Is this the key to stopping cancer from spreading?

Cancer cells dividing

Divide and conquer – can metastasis be controlled?
When a tumor migrates to another part of the body, it makes cancer much more difficult to beat. A recently published study, investigating a metabolite called 20-HETE, gives new insight into this process and how it might be stopped.

Cancer’s ability to metastasize – move through the body and take root in a distant location – is a thorn in the side of cancer treatments.

A localized tumor is much easier to treat, and chances of survival are greater. Once the tumor has moved on, it can be harder to control. Around 30 percent of people with breast cancer experience metastasis, commonly affecting the lymph nodes, bones, brain, lungs, and liver.

Understanding how a tumor sets up shop in distant parts of the body is an important area of study. The trouble is, cancer is incredibly adept at finding a new location; in fact, tumors constantly send out cells into the bloodstream to see if they take hold and flourish. They are also experts at recruiting cellular assistance and making their new home perfect for supporting their continued growth.

New research, looking at a metabolite called 20-HETE, hopes to learn how we can disrupt cancer’s ability to succeed in distant tissues.

What is 20-HETE?

20-HETE (20-Hydroxyeicosatetraenoic acid) is a breakdown product of arachidonic acid, a fatty acid used widely throughout the body. 20-HETE carries out a number of useful roles, including the regulation of vascular tone, blood flow to organs, and sodium and fluid transport in the kidney. The metabolite also plays a role in inflammation, helping the body fight off infections and other diseases.

Aside from its natural and positive effects, 20-HETE appears to have a darker, more sinister side; these murky depths are currently being plumbed by postdoctoral fellow Dr. Thaiz F. Borin and his team at Augusta University, GA. His latest findings are published this week in PLOS ONE.

Co-author Dr. B.R. Achyut, assistant professor in the MCG Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology, explains 20-HETE’s Jekyll and Hyde personality:

“There is normal function, and there is tumor-associated function. Tumors highjack our system and use that molecule against us.”

According to recent studies, 20-HETE provides the cancer with virtually everything that it needs; it forms part of the “seed and soil” hypothesis. For a cancer cell to up sticks and move, it needs all of its ducks in a row. It must detach from its position and become aggressive enough to survive the journey; then, once it has found a new site, it needs to recruit supporting tissue and blood vessels.

According to Dr. Ali S. Arbab, leader of the Tumor Angiogenesis Initiative at the Georgia Cancer Center, recent studies show that 20-HETE prepares the new site in a number of ways. The metabolite activates helpful protein kinases and growth factors that encourage cells to grow in size, proliferate, and differentiate.

To flourish, tumors are also dependent on the creation of new blood vessels, and 20-HETE can help in this regard. Additionally, 20-HETE turns up inflammation, a hallmark of many diseases, including cancer. It manages this

Disrupting the tumor microenvironment

In Dr. Arbab’s studies on metastasis and the processes behind it, he and his team are focused on “going after that tumor microenvironment.” In the most recent study, they used a molecule called HET0016, which inhibits the actions of 20-HETE.

To test HET0016’s ability to scupper 20-HETE’s homemaking powers, they inserted cancer cells in the mammary fat pad of mice. Once the cancer had set down roots and begun to spread, they injected the mice with HET0016. The drug was given for 5 days a week for 3 weeks.

After just 48 hours, cancer cells were less able to move freely around their test tube.

The drugs also reduced levels of metalloproteinases in the lungs; these enzymes destroy protein structures, allowing cancer cells to penetrate and new blood vessels to grow.

Similarly, other molecules useful to cancer cells, such as growth factors and myeloid-derived suppressor cells, were reduced. As Arbab says, “It gets rid of one of the natural protections tumors use, and tumor growth in the lung goes down.”

Although HET0016 is not ready for use in humans, the study demonstrates that 20-HETE could be a useful target for preventing cancer’s spread. Arbab notes that there are already certain drugs on the market – including some over-the-counter anti-inflammatory drugs – that might also inhibit this hijacked molecular pathway.

The team plans to continue looking for ways to prevent cancer from coercing 20-HETE into playing the bad guy. Preventing breast cancer from metastasizing would be a huge step forward because, as the authors write, “Distant metastasis is the primary cause of death in the majority of breast cancer types.”


Good news! That cuppa coffee is key to your long life

ANI | Jan 17, 2017, 12.30 PM IST


Good news! That cuppa coffee is key to your long life (Courtesy: Thinkstock)Good news! That cuppa coffee is key to your long life (Courtesy: Thinkstock)

The finding that coffee drinkers tend to live longer than people who abstain has long puzzled scientists. US scientists believe they’ve found the answer – and it’s to do with caffeine. It helps to block chemicals in the blood that promote inflammation, they say. The study was published in Nature Medicine.

