The FDA Gave Its Mark OF Approval For A New Drug For ALL

syringe with drug for all

The FDA announced that it has approved a new drug for ALL, a rare form of leukemia.

Earlier this week, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) announced that it has approved the commercialization and use of a new drug, one that will target ALL.

ALL or B-cell precursor acute lymphoblastic leukemia is a rare and rapidly progressing form of blood cancer. It is caused by the bone marrow producing too many B-cell lymphocytes, which are a type of immature blood cells.

According to the National Cancer Institute, almost 6,000 people in the United States will be diagnosed with all this year alone. Some 1,440 will possibly die because of it.

ALL Patients Will Have A New Drug Variant

The FDA approved the use of a new drug for this type of blood cancer, one that can be utilized by adult patients. It was approved for those that tried other treatments that ultimately failed. The medicine can be used by adults with a relapsed or refractory ALL.

“These patients have few treatments available and today’s approval provides a new, targeted treatment option,” stated Richard Pazdur.

An M.D., he is the FDA director of the Oncology Center of Excellence. Dr. Pazdur underlines that patients whose disease returned or did not respond to treatment typically have a low life expectancy.

The newly approved drug is Bespona, and Pfizer Inc. commercializes it. Before receiving the mark of approval, this medicine’s effects were tested in a trial involving almost 220 patients.

Among those given Bespona, 36 percent saw their blood cancer for a period of eight months, on average. Among those to receive chemotherapy, 17 percent saw their disease in complete remission for an average of five months.

This new drug is believed to work by binding to the surface of the cancerous cells and as such, blocking its growth.

The medicine is injectable, but it also carries the most stringent warning from the FDA as it could cause severe adverse reactions.

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People With Psychopathic Traits Find It Easier To Lie

psychopathic traits lies

People with psychopathic traits seemingly find it easier to learn how to lie.

According to a new study, lying doesn’t come innately to people with psychopathic traits. Instead, they simply find it easier to lie after learning how to.

University of Hong Kong psychologists are behind this new research, which analyzed both the habit of lying and the ratio of rather psychopathic tendencies.

The study asked its participants to give a series of truthful or untruthful answers. They had to recognize, or not, the subjects in a collection of images. Readily established cues alerted them whether they should respond truthfully to each photograph.

All of the participants performed each of the tests twice. But in between testing, they were also taught how to lie more efficiently and believable.

The proxy for a participant’s ability to lie was their response time when issuing a false response, as prompted.

Psychopathic Traits Were Also Factored In

Before the study, the participants also underwent a series of personal tests. These showed that only those that presented psychopathic traits returned significant improvements in their ability to lie. After being taught how to lie better, their response time when giving false answers was significantly higher.

“The stark contrast between individuals with high and low levels of psychopathic traits in lying performance following two training sessions is remarkable, given that there were no significant differences in lying performance between the two groups prior to training,” stated Dr. Tatia Lee, a UHK cognitive scientist part of the study.

According to the research, people with psychopathic traits find it easier to lie after being trained how to. The team believes that the deceitfulness differences could be tied to brain processes and how they perceive untruthful data.

Lee stated that lying requires a series of specific processes in the brain. These include working memory, attention, conflict resolution, and inhibitory control. These seemed to be more reduced in people with high levels of psychopathic tendencies.

Those with low such traits found seemingly found it harder to suppress truthful data.

Study results can be accessed in the journal Translational Psychiatry.

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Less Sleep In Old Age Is An Evolutionary Survival Tool

Man cannot fall sleep

Disrupted sleep patterns might be the relic of an evolutionary survival tool.

It’s common knowledge that as we get older we tend to sleep less or suffer from frequent sleep disruptions. However, researchers documenting the Hadza tribe in Northern Tanzania have come to the conclusion that restless sleep might be in fact an evolutionary survival tool. The survival mechanism evolved as the ancient hunter-gatherer tribes stood on guard against nocturnal threats.

Restless Sleep as Part of An Evolutionary Survival Tool

Researchers from the Duke University and the University of Nevada, USA teamed up with researchers from Tanzania to track the sleep patterns of the Hadza people. The Hadza are a modern-day tribe that lives in similar conditions to the ancient hunter-gatherers.

The researchers were able to gather data by strapping watches on their wrists that monitored their night-time movements. What they noticed is that there is a frequent change in the sleeping patterns between the old and the young so that at least one member of the tribe is awake. From the 20 days of study, the tribe was collectively asleep only for 18 minutes.

