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L-carnitine significantly improves patient outcomes following heart attack, study suggests

L-carnitine significantly improves cardiac health in patients after a heart attack, say a multicenter team of investigators in a study published today in Mayo Clinic Proceedings. Their findings, based on analysis of key controlled trials, associate L-carnitine with significant reduction in death from all causes and a highly significant reduction in ventricular arrhythmias and anginal attacks following a heart attack, compared with placebo or control.

 

 

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Scientists map the wiring of the biological clock | KurzweilAI

Scientists map the wiring of the biological clock | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Researchers have reported the discovery of a crucial part of the biological clock in the brain: wiring that sets its accuracy to within a few minutes out of the 1440 minutes per day. This wiring uses the GABA (γ-amino-butyric acid) neurotransmitter to connect the individual cells of the biological clock in a fast network that changes strength with time of day.

 

 

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Blood Protein Test Can Identify Lung Cancer Patients Likely to Benefit from Targeted Therapy

A recent phase III clinical trial confirmed that the VeriStrat test can predict which lung cancer patients are likely to fare better when treated with EGFR inhibitors like erlotinib (Tarceva). Patients with advanced non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) were tested using VeriStrat before beginning Tarceva treatment. Those who had a VeriStrat result of “Good” experienced longer times without cancer growth and longer overall survival on Tarceva compared to those with a “Bad” result. VeriStrat results may help doctors distinguish patients who should be given EGFR inhibitors from those for whom the benefits would not outweigh the side effects, and who would be better served by other treatments. VeriStrat does not test for mutations in the EGFR gene. Instead, the test assesses the pattern of several proteins in the blood to pinpoint patients likely to respond to EGFR inhibitors, including patients who may not have an EGFR mutation.


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Cancer Commons's curator insight, June 6, 2013 5:38 AM

Xconomy | June 3, 2013

Brian Shields's curator insight, June 6, 2013 8:18 PM

Some interesting data out of ASCO using protien signatures in the blood to help develop personalized medicine for lung cancer patients.  Article excerpt follows:

The results from the Phase 3 trial announced today, shows it can make that difference, in a prospective study, which means that patients got the Biodesix test, were treated based on its recommendation, and followed over time to see if they ended up any better off. Passing that kind of rigorous study, should greatly expands the commercial potential for VeriStrat, Brunel said.

“VeriStrat has been commercially available for several years, but adoption has been limited…. This could lead to widespread adoption,” Brunel said.

According to the American Cancer Society, about 220,000 Americans per year are diagnosed with lung cancer, and about 85-90 percent have non-small cell lung cancer.

Biodesix will now build a national sales team and develop its marketing to try to capitalize on VeriStrat’s commercial potential, which could improve as the federal government is expected to reach a decision soon about whether it will be covered by Medicare.

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OrCam aims to improve quality of life for the visually impaired

OrCam aims to improve quality of life for the visually impaired | Longevity science | Scoop.it

The OrCam is a small camera linked to a very powerful wearable computer. It sees what you see and through your finger-pointing understands what information you seek, relaying auditory feedback through a bone conduction earpiece. Using an intuitive user interface, the device can read text, recognize faces, identify objects and places, locate bus numbers and even monitor traffic lights.

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AMES device helps the paralyzed regain movement

AMES device helps the paralyzed regain movement | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Last week, the US Food and Drug Administration granted clearance to a new device that could be of considerable aid to stroke victims or people with partial spinal cord injuries. Created by Dr. Paul Cordo of the Oregon Health & Science University (OHSU) in collaboration with OHSU spinoff company AMES, the "AMES device" reportedly helps the brain get paralyzed muscles moving again.

 

 

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Kate Drake's curator insight, June 7, 2013 11:22 AM

I think it's wonderful that we're coming up with inventive new ways to help people 'get back to normal'. But stop and consider, perhaps, the validity of a 2,000 year old medicine practice that could provide similar if not better results....at a much lesser cost.

