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Researchers create new devices to mechanically stress retinal cells

first_img Source:https://engineering.usu.edu/news/main-feed/2018/vargis-retinal-cell-mechanical-stress-study Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Oct 25 2018Researchers at Utah State University have developed new devices to mechanically stress human cells in the lab.In a study published in Lab on a Chip, researchers Elizabeth Vargis, a USU assistant professor of biological engineering and Farhad Farjood, a Ph.D. student in Vargis’ Lab, wanted to better understand the triggers of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a degenerative eye disease and the leading cause of adult blindness in developed countries. Physical changes within the retina are an important factor in the development of AMD. However, the effect of physical changes during the disease is not clearly understood.Related StoriesTransobturator sling surgery shows promise for stress urinary incontinenceInhibition of p38 protein boosts formation of blood vessels in colon cancerStudy reveals long-term benefits of stress urinary incontinence surgery”Physical changes that occur prior to or during disease are difficult to model outside of the body,” said Vargis. “We know that these changes are important, so we decided to build devices to better replicate them.”Currently there are no devices to realistically model varying levels of physical disruption available on the market. Therefore the researchers created two new devices: one that mimics slow and continuous stress levels and one for mimicking high levels of stress.”We used these devices to replicate stress on retinal cells and found that mechanical stress results in the expression of vascular endothelial growth factor, a protein that can cause disease initiation and progression,” said Farjood.The purpose of the study was to mimic changes in cells and find the mechanisms for the initiation and progression of diseases. The study looks at the effects of mechanical stress on elevated protein levels and abnormal development of new blood vessels.Besides AMD, mechanical stress can occur in other diseases including diabetic retinopathy and even cancer.”There are many clinical studies taking place to discover the causes of disease,” said Farjood. “Our work is an example of how engineering techniques can help us better understand the disease mechanisms.”last_img read more

Older adults with CVD more likely to experience rapid functional decline

first_imgReviewed by Alina Shrourou, B.Sc. (Editor)Nov 21 2018In a Journal of the American Geriatrics Society study of adults aged 65 and older who were functionally independent, individuals with cardiovascular disease (CVD) were more likely to experience rapid functional decline than those without.For the 392 individuals with CVD in the study, three distinct trajectories of function emerged over a four-year follow-up period: stable function (32.0 percent), gradual functional decline (44.2 percent), and rapid functional decline (23.8 percent). Similar trajectories were seen for those without CVD, with a smaller proportion in the rapid functional decline group (16.2 percent). Those who were women, older, and had less education and greater comorbidity were especially likely to experience rapid functional decline.”The risk factors identified in this study may be used by clinicians to identify older adults with CVD who would benefit from functional screening and intervention to deter further decline,” said lead author Dr. Tamra Keeney, of the MGH Institute of Health Professions. “Future work should investigate additional factors that are associated with rapid functional decline in late life as well as interventions that can lead to functional improvement in this high-risk group.”​ Source:https://newsroom.wiley.com/press-release/journal-american-geriatrics-society/cardiovascular-disease-may-increase-risk-rapid-funlast_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

