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   Biotech / MedicalNNVC - NanoViricides, Inc.

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To: donpat who wrote (6854)6/3/2016 1:37:42 PM
From: Savant
   of 12854
Mosquito Info

I feel the govt is underestimating the range during the spring, summer, fall time periods.

Granted, the distance is traveled in normal conditions, however, if a storm front moves through, that distance can be extended by hundreds of miles....anecdotally, up to a thousand, in some cases.

Fortunately, areas further north can benefit from winter kill.

How far can mosquitoes fly?
Mosquito species preferring to breed around the house, like the Asian Tiger Mosquito, have limited flight ranges of about 300 feet. Most species have flight ranges of 1-3 miles. Certain large pool breeders in the Midwest are often found up to 7 miles from known breeding spots. The undisputed champions, though, are the saltmarsh breeders - having been known to migrate up to 100 miles in exceptional circumstances, although 20 to 40 miles are much more common when hosts are scarce.

When caught up in updrafts that direct them into winds high above the ground, mosquitoes can be carried great distances. "

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From: donpat6/4/2016 9:39:40 AM
1 Recommendation   of 12854
First injectable nanoparticle generator could radically transform metastatic breast cancer treatment
Posted: Jun 03, 2016

(Nanowerk News) A team of investigators from Houston Methodist Research Institute may have transformed the treatment of metastatic triple negative breast cancer by creating the first drug to successfully eliminate lung metastases in mice. This landmark study appears in Nature Biotechnology ( "Biomimetic proteolipid vesicles for targeting inflamed tissues").

The majority of cancer deaths are due to metastases to the lung and liver, yet there is no cure. Existing cancer drugs provide limited benefit due to their inability to overcome biological barriers in the body and reach the cancer cells in sufficient concentrations. Houston Methodist nanotechnology and cancer researchers have solved this problem by developing a drug that generates nanoparticles inside the lung metastases in mice.In this study, 50 percent of the mice treated with the drug had no trace of metastatic disease after eight months. That’s equivalent to about 24 years of long-term survival following metastatic disease for humans.

Due to the body’s own defense mechanisms, most cancer drugs are absorbed into healthy tissue causing negative side effects, and only a fraction of the administered drug actually reaches the tumor, making it less effective, said Mauro Ferrari, Ph.D, president and CEO of the Houston Methodist Research Institute. This new treatment strategy enables sequential passage of the biological barriers to transport the killing agent into the heart of the cancer. The active drug is only released inside the nucleus of the metastatic disease cell, avoiding the multidrug resistance mechanism of the cancer cells. This strategy effectively kills the tumor and provides significant therapeutic benefit in all mice, including long-term survival in half of the animals.
Watch a video with Mauro Ferrari

This finding comes 20 years after Ferrari started his work in nanomedicine. Ferrari and Haifa Shen, M.D., Ph.D., are co-senior authors on the paper, which describes the action of the injectable nanoparticle generator (iNPG), and how a complex method of transporting a nano-version of a standard chemotherapy drug led to never before seen results in mice models with triple negative breast cancer that had metastasized to the lungs.

“This may sound like science fiction, like we’ve penetrated and destroyed the Death Star, but what we discovered is transformational. We invented a method that actually makes the nanoparticles inside the cancer and releases the drug particles at the site of the cellular nucleus. With this injectable nanoparticle generator, we were able to do what standard chemotherapy drugs, vaccines, radiation, and other nanoparticles have all failed to do,” said Ferrari.

Houston Methodist has developed good manufacturing practices (GMP) for this drug and plans to fast-track the research to obtain FDA-approval and begin safety and efficacy studies in humans in 2017.

“I would never want to overpromise to the thousands of cancer patients looking for a cure, but the data is astounding,” said Ferrari, senior associate dean and professor of medicine, Weill Cornell Medicine. “We’re talking about changing the landscape of curing metastatic disease, so it’s no longer a death sentence.

