News Article | February 16, 2017
PITTSBURGH--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Knopp Biosciences LLC today announced that the National Institutes of Health Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network has awarded the company a grant under the Small Business Innovation Research (SBIR) program to advance novel treatments for epilepsy. Terms of the grant provide the potential for up to $2.5 million of direct support based on milestone attainment. The award supports Knopp’s preclinical and clinical development of small-molecule drug candidates directed to a validated, anti-seizure pharmaceutical target known as Kv7.2. Knopp expects initially to advance novel Kv7 activators in neonatal epileptic encephalopathy associated with a rare mutation in the KCNQ2 gene. These mutations cause severe epilepsy and profound developmental disability in newborns and infants, for whom conventional anti-seizure medications are insufficient or ineffective. Steven Dworetzky, PhD., Knopp’s Chief Scientific Officer and the Principal Investigator in the Blueprint-funded project, is a longtime Kv7 researcher whose group first cloned the Kv7.2 gene during his former tenure with the Bristol-Myers Squibb Co. “ This award comes not just with significant direct support but with access to top collaborators in the Blueprint Neurotherapeutics Network, who are committed to the discovery of disease-modifying treatments for the underlying causes of epilepsy,” he said. “ We already see evidence that our Blueprint collaboration will accelerate our move into human studies in challenging indications, including KCNQ2 encephalopathy and treatment-resistant, generalized epilepsy syndromes.” Knopp Biosciences, based in Pittsburgh, PA, USA, is a privately held drug discovery and development company focused on delivering breakthrough treatments for inflammatory and neurological diseases of high unmet need in clearly defined patient populations. Our clinical-stage small molecule, dexpramipexole, will be entering Phase 2/3 clinical studies in hypereosinophilic syndromes and Phase 2 clinical studies in eosinophilic asthma. Our preclinical platform is directed to small molecule treatments for neonatal epileptic encephalopathy, a devastating brain disorder of infants caused by a rare mutation in the KCNQ2 gene. For more information, see www.knoppbio.com. Knopp’s Kv7 research is supported under Award Number U44NS093160 of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke of the National Institutes of Health (NIH). The content of this announcement is solely the responsibility of Knopp and does not necessarily represent the views of the NIH. This press release contains "forward-looking statements," including statements relating to planned regulatory filings and clinical development programs for dexpramipexole. All forward-looking statements are based on management's current assumptions and expectations and involve risks, uncertainties and other important factors, specifically including the uncertainties inherent in clinical trials and product development programs, the availability of funding to support continued research and studies, the availability or potential availability of alternative therapies or treatments, the availability of patent protection for the discoveries and strategic alliances, as well as additional factors that may cause Knopp's actual results to differ from our expectations. There can be no assurance that dexpramipexole will be successfully developed or manufactured or that final results of clinical studies will be supportive of regulatory approvals required to market the product. Knopp undertakes no obligation to update or revise any such forward-looking statements, whether as a result of new information, future events or otherwise. Knopp's pipeline consists of investigational drug products that have not been approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. These investigational drug products are still undergoing clinical study to verify their safety and effectiveness.
