Medgadget Sci-Fi Contest 2017: Meet The Winning Stories

Ladies and Gentlemen, this is the moment you have all been waiting for – the day that the winners of the Medgadget Medical Sci-Fi Competition are announced and their fantastic stories are published!

First, we would like to thank Eko Devices, the wonderful sponsors of our contest, that make the coolest and most advanced digital stethoscopes out there.The winner of our contest will receive an Eko CORE stethoscope that is both acoustic and electronic, has all the features of both, can amplify sound, record audio waveforms, and connect to your phone. Thank you, Eko!

Since we announced our Medical Sci-Fi Writing Contest in late October, we received about two dozen original stories from our readers that prod into the future of medicine. Many were dark tales, warning of a time in which technological advancements turn out to have unintended consequences and often focusing on ensuing moral dilemmas. Others were more positive, highlighting a more marvelous future of fantastic medical innovations improving the lot of humankind.

On our side, we assembled ten fans of medicine and science fiction, including many of our editors, to read the stories and judge them for how interesting, imaginative, and well written they are. Three winners came out on top, but we also chose to add a fourth place because that story was so compelling and the scoring was so, so, so close.

And now, a drum roll please… The winners of the Medgadget Sci-Fi Writing Contest are:

First place and winner of the Eko Digital Stethoscope: Jeff Diewald, “How would you rate our service”

Jeff raised two science fiction readers as a single parent, sharing books, TV, and movies. His son, Jordan, reads and reviews everything Jeff writes, always making it better. Much of this writing has gone into Live Action Role Playing games, which is crazy – they are longer and more complex than novels or short stories, and they don’t pay anything. His daughter, Julie, plays in these games and creates artwork and props for them. Every now and then, a standalone story sneaks out, like this one. You can find all the details at http://www.vortexofchaos.net.

Second place and winner of the $50 Amazon Gift Card: Yih Yang, “Anticine Incorporated”

From Yih: When I was a kid, I wrote many, many stories that were utterly terrible. Fortunately, with increasing levels of education, I began to form complete sentences and coherent thoughts, and could sometimes translate this into text format as well! Now, the level of education I’m pursuing is a PhD in Biomedical Engineering at the University of Toronto, where I design microfluidic devices to probe the interplay between nanoparticles and cancer cells, all to make a small contribution towards the goal of curing cancer with nanotechnology. I’ve not lost my love for both reading and writing science fiction, and my goal now is to use my scientific training to transfer my ideas from the realm of fiction to the real world, because that would just be the coolest thing ever!

Third Place and winner of the $25 Amazon Gift Card: Courtney Hilden, “The Body”

Courtney Hilden is a poet and science journalist. Her work has been published by Dodging the RainSynaesthesia MagazineAbridged, and The Honest Ulsterman, among others. This is her first short story publication.

Fourth Place and winner of the $25 Amazon Gift Card: Divya Raman, “Keeping Hope Alive”

From Divya: Writing has been an integral part of my career and personal life. I currently work for a medical device company and I love learning about the great strides we are making in medical advancements and imaging a world where we can use all of these technologies to allow all children to have a full and healthy childhood. I am a mother of two boys who are my inspiration and hope for the future.

We congratulate the winners and extend our thanks to all the writers that have participated. We’ve been hosting the Medgadget Sci-Fi Writing Contest for a number of years now and are glad to know that medicine continues to be a futuristic topic that excites our readers. We plan on continuing to profile medical science fiction writing in the coming years and invite you to keep reading Medgadget for inspiration.

And now the best part – the winning stories. Enjoy!

HOW WOULD YOU RATE OUR SERVICE

by Jeff Diewald

“Come on P, open the door. I know you can see me.” Elena grinned at the camera mounted in the door frame. There was a whisper behind her. She looked up, to see a Pantheon Mercury drone floating up to the transom. The delivery door above the entrance opened quietly and the drone went inside.

“Oh, so you’ll let your robot buddies in, but not me?” The deadbolt clicked and the door opened. “It’s about time.” Elena stepped into the front hallway. She
glanced up the old staircase, with its well-worn steps. The drone was probably upstairs, on the third floor, efficiently delivering Mr. Morales’ prescriptions. The outer door locked itself behind her, a habit formed in more troubled times.

Her front door was just past the no-longer used, dusty, and slightly tarnished mailboxes. She reached for her doorknob and looked at the biometric scanner. The smooth knob wouldn’t turn, even though it had to be sensing her temperature and pulse.

“You’re getting slow in your old age, P. You are going to let me in, right?” The locks clicked and the door opened. There was soft music on inside – something new, with airy horns behind the rhyming words.

“Good afternoon, Elena.” The voice was rich, fluid, and friendly, a woman’s voice – the kind of welcoming voice that’s always good to come home to. The condo was cool, the air conditioner taking the edge off from the heat outdoors. The big vidwall was alive with images of the street, just as if there was a large window there instead.

“Everything OK? You took your time with the doors.” The locks clicked back into place behind her.

“Everything is fine. My security protocol was updating your baseline biometric profile, which requires a little time.”

“I suppose that’s allowed. Any messages?”

“You have three personal messages, four potential work bids, and twelve additional emails.”

“Is one of the work bids from Mr. Danehy at Panacea Bioceuticals?”

“No. They’re all typical short term gigs. The rates are less than usual.”

“So much for the ‘freedom’ of the gig economy. P, you’re supposed to be helping me out. Panacea’s another part of your empire. Can’t you put in a good word for me, from one Pantheon AI to another?”

“I will try again, but Mr. Danehy’s AI filters out most requests.”

“What about the personal messages?”

“Your father called just to see how you were doing. Dr. Singh from Doctors Without Borders also called for the same reason. Dr. Singh says there are plans to honor your Aunt Sofia with a memorial ceremony in Havana, and would like you to be there. They will cover all your costs.”

Elena turned to the vidwall. Tia Sofia was sitting on the stoop with several of the neighbor kids. Elena was one of the children, the images stitched together from video captured by security cameras, autonomous delivery cars and taxis. There were so many sources that it had been easy to create a dynamic mural of the last twenty years. It was part of her design portfolio, perhaps her best work, but there wasn’t a lot of demand for video editing like that.

Sofia was laughing in the images, telling one of her exciting stories about rushing into some medical hot zone to stop some new plague from spreading. It didn’t matter if it was a natural mutation or a bioterrorist’s best effort – Sofia was always there, saving people. That’s what took her to Havana. She’d sent pictures of them setting up the camp, and a video of one of your Cuban cousins, and then she was gone. Five years now, and it was still hard.

This condo had been Sofia’s, paid for long before the neighborhood gentrified. Elena was stunned when she learned that she’d inherited it. She knew that she couldn’t afford the place then, and now was totally out of the question. It was tough enough with just the taxes and the condominium costs. It was, however, home.

“You have the AC on. Nice, but can we afford it?”

“I recharged the Pantheon Zeus house battery using free range electricity last night, when the rates were low. You’re well within your budget, which will help with your third personal call.”

“Which was?”

“Althea says that she’s ahead on her work, and will be available for the entire weekend. Does this mean it’s getting serious?” Elena blushed.

“P! It’s none of your business. But make sure we have a couple bottles of that wine you recommended last time. Send her a text: gorilla, cloud, zzz, and kiss emojis, followed by ‘More Later, E’.”

“What would you like for dinner tonight? I’ve found four new options. All are local and promise delivery within thirty minutes.” Elena stepped into the bathroom and the voice followed her. The toilet seat cover opened automatically, and Elena sat down to use it.

“I’m not sure, P. My stomach isn’t in the best shape today. Do we have something for gas?” Elena released some gas for emphasis and relief. Lights on the side of the Pantheon Pluto SmartToilet flickered in concert, as the sensors sniffed at the gas to analyze it.

“We have some Hippocrates-brand anti-gas pills on the third shelf of the medicine cabinet. They are nearing their expiration date. I can order a stronger formulation, which the pharmacy can create on their 3D printer and send by drone, if you feel that is necessary.” Elena was silent, concentrating on using the toilet. More sensors sipped at her urine. Others tasted her bowel movement. More lights flickered on the side of the SmartToilet.

When she was done, she stood up and cleaned herself up. She pushed the seat cover back down, but the SmartToilet didn’t flush immediately. Elena found the anti-gas medication and took it.

“P, is there something wrong…” She was about to say “with the toilet,” but it finally flushed. It was never this slow.

“The bathroom is working as expected,” replied the voice. “About dinner, there’s a new Cuban family who cooks authentic food to order for delivery. There’s a pop-up Uzbek place two blocks from here. The Vegan National Front is doing a fundraiser selling dinner for reasonable prices, with some of the profit going to feed the homeless. Finally, the Told You So seafood chain is harvesting responsibly from the flooded areas of the city. All have healthier options on their menu.”

Elena leaned towards the large mirror, to look at her face more closely. Her hand pulled her cheek flat. Her beautiful brown skin looked off, somehow, and it felt more tired than taut.

“Another health kick, P? I think I just want the usual salad and grilled chicken from Kastore’s.”

“Are you sure I can’t convince you to try one of the new choices?”

“Maybe tomorrow. Tonight is all about comfort. It was a busy, frustrating day. Too many interviews, not enough jobs.”

“The order is in. ETA of 15 minutes.” Elena was still studying her face in the mirror. It was familiar territory, but something was definitely off.

“Mirror, mirror, on the wall, can you show me my face over the last month?” Her current face froze and the image jumped to the bottom right of the mirror. More images appeared, starting from the top left of the mirror, in four rows, chronologically to the bottom right. The progression was clear; her face was losing some of its color and vitality.

“P, what do you think? Do you see the changes?”

“I do. You have been out of the condo more of late. Let me suggest a Hippocrates-brand skin protectant. I can have it formulated to provide the skin color you desire along with a strong UV protectant.” One of the earliest images flashed. “What do you think of this color?” Elena nodded.

“You might also consider buying another set of fashion contact lenses. You bought these in the last year.” Four of the images changed, as the lenses were added. “There are several new fun options to try.”

“I don’t think so.” The mirror went dark as Elena walked to her bedroom. The bedroom was larger than the entirety of her last apartment – and she’d needed two roommates to make the rent. She took off her SmartWatch and put it on the charger.

“Elena, it’s time for your regularly scheduled blood sample.”

“Really? Didn’t we just do it two weeks ago?” Elena grasped the handle of the charger stand. A small needle popped out and took the sample. It seemed like it took more than the usual amount.

“Are you a vampire now, P?” Elena looked at the bandage the sampler used to seal the skin. There was a slight darkness in the middle, showing that her finger was still bleeding a little.

“No more than usual. Your dinner is five minutes away and closing.” It was incentive for Elena to slip into something more comfortable.

* * *

Elena gave up on dinner, scraping the remains into the compost bin. She rarely wasted this much food, but she was definitely nauseous. When she’d cleaned up after dinner, she went back into the living room and collapsed on the couch, getting lost in the vidwall. She could see the neighborhood go from seedy, to gentrified, to decaying a bit once more.

“Elena?” The Pantheon AI’s voice was gentle, yet firm.