Drinking coffee and tea may help people to live longer by reducing chemicals in the blood that can trigger heart disease, researchers have found. Now researchers at Stanford University believe they may have hit on a reason why having a coffee or tea break is so good for us.

Caffeine, the ingredient that gives coffee, tea and some fizzy drinks a lift, blocks chemicals in our blood that promote inflammation. Inflamed blood vessels are more likely to become stiffer – a risk factor for heart disease. Inflammation also plays a key role in many other diseases, the research study said.

Tests on the blood of people fewer of the chemicals linked to inflammation – were found to have more caffeine in their bloodstream. Further investigation revealed that they, as might be expected, drank more coffee than their peers.

A chemical found in chocolate, theobromine, was also found to have an anti-inflammatory effect, although not as pronounced as caffeine.

David Furman of the Stanford University’s Institute for Immunity, Transplantaion and Infection said: ‘More than 90 per cent of all noncommunicable diseases of aging are associated with chronic inflammation.’ Dr Furmann added: ‘It’s also well known that caffeine intake is associated with longevity. Many studies have shown this association. We’ve found a possible reason for why this may be so.’

His colleague Mark Davis added: ‘Our findings show that an underlying inflammatory process, which is associated with aging, is not only driving cardiovascular disease but is, in turn, driven by molecular events that we may be able to target and combat.’

The authors found that in an ongoing study following participants aged 20-30, and another group of people aged 60, those who ‘tended to drink more caffeinated beverages’ had lower levels of inflammatory compounds in their blood.

Further tests in the laboratory in human cell cultures found that caffeine had an active role in combating the chemicals that trigger inflammation. The key chemical combated by caffeine is called Interleukin-1-beta.

When injected into mice, IL-1-Beta led to ‘massive systemic inflammation, along with high blood pressure’. It also led to immune cells – white blood cells that fight infection and – clogging the animals kidneys. It also found more platelets platelets, which make blood more likely to clot.

Dr Davis said: ‘That something many people drink – and actually like to drink – might have a direct benefit came as a surprise to us’.

‘What we’ve shown is a correlation between caffeine consumption and longevity. And we’ve shown more rigorously, in laboratory tests, a very plausible mechanism for why this might be so.’

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OnePlus 3T leaks in photo, key specs re-confirmed

A leaked photo seemingly of OnePlus’ upcoming smartphone, the OnePlus 3T, has surfaced online. The photo shows a device whose back has design similar to the OnePlus 3 and front (with a ‘T’ on screen) partially visible in a mirror.

The leak came courtesy of a Weibo post, which also re-confirmed some of the device’s key specs: Snapdragon 821 SoC, 3,300mAh battery, and Sony IMX398 sensor.

Aside from these, 128GB storage and Android 7.0 Nougat has also been rumored in the past. The handset, which is expected to cost around $480, is set to be unveiled on November 15.


Prices of key drugs down 35%

The drug price regulator has slashed prices of 43 commonly used essential medicines by up to 35%, a move expected to benefit patients suffering from several critical diseases and who need expensive medicines.

The National Pharmaceutical Pricing Authority reduced prices of drugs used in treatment of ailments like diabetes, cancer, asthma, cardiovascular diseases, mental disorders and kidney failure.

Prices have been revised under three different categories. While some new drugs have been brought under price control, the regulator has also further slashed prices of around 30 drugs which were already under price control. The regulator has also allowed a slight increase in prices of two medicines based on review order issued by the pharmaceuticals department.

Companies have been directed to bring down prices of all brands of the notified formulations at the level of the ceiling price. However, medicine brands with an MRP lower than the ceiling cannot upwardly revise their prices.

“The reduction is in the range of 5-35%,” a senior official told TOI. The NPPA issued the order late Friday evening notifying the new price ceilings. Any company not complying with the new price caps and selling medicines above prescribed MRP (maximum retail price) will be liable for a penalty for overcharging consumers under the Essential Commodities Act, 1955.

The move also assumes significance as it comes in the wake of the latest deliberations by the government to improve ease of doing business for pharmaceutical companies. Some sources had indicated the government is planning to bring in leniency in drug price control as pharmaceutical companies are stifling under pricing regimes.

Since March, NPPA has fixed prices of 540 essential medicines resulting in an effective saving of around Rs 3,000 crore, according to government.