Amazon urged not to sell facial recognition tool to police

first_imgThe American Civil Liberties Union and other privacy advocates are asking Amazon to stop marketing a powerful facial recognition tool to police, saying law enforcement agencies could use the technology to “easily build a system to automate the identification and tracking of anyone.” Chinese police don high-tech glasses to nab suspects The tool, called Rekognition, is already being used by at least one agency—the Washington County Sheriff’s Office in Oregon—to check photographs of unidentified suspects against a database of mug shots from the county jail, which is a common use of such technology around the country.But privacy advocates have been concerned about expanding the use of facial recognition to body cameras worn by officers or safety and traffic cameras that monitor public areas, allowing police to identify and track people in real time.Amazon is offering the technology at a low cost to police agencies. Given its reach, the tech giant’s entry into the market could vastly accelerate government surveillance capabilities, the privacy advocates fear, with potentially dire consequences for minorities who are already arrested at disproportionate rates, immigrants who may be in the country illegally or political protesters.”People should be free to walk down the street without being watched by the government,” the groups wrote in a letter to Amazon on Tuesday. “Facial recognition in American communities threatens this freedom.”Amazon released Rekognition in late 2016, and the sheriff’s office in Washington County, west of Portland, became one of its first law enforcement agency customers.A year later, deputies were using it about 20 times per day—for example, to identify burglary suspects in store surveillance footage. Last month, the agency adopted policies governing its use, noting that officers in the field can use real-time face recognition to identify suspects who are unwilling or unable to provide their own ID, or if someone’s life is in danger.”We are not mass-collecting. We are not putting a camera out on a street corner,” said Deputy Jeff Talbot, a spokesman for the sheriff’s office. “We want our local community to be aware of what we’re doing, how we’re using it to solve crimes—what it is and, just as importantly, what it is not.”It cost the sheriff’s office just $400 to load 305,000 booking photos into the system and $6 per month in fees to continue the service, according to an email obtained by the ACLU under a public records request. This document is subject to copyright. Apart from any fair dealing for the purpose of private study or research, no part may be reproduced without the written permission. The content is provided for information purposes only. In this March 12, 2015, file photo, Seattle police officer Debra Pelich, right, wears a video camera on her eyeglasses as she talks with Alex Legesse before a small community gathering in Seattle. While the Seattle Police Department bars officers from using real-time facial recognition in body camera video, privacy activists are concerned that a proliferation of the technology could turn the cameras into tools of mass surveillance. The ACLU and other organizations on Tuesday, May 22, 2018, asked Amazon to stop selling its facial-recognition tool, called Rekognition, to law enforcement agencies. (AP Photo/Elaine Thompson, File) This Sept. 6, 2012, file photo, shows the Amazon logo. The American Civil Liberties Union and other privacy activists are asking Amazon to stop marketing a powerful facial recognition tool to police, saying law enforcement agencies could use the technology to “easily build a system to automate the identification and tracking of anyone.” (AP Photo/Reed Saxon, File) Last year, the Orlando, Florida, Police Department announced it would begin a pilot program relying on Amazon’s technology to “use existing city resources to provide real-time detection and notification of persons-of-interest, further increasing public safety.”Orlando has a network of public safety cameras, and in a presentation posted to YouTube this month , Ranju Das, who leads Amazon Rekognition, said the company would receive feeds from the cameras, search them against photos of people being sought by law enforcement and notify police of any hits.”It’s about recognizing people, it’s about tracking people, and then it’s about doing this in real time, so that the law enforcement officers … can be then alerted in real time to events that are happening,” he said.The Orlando Police Department declined to make anyone available for an interview about the program but said in an email that it “is not using the technology in an investigative capacity or in any public spaces at this time.”The testing has been limited to eight city-owned cameras and a handful of officers who volunteered to have their images used to see if the technology works, Sgt. Eduardo Bernal said in a follow-up email Tuesday.”As this is a pilot and not being actively used by OPD as a surveillance tool, there is no policy or procedure regarding its use as it is not deployed in that manner,” Bernal wrote.The letter to Amazon followed public records requests from ACLU chapters in California, Oregon and Florida. More than two dozen organizations signed it, including the Electronic Frontier Foundation and Human Rights Watch.Clare Garvie, an associate at the Center on Privacy and Technology at Georgetown University Law Center, said part of the problem with real-time face recognition is its potential impact on free-speech rights.While police might be able to videotape public demonstrations, face recognition is not merely an extension of photography but a biometric measurement—more akin to police walking through a demonstration and demanding identification from everyone there.Amazon’s technology isn’t that different from what face recognition companies are already selling to law enforcement agencies. But its vast reach and its interest in recruiting more police departments to take part raise concerns, she said.”This raises very real questions about the ability to remain anonymous in public spaces,” Garvie said. © 2018 The Associated Press. All rights reserved. Amazon Web Services did not answer emailed questions about how many law enforcement agencies are using Rekognition, but in a written statement the company said it requires all of its customers to comply with the law and to be responsible in the use of its products.The statement said some agencies have used the program to find abducted people, and amusement parks have used it to find lost children. British broadcaster Sky News used Rekognition to help viewers identify celebrities at the royal wedding of Prince Harry and Meghan Markle last weekend. Citation: Amazon urged not to sell facial recognition tool to police (2018, May 22) retrieved 18 July 2019 from https://phys.org/news/2018-05-aclu-amazon-shouldnt-face-recognition-tech.html Explore furtherlast_img read more

