Can gene therapy be harnessed to fight the AIDS virus?

first_imgHomeNewsCan gene therapy be harnessed to fight the AIDS virus? Feb. 14, 2018 at 5:00 amNewsCan gene therapy be harnessed to fight the AIDS virus?Associated Press3 years agoAIDSdaily presshivlaLos AngelesNewssanta monica daily pressuclaAssociated Press For more than a decade, the strongest AIDS drugs could not fully control Matt Chappell’s HIV infection. Now his body controls it by itself, and researchers are trying to perfect the gene editing that made this possible.Scientists removed some of his blood cells, disabled a gene to help them resist HIV, and returned these “edited” cells to him in 2014. So far, it has given the San Francisco man the next best thing to a cure.“I’ve been off medications for three and a half years,” he said. He even was able to keep the virus in check despite cancer treatments last year that taxed his immune system.Chappell was lucky, though. Only a few of the 100 others in those experiments were able to stay off HIV drugs for a couple years; the rest still need medicines to keep HIV suppressed.Now researchers think they can improve the treatment and are trying again to tackle HIV by doctoring DNA. New studies to test these tweaked approaches in people are getting underway.“Gene therapy techniques have advanced greatly,” said Dr. Otto Yang of the UCLA AIDS Institute, one place working on this. “A lot of people are thinking it’s the right time to go back.”They include Dr. Anthony Fauci, director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, which is funding some of the new studies. He doesn’t think the technique will become common because millions of people do well on existing treatments. But he says it could help those who can’t easily control the virus, and should be pursued because it holds potential for a cure.“They’re very bold, innovative techniques, mostly to try and cure people,” he said. “It’s worth trying because the science is there.”ONE MAN’S CURE GAVE HOPEOnly one person is known to have been cured of HIV infection, a man who had a cell transplant a decade ago from a donor with natural immunity to the virus. The donor lacked a common gene that makes an entryway HIV uses to infect T cells, immune system soldiers in the blood.The transplant gave the recipient that protection, but procedures like that are too risky and impractical for wide use. Scientists have been trying to find a way to create similar immunity by altering some of a patient’s own cells. They use a gene editing tool called zinc finger nucleases, which cut DNA at a precise spot to disable the HIV entryway gene.The California company that makes the editing tool, Sangamo Therapeutics, sponsored the initial studies.“It worked, the T cells were edited,” said Sangamo’s president, Dr. Sandy Macrae. But it didn’t work quite well enough: The altered T cells were outnumbered by T cells that were not altered and could still be infected.Now, Dr. John Zaia at City of Hope, a research center in Duarte, California, is trying the approach with a twist. He’s using blood stem cells — parent cells that produce many others. Once a stem cell is altered the benefit should multiply and last longer, Zaia said.THE SILVER LININGThough the initial gene editing experiments were disappointing, there was a silver lining. Patients in those studies had a big drop in the number of cells where HIV lurked in a dormant state — the so-called reservoir of silent disease.At Case Western Reserve University in Cleveland, Dr. Rafick-Pierre Sekaly is trying to capitalize on that drop. His study will try the same gene editing — disabling the gene that makes the HIV entryway — while keeping patients on strong antiviral medicines for at least a year before discontinuing them.“As long as we’re not able to get rid of this reservoir, we’ll never be able to stop treatment,” he explained.The hope is that the medicines plus the altered cells will knock down the virus and reduce the reservoir to a point where the body can control any residual disease by itself, as Chappell seems to be doing.PROTECT AND ATTACKUniversity of Pennsylvania scientists are trying a two-part approach: Besides knocking out the gene for the HIV entryway, they’re adding a gene to help T cells recognize and kill HIV. This second part is called CAR-T therapy, a treatment approved last year for treating cancer.The new study’s leader, scientist James Riley, is encouraged that some patients at Penn who were in the early studies kept HIV suppressed for nearly a year without drugs.“You’d never know they were sick” even though the virus could still be detected, Riley said. “At some point you’re going to have confidence that it’s not going to come back.”Chappell’s doctor, Christopher Schiessl at One Medical, a health clinic in San Francisco, hopes that’s the case for Chappell. Although he’s doing well now, Chappell is showing signs that his immune system may be weakening, Schiessl said.Chappell is optimistic, and believes gene therapy ultimately will provide a long-term solution.“If we’re going to cure HIV,” he said, “this is how it’s going to happen.”Tags :AIDSdaily presshivlaLos AngelesNewssanta monica daily pressuclashare on Facebookshare on Twitteradd a commentJudge intends to visit giant homeless camp in CaliforniaNeighborhood networks ready to document immigration raidsYou Might Also LikeFeaturedNewsBobadilla rejects Santa Monica City Manager positionMatthew Hall10 hours agoFeaturedNewsDowntown grocery to become mixed use developmenteditor21 hours agoNewsBruised but unbowed, meme stock investors are back for moreAssociated Press21 hours agoNewsWedding boom is on in the US as vendors scramble to keep upAssociated Press21 hours agoNewsCouncil picks new City ManagerBrennon Dixson21 hours agoFeaturedNewsProtesting parents and Snapchat remain in disagreement over child protection policiesClara Harter21 hours agolast_img read more

