. “The biggest thing that will get us past stigma is chatting and then telling someone, by the way, you’ve just been spending your time with someone with Alzheimer’s Disease!” He continues, “I appreciate when someone gives me the chance to share. Then it spreads – the person I talk to will tell someone else.”The new dementia story is not about sinking into apathy, but about creativity and problem-solving. Early in his time with the Gathering Place, Roger mentioned his difficulty finding words, and his interest in pursuing improv theater as a possible way to expand his ability to communicate in the moment.“I’d be out there with my friends, without the word I wanted, and I thought – this has got to change!” Following up on his idea, the Gathering Place connected with Seattle’s Taproot Theatre down the street, and began offering quarterly improv theatre activities which expanded into improv classes especially for people living with early stage memory loss. The classes were a big hit, just as Roger predicted.“The whole idea of being ‘in the moment’ is a credible way to move forward and to learn,” Roger said.Desolation? Terrible loss? Futility? These words do not describe Roger’s dementia story.“I would not choose to go back to where I came from, prior to my condition. I don’t mind that I was given this lot in life. I have no regrets. I don’t have any resistance to what may come in the future. It will be what it will be.”Well, that’s a great story. Is it too good to be true? Roger concludes, “it’s just one story.” Yes, it’s just one story, one way to tell the story, but it’s a refreshing story, one powerful enough to overcome the old dementia story that has been crushing our communities with fear and shame. The old dementia story, in fact, has worn itself out.“There are many fears. Over time they fall away. I’m not scared anymore,” Roger said.The new dementia story is brewing, it is ripening, and it is ready to be heard. If we take the time to listen, we may hear a story overflowing with hope, a story not of decline, but a story in which people living with dementia are “on the rise.” Let’s pay attention.Roger RogerRelated PostsThe New Dementia Story Part 2: CharlieEvery day, we can choose to continue telling the old dementia story, a story that condemns and terrifies, a story that adds burden to an already challenging journey. Or, we can choose to stop and listen. There’s a new dementia story being told.The New Dementia StoryLast week I watched a news report out of Canada that told a different type of story about Alzheimer’s and dementia. It told the kind of dementia story you almost never see in primetime news — a joyful story.The New Dementia Story: MomentiaWhat is momentia? Momentia is a joyful proclamation. Momentia declares the new dementia story, a story not of fear, isolation, despair, futility and loss, but a story of hope, connection, growth, purpose and courage.TweetShareShareEmail0 SharesTags: Alzheimers Dementia Momentia Seattlelast_img read more

Study Different strains of same protein may contribute to different Parkinsonsrelated brain

first_imgMay 10 2018Different Parkinson’s-related brain disorders, called synucleionpathies, are characterized by misfolded proteins embedded in cells. Researchers in the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania found that the type of brain cell afflicted dictates which pathological form of α-synuclein (α-syn) protein becomes the disease culprit. The team’s results were published this week in Nature.”These unexpected findings of the effect of cell type on the generation of different α-syn strains addresses one of the most important mysteries in neurodegenerative disease research,” said first author Chao Peng, PhD, a research associate in the Center for Neurodegenerative Disease Research (CNDR).The relationship between cell type and variety of disease protein has not been described for any other neurodegenerative brain disorder. For now, the hope is that one strain associated with multiple system atrophy (MSA) might point the way to new therapies.What had been known before this Nature study is that in cases of Parkinson’s disease without and with dementia, dementia with Lewy bodies, and in about 50 percent of Alzheimer’s disease patients, α-syn aggregates in neurons as Lewy bodies (LBs) and Lewy neurites in axons and dendrites. However, in MSA, a rare neurodegenerative disease with widespread effects on the brain and body, α-syn behaves differently. It mainly accumulates as glial cytoplasmic inclusions (GCIs) outside the nucleus in the cytoplasm of oligodendrocytes, a brain structural cell important for myelin production (the insulation material of nerve cell fibers).The Penn team found that pathological α-syn in GCIs versus LBs are distinct in shape and biology. The α-syn in GCIs forms more compact structures and is about 1,000-fold more potent in seeding and spreading α-syn aggregation in animal models, which is consistent with the highly aggressive nature of MSA.Related StoriesMother calls for protein shake regulation after daughter diesRNA-binding protein SRSF3 appears to be key factor for proper heart contraction, survivalStudy reveals how protein mutation is involved in Christianson syndrome”Years ago we found that α-syn fibrils act as ‘seeds’ that induce normal α-syn protein to aggregate into clumps,” said senior author Virginia M.-Y. Lee, PhD, CNDR director and a professor of Pathology and Laboratory Medicine. “We showed that α-syn fibrils were taken up by healthy neurons, which leads to the formation of Lewy bodies and neurites that impair neuron function, leading to nerve cell death.”Surprisingly, say the researchers, pathological α-syn in GCIs and LBs did not show a preference for a specific cell type in starting pathology when human brain-derived α-syn of each type was used to induce aggregates in cell culture and mouse models.”This raises the question of why α-syn pathology in Parkinson’s disease versus multiple system atrophy shows different potencies, properties, and distributions in neurons versus glial cells,” Lee said.The researchers also found that oligodendrocytes, but not neurons, transform misfolded α-syn into the cytoplasmic strain, which explains the distribution of the two forms by cell type. On the other hand, cytoplasmic α-syn maintains its active seeding function when propagated from neuron to neuron. From this, the researchers concluded that α-syn strains are determined by both misfolded α-syn seeds and cell type.The team’s next steps will be to uncover the underlying molecular mechanism for the differences between the strains. The molecules in oligodendrocytes responsible for the highly potent cytoplasmic strain might suggest viable drug targets for MSA and explain why therapies used to treat other synucleinopathies may not work for MSA patients. Source:https://www.pennmedicine.org/news/news-releases/2018/may/diverse-parkinsons-related-disorders-may-stem-from-different-strains-of-same-disease-proteinlast_img read more