Researcher David Samson from the Duke University noticed that despite the restless sleep, the members felt no negative emotion about insomnia or other sleep problems that are frequent in Western societies. Moreover, Westerners get a more secure sleep than the tribe. The members sleep on the ground, next to a hearth or in huts made of branches. They have no controlled climate or synthetic lights.

Charlie Nunn, co-author, and professor of evolutionary anthropology at Duke stated:

If you’re in a lighter stage of sleep you’d be more attuned to any kind of threat in the environment.

Sleep flexibility has been observed in other animals such as birds and mice. However, it is for the first time that humans exhibited such behavior. As a result, the data makes the researchers suggest that perhaps restless sleep is an evolutionary survival tool that had helped our ancestors protect their tribes from any nocturnal threats.

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SpaceX Had To Delay The Intelsat Launch Twice In A Row

intelsat launch

The Intelsat launch was delayed for a second time and might now take place on July 05 or July 06.

The latest update on the matter reveals that SpaceX had to delay its launch of a Falcon 9 Rocket carrying an Intelsat satellite for the second time in a row.

Initially, the company was looking to mark this as its third take off in under two weeks. It would have followed the deployment of two other rockets on Friday, June 23, and Sunday, June 25 respectively. Now, the next launch window will open on either June 05 or June 06.

Intelsat Launch Left For A New Day

Initially, the Falcon 9 rocket set to carry an Intelsat 35e satellite into space was scheduled for July 3rd at 2337 GMT or 7:37 p.m. EDT. It would have taken off from Pad 39A at NASA’s Kennedy Space Center in Florida.

However, the launch team was forced to call off the event with just 10 seconds before the projected take off. Now, the Intelsat launch has been delayed for yet another day, according to a new tweet posted by Elon Musk, the company’s CEO and founder.

According to reports, the reason behind the cancellation revolves around the Falcon 9’s Guidance System. It might have also been caused by the rocket’s hardware which may have some issues. No exact details have been offered on the matter as of yet.

“We’ve got plenty of information, but (engineers are) taking their time right now to understand what system they’re really looking at that would be the cause of the hold … stated John Insprucker.

He is the principal integration engineer of the Falcon 9. Insprucker also stated that the next launch window would open on July 05th. If this succeeds, it will mark the third SpaceX mission in 11 days, 12 if it will be deployed on June 06th.

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The Goebekli Tepe Site – Staggering Amounts of Skulls

Goebekli Tepe site

Archaeologists have found a staggering amount of skulls at the Goebekli Tepe site, Turkey

At the Goebekli Tepe site, Turkey, archaeologists have found a staggering amount of human skulls which, they consider based on the factual evidence, were part of a skull cult.

The Goebekli Tepe Site – Staggering Amounts of Skulls

As archaeologists wrote in a paper based on the ongoing archeological research, most of the skulls were in fragments. This makes it difficult to elaborate about their provenience or any type of information. As of this date, there were 408 skull fragments uncovered at the Goebekli Tepe. However, according to data, only a small number of skulls were carved.

The carving of skulls is linked with one form of ancestral worshiping. Or only to wrap strings around them in order to hang the skulls near the temple found at the Goebekli Tepe site.

Lee Clare, one of the archeologists at the site and coauthor of the study published in Science Advances journal, said:

“In a skeleton, the lower jaw tends to fall off. The grooves would have supported a string that could have been wound around the skull and kept it from slipping off”.

Furthermore, symbols found at the site indicate towards the idea that the skulls found at the Goebekli Tepe site played an important role in rites taking place at the temple. This hypothesis leans on evidence found at the temple. A statue, called the Gift Bearer, shows an entity holding a human skull in his hand while a headless human is shown on one of the T-shaped pillars found at the site.

In their study, the authors wrote that out of 691 bone fragments found at the Goebekli Tepe site 408 appertain to skulls. This would indicate that the skulls were selected from the rest of the body.

The compound measures 22 acres of land. And although the archaeological digging has been ongoing for over two decades the archeologists managed to excavate a little under 10% of the total area. Further research will offer more information in the future, as digging at the Goebekli Tepe site continues.

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Acupuncture, Helpful For Treating ER Patients With Indefinite Pain?

hand acupuncture

A new study analyzed the benefits of using acupuncture in treating ER patients.

A new research targeted the potentially beneficial effects of acupuncture performed on some patients that come to the emergency room. It looks to determine if this could be an effective treatment method. One that would also not require pain medication.