”The Houston Methodist team used doxorubicin, a cancer therapeutic that has been used for decades but has adverse side effects to the heart and is not an effective treatment against metastatic disease. In this study, doxorubicin was packaged within the injectable nanoparticle generator that is made up of many components.

Shen, a senior member of the department of nanomedicine at Houston Methodist Research Institute, explains that each component has a specific and essential role in the drug delivery process. The first component is the nanoporous silicon material that naturally degrades in the body. The second component is a polymer made up of multiple strands that contain doxorubicin. Once inside the tumor, the silicon material degrades, releasing the strands. Due to natural thermodynamic forces, these strands curl-up to form nanoparticles that are taken up by the cancer cells. Once inside the cancer cells, the acidic pH close to the nucleus causes the drug to be released from the nanoparticles. Inside the nucleus, the active drug acts to kill the cell.

“If this research bears out in humans and we see even a fraction of this survival time, we are still talking about dramatically extending life for many years. That’s essentially providing a cure in a patient population that is now being told there is none,” said Ferrari, who holds the Ernest Cockrell Jr. Presidential Distinguished Chair and is considered one of the founders of nanomedicine and oncophysics (physics of mass transport within a cancer lesion).

The Houston Methodist team is hopeful that this new drug could help cancer physicians cure lung metastases from other origins, and possibly primary lung cancers as well.

Source: Houston Methodist


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From: donpat6/4/2016 10:03:03 AM
   of 12854
Could dietary fiber be key to successful aging?

Written by Catharine Paddock PhD
Published: Friday 3 June 2016

Findings from a new study that followed older adults for 10 years supports the idea that eating a diet rich in fiber - such as found in breads, cereals, and fruits - is key to aging successfully; that is, reaching old age free of disease and disability.

The researchers found participants who had the highest intake of fiber were nearly 80 percent more likely to age successfully over a 10-year follow-up.

A paper on the study, by researchers at the Westmead Institute in New South Wales, Australia, is published in The Journal of Gerontology.

Lead author Bamini Gopinath, an associate professor in the Institute's Centre for Vision Research, says the study is the first to look at the link between carbohydrate intake and successful aging. She notes:

"Out of all the variables that we looked at, fiber intake - which is a type of carbohydrate that the body can't digest - had the strongest influence."

Dietary fiber is an indigestible substance found in plants like fruits, vegetables, and grains and is an important part of a healthy diet. There are two forms: soluble and insoluble fiber.

Soluble fiber absorbs water and forms a gel. It slows digestion and there is evidence it lowers cholesterol, which helps prevent heart disease. It is found in oat bran, barley, nuts, seeds, beans, peas, lentils, and some fruits and vegetables.

Insoluble fiber appears to speed up passage of food through the gut and adds bulk to the stool. It is found in wheat bran, vegetables, and whole grains.

Prof. Gopinath and colleagues defined successful aging as reaching old age disease-free and fully functional - that is, with "absence of disability, depressive symptoms, cognitive impairment, respiratory symptoms, and chronic diseases (e.g., cancer and coronary artery disease)."

Fiber had the biggest impact on successful aging
For their investigation, the team used data from the Blue Mountain Eye Study (BMES), the first large population-based study to assess visual impairment and common eye diseases in a representative older Australian community sample.

Fast facts about fiber

On average, Americans eat about 16 grams of fiber per day

The daily recommended intake of fiber for older children, teens, and adults is 21-38 grams

Because it makes you feel full faster, fiber can help with weight control.

Learn more about fiber

The data covered a total of 1,609 adults aged 49 years and older who were free of cancer, coronary artery disease, and stroke when the study started and who were followed for 10 years.

The dietary information came from food-frequency surveys filled in by the participants, while information relevant to successful aging came from interviewer-administered questionnaires completed at regular follow-up visits.

At the end of the 10 years, 249 (15.5 percent) of the participants achieved what the researchers defined as successful aging status.