Longerterm exercise program may be needed to improve thinking skills suggests study

first_img Source:https://www.aan.com/ May 31 2018We know that exercise may help improve thinking skills. But how much exercise? And for how long? To find the answers, researchers reviewed all of the studies where older adults were asked to exercise for at least four weeks and their tests of thinking and memory skills were compared to those of people who did not start a new exercise routine. The review is published in the May 30, 2018, online issue of Neurology® Clinical Practice, an official journal of the American Academy of Neurology.They found that people who exercised an average of at least 52 hours over about six months for about an hour each session may improve their thinking skills. In contrast, people who exercised for an average of 34 hours over the same time period did not show any improvement in their thinking skills.The review did not find a relationship between a weekly amount of exercise and improved thinking skills.”These results suggest that a longer-term exercise program may be necessary to gain the benefits in thinking skills,” said study author Joyce Gomes-Osman, PT, PhD, of the University of Miami Miller School of Medicine in Florida. “We were excited to see that even people who participated in lower intensity exercise programs showed a benefit to their thinking skills. Not everyone has the endurance or motivation to start a moderately intense exercise program, but everyone can benefit even from a less intense plan.”The review included 98 randomized, controlled trials with a total of 11,061 participants with an average age of 73. Of the total participants, 59 percent were categorized as healthy adults, 26 percent had mild cognitive impairment and 15 percent had dementia. A total of 58 percent did not regularly exercise before being enrolled in a study.Related StoriesSupervised fun, exercise both improve psychosocial health of children with obesityA short bout of exercise improves brain function, study revealsImplanted device uses microcurrent to exercise heart muscle in cardiomyopathy patientsResearchers collected data on exercise session length, intensity, weekly frequency and amount of exercise over time. Aerobic exercise was the most common type of exercise, with walking the most common aerobic exercise and others including biking and dancing. Some studies used a combination of aerobic exercise along with strength, or resistance training and some used strength training alone. A small number of studies used mind-body exercises such as yoga or Tai chi.After evaluating all of the data, researchers found that in both healthy people and people with cognitive impairment longer term exposure to exercise, at least 52 hours of exercise conducted over an average of about six months, improved the brain’s processing speed, the amount of time it takes to complete a mental task. In healthy people, that same amount of exercise also improved executive function, a person’s ability to manage time, pay attention and achieve goals. However, researchers found no link between the amount of exercise and improved memory skills. Aerobic exercise, strength training, mind-body exercise and combinations of these were all found to be beneficial to thinking skills.”Only the total length of time exercising could be linked to improved thinking skills,” said Gomes-Osman. “But our results may also provide further insight. With a majority of participants being sedentary when they first enrolled in a study, our research suggests that using exercise to combat sedentary behavior may be a reason why thinking skills improved.”Future studies could further investigate which thinking abilities experience the greatest improvement with exercise. They could also look at the short-term and long-term effects of exercise in both sedentary and physically fit individuals.last_img read more

So called safe food additives may not be so says AAP policy

first_img Source:http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/early/2018/07/19/peds.2018-1408 By Dr. Ananya Mandal, MDJul 23 2018The American Academy of Pediatrics (AAP) has released a new policy statement in the journal Pediatrics. Their statement says that at present there is little information regarding the cognitive and physiological effects of food additives and more information needs to be obtained.According to the lead author of the statement Leonardo Trasande, an associate professor of pediatrics at New York University School of Medicine in New York, there are “serious flaws” in the present regulatory framework mainly because of the “antiquated notions of safety.” He said the policies need reform and serious reconsideration. Human health was viewed much more simplistically he said of the earlier policies.Trasande explains that there is a process through which additives are designated as Generally Recognized as Safe (GRAS) by the US Food and Drug Administration. He along with others on the AAP Council On Environmental Health write in the statement that there is no provision for protection against conflicts of interest when designating additives as GRAS. The report reads, “Because of the overuse of the GRAS process and other key failings within the food safety system, there are substantial gaps in data about potential health effects of food additives.” Trasande says that many of the additives have never been tested before and some of them have never been tested for their effects on the hormones and endocrine system or on the developing brain. Long term effects on a child’s development is another unexplored region he said.The authors write, “Children may be particularly susceptible to the effects of these compounds because they have higher relative exposures compared with adults (because of greater dietary intake per pound), their metabolic (ie, detoxification) systems are still developing, and key organ systems are undergoing substantial changes and maturations that are vulnerable to disruptions.” One of the major concern areas are “food contact substances associated with the disruption of the endocrine system in early life, when the developmental programming of organ systems is susceptible to permanent and lifelong disruption.” The researchers point towards the potential of these additives to cause disruptions in the endocrine system, potential to cause obesity, supress immunity, reduce birth weight and harm the heart. They add that not just food additives, the harm can also come from chemicals that have been added to packaging materials and wrappings.Related StoriesAntibiotic combination effective against drug-resistant PseudomonasStudy shows potential culprit behind LupusScientists discover rare autoimmune disease triggered by testicular cancerTrasande said, “We would like to see the removal of conflicts of interest from the testing and approval process, and the [US Food and Drug Administration] to take a stronger role in doing their own toxicology testing,” rather than depending on the companies to submit their research.Patient education especially among the low income and minority groups is vital he added. He explained that simpler options to avoid the additives are to choose more fresh fruits and vegetables in diet and avoid processed meats and canned foods and beverages.Avoiding heating foods in the microwave using plastic containers is another step that can be taken. The heat may cause the harmful chemicals from the plastic to leach out into the food he said. Each of the plastic containers and items have a recycling code at the bottom of the products.The authors explain in their paper, “Look at the recycling code on the bottom of products to find the plastic type, and avoid plastics with recycling codes 3 (phthalates), 6 (styrene), and 7 (bisphenols) unless plastics are labeled as ‘biobased’ or ‘greenware,’ indicating that they are made from corn and do not contain bisphenols.” There are two major categories of additives – direct and indirect. Indirect are those that are “food contact materials” such as “adhesives, dyes, coatings, paper, paperboard, plastic, and other polymers” they explain. Direct food additives including colorings, flavorings, and preservatives.They write about six types of additives Bisphenols, Phthalates, Perfluoroalkyl chemicals, Perchlorate, Nitrates and nitrites and Artificial food colors, each of which can cause serious damage to the developing child. Trasande says that this paper might call policy makers into attention to “fix this issue, starting by rolling back the presumption of safety for chemicals added to foods.”last_img read more