“Acupuncture” is used as a general term for describing a series of procedures which target the stimulation of specific points on the body. Although it is a key component of the traditional Chinese medicine, many debates still center around this practice and its utility.

Acupuncture to Help in the ER?

The new study was carried out by Australian scientists and is the largest controlled and randomized trial targeting acupuncture’s use in the emergency room. It involved almost 530 patients, which came in with pains at one of four Australian emergency departments. They reported suffering from ankle sprains, migraines, or acute low back pains. Also, the patients were asked to grade their pain on a 1 to 10 scale.

Those who reported feeling at least a 4 received one of three randomly assigned treatment methods. They either received painkiller, the pain medication and acupuncture, or this latter only.

Reports show that, about an hour following the treatment, no more than 40 percent of the patient felt a pain reduction. Over 80 percent still reported at least a 4-level pain. However, in about a couple of days’ time, most of the patient were reportedly satisfied.

A follow-up showed that almost 83 percent of the acupuncture-only treated patients stated they would “definitely” or “probably” chose such a method again. This was higher than the 81 percent that would want a mixed treatment. Or the 78 percent that would go for painkillers alone.

“Emergency nurses and doctors need a variety of pain-relieving options when treating patients, given the concerns around opioids such as morphine,” stated the study lead, Marc Cohen.

Cohen added that such a method could be a useful alternative for treating patients coming into the ER. It would be particularly useful when the patients cannot take painkillers because of other conditions. Still, Cohen also points out the need for more studies on the matter. Especially ones targeting the patients that still felt pain, no matter the treatment.

Research results are available in the Medical Journal of Australia.

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China Was Successful In Launching Its First X-Ray Space Telescope

space telescope rocket launch

China reported that the launch of its first X-ray space telescope, named Insight, was a success.

China reported that the launch of its first X-ray space telescope was a success. The event took place on June 15 and saw the take off of a Long March-4B rocket, carrying the X-ray satellite. This is set to be used in analyzing and studying pulsars, gamma-ray bursts, and black holes.

First Chinese X-Ray Space Telescope Ready for Use

The Xinhua News Agency offered additional details of the launch. According to these media reports, the rocket took off from the Juiquan Satellite Launch Center located in the northwest of China’s Gobi Desert. The launch occurred at around 11 a.m. local hours, on June 15.

The X-ray Space Telescope is an HXMT (Hard X-ray Modulation Telescope) and has been titled “Insight”. Its purpose is to help Chinese scientists gain further insight into space and its mysteries. Researchers will be using Insight to study black holes and try and understand their evolution.

Also, it will be used to seek to assess the interior of magnetic fields. Thanks to the new telescope, scientists could also take a closer look at pulsars. It can try and determine how these could be used for spacecraft navigation. Insight could also be useful in keeping ‘an eye out’ for gamma-ray bursts that correspond to gravitational waves recorded by the telescope.

The Xinhua release also quoted Zhang Shuangnan, the mission’s lead scientist, as saying that Insight will help “see” into a black hole. More exactly, although black holes are mostly undetectable, the researchers will be making use of the X-ray emitted by matter as it falls into such a black hole. They will also be following this same matter as it gets heated and accelerated within the hole.

Insight is expected to help advance the development of space astronomy in China. It should also contribute to improving the country’s space X-ray detection technology. The X-ray space telescope is also equipped accordingly.

This small observatory in space will carry a trio of detectors: the HE, ME, and LE. Namely, the high energy, medium energy, and low energy X-ray telescopes.

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NASA Recently Presented Its New Model Of A Mars Rover

mars rover

The new Mars rover presented by NASA is set to be a source of inspiration for the young.

Earlier this week, scientists at NASA presented their “out of this world” concept for a Mars rover. As stated by the team, this new vehicle is less about reaching our neighboring planet and more about being an inspiration.

Its futuristic design and concept are looking to inspire the young to desire to find out more about Mars and humanity’s plans of reaching it. Presently, the aerospace agency is looking to send humans to the Red Planet sometime in the 2030s.

The Mars Rover Should Be a Source of Inspiration and Parts?

The futuristic Mars rover was unveiled at the Kennedy Space Center Visitor Complex during a ceremony on June 05. This date marked the start of the agency’s “Summer of Mars” promotion. The spacecraft isn’t exactly a NASA creation as it was built by the Parker Brothers Concepts of Port Canaveral, Florida. Nonetheless, these are reported to have incorporated the input from NASA specialists in their designs.

This new rover is designed to operate on an electric motor. Powered by a 700-volt battery, it will also work thanks to the contribution of a solar panel.