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New method of mass-producing high-quality DNA molecules | KurzweilAI

New method of mass-producing high-quality DNA molecules | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it

A new method of manufacturing short, single-stranded DNA molecules can solve many of the problems associated with current production methods.

 

The new method can be of value to development of drugs consisting of DNA fragments and to DNA nanotechnology research.

 

The novel technique for manufacturing short, single-stranded DNA molecules — or oligonucleotides — has been developed by researchers at Karolinska Institute in Sweden and Harvard University.

 

 

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New fluid-repellent paper could lead to inexpensive diagnostic devices

New fluid-repellent paper could lead to inexpensive diagnostic devices | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Scientists at the Georgia Institute of Technology have produced a new kind of paper that repels a range of liquids, including water and oil. The new paper shows significant promise as an affordable and recyclable packaging material, but it's the paper’s potential as an inexpensive biomedical diagnostic tool that has really got the researchers excited.

 

By applying a chemical coating and creating new surface patterns at the nanometer and micron-scale, the researchers are able to reproduce the same repellent effect in the paper that is observed in the leaves of the lotus plant. This changes the paper from an absorbent material to one which repels all fluids.

 

 

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DARPA uses nerve/muscle interfaces to give amputees feedback and improve control

DARPA uses nerve/muscle interfaces to give amputees feedback and improve control | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Artificial limbs have come a long way in recent years with the development of prostheses that can be controlled directly by the patient’s nerves. The problem is, links between living nerves and the prostheses break down over time, which makes permanent attachment and practical control difficult. To understand why this happens and to help give patients more control over their prostheses, DARPA has instituted a number of programs aimed at improving neural interfaces and allowing amputees to have better control of advanced prostheses in the near term.

 

 

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The doctor is in: Virtual therapist to help treat stress disorders

The doctor is in: Virtual therapist to help treat stress disorders | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Researchers at the University of Southern California’s Institute for Creative Sciences (ICT) are developing a virtual therapist that can identify signs of depression, anxiety, and post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Bringing together machine learning, natural language processing and computer vision technologies, the SimSensei project is aimed at helping military personnel and their families, while reducing the stigma that is often associated with seeking help.

 

 

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Bladderwort Study Adds To The Debate On “Junk” DNA

Bladderwort Study Adds To The Debate On “Junk” DNA | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Only about two percent of the human genome contains genes. The other 98 percent has been likened to cosmology’s dark matter that fills the space between stars – there’s a lot of it, but nobody really knows what it does. Over the years scientists have put faith into the logic of evolution: if it’s there, it must serve a purpose. But a recent study shows that not all genomes are created equally. Unlike human genomes, the carnivorous bladderwort’s genome makes the most of its allotted bases having only an estimated 2 percent of non-coding DNA, or so-called “junk” DNA.

 

The genome of the carnivorous bladderwort plant (Utricularia gibba) is minuscule compared to the human genome – 82,000 bases versus our near 3 billion. But while it’s small, the genome is extremely efficient. About 97 percent of its genome codes for an estimated 28,500 genes and the short sequences that control those genes. The authors of a study mapping the bladderwort genome surmise that, through many generations, the non-coding portion of the carnivorous bladderwort’s genome has been systematically removed, resulting in just 3 percent of non-coding DNA.

 

 

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Painkillers taken by millions could increase heart risk: Prolonged use 'leads to significant danger'

Painkillers taken by millions could increase heart risk: Prolonged use 'leads to significant danger' | Longevity science | Scoop.it
The drugs, known as non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), include ibuprofen and diclofenac, and also newer medication called coxibs.
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Stem cell injections improve spinal injuries in rats | KurzweilAI

Stem cell injections improve spinal injuries in rats | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it

A single injection of human neural stem cells produced neuronal regeneration and improvement of function and mobility in rats impaired by an acute spinal cord injury (SCI), an international team led by researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine reports.

 

Grafting neural stem cells derived from a human fetal spinal cord to the rats’ spinal injury site produced an array of therapeutic benefits — from less muscle spasticity to new connections between the injected stem cells and surviving host neurons.

