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Bessudo A.,San Diego Pacific Oncology Hematology Associates Inc. | Boccia R.V.,Center for Cancer and Blood Disorders | Noga S.J.,Weinberg Cancer Institute | Gravenor D.S.,Family Cancer Center Foundation | And 7 more authors.
British Journal of Haematology | Year: 2013

Bendamustine, active in multiple myeloma (MM), is a bifunctional mechlorethamine derivative with alkylating properties. Bortezomib, approved to treat MM, is effective in combination with alkylators. The tolerability and efficacy of bendamustine plus bortezomib in relapsed/refractory MM was assessed in an open-label, dose-escalating, phase I/II study. Patients aged ≥18 years received intravenous bendamustine 50, 70, or 90 mg/m2 (days 1 and 4) plus bortezomib 1·0 mg/m2 (days 1, 4, 8, and 11) for up to eight 28-day cycles. No dose-limiting toxicity was observed after cycle 1; bendamustine 90 mg/m2 plus bortezomib 1·0 mg/m2 was designated the maximum tolerated dose (MTD). The most common grade 3/4 adverse events were leucopenia (58%), neutropenia (50%), lymphopenia (45%), and thrombocytopenia (30%). Primary efficacy measure was overall response rate (ORR), which was the combined complete response (CR), very good partial response (VGPR), partial response (PR), and minimal response (MR). ORR was 48% (one CR, two VGPR, nine PR, and seven MR) for all 40 enrolled patients, 52% (16/31) at the MTD (90 mg/m2), and 42% and 46% for prior use of bortezomib (n = 31) or alkylators (n = 28) respectively. Bendamustine plus bortezomib was well tolerated with promising efficacy in this heavily pretreated population. © 2012 Blackwell Publishing Ltd. Source

Berenson | Date: 2016-01-05

Common metal drawer pulls; Common metal pulls; Metal bathroom hardware, namely, pulls; Metal knobs; Metal pulls for kitchen and bath cabinets.

News Article | January 27, 2016
Site: http://motherboard.vice.com/

Capgras syndrome is a disorder wherein a person believes someone close to them—a family member, friend, loved one—has been replaced by an imposter. To the person with the delusion, the “imposter” looks and sounds just like their loved one, but something about them just seems off. Capgras delusions are observed most often in patients with psychiatric disorders like schizophrenia, though they’re also found in people with dementia or brain injuries. In a new study published recently in Neurocase, doctors discuss a 71-year-old male with an interesting case of Capgras—or “Cat-gras,” as they’re calling it, because the patient was convinced his pet cat had been replaced by an imposter. It’s rare for patients with Capgras to have delusions about animals rather than humans, although it has only been documented a handful of times. Two cases with cats, two with pet birds, and one with a pet dog have been reported, and in all of these cases, the patients were largely socially isolated with little to no close human interaction. “Oftentimes, in the other cases that were described it was someone who was older and living alone and so it may have been that their pet was really the most important and strongest connection that they had,” said Ryan Darby, an author of the study and a clinical neuroscience fellow at the Berenson-Allen Center for Noninvasive Brain Stimulation in Boston. This patient, however, was not socially isolated. He was married and frequently interacted with friends and family. So, his “Cat-gras” delusions weren’t a result of a lack of human interaction. They also weren’t a result of a psychotic break like many of the other cases were. Instead, it’s likely his Capgras stemmed from a series of head injuries incurred when he was younger. “He had been a semiprofessional hockey player and had sustained some mild concussions,” says Darby, “and then he had fallen more severely about 30 years before we saw him, which caused a bleed, a subdural hemorrhage, on the right side of his brain. We could see a scar from that on his brain.” Symptoms of these head injuries started to appear well before his Capgras delusions, according to Darby. He was forced to retire after becoming aggressive with his co-workers and a bipolar diagnosis followed shortly after. Then came years of manic episodes like the time he spent $40,000 in one month and when he started hoarding magazines and electronics. He also had episodes of social withdrawal and became frequently forgetful. Later came the paranoia. He became convinced that strangers were FBI agents and started writing notes to his wife instead of speaking when he began to suspect their house was being monitored. The paranoia caused him to stop taking his medication and it was then that the patient started to believe his pet cat had been replaced by an imposter cat that was in on the conspiracy against him. According to Darby, “In some cases you can reason with Capgras patients and they say they know it sounds crazy. Sometimes in the moment you can get them to admit that they know it’s probably not true but then you ask them five or ten minutes later and it’s such an engrained belief at that point that it’s really hard to reason through.” “Once you accept that initial experience as being true and valid then it’s hard to break that belief,” says Darby. “If you’ve had a debate with someone who’s really engrained in their political beliefs, it’s really hard to sway them even if you have a lot of good reasons. I think it’s often the same case in patients like this.” The “Cat-gras” went away once the patient resumed his medication, but this particular case led Darby to reformulate the current ideas on what’s happening in the brain to cause these delusions. “The more popular theories that came out initially in the 1990s were related to face perception and the disconnect between being able to recognize someone as being the same person from our memory and the emotional experience that happens when we see something familiar—the thing that gives us that personal connection to it,” he said. “More to our case, the fact that it was involving a pet cat really moves away from the face processing idea and more towards something a little bit more general.” Instead, Darby believes the problem may lie with the inability to retrieve autobiographical memories, or memories of personal experiences, particularly ones relating to the supposed “imposter.” Because they can’t connect any personal memories to the “imposter,” it becomes hard for the Capgras patient to believe that their loved one or pet is really them. “This is an interesting case,” says Darby, and it’s one that has pushed him to study Capgras more in other patients. Thats where his theory will really be tested. With each new case comes an opportunity to further validate or refute this new idea. So, in the name of science, call Ryan Darby if an imposter has suddenly replaced your family member or loved one. Or your cat.

