News Article | February 14, 2017
A breakthrough trial at the University of Minnesota testing a new UMN-developed drug resulted in improved survival rates for dogs diagnosed with a cancer called hemangiosarcoma (HSA). The results were published today in the journal Molecular Cancer Therapeutics. “This is likely the most significant advance in the treatment of canine HSA in the last three decades,” said study co-author Jaime Modiano, professor in the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine and member of the Masonic Cancer Center, University of Minnesota. Canine HSA is a common, aggressive, incurable sarcoma. It is remarkably similar to angiosarcoma, which affects humans. Both cancers typically spread before diagnosis and the survival time for affected patients is extremely short, even with aggressive treatment. Only 50% of humans diagnosed with angiosarcoma live longer than 16 months and the prognosis for dogs with HSA is similarly dire: less than 50% will survive 4-6 months and only about 10% will be alive one-year after their diagnosis. The study tested a drug called eBAT, invented by study senior author Daniel Vallera, professor at the University of Minnesota Medical School and Masonic Cancer Center. “eBAT was created to specifically target tumors while causing minimal damage to the immune system. HSA is a vascular cancer, meaning it forms from blood vessels. eBAT was selected for this trial because it can simultaneously target the tumor and its vascular system,” said Vallera. Traditional cancer treatments have side effects that can be very hard on patients. “In this trial we aimed for a sweet spot by identifying a dose of eBAT that was effective to treat the cancer, but caused no appreciable harm to the patient. Essentially we’re treating the cancer in a safer and more effective way, improving quality of life and providing a better chance at survival,” lead study author Antonella Borgatti, associate professor with the University of Minnesota College of Veterinary Medicine said. eBAT was tested on 23 dogs of various breeds, both large and small, with HSA of the spleen. Dogs received three treatments of eBAT after surgery to remove the tumor and before conventional chemotherapy. The drug treatment improved the 6-month survival rate to approximately 70%. Furthermore, five of the 23 dogs that received eBAT treatment lived more than 450 days. The positive results for canine patients, the similarities between this cancer and angiosarcoma in humans, and the fact that many other tumor types can be targeted by eBAT, make a strong case for translating this drug into clinical trials for human cancer patients. The researchers want these results to bring hope to those touched by this disease. “This drug was invented, developed, manufactured, and tested and showed positive results at the University of Minnesota. We would also like this drug to achieve positive outcomes for humans here,” Modiano said. “The ultimate goal for all of us is to create a world in which we no longer fear cancer,” Modiano said. This project is an example of the remarkable progress that is being made through collaborations among the multiple colleges and schools within the University of Minnesota’s Academic Health Center. Funding was provided by many sources, including various foundations and individuals along with the National Institutes of Health, showing the broad interest in identifying cures for these devastating cancers.
News Article | February 15, 2017
Immunotherapies have revolutionized cancer treatment, offering hope to those whose malignancies have stubbornly survived other existing treatments. Yet solid tumor cancers are often resistant to these approaches. New findings from a University of Pennsylvania-led team untangle one of the ways tumors evade immune detection and show how immunotherapies can be modified to tackle even these solid tumors. The focus of the study was the protein type I interferon receptor IFNAR1, which is activated by interferon, a molecule that is known to fight cancers and is itself a treatment for cancer, infections and other conditions. When a tumor forms, the hypoxic environment of its fast-growing mass leads to a reduction in levels of the interferon receptor on T cells. This reduction precipitates the T cells' demise, thus creating an environment where cancer cells can survive and reproduce unchecked. "We found that this downregulation of the receptor is required for the generation of immune-privileged niches in the tumor microenvironment," said Serge Y. Fuchs, a professor of cell biology in Penn's School of Veterinary Medicine, director of the school's Mari Lowe Center for Comparative Oncology and senior author on the study. "Accordingly, this decreases the efficacy of immune therapies. So, if we can reverse