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Odd Cure: Sea-Snail Venom Holds Key To Diabetes Medication, Study Says

Odd Cure: Sea-Snail Venom Holds Key To Diabetes Medication, Study Says

MELBOURNE: The venom of a carnivorous sea snail could hold the key for artificial, fast-acting insulin for diabetes patients, an Australian study has found.

Researchers from Melbourne’s Walter and Eliza Hall Institute (WEHI) discovered the unusual three-dimensional structure of the insulin, a hormone that turns glucose ingested into liver and skeletal muscle cells, within the cone snail’s venom, Xinhua news agency reported.

Mike Lawrence, leader of WEHI’s participation in the research, said the discovery was a significant step and would enable scientists to engineer an artificial version of the fast-acting insulin.

Lawrence said the artificial insulin, used to maintain a healthy level of glucose in the blood of diabetes patients, would work instantaneously compared to the insulin currently used which requires 15 minutes to take effect.

“Our breakthrough has been to determine the structure of this venom insulin,” Lawrence said on Tuesday.

Lawrence said insulin developed from the snail venom could be administered to patients suffering from type one, type two and gestational diabetes.
The cone snail uses its venom on fish, a vertebrate species similar to humans, which made researchers believe that the venom’s insulin would work on humans.

Diabetes Australia said that 280 Australians develop diabetes every day.

The research is an ongoing international collaboration between scientists from the US, Denmark and Australia.


BeOn key fob review: A convenient accessory for BeOn Smart Security Lighting

key fob 1

When we reviewed BeOn’s Home Protection System last December, we complemented BeOn for its ingenuity and ease of use, but lamented the bulb system’s lack of support for any of the major smart-home systems The company said such support was in the works, but it’s been nearly a year and we’re still waiting.

BeOn has improved the user experience with its bulbs in one other way: They’ve introduced a new two-button key fob that reduces reliance on the company’s mobile app.

While you still can’t control individual lights with it, you can quickly toggle between home and away modes with the push of a button. That’s a whole lot faster than whipping out your smart phone and waiting for the BeOn app to launch.

Up and running in less than a minute

The fob is reasonably priced at $30, and it’s very easy to incorporate into the BeOn system. Launch the app on your mobile device, select Add New, and then select Add Key Fob. The next step is to press the fob’s Home button. It took about 30 seconds for the app to recognize the fob and acknowledge that it had been added.

beon keyfob setup

The app walks you through every step of the setup process.

Much of the BeOn system’s appeal is that it learns your lighting-usage patterns and then replays those sequences while you’re gone, giving any would-be burglar the impression that someone is at home. An occupied home is far less likely to be broken into.

So before you start using BeOn’s key fob, be sure you have your Home and Away settings programmed the way you want them; the Away function won’t work properly if you don’t. Pressing the Away button activates the function where it plays back your lighting usage patterns, so it needs something to work with. If you’ve just installed your BeOn system, it will take a week or two before the key fob’s Away function will work optimally.

Here’s another story you might be interested in reading: Z-Wave becomes an open smart-home standard

Using the key fob is also pretty simple—as you might expect since there’s only two buttons. As we’ve already discussed, pressing the Away activates the security function (you’ll know it’s active when the bulbs flash three times). Pressing Home turns all the lights on and at full brightness—there’s no way to get around that.

On the upside, you could turn on all your BeOn bulbs when you arrive home and before you enter the house, instead of waiting to go inside and tap a switch or reach for a lamp. Once inside your now-illuminated home, you can turn on whichever other light you want and then hold the fob down for three seconds to turn all the BeOn bulbs off. Another useful scenario would be if you hear a bump in the night and want to turn on several lights all at once for added security.

There’s not much else the fob—or the BeOn system as a whole—can do. You can’t program the fob to turn on just one or a couple of lights, and the fob—unlike the app—doesn’t restore the bulbs to whatever level or brightness they were programmed by the app to operate at. That’s annoying.

We still want more

BeOn has promised since launch that it was looking to incorporate its BeOn bulbs into broader smart-home systems. They even had an exhibit inside the Z-Wave Alliance’s booth during CES 2016. A removable battery pack that can change the bulb’s functionality is one of the BeOn bulb’s best features. BeOn could conceivably offer a version with a Z-Wave or ZigBee radio in there and offer it as an upgrade.

If you already own a BeOn system, the key fob is a very good addition. But it’s not enough for us to issue a strong buy recommendation for new buyers.


