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News Article | February 28, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Silicon Kinetics Inc., the supplier of 3D nano-porous silicon biosensors and instruments for sensitive, label-free biomolecular interaction analysis, has announced collaborations with Biosys Technologies, Tokyo University and St. Marianna University, School of Medicine in Japan. The collaborators expect rapid and effective screening and ranking of inhibitors, thanks to the novel inline MIK-MS approach pioneered by Silicon Kinetics. MIK-MS (Molecular Interaction Kinetics - Mass Spectrometry) enables researchers to kinetically rank target molecules by affinity capture on silicon biosensor surfaces, then elute the candidate inhibitors to an inline LC- ESI mass spectrometer for identification and quantitation. The 3D surface of SKi Sensors captures more than 100 times the quantities on planar surfaces, making possible this MIK-MS workflow, previously not viable on planar biosensors such as those used in SPR (Surface Plasmon Resonance). The higher loading capacity of 3D SKi Sensors allows the quantification of kinetics, even when the ratio of the molecular weights of the interacting molecules is high (as in the case of a large protein interacting with a small molecule), or when a drug candidate needs to be highly diluted for solubility, or when the biomolecular interactions are weak. MIK-MS technology thus brings new and effective screening capabilities to PPI (Protein Pump Inhibitor), FBDD (Fragment-Based Drug Discovery) and biomarker discovery. Biosys Technologies, Inc., is an application development and system integration company based in Tokyo, serving the biotech and pharma markets in Japan. Through its clinical and technological alliances with major medical schools and hospitals, Biosys has access to tissue and blood samples and cancer databases. Silicon Kinetics and Biosys have agreed to work with lung cancer experts at Tokyo University and St. Marianna University, such as Dr. Kawamura and Prof. Nishimura, to study the progression of lung cancer in non-smoking adults, as well as potential treatments based on the principles of personalized medicine. “The novel MIK-MS approach forms the basis for state-of-the art-screening, as it not only enables novel protein identification but also gives information about protein interactions, signal pathways and mutations in conjunction with databases and related informatics,” said Prof. Toshihide Nishimura, the Director of the Translational Medicine Informatics, St. Marianna University School of Medicine. About Silicon Kinetics: Silicon Kinetics Inc. is the developer and supplier of the world’s first nano-porous silicon biosensor for analyzing biomolecular interactions, including antibody-antigen and protein-small molecule interactions. Unlike the planar surface of biosensors based on SPR, the 3D volume of SKi Sensors, interrogated by white-light interferometry in the SKi Pro line of instruments, offers researchers higher sensitivities in traditional biomolecular interaction analysis and larger amounts of captured molecules in MIK-MS (Molecular Interaction Kinetics - Mass Spectrometry) applications. For MIK-MS, Silicon Kinetics offers SKi Bridge, which acts as a fraction collector and timing synchronization tool, directly connected to any mass spectrometer. More information can be found at http://www.siliconkinetics.com.