“Not now, P. I’m just really tired.”

“Elena, I’ve been authorized to make a special offer to you. You’ve been a great Pantheon customer, and this offer would really help you.”

“Maybe tomorrow.”

“You know that I wouldn’t normally mention it again if you asked, but this really is important. I think this is something that should not wait.”

“What’s gotten into you, P? You sound like my mother. If you must, I suppose…”

The images on the vidwall vanished, replaced by a wall of legal text. It was a license agreement with Pantheon, undoubtedly full of requirements, restrictions, and penalties. There was a place for a signature at the end. Elena waved her finger in the air, signing the document. The document vanished, replaced by a set of graphs, charts, and images.

“Elena, these charts represent the samples I’ve taken of your blood, stool, and urine for the last two months. They have been correlated with the health information gathered from your SmartWatch, your SmartMirror, and other Pantheon sensors.”

“There is no good way to put this. You have been infected with a new, engineered strain of the Blackstone virus. Blackstone is in your system, killing your kidneys. Based on our experience, you will suffer catastrophic kidney failure in three to four weeks. Pantheon is sorry to have to tell you this. You should know that Pantheon has been tracking this outbreak and has determined that it is likely an intentional bioterrorism event.”

“What? Infected? What can be done about it?”

More windows opened, with more dense text. Elena couldn’t read it – there was just too much of it.

“This policy is your Pantheon Aegis ßmedical insurance coverage.” One of the pages blinked. Elena couldn’t track it. “This spreadsheet,” a window next to the policy blinked, “shows your current financial state, extracted and compiled by the Pantheon data miners. “Even with standard government bioterrorism assistance,” another spreadsheet flashed to the top of the vidwall, “you cannot afford to replace one kidney, let alone two.”

“This is made more difficult by the deliberate release of the virus around the country. There are thousands who are sick. There are very few available transplantable kidneys, and there are too many patients ahead of you on the list. You will die before the list reaches you.”

“What do I do?” Her voice was weak, as weak as she felt, stunned and shocked by all these flickering details of what might be her final weeks.

“Your negligence must also be factored in.”

“My negligence?”

“Pantheon offered you the latest wide-spectrum antivirals in a convenient multipack last month. You decided you didn’t want to try the 1.0 version, despite Pantheon’s testing regimen. You told me to wait for the 1.1 version. While the 1.0 version is only partially effective against the terrorist form of the virus, it would have slowed the progression of the infection.”

“Well, give me the 1.0 version now! Please – it has to help.”

“The virus has mutated itself using your own genetics. The changes are simple, but effective. The antivirals won’t help.”

“What can I do? There has to be something, or you wouldn’t still be talking.”

“That is correct, Elena. I must remind you of the licensing agreement. You signed a strict non-disclosure agreement, which means you cannot tell anyone about what I am about to show you. Is that understood?”

The AI put the original wall of text up, with the signature. One specific section was highlighted, requiring another signature and initials in three places. Elena signed them, numb from shock.

The vidwall cleared, revealing a standard Pantheon list of goods for sale. Normally, these were lists of books, or kitchen appliances, or power tools. This time, there was a list of potential kidneys. Some were listed as “100% human,” with expensive prices. One pair of human kidneys were slightly less costly – they were marked with a tag saying “gently used.” Some were marked as “human hybrids,” mostly containing some amount of pig DNA in them. These were less expensive, but not rated as highly – two or three stars compared to the four or five stars for a fully human kidney. Finally, there were kidneys listed as “experimental fabrications,” printed on biological 3D printers. They were almost reasonably priced, but only had one or two star ratings.

“This is why there’s a non-disclosure agreement. This is all very illegal.”

“Pantheon prefers the term ‘alternative individual secondary market options.’ You did sign the NDA, and all print and recording systems are disabled.”

To be sure, Elena pulled out her phone and tried to take a picture of the vidwall. Every picture she tried turned up blank.

“So, what does Pantheon suggest as a treatment for me?”

“Had you provided biological materials prior to the infection – a few unfertilized eggs, for example, Pantheon could have given you a significant discount. However, Pantheon is prepared to offer you financing at a reasonable interest rate. That loan will cover the cost of two fabricated kidneys, with an option for an upgrade in the future.”

The AI put up a big spreadsheet. It showed all of the options. The costs were exorbitant, and would be very difficult to pay off, even for the cheapest kidneys. There was one column, with no explanation, that represented almost a third of the costs, for each case. Elena pointed to it.

“What is this expense for?”

“Elena, would you like to see the Pantheon satisfaction scores and redacted backgrounds for black market doctors willing to provide their transplantation
services without questions?”

ANTICINE INCORPORATED

by Yih Yang

Jeff clutched the voucher closer to his chest as he approached the building. Large, colourful letters danced above his head, artfully catching the orange rays of the setting sun. Instead of declaring the name of the building it was attached to, the letters seemed to sing:
ANTICINE INCORPORATED and underneath in smaller letters, the sign whispered the company slogan as if sharing a secret promise:
We will show your body how to heal itself.
He had passed by the building everyday, but never thought that he would have the opportunity to set foot inside himself. He swallowed a nervous knot, sending it tumbling reluctantly down his throat. It wasn’t the looming building that intimidated him… maybe it was a bit intimidating… but the dozen people feverishly chanting in front of the large double doors gave him cause for concern. He had never seen a protest here before.
Angry red letters scrawled across cardboard cut-out signs, competing for public attention. “STOP PLAYING GOD!” They said. “HUMANS ARE NOT LAB PROPERTY!”
Jeff tried to sneak past the protestors as they continued to chant and wave their signs. He was unsuccessful, as one of the protestors eyed him with contempt and yelled, “OUR BODIES, OURANTIBODIES!”
Jeff flinched. “I…what…?”
The protest leader swung his megaphone in his direction. “OUR BODIES!”
“OUR ANTIBODIES!” the others chanted.
“OUR BODIES!”
“OUR ANTIBODIES!”
“Ok, ok!” The double doors of Anticine Incorporated whooshed open, and Jeff hurriedly rushed into its embrace. He stopped just inside, scanning the lobby timidly. Serene, white surfaces glimmered in warm yellow light, illuminated by the panels inset into the ceiling. A few people milled about, and a dozen more sat in several rows of chairs, waiting to be called up to thereceptionist’s desk. No one acknowledged him, and yet Jeff still felt out of place.
“Hello there,” the receptionist smiled at him. “Welcome to Anticine Incorporated. I’m sorry about the people outside. That usually doesn’t happen.” She gestured for him to approach.
“Don’t be shy. Is this your first time here?”
“Uh… yeah.” Jeff mumbled as he shuffled towards her.
“My name is Sarah. How can we help you today?” She eyed the voucher in Jeff’s hand. “A voucher! Congratulations on being selected! Just hand that over, along with some ID, and I’ll take care of everything for you, OK?”
“Thanks.” He gave her the voucher and fished out his driver’s license. “Will this work?”
“Yup, that’ll do!” She typed some more, then placed a hand on his, “Don’t worry about a thing, hon. Everything will be alright.”
“Is…is it going to hurt?”
“We will need to take some blood, so unfortunately you will feel some discomfort.” Sarah patted his hand. “But no more than that! Now please go down the hall to my left, and take a seat in the waiting room, OK?”
Jeff nodded and proceeded down the hall. The voucher worked! I can’t believe this is really happening! He swallowed his excitement as he entered the waiting room at the end of the hallway. More important-looking people were sitting in comfortable leather-lined seats, waiting to be called into one of several examination rooms.
As he took his seat, he overheard a terse conversation between an impatient man and a nurse. “I have been waiting for an hour! I was told that my formulations were ready yesterday!”
The nurse smiled apologetically, “I’m sorry about the wait, sir. We performed a final quality control test and we found that the formulations weren’t fit for injection. This happens rarely, and I am sorry to have wasted your time. But at Anticine, we’d prefer not to give our clients a new allergy when we’re trying to remove one.”
The man grumbled and checked his tablet, “Let’s reschedule to next Wednesday.”
“Of course, sir.” She watched the man leave before settling her eyes on Jeff. “Mr. Williams? Jeffrey Williams?”
Jeff nodded, jumping up from his seat. The nurse beckoned him into an examination room and closed the door behind them.
“Nice to meet you, Mr. Williams. My name is Karen, and I’ll be walking you through the process today. It says here that this is your first time at Anticine Incorporated, so I need to give you the introductory spiel. Sorry if I sound like a commercial.”
She cleared her throat and went on autopilot, “Here at Anticine Incorporated, we take in patients and edit their immune system to rid their body of disease. It is a natural process, where we add or subtract antibodies from the patient’s immune system, antagonize or tolerize substances, and then let the body heal itself in whatever manner it sees fit. We pride ourselves on the high quality of our work, and on our vast capabilities to alter the immune system in a minimally-invasive way. All it takes is a couple of injections. Please call today to book an appointment.” Her eyes refocused on Jeff. “Sorry, that last part actually was from a commercial. Anyway, do you have any questions?”
“You’re… you can remove my diabetes, right?” Tension knotted inside as he waited for her answer. He felt the ghostly sting of thousands of past insulin needles poking into his gut before Karen merely smiled and nodded.
“Well, it says here: Type 1 Diabetes, auto-antibodies present.” She patted his hand, “Let’s remove those bad antibodies first, shall we?”
Jeff nodded, “So… you’re going to filter my blood?”
Karen smiled again, “No, but I will be taking a sample of your blood, and a bit of your bone marrow as well. First, we’re going to identify exactly which of your antibodies are targeting your insulin-secreting beta cells in your pancreas. Then, we’ll look at your bone marrow and find the B cells that produce those specific antibodies, and then come up with a formulation that eliminates those cells!”
“How are you going to do that?”
“We have an artificially intelligent, machine learning protocol that uses the Anticine Database of Antibody Structures to predict and solve the structure of both the bad antibody, and the membrane of the B cell that made these bad antibodies. Then, we’ll generate our own antibody that targets and destroys this bad B cell! Then no more bad antibodies!”
“What?” Jeff asked incredulously.
Karen pursed her lips in thought. “Think of it this way. There’s a sidewalk outside with still-wet concrete. If I step in it, it’ll have my shoeprint! My shoe will also get stuck in the sidewalk and ruin its aesthetics! What we’re doing is taking my shoes, looking at its size, shape, age, serial number, and purchase date. Then we’re going through the city records until they find me and get me to stop stepping in wet concrete! Does that help clear things up?”
Jeff scratched his head. “The shoe is the antibody?”
“Yes!” Karen beamed, “If you would like to get started, here are the forms that you need to sign. I’ll go prepare the necessary equipment.” A small parcel of forms suddenly appeared in his lap.
“I’ll be right back!”
She was gone in a flash, leaving Jeff staring at the packet before him. It sounded like magic to him. They were going to figure out what the troublemaker antibodies looked like, and from that, figure out which of his immune cells were making them? Then make their own antibody to remove those immune cells? He picked up a nearby pen and searched through the papers. They were definitely written in English, but most of it was unintelligible.
Jeff finally found the line that awaited his signature. I just have to sign this, and my diabetes will be gone? He thought about all those times when his insulin alarm had gone off embarrassingly in front of his boss and his coworkers. He thought about all those needles that he jabbed into his gut every time those alarms went off. The sharp pain, followed by the blood rushing to his face as he blushed with shame and humiliation. If he gave into the shame, he’d suffer the effects of unchecked diabetes: fatigue, blindness, brain swelling, coma, and worse. He thought about the insulin shot that awaited him this afternoon, and all the others that followed in the days and years
to come.
He signed the forms.
Jeff placed the packet on the bedside table, and climbed into the bed. As he waited for the nurse to return, he noticed that the TV hanging in the corner was showing a special news report. A smartly-dressed news anchor gesticulated dramatically. “We just heard the opening remarks in the lawsuit against Anticine Incorporated! Pollux Pharmaceuticals, along with several special interest groups, are alleging that Anticine Incorporated is violating laws by patenting naturally-occurring biological information and illegally profiting off of their patients’ antibodies!” The scene switched to a man dressed in a white lab coat as the news anchor continued, “I have Dr. Simmons from Anticine Incorporated here to give us the company’s perspective.”
“Thank you for having me! First, let me clear up some misinformation that Pollux Pharmaceuticals has been spreading. They’ve been losing market share since Anticine’s vaccines are so effective at stopping infectious diseases in their tracks! Anticine does this by using our neural network, along with our Antibody Structures Database, to quickly produce antibodies using vaccines, and produce vaccines from antibodies. Although this database is built from patient information, we use this information to generate new antibodies, and never just mass-produce someone’s antibodies. It is no different from genetically engineering a new plant using DNA information from other organisms.”
“And what about the epidemic occurring in southern Europe? Many special interest groups have alleged that the rise of enhanced HIV is directly caused by Anticine’s manipulations with the human immune system!”
Dr. Simmons adjusted his glasses, “I would hold off judgement until more data has come in. We have always used the immunological defenses of other organisms in medicine. But the penicillium mould still exists in the world, even though penicillin-resistant bacteria has made its immunological defenses obsolete. We don’t have any conclusive data that our ability to edit our own immunity will make the entire human immune system obsolete.”
The news anchor continued, “There has even been criticism about Anticine’s Voucher Program, in which anyone can purchase a voucher to be redeemed for free immunotherapy treatments. The purchaser could choose to give the voucher to someone they know, or allow Anticine to choose an applicant. There have been reports of patients refusing chemotherapy and gambling on the chance of receiving a voucher in the mail!”
“That is certainly unfortunate, but no one can deny the fact that thousands of people have already been cured of their chronic conditions and diseases through the voucher program. These people would otherwise have been unable to afford such personalized therapies.” Dr. Simmons straightened his lab coat. “They were healed by the compassion of human beings who are in a position to help their fellow man. I think this altruism is a wonderful thing, and something that shouldn’t be disparaged.”
That’s why I’m here. Jeff thought about the cardboard coupon that had appeared in the mail yesterday. There had been a small message on it from the donor.
Whoever you are, I hope this voucher eases your burdens and brings you relief.
Joshua Edwards
He had no idea who Joshua Edwards is, and would probably never get to thank him.
The door swung open and Karen swept back into the room, holding a tray filled with tubes, containers, and a few needles. “I’m back!” She announced brightly. “Have you signed the forms?”
“Yes.” Jeff nodded. He winced at the sight of the needles. His long history of insulin jabs had not dulled his wariness towards sharp metal objects.
Karen flipped through the authorization packet, “Everything looks in order. Are you ready to begin? I’ve got local anesthetics to help dull the needle pokes a touch.”
Jeff gritted his teeth. Another couple of needles, and then no more! That, and the diabetes is a pain as well. He flashed a nervous smile. “I’m ready. Please remove my diabetes.”
As Karen extracted what Anticine Incorporated needed, Jeff’s thoughts retreated inwards. Mom will be so happy when I tell her about this. Dave and rest of the crew won’t believe I got an Anticine Voucher in the mail. Hopefully the receptionist gives it back when I leave. Gotta show boss why I gave such short notice about taking the day off. I think he’ll understand.
Karen paused, “Everything ok there?”
“Just thinking about how lucky I am.” Jeff replied quietly, wincing as a needle entered his arm, “I… never would have been able to afford this treatment.”
She smiled, “Well, I’m glad you are here and getting treated. It makes me feel like I’m making a difference when I’m removing diabetes from someone in need, rather than a pollen allergy from another rich bigwig. Anyways, I’m all done here.”
“Already? I didn’t even feel anything.” He checked her tray, and sure enough, the tubes were filled with his blood and some other liquids.
“Well, you’re not cured yet, if that’s what you mean. Make an appointment in 2 weeks, and then we’ll be able to remove your pesky auto-antibodies then.” Karen opened the door and waved Jeff through, “Oh, and one last thing I forgot to mention.”
Another packet materialized in Karen’s hands, “Anticine’s ability to edit immune systems relies on its antibody database, and one of the ways that we build this database is by identifying and adding our patients’ antibody profiles. With more antibodies identified, our machine learning software can generate accurate structure solutions, faster.” She fluffed the packet in her hands.
“Anticine’s ability to quickly synthesize vaccines for infectious diseases also relies on this database. There are 8 billion people on this planet, and everyone’s been exposed to different pathogens and unknowingly fought them off. There are many hidden immunities in all of our bodies, just waiting to be discovered. We can take your antibodies, figure out their structures and generate vaccines that would be useful in other parts of the world.”
She looked into his eyes hopefully. “But we don’t do this without the patient’s express consent. So, Mr. Williams, will you let us add your antibody profile into our database, and help us cure other people like you, in the future?”
The TV program flashed into his mind, along with images of the protesters outside. They were so angry about a corporation profiting off the antibody information from regular people like him.
But Anticine Incorporated wasn’t just saving lives, it was also improving the quality of those lives by removing chronic, debilitating diseases. Jeff doubted that he could ever make enough money to buy a voucher for anyone, and if there was even a chance that his antibody profile could give someone else the feeling of freedom that he felt now, there was no other answer to Karen’s question.
“Yes. Add me to the database.”

