US approves DNA alternative to Pap smear

Written by admin on 30/07/2019 Categories: 佛山桑拿网

US government health regulators have cleared a genetic test from Roche as a first-choice screening option for cervical cancer.

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It was a role previously reserved for the Pap smear, the decades-old mainstay of women’s health.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Roche’s cobas HPV test to detect the human Papillomavirus, or HPV, in women 25 and up.

HPV causes nearly all cases of cervical cancer.

Doctors already use such DNA-based tools as a follow-up to confirm Pap test results.

But Thursday’s decision means Roche can now market its test as a first-choice option for cervical cancer screening, ahead of the Pap test.

Currently no major medical guidelines recommend HPV testing alone for cervical cancer screening.

Dr David Chelmow of Virginia Commonwealth University said physicians should hold off on using the test until medical societies can provide guidance on some key questions, including how frequently it should be used.

Chelmow spoke on behalf of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the FDA’s meeting to review the test last month.

Swiss-based Roche supported its bid for expanded marketing with study results suggesting genetic testing is more accurate and objective at identifying cancerous growths than the Pap smear, which requires doctors to examine cervical cells under a microscope for signs of cancer.

The test detects 14 high-risk forms of HPV that can lead to cervical cancer.

The FDA approval comes despite pushback from public health advocates, who warned regulators that approving the DNA test as an alternative to Pap could lead to confusion, higher costs and overtreatment.

More than a dozen patient groups raised those concerns in a letter to the FDA last week.

Specifically, they said HPV-only testing could lead to overtreatment of younger women who carry the virus but have little risk of developing actual cancer.

Most sexually active young people contract HPV, though their bodies usually eliminate the virus within a few months. Only years-long infections develop into cancer.

FDA officials said in a statement on Thursday that they approved the test because “Roche Diagnostics conducted a well-designed study that provided the FDA with a reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness.”

The trial included over 47,000 women who underwent cervical screening using either Pap or HPV screening.

The test results were then checked for accuracy against final biopsy results that confirmed whether they actually had cancer.

For decades the Pap test was the only screening option for cervical cancer – and it’s had a remarkably successful track record.

The number of cervical cancer cases reported in the US has decreased more than 50 per cent in the past 30 years, primarily due to increased Pap screening.

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FBI seeks victims of global pedophile

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The FBI is hastily seeking to identify victims of a serial pedophile who drugged and molested dozens of children over four decades teaching at international schools around the world.

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William James Vahey, 64, took his own life in March in a Minnesota hotel room while the subject of an international sex crimes probe covering his teaching in nine countries, the Federal Bureau of Investigation said.

The agency said it obtained a thumb drive belonging to the American which contained catalogued and dated pornographic images depicting at least 90 boys approximately 12 to 14 years old.

“When Vahey was confronted about the images, he reportedly admitted molesting boys throughout his entire life and said he gave the minors sleeping pills prior to the molestation,” the FBI said in an alert.

Vahey taught overseas from 1972 until days before his death including at private academies that served children of American diplomats and military personnel, as well as locals, according to the FBI.

He had a 1969 conviction for child molestation in California.

“I’ve never seen another case where an individual may have molested this many children over such a long period of time,” Special Agent Patrick Fransen said.

The seized images dated back to 2008, but Fransen feared Vahey may have preyed on “many other students” – American and international – before that.

Vahey’s teaching assignments included a 1992-2002 stint at Indonesia’s prestigious Jakarta International School, where the nursery was ordered closed this week following allegations a six-year-old boy was sexually abused by cleaning staff in the toilets.

He spent a dozen years at Saudi Aramco Schools in Saudi Arabia, as well as two separate teaching stints in Iran in the 1970s. His last assignment was at the American Nicaraguan School in Managua, where his employer saw the thumb drive.

Vahey, who taught history, geography and social studies, also worked at schools in Britain, Greece, Lebanon, Spain and Venezuela.

He also served as basketball coach for the schools’ boys teams and regularly accompanied them on overnight trips.

“He had access to children because of his position of trust,” Fransen said. “He created a system that gave him the opportunity and the means to molest children.”