Hero Meets Man He Rescued on NYC Subway Tracks from Oncoming Train

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreHe’s the city’s newest hero, but Carlos Flores said it didn’t feel real until he was reunited Monday with the man he saved from an oncoming No. 6 train and saw he was okay.“People kept asking me if I felt like a hero,” Flores said. “I didn’t feel like a hero. But to see you – I feel better now,” Flores, 36, said. “My life could have ended just like that,” the 50-year-old Grant said. “I’m still here because someone cared enough to help.”(READ more in NY Daily News)Photo by Sun StarAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Vancouver to Eliminate Harmful Single-Use Packaging

first_imgThe city launched their Greenest City Action Plan 7 years ago by setting a goal to reduce landfill waste by 50%. Now they are consulting with local businesses on the most strategic replacements for styrofoam containers, plastic bags, and single-use coffee cups. While members of the community will be able to present possible packaging alternatives to the city council this week, overarching bans on single-use products are very plausible for the future.Styrofoam is a major contributor to the city’s landfills. While the elimination of styrofoam altogether seems like the most obvious action, Vancouver plans on compromising with small business owners so they need not be overburdened financially.RELATED: Vancouver Bans the Use of Dolphins and Whales in AquariumsAdditionally, over 2.6 million polycoat-type paper coffee cups are dumped into city landfills every week. Assuming the city issues a ban on wasteful single-use coffee cups, businesses will need to utilize compostable or recyclable coffee cups instead.“[The cups] take up about 22 percent of the volume of our on-street garbage system, and they’re costing us literally millions of dollars to deal with,” said councilwoman Andrea Reimer.City representatives emphasize, however, that they will be ensuring the best possible methods of elimination for every stakeholder involved. As community proposals are reviewed throughout the summer, a public survey will eventually be made available in September.MORE: San Francisco Officially Declares Itself a No-Styrofoam ZoneAll of these proposals are a part of Vancouver’s 2040 Zero-Waste goal. The plan consists of several ambitious environmental and renewable strategies with the goal of becoming a zero waste community by 2040. A spokesperson for the city’s communication department was happy to report that significant progress has been made already.“Cities around the world must show continued leadership to meet the urgent challenge of climate change, and the most impactful change we can make is a shift toward 100% of our energy being derived from renewable sources,” says Vancouver Mayor Gregor Robertson. “The future of Vancouver’s economy and livability will depend on our ability to confront and adapt to climate change. Moving toward 100% renewable energy is another way that Vancouver is working to become the greenest city in the world.”Click To Share The News With Your Friends (Photo by Vancouver Landfill and Recycling Depot)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMore AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreVancouver is well on its way to becoming the greenest city in the world – and they are now tackling the arduous problem of harmful single-use packaging.last_img read more