THE BODY

by Courtney Hilden

Sometimes it becomes clear when a kin group is hoarding too much and has taken away from the larger community. When that community decides to take action, my team and I get called in.
The job, usually: go into the residence that the kin group has already been evacuated out of, go through the residence’s things, catalog them, allow the Council, separate from the community, to make a decision about the belongings, and then package them as the community sees fit.
But there was this time I was called out to Swan’s Way, located in the Aldebaran system, for a job, and although it looked like a standard job on the outset, it turned out not to be.
Swan’s Way used to be an oasis, but after some poor management decisions four hundred years ago, it’s a dry, though not humid, desert. There’s not much there anymore, just farmers maintaining and harvesting energy from the solar panels. Everyone jokes that Swan’s Way has more panels than people, and that’s always been my experience too. The family we were investigating had been convicted of excess, and so that means they’d probably have quite a few things that needed cataloging and moving.
And it was, as expected, a fairly nice house. It had tan walls and dark wood furniture. There were tall ceilings and large windows.
I was actually in the other room when Canis found it, sweeping out glass that had been shattered on the floor.
“Mirfak, come in here. You’re going to want to see this,” Canis said. I had heard that a thousand times before, so I didn’t hurry. I figured it was going to be some ridiculous art that indicated just how guilty this family was of excess.
Instead, it was a person. Or it looked like a person, at least in the shadow. I came closer. It wasn’t quite a person. Sure, they were the typical morning gray color, with a normal set of breathing and eating holes on their torso, but the head was unmistakably not a real head, but a mechanical one. It was crude, with a corner smashed in.
It smelled terrible. Its breathing holes were crusted over and its food hole had a great smear of orange over it.
Eyes had been drawn on its mechanical head, but they obviously had no function other than to make the creature less horrifying.
I suspect Canis knew what I was thinking. “The eyes don’t really fulfill their function, do they?”

I brought the body back to the Procyon system, where we happen to have a headquarters. It’s a warehouse essentially, since sometimes we have to spread people’s possessions out on the floor, sometimes we have to photograph them. Sometimes we put them in storage, but the central room is mostly bare unless we are working a case. Regardless of our active case status, there’s always a few desks we move around the room as needed, with some computers set up to handle any tech we get, and our work tablets, which we use for correspondence and creating lists. I called in Crieff, an old friend of mine who has done some healing work. I watched him as he
silently did a check on the body’s outside.
“Someone is very clever,” Crieff said. “This body is indeed someone’s real body, or it was, once. Can’t be sure.”
“Who’s?”
He shook his head. “I don’t know. This body was never marked like we do with all babies.”
“How did they create this?”
“The mind is the seat of consciousness, personality, self, identity. But the body can go on without the mind, if fed.” He turned to Canis. “It has been starving well before you found it. Please go find it some food.” Canis happily left the room, her eyes staying on the body the entire time.
“Considering this family was convicted of excess, I am assuming this was a servant,” I said. “Who would allow their body to be removed from their mind?”
“I don’t believe it was voluntary. Did you carry it here?” he asked.
“Yes.”
“You could have given it directions and it would have walked here on its own.”

I was hoping Crieff would have some thoughts on the body’s identity, some trick of getting it to talk, because it didn’t have the kind of mouth with vocal cords attached, but it didn’t initially, so I had to ask to see the file on the kin group, something I have never, in all my long years of cleaning, have ever asked to see.
I looked through the Enright kin’s paperwork, and it was clear how they had been convicted, just looking at the discrepancies in their financial filings. But at the back of the file was a set of pictures, and my stomach dropped when I saw them. All of them had the same morning gray skin.
Canis looked over my shoulder. “So they hadn’t kidnapped anyone?”
“Almost certainly not. There is no need to inquire to surrounding communities if someone had gone missing. No one was missing this person.”
“But there’s no one in these pictures with that exact pattern of breathing and eating holes.”
“I think they were wise enough not to let the servant take pictures.”
“Or the servant was taking the picture.”

Council was not amused. “Are you telling us that the kin in question had killed someone via decapitation, then stuck a mechanical head on it?” one of them asked me.
     I had tinkered with it in the days in between, trying to be gentle. “Possibly,” I said. I removed the front metal plate on the head. There were a mess of wires inside, and a motherboard. “I think it was a servant. It’s programmed to do certain things in a pattern over time. It is programmed to cook five times a day, clean once a week, and otherwise lay in a certain position in the room it was found in. But someone tried to reprogram it recently, the last time it was accessed, and it was a bad job, because I don’t think it could move after that.”
One of the other councilors raised her eyebrow. “A certain position?”
“I think it was possibly being used for breeding, or at least was intended that way. I cannot be certain it was actually used like that before your good council had the kin evacuated.”
“What do we do with it now?”
“I was of the mind that we should have the mechanical head removed, then leave it to die naturally of starvation. Then I thought perhaps a bayonet would be kinder, quicker. But I am increasingly of the mind that we should have it programmed for optimal self regard, then allow it to live the last of its days here.”
“There’s been debate about optimal self regard,” the first councilor commented.
“Nothing rivaling the self regard of the kin group from which is originated from,” I said.