Of all the dietary factors they examined - such as total carbohydrate intake, total fiber intake, glycemic index, glycemic load, and sugar intake - the researchers found fiber had the biggest impact on successful aging, as Prof. Gopinath explains:

"Essentially, we found that those who had the highest intake of fiber or total fiber actually had an almost 80 percent greater likelihood of living a long and healthy life over a 10-year follow-up. That is, they were less likely to suffer from hypertension, diabetes, dementia, depression, and functional disability."

She and her colleagues note that participants who remained consistently below the mid-range of consumption of fiber from breads, cereals, and fruit, compared with the rest of the group, were less likely to age successfully.

They add:

"These findings suggest that increasing intake of fiber-rich foods could be a successful strategy in reaching old age disease free and fully functional."

The researchers were somewhat surprised to find this strong effect from fiber - if anything, they were expecting to see sugar exerting a greater influence. However, Prof. Gopinath says the absence of a link with sugar could be due to the fact consumption of carbonated and sugary drinks was quite low in this group of older adults.

The team suggests the findings should prompt similar studies in other groups to see if they find similar links, or discover which mechanisms might explain the connection.

Discover how studying birds led scientists to conclude inbreeding might accelerate aging.

Written by Catharine Paddock PhD


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From: donpat6/4/2016 10:08:46 AM
   of 12854
Zika virus may cause birth defects in thousand of babies: WHO experts

In an editorial published in a WHO bulletin, experts cautioned against the alarming and fatal ill-effects of the Zika virus.

By: Reuters | New York | Updated: June 4, 2016 12:46 pm

Health officials had previously concluded that Zika infection in pregnant women was a cause of microcephaly in babies, a rare birth defect characterized by unusually small heads and potentially severe developmental problems. (Source: AP file photo)World Health Organization officials on Friday cautioned that “many thousands” of infants infected with Zika virus could suffer neurological abnormalities.

The experts further warned that nations dealing with an outbreak need to watch for problems beyond the widely reported cases of microcephaly. These include spasticity, seizures, irritability, feeding difficulties, eyesight problems and evidence of severe brain abnormalities.

Health officials had previously concluded that Zika infection in pregnant women was a cause of microcephaly in babies, a rare birth defect characterized by unusually small heads and potentially severe developmental problems. They now believe the range of potential neurological problems in infants could be much wider.

In an editorial published in a WHO bulletin, experts said 37 countries and territories in the Americas are now dealing with Zika, which is mainly spread by mosquitoes, as well as unprotected sex with an infected man. In Brazil, the country hardest hit so far, authorities have confirmed more than 1,400 cases of microcephaly believed to be linked to Zika.

In Brazil, authorities have confirmed more than 1,400 cases of microcephaly believed to be linked to Zika. (Source: Reuters)“With such spread, it is possible that many thousands of infants will incur moderate to severe neurological disabilities,” the editorial said.

“Existing evidence and unpublished data shared with WHO highlight the wider range of congenital abnormalities probably associated with the acquisition of Zika virus infection in utero,” stated the editorial.

The organization called for routine surveillance systems and research efforts to be expanded to include a larger population than simply children with microcephaly. U.S. officials are girding for local outbreaks, especially in southern states such as Florida and Texas, as summer mosquito season gets under way.

Local transmission is already present on the island territory of Puerto Rico, where officials have predicted there will be hundreds of thousands of cases. Other reported U.S. cases have involved people who had traveled to Zika-hit areas.

WHO has also said there is strong scientific consensus that Zika can also cause Guillain-Barre, a rare neurological syndrome that can cause temporary paralysis in adults.

- See more at:

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From: donpat6/4/2016 10:11:27 AM
   of 12854
WHO emergency panel to meet in June on Zika Virus and Rio 2016 Olympics

A public letter was issued last week signed by 150 public health experts and scientists calling for the Olympics to be delayed or moved over.