Experienced women head to NCAAs

first_imgExperienced women head to NCAAsEleven of Minnesota’s 12 swimmers in the NCAA championships have competed there before. Samuel GordonMarch 10, 2011Jump to CommentsShare on FacebookShare on TwitterShare via EmailPrintThe Minnesota womenâÄôs swimming and diving team will head down to the University of Texas next week for the NCAA Championships with a significant asset âÄî experience.Of the 12 athletes making the trip, six will be competing in their third championships and five in their second, leaving only one rookie.âÄúTheyâÄôre going to the meet with expectations. TheyâÄôre not going to experience the meet; theyâÄôre going there to perform and to really have an opportunity to do something athletically at the meet,âÄù co-head coach Kelly Kremer said of his teamâÄôs experience. âÄúI think that experience is vital.âÄùOne of the teamâÄôs veterans is senior Jillian Tyler.Tyler is coming off a historic Big-Ten championships in which she became just the 12th swimmer in conference history to win the Big Ten championship four consecutive times when she won the 100-yard breaststroke.The All-American finished fourth nationally in the event at last yearâÄôs NCAA Championships with a time of 59.63, a far cry from the school record of 58.08 she clocked at this yearâÄôs Big Ten championships. In addition to being a school record, that time is also the fastest recorded in the nation this season.âÄúJill has had such an outstanding career at Minnesota. At NCAAs, sheâÄôs consistently been up there,âÄù Kremer said. âÄúItâÄôs not a surprise that JillâÄôs sitting where she is, and weâÄôre just excited to see how she can close out her career, hopefully on a really high note.âÄùTyler isnâÄôt the only Minnesota athlete looking to do well at nationals. Junior Ashley Steenvoorden is seeded fifth in the 500-yard freestyle. The 2011 Big Ten champion placed 18th at last yearâÄôs nationals with a time of 4:42.70. SheâÄôs already clocked a time of 4:37.66 this season.Kremer said the team has been using the last month to learn from the conference championships and sharpen up in preparation for nationals.âÄúI think weâÄôre going to see a group of athletes thatâÄôs going to really enjoy the experience and have a great time; and usually, when athletes are having fun doing what theyâÄôre doing, they perform at a really high level,âÄù he said.âÄúIâÄôm expecting to see us have a great, great meet.âÄùWhile the swimming championships wonâÄôt kick off until next Thursday, the NCAA Diving Championships are set to start tomorrow.Junior Kelci Bryant is the defending national champion at the 3-meter dive.  If she were to repeat, it would be yet another title to add to her résumé. The former Olympian has put together quite a winter, winning the 1-meter dive and placing sixth in the 3-meter at the USA Diving Winter Championships.Senior Drew Brown, meanwhile, will represent the menâÄôs team at the diving championships this weekend. The All-American finished 13th at last yearâÄôs nationals in the 1-meter dive. HeâÄôs coming off a Big Ten championships at which he was the runner-up in the 3-meter dive.last_img read more

Fish oil may help improve mood in depressed veterans

first_imgLinkedIn Share on Facebook Share on Twitter Email Sharecenter_img “We looked at how physical activity levels and performance measures were related to mood state and resiliency,” Kreider says. “What we found was the decrease in physical activity and the concentration of fish oil and Omega-3s in the blood were all associated with resiliency and mood.”Kreider says fish oil contains Omega-3 fatty acids that help to boost brain function. He says studies also show that fish oil acts as an anti-inflammatory within the body — helping athletes and soldiers manage intense training better. Fish oil content is especially important for soldiers due to the consistent training and physical regiments performed in and out of combat and risk to traumatic brain injury.The study originated from research conducted by Colonel Mike Lewis, M.D. who examined Omega-3 fatty acid levels of soldiers who committed suicide compared to non-suicide control and found lower Omega-3 levels in the blood were associated with increased risk of being in the suicide group.Barringer says he believes these findings to be significant toward addressing some of the issues many soldiers face.“The mental health of our service members is a serious concern and it is exciting to consider that appropriate diet and exercise might have a direct impact on improving resiliency,” Barringer notes.In order to properly measure soldiers physically, Kreider and Barringer developed a formula they say has the potential to assist in effectively screening soldiers with potential PTSD ahead of time. The formula measures a number of factors including: fitness and psychometric assessments, physical activity, and additional analysis.“By improving resiliency in service members, we can potentially decrease the risk of mental health issues,” Barringer says. “Early identification can potentially decrease the risk of negative outcomes for our active service members as well as our separated and retired military veterans.”“The military is using some of our exercise, nutrition, and performance-related work and the findings may help identify soldiers at risk for depression when they return from combat tours,” Kreider notes. He says that by working to identify such high-risk issues faced by soldiers, it can set a precedent that will benefit not only military leadership, but also the general public.“The public must realize that our soldiers need support before, during, and after their service,” Kreider explains. “There needs to be a time for soldiers to transition, become re-engaged within a community, and stay engaged in that community.”More information regarding fish oil and other exercise and nutrition-related research can be found at the Exercise & Sport Nutrition Lab’s website. Low concentration of fish oil in the blood and lack of physical activity may contribute to the high levels of depressed mood among soldiers returning from combat, according to researchers, including a Texas A&M University professor and his former doctoral student.In a study titled “Fatty Acid Blood Levels, Vitamin D Status, Physical Performance, Activity and Resiliency: A Novel Potential Screening Tool for Depressed Mood in Active Duty Soldiers,” researchers worked with 100 soldiers at Fort Hood to identify which factors affected moods in returning soldiers.The research was conducted by Major Nicholas Barringer when he was a Texas A&M doctoral student under the direction of Health & Kinesiology Professor and Department Head Richard Kreider, in collaboration with several current and former members of the U.S. Army, and colleagues at Texas A&M. Pinterestlast_img read more