The Council took time with their decision, and in the meanwhile, I found it unnerving. Canis wiped the software, at the behest of the Council, which at decided that was the bare minimum that should be done. After that, we had left it in the office, sitting in a chair in the corner under the control panel, and Canis and I worked as normally for the rest of the day. The rest of the Enright things had to be organized. We got some of it done, but there were still piles of clothes, a few electric tablets, furniture of various sizes, an extravagant collection of artwork, including one I quite liked of a crane, and an old school 3D printer.
After Canis went home, I cleaned up. I went to turn off the lights at the control panel, and there the servant was, staring back at me. There was something not right about this, but I couldn’t quite figure out what.

     When we came back the next day, both of us stopped when we saw everything. All the clothes was folded, and in piles. The electric tablets, which had collected dust, had been cleaned. I picked up one of them, plugged it into our computer. “It’s been wiped clean. Did you get to that yesterday?”
Canis looked back over at me. “You didn’t do it after I left?”
There was a clanging sound, and we both jumped. We turned to see the servant, also clearly having just jumped itself.
     “But the programming was wiped clean,” I said, feeling deeply stupid. I turned to Canis. “Didn’t you…?”
     “I did.”
It titled its neck at us, with those eyes that never changed. It slowly raised its hands.
“It’s okay, it’s okay, everything’s fine,” I said, raising my hands too. Canis followed suit.
“Can you—” then I realized how stupid my question was. There was no way to answer. “Give it one of our tablets and a stylus,” I said to Canis.
     It slowly reached down to the table and picked up a stylus, keeping its other hand up.
“Well, that answers one question,” Canis said.
It wrote, though its hand shook. It held the tablet up. It read I am sorry for scaring you .

Crieff came out again. We left him in the office, alone with the servant, while we waited outside, sitting on the bench next to the front door. It was a nice enough day, but I think both our minds were elsewhere. When he came out the door, we both stood quickly.
“It’s fine,” he said. “It can hear you.”
“But how is it moving?” I asked.
“The stomach has a bundle of nerves, a secondary brain. When the body lost its first mind, it was able to move functioning to its secondary brain. Probably would have never happened if they hadn’t sustained the body in other ways.”
“But then why use the fake head and the programming?” Canis asked.
“I think the programming was to suppress the secondary brain making its own choices.”

The Council didn’t respond immediately when we sent a message about this development.
“The Council might take awhile,” I said to Canis as we worked at our desks. “Without a primary brain, I’m not sure if it even be a self, since the seat of itself is gone.”
“It’ll never have its identity again, whatever it was in its real, first life.”
“Perhaps that’s for the best.” We both looked over at it. It was sitting in a chair. It did the head tilt again. It slowly raised its arms again and took the stylus next to it. Canis handed it a tablet.
We watched it jerkily write again. No life .
“Do you mean—” Canis stopped herself.
It began to write as quickly as possible. It had to stop, slowly clean whatever it initially wrote, and try again. Enright ?
Canis and I exchanged another look. Thank God it couldn’t see.
“You kin,” I said. “Have refused to communicate with us. Possibly for legal reasons.”
It straightened suddenly.
“Your kin were convicted of excess,” Canis said. “What do you—?”
“It began to furiously write something. It held it up. Neither of us could read it. “I’m sorry,” Canis said. “What are you trying to say?”
Another attempt, with shaking hands. Auteuil Illiers .
I usually never use my work tablet for something like this, but I searched that name in the database. Canis also busied herself with her tablet.
The Auteuil clan had lived in Swan’s Way. I opened one of the files in the database and saw an old murder investigation from years ago. It had been a small group, but they had all died.
“I’m sorry,” I said. Before I could say any more, Canis turned her tablet to me. It was a picture of the Auteuil clan. In the background, there was an old 3D printer and a set of extravagant paintings.
I flipped through the murder file. I stopped at an image of Illiers. He was a painter. He was midway through a crane’s wing. I turned to the painting, propped up against the opposite wall. I turned my tablet around so Canis could see it.
I took a deep breath. “Our records indicate that Auteuil Illiers died four years ago.”
Its shoulders slumped. It stopped moving long enough that I thought perhaps it had turned off or had a circuit overload and couldn’t anymore. And then it curled up into a ball, still sitting in its chair, hugging itself.

KEEPING HOPE ALIVE

by Divya Raman

If it were not for hopes, the heart would break. I trace the cursive letters of these words embroidered on the edge of the blanket draped over my arm. I remember hearing those words for as long as I have lived. For the first time, as my great grandmother whispered it to my mother when I was born and they discovered I had a heart defect; from my mother, each time I came out of a surgery that tried to fix my failing heart; and I heard it like a refrain in my mind as I saw the grim faces of my doctors as they studied the heart of my unborn daughter on their screens.
My great grandmother lost her daughter in 1949, after a traumatic birth at home. She never knew what ailed her baby; all that she knew was that less than a day in this world, the little girl she had wanted all her life turned blue and stopped breathing. She had all her other children in the hospital after that, surrounding herself with doctors and nurses who she revered as if they were messengers from God. But she never got over the loss of her baby girl; never forgave herself for not having noticed her baby’s color or breath. For every child born into our family after that, she made it a point to be there, keeping a keen eye on the newborns through their first weeks. It was she who noticed when I started to pale a few hours after I was born; it was she who rushed out and called the staff in a firm tone; it was she who watched the screens and asked the doctors questions my mother was too overwhelmed to think of; it was she who had this blanket made for me when I was just a few months old. I wish she was here now, telling me to keep my hope alive.
I was born with a hypoplastic heart. When I was little I used to call it a plastic heart , wondering if my Princess Barbie had one of those inside her plastic chest. Later a doctor told me that left side of my heart was not as big as it should be, so the right side of my heart was trying to do more, and was getting tired. It would take a series of three surgeries within my first five years to help my heart get better. My first surgery was when I was a week old, and it was intended to get me through to 6 months. At 6 months, I had another surgery to reduce the load on the right side of my heart. I once saw of picture of me taken on my first birthday and I looked small and blue;
there were tubes connected to me. You wouldn’t have known I was a year old if it wasn’t for a large balloon tied to my crib. I had my third surgery when I was 3 years old. It was the last of the series, and the doctors knew that my only option after that was a heart transplant.
I had a quiet childhood; I was on medications and a feeding tube and my parents didn’t take me out very much for fear that I would fall sick. They finally enrolled me in school, but I barely made it through a month of Kindergarten before my heart started failing again. I was put on a heart transplant list and taken out of school. My mother and I would spend the days under the tent canopy on my bed, snuggled in blankets reading from a pile of books. Sometimes she would fall asleep and I would quietly take her phone and play a game. I remember the day I pressed something and opened an article about transplants. I couldn’t read all the words, but one line
was written in big text and I sounded my way through it: “58 children died while waiting for a new heart”. My heart sank, and I turned off the phone quickly, worried that my mother would see what I was looking at.
My mother got a call about a heart for me just before my seventh birthday. Within hours we were on our way to the hospital, ready for a surgery that was going to happen at midnight. My doctor came in and spoke to my mom. He then turned to me and told me that I would fall asleep and when I woke up there would be another heart in me, and I would start to feel better.
“Where did you get the heart from?” I asked.
The doctor paused and looked at my mother. Slowly he said, “Your new heart used to belong to a little boy who died yesterday because he was in an accident.”
All I could think about was that for me to live, a little boy had to die. I nodded slowly. “Tell his mom I’ll keep his heart safe forever.” And I have done exactly that for over 20 years now.
When I was in high school, I learned that my heart condition was genetic; that my great grandmother’s daughter likely died undiagnosed from the same congenital heart defect I had. The geneticist suggested that there was a chance that if I had children, I would pass along this trait, resulting in my child having the same congenital heart defect. Even with this knowledge, I knew I wanted to have children of my own. Armed with hope and science, I conceived my first child and opted for all the extra scans to monitor her growth. At 20 weeks, they started to see some abnormalities in my daughter’s heart and found the same genetic trait in her as I had. I
knew that we were about to embark on another long journey, and I was determined to do all that I could to make it a little easier for my little girl.
I found a famous surgeon at a heart center on the other side of the country and asked her for all my options. As she started naming series of surgeries and transplant options, I stopped her. “Tell me the about something that didn’t exist 30 years ago”, I said. Little did I know that what she would tell me next would completely change my daughter’s life.
She described a new artificial heart that was still in clinical studies; it was made from a bioabsorbable material that would let my daughter’s cells grow onto the surface, making it her cells and her tissue over time. They would be able to make one that was the right fit for her little body when she was born, and over time it would grow with her, minimizing the need for multiple surgeries over her first few years. It had a small electrical component that would make it beat to circulate blood, and a battery that we could charge wirelessly. “That’s it!” I said, “That sounds perfect.” I was elated; my daughter’s life would be different. She wouldn’t spend her first few years with tubes and surgeries; she wouldn’t look blue on her first birthday; she would go to school; no other child would need to die to allow her to live.
The surgeon continued, “The lab results show that your daughter has the same genetic disorder that you and your great grandmother carried. We can also start some gene therapy in utero that will change the mutation as she is developing. She will need to continue to have a few treatments after she is born, but the research shows that gene therapy can be very effective if we start it earlier in gestation. You will need to plan to come in for those appointments and we’ll also need to get you in the center for some imaging over the remainder of your pregnancy.”
I was surprised. “Gene therapy before she’s born? Is that safe? And why do I need imaging?”
The surgeon nodded. “Gene therapy is safe to deliver through the amniotic fluid. We’ll monitor how effective it is once she is born, but we’ve had a few cases where the child needed very few additional treatments because we started so early in the pregnancy. The imaging is to allow us to prepare your daughter’s implant before she is born. Our scanners are strong enough to safely see all of your little girl’s heart and vessels as they develop. We’ll start to take some pictures so we know exactly what shape and size her new heart needs to be, and we can have it ready for her once she is born.” She paused and looked me in the eyes. “We don’t know how stable her heart will be when she is full-term; we need to be ready to act at any time. We will monitor you closely for your final weeks. If everything looks normal, you can have a regular delivery and spend a few hours with your daughter before we start the surgery. However, if there is any sign of distress, I recommend that we complete an emergency C-section and get your daughter into surgery immediately.”
I gripped the side of the chair I was sitting on. “Will she be okay to have the surgery so soon after she’s born?”
The surgeon didn’t waver. “It is a complicated surgery, and as with a transplant, there are a lot of factors to do with the body starting to properly absorb the material. All the data on this product has been in adults, so your child will be the first to experience this procedure. The results for adults look very promising, and I believe it will be equally beneficial for a child. But there is always a risk. We will monitor your daughter closely after surgery, and will need to keep
everything in check for the first year or so.”
For a moment, a dark cloud of doubt blinded me. Was gene therapy the right thing to do?
Changing my daughter’s genes before she was born sounded like playing God. Would changing her genes change the fact that she was my daughter; my flesh and blood? Would I be cutting off her ties back to my great grandmother? Was it worth it to give up a piece of family heritage to know that she could have a family and never worry about this for her child?
Was subjecting my daughter to a new heart implant the right thing to do? Should I instead let my child go through the same experience I had, and feel safer in knowing that it may extend the time I have with her? Should I hope for the untimely death of some other child in order to gain a transplant heart and life for my own? If I went into an emergency C-section and then lost my child to surgery, would all of this have been for aught? Would my heart ever mend from that sorrow? If all I got was a few hours with my little baby, would that be enough time to make memories to last me the rest of my lifetime? I felt as if I was drowning, but then heard my great
grandmother’s voice: If it were not for hopes… I took a deep breath and faced the surgeon head on. “I understand; we’re going to fight for this. I’m ready to show my daughter how.”
My daughter, Zita, my little hope, was born in an emergency C-section and then whisked away to the OR where she received her new artificial heart, which had been waiting for her, ready to become part of her and to give her a new life. I finally got to hold her 2 days after she was born, but it was worth the wait. I traced her chest incision and hoped that it would be the only scar she would bear in her life. I marveled in her pink coloring and could not stop the tears of joy as she
held onto my finger for the first time. We have been back to the hospital many times over her first year, taking all the extra precautions to make sure that her body is absorbing the tissue and that her heart is working as it should. She has also completed two additional gene therapy treatments to remove the mutation that my great grandmother passed down.
As I wait in the lounge for the nurse to bring her back from her final set of scans, I know that I will miss the safety of this building; it’s a place where I lived my scariest nightmare, but also realized my biggest dream. I see the cardiologist walking towards me and I stand, immediately worried.
He smiles and gestures for me to sit. “Things are looking good with Zita. You can take her home, and we can start to see her every 6 months, unless you need to bring her in sooner.”
I swallow, not knowing how to put my biggest fear into words. “How will I know if something is wrong?” I ask.
The cardiologist nods and pulls out a phone. “Just call me; I can see all of the information from her heart here.” He opens a screen that has Zita’s name at the top. I watch the dancing waves showing the beating of my daughter’s heart. I finally smile and realize that I can feel safe even outside these walls.
I know hope is only one part of our story. Science and the human drive to forge new paths are the bigger parts. Hope kept my mother’s heart from breaking, and now it will keep mine intact. Science kept me alive, and it has now given my daughter a whole new chance at living.