News Article | February 20, 2017
Site: globenewswire.com

Dublin, Feb. 20, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) - Global Strategic Business Report" report to their offering. The report provides separate comprehensive analytics for the US, Canada, Japan, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and Rest of World. Annual estimates and forecasts are provided for the period 2014 through 2022. Market data and analytics are derived from primary and secondary research. This report analyzes the worldwide markets for 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) in Number of Unique Subscribers in Thousand. The report profiles 88 companies including many key and niche players such as Key Topics Covered: 1. INDUSTRY OVERVIEW Mobile Communications: An Introductory Prelude 4G: The Latest Transformative Phase of Mobile Communication Sector 4G Penetration Rates Continue to Rise Key Advantages Offered Drive Wider Adoption 1 Gbps Downlink Peak Data Speeds of LTE-A Tilt the Tide In Favor of 4G Evolution in Peak LTE Downlink Throughput over the Years Thrust towards QoS & QoE Instigates 4G Deployments Operators Prioritize 4G in line with Changing User Expectations Developed Countries: The Foremost Adopters of 4G Services Developing Countries: Hot Spots for Future Growth Positive Economic Scenario to Help Augment Market Prospects 2. MARKET TRENDS & GROWTH DRIVERS 4G Makes Robust Gains in General & Enterprise Consumer Markets Transition from 3G to LTE and WiMAX Fuels Market Growth Smartphones Usage Patterns Favor 4G Market Uptrend in Mobile Internet Usage Elevates Market Prospects 4G to Play Pivotal Role in Future Growth of Mobile Traffic 4G Offers Comprehensive Support for IoT & M2M Enterprises Prefer 4G Solution in their Mobility' Ecosystem 4G to Improve Prospects of SMEs 4G for Seamless Mobile Cloud Services OFDMA-Based LTE-A Propagates 4G Market Expansion Both LTE-TDD and LTE-FDD Gain Traction LTE-A Enhancements Augment Proficiency of 4G Networks Carrier Aggregation: A High-Tech Enhancement 4G Deployments with Small Cells Gather Steam VoLTE to Drive Uptake of 4G Services 4G to Proliferate Wi-Fi Domain Digital Transactions Made Easier with 4G High-Potential Opportunities in Automotive Sector 4G to Aid Healthcare Sector Public Safety Operations Made Easier with 4G LTE 4G: Boon for App Developers Seamless Support for App Innovation Upcoming 5G Technology to Influence Market Prospects 3. TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW Evolution of Mobile Network Technologies First Generation Networks (1G) Second Generation Networks (2G) 2.5 Generation Technology (2.5G) Third Generation Networks (3G) Value Chain in 3G Mobile Networks that Support 3G Services UMTS/ WCDMA Important Features of WCDMA HSPA Features Benefits Offered HSDPA HSUPA HSPA+ CDMA 4. SERVICE/PRODUCT LAUNCHES AT&T to Enhance 4G LTE Capacity in Henry County Verizon and Samsung Launch 4G LTE Network Extender for Enterprise AT&T Rolls Out 4G Services in Greene and Owen County Reliance Jio Unveils 4G SIM Cards Micromax Introduces Micromax Canvas Spark 4G Smartphone Micromax Introduces Canvas 5 Lite Smartphone Asus Introduces ASUS Zenfone GO 4.5 LTE Telstra Commences Wholesale 4G Mobile Services to MVNO Partners VNPN-VinaPhone Commences 4G Services in Vietnam BTL and Huawei to Rollout 4G LTE Network in Belize Etisalat Nigeria Introduces Mobile 4G LTE Service in Nigeria Zantel to Unveil 4G Services in Tanzania Lenovo Unveils A2010 4G LTE Smartphone Micromax Introduces New 4G LTE Smartphones Etisalat Introduces 4G LTE Services in the Middle East 5. RECENT INDUSTRY ACTIVITY AT&T Collaborates with Honda North America Avago Technologies Acquires Broadcom KDDI Signs VoLTE Roaming Agreement with Verizon Qualcomm Signs Patent License Agreement with Lenovo Idea Cellular Selects Ericsson for 4G Upgrade Vodafone Teams Up with Afrimax Group U.S. Cellular to Add 4G LTE Cell Sites Mitel® Takes Over Mavenir Systems Sistema Shyam Teleservices to Merge with Reliance Communications MediaTek Extends Collaboration with Micromax Informatics SK Telecom Selects Broadcom 6. FOCUS ON SELECT GLOBAL PLAYERS 7. GLOBAL MARKET PERSPECTIVE For more information about this report visit http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/sh3mrq/4g_lte_long_term


Research and Markets has announced the addition of the "4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) - Global Strategic Business Report" report to their offering. The report provides separate comprehensive analytics for the US, Canada, Japan, Europe, Asia-Pacific, Latin America, and Rest of World. Annual estimates and forecasts are provided for the period 2014 through 2022. Market data and analytics are derived from primary and secondary research. This report analyzes the worldwide markets for 4G LTE (Long Term Evolution) in Number of Unique Subscribers in Thousand. The report profiles 88 companies including many key and niche players such as Key Topics Covered: 1. INDUSTRY OVERVIEW Mobile Communications: An Introductory Prelude 4G: The Latest Transformative Phase of Mobile Communication Sector 4G Penetration Rates Continue to Rise Key Advantages Offered Drive Wider Adoption 1 Gbps Downlink Peak Data Speeds of LTE-A Tilt the Tide In Favor of 4G Evolution in Peak LTE Downlink Throughput over the Years Thrust towards QoS & QoE Instigates 4G Deployments Operators Prioritize 4G in line with Changing User Expectations Developed Countries: The Foremost Adopters of 4G Services Developing Countries: Hot Spots for Future Growth Positive Economic Scenario to Help Augment Market Prospects 2. MARKET TRENDS & GROWTH DRIVERS 4G Makes Robust Gains in General & Enterprise Consumer Markets Transition from 3G to LTE and WiMAX Fuels Market Growth Smartphones Usage Patterns Favor 4G Market Uptrend in Mobile Internet Usage Elevates Market Prospects 4G to Play Pivotal Role in Future Growth of Mobile Traffic 4G Offers Comprehensive Support for IoT & M2M Enterprises Prefer 4G Solution in their Mobility' Ecosystem 4G to Improve Prospects of SMEs 4G for Seamless Mobile Cloud Services OFDMA-Based LTE-A Propagates 4G Market Expansion Both LTE-TDD and LTE-FDD Gain Traction LTE-A Enhancements Augment Proficiency of 4G Networks Carrier Aggregation: A High-Tech Enhancement 4G Deployments with Small Cells Gather Steam VoLTE to Drive Uptake of 4G Services 4G to Proliferate Wi-Fi Domain Digital Transactions Made Easier with 4G High-Potential Opportunities in Automotive Sector 4G to Aid Healthcare Sector Public Safety Operations Made Easier with 4G LTE 4G: Boon for App Developers Seamless Support for App Innovation Upcoming 5G Technology to Influence Market Prospects 3. TECHNOLOGY OVERVIEW Evolution of Mobile Network Technologies First Generation Networks (1G) Second Generation Networks (2G) 2.5 Generation Technology (2.5G) Third Generation Networks (3G) Value Chain in 3G Mobile Networks that Support 3G Services UMTS/ WCDMA Important Features of WCDMA HSPA Features Benefits Offered HSDPA HSUPA HSPA+ CDMA 4. SERVICE/PRODUCT LAUNCHES AT&T to Enhance 4G LTE Capacity in Henry County Verizon and Samsung Launch 4G LTE Network Extender for Enterprise AT&T Rolls Out 4G Services in Greene and Owen County Reliance Jio Unveils 4G SIM Cards Micromax Introduces Micromax Canvas Spark 4G Smartphone Micromax Introduces Canvas 5 Lite Smartphone Asus Introduces ASUS Zenfone GO 4.5 LTE Telstra Commences Wholesale 4G Mobile Services to MVNO Partners VNPN-VinaPhone Commences 4G Services in Vietnam BTL and Huawei to Rollout 4G LTE Network in Belize Etisalat Nigeria Introduces Mobile 4G LTE Service in Nigeria Zantel to Unveil 4G Services in Tanzania Lenovo Unveils A2010 4G LTE Smartphone Micromax Introduces New 4G LTE Smartphones Etisalat Introduces 4G LTE Services in the Middle East 5. RECENT INDUSTRY ACTIVITY AT&T Collaborates with Honda North America Avago Technologies Acquires Broadcom KDDI Signs VoLTE Roaming Agreement with Verizon Qualcomm Signs Patent License Agreement with Lenovo Idea Cellular Selects Ericsson for 4G Upgrade Vodafone Teams Up with Afrimax Group U.S. Cellular to Add 4G LTE Cell Sites Mitel® Takes Over Mavenir Systems Sistema Shyam Teleservices to Merge with Reliance Communications MediaTek Extends Collaboration with Micromax Informatics SK Telecom Selects Broadcom 6. FOCUS ON SELECT GLOBAL PLAYERS 7. GLOBAL MARKET PERSPECTIVE For more information about this report visit http://www.researchandmarkets.com/research/lqtzws/4g_lte_long_term