The machine was designed and built so as to be easily capable of splitting in half. Namely, its front part is supposed to work as a scout. For this, it was equipped with navigation and a radio supplied by the Global Positioning System.

The back section of the rover should act as an on-the-move laboratory capable of disconnecting for autonomous research.

Throughout June, this new concept rover will be on display at the Kennedy Space Center visitor complex. Then, in July and August, it will be presented and shown in several other locations as it will be touring the East Coast, according to NASA.

As of September, it will be returning to the visitor center and will join the Astronaut Training Experience attraction set to open in the fall.

According to NASA, this new Mars rover was designed as a concept vehicle. Nonetheless, it also pointed out that some of its elements could actually be used and in a future rover that will reach Mars.

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One Of The Strangest Stars In The Galaxy Is Dimming Again

strangest stars with light bursts

Because of its bizarre dimming, Tabby’s is seen as one of the strangest stars in the galaxy.

Astronomers have been very busy over the weekend after a team of specialists noted that one of the strangest stars in the galaxy is once again at work. Tabby’s star is the reason behind all this hassle as it is once again inexplicably and bizarrely dimming its light.

Tabby’s is officially known as KIC 8462858 but is also commonly called “Boyaijan’s star”. This cosmic body started raising questions as scientists noted its unusual pattern of inconsistent dimming and brightening. These have led to the emergence of many hypotheses. They range from comets, moons, to its being an alien megastructure.

Now, scientists are once again turning their attention to Tabby’s star following an urgent call. On May 19th, specialists asked as many people to turn their telescopes towards the sky in the hopes of gathering data on “Boyaijan’s star”.

One of the Strangest Stars is Dimming Once Again

The scientists to issue this call are hoping that thanks to the great number of telescopes trained towards the sky, they will manage to finally crack Tabby’s mystery.

“At about 4 a.m. this morning [May 19] I got a phone call … that Fairborn [Observatory] in Arizona had confirmed that the star was 3 percent dimmer than it normally is,” said Jason Wright.

He is an associate professor part of the Pennsylvania State University and manager of one of the studies on Tabby’s star. Wright took part in a live webcast on the matter.

He stated that this percentage confirms that the perceived dimming is not a statistical fluke. This also means that specialists have the chance to study the live dimming pattern of the star. Tabetha Boyajian, for whom the star is nicknamed, and her team, were the first to note these cycles back in September 2015.

Initially, scientists were expecting a regular series of brightening and dimming. This would be consistent with the star having a moon or being passed by a swarm of comets.

But Tabby’s changes are in line with neither. So scientists started taking greater attention to the cosmic body. Still, they were unable to predict the duration or appearance of the next dimming. So this latest pattern of dimming is a new chance at studying Boyajian’s.

It will offer scientists fresh new data on the matter, and more information than before. However, most point out that it will still take some time before an exact cause will be established.

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Foot And Leg Amputation Risk Connected To J&J Diabetes Drug

leg amputation risk

FDA researchers analyzed the potential risks of foot and leg amputation caused by Invokana during two clinical trials.

Johnson & Johnson is now required to include a warning on their diabetes drug, Invokana, following an admonition issued by the FDA. This new warning is related to the medicine’s potentially high-risk side-effects. A new study shows that Invokana has an increased potential risk of foot and leg amputation.

New Study Connects Series of Foot and Leg Amputation to Diabetes Drug

FDA researchers conducted two clinical trials to test the drug and see if its incidence for leg amputation is higher than for other similar treatments. These included two study groups. One of them was treated with Invokana, the other with placebos. The research team then noted the increased risk of amputations presented by one of the groups. Amputations occurred twice as often for those who were administered this drug.

During the trials, this procedure was most commonly applied to the middle of the foot and the toe. Still, amputations involving the leg both above and below the knee were also noted. Some of the patients even required more than one amputation.

Based on the results of the trials, the FDA considered it mandatory to place a new warning on the label of Invokana. All drugs are required to present a label with their possible side-effects. This is even more important on severe risks medicine. Before administering any treatment, patients need to be aware of their side effects.

For the Johnson & Johnson produced Invokana, the warning needs to be a boxed one. These types of warnings are added for severe side effects like leg amputation, heart conditions, and respiratory problems. Invokana is part of the new class of drugs for people who have type 2 diabetes.

Health regulators recommended people to address their doctors for any pain, tenderness, infection, or ulcers that might have developed due to this drug. Before starting treatment with it, doctors will also need to take into consideration if the patient has any risk factors for leg amputation.

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