Month: October 2016

National MS Society Invests Over $10.5 Million To Stop Multiple Sclerosis

NEW YORK, Oct. 11, 2016 – The National Multiple Sclerosis Society has committed more than $10.5 million to support an expected 42 new MS research projects. These are part of a comprehensive research strategy aimed at stopping MS, restoring function that has been lost, and ending the disease forever – for every single person with MS. This financial commitment is the latest in the Society’s relentless research efforts and part of a projected investment of $50 million in 2016 alone, to support more than 380 new and ongoing studies around the world.  The Society pursues all promising paths to drive research breakthroughs in MS to fuel life-changing treatments and everyday solutions that are crucial for people to live their best lives. Just a few of the new cutting-edge research projects include: five studies exploring different aspects of how to promote the repair of nerve-insulating myelin to restore function in MS; a study at Ohio State exploring whether increasing physical activity levels can help reverse cognitive problems; a study at Mt. Sinai testing a dietary approach to treating MS; and two policy studies looking at factors driving the escalating costs of MS medications. One new commercial partnership is a London-based project propelling development of treatments to protect the nervous system from MS-related injury. “These new research investments are intended to answer questions that will accelerate breakthroughs that change the world for...

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Construction Giants Team with NASA on Centennial Challenge

PEORIA, Ill., Oct. 7, 2016 – Caterpillar Inc. (NYSE: CAT) announced today that it is working with Bechtel, Brick and Mortar Ventures and Bradley University to sponsor NASA’s latest Centennial Challenge—the 3D-Printed Habitat Challenge. The competition is created to incent America’s most talented to come up with innovative ways to design and print a habitat that could be used for deep space exploration, including the agency’s journey to Mars, as well as have applications on Earth today. For more than 90 years, Caterpillar has been building the world’s infrastructure, and we plan to develop the world’s infrastructure for the next 90 years—whether that’s in a great city, a developing village or even beyond our planet. “As technology evolves, so do our machines. The future of construction will look very different than it does today,” said Justin Speichinger, advanced engineering manager for the Caterpillar Excavation Division. “By expanding our horizons and engaging in progressive opportunities like the Centennial Challenge, we are better equipped to develop disruptive technologies to solve our customers’ current challenges as well as prepare for our mutual long-term success.” “There’s no better way to solve big problems and come up with the next breakthrough than by working together with our customers, such as Bechtel, a true innovator in construction; a forward-thinking, sector-specific venture capital firm such as Brick & Mortar Ventures; our hometown University, Bradley, that is focused...

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Tiny Machines Win Chemistry Nobel Prize

(BBC News) – The 2016 Nobel Prize for Chemistry has been awarded for the development of the world’s smallest machines.  By Paul Rincon  Jean-Pierre Sauvage, Sir Fraser Stoddart and Bernard Feringa will share the 8m kronor (£727,000) prize for the design and synthesis of machines on a molecular scale. They were named at a press conference in Sweden. The machines conceived by today’s laureates are a thousand times thinner than a strand of hair. They could slip inside the human body to deliver drugs from within – for instance, applying pharmaceuticals directly to cancer cells. This field of nanotechnology could also yield applications in the design of smart materials. The prize recognises their success in linking molecules together to design everything from motors to a car and muscles on a tiny scale. “They have mastered motion control at the molecular scale,” said Olof Ramström, from the Nobel Committee. Reacting to the award, Prof Feringa said: “I don’t know what to say, I’m shocked. And my second remark was: ‘I’m a bit emotional about it’.” Donna Nelson, president of the American Chemical Society (ACS) said she was “thrilled” by the Nobel Committee’s decision. “It’s wonderful. I’ve done work in nanoscience for a while – though not in micromachines – so I think I have enough background to appreciate the difficulty of the work they did and its magnificence,” she told...

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Immunotherapy Cancer Drug Hailed as ‘Game Changer’

(BBC News) – An immunotherapy drug has been described as a potential “game-changer” in promising results presented at the European Cancer Congress. In a study of head and neck cancer, more patients taking nivolumab survived for longer compared with those who were treated with chemotherapy. In another study, combining nivolumab with another drug shrank tumours in advanced kidney cancer patients. Immunotherapy works by harnessing the immune system to destroy cancer cells. Advanced head and neck cancer has very poor survival rates. In a trial of more than 350 patients, published in the New England Journal of Medicine, 36% treated with the immunotherapy drug nivolumab were alive after one year compared with 17% who received chemotherapy. Patients also experienced fewer side effects from immunotherapy. Double hit The benefits were more pronounced in patients whose tumours had tested positive for HPV (human papillomavirus). These patients survived an average of 9.1 months with nivolumab and 4.4 months with chemotherapy. Normally, this group of patients, with advanced or treatment-resistant tumours, are expected to live less than six months. Early data from a study of 94 patients with advanced kidney cancer showed that the double hit of nivolumab and ipilimumab resulted in a significant reduction in the size of tumours in 40% of patients. Of these patients, one in 10 had no sign of cancer remaining. This compares with 5% of patients showing tumour...

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Experimental Therapy Halts Treatment-Resistant Brain Tumors

CINCINNATI – Researchers report in the journal Cancer Cell an experimental therapy that in laboratory tests on human cells and mouse models stops aggressive, treatment-resistant and deadly brain cancers called glioblastoma and high-grade gliomas. A multi-institutional team led by researchers at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center publishes their results on May 9. Testing a multi-step therapeutic strategy, the scientists found a way to use a gene therapy to shut down a gene long-implicated in the formation of high-grade gliomas called Olig2. The protein encoded by Olig2 is expressed in the majority of gliomas. Removing the Olig2 gene halts tumor growth, while elimination of Olig2-producing cells blocks tumor formation. “We find that elimination of dividing Olig2-expressing cells blocks initiation and progression of glioma in animal models and further show that Olig2 is the molecular arbiter of genetic adaptability that makes high-grade gliomas aggressive and treatment resistant,” said Qing Richard Lu, PhD, lead investigator and scientific director of the Brain Tumor Center at Cincinnati Children’s. “By finding a way to inhibit Olig2 in tumor forming cells, we were able to change the tumor cells’ makeup and sensitize them to targeted molecular treatment. This suggests a proof of principle for stratified therapy in distinct subtypes of malignant gliomas.” The current study may apply to high-grade brain gliomas and a fatal brainstem tumor called DIPG (Diffused Intrinsic Pontine Glioma), which expresses Olig2 and...

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