News Article | February 21, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

Cancer diagnostics workflow solution provider Inspirata, Inc., is pleased to announce that Dr. Trevor Heritage has joined its executive team to lead the development and commercialization of its Cancer Information Data Trust (CIDT), a revolutionary system designed to provide insights to help improve the diagnosis and treatment of cancer. The CIDT addresses the need for curated and structured data among a wide range of users, including educators, physicians, patients, administrators, and academic and pharmaceutical researchers. Most recently Dr. Heritage has been focused on the application of genomics and next-generation sequencing in the clinical environment, building and commercializing products including Appistry’s CloudDx and GenomePilot with the specific goal of making genomics more approachable and actionable by clinicians and patients. In 2005, Dr. Heritage was awarded the St. Louis Business Journal “40 Under 40” Business Award. He is a leading author on more than 20 peer-reviewed scientific publications, and he has a U.S. patent. He has previously served as a reviewer for a number of peer-reviewed journals, and served on the Scientific Advisory Board for IBC Life Sciences and the University of the Indiana School of Informatics. He holds a PhD in Organic Chemistry and graduated with Honors in Chemistry and Computer Science from the University of Reading, England. “In his new role at Inspirata, Dr. Heritage will be focused on the development, delivery and commercial success of our innovative big data products for cancer,” says Inspirata CEO Satish Sanan. “This includes translational science, therapeutic discovery and clinical programs that offer the potential to improve the way in which cancer is diagnosed and treated.” “Throughout my career, I have been fortunate to engage with the world’s leading pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and chemicals research organizations, as well as leading academic medical centers and healthcare organizations all over the world,” says Dr. Heritage. “My new role at Inspirata affords me the opportunity to bring this experience to bear on delivering the best possible diagnostic decision support, treatment options, prognostic information and population health metrics to varied users of the CIDT.” About Inspirata, Inc. Inspirata®, Inc. offers the most comprehensive cancer diagnostics workflow solution available for precision diagnosis today. The solution, which employs a unique “solution-as-a-service” business and delivery model, accelerates anatomic and molecular pathology workflows and facilitates whole slide imaging and image analytics, prognostic and predictive assays, remote consultations and tumor boards. This comprehensive solution includes an Enterprise Service Bus (ESB) to help to solve interoperability issues and a Natural Language Processing Engine (NLP) for structuring data. This big data initiative will provide a wide range of users, including educators, physicians, patients, administrators, researchers and pharma, with curated and structured data related to diagnostic decision support, treatment options, prognostic information and population health metrics to help improve outcomes for cancer patients. For more information, please visit http://www.inspirata.com or contact info(at)inspirata(dot)com.


