Wednesday, August 2, 2017

China unveils gene technology to create SUPERHUMANS with hyper-muscular test-tube dogs

Yehuda Lave, Spiritual Advisor and Counselor
You Will Get It All Back

When you act with hostility and aggression toward others, they are likely to respond in a similar manner. When you shout at someone, he is likely to shout back. The reverse holds true if you are caring and cheerful toward others.

Therefore, for purely pragmatic reasons, we should be kind and friendly in dealing with others.

From the Torah perspective, however, this is not merely sound advice. It is an obligation.

Love Yehuda Lave
China unveils gene technology to create SUPERHUMANS with hyper-muscular test-tube dogs
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3d printed human organs

Novartis Engineers Human Cells to Fight Cancer
The US Food and Drug Administration has just heralded a whole new era in medicine after it gave its recommendation for the first-ever treatment that makes genetic alterations to cancer patients' cells in order to fight the debilitating disease.

Swiss pharmaceutical company Novartis' "living drug", as scientists are calling it, bolsters the human immune system to shut down the disease. It is likely to become the first gene therapy ever to reach the medical market.

Research and pharmaceutical companies have been competing intensely for decades to become the first to reach this milestone, and it looks like Novartis is set to become the first. It is a treatment for a type of leukemia, which is a group of cancers that begin in the bone marrow and result in high numbers of abnormal white blood cells.


Novartis is concurrently working on a similar treatment for multiple myeloma and an aggressive type of brain tumor. A separate treatment must be created for each afflicted patient, with their cells being removed at an approved medical center, frozen, shipped to Novartis for thawing and processing, frozen again and shipped back to the treatment center.

The product that emerges as a result of this process has led to long remissions and possibly cures to many patients who were facing death due to the failure of every other treatment available to them. Although studies were conducted on various types of cancer, it was recommended for the treatment of B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia that has relapsed in children and young adults aged 3 to 25.

Emily Whitehead, a 12-year-old American girl, was the first child ever to be given the altered cells, which ended up saving her life. When she was just six, she was treated as part of a study at the Children's Hospital of Philadelphia. She experienced severe side effects, namely raging fever, crashing blood pressure and lung congestion. She nearly died, but the treatment saw her become cancer-free, and she remains so to this day.


The main evidence that Novartis provided in order for its new treatment to get an FDA recommendation was a study that was conducted using 63 patients between April 2015 and August 2016. Some 52 of the patients, equating to 82.5% of the total, went into remission. That's a remarkably high rate for such a severe disease.

The next step in the treatment's development is to establish other treatments that it can be combined with, as well as whether there is a way to use it in the future to treat patients with lesser diseases. This would allow the immune system to be in better shape to fight the disease.

Although the lifesaving potential of the new treatment has not been questioned, there are still concerns over potentially life-threatening side effects, namely short-term worries about patients having an acute reaction to it, just as Emily Whitehead experienced, and long-term worries about the infused cells causing secondary cancers or other health problems.

Thankfully, oncologists have learned how to treat an acute reaction to the treatment in the event that it occurs, and no long-term problems have been detected so far. With that being said, not enough time has passed in order for them to be ruled out just yet.

Patients receiving the treatment will be entered in a registry and tracked for 15 years.

Biologics, or treatments involving live cells, are more complicated to manufacture than regular drugs, so there are also questions over whether Novartis will be able to make consistent treatments and maintain quality control when production is scaled up.


Use of the treatment will not be widespread at first, and this is because the particular disease that it was designed to treat is not particularly common. It affects 5,000 people per year, with 60% of them being children and young adults. Although most child patients are cured with standard treatments, in some 15% of cases, such as Emily's, the disease doesn't respond, or relapses.

It's predicted that the individualized treatments will cost in the $300,000 region, but a Novartis spokeswoman declined to specify the price when asked. Despite the figure seeming high at first glance, cancer patients can often end up spending more than that due to expensive treatment costs and extended hospital stays.

Novartis will initially limit the treatment's distribution to just 30 or 35 centers in the US, where employees will receive specific training in order to administer it correctly. The treatment centers themselves will decide whether to receive international patients and, in the future, the pharmaceutical giant will fill for approvals in the European Union and beyond.


At the present stage, researchers are still debating which patients can safely forgo further treatment, and which others might require a bone marrow transplant to give them the best chance of being cured.

Millions of a patient's T-cells are removed as part of the treatment. T-cells are a type of white blood cell often referred to as the soldiers of the human immune system. When the T-cells are removed, they are genetically engineered with a disabled form of HIV to carry new genetic material. The effect that this has is to reprogram the T-cells, a process that turbocharges them to attack B-cells. The latter are a normal part of the immune system that turn malignant when leukemia arises.

Altered T-cells are then dripped back into the patient's veins, where they multiply and begin to fight the cancer. One of the lead researchers at the University of Pennsylvania, where the treatment was developed, said that the genetically-engineered T-cells were like "serial killers" toward malignant cells, with a single one of them being able to destroy up to 100,000 cancer cells.

A newlywed young man was sitting on the porch on a hot, humid day, sipping iced tea with his father.
As he talked about adult life, marriage, responsibilities, and obligations, the father thoughtfully stirred the ice cubes in his glass and cast a clear, sober look on his son.
"Never forget your friends," he advised, "they will become more important as you get older."
"Regardless of how much you love your family and the children you happen to have, you will always need friends. Remember to go out with them occasionally, do activities with them, call them ..."
"What strange advice!" Thought the young man. "I just entered the married world, I am an adult and surely my wife and the family that we will start will be everything I need to make sense of my life."
Yet he obeyed his father. He kept in touch with his friends and annually increased their number. Over the years, he became aware that his father knew what he was talking about.
Inasmuch as time and nature carry out their designs and mysteries on a man, friends were the bulwarks of his life.
After 60 years of life, here is what he learned:
Time passes.
Life goes on.
Distance separates.
Children grow up and become independent; it breaks the parents' hearts, but the children become separated from the parents.
Jobs come and go.
Illusions, desires, attraction, ... weaken.
People do not do what they should do.
The heart breaks.
The parents die.
Colleagues forget the favors.
The races are over.
But true friends are always there, no matter how many miles away they are or for how long.
A friend is never more distant than the reach of a need, intervening in your favor, waiting for you with open arms or blessing your life.
When we started this adventure called LIFE, we did not know of the incredible joys or sorrows that were ahead. We did not know how much we would need from each other. Love your parents, take care of your children, and keep a group of good friends too.

You might send this to your friends (even those you seldom see) who help make sense of your life ... I just did...
See you tomorrow.

Love Yehuda Lave
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