By: Reuters | Geneva | Published:June 4, 2016 11:50 am

Rio Olympic Stadium during the Men’s 3000m steeplechase final Athletics test event. (Source: AP)With debate growing over the safety of holding the Olympics in Brazil amid the ongoing Zika virus outbreak, the World Health Organization’s Emergency Committee on Zika will meet in the coming weeks to evaluate the risks tied to going on with the Games in August, a WHO spokeswoman said on Friday.

“The Emergency Committee meeting will consider the situation in Brazil, including the question of the Olympics,” WHO spokeswoman Nyka Alexander told Reuters in response to a query.

WHO makes risk assessments of a public health issue and it would be up to the International Olympics Committee (IOC) to decide on holding the event in Rio de Janeiro, due to start on Aug. 5, she said.

“It is not within our mandate” to make decisions on holding the Olympic Games, Alexander said.

A spokesman for Rio 2016 said they continue to follow WHO recommendations on Zika.

Athletes will have to make their own decisions as to whether to risk Zika for the potential glory of Olympic gold. Cyclist Tejay Van Garderen this week withdrew from consideration for the U.S. team over concerns that the virus could present risks for his pregnant wife.

The virus can also be transmitted via unprotected sex with an infected man.

Dr. David Heymann, chairman of the WHO committee of independent experts, told Reuters on Monday that postponing the Rio Olympics because of fears it could speed the spread of the Zika virus would give a “false” sense of security because travellers are constantly going in and out of Brazil.

It will be winter in Brazil when the Olympics begin, so the mosquitoes that carry the virus will be less abundant, WHO experts said.

A public letter was issued last week signed by 150 public health experts and scientists calling for the Olympics to be delayed or moved over fears that the Games could speed up the global spread of the Zika virus.

Top U.S. health officials agreed with WHO experts that Zika did not pose enough of a risk to postpone or move the Olympics. Dr. Tom Frieden, director of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, last week said travel to the Olympics would represent less than one quarter of 1 percent of all travel to Zika-affected areas, and that the risk was low except for pregnant women.

For women who are pregnant or hoping to become pregnant, the recommendation is to stay away from areas with Zika outbreaks.

It has been determined that Zika is a cause of microcephaly, a rare birth defect characterized by unusually small head size and potentially severe developmental problems.

World health officials on Friday expressed concern that Zika may cause a far wider range of severe abnormalities in babies and called for broader surveillance beyond microcephaly of infants born in the 37 countries and territories in the Americas, where Zika has been spreading.

In hardest hit Brazil, authorities have confirmed more than 1,400 cases of microcephaly believed to be linked to Zika.

U.S. Senator Jeanne Shaheen had asked WHO to examine whether the Games in Rio de Janeiro could accelerate global spread of the mosquito-borne virus.

Alexander said the date for the next meeting of the WHO Emergency Committee was still being decided, but that it would be held this month.

Heymann told Reuters that it was tentatively set for June 21. The panel of independent experts meets every three months and its last meeting was on March 8.

Heymann also said national health authorities should advise their respective athletes and citizens of child-bearing age to protect themselves against mosquito bites with repellents while in Brazil and to practice safe sex on return for at least three weeks.

- See more at:

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From: donpat6/4/2016 10:17:14 AM
   of 12854
Couple’s Travel Insurance Doesn’t Include Zika Virus Concerns

June 3, 2016 6:40 PM

By Melissa Garcia

CASTLE ROCK, Colo. (CBS4) – An expecting husband and wife who cancelled their trip in the Caribbean due to concerns over the Zika virus, feel frustrated that their travel insurance is refusing to reimburse them.

Toby and Autumn Titone had planned on taking a nine-day family vacation to Sint Maarten, the Dutch side of an island just east of Puerto Rico in the Caribbean. They booked the trip in April and found out in May that they were pregnant.

Sint Maarten had been hit by Zika, and was on the Center for Disease Control and Prevention’s list of countries restricted for travel by pregnant women.

Toby and Autumn Titone (credit: CBS)

The mosquito-borne virus causes severe birth defects in unborn babies.