RPSC RAS/RTS Prelims 2016: Official answer key released at

RPSC RAS/RTS Prelims 2016: Official answer key

The official answer key of Rajasthan Administrative Service (RAS/RTS) combined computer (Pre) examination 2016 has been released. All those candidates who have appeared for the same are required to check their results at the official website,  .

The exam was successfully conducted by the Rajasthan Public Service Commission (RPSC) on August 28, 2016 from 10 am to 1 pm. The commission had earlier invited applications for recruitment of 725 posts under state and subordinate services.

The selection of the candidates is done on the basis of these exams:

  • Preliminary exam
  • Mains exam

Only those candidates who have qualified in the preliminary exam will be appearing for the mains exam.

(Read: SBI Clerk Mains Results 2016: To be declared today at

Steps to check the answer key:

  • Log on to the official website:
  • Under the “News and Events” section, click on the link “Answer key for RAS/RTS Comb. Comp. (PRE) Exam – 2016”
  • On the new page the answer key will be displayed in a PDF format
  • Download the same and take a print out for future reference

In case, the candidates have any objections regarding the answers, they can raise their queries on the official website from August 31, 2016 to September 2, 2016 midnight.

About RPSC

The Public Service Commission (PSC), Rajasthan is an organisation that works under the government of Bihar to recruit staff for various posts in various ministries and departments, and in subordinate offices. The commission also conducts examinations for the recruitment in various departments of the state.


Early brain connections key to reading

A new study from MIT reveals that a brain region dedicated to reading has connections for that skill even before children learn to read.

By scanning the brains of children before and after they learned to read, the researchers found that they could predict the precise location where each child’s visual word form area (VWFA) would develop, based on the connections of that region to other parts of the brain.

Neuroscientists have long wondered why the brain has a region exclusively dedicated to reading — a skill that is unique to humans and only developed about 5,400 years ago, which is not enough time for evolution to have reshaped the brain for that specific task. The new study suggests that the VWFA, located in an area that receives visual input, has pre-existing connections to brain regions associated with language processing, making it ideally suited to become devoted to reading.

“Long-range connections that allow this region to talk to other areas of the brain seem to drive function,” says Zeynep Saygin, a postdoc at MIT’s McGovern Institute for Brain Research. “As far as we can tell, within this larger fusiform region of the brain, only the reading area has these particular sets of connections, and that’s how it’s distinguished from adjacent cortex.”

Saygin is the lead author of the study, which appears in the Aug. 8 issue ofNature Neuroscience. Nancy Kanwisher, the Walter A. Rosenblith Professor of Brain and Cognitive Sciences and a member of the McGovern Institute, is the paper’s senior author.

Specialized for reading

The brain’s cortex, where most cognitive functions occur, has areas specialized for reading as well as face recognition, language comprehension, and many other tasks. Neuroscientists have hypothesized that the locations of these functions may be determined by prewired connections to other parts of the brain, but they have had few good opportunities to test this hypothesis.

Reading presents a unique opportunity to study this question because it is not learned right away, giving scientists a chance to examine the brain region that will become the VWFA before children know how to read. This region, located in the fusiform gyrus, at the base of the brain, is responsible for recognizing strings of letters.

Children participating in the study were scanned twice — at 5 years of age, before learning to read, and at 8 years, after they learned to read. In the scans at age 8, the researchers precisely defined the VWFA for each child by using functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) to measure brain activity as the children read. They also used a technique called diffusion-weighted imaging to trace the connections between the VWFA and other parts of the brain.

The researchers saw no indication from fMRI scans that the VWFA was responding to words at age 5. However, the region that would become the VWFA was already different from adjacent cortex in its connectivity patterns. These patterns were so distinctive that they could be used to accurately predict the precise location where each child’s VWFA would later develop.

Although the area that will become the VWFA does not respond preferentially to letters at age 5, Saygin says it is likely that the region is involved in some kind of high-level object recognition before it gets taken over for word recognition as a child learns to read. Still unknown is how and why the brain forms those connections early in life.

Pre-existing connections

The MIT team now plans to study whether this kind of brain imaging could help identify children who are at risk of developing dyslexia and other reading difficulties.

“It’s really powerful to be able to predict functional development three years ahead of time,” Saygin says. “This could be a way to use neuroimaging to try to actually help individuals even before any problems occur.”


Wholesale Clothes – Key to Your Dream Wardrobe

When it comes to apparel and fashion, feminine beauties have different preferences apart from looking gorgeous. They have huge affinity towards designer and branded clothes, which they want to sport. Needless to say women have always been extra conscious about their attire, appeal and personality.