The Most Interesting Science News Articles of the Week

first_img A September 2013 image shows the then-brand new island. Credit: Newscom Tiny ripples called magnons could lure even a fleeting, lightweight dark matter particle out of hiding. [Read more about the particles.] Twin Faults The universe is full of “runaway stars” trying to escape their home galaxy (including the reddish-blue dot in the bottom-right corner of this NASA telescope image). A new study suggests that some of these stellar renegades may in fact be rare supernova survivors. Credit: NASA/JPL-Caltech We still don’t know what the X-37B is doing up there, however. [Read more about the rare sight.] Rebel Wreaking Havoc Scientists know very little about the faults that ripped apart during the massive SoCal quakes. [Read more about the oddity.] Follow Live Science @livescience, Facebook & Google+.by Taboolaby TaboolaSponsored LinksSponsored LinksPromoted LinksPromoted LinksYou May LikeVikings: Free Online GamePlay this for 1 min and see why everyone is addicted!Vikings: Free Online GameUndoTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionOne Thing All Liars Have in Common, Brace YourselfTruthFinder People Search SubscriptionUndoInfinityKloudSmart USB Stick Backs Up Everything On Your Computer.InfinityKloudUndoDermalMedixDoctor’s New Discovery Makes Foot Calluses “Vanish”DermalMedixUndoGundry MD Total Restore SupplementU.S. Cardiologist: It’s Like a Pressure Wash for Your InsidesGundry MD Total Restore SupplementUndoairdogusa.comThe World’s Best Washable Air Purifierairdogusa.comUndo Astronaut Buzz Aldrin walks on the surface of the moon near the leg of the lunar module Eagle during the Apollo 11 mission on July 20, 1969. Credit: NASA Cosmic, cosmic, cosmic, cosmic, cosmic chameleon, you come and go. [Read more about the theory.] Dancin’ Bones A supercomputer simulation of a disc galaxy. The right-hand side of the image shows the gas density within the disk galaxy, while the stars twinkle as bright dots. The left side of the image shows how forces change inside the gas according to Chameleon Theory, which could explain a discrepancy in our measurements and models of dark energy. Credit: Christian Arnold/Baojiu Li/Durham University Four stars that seemingly survived a massive supernova explosion are now lighter, speedier and anxious to leave their home galaxy. [Read more about the renegade.] Dangerous Dark Energy Could quasiparticles called magnons unmask a lightweight dark matter particle? Credit: Shutterstock Olive python feeding on a wallaby. Credit: Ken Griffiths/Shutterstock A portrait of Charles Etienne Gudin, who fought in Napoleon’s Grande Armée. Credit: Photo12/UIG/Getty Images An onlooker views newly ruptured ground after a 7.1-magnitude earthquake struck on July 6, 2019, near Ridgecrest, California. Credit: Mario Tama/Getty Images More than 200,000 Facebook users say they’re interested in joining a raid on Nevada’s infamous Area 51 air base this summer. [Read more about the raid.] Big Appetite A mud-volcano island that burst from the waters off the coast of Pakistan during a deadly earthquake in 2013 has disappeared beneath the waves. [Read more about the disappearance.] Moon Landing Explained As this sign outside of Nevada’s infamous Area 51 military base reminds would-be visitors, guards are authorized to respond to trespassers with deadly force. Credit: Barry King/Getty Images It’s been half a century since the magnificent Apollo 11 moon landing, yet some people still don’t believe it actually happened. [Read more about the reasoning.] Unmasking Dark Matter? Teeth and scales didn’t stop an Australian olive python from getting a meal. [Read more about the snack.]Headbutting Tiny Worms Are Really, Really LoudThis rapid strike produces a loud ‘pop’ comparable to those made by snapping shrimps, one of the most intense biological sounds measured at sea.Your Recommended PlaylistVolume 0%Press shift question mark to access a list of keyboard shortcutsKeyboard Shortcutsplay/pauseincrease volumedecrease volumeseek forwardsseek backwardstoggle captionstoggle fullscreenmute/unmuteseek to %SPACE↑↓→←cfm0-9接下来播放Why Is It ‘Snowing’ Salt in the Dead Sea?01:53 facebook twitter 发邮件 reddit 链接https://www.livescience.com/50718-weekend-reading.html?jwsource=cl已复制直播00:0000:3500:35  No Secrets Revealed The U.S. Air Force’s X-37B robotic space plane in orbit, as photographed by satellite tracker Ralf Vandebergh. Credit: © Ralf Vandebergh An excavation in a peculiar place — under the foundation of a dance floor in Russia — has uncovered the remains of one of Napoleon Bonaparte’s favorite generals: a one-legged man who was killed by a cannonball more than 200 years ago, news sources report. [Read more about the remains.] Vanishing Island Each week we uncover the most interesting and informative articles from around the world, here are some of the coolest stories in science this week. Big Turnoutlast_img read more