that, then we'll probably improve the outcome of treatment." Fuchs collaborated on the work with Penn Vet's Kanstantsin V. Katlinski, Jun Gui, Yuliya V. Katlinskaya, Angelica Ortiz, Riddhita Chakraborty, Sabyasachi Bhattacharya, Christopher J. Carbone, Daniel P. Beiting and Ellen Puré; Priya Chatterji, Anil K. Rustgi and Constantinos Koumenis of Penn's Perelman School of Medicine; the Medical College of Wisconsin's Melanie A. Girondo, Amy R. Peck and Hallgeir Rui; and the Medical University of South Carolina's J. Alan Diehl. The work appears in the journal Cancer Cell. Fuchs' laboratory has long been intrigued by IFNAR1, a receptor that plays an important role in cancers, inflammation, autoimmune diseases and viral infections. Most cellular receptors are subject to a negative feedback loop; when their corresponding extracellular molecule activate the receptor, it triggers a pathway that then leads to that receptor being reduced, presumably to avoid the cell being overloaded with signaling through that pathway. Yet about a decade ago, Fuchs and colleagues discovered that IFNAR1 is downregulated not only upon activation with interferon but also through another pathway that robs the cells of their ability to recognize interferon. "And when we found that some of the stimuli that can remove IFNAR1 from the cell surface are similar to those that occur in the tumor microenvironment," Fuchs said, "we became curious if the loss of the receptor happens in the tumors." Solid tumors present a stressful environment. They grow so rapidly that blood-vessel growth can't keep up, thus cells deep inside tumors are often left wanting for oxygen or nutrients like glucose and amino acids. At the same time, researchers including study author Koumenis had found that immune-related genes dropped in expression in the deep tumor microenvironment, creating what is referred to as an immune-privileged niche. In the current work, the research team investigated whether IFNAR1 was involved in this dip in immunity, looking specifically at colorectal cancer, a disease that does not respond well to immunotherapies. Examining tissue samples from people with colorectal cancer, the researchers found dramatic differences in IFNAR1 protein levels between normal and cancerous tissue; the cancer cells showed complete or near-complete loss of the protein. This loss was also associated with poorer outcomes in patients. The researchers then turned to mice to determine exactly how IFNAR1 loss related to tumor growth. Mice with a form of colorectal cancer had a corresponding decline in IFNAR1 protein, but those bred to have a form of IFNAR1 resistant to degradation had fewer tumors. The researchers next used a model in which mice received a transplant of tumor cells. While tumors grew on genetically normal mice, mice with the degradation-resistant IFNAR1 either rejected the tumor cells or displayed a delay in tumor growth. Because T cells are known to be able to fight tumors, the researchers looked at T cell levels in mice with the degradation-resistant form of IFNAR1 compared to the normal mice and found that the latter group had significantly reduced numbers of a number of immune cells, including so-called "killer" T cells, inside the tumors. Further experiments confirmed that the downregulation of IFNAR1 on T cells greatly decreased the cells' ability to survive in the tumor microenvironment. This discovery helps explain why immunotherapies based on genetically engineering T cells have low efficacy in solid tumor cancers: they simply can't survive long enough to have an effect against the cancer cells. To put their findings into action, the researchers tweaked the typical T cell immunotherapy approach by stabilizing IFNAR1 in the transferred T cells by inactivating or inhibiting the enzymes normally involved in degrading the receptor. This was able to restore levels of the receptor in the cytotoxic T lymphocytes, increasing their numbers inside the tumors, where they had a strong anti-tumorigenic effect. "Based on that we were able to make a better immunotherapy," said Fuchs. He and colleagues are working to develop a model where they could use a drug to stabilize the receptors and are also investigating a way to put a stabilized receptor into a CAR-T cell therapy. "Technically it's not very simple, but it should be feasible," Fuchs said. "And that would be very, very sweet." The research was supported by the National Institutes of Health.
News Article | March 2, 2017
WASHINGTON, March 2, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ -- The AVMA welcomes the introduction of S. 487, the Veterinary Medicine Loan Repayment Program Enhancement Act (VMLRPEA), by Senators Mike Crapo (R-Idaho) and Debbie Stabenow (D-Mich.). This bill will increase funding available for grants...