The Titones cancelled their beach vacation, and thought they would receive reimbursement from their travel insurance company.

“The immediate thought was, ‘no big deal.’ I mean, we’ve purchased the travel insurance before for big trips and figured, ‘Oh we’re covered if something goes wrong,’” said Toby.

But they were not covered. They soon found out that the money they paid for airlines tickets would be a loss.

The Titones received a denial letter from the travel insurance company stating that their decision to cancel the vacation due to Zika was not a reason covered under their policy.

“When I saw the part that said it’s a choice, I was like, ‘What? Are you kidding me? That this is not a medical concern?’ It just really made me mad,” said Autumn.

Travel industry experts said that some people purchase travel insurance on their own without knowing exactly what it covers.

“Sometimes you just click that button that says add insurance, without really knowing what you’re getting,” said Wave Dreher, spokesperson for AAA Colorado.

CBS4’s Melissa Garcia interviews Wave Dreher, spokesperson for AAA Colorado (credit: CBS)

Dreher said that AAA agents can help travelers get the right insurance to fit their exact needs and help explain the fine print.

Travel insurance comes in a wide range of coverage levels. The level a customer chooses can make a big difference.

She recommended that women who could become pregnant buy a plan that includes “normal pregnancy” which covers trip cancellation for any pregnancy-related reason.

Dreher said there were also full-coverage plans that allow travelers to cancel at any time for almost any reason. The pregnancy and full coverage travel policies cost more than a basic policy.

Dreher said that the extra cost was worth the benefit.

“When you’re looking to spend $5,000 (on a vacation), I’d rather spend a little bit more, and make sure I’m not going to lose that investment,” said Dreher.

Many policies, even full-coverage ones, have various exclusions, including exclusions for epidemics.

Thus, Dreher said that if Zika becomes classified as an “epidemic,” it may not be covered at all.

Melissa Garcia has been reporting for CBS4 News since March 2014. Find her bio here, follow her on Twitter @MelissaGarciaTV, or send your story idea to

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From: donpat6/4/2016 10:23:48 AM
   of 12854
Zika virus transmitted in more ways than just mosquitoes

POSTED 8:53 PM, JUNE 3, 2016

BOSTON - While you may associate Zika with mosquitoes, there are new findings that the virus could be contracted through sexual transmission, more than previously thought.

A letter just published by the New England Journal of Medicine documents a case in France in which a man who had traveled to Brazil may have spread it to his partner through oral sex.

A 24-year-old woman referred to as Patient 1 in the article reported having sexual contact with Patient 2 over a period of time in which the episodes involved ejaculation without the use of a condom, as well as oral sex with ejaculation.

Patient 1 had not traveled to any of the regions where Zika is an epidemic nor to any tropical or subtropical areas. She also had not received any blood transfusions. Patient 1 contracted Zika and was sick for approximately 7 days.

Patient 2 reported a fever while he was in Brazil, but he felt better by the time he arrived in France to see his sexual partner.

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To: donpat who wrote (6862)6/4/2016 11:45:07 AM
From: donpat
   of 12854
NEJM article:

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From: donpat6/4/2016 11:57:59 AM
   of 12854
Harvard lab develops quick, portable and cheap Zika virus test

CBC's David Common checked out the lab where test was developed

CBC News Posted: Jun 03, 2016 10:00 PM ET Last Updated: Jun 03, 2016 10:00 PM ET

A new fast, cheap test for Zika virus 4:20

Related Stories
Zika case confirmed in Ontario, may be sexually transmitted
Zika virus link to Guillain-Barré syndrome strongest yet, says CDC
Baby looks 'completely Zika affected,' U.S. doctor says

Researchers at Harvard University have developed a new test for the Zika virus that could greatly improve how quickly people can find out if they're infected.

The CBC's David Common checked out the lab where the test was made. The researchers told him that their method uses a simple material — paper — making the test not only convenient but also highly portable.