News Article | February 2, 2017
Site: www.realwire.com

Acquisition will strengthen and add scale to current commercialisation and medical affairs services LONDON, February 2, 2017 – PAREXEL International Corporation (NASDAQ: PRXL), a leading global biopharmaceutical services provider, today announced that the Company has entered into a definitive agreement to acquire The Medical Affairs Company, LLC (“TMAC”), a leading provider of outsourced medical affairs services to the pharmaceutical, biotechnology, and medical device industries. The acquisition is expected to close in February. Terms of the transaction were not disclosed. Founded in 2007, TMAC is a full-service contract medical organisation. TMAC offers strategic and tactical medical science liaison (MSLs) and clinical nurse educator support services in addition to medical affairs consulting, medical communications support, and direct placement services. TMAC is based in Kennesaw, Georgia, and has approximately 200 U.S.-based employees. Outsourcing medical affairs services presents a compelling option for biopharmaceutical companies as a way to reduce fixed costs. The increasingly complex nature of new products, and the need to demonstrate the therapeutic and reimbursement value of a product, is creating demand for credentialed healthcare professionals, such as MSLs, to lead clinically robust dialogues with key medical stakeholders on a peer-to-peer level. “The commercialisation-outsourcing market continues to grow as biopharmaceutical clients increasingly require medical affairs solutions to optimise awareness and understanding of their products in development or already on the market,” said Josef von Rickenbach, Chairman and CEO, PAREXEL. “As a company, we are focused on opportunities within commercialisation, market access, regulatory, pharmacovigilance, and medical outsourcing. With TMAC, PAREXEL will gain new and distinct medical affairs outsourcing capabilities that will strengthen and expand our commercialisation and market access offerings.” “We are excited to become a part of PAREXEL and offer our clients a comprehensive range of services delivered by a single company. Working together, PAREXEL and TMAC will deliver greater value to clients and meet evolving client needs, throughout the lifecycle of their products,” added Evan Demestihas, MD, RPh, Chief Executive Officer, TMAC. After the close of the acquisition, the TMAC management team will remain in place and continue to manage its employees and the services it currently provides to clients. About PAREXEL International PAREXEL International Corporation is a leading global biopharmaceutical services company, providing a broad range of expertise-based clinical research, consulting, medical communications, and technology solutions and services to the worldwide pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries. Committed to providing solutions that expedite time-to-market and peak-market penetration, PAREXEL has developed significant expertise across the development and commercialisation continuum, from drug development and regulatory consulting to clinical pharmacology, clinical trials management, and reimbursement. PAREXEL Informatics provides advanced technology solutions, including medical imaging, to facilitate the clinical development process. Headquartered near Boston, Massachusetts, PAREXEL has offices in 85 locations in 51 countries around the world, and had approximately 19,625 employees in the first quarter. For more information about PAREXEL International visit www.PAREXEL.com. PAREXEL and PAREXEL Informatics are trademarks or registered trademarks of PAREXEL International Corporation or its affiliates. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. This release contains “forward-looking” statements regarding future results and events, including, without limitation, statements regarding expected financial results, future growth and customer demand. For this purpose, any statements contained herein that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed forward-looking statements. Without limiting the foregoing, the words “believes,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “expects,” “intends,” “appears,” “estimates,” “projects,” “will,” “would,” “could,” “should,” “targets,” and similar expressions are also intended to identify forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements in this release involve a number of risks and uncertainties. The Company’s actual future results may differ materially from the results discussed in the forward-looking statements contained in this release. Important factors that might cause such a difference include, but are not limited to, risks associated with: actual operating performance; actual expense savings and other operating improvements resulting from restructurings, the loss, modification, or delay of contracts which would, among other things, adversely impact the Company’s recognition of revenue included in backlog; the Company’s dependence on certain industries and clients; the Company’s ability to win new business, manage growth and costs, and attract and retain employees; the Company’s ability to complete the acquisition of The Medical Affairs Company, LLC and additional acquisitions, and to integrate newly acquired businesses including the acquisitions of The Medical Affairs Company, LLC, ExecuPharm, Inc. and Health Advances, LLC, or enter into new lines of business; the impact on the Company’s business of government regulation of the drug, medical device and biotechnology industry; consolidation within the pharmaceutical industry and competition within the biopharmaceutical services industry; the potential for significant liability to clients and third parties; the potential adverse impact of health care reform; and the effects of foreign currency exchange rate fluctuations and other international economic, political, and other risks. Such factors and others are discussed more fully in the section entitled “Risk Factors” of the Company’s Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q, as filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which “Risk Factors” discussion is incorporated by reference in this press release. The Company specifically disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements in the future. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the Company’s estimates or views as of any date subsequent to the date of this press release.