Researchers discover materials which form new presynapses for release of transmitters

first_imgReviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Aug 31 2018Synapses are the interfaces for information exchange between neurons. Teams of scientists working with Professor Dr. Volker Haucke, Director at the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie (FMP) and Professor at the Freie Universitaet Berlin, and Professor Dr. Stephan Sigrist at the Freie Universität Berlin discovered the materials, which form new presynapses for the release of transmitters. The findings may help to design better nerve-regenerating therapies in the future.To date, we have a fairly good understanding how nerve cells (neurons) communicate with each other. Central in this information transfer is the release of neurotransmitters at chemical synapses. At synapses, signal-transmitting presynapses face postsynapses, which recognize the chemical signals and relay them. “By contrast, we still know relatively little as to how synapses are formed”, points out Professor Volker Haucke.The release of neurotransmitter at presynapses requires their storage synaptic vesicles (bubble-like structures). Furthermore, scaffold proteins have to be present at the right time and location to ensure proper transmitter release. Until now, it was unclear how synaptic vesicle components and scaffold proteins get to synaptic cell junctions. Moreover, it was unclear from which cellular building blocks scaffold proteins and vesicles are made. The teams of Professor Dr. Volker Haucke and Professor Dr. Stephan Sigrist studied neurons from mouse brain and Drosophila larvae to learn more about the processes forming presynapses. The results of their work have just been published in the prestigious journal Neuron on August 30, 2018. The scientists found answers to both questions: They discovered that for the most part, vesicle and scaffold proteins are co-transported to the presynapse in a packet (Figure 1). Hence, vesicle and scaffold proteins arrive at the nascent synapse as a preformed functional unit, so neurotransmitter release may start instantaneously. The scientists could also show that this mechanism is evolutionary conserved from flies to mice and probably humans. The team also revealed that scaffold and vesicle proteins are transported in organelles that share characteristics with so-called lysosomes. Professor Haucke explains: “This is extremely surprising as scientists used to believe that lysosomes are mostly responsible for the degradation of cell components. However, in the context of the developing nervous system, these lysosome-related vesicles appear to have a distinct assembly function as they are involved in forming the presynapses where transmitters are released.”Related StoriesSlug serves as ‘command central’ for determining breast stem cell healthAbcam Acquire Off-The-Shelf Diploid Library of Over 2,800 Knockout Cell LinesRetina can restructure itself following gene therapyThese discoveries made by the scientists at the Leibniz-Forschungsinstitut für Molekulare Pharmakologie and the Freie Universitaet Berlin are of significance beyond basic research: For example, during learning processes synapses need to be remodelled to amplify signals. Professor Dr. Stephan Sigrist comments: “We were able to establish such a signal amplification in Drosophila larvae. When we programmed the neurons to deliver additional scaffold proteins and transport packets, they fired with more intensity than before.” This correlation may prove useful in the treatment of congenital degenerative neuronal diseases or for the regeneration of neurons after major accidents for example. To enable injured people to walk again, nerve paths must regenerate and new synapses must form or be re-established. The described findings may allow to accelerate this process in a targeted fashion. Source:http://www.fv-berlin.de/last_img read more

Roll back aging win 1 million

first_img Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Email Google has already gotten into the age-fighting business. Now another Silicon Valley initiative is taking aim at the science of boosting longevity. The Palo Alto Longevity Prize, announced yesterday at a shindig in San Francisco, is offering $1 million to scientists who can solve two aging-related research challenges.Joon Yun, an M.D. who is president of the health care investment firm Palo Alto Investors in California, put up the prize money. Researchers have plenty of fresh ideas about how to boost health and stretch lifespan, but few were getting public attention, he says. “We needed a way to accelerate these ideas into action.”The prize’s immodest goal is to stop aging, but it’s starting out with two less ambitious competitions that could represent steps toward that objective. One $500,000 award will go to the research team that can restore an older animal’s homeostatic capacity—its ability to balance its internal conditions—to a youthful level. As a gauge of that capacity, the prize organizers selected variability in heart rate. Not only is reduced variability linked to age-related diseases, Yun says, but heart rate is also easy and cheap to measure, potentially allowing more scientists to take part in the challenge.center_img Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) The other $500,000 award will go to researchers who induce a lifespan increase of 50% in a laboratory animal. In both challenges, the standard of comparison will be set using a “reference mammal” whose identity the prize’s organizers are not disclosing to the public. (Mice, rats, and other mammals are commonly used in aging research.)Eleven scientific teams have already signed up to take part. They found out about the project by word of mouth, Yun says, and are pursuing approaches ranging from using stem cells to replace faltering cells, to stimulating the parasympathetic nervous system, which manages maintenance functions such as digestion and saliva secretion. Any researchers who think they have a bright idea can sign up no later than June 2015. Teams will have to pay an entry fee of $1000 or $2000, depending on when they enroll. The deadline to produce results for the homeostatic challenge is June 2016; the longevity competition will run until September 2018.Although the prize doesn’t include money to conduct the research, the organizers will help scientists make contact with potential funders, notes Keith Powers, who is the producer of the prize. Moreover, he says, “the prize mechanism can draw investors” because it makes potential donors aware of the research and informs them about how to get involved.Still, some researchers who study aging are skeptical. Arlan Richardson, a physiologist at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center in Oklahoma City, says that the challenges could have a beneficial effect by increasing public interest and thus drawing money to aging research. But Richardson questions their scientific value and practicality.He’s concerned, for example, about the results of the longevity challenge. Conducting a lifespan experiment in mice takes about 3.5 years, he says, and the results then need to be verified, preferably by a different lab. Richardson notes that the literature is littered with examples of dramatic lifespan increases in experimental animals that dwindled or disappeared when researchers attempted to replicate them. “Frankly, from a scientific standpoint it’s going to have very little impact,” he says of the prize.last_img read more

Where SETI should search for intelligent life

first_imgDespite the searing radiation created by abundant stellar explosions, the inner region of the Milky Way could be the best place to search for intelligent extraterrestrial life, scientists say. That’s because its galactic habitable zone—so-called because it hosts the right materials for life to evolve—has far more planets in its inner regions than its outer ones. Until recently, astrobiologists thought that this dense inner region of stars would suffer from a larger number of supernova explosions, baking the planets in ultraviolet radiation and stunting or eradicating life before it developed intelligence. Now, new research suggests that—given the time it could take for intelligent life to evolve—the planetary population in the interior is significant enough to outweigh that risk. The researchers, writing in this month’s issue of Astrobiology, say that technologically advanced civilizations would have had a good chance of emerging on these planets up to 2 billion years before they did on Earth, especially in areas above and below the galactic plane (where slightly fewer explosions occur). Although the study doesn’t estimate how many intelligent civilizations could exist, it does suggest that the inner galaxy is where groups like the Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) should be aiming its telescopes.last_img read more