News Article | March 2, 2017
A core set of genes involved in the responses of honey bees to multiple diseases caused by viruses and parasites has been identified by an international team of researchers. The findings provide a better-defined starting point for future studies of honey-bee health, and may help scientists and beekeepers breed honey bees that are more resilient to stress. "In the past decade, honey-bee populations have experienced severe and persistent losses across the Northern Hemisphere, mainly due to the effects of pathogens, such as fungi and viruses," said Vincent Doublet, postdoctoral research fellow, University of Exeter. "The genes that we identified offer new possibilities for the generation of honey-bee stocks that are resistant to these pathogens." According to the researchers, recent advances in DNA sequencing have prompted numerous investigations of the genes involved in honey-bee responses to pathogens. Yet, until now, this vast quantity of data has been too cumbersome and idiosyncratic to reveal overarching patterns in honey-bee immunity. "While many studies have used genomic approaches to understand how bees respond to viruses and parasites, it has been difficult to compare across these studies to find the core genes and pathways that help the bee fight off stressors," said Distinguished Professor of Entomology Christina Grozinger, Penn State. "Our team created a new bioinformatics tool that has enabled us to integrate information from 19 different genomic datasets to identify the key genes involved in honey bees' response to diseases." Specifically, the team of 28 researchers, representing eight countries, created a new statistical technique, called directed rank-product analysis. The technique allowed them to identify the genes that were expressed similarly across the 19 datasets, rather than just the genes that were expressed more than others within a dataset. The scientists found that these similarly expressed genes included those that encode proteins responsible for the response to tissue damage by pathogens, and those that encode enzymes involved in the metabolism of carbohydrates from food, among many others. A decrease in carbohydrate metabolism, they suggested, may illustrate the cost of the infection on the organism. The researchers report their findings in today's (Mar. 2) issue of BMC Genomics. "Honey bees were thought to respond to different disease organisms in entirely different ways, but we have learned that they mostly rely on a core set of genes that they turn on or off in response to any major pathogenic challenge," said Robert Paxton, professor of zoology, German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research. "We can now explore the physiological mechanisms by which pathogens overcome their honey-bee hosts, and how honey bees can fight back against those pathogens." The implications of the findings are not limited to honey bees. The team found that the core genes are part of conserved pathways -- meaning they have been maintained throughout the course of evolution among insects and therefore are shared by other insects. According to Doublet, this means that the genes provide important knowledge for understanding pathogen interactions with other insects, such as bumble bees, and for using pathogens to control insect pests, such as aphids and certain moths. "This analysis provides unprecedented insight into the mechanisms that underpin the interactions between insects and their pathogens," said Doublet. "With this analysis, we generated a list of genes that will likely be an important source for future functional studies, for breeding more resilient honey-bee stocks and for controlling emerging bee diseases." This research was supported by iDiv, the German Center for Integrative Biodiversity Research, located in Leipzig, Germany. Other authors on the paper include Yvonne Poeschl, German Centre for Integrative Biodiversity Research; Andreas Gogol-Döring, Technische Hochschule Mittelhessen; Cédric Alaux, INRA; Desiderato Annoscia, Università degli Studi di Udine; Christian Aurori, University of Agricultural Sciences and Veterinary Medicine of Cluj-Napoca; Seth Barribeau, University of Liverpool; Oscar Bedoya-Reina, University of Edinburgh; Mark Brown, Royal Holloway University of London; James Bull, Swansea University; Michelle Flenniken, Montana State University; David Galbraith, Penn State; Elke Genersch, Institute for Bee Research of Hohen Neuendorf; Sebastian Gisder, Institute for Bee Research of Hohen Neuendorf; Ivo Grosse, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg; Holly Holt, University of Minnesota; Dan Hultmark, Umeå University; H. Michael G. Lattorff, International Centre of Insect Physiology and Ecology; Yves Le Conte, INRA; Fabio Manfredini, Royal Holloway University of London; Dino McMahon, Freie Universität Berlin; Robin Moritz, Martin Luther University Halle-Wittenberg; Francesco Nazzi, Università degli Studi di Udine; Elina Niño, University of California, Davis; Katja Nowick, University of Leipzig; and Ronald van Rij, Radboud University.