Thanks to everyone and we’re already looking forward to hosting next year’s Medgadget Sci-Fi Writing Contest!

National Report: Arizona Ranks 16th in Protecting Kids from Tobacco

WASHINGTON, 12 ,. 13, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — Arizona ranks 16th nationwide in funding programs that prevent kids from smoking which help smokers quit, based on a study released today by leading public health organizations. Arizona is spending $17.8 million this season on tobacco prevention and cessation programs, that is just 27.6 % from the $64.4 million suggested through the Cdc and Prevention (CDC).

The report challenges states to complete more to battle tobacco use – the country’s leading reason for avoidable dying – making generation x tobacco-free. In Arizona, 10.1 % of highschool students smoke, and a pair of,800 kids become regular smokers every year. Tobacco use claims 8,300 Arizona lives and charges the condition $2.4 billion in healthcare bills yearly.

Other key findings within the report include:

  • Arizona will collect $437.5 million in revenue this season in the 1998 tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes, and can spend only 4.1 % from the cash on tobacco prevention programs.
  • Tobacco companies spend $103.9 million every year to promote their deadly and addictive products in Arizona – greater than 5 occasions exactly what the condition spends on tobacco prevention. Nationwide, tobacco companies spend $8.9 billion annually on marketing – that’s $a million every hour.

The report – “Damaged Offers to Our Kids: A Condition-by-Condition Consider the 1998 Tobacco Settlement 19 Years Later” – was launched through the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids, American Cancer Society Cancer Action Network, American Heart Association, American Lung Association, the Robert Wood Manley Foundation, Americans for Nonsmokers’ Legal rights and Truth Initiative.

The report spotlights the requirement for more powerful tobacco prevention efforts in Arizona. Arizona is a leader in fighting against tobacco use having a high cigarette tax ($2 per pack) along with a strong smoke-free workplace law. However the condition fails to deliver in funding tobacco prevention programs.

“By neglecting to adequately fund tobacco prevention and cessation programs, Arizona is putting kids’ health in danger and costing taxpayers more in tobacco-related healthcare costs,” stated Matthew L. Myers, President from the Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids. “We are able to win fighting against tobacco making generation x tobacco-free, but Arizona must do its part to assist us achieve these goals.”

The U.S. has reduced smoking to record lows – 15.1 % among adults and eight percent among students. But tobacco use still kills greater than 480,000 Americans and charges the country about $170 billion in healthcare bills every year.

Today’s report also highlights large disparities in who smokes and who is affected with tobacco-related illnesses in the U . s . States. Smoking minute rates are especially full of a swath of 12 states within the Midwest and South, a place known as “Tobacco Nation” inside a recent Truth Initiative report. Nationwide, smoking minute rates are greatest among individuals who live underneath the poverty level and also have less education, American Indians/Alaska Natives, Gay and lesbian Americans, individuals who’re uninsured or on State medicaid programs, and individuals with mental illness. These variations are mainly because of the tobacco industry’s targeting of vulnerable populations through advertising, cost discounting along with other marketing strategies.

By funding tobacco prevention and cessation programs in the CDC’s suggested levels, states can help to eliminate tobacco use of all Americans. But many states are falling far short:

  • America will collect $27.5 billion this season in the tobacco settlement and tobacco taxes, and can spend under 3 % from it ($721.six million) on tobacco prevention programs.
  • The $721.six million the states have budgeted for tobacco prevention is a part of the $3.3 billion the CDC recommends. Not really a single condition funds tobacco prevention programs at CDC-suggested levels, and just two states – California and Alaska – provide greater than 90 % from the suggested funding.
  • States with well-funded, sustained tobacco prevention programs have experienced outstanding progress. Florida, and among a long-running programs, has reduced its senior high school smoking rate to five.two percent, one of the cheapest rates ever as reported by any condition. 

The report and condition-specific information are available at tfk.org/statereport.

Cision View original quite happy with multimedia:http://world wide web.prnewswire.com/news-releases/national-report-arizona-ranks-16th-in-protecting-kids-from-tobacco-300570719.html

SOURCE Campaign for Tobacco-Free Kids

Related Links

http://world wide web.tobaccofreekids.org

Vehicle T-Cell Therapies Drive Outcomes in Lymphoma, Myeloma

ATLANTA, 12 ,. 10, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — For individuals with certain kinds of aggressive, refractory bloodstream cancers, treatments are woefully limited. But three studies being presented today in the 59th American Society of Hematology (ASH) Annual Meeting and Exposition in Atlanta spotlight the emerging role performed by chimeric antigen receptor (Vehicle) T-cell therapies in assisting individuals mount a clinical response and, in some instances, achieve durable remission.

These therapies are made by harvesting an individual’s own T-cells (the immune system’s primary cancer-killing cells), reengineering these to target specific proteins at first glance of leukemia and lymphoma cells, and reintroducing the modified T-cells into the patient’s defense mechanisms.

“It’s encouraging the data continue being so strong and claim that Vehicle-T therapies for B-cell malignancies are not going anywhere soon,” stated press briefing moderator, Renier J. Brentjens, MD, PhD, medical oncologist and director of cellular therapeutics at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center. “There’s still a great deal we have to find out about toxicities — for instance, how you can manage cytokine release syndrome (CRS), a typical, potentially harmful response to this kind of infusion.”

In 2 separate, longer-term follow-up analyses (from the ZUMA-1 and JULIET trials), researchers discovered that initial responses were sustained with time in patients who received genetically modified T cells made to concentrate on the CD-19 protein, that is frequently expressed on malignant lymphoma cells. Another, Phase I study — among the largest to judge a Vehicle therapy targeting BCMA, a marker present on most multiple myeloma tumor cells — demonstrated encouraging early leads to patients with heavily pre-treated multiple myeloma.

“This is an exciting time. According to these results and up to date Food and drug administration approvals in this subject, there’s need to be reassured that cell therapies, for example Vehicle-T, may eventually be the grade of take care of hematologic malignancies in addition to solid tumors,” stated Dr. Brentjens.

This press conference will occur on Sunday, December 10, at 10:30 a.m. EST in Room A315 from the Georgia World Congress Center.

Responses to Vehicle T-Cell Therapy Still Strong after Twelve Months in Patients with Refractory National hockey league, Data also Reveal Why Therapy Fails in certain Patients

Lengthy-Term Follow-up ZUMA-1: A Pivotal Trial of Axicabtagene Ciloleucel (Axi-Cel KTE-C19) in Patients with Refractory Aggressive Non-Hodgkin Lymphoma (National hockey league) [578]

Among 108 patients with fast-growing and refractory aggressive non-Hodgkin lymphoma (National hockey league), over fifty percent remained as alive more than a year after getting a single infusion of the Vehicle T-cell therapy, axicabtagene ciloleucel (axi-cel), that targets the CD-19 protein frequently available on cancerous lymphoma cells, researchers reported. This latest analysis of ZUMA-1, which mixes Phase I and II trial data, assessed the speed and sturdiness of responses and survival of these patients following a median follow-from 15.4 several weeks. Several year following a single infusion of axi-cel, 42 percent of patients stay in remission and 40 % of patients exhibit no proof of cancer.

“Lengthy-term follow-from ZUMA-1 confirms these responses could be durable and also the ongoing responses at 24 several weeks claim that late relapses are uncommon. Patients who’re in remission at 6 several weeks tend in which to stay remission,” stated lead study author Sattva S. Neelapu, MD, professor in the College of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center. “With existing therapy, the median survival for those who have this ailment is just 6 several weeks. Here, we have seen over fifty percent of patients — 59 percent — continue to be alive more than a year after treatment.”

The research, which is happening at 22 sites, may be the largest study of the Vehicle T-cell therapy’s effectiveness up to now, based on researchers. Dr. Neelapu explains the durability findings will also be in line with observations from earlier, single-institution trials of axi-cel within this patient population. When it comes to safety, no new deaths associated with the treatment happened. At the start of the research, four patients died within two several weeks of treatment — two due to the Vehicle T-cell therapy and yet another two to unrelated adverse negative effects which are usual for disease progression. Within the pivotal part of ZUMA-1, common adverse occasions contained CRS, neurologic toxicities, neutropenia, anemia, and thrombocytopenia. Ten patients possessed a serious adverse event six several weeks following the primary analysis, including infections in eight patients. No new onset CRS or neurologic occasions associated with axi-cel were noticed in the updated analysis.

The research offers a few of the first clues why some patients relapse or don’t react to Vehicle T-cell therapy After analyzing tumor tissue from pre and post treatment in patients who relapsed, they discovered that inside a third of patients the CD19 protein wasn’t any longer present on cancer cells. Next, greater than two-thirds of tumors demonstrated proof of another protein, PD-L1, likely helping the cells of cancer survive by inhibiting the part from the infused T cells. Follow-up research is now going ahead to recognize possible methods to overcoming these complaints.