News Article | February 15, 2017
February 13, 2017 -- A study just released by Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health reports on the health of American women who were deployed to Vietnam for either military or civilian service. The results show that 48 percent of career military women were very happy compared to 38 percent of women in the general population, and of better than average physical and mental health. The study is the first study to describe the experiences of civilian women deployed to a warzone, compare them to those of military women and match the patterns of general health and happiness for women deployed to Vietnam with a representative sample of their peers. Findings are published online in the journal Social Science & Medicine--Population Health. In addition to positive aspects of service, adverse effects were also noted. Women who served less than 10 years in the military were more likely to report their Vietnam experience as "highly stressful" (28 percent) compared to career military women who served more than 20 years (12 percent) and civilian women (13 percent). They cited such stressors as poor living and working conditions, exposure to the consequences of war, physical threat, negative interpersonal experiences (including rape and sexual harassment), and drug and alcohol problems. About 265,000 women served in the U.S. military during the Vietnam Era, with as many as 11,000 deployed to Vietnam but not formally assigned combat roles. Nonetheless, they were deployed to combat zones where they experienced warzone stressors and hostile fire. "Our results suggest that a military career--which by military rules in force during the Vietnam era, precluded a woman from typical wife and mother roles--afforded women a meaningful experience that continued to positively impact their emotional well-being, even decades after the war," said Jeanne Mager Stellman, PhD, professor emerita of Health Policy and Management and senior author. Career military women who never had children also reported being happier than the average American woman. "Women who volunteered and went to Vietnam in the 1960s may have done so as a way of breaking away from the traditional roles assigned to women in the United States during that time, and they seem to have continued on a different trajectory in post-war years," said Dr. Stellman. Collaborating with the Vietnam Women's Memorial Project, Dr. Stellman and colleagues at the VA National Center for PTSD, VA Boston Healthcare System and Boston University School of Medicine also compared civilian women, primarily American Red Cross workers, to military women and studied how warzone experiences, exposure to casualties and sexual harassment, affected their current health. They also compared the deployed women to women of comparable age in the General Social Survey, a widely used representative study of Americans. Both military and civilian women who served in Vietnam, regardless of whether they continued to make the military their career, were less likely to have married or have had children than women from the general population. Deployment to Vietnam for both military and civilian women had other positive aspects. Many women reported satisfaction from their work with the wounded troops and civilians in Vietnam. Those who served as nurses, in particular, commented that they were given much more responsibility in their positions while in Vietnam than they would have had in a similar civilian job in the U. S. An earlier paper by Dr. Stellman and the Boston-VA based group evaluated the psychological well-being of approximately 1,300 female military personnel, Red Cross workers, and others deployed to Vietnam. "Our new study underscores the benefits of a military career for those women who chose it," noted Dr. Stellman. "Entering military service or volunteering for civilian activities in a warzone offered an opportunity for talented women to establish careers, and rise to high ranks and achieve positions that would be impossible in the civilian world. In addition, career military women in general, lived in a supportive community that was knowledgeable and sympathetic to their work. What we learned from this study can help to improve the experiences and well-being of current and future generations of female military personnel," noted Dr. Stellman. Co-authors include Anica Pless Kaiser and Eve H. Davison, Veteran Affairs A National Center for PTSD, Veteran Affairs Boston Healthcare System and Boston University School of Medicine; Avron Spiro III, Massachusetts Veterans Epidemiology Research and Information Center, VA Boston Healthcare System and Boston University Schools of Public Health and Medicine; Daniel H. Kabat, Mailman School of Public Health, now Gold Health Strategies, Inc. The study was supported by the National Academy of Sciences (NAS-VA-5124-98-001), National Institute on Aging (R24-AG039343), and U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs (IK2 RX001832-01A2. Founded in 1922, Columbia University's Mailman School of Public Health pursues an agenda of research, education, and service to address the critical and complex public health issues affecting New Yorkers, the nation and the world. The Mailman School is the third largest recipient of NIH grants among schools of public health. Its over 450 multi-disciplinary faculty members work in more than 100 countries around the world, addressing such issues as preventing infectious and chronic diseases, environmental health, maternal and child health, health policy, climate change & health, and public health preparedness. It is a leader in public health education with over 1,300 graduate students from more than 40 nations pursuing a variety of master's and doctoral degree programs. The Mailman School is also home to numerous world-renowned research centers including ICAP (formerly the International Center for AIDS Care and Treatment Programs) and the Center for Infection and Immunity. For more information, please visit http://www. .