The FBI said the photographed victims were being identified and notified, and the agency was working on the investigation with international partners.

It also appealed for help in locating other potential victims, and encouraged them to contact the FBI or the nearest US embassy.

* Readers seeking support and information about suicide prevention can contact Lifeline on 13 11 14.

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Soldiers scarred by war remembered in Qld

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It has been 32 years since Barry Mionnet left the army but he still sits with his back to the wall.

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In every room he enters, he surveys everything and everyone who comes and goes.

He doesn’t like being in crowds and has flashbacks he can’t always control.

Barry, 72, served for 20 years and spent more than a year in Vietnam.

As the Last Post sounded across Brisbane’s Anzac Square, he saw the faces of his friends as they fell or died in battle.

“I didn’t come back the way I went in,” he told AAP.

“We’ve had our problems.

“I’ll put it this way: it’s not the flesh scars, it’s the mental scars – post-traumatic stress.

“It will never go away.”

Flanked by 10 family members and wife Olive, Barry could cope with the crowd who stood shoulder-to-shoulder at the Anzac Day dawn service.

At first, he didn’t want anything to do with marches or ceremonies, but Olive wore him down over the years so his sacrifice is remembered in the family.

Wearing slouch hat earrings she brings out each April, Olive, too, has suffered.

“(Veterans) can be like Dr Jekyll and Hyde,” she said.

“That’s what the stress does.”

Queensland Governor Penelope Wensley addressed the service to recall past wars and the 400 soldiers in Afghanistan helping with the country’s rehabilitation.

Lights throughout the heritage-listed park were turned off and prayers of peace were read.

Only the lights on the Shrine of Remembrance remained, as well as the glow from its eternal flame.

“As we gather this pre-dawn darkness, we recollect the way soldiers of Gallipoli and countless other battlefields stood, too, in the dark,” Ms Wensley said.

“Preparing to face the fight and the possibility of death.

“We remember those who’ve paid the ultimate sacrifices and remember those who came home and who will carry the scars of battle for a lifetime.”

Many in the crowd attended for the first time, spurred by the 2015 centenary of the landing at Anzac Cove.

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SAfrica’s platinum wage talks fail

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A new round of talks on a new wage offer between the world’s top platinum producers and union leaders have failed to end a crippling 13-week strike, the companies say.

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“Unfortunately, no resolution has yet been achieved in resolving the three-month strike relating to wages and benefits,” Anglo American Platinum (Amplats), Impala Platinum (Implats) and Lonmin said in a statement on Thursday.

In a bid to break one of the longest strikes in South Africa’s recent history, the world’s three biggest platinum firms made an offer last week that will increase the remuneration package of radical union AMCU’s members to 12,500 rand ($A1,270) a month by 2017.

While urging the Association of Mineworkers and Construction Union (AMCU) to “recommend” the offer to its members, the producers said they would now communicate “directly” with their employees with the details of the offer.

“We strongly urge the AMCU leadership to take this fair settlement offer to their members and to let them decide,” the chief executives of the three firms said in a joint statement.

“The producers have a duty to provide the details of the settlement offer to our employees and will do so forthwith,” they added.

More than 80,000 AMCU members downed tools on January 23 for 12,500 rand in basic pay a month, a demand that became the rallying cry with which the union won prominence on the platinum belt during violent labour unrest in 2012.

Entry-level workers currently earn around 5,000 rand basic pay a month.

The firms’ latest offer will increase their total pay and benefits by 7.5 to 10 per cent annually over the next three years.

“This revised offer is one of the highest increases anywhere in the sector and the country,” said the companies.

The eventual 12,500-rand total includes living, holiday and other allowances, but AMCU wants that figure in basic pay alone.

Employers say that the union’s demand would amount to an average increase in total remuneration of up to 30 per cent a year over four years — unaffordable to a struggling industry.

The strike has so far cost the workers around 6,4-billion rand in lost income and producers some 14,5 billion rand in revenue.

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Gold gains amid Ukraine-Russia tension

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Gold prices have risen to a one-week high as intensifying conflict between Russia and Ukraine renew investor interest in protective assets.