National Drug Observatories critical to fight against drugs in CARICOM

first_imgThe critical importance of Drug Observatories (DOs) was underscored at the Opening of the Regional Seminar for Drug Observatories in the Caribbean on 4 April, 2018, at the Radisson Georgetown Princess Hotel, Guyana. The significance of international cooperation and synergies in the fight against illicit drugs was emphasised also to the gathering mainly of CARICOM practitioners, policy-makers and researchers in the field. Ms. Beverly Reynolds, Coordinator for Health and Human Development, Caribbean Community (CARICOM) Secretariat, said Drug Observatories were expected to “provide a more accurate picture of the drugs situation” in a country. “They help to identify emerging trends at an early stage and they provide decision-makers with the evidence needed for designing and evaluating appropriate strategies…”, she said. CARPHA: Leading the Caribbean’s COVID-19 Response – VIDEO Standards, Quality Still Important You may be interested in… Oct 7, 2020 Oct 7, 2020 The minister noted that international cooperation was vital and a basis for working together to ensure that the scourge of drugs was extirpated from our societies. The representative of the Organisation of American States (OAS), Mr. Jean Ricot Dormeus reiterated the case for international cooperation, remarking that the seminar resulted “from a synergy among several entities: the OAS, CARICOM, the European Union and the United States of America”.  Chargé d’Affaires for the United States Embassy in Guyana, Terry Steers-Gonzalez, reiterated his government’s continued support for DOs around the world, noting their important functions to collect monitor, analyse and treat data and to disseminate information to local, regional and international stakeholders to inform decision-making. Mr. Terry Steers-Gonzalez, Chargé d’ Affaires, US Embassy in Guyana, delivers remarks at the opening of the seminar See more photos here “Their roles are vital in the region’s fight against illicit drug use and trafficking and without which our efforts are just a shot in the dark…”, the US representative said. Feature Speaker, Guyana’s Minister for Public Security, Hon. Khemraj Ramjattan, challenged the gathering on the output of the seminar.  “If there is one thing that I would like to see coming out of this seminar is your emphasis on evidence-based data-driven policies and practices”, he said. The Minister likened drug observatories to the “brains of the society”, tasked with coming up with the relevant evidence-based solutions, policies and practices. In order to do so, he noted, Observatories must ask the correct corrections. “The correct questions in relation to matters of drugs sometimes lead us, for example, to whether we should legalise the activity or decriminalise the activity…”, he said. Oct 1, 2020 Share this:PrintTwitterFacebookLinkedInLike this:Like Loading… Relations within the Western Hemisphere: an uneasy alliance CARICOM and UNEP extend cooperation on environment “We need to understand more clearly the threats to our societies and economies. We need to sharpen our tools to counter these threats effectively. We need to craft policies that curb crime and violence. We know that the abuse and trafficking of drugs fuel crime and violence, and at the same time destroy our youth, seek to corrupt our civil servants and politicians, and derail the forward movement of our economies… This synergy signals to me that no entity can do it alone; unity does generate force”, he said. Mr. Dormeus commended the newly-established National anti-Narcotics Agency (NANA), for being instrumental in the preparation of the meeting, which he said “shows already great signs of vibrancy”. The two-day seminar is being held in collaboration with the Government of Guyana and the OAS Inter-American Drug Abuse Control Commission (OAS/CICAD). It aims to strengthen the capacity of representatives to gather, analyse and report on drug-related information and to enable the development of evidence-based drug policies and programmes.  It is an activity of the response under the Drug Demand Reduction (DDR) component of the Tenth European Development Fund (EDF) Crime and Security Programme between the European Union and CARIFORUM. Sep 25, 2020 Evidence-based, data-driven policies to address drug situation, other crimes – Khemraj RamjattanThe importance of drug observatories in the fight against the illegal drug situation was reiterated throughout the Opening Ceremony of the Regional Seminar for National Drug Observatories in the Caribbean on 4 April, 2018, at the Ramada Princess Hotel, in Georgetown, Guyana. Speaker after speaker made the case for evidence-based,…April 5, 2018In “CARICOM”Strategic Alliances critical to the fight against drugs in CARIFORUM      A Workshop to strengthen the Dominican Republic’s Drug Treatment Court opened today at the Crowne Plaza Hotel in Santo Domingo. The need for a human rights approach in drug prevention strategies, and the critical importance of national and international cooperation and strategic alliances in the fight against…October 22, 2018In “CARICOM Secretariat”Incorporate Human Rights in Prevention, Treatment Strategies to Tackle Drugs in CARIFORUM      Training to strengthen the Dominican Republic Drug Treatment Court Programme began on 22 October, in Santo Domingo, as part of the Caribbean Forum (CARIFORUM)’s strategy to tackle the drug problem from the demand side. The two-day capacity-building initiative is part of the response under the Drug Demand…October 23, 2018In “CARICOM Secretariat”Share this on WhatsApplast_img read more