How vulnerable are sharks to commercial fishing

first_imgFishing vessels in the North Atlantic have long caught tuna and swordfish using 100-kilometer-long lines that can hold as many as 1200 baited hooks. But as the numbers of these fish have decreased, the ships have been catching more sharks, which they sell for their meat and their highly lucrative fins. The trouble is that sharks, as slow-growing top predators, are vulnerable to overfishing. Just how vulnerable? To find out, an international group of researchers tracked where migratory species of ocean-going sharks spent most of their time. They put electronic tags on six species in the North Atlantic, tracking 99 individuals for an average of 80 days. They found—somewhat surprisingly—that sharks cluster predictably in areas with abundant food, such as the Gulf Stream and the Azores islands. To measure how often they might cross paths with commercial fishing ships, the team also analyzed location data for 186 vessels that fish for sharks with home ports in Spain and Portugal. Comparing the locations, the researchers found an 80% overlap in the ranges of fishing vessels and the most common species, the blue shark (see photo) and the mako shark, they report this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. The researchers determined that blue sharks spent an average of 2 days per month within 50 km of long-line hooks, but that one spent as many as 20 days a month in close range to the fishing vessels before being caught. The fleets’ “intense focus” on sharks puts the sustainability of the populations at risk, the researchers conclude. They add that the most important step to prevent the decline of shark species would be to place international limits on how many can be caught. If that were to occur, they say, fishermen could prevent shark captures by outfitting their fishing lines so that sharks can bite their way free.last_img read more

Top stories Jurassic butterflies editing human embryos and what you should know

first_img Email Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Countrycenter_img U.K. researcher receives permission to edit genes in human embryosDevelopmental biologist Kathy Niakan has received permission from U.K. authorities to modify human embryos using the CRISPR/Cas9 gene-editing technology. Niakan, who works at the Francis Crick Institute in London, applied for permission to use the technique in studies designed to tease out the role of key genes during the first few days of human embryo development.Zika virus: Your questions answered Thanks to its sudden spread and possible connection to birth defects in infants, the mosquito-borne Zika virus has attracted the world’s attention and sparked a variety of rumors. Science’s writers answer your burning questions about the virus, explaining its origins, its sudden spread, and the response of the scientific community.Suicide of aging cells prolongs life span in miceThey are lurking in your heart, your liver, your kidneys, and maybe even your brain: run-down cells that could be making you age. A new study of mice shows that spurring these so-called senescent cells to self-destruct extends the animals’ lives and delays some aspects of aging.How to give a C-section baby the potential benefits of vaginal birthBabies born vaginally are thought to have an edge over those born via cesarean section. They pick up bacteria from their mother’s birth canal, which scientists believe helps protect them from asthma, obesity, and other health issues as they grow older. Now, a new study offers hints that researchers may be able to give these same benefits to C-section babies by “remaking” their microscopic community shortly after birth.Jurassic ‘butterflies’ predated true butterflies by 50 million yearsIf you traveled back in time 150 million years, you might encounter the familiar sight of butterflies sipping nectar—only the insects wouldn’t be butterflies. They would be an extinct group of lacewings called kalligrammatids, which pollinated long-ago relatives of pine trees and cycads, according to a new study published this week.last_img read more

How climate change may affect fireflies

first_imgFireflies are such a delight that they are the official insects of two U.S. states. On the other side of the world, Japan has declared them a national treasure. But these beacons of brightness—which seem to be in decline in some locations—have yet to be systematically studied to determine when their numbers will peak each summer. Now, a group of scientists in Michigan doing a long-term survey of lady beetles has for the past 12 years also counted fireflies caught in their sticky traps. They’ve monitored these insects in 10 locations across the state, including fields and forests.  And just this year, graduate students matched the data with daily temperature and rainfall for each of the summers. They found that firefly populations seem to follow a 6-year cycle, increasing for 3 years and decreasing for the next 3 years, they reported this week on bioRxiv, a preprint archive. But the conditions that determine fluctuations within that cycle are complex: Summer temperatures have to be warm enough long enough for fireflies to emerge, but peak emergence can be delayed by up to 2 weeks depending on whether conditions are too wet or too dry. Thus, the warmer springs predicted by climate change would mean an earlier firefly peak, but only if rainfall remains the same. Solving another big mystery—whether firefly numbers are declining globally—will also be a challenge, the scientists say, as captured insects vary an order of magnitude year to year, from three or four per trap to just one every two traps. So just as firefly flashes have mystified children for centuries, the insect’s fate will remain a mystery for adults for a bit longer.last_img read more

Fracking can prime faults for subsequent quakes

first_imgHydraulic fracturing in western Canada can prime faults for earthquakes that strike months after fracking ceases, reports a new study published this week in Science. Although it has long been known that the injection of wastewater into disposal wells can trigger earthquakes by increasing pore pressure and destabilizing fault lines, rarely has fracking itself been identified as the source of tremors. Typically, fracking involves injections into impermeable rock layers that inhibit the spread of fluid and increase pore pressure. Looking at seismic records near Fox Creek, in northwest Alberta, where there are six drilling sites, researchers found an intermittent set of induced earthquakes between December 2014 and March 2015, clustered around fracking operations. The majority of seismicity occurred during fracking as the elastic response of the rock caused mounting stress. However the largest quake, which had a magnitude of 3.9, struck on 23 January 2015—2 weeks after fracking had been completed. The researchers believe that a limited recovery of fracturing fluids—one well retrieved only 7% of its fluids—pressurized a fault that extended down to the crystalline basement, resulting in the series of quakes over several months. In the future, they say, drillers should take account of such risks, especially when they fail to recover fracking fluids.last_img read more

Severe bleaching hit the Great Barrier Reef for second year survey confirms

first_imgA diver examines recent bleaching on Australia’s Great Barrier Reef. Greg Torda ARC Centre of Excellence for Coral Reef Studies Severe bleaching hit the Great Barrier Reef for second year, survey confirms Last year, scientists found that 67% of the corals in the northern 700-kilometer section of the GBR died from the bleaching. Only the southern stretches of the reef system have been spared from bleaching over the past 2 years. Scientists have concluded that the only hope of preserving the reef is to reverse the global warming that is raising ocean water temperatures. By Dennis NormileApr. 9, 2017 , 5:00 PM For the second year in a row, Australian marine scientists have carried out the sad task of surveying the Great Barrier Reef (GBR) to determine the impact of widespread bleaching caused by elevated sea water temperatures. And for the second year in a row, the findings are grim: Severe bleaching occurred on many of the individual reefs in the middle third of the 2300–kilometer-long system, according to the aerial survey results released today.In 2016, severe bleaching hit the northern third of the reef. Now, surveys show a significant number of reefs in the central GBR have been hit 2 years in a row. Because it takes at least a decade for a full recovery by the fastest growing corals, there is “zero prospect of recovery” for reefs hit in successive years, says James Kerry, a marine biologist at James Cook University in Townsville, Australia. Bleaching occurs when elevated sea water temperatures cause corals to turn white by expelling the colorful algae, called zooxanthellae, that live within corals and use photosynthesis to provide nutrients for themselves and their hosts. Corals can recover from bleaching if waters cool off quickly enough. So the full extent of this year’s damage won’t be known until in-water surveys are conducted later. But, “We anticipate high levels of coral loss,” Kerry says.last_img read more