News Article | February 16, 2017
Site: www.techrepublic.com

Want to use artificial intelligence (AI) to train autonomous drones and self-driving cars the way Microsoft does? Well, now you can. Microsoft recently shared its open source system for performing such trainings, including its AI-based platform AirSim. The project, called the Aerial Informatics and Robotics Platform, aims to provide simulation tools and resources to help in the training of robots, drones, and other hardware that can operate autonomously, according to a Microsoft blog post. By improving the way that these devices and vehicles can navigate their environment, the hope is that that can eventually shed their "emerging technology" title. By using virtual simulators, like AirSim, a team is able to collect valuable data and train the systems more efficiently before they take them out of the lab. "The aspirational goal is really to build systems that can operate in the real world," Ashish Kapoor, a Microsoft researcher, said in the post. SEE: Gallery: 10 self-flying auto-follow drones to take on your weekend adventures The problem with previous simulators is that they weren't accurate enough to properly train the systems, the post said. However, graphics advances and photorealistic technologies have improved the simulation, and have also improved the data that can be captured by computer vision programs. "The biggest advantage of this simulator is that it uses recent advances in computation and graphics to simulate the physics and perception such that the environment realistically reflects the actual world. Such realism can enable efficient training and testing of machine learned models by generating vast quantity of ground truth data," the research abstract said. AirSim was built on the Unreal Engine, and is available on GitHub through an open source license. The technology is also cross platform, and "supports hardware-in-loop with popular flight controllers such as Pixhawk for physically and visually realistic simulations. It is developed as an Unreal plugin that can simply be dropped [into] any Unreal environment you want," the GitHub page noted. The Aerial Informatics and Robotics Platform also provides a software library that assists developers in writing code for drones built on either the MavLink or DJI platform. Any autonomous technology that seeks to navigate its surrounding can work with this platform, the post noted. "I can actually use the same code base to fly a glider or drive a car," Kapoor said in the post. In open sourcing the project, the team hopes to help democratize the advancement of robotic and autonomous technologies. According to the post, Microsoft is hoping that it will help speed up the development of standard protocols and regulations as well.