News Article | February 15, 2017
Iron oxide particles have been largely used as negative (dark) contrast agents, but radiologists vastly prefer positive (light) contrast agents such as gadolinium-based agents, as negative contrast can sometimes be difficult to distinguish from certain imaging artifacts and internal bleeding. But while the gadolinium-based agents have become the standard, evidence shows that in some very rare cases they can lead to an untreatable condition called nephrogenic systemic fibrosis, which can be fatal. In addition, evidence now shows that the gadolinium can build up in the brain, and although no effects of this buildup have yet been demonstrated, the FDA is investigating it for potential harm. “Over the last decade, more and more side effects have come to light” from the gadolinium agents, Bruns says, so that led the research team to search for alternatives. “None of these issues exist for iron oxide,” at least none that have yet been detected, he says. The key new finding by this team was to combine two existing techniques: making very tiny particles of iron oxide, and attaching certain molecules (called surface ligands) to the outsides of these particles to optimize their characteristics. The iron oxide inorganic core is small enough to produce a pronounced positive contrast in MRI, and the zwitterionic surface ligand, which was recently developed by Wei and coworkers in the Bawendi research group, makes the iron oxide particles water-soluble, compact, and biocompatible. The combination of a very tiny iron oxide core and an ultrathin ligand shell leads to a total hydrodynamic diameter of 4.7 nanometers, below the 5.5-nanometer renal clearance threshold. This means that the coated iron oxide should quickly clear through the kidneys and not accumulate. This renal clearance property is an important feature where the particles perform comparably to gadolinium-based contrast agents. Now that initial tests have demonstrated the particles’ effectiveness as contrast agents, Wei and Bruns say the next step will be to do further toxicology testing to show the particles’ safety, and to continue to improve the characteristics of the material. “It’s not perfect. We have more work to do,” Bruns says. But because iron oxide has been used for so long and in so many ways, even as an iron supplement, any negative effects could likely be treated by well-established protocols, the researchers say. If all goes well, the team is considering setting up a startup company to bring the material to production. For some patients who are currently excluded from getting MRIs because of potential side effects of gadolinium, the new agents “could allow those patients to be eligible again” for the procedure, Bruns says. And, if it does turn out that the accumulation of gadolinium in the brain has negative effects, an overall phase-out of gadolinium for such uses could be needed. “If that turned out to be the case, this could potentially be a complete replacement,” he says. Ralph Weissleder, a physician at Massachusetts General Hospital who was not involved in this work, says, “The work is of high interest, given the limitations of gadolinium-based contrast agents, which typically have short vascular half-lives and may be contraindicated in renally compromised patients.” The research team included researchers in MIT’s chemistry, biological engineering, nuclear science and engineering, brain and cognitive sciences, and materials science and engineering departments and its program in Health Sciences and Technology; and at the University Medical Center Hamburg-Eppendorf; Brown University; and the Massachusetts General Hospital. It was supported by the MIT-Harvard NIH Center for Cancer Nanotechnology, the Army Research Office through MIT’s Institute for Soldier Nanotechnologies, the NIH-funded Laser Biomedical Research Center, the MIT Deshpande Center, and the European Union Seventh Framework Program.
News Article | January 21, 2017
Zika Virus - What You Should Know The adverse health effects of synthetic chemicals usually found in common household or agricultural products like insecticides are being revealed. A new research from the University at Buffalo adds another reason why it's best to steer clear from these types of chemicals at all cost. Insecticides are actually a type of pesticide specific to insects. They are frequently used in agriculture, industrial, public health, and household setting to ward off or totally eliminate undesirable bugs, such as roaches, mosquitoes, and termites. Other forms of pesticides include herbicides (non-beneficial plants or weeds), fungicides (molds, mildew, and rust), rodenticides (rats, mice, gophers), algaecides (algae), disinfectants and antimicrobials (bacteria and viruses). Insecticides are available in various formulations and ways of applications. Some of these include sprays, baits, and slow-release diffusion. According to EPA, the most commonly used insecticides are the organophosphates, pyrethroids, and carbamates. Based on a 2001 report by the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) insecticides accounted for 12 percent of total pesticides applied to the surveyed crops. Corn and cotton, on the other hand, account for the largest shares of insecticide use in the United States. A study published in Chemical Research in Toxicology discovered alarming health consequences humans are at risk of when exposed to active chemical ingredients in insecticides. "No one was thinking that the melatonin system was affected by these compounds, but that's what our research shows," Marina Popovska-Gorevski, co-author, now a scientist with Boehringer Ingelheim Pharmaceuticals, stated. "We found that both insecticides are structurally similar to melatonin and that both showed affinity for the melatonin, MT2 receptors, that can potentially affect glucose homeostasis and insulin secretion," Popovska-Gorevski said. "That means that exposure to them could put people at higher risk for diabetes and also affect sleeping patterns," she added. Funded by a grant from the National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences, under the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the study centers on two chemicals: carbaryl (which despite being banned in many countries, is currently the third most extensively used insecticide in the United States), and carbofuran (which is considered as the most lethal carbamate insecticide prohibited from all forms of applications on food crops for human consumption since 2009). Pesticides are everywhere, but with a conscious effort, it's possible to reduce risks of being exposed to them. Go for green and chemical-free alternatives when addressing pest issues at home or garden. Opt for organic fruits and vegetables. Diet plays a big part, too, since most crops in the country are notorious for being heavily sprayed with chemical fertilizers and pesticides. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