Superpods of 600 dolphins are gathering off the coast of South Africa

first_img Thibaut Bouveroux By Kimberly HickokJan. 26, 2018 , 12:05 PM Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins surfing the waves off the Eastern Cape of South Africa. Thibaut Bouveroux Pods of bottlenose dolphins have been growing in size for the last decade. Here, a group of several hundred hangs out in the waves of Algoa Bay. A single dolphin jumps from the water. Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins average about 2.6 meters long and 230 kilograms. Bottlenose dolphins are known for hanging out in large pods, but finding more than 50 or 60 in a group is unusual. Now, researchers studying Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins (Tursiops aduncus) off the coast of South Africa have found that populations there have skyrocketed, going from an average of just 18 dolphins per group in 2008 to 76 dolphins in 2016. And those are just the averages: Some superpods in Algoa Bay, a shallow inlet off the Eastern Cape, were as big as 600 members, they report this week in Marine Mammal Science. Dolphin pods were larger in the bay (average size 325), than they were offshore (average size 135). Thibaut Bouveroux Superpods of 600 dolphins are gathering off the coast of South Africa Thibaut Bouveroux Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins surfing the waves off the Eastern Cape of South Africa. Thibaut Bouveroux A single dolphin jumps from the water. Indo-Pacific bottlenose dolphins average about 2.6 meters long and 230 kilograms. The growth of the pods—and their location—is a mystery. Researchers expected larger groups to be found farther north in the Wild Coast region, where the water is deeper. But instead, the researchers say the dolphins may be gathering in the shallows in large groups for protection against sharks; many white sharks, which have been known to attack dolphins, live in the area. ‹›last_img read more