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Gold for June delivery, the most active contract, on Thursday rose $US6, or 0.5 per cent, to settle at $US1,290.60 a troy ounce on the Comex division of the New York Mercantile Exchange. This was the highest settlement since April 17, when futures closed at $US1,293.90 an ounce.

Gold prices have swung between gains and losses in recent weeks, following the waxing and waning of diplomatic friction between Russia and Ukraine. Some investors consider gold as a safe place to store their wealth during periods of political upheaval.

On Thursday, gold rocketed higher after Russia announced plans to hold military exercises, including air operations, near the Ukrainian border. The decision comes in response to clashes between pro-Russia militants and Ukrainian forces in Eastern Europe.

Gold futures had posted losses throughout the night, but “the news out of Russia caused the market to go up $US30 in a matter of a few minutes,” said Bob Haberkorn, a senior market strategist with RJO Futures in Chicago.

“You do have safe-haven demand coming back into the precious metals market, we’re seeing it here,” Haberkorn added.

Gold’s gains came as riskier investments declined, while other havens like the Japanese yen and US Treasury bonds rallied.

Other precious metals followed gold prices higher, with silver climbing 1.3 per cent to $US19.688 an ounce and Platinum up 0.4 per cent to $US1,409.60 an ounce.

Palladium for June delivery rose 2.1 per cent, or $US16.30, to settle at $US802.30 a troy ounce on the Nymex.

Russia is the world’s largest palladium producer, accounting for roughly 40 per cent of supply, and some investors worry that the escalating conflict could lead to trade sanctions from the US and Europe, limiting supply of the metal mainly used in car exhaust filters.

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US OKs DNA alternative to Pap smear

Written by admin on  Categories: 佛山桑拿网

US government health regulators have cleared a genetic test from Roche as a first-choice screening option for cervical cancer.

南宁桑拿

It was a role previously reserved for the Pap smear, the decades-old mainstay of women’s health.

The Food and Drug Administration approved Roche’s cobas HPV test to detect the human Papillomavirus, or HPV, in women 25 and up.

HPV causes nearly all cases of cervical cancer.

Doctors already use such DNA-based tools as a follow-up to confirm Pap test results.

But Thursday’s decision means Roche can now market its test as a first-choice option for cervical cancer screening, ahead of the Pap test.

Currently no major medical guidelines recommend HPV testing alone for cervical cancer screening.

Dr David Chelmow of Virginia Commonwealth University said physicians should hold off on using the test until medical societies can provide guidance on some key questions, including how frequently it should be used.

Chelmow spoke on behalf of the American College of Obstetrics and Gynecology at the FDA’s meeting to review the test last month.

Swiss-based Roche supported its bid for expanded marketing with study results suggesting genetic testing is more accurate and objective at identifying cancerous growths than the Pap smear, which requires doctors to examine cervical cells under a microscope for signs of cancer.

The test detects 14 high-risk forms of HPV that can lead to cervical cancer.

The FDA approval comes despite pushback from public health advocates, who warned regulators that approving the DNA test as an alternative to Pap could lead to confusion, higher costs and overtreatment.

More than a dozen patient groups raised those concerns in a letter to the FDA last week.

Specifically, they said HPV-only testing could lead to overtreatment of younger women who carry the virus but have little risk of developing actual cancer.

Most sexually active young people contract HPV, though their bodies usually eliminate the virus within a few months. Only years-long infections develop into cancer.

FDA officials said in a statement on Thursday that they approved the test because “Roche Diagnostics conducted a well-designed study that provided the FDA with a reasonable assurance of the safety and effectiveness.”

The trial included over 47,000 women who underwent cervical screening using either Pap or HPV screening.

The test results were then checked for accuracy against final biopsy results that confirmed whether they actually had cancer.

For decades the Pap test was the only screening option for cervical cancer – and it’s had a remarkably successful track record.

The number of cervical cancer cases reported in the US has decreased more than 50 per cent in the past 30 years, primarily due to increased Pap screening.

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Stocks to watch

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The Australian stock market is closed on Friday for the Anzac Day public holiday.