News Article | February 15, 2017
This first-of-its-kind study used MRIs to image the brains of infants, and then researchers used brain measurements and a computer algorithm to accurately predict autism before symptoms set in CHAPEL HILL, NC - Using magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) in infants with older siblings with autism, researchers from around the country were able to correctly predict 80 percent of those infants who would later meet criteria for autism at two years of age. The study, published today in Nature, is the first to show it is possible to identify which infants - among those with older siblings with autism - will be diagnosed with autism at 24 months of age. "Our study shows that early brain development biomarkers could be very useful in identifying babies at the highest risk for autism before behavioral symptoms emerge," said senior author Joseph Piven, MD, the Thomas E. Castelloe Distinguished Professor of Psychiatry at the University of North Carolina-Chapel Hill. "Typically, the earliest an autism diagnosis can be made is between ages two and three. But for babies with older autistic siblings, our imaging approach may help predict during the first year of life which babies are most likely to receive an autism diagnosis at 24 months." This research project included hundreds of children from across the country and was led by researchers at the Carolina Institute for Developmental Disabilities (CIDD) at the University of North Carolina, where Piven is director. The project's other clinical sites included the University of Washington, Washington University in St. Louis, and The Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. Other key collaborators are McGill University, the University of Alberta, the University of Minnesota, the College of Charleston, and New York University. "This study could not have been completed without a major commitment from these families, many of whom flew in to be part of this," said first author Heather Hazlett, PhD, assistant professor of psychiatry at the UNC School of Medicine and a CIDD researcher. "We are still enrolling families for this study, and we hope to begin work on a similar project to replicate our findings." People with Autism Spectrum Disorder (or ASD) have characteristic social deficits and demonstrate a range of ritualistic, repetitive and stereotyped behaviors. It is estimated that one out of 68 children develop autism in the United States. For infants with older siblings with autism, the risk may be as high as 20 out of every 100 births. There are about 3 million people with autism in the United States and tens of millions around the world. Despite much research, it has been impossible to identify those at ultra-high risk for autism prior to 24 months of age, which is the earliest time when the hallmark behavioral characteristics of ASD can be observed and a diagnosis made in most children. For this Nature study, Piven, Hazlett, and researchers from around the country conducted MRI scans of infants at six, 12, and 24 months of age. They found that the babies who developed autism experienced a hyper-expansion of brain surface area from six to 12 months, as compared to babies who had an older sibling with autism but did not themselves show evidence of the condition at 24 months of age. Increased growth rate of surface area in the first year of life was linked to increased growth rate of overall brain volume in the second year of life. Brain overgrowth was tied to the emergence of autistic social deficits in the second year. Previous behavioral studies of infants who later developed autism - who had older siblings with autism -revealed that social behaviors typical of autism emerge during the second year of life. The researchers then took these data - MRIs of brain volume, surface area, cortical thickness at 6 and 12 months of age, and sex of the infants - and used a computer program to identify a way to classify babies most likely to meet criteria for autism at 24 months of age. The computer program developed the best algorithm to accomplish this, and the researchers applied the algorithm to a separate set of study participants. The researchers found that brain differences at 6 and 12 months of age in infants with older siblings with autism correctly predicted eight out of ten infants who would later meet criteria for autism at 24 months of age in comparison to those infants with older ASD siblings who did not meet criteria for autism at 24 months. "This means we potentially can identify infants who will later develop autism, before the symptoms of autism begin to consolidate into a diagnosis," Piven said. If parents have a child with autism and then have a second child, such a test might be clinically useful in identifying infants at highest risk for developing this condition. The idea would be to then intervene 'pre-symptomatically' before the emergence of the defining symptoms of autism. Research could then begin to examine the effect of interventions on children during a period before the syndrome is present and when the brain is most malleable. Such interventions may have a greater chance of improving outcomes than treatments started after diagnosis. "Putting this into the larger context of neuroscience research and treatment, there is currently a big push within the field of neurodegenerative diseases to be able to detect the biomarkers of these conditions before patients are diagnosed, at a time when preventive efforts are possible," Piven said. "In Parkinson's for instance, we know that once a person is diagnosed, they've already lost a substantial portion of the dopamine receptors in their brain, making treatment less effective." Piven said the idea with autism is similar; once autism is diagnosed at age 2-3 years, the brain has already begun to change substantially. "We haven't had a way to detect the biomarkers of autism before the condition sets in and symptoms develop," he said. "Now we have very promising leads that suggest this may in fact be possible." For this research, NIH funding was provided by the Eunice Kennedy Shriver National Institute of Child Health and Human Development (NICHD), the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH), and the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering. Autism Speaks and the Simons Foundation contributed additional support.