 

 

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AnalyticalInstrument's curator insight, May 29, 2013 2:49 PM

Can we get them to test them on rat knees?

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Replacing food: An engineer's approach to body fuel

Replacing food: An engineer's approach to body fuel | Longevity science | Scoop.it

 

The engineer's approach to food... The body doesn't need fruits and veggies and meat, they're just the way we usually ingest vitamins, minerals, amino acids, carbohydrates and fats. 

 

Soylent is a food engineered to efficiently deliver 100 percent of the healthy body's needs...

 

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Student-built wheelchair runs indefinitely on solar power

Student-built wheelchair runs indefinitely on solar power | Longevity science | Scoop.it

A solar-powered wheelchair designed by students at the University of Virginia has won first prize in a competition, Change My Life in One Minute, to mark World Cerebral Palsy Day. Entrants to the competition were asked to come up with an innovation that could make a significant difference to a person with a disability. The solar-powered wheelchair can run continuously powered only by the sun.

 

 

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Combined anti-CTLA4 and anti-PD1 immunotherapy shows promising results against advanced melanoma

Combined anti-CTLA4 and anti-PD1 immunotherapy shows promising results against advanced melanoma | Longevity science | Scoop.it
Combining two cancer immunotherapy drugs in patients with advanced melanoma produced rates of tumor regression that appeared greater than in prior trials with either drug alone.

 

Researchers from Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (lead author Jedd Wolchok, M.D., Ph.D.), and Yale Cancer Center (senior author Mario Sznol, M.D.), discussed the safety and activity of combining two immune stimulating antibodies — nivolumab (anti-PD-1) and ipilimumab (anti-CTLA-4, Yervoy) — in treating advanced melanoma. Ipilimumab alone is known to prolong survival and produce durable tumor regressions in some patients, and nivolumab also produced durable tumor regression in a subset of advanced melanoma patients in an early-phase clinical trial. However, combining them produced rapid and deep tumor regressions in approximately 30% of patients, a result that was not observed before with either drug administered individually.

 

Both CTLA-4 and PD-1 are targets for cancer immunotherapy because they shut down the immune system’s ability to respond to foreign invaders. Antibodies blocking PD-1 or CTLA-4 take the brakes off the immune system and permit the development of strong immune responses against the cancer. Nivolumab targets the PD-1 receptor on the surface of T-cells, and ipilimumab targets the CTLA-4 receptors. Both nivolumab and ipilimumab are manufactured by Bristol Myers Squibb.

 

Researchers provided data for 86 patients in this Phase 1 trial. They report that responses were generally durable, even in patients whose treatment was terminated early.

 

According to Sznol, clinical research leader of the melanoma program at Yale Cancer Center, this early success in combining drugs will pave the way for large-scale combination immunotherapy trials. “After many years, we are finally realizing the promise of immunotherapy in providing real and durable benefit for advanced cancer patients. Although this trial was focused on melanoma, the combination will be studied in other cancer types. This is only one of many combinations of agents that will likely lead to even more significant advances in cancer treatment,” Sznol said.


Via Dr. Stefan Gruenwald
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Small Alteration in Lifestyles Reduces Risk of Stroke

Small Alteration in Lifestyles Reduces Risk of Stroke | Longevity science | Scoop.it
One point increase in better score was linked to 8 percent lower risk of stroke. Those with optimum scores had a 48 percent less stroke and the risk factor dropped to 27 percent with average scores.
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Who will decide what's in the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans?

Who will decide what's in the 2015 Dietary Guidelines for Americans? | Longevity science | Scoop.it
The identity of the 15 experts who will frame the 2015 dietary guidelines for Americans has been announced by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) and the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA).
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Fitness ideas get financial muscle

Fitness ideas get financial muscle | Longevity science | Scoop.it

Ryon Lane wanted to run to yoga class. There was just one problem with that plan: his mat. A three-mile jog from Capitol Hill to Dupont Circle with a rolled-up piece of rubber resting on his shoulder wasn’t particularly appealing. So the lawyer hopped online to shop for a mat he could fold up and stash in a backpack.