Espanyol’s shock signing could be Madrid’s Jese Rodriguez

first_img 15/06/2016 CEST Espanyol have also asked for Kiko Casilla, but everything suggests he will not leave Los Blancos. However, the Barcelona-based club are well positioned in the race for Diego Llorente, who spent this season on loan at Rayo Vallecano, while they’re also waiting to see how Asensio’s future develops. The midfielder would be open to a return to Cornella, but Madrid may want to keep him, although it’s a matter which will be decided in August. Jese’s future may be defined before then. There could also be an option to buy in the future, while the loan deal could be for two years, as long as the player accepts. His name came up in a meeting held a couple of months ago between the club’s new president Chen Yansheng and Florentino Perez, but things have accelerated in recent weeks. Jese’s representatives have advised him to accept Espanyol’s offer so that his career can progress.  Lluis Miguelsanzcenter_img The operation is brewing in Madrid. Jese’s agent, Gines Carvajal, who also represents Quique Sanchez Flores, is in the process of closing a new deal at the Bernabeu, with the intention of extending the player’s terms until 20121. After that, Madrid feel it would be good for the forward to play regular minutes at another club. Jese was seriously injured in 2014 and has not, since then, had continuity. There are no doubts about his quality at Madrid, but they can’t give him the desired minutes. Therefore, Espanyol are seen as a good option. The cases of Jose Callejon, Lucas Vazquez and Marco Asensio are proof that players progress at the Pericos and Jese could continue that path.  Espanyol’s new project is serious and the club want to surround new manager Quique Sanchez Flores with players capable of moving them up the table. There are talks underway to sign many players, but the big target, the club’s priority, is no other than Real Madrid’s Jese Rodriguez. Espanyol have asked for a loan deal for one or two seasons, the player himself likes the option and Madrid could give the green light to a deal if they manage to renew him in the coming days. It’s close.  Upd. at 17:48 last_img read more

The best of 2017 in quotes

first_img1. “It’s sh*t right now but everything happens for a reason. I don’t want it to happen to someone else.”…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img

Pub’s destruction like the ’death of an old friend’

first_imgBy Kyra Gillespie The sudden destruction of Gembrook’s iconic Ranges Hotel has sent shock waves through the small community, many of which have…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img

Sermona repeats over Gonzales

first_imgWhere did they go? Millions left Wuhan before quarantine View comments MOST READ Sports Related Videospowered by AdSparcRead Next Mainland China virus cases exceed 40,000; deaths rise to 908 Power-punching Ryan Sermona dominated Roberto Gonzales to wrest the Philippine lightweight title Saturday night at the Agoncillo covered court in Agoncillo, Batangas.The 29-year-old Sermona, who also defeated Gonzales during their first bout four years ago in Puerto Galera, Oriental Mindoro, scored repeatedly with combinations to the body to score a 5th round TKO. ADVERTISEMENT Shanghai officials reveal novel coronavirus transmission modes As fate of VFA hangs, PH and US forces take to the skies for exercise Sermona upped his record to 20-8-0, 13 KOs, while Gonzales dropped to 27-3-0,17 KOs. —Dennis U. EroaFEATURED STORIESSPORTSGinebra teammates show love for SlaughterSPORTSWe are youngSPORTSFreddie Roach: Manny Pacquiao is my Muhammad Ali Don’t miss out on the latest news and information. Smart hosts first 5G-powered esports exhibition match in PH PH among economies most vulnerable to virus Chinese-manned vessel unsettles Bohol town Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan PLAY LIST 01:31Taiwan minister boards cruise ship turned away by Japan01:33WHO: ‘Global stocks of masks and respirators are now insufficient’01:01WHO: now 31,211 virus cases in China 102:02Vitamin C prevents but doesn’t cure diseases like coronavirus—medic03:07’HINDI PANG-SPORTS LANG!’03:03SILIP SA INTEL FUND Smart’s Siklab Saya: A multi-city approach to esports Senators to proceed with review of VFA We are young Quirino sparks gold chase EDITORS’ PICKlast_img read more