By Kate Kelland LONDON (Reuters) - Patients with potentially fatal "superbug" forms of tuberculosis (TB) could in future be treated using stem cells taken from their own bone marrow, according to the results of an early-stage trial of the technique. The finding, made by British and Swedish scientists, could pave the way for the development of a new treatment for the estimated 450,000 people worldwide who have multi drug-resistant (MDR) or extensively drug-resistant (XDR) TB. In a study in The Lancet medical journal on Thursday, researchers said more than half of 30 drug-resistant TB patients treated with a transfusion of their own bone marrow stem cells were cured of the disease after six months. "The results ... show that the current challenges and difficulties of treating MDR-TB are not insurmountable, and they bring a unique opportunity with a fresh solution to treat hundreds of thousands of people who die unnecessarily," said TB expert Alimuddin Zumla at University College London, who co-led the study. TB, which infects the lungs and can spread from one person to another through coughing and sneezing, is often falsely thought of as a disease of the past. In recent years, drug-resistant strains of the disease have spread around the world, batting off standard antibiotic drug treatments. The World Health Organisation (WHO) estimates that in Eastern Europe, Asia and South Africa 450,000 people have MDR-TB, and around half of these will fail to respond to existing treatments. TB bacteria trigger an inflammatory response in immune cells and surrounding lung tissue that can cause immune dysfunction and tissue damage. Bone-marrow stem cells are known to migrate to areas of lung injury and inflammation and repair damaged tissue. Since they also modify the body's immune response and could boost the clearance of TB bacteria, Zumla and his colleague, Markus Maeurer from Stockholm's Karolinska University Hospital, wanted to test them in patients with the disease. In a phase 1 trial, 30 patients with either MDR or XDR TB aged between 21 and 65 who were receiving standard TB antibiotic treatment were also given an infusion of around 10 million of their own stem cells. The cells were obtained from the patient's own bone marrow, then grown into large numbers in the laboratory before being re-transfused into the same patient, the researchers explained. During six months of follow-up, the researchers found that the infusion treatment was generally safe and well tolerated, with no serious side effects recorded. The most common non-serious side effects were high cholesterol levels, nausea, low white blood cell counts and diarrhoea. Although a phase 1 trial is primarily designed only to test a treatment's safety, the scientists said further analyses of the results showed that 16 patients treated with stem cells were deemed cured at 18 months compared with only five of 30 TB patients not treated with stem cells. Maeurer stressed that further trials with more patients and longer follow-up were needed to better establish how safe and effective the stem cell treatment was. But if future tests were successful, he said, it could become a viable extra new treatment for patients with MDR-TB who do not respond to conventional drug treatment or those with severe lung damage. (Reporting by Kate Kelland, editing by Elizabeth Piper)
- Yahoo News
NBA player turned conspiracy theorist stages one-man pro-Trump protest amid inaugural security prepared for thousands
The extra security measures appeared to have kept many protesters away from the Capitol and inaugural activities, but not one man.
- Yahoo News
Republicans built up QAnon backer Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, but now are they afraid of what they created?
On the eve of President-elect Joe Biden’s inauguration, freshman Rep. Marjorie Taylor Greene, the combative Georgia Republican known for her association with QAnon, was back on Twitter after a 12-hour suspension, and back to making waves.
- Yahoo News
Joe Biden was sworn in as the 46th president of the United States in Washington, D.C., Wednesday. In his inaugural address, Biden called for national unity and an end to the "uncivil war." He also signed 17 executive actions, rolling back measures enacted by President Trump.
- Yahoo News
Donald Trump bragged about his tax cuts and attempted to take credit for an anticipated economic boom under President Biden to the smattering of supporters his team was able to corral for the event.
- Associated Press
The Kremlin on Tuesday brushed aside calls from the West to release opposition leader Alexei Navalny, who was arrested upon his return to Russia from Germany following treatment for poisoning with a nerve agent. Moscow called his case “an absolutely internal matter.” Navalny blames his poisoning on President Vladimir Putin's government, which has denied it.