News Article | February 8, 2017
Jobs that involve carrying heavy loads — with effects seen stronger among overweight, obese, and older women — and working night or rotating shifts could reduce a woman’s fertility, a new study has warned. A team from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health made a link between reproductive capacity and these occupational factors, but the underlying cause remains unknown. Yet women who are in a reproductive age and are actively trying to conceive should consider these findings, according to the researchers. The team studied almost 500 women who sought infertility treatment at Massachusetts General Hospital from 2004 to 2015, and compared their jobs’ physical demand and schedules against four specific biomarkers, or genes in the body, associated with fecundity or the ability to reproduce. These biomarkers are the number of immature eggs in the body and mature eggs that can develop into healthy embryos, as well as levels of follicle-stimulating hormone (FSH) and estrogen. The results: the heavier the lifting or moving of heavy objects at work, the lower the amount of antral follicles and eggs. Those who reported lifting heavy objects had 8.8 percent fewer eggs and 14.1 percent fewer mature eggs versus those who never lifted or moved heavy stuff around. This was discovered more pronounced among subjects who were overweight, obese, and ages 37 and above. Working at night or on rotating shifts, too, also appeared inversely related to the number of eggs. The team speculated it may be related to the disruption of one’s body clock or circadian rhythm. "Our study is the first to show that occupational heavy lifting and non-day shifts may be adversely affecting egg production and quality, rather than accelerating ovarian aging,” explained senior author Audrey Gaskins in a statement, also pointing to a disrupted stress-response system brought about by factors like obesity. Reproductive endocrinologist Channa Jayasena, who was not part of the study, said that the study was interesting but there should be a bigger sample size than the less than 500 used in the research. “You need a study in the thousands,” he told CNN, also citing the need to consider differences including socioeconomic status and testosterone levels in the women. Jayasena, however, agreed with the researchers that circadian rhythm may be at play in the differences found in shift work, with each body part — including the ovaries — having its own circadian rhythm. Previous research has reflected the potential ills of shift work, including a greater risk of obesity and heart disease. The findings were discussed Feb. 7 in the journal Occupational and Environmental Medicine. A separate study from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) pinpointed obesity as a factor influencing a couple’s ability to conceive. It showed that if both the partners are obese, then the couple may take almost 55 percent to 59 percent more time to conceive compared to non-obese couples. In most cases, obesity is tied to less successful fertility treatments. Thus experts are urged to make couples conscious of body compositions and weight issues that affect pregnancy during counseling sessions. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
News Article | March 2, 2017
Une étude multicentrique va commencer aux États-Unis et en Europe au quatrième trimestre 2017 ST. LOUIS, 2 mars 2017 /PRNewswire/ -- MediBeacon Inc, une société de portefeuille intégrée à la plateforme Pansend Life Sciences de HC2 Holdings, Inc. (NYSE MKT : HCHC), a annoncé aujourd'hui la clôture réussie d'une étude clinique portant sur des patients souffrant d'insuffisance rénale. L'étude été menée en temps réel au service d'hématologie de l'Université Washington à St. Louis. Au cours de l'étude clinique, on a évalué la fonction rénale de patients affichant toute la gamme des insuffisances : depuis le débit normal jusqu'à l'insuffisance rénale chronique sévère (MRC de stade 4). L'étude comprenait également des patients de l'hôpital universitaire de Saint-Louis. Pour évaluer le taux de filtration glomérulaire (« GFR »), MediBeacon a recours à un capteur optique cutané associé à un agent breveté qui brille en présence de lumière. Le système a été conçu pour fournir aux cliniciens une surveillance continue en temps réel de la fonction rénale sans nécessiter de prise de sang. « La conclusion de notre étude clinique sur des patients souffrant d'insuffisance rénale représente une étape importante », a déclaré Steve Hanley, PDG de MediBeacon. « Nous prévoyons commencer notre étude clinique multicentrique dans des centres situés aux États-Unis et en Europe au cours du quatrième trimestre 2017 ». Les échantillons sanguins prélevés dans la pratique clinique actuelle fournissent des estimations différées et souffrent d'une variabilité qui peut conduire à des inexactitudes. « Les méthodes d'évaluation de la fonction rénale n'ont pas