Was cancer scientist fired for challenging lab chief over authorship

first_img Rutgers University last month terminated a veteran cancer scientist in retaliation, the researcher says, for challenging a powerful principal investigator on the authorship of a paper apparently accepted for publication in Nature. The researcher is now deciding whether to appeal her dismissal in arbitration through her union or to sue Rutgers.Xiaoqi Xie, 54, was fired on 28 September from a research job in the lab of Eileen White, deputy director and chief scientific officer at the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey in New Brunswick. Xie, who had conducted research at the institute since 2007 and has worked in White’s lab since 2011, was cited in her termination letter for failing to do her job “effectively,” for “conduct unbecoming” a faculty member, and for “serious violation” of university policies, namely her alleged failure on five occasions between May and early July to promptly euthanize more than 20 sick mice being used to study melanoma—charges she disputes. In the letter, Rutgers also accuses her of missing three meetings with her bosses.The firing comes 6 months after Xie first challenged White’s decision to give another lab scientist sole first authorship on a paper, submitted in April to Nature and not yet published. That manuscript reveals a novel mechanism by which tumor growth is stunted when host animals are incapable of autophagy—the cell’s degrading and recycling of unneeded or damaged components. White is a leading authority on autophagy and has earned many scientific honors, including selection as an AAAS fellow. (AAAS is the publisher of ScienceInsider.) By Meredith WadmanOct. 9, 2018 , 12:55 PM Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Xiaoqi Xie says she was fired from the Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey because she asked to share first authorship on a paper submitted to Nature. Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Was cancer scientist fired for challenging lab chief over authorship? Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) Email Several of Xie’s colleagues, who did not want to be identified, describe her as a quiet, conscientious scientist who regularly worked late and was helpful to colleagues. “I don’t see her as someone who would speak up to dispute authorship unless it’s something pretty egregious,” said one. Colleagues and the union that represents cancer institute faculty in employment disputes also say the animal care lapses Xie is charged with normally would not be firing offenses.Rutgers, through a university spokesperson, declined to answer questions about Xie’s termination or related matters and refused to make White available for an interview. But the school issued this statement: “We do not comment on specific personnel matters. Rutgers University has comprehensive policies and procedures to ensure that fair employment processes are followed.” Xie’s dismissal comes against a backdrop of increased scrutiny of the power structure in science. It also shines a light on the perennially fraught issue of how credit for authorship is designated in a hugely competitive environment in which prominent placement as an author propels young careers and sustains established ones. “The firing aside, the reason that these issues are so fraught is that careers, particularly early ones, can be made or broken by these sorts of authorship decisions,” says Steven Goodman, a clinical epidemiologist at Stanford University in Palo Alto, California, who studies how the publication process incentivizes and rewards scientists. “Authorship is a very crude instrument, a poor surrogate for the value of contributions,” he adds. “But it’s widely relied on. And that’s what raises the stakes.”A long-term relationship unravelsThe Rutgers Cancer Institute of New Jersey is considered the crown jewel of the medical school and bioscience entities that are part of The State University of New Jersey. White was recruited in 2005 as the institute’s associate director for basic science and has risen to become its second in command.Before coming to the United States, Xie earned an M.D. at Zunyi Medical University in China, and a Ph.D. in cell and molecular biology at Umeå University in Sweden. She began as a postdoc in the cancer institute lab of Joseph Bertino, working there from 2007 until she joined White’s lab in 2011. She was promoted in 2016 to instructor—a short-term faculty position below assistant professor that doesn’t necessarily involve teaching. Rutgers guidelines stipulate that instructors who are not promoted to assistant professor within 3 years ultimately lose their jobs.Beginning in 2013, Xie says, she set up hundreds of cages of mice engineered to lack autophagy. She inoculated the mice with melanoma cells and by late 2015, she says, she had powerful evidence that tumors grew more slowly in the autophagy-deficient mice. Xie combed the literature to try to find the biochemical explanation and, in a 31 May 2016 lab meeting, she proposed a research direction that, she says, no one else in the lab had offered. She also suggested new experiments to test it. (Xie provided Science with a Powerpoint version of her lab presentation.)At that meeting, says Xie, White insisted that she surrender the project to a postdoc who had arrived in the lab a few months earlier. That person conducted mouse experiments seemingly identical to those Xie had already conducted, although the grant supporting the postdoc specified that the person study lung cancer in a different mouse model, according to an abstract of the grant obtained by Science. The postdoc and colleagues then executed experiments including those that Xie had proposed in her presentation, she says, leading to the biochemical findings that are the centerpiece of the paper at Nature. The postdoc is now first author on the paper, which White has said is accepted, according to Xie. (In a statement, a Nature Research spokesperson said, “We are unable to comment on papers that may or may not be under consideration for publication in Nature.”)Xie first challenged White on authorship of the paper in an email on 26 March. Xie had been sent a draft of the paper in which the contributions section stated simply that she “assisted with tumor growth experiments.” She was listed as second author, after the postdoc. (That postdoc did not respond to repeated emails requesting an interview.) Xie argued in the email that she should share first authorship with the postdoc. Her email to White described “3 years of [my] very hard work,” her results, and her May 2016 Powerpoint proposing the research direction. Xie’s email stated: “I strongly protest this kind of unfair treatment, and I strongly believe that my discovery and contribution deserves more than the second authorship.”At a 8 May authorship meeting with White, Xie’s union representative, and Janice Mehnert, a cancer institute physician who was Xie’s direct supervisor, Xie repeated the arguments. On 15 August, 1 week after receiving notice that the university was instituting proceedings to terminate her, Xie notified Nature that she had not been given a chance to review and consent to the paper as it was submitted and that she had a complaint about the crediting of authors in the manuscript. In the statement to Science, a Nature Research spokesperson said: “Nature Research journal editors are not in a position to investigate or adjudicate authorship disputes before or after publication.”After Xie contacted Nature, White apparently crafted a written review of the authorship designation on the paper, which Science has obtained. It notes that in December 2015, Xie signed a letter promoting her to “instructor” and committing to 100% effort and salary on a grant not involving the autophagy work, under Mehnert. “Due to 100% effort on that grant,” the review states, “Xie was not involved in numerous meetings and discussions related to this project outside of lab meetings.” The authorship review adds that Xie “seems unaware that [the autophagy hypothesis] is the main topic of the [postdoc’s] fellowship” and “does not merit first authorship as the bulk of the work is being done by [the postdoc.]” It says Xie “was the only author that did not provide comments on the manuscript other than complaining about the description of her contribution to the work.”The review further argues that Xie was not involved at all with a paper published in August 2014 by others in White’s lab, pointing to autophagy in normal host cells as playing a role in tumor growth. White’s review also states that in early 2015, well before Xie’s November findings in the mice inoculated with melanoma, another lab colleague, working at White’s direction, had shown that lung tumors grow poorly in mice engineered to lack autophagy. Xie counters that those earlier results scarcely reached statistical significance, and says that is why, 1 year later, White asked the new postdoc to recreate Xie’s much more dramatic results in autophagy-incapable mice inoculated with melanoma.Mistreated mice?Xie challenges many of Rutgers’s stated reasons for firing her, both the alleged animal care violations and the missed meetings. The American Association of University Professors Biomedical and Health Sciences of New Jersey in Newark, the cancer institute faculty union, also disputes the stated grounds. In a 21 September letter to senior Rutgers officials, the union wrote that the firing is retaliation for the authorship dispute and is “an orchestrated effort to force Dr. Xie out.” The letter added: “Dr. Xie’s past evaluations will show that following [animal care] protocols has never before been an issue. … It is simply not credible that a researcher who has served the institution admirably for eleven years would suddenly deviate from animal protocols without explanation.”The union communication noted that mice with melanoma are expected to get sick, and that many researchers besides Xie regularly receive the animal health concern “cards” that Rutgers has used of evidence of Xie’s purported negligence. Roger Johansen, the union’s president, added in an interview that, even if Xie failed to promptly put down mice as Rutgers alleges, “Usually for [animal care] violations, you retrain the person. You don’t fire them. Here they go from zero to 60 just like that.”A Rutgers official wrote in Xie’s 28 September termination letter that her lack of prior animal violations was “irrelevant” to the matter at hand. “You failed to euthanize the animals in a timely manner despite receiving directives to do so, and you failed to correct your practice … even after being told that you must adhere to the approved protocol.” The official, Lisa Bonick, executive director of Rutgers’s Office of Academic Labor Relations, added that the mice at issue had tumors larger than allowed under the experimental protocol, ulcerated tumors, or both. Bonick also wrote: “You were repeatedly told that you were not adhering to approval protocol via the issued animal health concern notices; emails from … veterinary staff, Dr. Mehnert and Dr. White; conversations with Dr. Mehnert, Dr. White and … veterinary staff; and meetings.”Xie says she was never interviewed or notified by veterinary staff or the university’s Animal Care and Use Committee that she had violated rules—receiving an animal health concern card is not listed as a violation but as a statement of needed action on Rutgers’s website—until after she received a letter on 7 August notifying her of the university’s intention to terminate her.Xie adds that emails between her and veterinary staff, to which she no longer has access, could make clear that she responded promptly to five animal health concern cards dated 8 May, 9 May, 4 June, 29 June, and 5 July; often, after receiving such a card, she emailed veterinary staff to note that she had euthanized an animal on their request, although such emails are not required. Rutgers refused requests from the union to make Xie’s emails available.The final daysIn Rutgers’s final termination letter to Xie on 28 September, Bonick dismissed the claim of retaliation, writing, “Dr. Mehnert and Dr. White made it very clear [during an 18 September hearing on the proposed termination] that it was important to them that you feel [sic] as though you were a valued member of the lab, and they therefore took your concerns seriously and looked into them very carefully. ” The letter says White enlisted two senior faculty members not involved with the upcoming paper to blindly review it. “Both individuals agreed with the authorship,” Bonick states.Rutgers also wrote that Xie had become “insubordinate” this spring and summer, failing to attend three meetings with White or Mehnert. Xie acknowledges missing one meeting, on 15 June—a meeting that Xie herself had requested, to amend an animal care protocol to allow open wounds on sick mice to be treated with antibiotics—forgetting about it while she was on the phone with her elderly mother, who was recently widowed in China. (At the time, she did not tell White or Mehnert why she forgot the meeting.)Xie says she sought out White with pictures and videos of sick mice for a second meeting, on 9 July, to discuss the care of the animals, but there was no specified time for the meeting. When she failed to find White in her lab, she decided to present the photos and videos at the next day’s lab meeting. Xie says she doesn’t recall being notified of a 19 July meeting with White and Mehnert to discuss her poor performance review, which was issued on 17 July. Bonick wrote in the termination letter that Xie “ignored” the 9 July meeting and “refused” to attend the 19 July meeting. Xie lost access to her Rutgers email, computer, and other documents on 7 August, and she was escorted out of the building.One of Xie’s colleagues is skeptical that the animal care violations were the real reason for her dismissal. “Having a sick card is really a minor thing. Even if you were to not follow up in a timely manner I don’t think it’s grounds for termination.”last_img read more

