GilmerFreePress.net

First blood test to help diagnose brain injuries gets U.S. OK

The Free Press WV

The first blood test to help doctors diagnose traumatic brain injuries has won U.S. government approval.

The move means Banyan Biomarkers can commercialize its test, giving the company an early lead in the biotech industry’s race to find a way to diagnose concussions.

The test doesn’t detect concussions and the approval won’t immediately change how patients with suspected concussions or other brain trauma are treated. But Wednesday’s green light by the Food and Drug Administration “is a big deal because then it opens the door and accelerates technology,” said Michael McCrea, a brain injury expert at Medical College of Wisconsin.

The test detects two proteins present in brain cells that can leak into the bloodstream following a blow to the head. Banyan’s research shows the test can detect them up within 12 hours of injury. It’s designed to help doctors quickly determine which patients with suspected concussions may have brain bleeding or other brain injury.

Patients with a positive test would need a CT scan to confirm the results and determine if surgery or other treatment is needed. The test will first be used in emergency rooms, possibly as soon as later this year, but Banyan’s hope is that it will eventually be used on battlefields and football fields.

FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb said the test fits with the agency’s goals for delivering new technologies to patients and reducing unnecessary radiation exposure.

The test “sets the stage for a more modernized standard of care for testing of suspected cases,” Gottlieb said in a statement.

Traumatic brain injuries affect an estimated 10 million people globally each year; at least 2 million of them are treated in U.S. emergency rooms. They often get CT scans to detect bleeding or other abnormalities. The scans expose patients to radiation, but in many patients with mild brain injuries including concussions, abnormalities don’t show up on these imaging tests.

With Department of Defense funding, Banyan’s research shows its Brain Trauma Indicator can accurately pick up brain trauma later found on CT scans. It also shows that absence of the two proteins in the test is a good indication that CT scans will be normal. That means patients with negative blood tests can avoid CT scans and unnecessary radiation exposure, said Dr. Jeffrey Bazarian, a University of Rochester emergency medicine professor involved in Banyan’s research.

Bazarian called the test “a huge step” toward devising a blood test that can detect brain injuries including concussions.

Dr. Walter Koroshetz, director of the National Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke, and other brain injury experts say the test isn’t sensitive enough to rule out concussions.

“This may be a beginning. It’s not the pot of gold at the end of the rainbow,” Koroshetz said.

That prize would be a test that could detect and guide treatment for concussions and traumatic brain injuries, similar to a blood test that hospitals commonly use to evaluate suspected heart attacks, Koroshetz said.

“That’s what we’d like to have for the brain,” he said.

San Diego-based Banyan has partnered with Abbott and French firm bioMerieux SA to market the test to hospitals using those companies’ blood analyzing machines.

Other companies are developing similar blood tests to detect brain injuries. BioDirection is developing a test involving one of the proteins in Banyan’s test plus another one and using a portable device that can yield results from a single drop of blood in less than two minutes.

Quanterix is also working to develop a blood test to diagnose concussions and other brain injuries. It has licensed the use of both proteins in Banyan’s test to be used with its own technology.

Russian cargo ship docks at International Space Station

The Free Press WV

An unmanned Russian cargo ship has docked successfully at the International Space Station, delivering a fresh batch of supplies for the crew.

The Russian space agency Roscosmos said the Progress spacecraft moored at the station Thursday in automatic mode, bringing 2.7 metric tons (3 tons) of food, fuel and instruments. It was launched Tuesday from the Russian space complex in Baikonur, Kazakhstan.

The launch initially set for Sunday was postponed at the very last minute due to an unspecified glitch. And instead of the original plan to test a new regime for docking less than four hours after launch, it performed a standard two-day approach maneuver.

There are six astronauts aboard the space station — three Americans, two Russians and one from Japan.

Critics wary as Google’s Chrome preps ad-blocking crackdown

The Free Press WV

Starting Thursday, Google will start using its Chrome browser to eradicate ads it deems annoying or otherwise detrimental to users. It just so happens that many of Google’s own most lucrative ads will sail through the new filters.

The move, which Google first floated back in June, is ostensibly aimed at making online advertising more tolerable. Chrome will flag sites that run annoying ads such as auto-playing video with sound, and it will block all ads on offending sites if they don’t reform themselves.

Google’s aim is partly to convince people to turn off their own ad-blocking software, which costs publishers revenue by preventing ads from displaying.

But critics say it is acting selfishly by leaving untouched formats like pre-roll ads, which frequently appear before videos on its YouTube platform.

German court rules several Facebook settings violate laws

The Free Press WV

A German court has ruled that Facebook’s insistence that users provide their real names violates the country’s data protection laws.

The Berlin state court ruled in a suit brought by the Federation of German Consumer Organizations that Facebook’s “real name” clause violated the country’s regulation that providers of online services must allow users to remain anonymous.

The dpa news agency reported Monday that the court also ruled some clauses in Facebook’s terms of service were framed too broadly, and that several settings that are activated by default shouldn’t be. Those include a Facebook smartphone app feature, which reveals the location a person is chatting from unless it’s turned off.

Facebook, which is appealing the ruling, says many of its terms have changed since the suit was brought in 2015.

Click Below for More...

Page 1 of 268 pages  1 2 3 >  Last »


The Gilmer Free Press

Copyright MMVIII-MMXVIII The Gilmer Free Press. All Rights Reserved