News Article | March 2, 2017
Zika, an emerging flavivirus classified in the same family as West Nile, yellow fever and dengue, could be carried by a higher number of mosquito species than previously estimated, recent studies have shown. According to a new paper published on Feb. 27 in the journal eLife, 26 new potential vector species have been identified, seven of which can be found in the continental United States. This raises the total number of mosquito species that could transmit the Zika virus to 35. The updated vector candidate list, which includes Culex quinquefasciatus and Cx. Pipiens, was established via an advanced predictive model that links Zika to prospective mosquito species that could infect the human population. This novelty research project, developed through the collaborative work of the University of Georgia and the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies, analyzed a series of trait combinations from both the virus and the vectors to predict which species were most likely to carry and spread Zika. Similar methods of investigation have been successfully used in the past with other species of wildlife to predict reservoirs of infection. "What we've done is to draw up a list of potential vector candidates based on the associations with viruses that they've had in the past as well as other traits that are specific to that species," explained study co-author Courtney C. Murdock, assistant professor in the UGA School of Veterinary Medicine and Odum School of Ecology. The research showed that certain traits had a much greater role in establishing a correlation between the virus and its vectors, namely the number of species that can carry the virus, their subgenus, the continents where these species are found, and the number of viruses they could spread. The study's conclusions are crucial considering Zika's rapid transmission rates and the major public health concerns the virus is currently posing. Consequently, the researchers point out that all vector species need to be further investigated to prevent the spread of the virus, with emphasis on the seven newly identified ones that occur in the continental U.S. Michelle V. Evans, lead author of the study and doctoral student in ecology and conservation at UGA, recommends that these seven particular mosquito species be fast-tracked in terms of study priority. Evans added that the mosquitoes' ability to act as a vector for the virus is just one of the disease risk factors that should be considered. Since there are many other important factors to scrutinize, Evans stresses the necessity of corroborating their research through additional extensive studies, focusing on the seven prioritized vector species. © 2017 Tech Times, All rights reserved. Do not reproduce without permission.
News Article | February 15, 2017
SAN FRANCISCO--(BUSINESS WIRE)--Jaguar Animal Health, Inc. (NASDAQ: JAGX) (“Jaguar”), an animal health company focused on developing and commercializing first-in-class gastrointestinal products for companion and production animals, foals, and high value horses, announced today the publication of a study titled “Prophylactic use of a standardized botanical extract for the prevention of naturally occurring diarrhea in newborn Holstein calves” in the official journal of the American Dairy Science Association, Journal of Dairy Science—a leading peer-reviewed general dairy research journal. The study was conducted by researchers from Cornell University College of Veterinary Medicine (Cornell). Jaguar plans to launch the prophylactic formulation of Neonorm Calf this year in powder form for administration in liquid. Neonorm™ Calf, one of Jaguar’s lead non-prescription products, has been formulated and clinically tested to help proactively retain fluid in dairy calves and reduce the severity of diarrhea—aiding the animals in avoiding debilitating, dangerous levels of dehydration associated with scours. The powder form of the product allows for ease of administration for herd-wide management. The objectives of this study were to evaluate the prophylactic use of SB-300, the standardized botanical extract in Neonorm™ Calf, on reducing fecal water loss and diarrhea events in Holstein bull calves individually housed under a restricted whole-milk feeding regimen (6 liters/day) from 1 to 25 days of life. A double-blinded randomized clinical trial was designed to allocate a total of 40 newborn calves into 1 of 2 treatment groups: 20 calves received (twice daily) a solution containing 500 mg of SB-300 added to whole milk for the first 15 days of life, and the other 20 calves received sterile water added to whole milk for the same period. Treatment solutions had a total volume of 10 mL per treatment. Data regarding fecal dry matter were collected to precisely measure water content in fecal samples and to define diarrhea events. The group treated with SB-300 had significantly increased fecal dry matter during the study period compared with calves in the control group. Additionally, significantly fewer events of diarrhea were observed for calves in the group treated with SB-300 (16.9%) compared with calves in the control group (46.5%). Dehydration status was evaluated and treated accordingly; calves with moderate dehydration were offered oral electrolytes, and calves with severe dehydration were rescued with intravenous fluid therapy. Calves in the SB-300 group had fewer intravenous fluid therapies administered during the study period (1.6%) compared with the control group (3.1%). Overall fluid therapy administered (oral electrolytes plus intravenous fluids) was significantly higher for the control group (9.2%) compared with the SB-300 group (6.1%) during the study period. “These results suggest that 500 mg of SB-300 added to the milk for 15 days can reduce the incidence of