Lane couldn’t find one, which is why people searching for a similar product today are stumbling across his Kickstarter campaign for the YogoMat. The lightweight design — with attached straps that allow for easy cleaning and drying in the shower — was something the 36-year-old developed for his own practice. When fellow students started asking about where they could buy one, Lane realized he had a business plan.

 

 

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Promising New Cancer Drugs Empower the Body’s Own Defense System

Promising New Cancer Drugs Empower the Body’s Own Defense System | Longevity science | Scoop.it

The early success of a new class of cancer drugs, revealed in test results released here over the last several days, has raised hope among the world’s top cancer specialists that they may be on the verge of an important milestone in the fight against the disease.

 

 

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A step closer to artificial livers | KurzweilAI

A step closer to artificial livers | KurzweilAI | Longevity science | Scoop.it

MIT engineer Sangeeta Bhatia and colleagues have have identified a dozen chemical compounds that can help liver cells maintain their normal function while grown in a lab dish and also multiply to produce new tissue.

 

Cells grown this way could help researchers develop engineered tissue to treat many of the 500 million people suffering from chronic liver diseases such as hepatitis C, according to the researchers.

 

 

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‘Junk DNA’ plays active role in cancer progression, researchers find | KurzweilAI

Scientists at The University of Nottingham have found that a genetic rogue element produced by sequences until recently considered “junk DNA” could promote cancer progression.

 

The researchers, led by Dr Cristina Tufarelli, in the School of Graduate Entry Medicine and Health Sciences, discovered that the presence of this faulty genetic element — known as chimeric transcript LCT13 — is associated with the switching off of a known tumor suppressor gene (known as TFPI-2) whose expression is required to prevent cancer invasion and metastasis. Their findings suggest that LCT13 may be involved in switching off TFPI-2.

 

 

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Immunotherapy is not just for melanoma anymore

Diagnosed with advanced lung cancer over a year ago, Gabe Tartaglia was loath to undergo the kind of harsh chemotherapy that had devastated his sister before her death three years earlier from pancreatic cancer.

 

He decided to enter a clinical trial for a new drug designed to trigger the immune system to fight cancer. The results were better than anyone expected.

 

 

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Microbubbles could image the heart and deliver anti-clotting drugs simultaneously

Microbubbles could image the heart and deliver anti-clotting drugs simultaneously | Longevity science | Scoop.it

A scientist with GE Global Research is now looking into the use of “microbubbles” as a mobile means of imaging the heart and possibly even treating it.

 

The bubbles that biologist Jason Castle is working with are described as “tiny gas-filled spheres the size of red bloods cells.” Delivered through an ordinary IV, they can travel through the bloodstream to the heart – or anywhere else.

 

 

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Food Supplement CoQ10 Cuts Death Rates Among Heart Failure Patients

Coenzyme Q10 (CoQ10) cuts mortality by half in patients with heart failure, researchers from Denmark reported at the annual meeting of the Heart Failure Association of the European Society of Cardiology, which took place in Lisbon, Portugal this year.

Professor Svend Aage Mortensen and team explained that Coq10 is the first medication to improve heart failure mortality in over ten years and should be included in standard treatment. CoQ10 is an essential enzyme that occurs naturally in the body. It works as an electron carrier in the mitochondria, the energy-producing powerhouse of cells, to produce energy. CoQ10 is also a potent antioxidant.

 

 

Ray and Terry's 's insight:

Ubiquinol is the bioavailable form of CoQ10 and a more effective supplement choice. Statin users often find their muscle pain is gone after supplementing with this enzyme.

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Sugary soft drinks may increase risk of kidney stones

People who reported drinking the most sugar-sweetened beverages were the most likely to have kidney stones. Those who drank one or more sugar-sweetened colas a day had a 23 percent higher risk than those who drank them once a week.

 

This is not a conclusive or comprehensive study, but it appears to demonstrate a link between soda and kidney stones.

 

 

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Steve Kingsley's curator insight, May 29, 2013 10:01 PM

Amongst other things....