News Article | June 7, 2015
Site: mashable.com

POMONA, California – A robot is going to save your life or the life of someone you love. A small team of researchers, scientists and engineers from South Korea just proved that this is possible — and they won $2 million in the process. Their victory wasn't fast or a particularity dramatic one, but Team KAIST’s DRC-Hubo robot slowly and methodically proved that robots could take on the rough and dangerous job of disaster response, going (in a simulated environment) where no human should go. The students, professors, engineers and coders with the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) remotely guided and programmed DRC-Hubo through eight tasks for the 2015 DARPA Robotics Challenge, a competition to develop semiautonomous robots that can help with disaster-relief operations. These eight tasks may seem easy to humans — driving a car, getting out of it, opening a door and walking through it, turning a valve, walking over rubble, climbing stairs, drilling a hole –- but here's the catch: They must perform them in the aftermath of a highly toxic nuclear meltdown. For DARPA's Robotics Challenge, the goal isn't simply to see if robots can perform the same tasks as humans, but to see if they can do them in places where humans should never venture. "We model the task environment on what happened in Fukishima," said Dr. Gill Pratt, program manager in DARPA's Defense Sciences Office and architect of the Robotics Challenge. During the challenge, there were 24 teams from around the world who competed over three days, Many failed at tasks, or skipped them altogether. We saw Carnegie Mellon Institute's CHIMP fall over, as it walked through a door, only to remarkably recover — to the cheers of the Fairplex sports facility crowd that filled the viewing stands — and complete all of the tasks. Even the winner, KAIST’s DRC-Hubo, stumbled on the drilling task. It skillfully picked up the correct drill, but then missed the sheetrock target and instead pressed a drill bit into a brick wall, snapping the bit off. DRC-Hubo showed determination, though, and tried to drill out a hole in the sheetrock with half a bit. But it failed, and was forced to repeat the task. Similar incidents occurred throughout the competition, with robots skipping tasks and repeating them in an effort to gain another point (each task was worth one). Of course, each robot had exactly one hour to complete all of the tasks. So setbacks like a fall or improperly completed tasks often proved costly to teams that had to redo a task or skip it altogether. Despite the high stakes — $2 million to the winning team, $1 million to second place (Running Man from Team IHMC) and $500,000 to third place (CHIMP from Team Tartan Rescue) — the robots appeared to move at a glacial pace. Part of this had to do with the quality of communications. DARPA purposely made the communications situation poor to recreate conditions that these robots and their managers may encounter on the ground in a disaster situation. It could sometimes take minutes for a command to reach the robots. The other reason was caution. Professor Dimitri Berenson, a CMU and WPI team member, told Mashable that the teams were especially cautious on Thursday, the first day of the finals. That's becuse no team or robot was being scored; everyone was just battling for position in the scored finals on Friday and Saturday. Some teams believed that performing later in the last two days of competition might give them an edge, but Berenson wasn't so sure about that. "We're at the point where we don't want to make any changes to the software. So extra time won’t make a difference," he said. That was true for many of the teams, which — even though they only had an outline of the challenges, but not the exact conditions — were not trying to recode to more effectively handle tasks. Instead, they had to deal with many obstacles on the fly. In fact, one surprise task changed between day one and two. It was a switch on the first day, but robots and the teams were faced with a pair of magnetized outlets on day two, and the robots had to move the plug from one outlet to the other. DARPA's Pratt said the teams were only told the night before the change. When we visited the teams in the "Garage" before the last round of competition, NASA Jet Propulsion Laboratory RoboSimian’s team was busy programming against a mockup of the new outlet task. Engineer Brett Kennedy, told Mashable that while he was concerned about a new unknown task, he liked how it reflected exactly what rescue teams might encounter in the field. In the