diarrhea and reduce severe dehydration in milk-fed calves,” stated Dr. Andre Gustavo Teixeira of Cornell, the principal investigator of the study. “The results appear to support the potential prophylactic benefits of an easy-to-administer powder formulation of Neonorm™ Calf on reducing the incidence and severity of diarrhea and associated fluid therapy in calves.” The study results complement the results of a prior study, also conducted by Jaguar in association with Cornell, that evaluated the effect of Neonorm™ Calf on diarrhea severity and consistency in newborn Holstein bull calves experiencing diarrhea induced by enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli (E. coli). The results of this earlier study were published in Journal of Dairy Science in 2015. Additionally, the positive prophylactic effect of the powder formulation of Neonorm™ in calves supports and underscores the prophylaxis data generated by the piglet studies of the powder formulation of Neonorm™ conducted in 2016 in China by Chinese investigators. As the most common disease in newborn pigs1, diarrhea has a significant impact on the global swine market as well as food security. As Jaguar announced in September 2016, the Company has signed an exclusive supply and distribution agreement for Croton lechleri botanical extract with Fresno, California-based Integrated Animal Nutrition and Health Inc. for dairy cattle and pigs in the Chinese marketplace. “The standardized botanical extract in Neonorm™ Calf is sustainably derived from the Amazonian tree species, Croton lechleri, and has a rich history of medicinal use by indigenous peoples in the Northwestern Amazon rainforests of South America,” commented Dr. Steven King, Jaguar’s Executive Vice President of Sustainable Supply, Ethnobotanical Research and IP. “In recognition of this, the study recently published in Journal of Dairy Science acknowledges the ethnomedical expertise of the indigenous peoples of the Northwestern Amazon region who discovered how to use the latex of Croton lechleri for the treatment of diarrhea and other gastrointestinal conditions.” Neonatal calf diarrhea is a multifactorial disease that can be caused by infectious and noninfectious factors. In a report from the United States Department of Agriculture’s 2010 National Animal Health Monitoring System study, diarrhea was the most common disorder affecting preweaned dairy heifers, with a nationwide incidence of almost 19%, and was the leading cause of death in preweaned heifers. As announced last week, Jaguar has entered into a binding agreement of terms to merge with Napo Pharmaceuticals, Inc. (“Napo”). Napo’s proprietary, patented gastrointestinal compound, crofelemer, is a first-in-class anti-secretory agent sustainably harvested from the rainforest. In October 2016, Napo launched Mytesi™, a human drug approved by the U.S. FDA for the symptomatic relief of noninfectious diarrhea in adults with HIV/AIDS on antiretroviral therapy. Crofelemer is the active pharmaceutical ingredient (API) in Mytesi™ and also the API in Canalevia™, Jaguar’s lead prescription drug product candidate for companion animals, which is being evaluated for treatment of various forms of diarrhea in dogs. “We’ve now seen benefit in Neonorm™, as well as in our drug and drug product candidates at Napo and Jaguar—Mytesi™ and Canalevia™, respectively,” commented Lisa Conte, president, CEO and founder of both Jaguar Animal Health and Napo. “The results of the recently completed Neonorm™ study at Cornell further highlight the common benefit, the common mechanism of action, and the common site of disease—all of which are highly conserved across all mammals.” Mytesi™ (crofelemer 125mg delayed-release tablets) is an antidiarrheal indicated for the symptomatic relief of noninfectious diarrhea in adult patients with HIV/AIDS on antiretroviral therapy (ART). Mytesi™ is not indicated for the treatment of infectious diarrhea. Rule out infectious etiologies of diarrhea before starting Mytesi™. If infectious etiologies are not considered, there is a risk that patients with infectious etiologies will not receive the appropriate therapy and their disease may worsen. In clinical studies, the most common adverse reactions occurring at a rate greater than placebo were upper respiratory tract infection (5.7%), bronchitis (3.9%), cough (3.5%), flatulence (3.1%), and increased bilirubin (3.1%). Please see complete Prescribing Information available at Mytesi.com Jaguar Animal Health, Inc. is an animal health company focused on developing and commercializing first-in-class gastrointestinal products for companion and production animals, foals, and high value horses. Canalevia™ is Jaguar’s lead prescription drug product candidate, intended for the treatment of various forms of diarrhea in dogs. Equilevia™ (formerly referred to as SB-300) is Jaguar’s prescription drug product candidate for the treatment of gastrointestinal ulcers in horses. Canalevia™ and Equilevia™ contain ingredients isolated and purified from the Croton lechleri tree, which is sustainably harvested. Neonorm™ Calf and Neonorm™ Foal are the Company’s lead non-prescription products. Neonorm™ is a standardized botanical extract derived from the Croton lechleri tree. Canalevia™ and Neonorm™ are distinct products that act at the same last step in a physiological pathway generally present in mammals. Jaguar has nine active investigational new animal drug applications, or INADs, filed with the FDA and intends to develop species-specific formulations of Neonorm™ in six additional target species, formulations of Equilevia™ in horses, and Canalevia™ for cats and dogs. For more information, please visit www.jaguaranimalhealth.com. Certain statements in this press release constitute “forward-looking statements.” These include statements