“Dr. Isaac Eliaz discusses a form of cancer treatment that is popular in other parts of the world and can be much easier on the body than chemo or radiation. Find out what different kinds of this treatment are available and how it can work.”
Via THE *OFFICIAL ANDREASCY*
CAPE CANAVERAL — On top of an Atlas rocket, the place where orbital spaceflight for American astronauts began, will sit Boeing’s Starliner spacecraft to launch humans into space starting next year.It was Feb. 20, 1962 when an Atlas D booster blasted off with Project Mercury’s Friendship 7 capsule and John Glenn to become the nation’s first person to orbit the Earth.More than a half-century later, a bold new era of commercial travel to and from space is about to start, and Atlas rockets will again play a pivotal role.
“Trainers of dogs, horses, and other animal performers take note: a bacterium named Moorella thermoacetica has been induced to perform only a single trick, but it's a doozy. Berkeley Lab researchers are using M. thermoacetica ...”
Via Mary Williams
A new approach has been created that uses an FDA-approved, magnetic nanoparticle and magnetic resonance imaging to identify tumors most likely to respond to drugs delivered via nanoparticles.
Many nanotherapeutics are currently being tested in clinical trials and several have already been clinically approved to treat cancers. But the ability to predict which patients will be most responsive to these treatments has remained elusive. Now, a collaboration between investigators at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) and Brigham and Women's Hospital (BWH) has led to a new approach that uses an FDA-approved, magnetic nanoparticle and magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) to identify tumors most likely to respond to drugs delivered via nanoparticles. The team's preclinical results are published in Science Translational Medicine November 18.
"Just as genetics is used in some cases to predict an individual's response to a drug, we wanted to develop a companion diagnostic that can predict response based on physiological differences," said Miles Miller, PhD, a postdoctoral fellow at the MGH Center for Systems Biology. "We hypothesized that ferumoxytol -- a product that has been approved for the treatment of anemia -- could be used to identify tumors that are more likely to respond to a nanomedicine."
"Our goal is to develop new nanotherapeutics that can be safely and effectively delivered to cancer patients," said Omid Farokhzad, MD, director of the Laboratory of Nanomedicine and Biomaterials at BWH. "One of the key translational challenges has been to better match patients to new nanotherapeutics based on patients' physiology. Our work takes a precision medicine approach to nanotherapeutics: using this technique, we can predict how well drug-loaded nanoparticles will accumulate in a particular tumor."
Farokhzad -- who has founded three companies, all of which have nanomedicines in the clinic or fast-approaching clinical trials -- teamed up with Ralph Weissleder, MD, PhD, Director of the MGH Center for Systems Biology and an expert in high-resolution in vivo imaging. The researchers hypothesized that the accumulation of nanoparticles may vary from patient to patient based on an individual's unique physiology. For instance, some patients may harbor tumors with more "leaky" vasculature or other physiological conditions that allow nanoparticles to accumulate faster at tumor sites. This accumulation of nanoparticles within tumors is known as the enhanced permeability and retention (EPR) effect. To determine if it would be possible to predict which tumors have high or low EPR, the investigators used ferumoxytol in mouse models of solid tumor cancers. Because it is magnetic, ferumoxytol can be imaged using MRI.
"Clinical impact is the ultimate goal of our work. Therefore, we tested an imaging technology, MRI, commonly used in the clinic and a diagnostic nanoparticle, ferumoxytol, that is already FDA-approved for other indications," said Weissleder, who is also an Attending Clinician in Interventional Radiology at MGH.
In addition to using MRI, the team labeled the magnetic nanoparticles with a fluorescent dye, allowing them to see the accumulation of particles on a single-cell level by microscopy.They categorized each tumor as having "low," "medium" or "high" EPR and then treated each tumor with a chemotherapeutic drug delivered via nanoparticles.
The researchers report that in preclinical models, their MR imaging strategy accurately predicted how much drug would reach the tumors (with more drug being delivered to tumors with higher EPR) and therefore how well the tumors would respond to the drug-loaded nanoparticles.
"This work represents a major stepping stone toward translating new discoveries of nanotherapeutics into clinical impact and selecting patients for nanotherapeutic trials," said Farokhzad.
WASHINGTON — Blue Origin successfully launched and landed Jan. 22 the same New Shepard vehicle that flew in November, a demonstration of the vehicle’s reusability and the latest round of one-upmanship in its rivalry with SpaceX.The suborbital New Shepard vehicle took off from Blue Origin’s test site in West Texas early Jan. 22 and reached a peak altitude of 101.7 kilometers. The vehicle’s conical crew capsule separated and parachuted to a soft landing, while the cylindrical propulsion module made a powered vertical landing on a landing pad several kilometers from the launch site.“The very same New Shepard booster that flew above the Karman line and then landed vertically at its launch site last November has now flown and landed again, demonstrating reuse,” company founder Jeff Bezos wrote in a blog post late Jan. 22. The von Karman line, an altitude of 100 kilometers, is a commonly used, although not universally accepted, boundary of space.
In first grade Jessica Meir made a drawing of herself standing on the moon. Turns out she underestimated her own ambition: Today, at 38, Meir could become the first human to touch down on an even farther destination: Mars. A next step for man? Yes, and a giant leap for womankind. The mission itself is at least 15 years away—it will take that long to build and test every last piece of equipment. But it's already the most hotly anticipated space-exploration effort ever. Governments around the world—in China, Europe, and Russia—have plans in the works to at least land robots on Mars, while in the U.S., private companies like SpaceX are partnering with NASA on a human mission and plotting their own commercial trips. And unlike the 1960s race to the moon, this time women are playing pivotal roles—building rockets, designing space suits, and controlling the remote rovers that are already sending momentous insights back from Mars. A human landing will not, to put it mildly, be easy.
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For most students, science, math, engineering, and technology (STEM) subjects are not intuitive or easy. Learning in general—and STEM in particular—requires repeated trial and error, and a student’s lack of confidence can sometimes stand in her own way. And although teachers and parents may think they are doing otherwise, these adults inadvertently help kids make up their minds early on that they're not natural scientists or “math people,” which leads them to pursue other subjects instead. So what's the best way to help kids feel confident enough to stay the STEM course? To answer this question, I spoke with Carol Dweck, a professor of psychology at Stanford University in California. Over the past 20 years, Dweck has conducted dozens of studies about praise’s impact on students’ self-esteem and academic achievement. Here is a transcript of our conversation, which has been condensed and lightly edited.
A new law offers American companies more rights and fewer restrictions for their commercial space activities, even as it’s being pressed by NASA to take on a bigger role in human spaceflight. Vidya Sagar Reddy examines if these factors can create a commercially-led human return to the Moon.
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