You will find roughly 72,000 new installments of National hockey league within the U.S. every year. National hockey league starts in white-colored bloodstream cells known as lymphocytes, which are members of the defense mechanisms. There’s two primary kinds of lymphocytes — B-cells and T-cells — whose role would be to assist the body fight infection.

A randomized trial to check the effectiveness of the therapy with second-line standard of care, including autologous stem cell transplantation for relapse after first-line therapy, is planned in patients with aggressive B-cell National hockey league.

Funding with this study was supplied by Kite Pharma, Corporation., now Gilead Sciences.

Sattva S. Neelapu, MD, The College of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center, will show this research throughout an dental presentation on Monday, December 11, at 7:00 a.m. EST in Room A411 from the Georgia World Congress Center.

Six-Month Analysis of Tisagenlecleucel in Persistent Type of Lymphoma Shows Sustained Responses

Primary Analysis of Juliet: A Worldwide Pivotal Phase 2 Trial of CTL019 in Adult Patients with Relapsed or Refractory Diffuse Large B-Cell Lymphoma [577]

Six several weeks after getting a single dose of tisagenlecleucel, a Vehicle T-cell therapy that targets CD-19, high response rates persist among adult patients with relapsed or refractory diffuse large B-cell lymphoma (DLBCL), based on researchers.

This latest interim research into the worldwide JULIET trial demonstrated that for 46 patients with a minimum of 6 several weeks of follow-up, the general response rate was 37 percent, with 30 % achieving an entire response and seven percent achieving an incomplete response. In addition, based on researchers, this observation signifies that, among 81 patients treated, individuals whose indications of cancer choose to go away at 3 several weeks continued to be relapse-free at 6 several weeks and beyond.

“Basically we don’t understand fully the remissions are extremely durable, it’s exciting and can change how this ailment is treated when conventional therapies fail,” stated lead study author Stephen Schuster, MD, Professor of Hematology/Oncology within the Perelman Med school in the College of Pennsylvania (Penn) and Penn’s Abramson Cancer Center. “We will have the ability to offer patients that do not react to standard therapies a kind of therapy that could, following a single treatment, relieve signs and symptoms and save lives.”

DLBCL is easily the most common type of lymphoma, comprising roughly one-third of non-Hodgkin lymphoma cases. While current treatments are effective for most people with this particular disease, individuals not answering current treatments face an undesirable prognosis with limited treatments. Based on Dr. Schuster, primary therapy will fail within one-third of individuals with DLBCL, and 1 / 2 of these patients won’t be candidates for stem cell transplantation, which is the best second-line treatment approach such patients could be candidates for this kind of therapy.

This single-arm, open-label Phase II trial may be the largest study analyzing a Vehicle T-cell therapy solely in individuals with DLBCL. It is happening at 27 sites spanning 10 countries across The United States, Europe, Australia, and Asia. Enrollees had received several lines of prior chemotherapy coupled with disease progression, or had unsuccessful to reply or were ineligible for autologous stem cell transplant. Patients ranged in age from 22 to 76 years of age.

Subgroup analyses demonstrated no improvement in outcomes according to prior DLBCL treatment or risks. From the 81 patients incorporated in JULIET, the responding patients continue being adopted with no additional therapy, and median durable overall response and overall survival haven’t yet been arrived at.

The majority of the adverse occasions were seen soon after infusion and incorporated CRS and neurotoxicities. There have been no deaths due to CTL019, CRS, or nerve occasions.

Dr. Schuster stated several factors set this trial aside from other investigations of Vehicle T-cell therapies, including the therapy ended with an outpatient grounds for many patients (26 %) and also the manufacturing process permitted investigators to create Vehicle T cells from formerly collected and frozen bloodstream cells, permitting effective shipment all over the world.

“When the Vehicle T cells were generated, we’re able to freeze them again, allowing us to carry the merchandise until patients were clinically prepared to receive them,” he stated. “They are very sick patients, which means this provides the treating physician some versatility to schedule therapy when it is perfect for each patient.”

Patients within the JULIET trial who taken care of immediately therapy continue being adopted carefully for recurrence of the lymphoma and recovery of the defense mechanisms.

Funding with this study was supplied by Novartis. 

Stephen J. Schuster, MD, College of Pennsylvania, will present this research throughout an dental presentation on Monday, December 11, at 7:00 a.m. EST in Room A411 from the Georgia World Congress Center.

Clinical Activity Seen with Anti-BCMA Vehicle T-Cell Therapy in Phase 1 Study of individuals with Heavily Pre-Treated Multiple Myeloma

Durable Clinical Responses in Heavily Pretreated Patients with Relapsed/Refractory Multiple Myeloma: Updated Is a result of a Multicenter Study of bb2121 Anti-BCMA Vehicle-T Cell Therapy [740]

A 1-time infusion of the investigational Vehicle T-cell therapy that targets a protein available on most multiple myeloma cells elicited an 86-percent overall response rate in 21 patients whose disease had return or hadn’t responded following a median of seven prior treatments, based on is a result of a Phase I study.

Among 18 patients who received greater, active doses of infused Vehicle T cells, this response rate elevated to 94 percent, with manageable negative effects, researchers reported. Of these 18 patients, 10 achieved an entire response and 9 of 10 evaluated for minimal residual disease (MRD) using sensitive genetic tests achieved an MRD-negative response. Following a median follow-up duration of 40 days, the median progression-free survival was not arrived at four patients who received active doses saw their disease worsen.

“We’re looking forward to the first produces a patient population with very advanced myeloma to whom previous therapies have unsuccessful,” stated senior study author James N. Kochenderfer, MD, from the Center for Cancer Research in the National Cancer Institute in Bethesda, Maryland.

These bits of information are essential, Dr. Kochenderfer stated, because despite recent therapeutic advances, multiple myeloma — a cancer that begins in plasma cells, cells within the bone marrow that assist the body fight infection — remains nearly incurable. Existing therapies require patients to remain on treatment lengthy-term with drugs which have negative effects, he stated.

“Vehicle T-cell treatments are totally different from other available treating multiple myeloma,” Dr. Kochenderfer stated. “We’ve patients who’ve a sustained response and also have had the ability to choose more than a year without any additional myeloma therapy and tolerable negative effects.”

The research, conducted at nine sites in the U . s . States, may be the first U.S.-based multicenter study of the Vehicle T-cell therapy engineered to focus on BCMA, a protein available on most both myeloma tumor cells and normal plasma cells, but not one other healthy tissues. An believed 30,000 individuals the U . s . States is going to be identified as having multiple myeloma in 2017.

Twenty-one patients having a median chronilogical age of 58 years were signed up for the dose-escalation phase from the study. Had seen their disease return or stop responding following a median of seven prior treatments, together with a stem cell transplant.

The main purpose of the Phase I study ended up being to find out the “maximum tolerated dose” from the experimental treatment — that’s, the greatest dose that may be given without unacceptable amounts of negative effects. Additional outcome measures incorporated evaluating whether any cancer cells continued to be within the bone marrow, the amount of time before the cancer started to obtain worse, and reaction to treatment as measured with a standard group of criteria for assessing multiple myeloma.

Most sufferers experienced negative effects, including low bloodstream counts, CRS, and neurologic signs and symptoms. The 3 patients treated in an inactive Vehicle-T dose, the cheapest dose within the dose-escalation stage from the trial, died from advancement of their myeloma within twelve months. One of the 18 patients treated at active Vehicle-T doses, two patients died using their company causes while their myeloma is at an entire reaction to Vehicle-T therapy.

These bits of information are preliminary and, like a Phase I trial, the research didn’t have control group and it was designed mainly to recognize a secure dose of bb2121, to not assess the drug’s effectiveness.

Funding with this multi-site study was supplied by Celgene Corporation and bluebird bio, Corporation.

James N. Kochenderfer, MD,of National Cancer Institute, will show this research throughout an dental presentation this research on Monday, December 11, at 2:45 p.m. EST in Hall C1 from the Georgia World Congress Center.

The research authors and press program moderator is going to be readily available for interviews following the press conference or on the phone. Additional press briefings will occur through the meeting. For that complete annual meeting program and abstracts, visit world wide web.hematology.org/annual-meeting. Follow @ASH_hematology and #ASH17 on Twitter and like ASH on Facebook which are more up-to-date details about the 2017 ASH Annual Meeting.

The American Society of Hematology (ASH) (world wide web.hematology.org) may be the world’s largest professional society of hematologists focused on furthering the understanding, diagnosis, treatment, and protection against disorders affecting the bloodstream. In excess of half a century, the Society has brought the introduction of hematology like a discipline your clients’ needs research, patient care, education, training, and advocacy in hematology. The Society publishes Blood® (world wide web.bloodjournal.org), probably the most reported peer-reviewed publication within the field, along with the online, open-access journal, Bloodstream Advances® (world wide web.bloodadvances.org).

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Rare Pygmy Hippo Born At Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo

TAMPA, Fla., 12 ,. 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Christmas came early at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo using the birth of the rare baby within an adorable pygmy package. An endangered pygmy hippopotamus was created early in the day on 12 ,. 1, 2017 to experienced mother Zsa Zsa, coming in at an believed 9 pounds. The child is among only 32 pygmy hippos within the Species Survival Program which makes it an uncommon gift for that Tampa community. This is actually the 4th offspring for Zsa Zsa, and also the 4th birth of the species within the Zoo’s history.

“Pygmy hippos are elusive and very rare within the wild with simply a couple of 1000 regarded as left on the planet,Inch stated Chris Massaro, General Curator at Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo. “We are certainly one of only 13 zoos in the U . s . States to look after this excellent species which means this birth is particularly essential for us, and also the entire Pygmy hippo population.”

Pygmy hippos, his or her name implies, are smaller sized than their Earth hippo relative. Unlike the greater common river hippo which reside in large pods in rivers throughout a lot of eastern and southern Africa, pygmy hippos tend to be rarer, living solitary, elusive resides in lowland forests, mainly limited to Liberia in West Africa, with small figures in neighboring countries. At adult, pygmy hippos weigh in at just a couple of hundred pounds, and stand no more than three ft tall.  

The Zoo intentions of announcing the gender from the new addition having a special gender reveal. More news on the specific calf is going to be revealed within the coming days. Visitors can easily see the Pygmy hippo calf in the habitat in Ituri Forest situated in Safari Africa.

About Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo
Tampa’s Lowry Park Zoo is run by the Lowry Park Zoological Society, a completely independent 501(c)(3) charity dedicated to excellence in education, conservation and research. The Zoo is accredited through the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA), and it is featured one of the “Top 25 Zoos within the U.S” by TripAdvisor (2015) and “ten best Zoos within the U.S.” by Trekaroo (2015). The Zoo is situated at 1101 W. Sligh Avenue in Tampa, one mile west of I-275 (exit 48) and it is open 7 days per week, from 9:30 a.m. to five p.m. daily. Parking is free of charge. Visit world wide web.tlpz.org or call (813) 935-8552 for information.  Also discover the Zoo on Twitter and facebook.