Depression has a way of silencing its sufferers. Even in today's technology-connected society, people are hesitant to talk about their painful experiences and suffering for fear of being stigmatized. Though this has been the unfortunate norm for quite some time, new research from Drexel University is steadily uncovering the areas of social network sites where the sufferers are finding solace. In their latest finding Andrea Forte, PhD, an associate professor, and Nazanin Andalibi, a doctoral candidate in Drexel's College of Computing & Informatics who study how people interact on social media, have observed that one way people in pain are overcoming silence is by using Instagram -- and recruiting pictures to help them explain the feelings and experiences that are often too painful or complicated to put into words. The study, entitled "Sensitive Self-disclosures, Responses, and Social Support on Instagram: The Case of #Depression," which Andalibi and Forte co-authored with Pinar Ozturk, a doctoral candidate at Stevens Institute of Technology, suggests that some users view Instagram as a safe medium for sharing sensitive information about themselves and reaching out for help. Andalibi will present the research at the Association for Computing Machinery's International Conference on Computer-Supported Cooperative Work and Social Computing in February -- it has already earned honorable mention recognition in advance of the conference for its quality, novelty and potential impact. "Physical or mental health and body image concerns are stigmatized, rarely disclosed and frequently elicit negative responses when shared with others," the authors write. "We found that these disclosures, in addition to deep and detailed stories of one's difficult experiences, attract positive social support on Instagram." Forte and Andalibi had also observed this sort of self-disclosure and support-seeking behavior among Reddit users--suggesting that the relative anonymity provided by "throwaway" accounts on the forum allowed users to make sensitive disclosures, ask for and receive help. Previous studies had suggested that people avoid sharing their struggles with depression, eating disorders, abuse, mental health challenges and other sensitive issues, on social networks, such as Facebook -- for much the same reason they'd tend to avoid talking about these things in person: because of the stigma that's attached to them. So Forte and Andalibi's research on Reddit broke new ground in our understanding of social media use in stigmatized and sensitive contexts. It also pushed them to find how people were using other social network sites to reach out for support. "At the same time we were studying interactions on Reddit, we were also looking at Instagram because it is one of the most heavily used social media sites and also allows pseudonymous users, in contrary to Facebook that enforces real-name policies" Andalibi said. "And we wanted to see how people might behave differently on a more image-centric, rather than one that is driven solely by textual posts and comments." To investigate their theory Forte and Andalibi examined the responses to a sample of 800 Instagram posts pulled from more than 95,000 photos tagged with "#depression" that were posted by 24,920 unique users over the course of a month. Its findings indicate that not only are people using Instagram to make sensitive disclosures, but they are also getting mostly positive support from the people who respond to the posts, and little in the way of negative or aggressive comments. So the researchers set out to understand the ways that Instagrammers use pictures, captions and comments to signal this need to connect. Gathering posts with the "#depression" tag gave them a range of posts in which people were expressing their feelings, talking about their struggles and reaching out for support -- both in words and pictures. To explore the correlation between posts and the responses (comments and "likes") they receive, Forte and Andalibi organized them into categories based on the type of disclosures in the text and captions -- ranging from disclosures seeking some sort of social interaction to those expressing emotion. They also developed a method for coding the content of images inspired by visual sociology methods, by using context clues, and categorized the types of messages they were expressing -- things like concerns about looks, relationship problems, illness, suicidal thoughts and pictures of food and beverage that were often used to talk about eating disorders. After gaining an understanding of the general categories of posts that were tagged "#depression" Forte and Andalibi undertook a similar process to categorize the comments on the posts. Then, by using a statistical analysis method, they were able to discover what sorts of responses were most often elicited from particular types of posts. According to the paper, 41 percent of the posts that the researchers examined brought on comments expressing positive social support. Overall they found that "those who value feedback, engage in support seeking, or disclose sensitive concerns, do receive significantly more feedback." For example, they noted that posts seeking support and engagement about eating disorders, self-appearance and relationships are more likely to receive supportive comments -- not just "likes" -- than the same type of post that is not worded in a way that is seeking support or social engagement. These posts were also more likely to receive comments offering instrumental support such as how and where to get help. "Those in distress or with stigmatized identities, often need to express themselves and tell their stories, not only to potentially receive support or find similar others, but also to feel they are expressing themselves candidly, to make sense of their experiences, and to solidify their identities," they write. They noticed that the people who were willing to tell the story of their suffering -- rather than just posting a picture or implying that they have a problem -- seemed to get more supportive comments on their posts -- messages like "I know how that feels," "I have been there," or "You are strong and beautiful." According to the research, people whose posts disclosed an illness received more than twice as many supportive comments as the ones who did not specifically note that they had an illness. In the paper, Forte and Andalibi note that psychologists sometimes use visual imagery to help their patients express feelings and experiences that are difficult to put into words. Confirming that images on Instagram can serve a similar function in online social interactions is an important discovery. It means that there are specific corners of social media where people are turning to ask for help -- and this is tremendously valuable information for professional caregivers who seek to help the suffering. "The social risks associated with negative disclosures are real, and if people expose themselves to such risk at particularly vulnerable moments, they likely expect some important benefits from doing so," the authors write. "Finding social support is critical, and by sharing difficult experiences and emotions, people signal this need to others." Another important observation they made is that users who post about behaviors such as harming themselves or struggling with an eating disorder tend to receive comments that offer empathetic support and discourage the unhealthy behavior. According to the authors, someone who posts about their self-harming behaviors is equally likely to be greeted with comments such as, "I know how it is, it helps to hurt myself too" or "Please don't hurt yourself. You are strong and you can get through this." These are surprising observations given the fact that these disclosures could make the users targets for bullying among other negative commentary. "Self-harm is a way of coping with extreme negative feelings and gaining control that many keep as a secret, and find isolating. It is possible that finding others who engage or used to engage in the same behavior may be comforting for some," the authors write. "Our findings suggest that both kinds of reactions to self-harm disclosures are significant, and shed light on the nuances of these expressions." Similarly, users who disclosed eating disorders received comments that discouraged the behavior, offered constructive support and reinforced a positive self-image -- for example, "Please don't fast or look for ana tips. You are beautiful the way you are." It is very important, the researchers note, that eating disorder-related disclosures did not receive a significant number of comments that supported the harmful behavior. "Our findings complicate the concerns and the popular narrative that such online disclosures might encourage eating disorders or are inherently problematic," Andalibi said. "Statistically speaking, our findings suggest that when people share content about eating disorders, they do not receive many comments supportive of pro-disease behavior. Is Instagram used as a pro-eating disorder or a pro-self-harm community? We do not know yet. With this study, we are the first to detail the nuances of interactions around these sensitive disclosures. This is a necessary first step to understanding the impact of these interactions on Instagrammers. How posters perceive these comments, and how these comments and interactions influence their wellbeing and behavior is an important area for further research." Perhaps in a nod of acknowledgement to that this community exists on the site, last fall Instagram rolled out a suicide prevention tool that allows users to alert operators when they think someone might be in serious trouble. The operators are able to provide help or connect users with the information they need to find it. While this is a step in the right direction, according to Andalibi, it is only the first of many that need to be taken to truly reach these communities of users. "Social media platforms like Instagram, that people have adopted to connect with 'similar others' to share their difficult experiences, and seek and provide support, should explore ways to facilitate safe and supportive connections," Andalibi said. "Rather than diverting people away from these platforms, or making design decisions that would further stigmatize sensitive disclosures, they should work to foster these communities of support that are arising organically on their platform." For Forte and Andalibi, this research represents another step toward more fully understanding how social media is becoming interwoven into the ways people interact and express themselves, particularly in socially stigmatized or otherwise sensitive contexts. While in some ways, it is means for people turn away from external expression and communication with others, by better understanding how people use social networking sites, it can actually uncover very nuanced forms of communication that would not happen elsewhere. "It is very important to figure out what the needs of certain marginalized or stigmatized populations are, and how we could be more inclusive and considerate when we design social media," Andalibi said. "The period of thinking online platforms are not 'real-life' has passed, and these spaces can have meaningful impact on people's lives in many ways -- so we need to focus on design that can foster support and reduce abuse." They suggest that future research could continue to look at the effects of the interactions that result from the sensitive disclosures to figure out if the help and support being offered is having an impact.