In less than an hour, anxious expectant mothers can find out if they're carrying the disease, which can lead to microcephaly, a condition in which a baby's head is smaller than expected because the brain hasn't developed properly.

The test is also more accurate, the Harvard researchers say. Traditional tests rely on examining the antibodies of the virus — problematic because the Zika and dengue viruses are nearly identical.

The test was developed with help from the University of Toronto and should soon be available in the field.

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From: donpat6/4/2016 12:08:34 PM
   of 12854
Flat lens promises possible revolution in optics

By Roland Pease
BBC Radio Science Unit

3 June 2016
From the section Science & Environment

Image caption
This electron microscope image shows the structure of the lens (white line is 0.002mm long)A flat lens made of paint whitener on a sliver of glass could revolutionise optics, according to its US inventors.

Just 2mm across and finer than a human hair, the tiny device can magnify nanoscale objects and gives a sharper focus than top-end microscope lenses.

It is the latest example of the power of metamaterials, whose novel properties emerge from their structure.

Shapes on the surface of this lens are smaller than the wavelength of light involved: a thousandth of a millimetre.

"In my opinion, this technology will be game-changing," said Federico Capasso of Harvard University, the senior author of a report on the new lens which appears in the journal Science.

The lens is quite unlike the curved disks of glass familiar from cameras and binoculars. Instead, it is made of a thin layer of transparent quartz coated in millions of tiny pillars, each just tens of nanometres across and hundreds high.

Singly, each pillar interacts strongly with light. Their combined effect is to slice up a light beam and remould it as the rays pass through the array (see video below).

Computer calculations are needed to find the exact pattern which will replicate the focussing effect of a conventional lens.

The advantage, Prof Capasso said, is that these "metalenses" avoid shortfalls - called aberrations - that are inherent in traditional glass optics.

"The quality of our images is actually better than with a state-of-the-art objective lens. I think it is no exaggeration to say that this is potentially revolutionary."

Those comparisons were made against top-end lenses used in research microscopes, designed to achieve absolute maximum magnification. The focal spot of the flat lens was typically 30% sharper than its competition, meaning that in a lab setting, finer details can be revealed.

But the technology could be revolutionary for another reason, Prof Capasso maintains.

"The conventional fabrication of shaped lenses depends on moulding and essentially goes back to 19th Century technology.

"But our lenses, being planar, can be fabricated in the same foundries that make computer chips. So all of a sudden the factories that make integrated circuits can make our lenses."

And with ease. Electronics manufacturers making microprocessors and memory chips routinely craft components far smaller than the pillars in the flat lenses. Yet a memory chip containing billions of components may cost just a few pounds.

Image caption
The lens is much more compact than a traditional microscope objectiveMass production is the key to managing costs, which is why Prof Capasso sees cell-phone cameras as an obvious target. Most of their other components, including the camera's detector, are already made with chip technology. Extending that to include the lens would be natural, he argues.

There are many other potential uses: mass-produced cameras for quality control in factories, light-weight optics for virtual-reality headsets, even contact lenses. "We can make these on soft materials," Prof Capasso assured the BBC.

The prototypes lenses are 2mm across, but only because of the limitations of the Harvard manufacturing equipment. In principle, the method could scale to any size, Prof Capasso said.

"Once you have the foundry - you want a 12-inch lens? Feel free, you can make a 12-inch lens. There's no limit."

The precise character of the lens depends on the layout and composition of the pillars. Paint-whitener - titanium dioxide - is used to make the pillars, because it is transparent and interacts strongly with visible light. It is also cheap.

Image caption
The minuscule pillars have a powerful effect on light passing through
The team has previously worked with silicon, which functions well in the infrared. Other materials could be used to make ultraviolet lenses.

Or to get a different focus, engineers could change the size, spacing and orientation of the pillars. It simply means doing the computer calculations and dialling the results into the new design.

The team is already working on beating the performance of its first prototypes. Watch this space, they say - if possible, with a pair of metalenses.

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