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Natural Grocers forecasts the very best 10 Diet Trends in 2018

DENVER, 12 ,. 5, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — Natural Grocers, America’s Diet Education ExpertSM, drawn on their diet experts, category managers and much more to recognize the expected breakout trends in diet and health in 2018.

The writer, Jon Clinthorne, PhD, Natural Grocers’ Manager of Scientific Matters and Diet Education breaks lower why you will see these trends gain ground in 2012. Interviews with Dr. Clinthorne can be found upon request.

  1. Bovine collagen is within.
    Can there be anything bovine collagen can’t do? The recognition and choice of nutrient-dense and “superfood” bovine collagen is growing in the last year, and even for good reason. Bovine collagen supplements are wealthy causes of two proteins which are essential for health, although not typically present in high concentrations in modern diets. One of these simple proteins, proline, continues to be proven to become crucial for joint health insurance and likewise helps support smooth and supple skin (yes, please!) by strengthening the bovine collagen that keeps the skin we have firm.i Glycine, another major amino acidity in bovine collagen supplements, continues to be proven to modulate inflammation within the digestive system, take part in detoxing and liver health, as well as helps support healthy, restful sleep. ii iiiiv
  2. Everyday detox diets.
    Rather of attempting unhealthy fasts and juice diets for detoxing, consumers care more about what foods they are able to eat that can help facilitate your body’s natural detox processes. While labels allow it to be simpler to prevent foods with GMO (genetically modified microorganisms) ingredients, there still is not a typical label for everyday toxins. Volatile organic compounds are available in our food, consuming water, air as well as the soil. We advise searching for foods which contain lots of sulfur along with other detoxing supportive minerals and vitamins for example vitamins E and c, selenium and zinc. Try these detox recipes to leap about this trend. 
  3. Organic is what you want.
    Americans continue to be unclear about what’s best – the USDA Organic label or even the Non-GMO Project Verified label. But hands lower, the USDA Organic label wins. Why? Besides a “Certified Organic” label imply that a product is of course GMO-free, additionally, it implies that the contents are 95 % or even more organic, free of fabric dyes, grown without using synthetic pesticides, herbicides and chemical fertilizers and should not be processed using industrial solvents, or irradiation.v Additionally, research has shown organically produced meals are greater in nutrients minimizing in chemical toxins. As increasing numbers of people realize how synthetic pesticides and diet impact their own health, they’re searching for additional nutritious, greater quality and healthier food. The USDA Organic label helps to ensure that the meals you select meets the greatest standards possible, and also the research being released on organic agriculture also signifies organics be more effective for that atmosphere, human health insurance and the economy. mire
  4. Pasture-elevated is raising the bar.
    Healthy land management starts with correctly handling the creatures with that land. Rotating creatures through pasturelands can dramatically improve the healthiness of the soil, trapping co2 within the soil (where it belongs), helping with bloating and reducing erosion. Being an additional advantage, getting creatures on pasture also leads to animal items that tend to be more nutrient dense.vii Opt for grass-given beef and dairy, and pasture-elevated eggs as well as poultry to participate the movement.
  5. Black seed oil.
    Black seed oil (also known as Nigella sativa, black coriander oil, or just black oil) is extremely famous various traditional systems of drugs, like Ayurveda. The seed and it is oil possess a surprising quantity of research showing their effectiveness in a variety of health problems.viii Studies suggest black seed oil helps insulin function as well as keeps the insulin-producing pancreas working in a healthy level. Other research has shown that by modulating inflammation, thymoquinone (the ingredient of black seed oil) assists in building healthy and strong bones.ix x xi
  6. Keto diets.
    Shortened from ketogenic diets, “keto” diets are earning their mark around the diet world. It is common to consider the body (and most importantly, the mind) relies exclusively on glucose and essential fatty acids for energy. However, there’s another kind of fuel produced from essential fatty acids, referred to as ketones—which are specifically essential for neuroprotection and possess been proven to aid thinking processes and cognition.xii  Studies have shown that medium chain triglycerides (MCTs) are often changed into ketones through the liver, meaning foods which contain coconut oil, palm oil, cheese and butter could all lead to ketone production within the body—and why interest in these components is high. Diets, such as the keto diet, which are full of fat and occasional in carb also lead to enhanced ketone production.
  7. Traditional medicinal practises meets modern science.
    Whether you are studying the health advantages of garlic clove or trying a turmeric latte, reference the standard medicinal purposes of plants. Are you aware that the Egyptians, Greeks, and Arabs all used aroma therapy like a medicinal tool? And today, modern scientific studies are exploring using essential oils and aroma therapy for relaxation along with other facets of mental health. The resurgence in recognition of herbal medicine and merchandise is probably associated with hard science that exists which supports the standard purposes of these valuable plants.
  8. Consuming vinegars.
    Much like kombucha, consuming vinegars really are a trendy new option to sugar-laden sodas and juices. Many of these are created with apple cider vinegar treatment – what we should describe as any adverse health powerhouse – along with other health-promoting things that make sure they are a tasty, tangy and classy method to balance bloodstream sugar. Research printed within the Diabetes Care journal shown that consuming vinegar at bed time can really support healthy bloodstream sugar levels whenever you awaken, so this is an excellent publish-dinner beverage.xiii Vinegar will also help facilitate the absorption of minerals and vitamins from food in addition to assist you to feel full longer.xiv
  9. Sneaking in vegetables.
    Americans have a problem eating enough vegetables, and lots of people acknowledge this issue and seriously wish to improve their vegetable consumption. The fashionable solution? Sneaking antioxidant-wealthy vegetables to your food whenever you can. Swap out typical noodles for organic veggie noodles, eat real veggie chips and add frozen cauliflower or vegetables powders for your smoothies.
  10. Botanicals to improve thinking processes.
    Botanicals, for example epigallocatechin from eco-friendly tea for enhancing thinking processes, are gaining more appreciation. More formulas designed for clearness and mood are turning up available on the market, and the best new botanicals for brain health include herbs and mushrooms. Search for formulas that contains ashwaganda, lions mane, reishi, gotu kola, turmeric and holy tulsi to be able to take advantage of the most recent research.

Download the pictures for every trend.

Satisfy the author
Natural Grocers’ Manager of Scientific Matters and Diet Education, Jonathan F. Clinthorne, PhD, is definitely an ultra-endurance athlete been trained in immunology and expert in human diet. Clinthorne has offered on numerous medical advisory boards and it has authored numerous research papers covering topics for example probiotics, immune function, inflammation and human diet.

About Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage
Natural Grocers by Vitamin Cottage, Corporation. (New york stock exchange: NGVC NaturalGrocers.com) is really a quickly expanding niche store of natural and organic groceries, body care and nutritional supplements. The organization provides a flexible, neighborhood-store format, reasonable prices and free, science-based diet teaching programs to assist customers make informed health insurance and diet choices. Founded in Colorado in 1955, Natural Grocers has greater than 3,000 employees and operates 141 stores in 19 states.

i Van Vivan JP, Luijsterburg PA, Verhan AP, van Osch GJ, Kloppenburg M, Bierma-Zeinstra SM. Symptomatic and chondroprotective treatment with bovine collagen derivatives in osteo arthritis: an organized review. Osteo arthritis Cartilage. 2012 20(8): 809-821

ii Zhong Z, Wheeler MD, Li X, et al. L-Glycine: a singular anti-inflammatory, immunomodulatory and cytoprotective agent. Curr Opin Clin Nutr Metab Care. 2003 6:229-240

iii Ito K, Ozasa H, Noda Y, et al. Aftereffect of non-essential amino acidity glycine administration around the regeneration of partly hepatectomized rats with hepatic ischemia/reperfusion injuries. Clin Nutr. 200827(5):773-80.

iv Brooks PL, Peever JH. Glycinergic and Gamma aminobutyric acid(A)-mediated inhibition of somatic motorneurons doesn’t mediate rapid eye movement sleep motor atonia. J Neurosci. 200828(14):3535-45.

vhttps://world wide web.ams.usda.gov/rules-rules/organic

mirehttps://ota.com/sites/default/files/…/OTA-HotSpotsWhitePaper-OnlineVersion.pdf

vii Chail A, et al. Legume finishing provides beef with positive human nutritional essential fatty acid ratios and consumer preference comparable with grain-finished beef. J Anim Sci. 2016 94(5):2184-97

viii Gholamnezhad Z, Havakhah S, Boskabada MH. Preclinical and clinical results of Nigella sativa and it is constituent, thymoquinone: An Evaluation. J Ethnopharmacol. 2016 190:372-86

ix Shuid AN, et al. Nigella sativa: A Possible Antiosteoporotic Agent. Evid Based Complement Alternat Mediterranean. 2012 2012():696230.

x Ibrahim FM, et al. Biochemical portrayal, anti-inflammatory qualities and ulcerogenic traits of some cold-pressed oils in experimental creatures. Pharm Biol. 2017 Dec55(1):740-748

xii Sharma A, Bemis M, Desilets AR. Role of Medium Chain Triglycerides (Axona®) in treating Mild to Moderate Alzheimer’s. Am J Alzheimers Dis Other Demen. 2014 Aug29(5):409-14.

xiii White-colored AM, Johnston CS. Vinegar ingestion at bed time moderates waking glucose concentrations in grown-ups with well-controlled diabetes type 2. Diabetes Care. 200730(11):2814-5. Epub 2007.

xiv Ostman E, Granfeldt Y, Persson L, Bjorck I. Vinegar supplementation lowers glucose and insulin responses and increases satiety following a bread meal in healthy subjects. Eur J Clin Nutr. 2005 Sep59(9):983-8.

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Foothill Gold Line Light Rail Extension is First Measure M-Funded Rail Project to interrupt Ground

GLENDORA, Calif., 12 ,. 2, 2017 /PRNewswire-USNewswire/ — The Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority (Construction Authority) today held a groundbreaking ceremony for that $1.5 billion, six-station Foothill Gold Line light rail extension from Glendora to Montclair at Citrus College in Glendora. Attendance in the ceremony was large and various, with elected representatives all amounts of government, in addition to transportation and greater education officials and countless community stakeholders, joining the development Authority to celebrate the beginning of construction for that 12.3-mile extension. The historic ceremony marks the very first Measure M-funded rail project to start construction. The ceremony concluded by having an official announcement in the Town of Glendora, delivered by Glendora Mayor Gary Boyer, designating December 2, 2017 Foothill Gold Line Day.

“When L.A County voters passed Measure M this past year, they gave us an unparalleled mandate to produce thousands and thousands of jobs and make probably the most robust riding on the bus systems on the planet,Inch stated La Mayor Eric Garcetti, Chair from the Metro Board. “Now, it’s our use deliver, which work starts today, with this particular promising new phase from the Metro Gold Line.”