changé en 25 ans », a ajouté le Dr Richard Solomon, « Patrick Professor of medecine » et directeur, Division de néphrologie et d'hypertension artérielle à l'École de médecine de l'Université du Vermont. « Le système de thérapie ponctuelle de MediBeacon pourrait représenter une percée majeure pour évaluer la fonction rénale ». « Les progrès que MediBeacon continue à faire dans la validation de leur technologie nous enthousiasment au plus haut point », a ajouté Philip Falcone, PDG et chef de la direction de HC2. « À terme, les innovations de MediBeacon offrent le potentiel d'améliorer les soins thérapeutiques et de réduire les coûts du système de soins de santé ». Des applications technologiques de MediBeacon sont en cours d'évaluation dans les domaines des soins rénaux, de la perméabilité gastro-intestinale et de l'angiographie optique. Le portefeuille de propriété intellectuelle (PI) de la société compte 29 brevets américains accordés, et 17 demandes de brevet. En septembre 2016, MediBeacon a reçu une subvention du National Eye Institute (NEI), une institution membre des National Institutes of Health (NIH). La subvention porte le numéro R43EY027207. Grâce à ce soutien, la Société poursuit des recherches sur l'utilisation d'un agent fluorescent traceur MediBeacon pour visualiser la vascularisation oculaire. En octobre 2016, en collaboration avec l'Université Washington, MediBeacon a reçu, de la Fondation Bill & Melinda Gates, une subvention de 1,1 million USD pour un projet de recherche visant à mieux analyser la malnutrition infantile et ses problèmes connexes, y compris le retard de croissance. La mission de MediBeacon est de commercialiser des agents de diagnostic optiques biocompatibles pour la surveillance physiologique, le guidage chirurgical, et l'imagerie des pathologies dans la population humaine. La propriété intellectuelle de MediBeacon contient plusieurs concepts de produits conçus pour ces domaines. Le portefeuille de MediBeacon comprend un système d'évaluation de la fonction rénale qui utilise un capteur optique cutané associé à un traceur fluorescent exclusif qui brille en présence de lumière. Actuellement en cours d'évaluation chez l'être humain, ce système est conçu pour fournir aux cliniciens une surveillance continue en temps réel de la fonction rénale d'un patient. Vous en saurez plus sur MediBeacon en consultant le site www.medibeacon.com HC2 Holdings, Inc. (NYSE : HCHC), une société de portefeuille diversifiée, cotée en bourse, cherche à acquérir et à développer des entreprises attrayantes susceptibles de générer à terme des flux de trésorerie disponibles et d'offrir un rendement maximal à toutes les parties prenantes. HC2 gère un large éventail de filiales en exploitation dans de très nombreux secteurs, dont les suivants : fabrication, services maritimes, services publics, télécommunications, sciences de la vie, assurances et autres. Parmi les principales filiales d'exploitation de HC2, figurent DBM Global Inc., un groupe de sociétés fournissant des services entièrement intégrés de constructions en acier et structurelles, et Global Marine Systems Limited, un fournisseur leader de services d'ingénierie et de maintenance pour câbles sous-marins. Fondée en 1994, HC2 a établi son siège social à New York, New York. Vous en saurez plus sur HC2 et ses sociétés de portefeuille en consultant le site www.hc2.com
News Article | February 15, 2017
A giant black hole ripped apart a nearby star and then continued to feed off its remains for close to a decade, according to research led by the University of New Hampshire. This black hole meal is more than 10 times longer than any other previous episode of a star's death. "We have witnessed a star's spectacular and prolonged demise," said Dacheng Lin, a research scientist at UNH's Space Science Center and the study's lead author. "Dozens of these so-called tidal disruption events have been detected since the 1990s, but none that remained bright for nearly as long as this one." Using data from a trio of orbiting X-ray telescopes, NASA's Chandra X-ray Observatory and Swift Satellite as well as ESA's XMM-Newton, researchers found evidence of a massive "tidal disruption event" (TDE). Tidal forces, due to the intense gravity from the black hole, can destroy an object - such as a star - that wanders too close. During a TDE, some of the stellar debris is flung outward at high speeds, while the rest falls toward the black hole. As it travels inward, and is ingested by the black hole, the material heats up to millions of degrees and generates a distinct X-ray flare. These multiwavelength flares, which can be viewed by the satellites, help to study otherwise dormant massive back holes. Previous flares were short-lived, typically becoming very faint in a year, but this super-long X-ray flare has been persistently bright for close to a decade. The extraordinary long bright phase of this TDE means that either this was the most massive star