Robotics

The FDA Has Fast-Tracked A First-Of-Its Kind Cancer Treatment

The FDA has officially approved the first cancer drug that treats tumors based off of genetic information independent of the tumors' location in the body. In a clinical trial, the drug was active against cancer in over half of patients and completely wiped out the cancer in 21 percent of patients.

One new drug has doctors and pharmaceutical companies in a tizzy. Pembrolizumab (branded Keytruda) has recently been approved, in a hurry, by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to treat multiple tumors that arise from cancer in individuals with the same genetic abnormality.

During a clinical trail, the drug was tested in 86 patients. Of those who took part in the study, 66 patients had their tumors both significantly shrink and stabilize — meaning the tumors did not start to grow again. In 18 of these 66 patients — which is 21 percent of all patients — the tumors actually completely disappeared and not grown back whatsoever.

Now, this drug wouldn’t work for patients suffering from any type of cancer. For now, it is only approved to treat patients battling select varieties of advanced lung, melanoma, and bladder tumors.

While this is exciting progress, the treatment doesn’t come cheap. Just to test whether or not you might be a genetic match for the specific mutations that the drug targets costs between $300 and $600. The treatment itself currently costs $156,000 per year.

However, there is great hope that the drug itself and others that will follow in its footsteps will eventually come down in price, because this drug is truly the first of its kind. So what makes this drug so special? Well, it is the first approved drug in history that targets tumors from a specific, shared genetic profile, regardless of where the tumor is located.

Targeting tumors based off of genetic traits could help researchers and clinicians to more accurately target and treat cancers. Instead of just targeting the physical location of the tumor, treatments could be further tailored to the unique genetic profile of the individual patient. While this specific drug would only be effective for about four percent of cancer patients (though this would still help tens of thousands of patients), it could lead to a future where tumors are better targeted with genetic testing.

VIA futurism.com

Transcendent Man
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Robotics

In Letter, At Least 12 States Will Sue to Block Any Rollback of Emissions Standards

While the White House and Scott Pruitt, head of the EPA, have indicated their plan to roll back vehicle emissions standards set by the Obama administration in 2011, the attorneys general of 12 states and Washington District of Columbia have pledged to sue the EPA if the roll back happens. The states — California, Vermont, Connecticut, Rhode Island, Delaware, Pennsylvania, Iowa, Oregon, Maine, New York, Massachusetts, and Maryland — made their intentions clear in a letter to Pruitt. Back in 2011, President Obama’s administration made the deal with automakers, who agreed to work on doubling their average fuel efficiency fleet-wide until it reaches 54.5 miles per gallon by the year 2025. The parties also agreed to undergo mid-term evaluations no later than April 2018 to ens...

Transcendent Man
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Uncategorized

Could Tiny Fusion Rockets Revolutionize Spaceflight?

A small NASA-funded company is slimming down nuclear fusion reactors for space scienceVIA scientificamerican.com

Transcendent Man
Posted by Transcendent Man | 
Uncategorized

Elon Musk’s Space X Falcon 9 Rocket Lands Sucessfully | True Hollywood Talk

The SpaceX Falcon 9 Rocket has landed successfully!  The Dragon, which is still on its way to orbit, is carrying around 6,000 pounds of supplies and science experiments for the crew of the ISS. That includes a group of fruit flies to test out how the cardiovascular system functions in microgravity, as well as a group of mice to study bone loss in the space environment. Some unique technologies are also riding up inside the Dragon’s trunk — the unpressurized structure attached to the spacecraft that provides support and houses the vehicle’s solar panels. The trunk contains an instrument called NICER, which will eventually be mounted to the outside of the space station to look for neutron stars, as well as a specialized solar panel called ROSA which can be unfurled a bit like a flag,...

Transcendent Man
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Biotech, Nanotech, Robotics

Meet the Cambridge scientist on verge of curing Multiple Sclerosis

Dr Su Metcalfe is sitting quietly reading through some documents in the lobby of the Judge Business School when I arrive for our interview. It would be easy to walk right past her and not know you were in the presence of a woman who could be on the verge of curing multiple sclerosis. MS, an auto-immune condition which affects 2.3 million people around the world, attacks cells in the brain and the spinal cord, causing an array of physical and mental side effects including blindness and muscle weakness. At the moment there’s no cure, but Su and her company, LIFNano, hope to change that. Patients volunteer for pioneering treatment by Cambridge scientist on verge of curing multiple sclerosis “Some people get progressive MS, so go straight to the sever...

Transcendent Man
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