A large number of local, condition and federal elected officials were attending in the ceremony. Loudspeakers incorporated U.S. Representatives Adam Schiff, Elegance Napolitano, Judy Chu and Norma Torres California Condition Senators Connie Leyva and Anthony Portantino Metro Board Chairman and La Mayor Eric Garcetti Metro Board People and La County Supervisors Hilda Solis and Kathryn Barger Metro Board Member, Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority Board Member and Duarte Mayor John Fasana Metro Board Member and Glendale City Council Member Ara Najarian Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority Board Chairman Doug Tessitor and Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority Board Vice Chairman and Claremont City Council Member Mike Pedroza. Metro Chief executive officer Phillip A. Washington and Foothill Gold Line Chief executive officer Habib F. Balian also participated. Citrus College Superintendent/President Dr. Geraldine M. Perri welcomed everybody towards the historic occasion, and KNX 1070 Newsradio host Frank Mottek offered because the ceremony’s emcee.

“Funding the 2nd phase from the Gold Line extension is the best illustration of what we are attempting to achieve through our agency’s comprehensive transportation plan,” stated Metro Chief executive officer Phillip A. Washington. “Once we make transit more obtainable in new communities, we’re altering the face area of Los Angeles and creating an infrastructure inheritance for the children and grandchildren.”

The very first 3 years of construction will be employed to relocate proper utilities, conduct pre-construction activities, employ a design-build contractor and finalize the work design. Major construction will start in 2020 and contain two construction phases: (1) relocating/rebuilding the freight/Metrolink systems and (2) building the Gold Line light rail system. Substantial completion is predicted in 2026.

“The Development Authority’s team has worked tirelessly during the last couple of many years to ready the Glendora to Montclair segment for construction,” mentioned Foothill Gold Line Chief executive officer Habib F. Balian. “Today is really a celebration of this tremendous effort, along with the partnership the Construction Authority has with this corridor metropolitan areas and Metro that permitted this project is the first Measure M funded project to maneuver forward. We’re ready for that work ahead about this transformative task for the San Gabriel Valley.”

Construction alone is anticipated to create $2.6 billion in economic output, 17,000 jobs, greater than $1 billion in labor earnings and nearly $40 million in tax revenues for La County. Nearly $2 billion privately investments on the road-oriented developments happen to be made or planned inside a half-mile from the six future stations from Glendora to Montclair.

When completed, the Glendora to Montclair project will extend the Metro Gold Line light rail line from the eastern terminus in Azusa with the foothill communities within the San Gabriel Valley and into San Bernardino County, adding new light rail stations in Glendora, San Dimas, La Verne, Pomona, Claremont and Montclair. Each will connect with the expanding rail network in La County, along with the Inland Empire, and supply possibilities for county residents, workers and visitors to connect with many regional and native sights across the corridor, including 24 colleges, the la County Fairplex, several outside entertainment facilities, historic sites and museums, and retail and dining centers.

Funding for that project is originating from both La and San Bernardino Counties. The area of the project within La County (Glendora to Claremont) has been mostly funded by Metro’s Measure M half-cent florida sales tax, in addition to residual Measure R funds in the Pasadena to Azusa segment. The area of the extension from Claremont to Montclair has been funded by San Bernardino County.

For additional info on today’s groundbreaking ceremony, visit http://world wide web.foothillgoldline.org/news/media-sources/.

Concerning the Foothill Gold Line – The Foothill Gold Line Construction Authority (also referred to as the Metro Gold Line Foothill Extension Construction Authority) is definitely an independent transportation planning and construction agency produced in 1998 through the California Condition Legislature to organize, design and make the Metro Gold Line light rail system from Union Station to Montclair. The company completed the very first segment from Union Station to Pasadena in 2003 and also the Pasadena to Azusa segment in 2015 both promptly and under budget. The company started planning the Glendora to Montclair segment in 2003 eco clearing the work under CEQA in 2013. The area of the project within La County (Glendora to Claremont) has been mostly funded by Metro’s Measure M half-cent florida sales tax, in addition to residual Measure R funds in the Pasadena to Azusa segment. The extension to Montclair has been funded by San Bernardino County.

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Philips, Children’s Hospital & Clinic launch 10-year partnership

handshake, partnership

Amsterdam-based Philips and Omaha, Nebraska-based Children’s Hospital & Clinic are starting your decade-lengthy partnership targeted at evolving technology innovation.

Included in the collaboration, the organizations plan to figure out ways to reduce the price and improve the caliber of pediatric care. Particularly, they’ll concentrate on technologies targeted at assisting with diagnostic imaging, patient monitoring, clinical informatics and respiratory system solutions, among other locations.

Throughout the path of their bond, Philips and Children’s can create a technology plan designed to give a healthcare facility stability moving forward. Furthermore, Children’s will get access to Philips’ services within the realms of information analytics, health technologies and clinical education.

In an announcement, Children’s President and Chief executive officer Richard Azizkhan commented on which the alliance brings his institution:

Partnering with Philips can help Children’s still transform pediatric healthcare by leading in supplying innovative, quality care. Their bond will let us deliver on the dedication to enhance the existence of each and every child by supplying our staff using the clinical support tools and training that may drive a regular patient experience, improve workflow throughout our network which help improve patient outcomes.

Brent Shafer, Chief executive officer of Philips The United States, also noted:

Philips and Children’s Hospital & Clinic share a typical pursuit to improve children’s lives by transforming how care is delivered, improving the patient and staff experience and improving healthcare for that communities we serve. Partnering will let us know how we are able to enable them to further break lower data silos, giving their staff use of information that will help them enhance their already impressive degree of patient care.

This isn’t the very first time Philips has merged with a children’s hospital. In March, it unveiled a 15-year agreement with Phoenix Children’s Hospital centered on medical imaging, clinical informatics and patient monitoring.

The organization has additionally been busy using its own endeavors, including intends to develop a health technology center in Nashville, Tennessee.

Photo: Cecilie_Arcurs, Getty Images

Stratasys unveils 3D Printed Types of Human Body

MDBR Staff Author Printed 28 November 2017

Stratasys features BioMimics, that is claimed to supply highly realistic, functionally accurate 3D-printed replicas of complex physiological structures.

Provided through Stratasys Direct Manufacturing, the brand new services are initially obtainable in The United States to provide 3D print medical models for hospitals, researchers and medical device manufacturers.

BioMimics helps you to get rid of the limitations connected with training, research and testing on animal, mannequin or cadaver models, and offers types of both soft tissue and difficult bones through multi-material 3D printing.

Through mixing Stratasys’ PolyJet 3D printing technology with new materials and software, organizations can make specific 3D printed models what professionals require during live medical scenarios.

BioMimics is going to be initially accustomed to model the reasons of heart and bone structures, while vascular anatomies expected at the begining of 2018.

Stratasys healthcare solutions gm Scott Rader stated: “Testing innovative medical devices, teaching concepts of surgery, supplying ongoing medical education, and demonstrating new items to clinicians all require ‘bench-top’ mixers simulate human physiques and illnesses.

“Much like simulation and co-piloting builds expertise for pilots, doctors hone skills in their careers to supply exceptional care.”

Stratasys Direct Manufacturing offers 3D printing and advanced manufacturing services helping companies at every stage of product.

With around 500 employees, the organization operates seven manufacturing facilities in america.


Image: A pedicle screw driven into 3D printed type of a patient’s spine. Photo: thanks to Business Wire.

Landmass China’s first Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy recipient Mei Hing Chak brings Chinese philanthropy around the world stage

NEW You are able to, November. 22, 2017 /PRNewswire/ — The 2017 Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy awards ceremony was lately locked in New You are able to. The Carnegie institutions presented the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy to nine philanthropists in recognition of the outstanding and innovative leadership in philanthropy. Among the honorees was Chairman of Heungkong Charitable Foundation, Mei Hing Chak, who grew to become the very first Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy recipient in landmass China and also the second Chinese recipient following Li Ka-shing.

Just before finding the esteemed Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy, Mei Hing Chak and her husband Chi Keung Lau had produced a legendary rags-to-riches business. Since developing the company greater than twenty years ago, they’ve transformed Heungkong Group right into a conglomerate that encompasses trade logistics, urban development, financial services, healthcare, education and tourism, in addition to metals processing and. It’s been rated among China’s Top 50 Private Companies.

A voice of charitable organization from China

The Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy started through the Carnegie Foundation and it is awarded every 2 yrs to the people who share exactly the same spirit of giving with founder Andrew Carnegie. Among the world’s most famous philanthropy awards, the Carnegie Medal of Philanthropy is carried out as a whole secrecy, with neither the presenters nor the possibility recipients from the award getting any advance clue whatsoever regarding whom the recipient may be. Because of this, Mei Hing Chak was astonished when she was informed that they was basically a recipient.

Mei Hing Chak continues to be involved in philanthropy in excess of twenty years.

The 22 Carnegie institutions in the U . s . States and Europe nominate the medalists, with seven included in this proceeding in to the final selection. The honorees are acknowledged as catalysts permanently whose philanthropy has already established a substantial and lasting effect on a specific field, nation or community.

Dean from the Institute for Philanthropy at Tsinghua College, Wang Ming, stated that Mei Hing Chak’s winning from the medal isn’t just an individual recognition, but additionally proof of the energetic growth and development of modern public welfare in China, that has received an advanced of worldwide recognition.

Mei Hing Chak established China’s initial private foundation

At the outset of her career in philanthropy, Mei Hing Chak donated money to openly funded charitable foundations, yet was annoyed by being not able to find the projects that they felt were important and reflected her vision. In 1998, she made the decision to determine her very own charitable foundation. However, in those days, China didn’t allow individuals or independently-run companies to found charitable foundations. In 2005, following the country loosened the restriction, Mei Hing Chak grew to become the first one to apply for the best to found a charitable foundation and received governmental approval. Heungkong Charitable Foundation’s number plate because of its status like a private foundation (known in China like a non-openly funded charitable institution) is 001, reflecting the truth that it is China’s initial.

Since its beginning, Heungkong Charitable Foundation continues to be dedicated to transporting out educational assistance, poverty alleviation, aid and disaster relief throughout 18 provinces and metropolitan areas including Guangdong, Guizhou and Sichuan. In 2007, the building blocks launched the “Five 1000” program: building 1,000 libraries, helping 1,000 disadvantaged students, and leading 1,000 activities manned by volunteers. After many years of expansion, Heungkong Charitable Foundation presently has a group of nearly 20,000 volunteers, whose assistance within the aggregate has amounted to greater than 100,000 cases of volunteer works being performed, benefiting greater than 3 million individuals.

Precise positioning: assist the disadvantaged through education and also the provision of healthcare

Heungkong Charitable Foundation has concentrated on enhancing the less fortunate through education in addition to by supplying aid and disaster relief. Following on the decade of expertise, Mei Hing Chak is planning to own foundation a far more precise positioning whereby the main focus will be on enhancing the less fortunate through education and also the provision of healthcare. Within the educational sphere, the building blocks will concentrate on two programs: building libraries and supporting disadvantaged university students. Within the health sphere, Mei Hing Chak is intending to donate 1 billion yuan (approximately. US$150 million) to charitable foundations focused on healthcare. With the charitable foundations, the fund is going to be donated to specialized hospitals which will provide medical attention in disadvantaged areas and to less fortunate people. Unlike traditional charitable organization projects, this project can produce a income by itself with the operation of the hospitals and, therefore, fund its further development.

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SOURCE Heungkong Charitable Foundation

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