regarding Jaguar’s plans to launch the prophylactic formulation of Neonorm Calf this year in powder form for administration in liquid, the Company’s intention to develop formulations of SB-300 in horses and species-specific formulations of Neonorm™ in additional target species, and the Company’s plan to develop formulations of Canalevia™ for cats and dogs. In some cases, you can identify forward-looking statements by terms such as “may,” “will,” “should,” “expect,” “plan,” “aim,” “anticipate,” “could,” “intend,” “target,” “project,” “contemplate,” “believe,” “estimate,” “predict,” “potential” or “continue” or the negative of these terms or other similar expressions. The forward-looking statements in this release are only predictions. Jaguar has based these forward-looking statements largely on its current expectations and projections about future events. These forward-looking statements speak only as of the date of this release and are subject to a number of risks, uncertainties and assumptions, some of which cannot be predicted or quantified and some of which are beyond Jaguar’s control. Except as required by applicable law, Jaguar does not plan to publicly update or revise any forward-looking statements contained herein, whether as a result of any new information, future events, changed circumstances or otherwise.
News Article | February 27, 2017
The structures that organize this microscopic traffic jam are no longer invisible, thanks to Colorado State University researchers. A multidisciplinary team of single-molecule biophysicists and biochemists have shed light on a long-obscured cellular process: a mammalian cell membrane's relationship with a scaffolding underneath it, the cortical actin cytoskeleton. For the first time, the CSU team has made real-time observations of this cytoskeleton acting as a barrier that organizes proteins on the cell's surface, effectively playing traffic cop on the cell's membrane activities. The breakthrough visualization and analysis of this most fundamental biological process - how a cell membrane interacts with its intracellular environment and controls cellular functions - was jointly achieved by the labs of Diego Krapf, associate professor of electrical and computer engineering and biomedical engineering, and Michael Tamkun, professor of biomedical sciences in the College of Veterinary Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, and of biochemistry, in the College of Natural Sciences. The researchers' study will appear in a forthcoming edition of Physical Review X, with first author Sanaz Sadegh, a Ph.D. student in Krapf's lab. In their study, the researchers used a powerful superresolution imaging technology called photoactivated localization microscopy (PALM), which, by circumventing the natural diffraction limit of light, allows scientists to take crisp pictures and videos of biological processes at the nanoscale. Superresolution microscopy was the subject of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. The CSU researchers focused on the movements of potassium ion channels, a type of protein critical to cellular functions on the cell surface, and how these ion channels interact with the cortical actin cytoskeleton. The cytoskeleton is a spider-web-like network of filaments just under the cell membrane that gives the cell some of its shape and structure. Scientists had previously hypothesized that the cytoskeleton plays a critical role in helping the membrane proteins that stud the cell surface organize themselves and transmit signals to keep the cell healthy and functioning. But visually capturing this actin-protein interaction in live cells had been impossible. "Proteins on the cell surface, like ion channels, have a lot of mass that hangs down into the cell," Tamkun explained. "It's that intracellular mass that collides with the actin network." Using a custom-designed superresolution microscope, the researchers made movies that captured the exact moments when the ion channels collided with the actin network. What's more, they performed statistical analysis on these movements to provide evidence of the actin's key structural elements. The cortical actin network in a cell is a fractal, which means it is structurally similar at varying length scales. "The fractal nature of the actin network explains our measurements," Sadegh said. "It leads us to question why we see so many fractals in nature. Is it an efficient way to organize functions? It's an interesting question for future studies." The CSU researchers' analysis showed that the cell membrane proteins' random movements exhibit sophisticated patterns. Among their observations was that the proteins tended to bounce back into the places they had previously visited. For the first time, the CSU researchers offered statistical and visual evidence that this bounce-back is directly caused by the actin's fractal nature. The chief technical challenge was achieving high-resolution images in very short time bursts, according to Krapf. "If we wait 10 seconds, the cell cytoskeleton changes, so we need to image it fast. We were employing two-second intervals, and within those seconds we needed to obtain a spatial resolution high enough to see collisions between individual membrane proteins and the actin structure." The researchers want to understand everything about the cell membrane, because that's how the cell communicates with its outside environment, and it may hold the key to disease progression and other aspects of human health. "It's important for us to understand how the cell organizes its membrane to keep things in the places they need to be," Sadegh said. She suggested that future studies could focus on specific sites on the membrane - for example, where endocytosis takes place - and how the actin network regulates localized activity.