Researchers hung men on a cross and added blood in bid to

first_img Researchers hung men on a cross and added blood in bid to prove Turin Shroud is real Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe GIANNI TORTOLI/Science Source Some people believe that a fuzzy, negative image of a face on a strip of linen belongs to Jesus. But studies have shown the cloth was created in the 14th century.  By David AdamFeb. 15, 2019 , 2:04 PM Emailcenter_img In an attempt to prove that the Turin Shroud—a strip of linen that some people believe was used to wrap Jesus’s body after his crucifixion and carries the image of his face—is real, researchers have strapped human volunteers to a cross and drenched them in blood. Most mainstream scientists agree the shroud is a fake created in the 14th century.The mock crucifixions are the most reliable recreations yet of the death of Jesus, the researchers suggest in an online abstract of a paper to be presented next week at a forensic science conference in Baltimore, Maryland (abstract E73 on p. 573 here). And they are the latest in a tit-for-tat series of tests, academic rebuttals, and furious arguments over the provenance—or lack thereof—of the centuries-old religious artifact. But the researchers hope the experiment will “support the hypothesis of Shroud authenticity in some new and unexpected ways.”The research team from the Turin Shroud Center of Colorado in Colorado Springs would not comment on the crucifixion experiments before presenting them to the American Academy of Forensic Sciences’s (AAFS’s) annual meeting on 21 February. But the abstract describes “an experimental protocol by which special wrist and foot attachment mechanisms safely and realistically suspend the male subjects on a full-size cross.” Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) The researchers used the image on the cloth to work out the mechanics of the crucifixion, such as where the nails were hammered in, according to the abstract. They tried to re-create these features when they placed each volunteer on the cross. The male subjects “were carefully chosen to correspond, as closely as possible, to the physiology depicted by the frontal and dorsal imprints visible on the Shroud of Turin,” they write in the abstract. “The cross and suspension system were designed to accommodate various positional adjustments of the body as appropriate.”“Professional medical personnel were invited to not only contribute to the experimental protocol and analyses, but also to ensure the medical safety of the subjects,” the abstract states. Then, the researchers applied the blood and “documented and analyzed” the “resulting flow patterns over the simulated, crucified subjects.”The study challenges a previous analysis of the way blood released during a crucifixion would have stained a wrapped body. That research, presented to the AAFS meeting in 2014 and published last year in the Journal of Forensic Sciences, suggested that whoever produced the stains on the shroud believed that people were crucified with their hands crossed above their heads—which historians have contested.Matteo Borrini, the forensic scientist at Liverpool John Moores University in the United Kingdom who produced that analysis says he will be at the Baltimore meeting and will attend the talk. “I’m happy to discuss this with them,” he says. “At least we are discussing something physical.” He says there is no dispute among scientists over the shroud’s origins: historical records and carbon dating show it was created in medieval times.The Colorado center experiment is the most recent in a long line of unusual tests on the cloth. It was led by John Jackson, a physicist who was part of a weeklong 1978 scientific survey of the shroud. Its 1981 report concluded that the shroud’s famous image of the bearded man—which was discovered in 1898 in a photographic negative of the cloth—was that of a “real human form of a scourged, crucified man” and was not produced by an artist. The report concluded that neither chemistry nor physics could explain how the marks were made on the cloth, an area of uncertainty exploited by those who choose to believe they were left by the bleeding body of Christ. (Jackson has also suggested the marks were left by a body that disappeared and emitted powerful radiation.)Other shroud researchers have pored over what little physical evidence exists, much of it left over from the 1978 study. They have analyzed pollen grains found on the material to track its movements through history and examined physical stresses placed on recovered fibers.One of the most unusual experiments was performed by Giulio Fanti, a mechanical engineer at the University of Padova in Italy. To test Jackson’s radiation theory, in 2015 Fanti described how he suspended a mannequin wrapped in linen and then blasted its feet with 300,000 volts of electricity for 24 hours to create a coronal discharge that ionized the surrounding air and stained the covering material. He says: “Hundreds of scientists in vain [have] tried to propose hypotheses able to partially explain that body image.”Fanti says arguments over the authenticity of the shroud can come down to faith. Borrini, a Christian, disagrees. “I have faith. Here we are discussing authenticity.”last_img read more