ever to be torn apart during one of these events, or the first where a smaller star was completely torn apart. The X-ray source containing this force-fed black hole, known by its abbreviated name of XJ1500+0154, is located in a small galaxy about 1.8 billion light years from Earth. The X-ray data also indicates that radiation from material surrounding this black hole has consistently surpassed the so-called Eddington limit, defined by a balance between the outward pressure of radiation from the hot gas and the inward pull of the gravity of the black hole. The conclusion that supermassive black holes can grow, from TDEs and perhaps other means, at rates above those corresponding to the Eddington limit has important implications. Such rapid growth may help explain how supermassive black holes were able to reach masses about a billion times higher than the sun when the universe was only about a billion years old. Based on the modeling by the researchers the black hole's feeding supply should be significantly reduced in the next decade and begin to fade in the next several years. A paper describing these results appears in the February 6th issue of the journal Nature Astronomy. http://www.nature.com/articles/s41550-016-0033 The University of New Hampshire is a flagship research university that inspires innovation and transforms lives in our state, nation and world. More than 16,000 students from all 50 states and 71 countries engage with an award-winning faculty in top ranked programs in business, engineering, law, liberal arts and the sciences across more than 200 programs of study. UNH's research portfolio includes partnerships with NASA, NOAA, NSF and NIH, receiving more than $100 million in competitive external funding every year to further explore and define the frontiers of land, sea and space. Please follow SpaceRef on Twitter and Like us on Facebook.
News Article | February 21, 2017
SUNNYVALE, Calif.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--OptraSCAN announces today it has launched a Fluorescent Whole Slide Imaging scanner for fluorescence microscopy at Molecular Med Tri Conference (MMTC) in San Francisco, as part of its On-Demand Subscription model for molecular pathologists, neuroscientists and cell biologists. OptraSCAN is exhibiting its new Fluorescent scanner (OS-FL) at this week’s MMTC, booth #115, and will be holding a workshop, “Cost-effective Fluorescent and Brightfield Scanning in the Cloud,” Tuesday, 2/21, at 3:40 p.m. in the Digital Pathology track, presented by consulting Chief Medical Officer Dr. Clive Taylor. The small footprint OS-FL Fluorescent WSI scanner provides digital scanning of fluorescence slides to traditional microscopy users. The OS-FL scanner is equipped with five filter cubes and supports both fluorescent and brightfield scanning. The scanner offers 15 or 120-slide scanning capacity, a 20X and 40X objective lens, cloud-enabled image management and 10 TB of cloud storage. Users can access OptraSCAN’s On-Demand model offering an affordable monthly rate with no upfront costs, or an outright purchase. The OS-FL scanner includes the cloud-enabled ImagePath™ image viewing and management system and telepathology TELEPath™; and is also compatible with optional On-Demand image analysis OptraASSAYS™ and CARDS™, and CLOUDPath™ cloud-enabled LIMS through Salesforce’s Health Cloud offering. “The global fluorescence microscopy market value is projected to be at over $500M by 2018,” says OptraSCAN founder and CEO Abhi Gholap. “Demand will continue to grow at over 10% annually due to the steady stream of new instrumentation being developed. The applications of fluorescent imaging are centered on biological research, and include neuroscience and cell biology.” OptraSCAN was also recently chosen by the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke (NINDS), NIH to provide a confocal and widefield fluorescence scanner with high-speed, high-throughput, high-capacity and high-content digital imaging, that seamlessly integrates with image acquisition, image processing and quantitative image analysis software. OptraSCAN (www.optrascan.com) for research-use-only, is the first On-Demand Digital Pathology system to provide a comprehensive, affordable end-to-end Digital Pathology solution for both low-volume and high-throughput users. OptraSCAN™ serves as a perfect tool for the transition from conventional microscopy to Digital Pathology for the effective acquisition of Whole Slide images, viewing, sharing, analysis and management of digital slides and associated metadata. Focused on delivering fully integrated Digital Pathology solutions that maximize quality, efficiency and throughput of its customers’ pathology labs (at minimized cost), paired with a complementary Whole Slide image scanner and viewer—Optra Systems facilitates a complete Whole Slide Image solution system via an on-demand pay-per-use program. Follow OptraSCAN on Linkedin and Twitter.