News Article | February 24, 2017
Site: www.biosciencetechnology.com

A research team from the United States and Canada has developed and successfully tested new computational software that determines whether a human DNA sample includes an epigenetic add-on linked to cancer and other adverse health conditions. In the Feb. 20 issue of the journal Nature Methods, team members from Johns Hopkins University, the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research and the University of Toronto detailed their promising new method of detecting the presence of an extra mark on DNA called cytosine methylation. Cytosine is one of the four main genetic building blocks, or nucleotides, that make up DNA. Methylation simply refers to the presence of a biochemical (methyl) group attached to a nucleotide, in this case cytosine. This altered version of cytosine can affect the way important genes are switched on or off. Such genetic miscues can play havoc with healthy activity within cells. Examining these marks is important to researchers who are trying to pin down methylation's precise role in various health problems. But current methods of mapping methylation each have stubborn shortcomings, such as harsh handling of the DNA sample and the need to use particularly large and pre-treated tissue samples. The new software described in Nature Methods is used with a commercially available nanopore sequencing device. The authors say this technique will directly characterize DNA methylation from smaller tissue samples. "We show that with careful analysis of nanopore sequencing data we can extract this extra layer of information," said lead author Jared T. Simpson, a principal investigator in the Informatics and Bio-computing Program at the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research and an assistant professor of computer science at the University of Toronto. The international team's software is designed to work with an Oxford Nanopore Technologies MinION sequencer, roughly the size of a large USB thumb drive. When this unit is used, DNA is pulled through 512 extremely small holes, as an electric current passes through. Distinctive changes in the current as the DNA moves through the hole allow the software to identify the sequence of the DNA, and now the methylation marks on the DNA as well. In the Nature Methods paper, the researchers said they first used synthetically methylated DNA to "train" their software to distinguish between methylated cytosine and cytosine that lacks the crucial biochemical attachment. Team members then tested the software process on DNA samples derived from human breast cancer cells and successfully detected changes in methylation between cancer and normal samples. "This technique can read long pieces of DNA and see changes in the extent of methylation in the sample," said Winston Timp, an assistant professor of biomedical engineering at Johns Hopkins who supervised the research and was senior author of the journal article. "It let us look at how the changes in methylation appear on individual molecules as they pass through this pore." Such information is important, the researchers say, because faulty methylation is believed to play a role in birth defects and diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis, as well as cancer. "We already know," Timp said, "that methylation changes show up early in the development of cancer." He said more information about DNA methylation could be helpful in devising new ways to detect cancer at an earlier stage and developing new treatments that are targeted more precisely to a patient's genetic makeup. To help advance such research, the team members have made their nanopore sequencing software for detecting DNA methylation available on a free open-source basis at https://github.com/jts/nanopolish. "We've taken this line of research a critical step further ahead," Timp said. "My hope is that others in this field will begin using the software right away." "Congratulations to team members from Johns Hopkins University, the Ontario Institute for Cancer Research and the University of Toronto on their new gene sequencing software and findings," said Reza Moridi, Ontario's minister of research, innovation and science. "These new insights into DNA methylation could help lead to new and innovative ways to detect and treat cancer."