end, RoboSimian never completed that task. There was also concern that one of these robots — which can weigh 300 pounds — could take a tumble on day one if the teams pushed too hard. "It's nerve wracking," Berenson said. "One false step and the robot could be out of commission." "Yesterday doesn’t matter," said Dr. Peter Neuhaus a senior research scientist at IHMC who, along with his team, were frantically preparing their robot for its final run through the course. The day before, they had scored seven, but purposely left out stair climbing. "We already fell once," Neuhaus said. He believed three teams would score eight that day, so "to win you have to have eight." That meant IHMC would take its chances on the stairs. By the end of the day, IMHC stood on the stairs with its robot arms raised over its head. To a certain extent, this entire Robotics Challenge is risky for the teams. Prior to the competition, none had even run their robots without tethers to hold them up, Pratt said. But that's the point. The challenge "kicks robotics out of the labs and outdoors," he added. It’s a philosophy that flies in the face of lab technicians' desire to play it safe While the majority of competition robots were what you might call humanoid, there were several that looked like multi-armed spiders, octopi and other more terrifying things. Team NEDO’s Hydra lived up to its name with a tangle of wires, bars and very little recognizable body, while Team Grit’s Cog-Burn looked like a walking table. Other robots looked like brothers — not surprising when you consider that roughly eight teams were using Boston Robotics’ (a Google company) Atlas Robot. Engineers told Mashable that they had done little to change the robots, but every team selected their own grippers; this is a key decision since each competing robot would have to use its "hands" or gripping technology to turn a valve, pull a light switch, hold a car's steering wheel and wield a drill. According to TORC software engineer Shawn Hanna, the Atlas-based Florian from Team ViGR (another Atlas robot) features Robotique grippers. Hanna explained, though, that the grippers were modified with small Raspberry Pi computers surrounding them to drive cameras inside the gripper. The variations in grippers and design led to some unusual solutions for these seemingly mundane tasks. Winning robot DRC-Hubo, for example, walked up the stairs backwards quite well, and CMU’s CMHIP steered the jeep with the treads on one of its arms. That said, the robots are are only semi-autonomous. Certain tasks for some teams, such as driving, are done via remote control. TORC’s Hanna told Mashable that his team controls ViGR’s driving skills via joystick. Other tasks, like stair climbing, "are all robot." "The robot tells us the path it wants to take, we verify it and then say, ‘Go ahead,'" Hanna explained. But even that little interaction can be excruciating. Because of the communications constraints imposed by DARPA, "we send really tiny commands," he added. This slow back-and-forth results in a lot of robots just standing around, doing nothing, as they wait for their next commands. So, yes, there were many long silences on the field, while the robots competed in four identical tracks, broken only by shouts of encouragement and instructions from fans and team members. Each time a robot completed a task, there were cheers and high-fives, but when they failed or fell over — which happened quite often — there were gasps. Pratt told Mashable there were lots of moving parts at the Robotics Challenge, but managing all of them, as well as the 300 DARPA and Defense Department employees on site was not the most difficult part. Instead, "getting this contest to just the right level of difficulty" was the hardest part, he said. Based on the results, though, Pratt thinks they got it right. After CMU conquered the DARPA Grand Challenge for autonomous driving in 2005, engineers from many of the competing teams entered private industry, and for the better part of a decade, driverless cars entered a period of gestation, according to Pratt. Now, Google, Uber, Delphi, as well as every major automaker are investing in the technology. Disaster-response robots will likely enter a similar period of gestation, but because there’s less demand for them than driverless cars, Pratt said he thinks we’ll initially see related technologies appear in sectors like healthcare, eldercare and local rescue response. Eventually, though, the technology will migrate back to disaster zones, though it's unclear when that will happen. Have something to add to this story? Share it in the comments.