Women’s clothing however is more expensive than kid’s or men’s’ wear. However, in the race of looking glamorous one should not neglect the pocket pinch while shopping. Therefore, these days many women are buying clothing from wholesale market at competitive pricing.

Why should you opt for wholesale clothes?

A striking benefit of buying wholesale women’s clothing is that a huge amount of money and time of the buyer is saved. When you buy an in fashion apparel from a wholesale dealer, you cut down paying for the fringe costs.

These fringe costs is absent because there are no in between agents and not advertising costs. As no additional costs are involved, it makes both the buyer and the seller economically happy. If you don’t try it, you won’t believe how much you can save your money on clothing!

How can you get benefitted?

Wholesale clothing are for fashion enthusiasts who look forward to explore the season’s latest, that gets launched in the fashion runaway every now and then. When you are in contact with your wholesale dealer you don’t need to visit any fashion shows or cloth launches.

Moreover, in our busy schedule it is not always possible to visit the next happening show. So, wholesalers are the best way to find out, styles that fashion critics approved and which ones will be in the shopping rows within one week.

You can easily get fashion updates from the dealer. This is because these dealers act as a middleman between the brand houses and their stores or franchises. They are responsible for timely delivery. Since they are active in the distribution part, they have the news in the first place. You can ask him about the latest clothing range and get an insight about the upcoming trends. The nest thing you can do is confirm on the internet and buy it from the seller.

How to shop wholesale garments?


Online stores have almost zero cost in maintenance. Even the buyer can shop any time and from anywhere through online wholesale stores. Not only is it private but also it is extremely relaxing. You don’t have to jostle your way down the crowd for shopping. Moreover, these stores have a e-catalogue that suggests expert advice on accessories as well. However, buying branded wholesale clothes can be little tricky.

A lot of websites may demand of its uniqueness and deliver you fake products. Since, online lacks the touch and feel of the material a lot of customers may get bluffed. Therefore, it is suggested to buy from reputed websites. Wholesale websites will always have a legal permission from the brands for selling the clothes as export surplus or may be termed as “little defect”. Do not indulge on the term of “little defective” as it is a marketing gimmick. Otherwise the same clothes won’t sell in the retail store. Look at the picture carefully and then place a order. Moreover, most of the wholesale legal sites will have a return back policy.

Emergence of wholesale business clothing for women has added a level to fashion and designer brands. Wholesaler mainly focuses on ongoing trends and latest fashion fabrics along with style, so that they can attract substantial amount of customers. This has further gained momentum due to dual profit sharing.

‘Simple’ data is the key to economy: UBS economist

Upbeat economic data haven’t made for upbeat markets in 2016. Much of the focus, according to Drew Matus, deputy chief U.S. economist at UBS, has been on GDP. But his key to the U.S. economy is diving into “simple data” like weekly jobless claims.

“If claims don’t go up, nothing bad is happening,” Matus told CNBC’s “Worldwide Exchange” on Thursday. “If something bad happens, someone’s going to get fired. That’s the key to my forecasting right now.”

Claims are increasing, however, in the energy sector. Oil and gas companies continue to scale back production amid a global crude glut and record-low prices. This bleeds into jobless data.

Read MoreOil production freeze deal is questionable

“Absent energy, claims would be at even lower levels,” Matus said. “People aren’t being laid off anywhere else.”

Equities have suffered along with oil this year. Matus said the markets are unwilling to believe positive economic data. Instead of GDP and production, he’s measuring U.S. economic health with “simpler” data like bank loans, weekly jobless claims and ISM surveys.

“It doesn’t require a Ph.D. to interpret the numbers,” Matus said. “They’re easy, people have been doing them since the 1940s.”

He’s also looking to the consumer and U.S. consumer services as a lynchpin for the economy.

“If consumers have jobs, and they’re seeing even marginal wage gain, then consumption will hold up,” Matus said. “If consumption holds up then we’re fine.”

Half of U.S. GDP is spending on services, which Matus says offers stable growth, and is “basically the U.S. economy on autopilot.”

Banks were the worst performing sector last year. Matus pointed to worrisome credit conditions that could feed into the real economy, but said increased bank lending is a positive theme. Mortgage loans, commercial industrial lending and consumer loans are all expanding.

Read MoreWhy banks won’t cut off energy’s ‘drunken sailors’

“What [Ben] Bernanke would have called the core loan growth, loans that show the real economy, are all expanding,” Matus said. “And on a year-over-year basis are the highest it’s been in a long time.”

[“source -pcworld”]