News Article | January 26, 2017
Site: www.realwire.com

Simplified, end-to-end solution will help biopharmaceutical clients provide compassionate access to their treatments for patients London, January 26, 2017 – PAREXEL International Corporation (NASDAQ: PRXL), a leading global biopharmaceutical services provider, today launched an expanded Managed Access Programs service. PAREXEL now offers end-to-end expertise for the design, development, and delivery of managed access programs to help biopharmaceutical companies provide access to investigational medical products for patients in need. Managed Access Programs provide use of an investigational medical product by a patient when enrollment in a clinical trial is not possible. Often called “Compassionate Use” or “Expanded Access,” these programs allow patients to obtain direct and rapid access to a therapy while regulatory or reimbursement processes are still ongoing. A treating physician or patient may request such access in the absence of comparable or satisfactory alternative therapy or when the investigational product presents less risk than the disease or condition for the patient. “Managed Access Programs can be complex to operationalise. They require expertise and experience in managing these types of programs as well as a global network to deliver these solutions with key agencies, regulators, local decision makers, and the medical community,” said Peggy Schrammel, Vice President, Managed Access Programs, PAREXEL. “PAREXEL’s unique configuration of simplified, end-to-end services for Managed Access Programs includes seasoned operational teams, global regulatory expertise, proprietary technology, and global clinical logistics.” In addition to designing all aspects of the program, PAREXEL clinical logistics experts manage the supply of the medicinal product, ensuring on-time delivery and ongoing availability of product for each enrolled patient on a worldwide basis. Leading global safety experts oversee all aspects of pharmacovigilance and reporting requirements of safety events, while market access experts help clients determine the utility of collected data for commercial and medical stakeholders as indications of real world value. PAREXEL’s expanded Managed Access Programs service is available around the world as part of the MyAccessProgramsTM platform, a proprietary technology of PAREXEL. The platform can support multiple Managed Access Programs for a client, including patient identification, physician enrollment, stakeholder communications management, and drug supply management. MyAccessProgramsTM platform also provides clients with real-time progress oversight. About PAREXEL International PAREXEL International Corporation is a leading global biopharmaceutical services company, providing a broad range of expertise-based clinical research, consulting, medical communications, and technology solutions and services to the worldwide pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device industries. Committed to providing solutions that expedite time-to-market and peak-market penetration, PAREXEL has developed significant expertise across the development and commercialization continuum, from drug development and regulatory consulting to clinical pharmacology, clinical trials management, and reimbursement. PAREXEL Informatics provides advanced technology solutions, including medical imaging, to facilitate the clinical development process. Headquartered near Boston, Massachusetts, PAREXEL has offices in 85 locations in 51 countries around the world, and had approximately 18,750 employees in the first quarter. For more information about PAREXEL International visit www.PAREXEL.com. PAREXEL and MyAccessPrograms are trademarks or registered trademarks of PAREXEL International Corporation or its affiliates. All other trademarks are the property of their respective owners. This release contains “forward-looking” statements regarding future results and events. For this purpose, any statements contained herein that are not statements of historical fact may be deemed forward-looking statements. Without limiting the foregoing, the words “believes,” “anticipates,” “plans,” “expects,” “intends,” “appears,” “estimates,” “projects,” “will,” “would,” “could,” “should,” “targets,” and similar expressions are also intended to identify forward-looking statements. The forward-looking statements in this release involve a number of risks and uncertainties. Such factors and others are discussed in the section entitled “Risk Factors” of the Company’s most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K and subsequent quarterly reports on Form 10-Q filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission, which “Risk Factors” discussion is incorporated by reference in this press release. The Company specifically disclaims any obligation to update these forward-looking statements in the future. These forward-looking statements should not be relied upon as representing the Company’s estimates or views as of any date subsequent to the date of this press release.


News Article | February 28, 2017
Site: www.prweb.com

With the help of rSmart®, Northern Kentucky University (NKU) will be able to provide students, faculty, and staff a more modern and intuitive way to find and access campus services and information. OneCampus, the cloud-based portal developed by rSmart, will allow the NKU community to easily connect to dozens of programs such as student services, academic support, NKU’s learning management system, and even transportation services, all in an online marketplace format. As NKU continues to grow, the university strives to maintain its vision of success, contribution, delivery, dedication, and effectiveness to nearly 14,000 students and 2,000 faculty and staff. The university’s ultimate goal is to ensure that all students not only graduate but also emerge into the leaders of tomorrow. With so many types of students at NKU – from traditional full-time to nontraditional part-time – the university required a streamlined system that is accessible to all. OneCampus from rSmart was selected for its ability to fit these needs and for the many innovative features that appeal to NKU students, parents, and faculty/staff user groups. “OneCampus offers users a task-based web service to help them navigate all of NKU’s programs and services, with a simple user interface that looks and feels like many of the popular online programs they are used to,” said Chris Cole, director of University Communications. “Plus they can do it from any device, and with one simple sign-on using their NKU credentials.” “Northern Kentucky has experienced phenomenal growth in recent years. Couple that with the exponential growth in apps, online programs, and services available to college students these days, NKU administrators knew they had to make a change,” said Tony Potts, CEO of rSmart. “OneCampus will allow the university to stay one step ahead of this growth and quickly expand their portal to foster student retention, increase enrollment, and help meet the ongoing needs of its students, faculty, and parents.” OneCampus has been implemented in dozens of schools across the country, serving nearly one million users at colleges and universities of all sizes. OneCampus is mobile-friendly and sits on top of existing systems, directing users to disparate services through a centralized point without affecting the underlying business units or processes; implementation and ongoing updates are fast and easy. Global Announcements, Alerts, and Google Analytics are just a few of the features popular with campus users. To learn more about OneCampus from rSmart or to schedule a product demo, visit http://www.rsmart.com. About Northern Kentucky University Northern Kentucky University is a major metropolitan university enrolling more than 14,000 associate, undergraduate, graduate, professional, and doctoral students in six colleges - the College of Arts and Sciences, the Haile/US Bank College of Business, the College of Education and Human Services, the College of Health Professions, the College of Informatics, and the Chase College of Law. Located just 7 minutes south of downtown Cincinnati, NKU's innovative academic programs and strong commitment to student success both in the classroom and beyond have helped the university earn the designation of one of America's Best Colleges by Forbes magazine for eight consecutive years. To learn more visit its website. About rSmart For more than 15 years, rSmart has been changing the way higher education thinks about technology by delivering solutions that reduce costs, improve productivity, and simplify the user experience. The OneCampus product is a lightweight, mobile-friendly technology that makes finding campus services faster and easier than ever. rSmart is privately held and headquartered in Scottsdale, AZ. To learn more, visit https://www.rsmart.com.

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