Has a second person with HIV been cured

first_imgTimothy Ray Brown’s HIV cure may no longer be unique. Email Has a second person with HIV been cured? It’s great that I finally have someone added to my family. It’s been too long. Timothy Ray Brown, aka the “Berlin patient,” the only person to be cured of HIV, may finally have company. A decade after Brown became famous thanks to a stem cell transplant that eliminated his HIV infection, a similar transplant from a donor who has HIV-resistant cells appears to have cured another man, dubbed the “London patient.”“This is a big deal,” says Sharon Lewin, who heads the Peter Doherty Institute for Infection and Immunity in Melbourne, Australia. “It tells us that Timothy Brown wasn’t a one-off.” Although the interventions that the two patients received could only be used on a tiny fraction of the 37 million HIV-infected people worldwide, their stories point to cure strategies that could be more widely applicable.To treat blood cancers, both HIV-infected men received stem cell transplants from people who carried a mutation in the gene for CCR5, a cell surface molecule that many HIV strains use to infect cells. Beforehand, each had been treated with toxic chemicals in a “conditioning” regimen meant to kill off their existing cancerous bone marrow cells. After HIV-resistant blood cells derived from the transplant supplanted the recipients’ vulnerable cells, the two patients stopped taking the antiretroviral (ARV) drugs that had been damping down their infections. Country * Afghanistan Aland Islands Albania Algeria Andorra Angola Anguilla Antarctica Antigua and Barbuda Argentina Armenia Aruba Australia Austria Azerbaijan Bahamas Bahrain Bangladesh Barbados Belarus Belgium Belize Benin Bermuda Bhutan Bolivia, Plurinational State of Bonaire, Sint Eustatius and Saba Bosnia and Herzegovina Botswana Bouvet Island Brazil British Indian Ocean Territory Brunei Darussalam Bulgaria Burkina Faso Burundi Cambodia Cameroon Canada Cape Verde Cayman Islands Central African Republic Chad Chile China Christmas Island Cocos (Keeling) Islands Colombia Comoros Congo Congo, the Democratic Republic of the Cook Islands Costa Rica Cote d’Ivoire Croatia Cuba Curaçao Cyprus Czech Republic Denmark Djibouti Dominica Dominican Republic Ecuador Egypt El Salvador Equatorial Guinea Eritrea Estonia Ethiopia Falkland Islands (Malvinas) Faroe Islands Fiji Finland France French Guiana French Polynesia French Southern Territories Gabon Gambia Georgia Germany Ghana Gibraltar Greece Greenland Grenada Guadeloupe Guatemala Guernsey Guinea Guinea-Bissau Guyana Haiti Heard Island and McDonald Islands Holy See (Vatican City State) Honduras Hungary Iceland India Indonesia Iran, Islamic Republic of Iraq Ireland Isle of Man Israel Italy Jamaica Japan Jersey Jordan Kazakhstan Kenya Kiribati Korea, Democratic People’s Republic of Korea, Republic of Kuwait Kyrgyzstan Lao People’s Democratic Republic Latvia Lebanon Lesotho Liberia Libyan Arab Jamahiriya Liechtenstein Lithuania Luxembourg Macao Macedonia, the former Yugoslav Republic of Madagascar Malawi Malaysia Maldives Mali Malta Martinique Mauritania Mauritius Mayotte Mexico Moldova, Republic of Monaco Mongolia Montenegro Montserrat Morocco Mozambique Myanmar Namibia Nauru Nepal Netherlands New Caledonia New Zealand Nicaragua Niger Nigeria Niue Norfolk Island Norway Oman Pakistan Palestine Panama Papua New Guinea Paraguay Peru Philippines Pitcairn Poland Portugal Qatar Reunion Romania Russian Federation Rwanda Saint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da Cunha Saint Kitts and Nevis Saint Lucia Saint Martin (French part) Saint Pierre and Miquelon Saint Vincent and the Grenadines Samoa San Marino Sao Tome and Principe Saudi Arabia Senegal Serbia Seychelles Sierra Leone Singapore Sint Maarten (Dutch part) Slovakia Slovenia Solomon Islands Somalia South Africa South Georgia and the South Sandwich Islands South Sudan Spain Sri Lanka Sudan Suriname Svalbard and Jan Mayen Swaziland Sweden Switzerland Syrian Arab Republic Taiwan Tajikistan Tanzania, United Republic of Thailand Timor-Leste Togo Tokelau Tonga Trinidad and Tobago Tunisia Turkey Turkmenistan Turks and Caicos Islands Tuvalu Uganda Ukraine United Arab Emirates United Kingdom United States Uruguay Uzbekistan Vanuatu Venezuela, Bolivarian Republic of Vietnam Virgin Islands, British Wallis and Futuna Western Sahara Yemen Zambia Zimbabwe Click to view the privacy policy. Required fields are indicated by an asterisk (*) By Jon CohenMar. 4, 2019 , 6:05 PM Sign up for our daily newsletter Get more great content like this delivered right to you! Country Brown remains uninfected as far as scientists can tell, and no HIV has been detected in the London patient’s blood for 18 months, save for one blip of viral DNA that researchers studying the man suspect was a false signal. The team also found that his white blood cells now cannot be infected with CCR5-dependent HIV strains, indicating the donor’s cells had engrafted.Virologist Ravindra Gupta at University College London, who is scheduled to describe the London patient’s case tomorrow at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections (CROI) in Seattle, Washington, and online in Nature, resists using the term “cured” for the man, who remains anonymous. Gupta prefers to say the man is instead in long-term remission, in part because the team hasn’t looked at tissues other than the patient’s blood. “After 2 years, we’ll be talking more about ‘cure,’” Gupta says.Stem cell and bone marrow transplants haven’t cured the handful of other HIV-infected blood cancer patients who have received them. Some seemed to control the infection without ARVs for a period but later had the virus rebound or died from their leukemia or lymphoma. Gupta did not expect this transplant to work either. “It’s been 10 years since the last success, and I was totally prepared for failure of the graft or return of the lymphoma,” he says. In some of the past transplant failures, the donor did not have a mutated CCR5, but the conditioning regimen seemed to have significantly reduced the “reservoirs” of cells in the recipient that have latent HIV infections, invisible to the immune system. Brown, who required two transplants to cure his leukemia, had intensive chemical treatment and, on top of that, received whole body irradiation. The London patient, in contrast, had a milder regimen that targeted his lymphoma.“This case tells us that there is no magic conditioning regimen,” Lewin says. Brown and the London patient also suffered from graft-versus-host disease as the transplanted immune systems attacked other recipient tissues as foreign. That might have had the ironic benefit of further reducing HIV reservoirs, Lewin says.To learn more about the factors that favor a cure, amfAR, the Foundation for AIDS Research, a New York City–based foundation, in 2014 began to fund a consortium of international researchers who do transplants in HIV-infected people with blood cancers. The London patient is one of 40 in the study.Timothy Henrich, a clinician at the University of California, San Francisco (UCSF), has seen HIV bounce back in two patients who had a conditioning regimen that impressively knocked down HIV reservoirs but whose transplants came from donors with working CCR5s. “Durable engraftment” of the CCR5 mutants is key to a cure, he concludes.The London patient and Brown may point to ways to judge the success of a potential cure short of stopping ARVs and seeing whether the virus returns, says Rowena Johnston, who directs research at amfAR. Certain HIV antibodies and proteins declined in the blood of both men, she points out, which might offer a helpful early indicator of whether a cure strategy is working prior to stopping ARVs. “That could be a fantastic way forward,” Johnston says.Steven Deeks, an HIV researcher at UCSF, says the results could also boost cure efforts to cripple CCR5 “without the need for heroic interventions such as in the Berlin and London cases.” In one example, Pablo Tebas, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Pennsylvania, and his co-workers remove white blood cells from HIV-infected people and then knock out their CCR5 genes with a genome editor called zinc finger nucleases, a precursor to the better known CRISPR. The researchers expand the modified cells and then reinfuse them into their patients with the hope that they will engraft and populate the blood.In their latest small study, presented at CROI, Tebas’s team showed that in 15 patients who received this therapy and then stopped ARVs, HIV did rebound, but a few weeks slower than it does in people without such transplants. It’s far from a cure, but Tebas thinks coupling this approach with other interventions “might be the way of the future.”The news about the London patient also encourages Paula Cannon at the University of Southern California in Los Angeles. “I did a little happy dance when I read the paper,” she says. Her group has been working on a way to mutate the CCR5 gene directly in the bone marrow of a person to simulate the effect of the transplants.“Even if we’re not going to cure the world with stem cell transplants,” Johnston says, “it’s important to have a collection of people who’ve been cured so we can put together that information to figure out how we can do a cure more broadly.”And Brown welcomes the London patient. “It’s great that I finally have someone added to my family. It’s been too long. I think it’s a movement in the right direction and proves that cure of HIV is possible but I think lots more work needs to be done to help everyone who is living with the virus,” he says. Daniel Jack Lyons Timothy Ray Brown last_img read more