Liberty Global CEO Mike Fries Strong European su

first_imgLiberty Global CEO, Mike Fries.Strong European subscriber growth helped boost Liberty Global’s third quarter results, with the UK and Germany leading the way. The pan-regional cable and pay TV operator also saw its advanced TV customer base – comprising Virgin Media TiVo subscribers and households with the Horizon service across Europe – pass the four million milestone during the period.While revenue rose, the group saw a drop in operating income for the period.Liberty Global posted 320,000 revenue-generating unit net additions, including 296,000 in Europe. These included 102,000 RGUs in Germany, 68,000 in the UK and 26,000 in Belgium.The TiVo and Horizon platforms together attracted 339,000 new subscribers in the third quarter.The group notched up 200,000 new broadband customers in the period, led by the UK and Germany.Virgin Media added 42,000 new customers in the quarter, partly offset by losses at the Irish operation, now combined with the UK unit, leading to a net increase of 40,000 across both. The company said its Project Lightning infrastructure build-out was on track with 250,000 new premises targeted this year.Dutch unit Ziggo, recently combined with the former UPC Netherlands, continued to lose subscribers, but at a slower rate, with 18,000 RGU losses significantly lower than the average during the first half of the year, according to the company.The CEE region saw 113,000 RGU additions in the quarter.Liberty Global also added customers to its LiLAC group, with Chile contributing 10,00 additional customers and the unit as a whole adding 24,000 RGUs in the third quarter.Revenue for the period was up 2.2% to US$4.6 billion. Operating income was US$545.5 million, down from US$703.7 million for the same period last year.“Subscriber growth is back on track with 320,000 RGU additions in the third quarter, including 220,000 new broadband subscribers. This acceleration in volume growth was fueled by our operations in Germany and the UK. Continued traction of our cutting-edge Horizon TV platform resulted in a record quarter of almost 250,000 new subscriptions. The execution of our aggressive technology roadmap continues delivering innovative products like our recently launched Replay TV functionality and next-generation WiFi gateway,” said president and CEO Mike Fries.“In the Netherlands, our renewed focus on service quality and product launches since the Ziggo rebrand resulted in better subscriber performance as compared to the first half. With momentum continuing across the rest of our business, we are targeting up to one million organic RGU additions for 2015, and look forward to a strong Q4. On the mobile front, we improved our product portfolio with the launch of data-rich 4G offerings in Switzerland, the Netherlands and Chile. In total, we added over 450,000 postpaid subscribers in the last twelve months and together with our successful split-contract mobile offering, drove our Q3 rebased mobile revenue by 18% year-over-year.“From a financial perspective, in Europe we reported 3.5% rebased revenue growth in Q3, our best quarterly performance in two years, led by top-line growth in Germany, Belgium and the U.K. Our YTD rebased OCF growth came in at 3%. As we continue to expect to meet full-year guidance of mid-single digit rebased growth, we anticipate a higher OCF growth rate in Q4 than the YTD growth rate for our 3 European operations. Finally, we generated Free Cash Flow of $1.7 billion during the first nine months of 2015, a 24% improvement year-over-year.”last_img read more

Emerging markets SVOD service Iflix has partnered

first_imgEmerging markets SVOD service Iflix has partnered with smart TV software provider Vewd to make Iflix available on millions of Vewd-enabled devices.  Iflix worked with the Vewd team to certify the Iflix app for the Vewd ecosystem, meaning the app can be deployed across connected TVs and set-top boxes.“We aim to give users the freedom to enjoy Iflix on any screen of their choice – from their 6-inch mobile screen to 65-inch big screen television,” said Iflix CEO, Mark Britt.“Our partnership with Vewd is an important step to fulfilling that promise. Vewd’s leading edge technology and connected smart TV ecosystem allows us to integrate with platforms efficiently, whilst offering users an uncompromising user experience.”Vewd CEO, Aneesh Rajaram, said: “Iflix has established itself as one of the world’s pre-eminent subscription video-on-demand services. Having them join the world’s largest connected TV ecosystem underscores our commitment to providing the richest catalogue of key apps on connected TV devices.“Now more than ever, Vewd can provide the industry’s most comprehensive content offering for smart TV manufacturers and pay TV operators.”last_img read more

Breathing through the nose improves memory consolidation

first_img Source:https://ki.se/en/news/breathing-through-the-nose-aids-memory-storage Reviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Oct 22 2018The way we breathe may affect how well our memories are consolidated (i.e. reinforced and stabilized). If we breathe through the nose rather than the mouth after trying to learn a set of smells, we remember them better, researchers at Karolinska Institutet in Sweden report in The Journal of Neuroscience.Research into how breathing affects the brain has become an ever-more popular field in recent years and new methodologies have enabled more studies, many of which have concentrated on the memory. Researchers from Karolinska Institutet now show that participants who breathe through the nose consolidate their memories better.”Our study shows that we remember smells better if we breathe through the nose when the memory is being consolidated – the process that takes place between learning and memory retrieval,” says Artin Arshamian, researcher at the Department of Clinical Neuroscience, Karolinska Institutet. “This is the first time someone has demonstrated this.”Related StoriesResearchers report how a popular antidepressant drug could rewire the brainResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairSchwann cells capable of generating protective myelin over nerves finds researchOne reason why this phenomenon has not previously been available for study is that the most common laboratory animals – rats and mice – cannot breathe naturally through their mouths.For the study, the researchers had participants learn twelve different smells on two separate occasions. They were then asked to either breathe through their noses or mouths for one hour. When the time was up, the participants were presented with the old as well as a new set of twelve smells, and asked to say if each one was from the learning session or new.The results showed that when the participants breathed through their noses between the time of learning and recognition, they remembered the smells better.New method facilitates measuring activity in the brain”The next step is to measure what actually happens in the brain during breathing and how this is linked to memory,” says Dr Arshamian. “This was previously a practical impossibility as electrodes had to be inserted directly into the brain. We’ve managed to get round this problem and now we’re developing, with my colleague Johan Lundström, a new means of measuring activity in the olfactory bulb and brain without having to insert electrodes.”Earlier research has shown that the receptors in the olfactory bulb detect not only smells but also variations in the airflow itself. In the different phases of inhalation and exhalation, different parts of the brain are activated. But how the synchronization of breathing and brain activity happens and how it affects the brain and therefore our behavior is unknown. Traditional medicine has often, however, stressed the importance of breathing.”The idea that breathing affects our behavior is actually not new,” says Dr Arshamian. “In fact, the knowledge has been around for thousands of years in such areas as meditation. But no one has managed to prove scientifically what actually goes on in the brain. We now have tools that can reveal new clinical knowledge.”last_img read more