News Article | February 22, 2017
In a study led by Barbara Driscoll, PhD, of The Saban Research Institute of Children's Hospital Los Angeles, researchers demonstrate, for the first time that inhaled resveratrol treatments slow aging-related degenerative changes in mouse lung. Lung aging, characterized by airspace enlargement and decreasing lung function, is a significant risk factor for chronic human lung diseases. The study is published online in the journal Thorax. "We believe that ours is the first study to demonstrate a beneficial effect of lung-directed resveratrol treatments on aging lung function," said Driscoll. Resveratrol (RSL), a chemical found in red wine, is an antimicrobial chemical substance produced by plants to protect against infection and stress-related changes. It has previously been shown to support muscle metabolism when delivered orally. RSL prophylaxis by inhalation was a novel measure taken by the research team as a potential approach for slowing age-related deterioration of lung function and structure by preserving alveolar epithelial type 2 cells (AEC2) which line alveoli (the tiny air sacs in the lungs through which the exchange of oxygen and carbon dioxide takes place) and produce surfactant which is vital for efficient breathing. In healthy young adults, breathing is an essential, efficient process, but natural aging of the lung occurs at a steady and irreversible rate, as measured by a decline in lung function. This natural deterioration leads to a significantly reduced quality of life, over a time frame dependent on genetic and environmental factors. Although some available therapies can ameliorate symptoms, aging-related lung failure is generally irreversible and is accompanied by high rates of morbidity and mortality due to increased disease risk, including development of COPD, with accompanying emphysema and chronic bronchitis. Using a rapidly aging mouse model, the research team investigated whether the accumulation of age-related degenerative changes in the lung could be slowed by inhaled RSL. Treatment cohorts received either RSL or vehicle by intratracheal (IT) instillation monthly for three months. One month following the final treatment, whole lung function and injury-related gene expression in AEC2 were assessed. The research team found that inhaled, prophylactic resveratrol treatments can slow the rate of lung function decline, alveolar enlargement and alveolar epithelial type 2 cell DNA damage that occurs in the early stages of lung aging. They concluded that administration of resveratrol directly to the lungs may be an effective intervention for lung aging, which is a significant risk factor for development of chronic lung disease. "While the natural deterioration of the human lung generally occurs over decades, the injury to lung cells is analogous to the lung cell damage that occurs in premature infants who experience respiratory distress before their lungs have fully developed," added Driscoll. "Identifying a way to protect and strengthen young lungs before significant damage occurs is the goal of our research." Other contributors to the study include Sonia Navarro, Raghava Reddy, Jooeun Lee, and David Warburton, OBE, DSc, MD, of the Developmental Biology and Regenerative Medicine research program of The Saban Research Institute of Children's Hospital Los Angeles. The research was supported by NIH/NHLBI R01 HL65352, the Pasadena Guild Endowment, the Garland Fund, and NIH/NIDCR T90 training grant DE021982. Children's Hospital Los Angeles has been named the best children's hospital in California and among the top 10 in the nation for clinical excellence with its selection to the prestigious U.S. News & World Report Honor Roll. Children's Hospital is home to The Saban Research Institute, one of the largest and most productive pediatric research facilities in the United States. Children's Hospital is also one of America's premier teaching hospitals through its affiliation since 1932 with the Keck School of Medicine of the University of Southern California. For more information, visit CHLA.org. Follow us on Twitter, Facebook, YouTube and LinkedIn, or visit our blog at http://researchlablog. .