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Stocks of key interest on the Australian stock exchange on Thursday were:

AGO – ATLAS IRON – up two cents, or 2.1 per cent, at 97.5 cents

Western Australian iron ore producer Atlas Iron achieved record shipments in the March quarter but has also been hit by weaker commodity prices.

ANZ – AUSTRALIA & NEW ZEALAND BANKING GROUP – up eight cents, or 0.2 per cent, at $34.67

WBC – WESTPAC BANKING CORPORATION – up 16 cents, or 0.45 per cent, at $35.78

New Zealand’s markets watchdog is joining the investigation into whether the sales and marketing of interest rate swaps by major banks to rural customers may have breached financial markets laws.

EPW – ERM POWER – down 35 cents, or 15 per cent, at $1.98

ERM Power has secured $1 billion in new contracts to supply electricity to the federal and NSW governments, but also cut its profit guidance for the 2014/15 financial year.

RHC – RAMSAY HEALTH CARE – down one cent, or 0.02 per cent, at $45.98

Australian billionaire and Ramsay Health Care founder Paul Ramsay is in a serious condition in a European hospital.

RHL – RURALCO – up one cent, or 0.3 per cent, at $3.40

Agribusiness Ruralco Holdings expects to post a half year net profit of between $4.5 and $5 billion, up from a $500,000 loss a year ago.

RMD – RESMED – up 16 cents, or 3.1 per cent, at $5.26

Medical technology group ResMed has lifted its third quarter earnings six per cent, despite flat sales from its key US market.

TCL – TRANSURBAN – in a trading halt, last traded at $7.27

A consortium led by toll road owner Transurban will pay $7 billion to buy a string of Brisbane motorways from the Queensland government.

WHC – WHITEHAVEN COAL – down 4.5 cents, or 2.8 per cent, at $1.56

Whitehaven Coal shares have fallen after the miner cut its full year production guidance by up to eight per cent due to operational problems.

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Sharapova into last eight in Stuttgart

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Defending champion Maria Sharapova reached the last eight of the Stuttgart WTA tournament on Thursday with a convincing 6-4 6-3 win over fellow Russian Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova.

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The 27-year-old Sharapova needed just one hour, 32 minutes to see off Pavlyuchenkova to pick up her tenth straight win in Stuttgart, having won the 2012 and 2013 titles, and faces Polish top seed Agnieszka Radwanska in Friday’s quarter-finals.

“I’m pleased to have won in two sets, but I am never really happy with my performance and always want to improve,” said Sharapova.

Her victory was in stark contrast to her struggles of Tuesday when she needed three tie-breaks and almost three-and-a-half hours to defeat Lucie Safarova of the Czech Republic in her first-round tie.

Seeded sixth this year, Sharapova is aiming for a third straight title on the red clay of Stuttgart as the preparations for the French Open get fully underway.

The four-time Grand Slam champion looked solid enough on serve, with just five double-faults to eight by her opponent and she had Pavlyuchenkova under constant pressure with her booming returns.

Her opponent in the quarter-finals will be Polish top seed Agnieszka Radwanska who proved too good for Italian doubles specialist Roberta Vinci, winning 6-3 6-2.

“Radwanska is the number three in the world and everyone knows she plays extremely well, but I love challenges like this,” said Sharapova, who leads Radwanska 8-2 in previous meetings.

“There are no secrets to our games, we know each other very well, but have not played each other for a while on clay. It will be interesting and I’ll have to improve in all areas.”

Second seeded Simona Halep squandered a 5-2 first set lead and three set points to lose 7-5 7-6 (7-4) to former US Open and French Open champion Svetlana Kuznetsova.

Former world number one and Stuttgart champion Jelena Jankovic booked her quarter-final berth as she beat Flavia Pennetta of Italy 3-6 6-2 6-3, while Serb ninth seed Ana Ivanovic beat Germany’s Julia Goerges 1-6 6-2 6-3.

“At the end I missed the power in my game, but the positive thing is that I was able to play some good tennis despite all the travel,” said 2011 Stuttgart champion Goerges, who had played in Germany’s Fed Cup semi-final win in Australia last weekend.

Ivanovic plays Kuznetsova in the quarter-finals.