Study Measuring and monitoring tumor DNA can help reveal early melanoma growth

first_img Source:https://www.hopkinsmedicine.org/news/newsroom/news-releases/johns-hopkins-researchers-advance-role-of-circulating-tumor-dna-to-detect-early-melanoma-growth-uncover-treatment-options Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Nov 27 2018Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center say they have added to evidence that measuring and monitoring tumor DNA that naturally circulates in the blood of melanoma patients can not only reliably help reveal the early stages of cancer growth and spread but also uncover new treatment options that tumor genetic analysis alone may not.”For some patients in our study, ctDNA (circulating tumor DNA) levels measured in a relatively simple blood test revealed tumor mutations that could be potentially targeted with current or new drugs that inhibit tumor growth mutations that are not revealed by genetic profiling of the tumor itself,” says Evan Lipson, M.D., an associate professor of oncology at the Kimmel Cancer Center and a member of The Bloomberg~Kimmel Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy.”For other patients, ctDNA levels accurately predicted disease progression as seen on CT scans, further demonstrating ctDNA’s role as a blood-based biomarker of disease activity in melanoma patients.”Melanoma currently lacks a consistently and wholly reliable predictive blood-based biomarker of disease progression. Having one, Lipson says, would not only improve treatment outcomes but also reduce unnecessary or ineffective therapies.For the study, published in the October 2018 issue of Molecular Oncology, the Kimmel Cancer Center scientists analyzed blood-based ctDNA from 119 advanced-melanoma Johns Hopkins patients. The patients were divided into three groups based on the type of tumor they had and potential mutations that were common and reoccurring in those tumors.The first group of 60 people were patients with radiographically measurable metastatic melanoma, regardless of tumor mutation status. In this group, ctDNA testing revealed a targetable mutation in 38 of the 60 patients. In 33 of those patients, the mutations found using ctDNA matched the mutations found in tumor specimens. In two patients, ctDNA testing revealed a mutation that tumor testing had not.In the second group, there were 29 patients with surgically removed high-risk (stage IIB-IV) melanoma whose tumor tissue revealed any of the seven common mutations. In this group, none of the patients whose melanoma tumors were surgically removed had evidence of disease before the study. However, five of 29 patients were discovered to have recurrent melanoma during the study, and in two of those cases, ctDNA was detected.Related StoriesNew drug combination found to be effective against uveal melanoma in preclinical studiesPatients with HIV DNA in cerebrospinal fluid have high risk of experiencing cognitive deficitsHIV DNA persists in spinal fluid despite treatment, linked to cognitive impairmentThe third group had 30 patients who were receiving or had received therapy for advanced melanoma and had any of the seven common mutations. Of the 30, 17 experienced partial or complete response to therapy, which was confirmed using CT scans over 8, 14, 25 and 38 week periods, and no ctDNA was found in those patients after an initial CT scan evaluation. In the remaining 13 patients, ctDNA was detected during their treatment. In four of those 13, the disease was detected simultaneously by a CT scan and ctDNA results. In four others, ctDNA results predicted disease progression that was confirmed by using CT scan.”When genetic testing of the tumor alone was used for some of the patients, it did not reveal any option for targeted therapy,” Lipson says. “It turned out that when we looked in the bloodstream, lo and behold, we found ctDNA that uncovered options for therapy that provided benefit for patients and that otherwise were not going to be used.”Lipson notes that in general, melanoma patients receiving treatment typically have CT scans performed months apart over time to compare the growth or regression of the tumors. By using repeated ctDNA blood test results that reflect tumor activity in conjunction with those scans, the researchers say the biomarker was predictive of eventual disease progression seen on CT scans. These findings add to evidence that ctDNA testing may help radiologists and oncologists better interpret results of tests and treatments in patients with advanced melanoma.According to the National Cancer Institute, there were 91,270 new cases of melanoma in 2018, making up more than 5 percent of all new cancer cases. There were 9,320 estimated deaths in 2018, and 91.8 percent of patients survive five years or longer.Lipson said while larger trials will be needed to further investigate and confirm the findings, evidence is growing that using ctDNA can refine therapeutic outcomes and uncover additional avenues for therapy for some patients with melanoma.”Our findings may serve as a blueprint for future, randomized investigations designed to further evaluate the clinical utility of incorporating ctDNA analysis among larger groups of patients with melanoma.”last_img read more