News Article | February 16, 2017
DOWNERS GROVE, Ill.--(BUSINESS WIRE)--DeVry Education Group (NYSE:DV), a leading global education provider, today announced that its board of directors has approved its tenth share repurchase program, which allows DeVry Group to repurchase up to $300 million of its common stock through December 31, 2020. In conjunction with the new program, which replaces DeVry Group’s previously approved $100 million share repurchase authorization, the company will cease its bi-annual cash dividend payment. “The significant expansion of our share repurchase program reflects our improved financial performance and our board’s confidence in our strategic direction as well as our focus on delivering increased returns to our owners,” said Lisa Wardell, president and CEO of DeVry Education Group. “We remain committed to balancing our capital allocation efforts with the goal of enhancing academic quality, supporting our growth objectives and consistently delivering value to our shareholders.” The timing and amount of any repurchase will be determined by management and the board based on evaluation of market conditions and other factors. These repurchases may be made through the open market, including block purchases, in privately negotiated transactions, or otherwise. The repurchases will be funded through available cash balances and/or borrowings, and may be suspended or discontinued at any time. Since 1931 DeVry Education Group has empowered its students to achieve their educational and career goals. DeVry Education Group Inc. (NYSE: DV; member S&P MidCap 400 Index) is a leading global education provider and the parent organization of American University of the Caribbean School of Medicine, Becker Professional Education, Carrington College, Chamberlain College of Nursing, DeVry Education of Brazil, DeVry University and its Keller Graduate School of Management, Ross University School of Medicine and Ross University School of Veterinary Medicine. For more information, please visit www.devryeducationgroup.com. Certain statements contained in this release concerning DeVry Group's future performance, including those statements concerning DeVry Group's expectations or plans, may constitute forward-looking statements subject to the Safe Harbor Provision of the Private Securities Litigation Reform Act of 1995. These forward-looking statements generally can be identified by phrases such as DeVry Group or its management "believes," "expects," "anticipates," "foresees," "forecasts," "estimates" or other words or phrases of similar import. Actual results may differ materially from those projected or implied by these forward-looking statements. Potential risks, uncertainties and other factors that could cause results to differ are described more fully in Item 1A, "Risk Factors," in DeVry Group's most recent Annual Report on Form 10-K for the year ending June 30, 2016 and filed with the Securities and Exchange Commission (SEC) on August 25, 2016 and its most recent Quarterly Report on Form 10-Q for the quarter ending December 31, 2016 and filed with the SEC on February 2, 2017.