German Fourth seed Angelique Kerber, who also played Fed Cup in Australia at the weekend, went down 7-5 6-4 to Spanish clay-courter Carla Suarez Navarro.

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Cerf debunks ‘myth’ US runs internet

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The Google executive considered to be one of the fathers of the internet has debunked what he called the “myth” that it is controlled by the United States.

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While America played an outsized role in how the internet was run when it was founded decades ago, that has long since ceased to be the case, Vint Cerf said on the sidelines of NetMundial, a conference in Brazil on internet governance.

“The USA doesn’t control the internet – that’s a myth,” Cerf said in Sao Paulo.

“It may have when I was running the program 40 years ago, yes. But not anymore,” the pioneering computer scientist said during a break in the two-day international gathering.

Cerf said the United States does still play a dominant role in the domain name system but that is one “they have said they are prepared to eliminate,” he said.

NetMundial was convened to discuss ways to craft a new system of internet governance.

Brazil’s President Dilma Rousseff called the meeting, following the furore sparked by allegations of US spying revealed in documents leaked by former intelligence contractor Edward Snowden.

Rousseff’s own communications were targeted by the National Security Agency, prompting the Brazilian leader to call on the United Nations last year to oversee a new global legal system to govern the internet.

The meeting also aims to discuss how to limit internet abuses and make online communication more transparent.

A draft roadmap expected to be approved at the event said the internet should be “inclusive, transparent and accountable” serving global development and human rights while guarding against “mass and arbitrary surveillance (which) undermines trust in the internet.”

White House Cybersecurity Coordinator Michael Daniel said Washington was throwing its support behind the proposals for a revamped system.

“Nobody should doubt our commitment to a multi-stakeholder vision of governance of the internet and our support for NetMundial,” said Daniel.

Rousseff has said she feels encouraged by Washington’s readiness to replace its institutional links to California-based ICANN (Internet Corporation for Assigned Names and Numbers), the internet’s governing authority.

In its place would come a global institution using a “multi-stakeholder” model.

But some countries, including China and Russia, prefer oversight of the internet’s technical functions via a group of governments or an intergovernmental organisation.

Online pioneer Tim Berners Lee, one of the inventors of the World Wide Web, told participants mutual understanding and peace “depends on an open internet.”

Participants also want to establish how to close a digital divide with almost two-thirds of the world’s population still not online.

Globally, the United Nations estimates 2.7 billion people are connected to the internet.

While that is up on 2.3 billion in 2012 and only 1.15 billion in 2007, it still means some five billion people are not connected.

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Google’sVic Gundotra leaves

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Google’s top social networking executive is leaving the internet company after a near eight-year stint highlighted by an audacious challenge to Facebook.

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Vic Gundotra on Thursday fittingly announced his departure in a post on Google Plus, a social network that debuted nearly three years ago. Gundotra had been in charge of Google Plus as the Mountain View, California, company’s senior vice president of social.

Gundotra didn’t explain his reasons for leaving nor did he reveal what he plans to do next.

“I am excited about what’s next,” Gundotra wrote.

“But this isn’t the day to talk about that. This is a day to celebrate the past eight years. To cry. And smile. And to look forward to the journey yet to come.”

Google chief executive Larry Page praised Gundotra in his own Plus post.

Gundotra built Google Plus “from nothing,” Page wrote.

“There are few people with the courage and ability to start something like that and I am very grateful for all (Gundotra’s) hard work and passion.”

Page didn’t immediately announce a new leader for Google Plus.

Although it boasts more than 500 million users, Google Plus is still struggling to lure people into hanging out on its service for as long as they do on Facebook. And even with its rapid growth, Google Plus is still less than half the size of Facebook, which ended March with nearly 1.3 billion users and also boasts one of the most popular applications on smartphones and tablets.

Nevertheless, Google Plus has served its purpose by giving Google’s search engine and other services more information about its users’ identities and preferences. That information has helped Google sell more digital advertising, the main source of the company’s revenue.

Before taking on the Plus project, Gundotra helped build some of the early apps for Google’s Android operating system and led the drive to persuade outside programmers to create services tailored for Android.

Gundotra spent 15 years at Microsoft Corp before defecting to Google in 2006.

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