News Article | March 16, 2016
Site: http://www.techtimes.com/rss/sections/internet.xml

Amazon recently rolled out a new service that encourages enterprises to relocate their databases to Amazon Web Services (AWS). Not only that, but the company also tantalizes potential customers with the promise of "setting up the migration in less than 10 minutes." Five months ago, Amazon introduced the AWS Database Migration Service in testing phase, and subsequent reports pointed out that the company plans to open the service to all firms. Amazon notes that since the beginning of 2016, more than 1,000 databases migrated to AWS, its cloud-computing services suite. The company keeps courting enterprises to bring their data from Oracle, MariaDB and MySQL to Amazon's cloud service, and says that insignificant downtime awaits those who do. "Hundreds of customers moved more than a thousand of their on-premises databases to Amazon Aurora, other Amazon RDS engines, or databases running on Amazon EC2 during the preview of the AWS Database Migration Service," says Hal Berenson, AWS vice president of relational database services, in a press release. He goes on to add that Amazon saw an overwhelmingly positive response from customers who chose the AWS Database Migration Service. A number of testimonials stand proof to the success of the AWS migration, and you can read them all in the press release. Berenson mentions that during the preview stage of the AWS, 33 percent of the companies that migrated their data also opted for switching database engines. The reason for the switch is that customers desired to see more open database engine options, which Amazon gladly offered. The company is not alone in the field of cloud services, as it faces strong competition from IBM and Google. The latter recently strengthened its Cloud presence by rolling out Google Cloud Functions (GCF) in alpha testing phase. Looking at what GCF can do, techies might recognize certain tools that are heavily inspired by the praised Lambda service, a key feature already offered by AWS. The latest numbers show that AWS pools no less than $7.3 billion in revenue. The good news is that many companies are still waiting to take the step towards cloud services, which means that it should keep growing. Amazon hopes to see defectors from other cloud service providers joining its own. One week prior to the recent announcement, Microsoft told the media that it's releasing a novel variant of its SQL Server 2016 (a database management system). To attract more customers, the Windows developer offers SQL Server licenses for enterprises that migrate their apps to its cloud service. To assist you with the transfer of your company's data, Amazon will charge only $3 per terabyte. The company also addresses the main concern that most enterprises have when considering a migration: how long will it take? Amazon answers by saying that firms will experience "virtually no downtime" during the process. Eight global regions can access the Amazon Database Migration Service: Asia Pacific (Tokyo), Asia Pacific (Sydney), Asia Pacific (Singapore), E.U. (Frankfurt), E.U. (Ireland), U.S. West (Oregon), U.S. East (N. Virginia) and U.S. West (N. California). There is promise that emerging countries, such as Brazil, will join the pack in the next months.

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