News Article | February 15, 2017
Tough economic times create greater demand for the University of Calgary service learning initiative CALGARY, AB--(Marketwired - February 09, 2017) - The University of Calgary Faculty of Veterinary Medicine (UCVM), in partnership with CUPS, is offering a series of pet wellness clinics to CUPS clients living below the poverty line. Third year UCVM students will provide free preventative health care for the pets of clients of the social agency, while honing their professional and communication skills and gaining experience with clients. The current economic climate makes the initiative all the more crucial for CUPS clients. "The economic downturn has increased the need for CUPS in general," says Amanda St. Laurent, manager of community development and engagement at CUPS. "For those with pets, this means that accessing veterinary care becomes incredibly difficult if not impossible." The primary purpose of the program is to provide veterinary students an opportunity to interact with clients and their animals in a closely supervised situation. In exchange for spending approximately an hour with UCVM students, CUPS clients are not charged for the health visit. Students have the opportunity to take what they learned in the classroom out into the real world. With a veterinarian coaching them, the students do preventative medicine, deworming, vaccines, nutrition education and wellness education. Dr. Serge Chalhoub, with UCVM, calls it a win-win-win situation, where veterinary students, pets and clients all benefit. "It's about service learning," says Chalhoub, who, along with Dr. Jack Wilson, championed a pilot project two years ago that was so successful it is now part of the third-year curriculum. "Students learn by doing and also by doing in the community for real clients and pets." "The UCVM clinics are a huge success," says St. Laurent. "For some clients, pets offer the only regular contact they have and help them overcome the social isolation and loneliness that accompany profound poverty. They are incredibly grateful for the care and information provided and the phone now rings all year round in hopes of getting in. We would love to see the day when this is offered year round, and we are so happy to be a part of it." NOTE: Dr. Serge Chalhoub, Amanda St. Laurent, UCVM students and CUPS clients and their pets will be available to the media on Thursday, February 9, at 12:15 p.m. at CUPS, 1001 10 Ave SW, Calgary. About the University of Calgary The University of Calgary is making tremendous progress on its journey to become one of Canada's top five research universities, where research and innovative teaching go hand in hand, and where we fully engage the communities we both serve and lead. This strategy is called Eyes High, inspired by the university's Gaelic motto, which translates as 'I will lift up my eyes.' For more information, visit ucalgary.ca. Stay up to date with University of Calgary news headlines on Twitter @UCalgary. For details on faculties and how to reach experts go to our media center at ucalgary.ca/mediacentre
News Article | February 21, 2017
New Rochelle, NY, February 21, 2017-The mosquito-borne Zika virus might be able to infect and reproduce in a variety of common animal species, and a new study looked at 16 different types of animals, including goats, pigeons, raccoons, and ducks, to determine their potential to serve as hosts for Zika virus. Understanding possible transmission routes and the role that animal infections could play in the transmission and spread of Zika virus is crucial for effective surveillance and prevention efforts, as described in an article published in Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, a peer-reviewed journal from Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers. The article is available free on the Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases website. In the article entitled "Investigating the Potential Role of North American Animals as Hosts for Zika Virus," coauthors Izabela Ragan, Kansas State University College of Veterinary Medicine (Manhattan, KS), and Emily Blizzard, Paul Gordy, and Richard Bowen, Colorado State University (Fort Collins, CO) report on their experimental infection of animals common in North America. The researchers tested the animals' blood for the presence of infectious virus and antibodies to Zika virus. "This paper answers a very important question regarding the potential role of non-primate vertebrates in the transmission cycle of Zika virus," says Stephen Higgs, PhD, Editor-in-Chief of Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases, and Director, Biosecurity Research Institute, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS. "It is vitally important to understand the potential for the virus to be transmitted outside of a human-mosquito cycle. The possibility that domesticated or wild animals living in close proximity to humans might serve as an unseen reservoir for Zika virus would have a great impact on our ability to control Zika virus in an urban environment." Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases is an authoritative peer-reviewed journal published monthly online with open access options and in print dedicated to diseases transmitted to humans by insects or animals. Led by says Stephen Higgs, Ph.D., Director, Biosecurity Research Institute, Kansas State University, Manhattan, KS, the Journal covers a widespread group of vector and zoonotic-borne diseases including bacterial, chlamydial, rickettsial, viral, and parasitic zoonoses and provides a unique platform for basic and applied disease research. The Journal also examines geographic, seasonal, and other risk factors that influence the transmission, diagnosis, management, and prevention of zoonotic diseases that pose a threat to public health worldwide. Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases is the official journal of SocZEE, the Society for Zoonotic Ecology and Epidemiology. Complete tables of content and a sample issue may be viewed on the Vector-Borne and Zoonotic Diseases website. Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers is a privately, held, fully integrated media company known for establishing authoritative peer-reviewed journals in many promising areas of science and biomedical research, including Viral Immunology, Health Security, and Foodborne Pathogens and Disease. Its biotechnology trade magazine, GEN (Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News), was the first in its field and is today the industry's most widely read publication worldwide. A complete list of the firm's 80 journals, books, and newsmagazines is available on the Mary Ann Liebert, Inc., publishers website.