- NBC News
Patrick Edward McCaughey allegedly told the officer, “Come on man, you are going to get squished, just go home.”
- Associated Press
China imposed sanctions on nearly 30 former Trump administration officials moments after they left office on Wednesday. In a statement released just minutes after President Joe Biden was inaugurated, Beijing slapped travel bans and business restrictions on Trump’s secretary of state, Mike Pompeo, national security adviser Robert O’Brien and U.N. ambassador, Kelly Craft. Others covered by the sanctions include Trump’s economic adviser Peter Navarro; his top diplomat for Asia, David Stilwell; health and human services secretary, Alex Azar; along with former national security adviser John Bolton and strategist Stephen Bannon.
- The Week
President Biden's inaugural address has won some high praise on Fox News.Fox News anchor Chris Wallace on Wednesday praised Biden's "great" inaugural address, going as far as to deem it the best he's ever watched in his life."I thought it was a great speech," Wallace said. "I've been listening to these inaugural addresses since 1961 -- John F. Kennedy, 'ask not.' I thought this was the best inaugural address I ever heard."Biden during his first address as president declared that "democracy has prevailed" and urged unity, saying politics "doesn't have to be a raging fire destroying everything in its path." Wallace noted the speech and the ceremony itself was especially meaningful coming exactly two weeks after a mob of former President Donald Trump's supporters stormed the Capitol building in an attempt to disrupt Congress' certification of the election results."It was a less an inaugural address and more part sermon, part pep talk," Wallace said.The Fox News anchor also called for those in the media to particularly take note of Biden's comment that "there is truth and there are lies, lies told for power and for profit, and each of us has a duty and a responsibility ... to defend the truth and defeat the lies.""Now he's gotta turn words, rhetoric into reality and action," Wallace added. "But I thought it was a great start." > Fox News's Chris Wallace: "This was the best inaugural address I ever heard." pic.twitter.com/W2tauGp5g5> > -- Washington Examiner (@dcexaminer) January 20, 2021More stories from theweek.com Bernie Sanders steals the inauguration with his grumpy chic outfit Clyburn says George W. Bush called him 'the savior' over his Biden endorsement Biden's team reportedly fears the new COVID-19 variant is even worse than they thought
- NBC News
The charges say he was one of the first to enter the building, through a door that was opened by a small group that got in by breaking a window.
The United States on Tuesday sanctioned a network of oil trading firms, individuals and vessels that have helped Venezuelan state-run oil company PDVSA sell crude mainly to Asia despite Washington's sanctions on the South American nation. The measure targets a network that the U.S. Treasury Department says helped the administration of President Nicolas Maduro, whose 2018 re-election Washington called a sham, broker the sale of hundreds of millions of dollars in Venezuelan oil.
- The Telegraph
Eric Trump says he will 'never forget Buckingham Palace' as family seen in tears at farewell ceremony
Eric Trump said he will "never forget Buckingham Palace" as he looked back on his father's four years in office after a tearful farewell ceremony. The president's second eldest son said it had been the honour of his life to have had a "front row seat to the most remarkable and consequential presidencies in American history". He went on to enumerate his father's achievements in office, listing his tax cuts, support for the second Amendment and Middle East peace deals. He singled out his visit to the UK, which included a State banquet hosted by the Queen in 2019. "I will never forget Buckingham Palace and the beaches of Normandy," he said in a tweet. "It's truly a journey I will never forget," he said.
- Architectural Digest
Mercedes-Benz’s Hyperscreen, General Motors’ Bright Drop, and Jeep’s Electric Wrangler were among the unveils that turned headsOriginally Appeared on Architectural Digest
- The Week
Melania Trump was reportedly "emotionally checked out" long before boarding Air Force One to leave D.C. on Wednesday, going as far as to outsource writing her "thank you" notes to the White House residence staff, The New York Times and CNN report.Traditionally, the first family of the United States will write short cards to their household staff, thanking them for taking care of them over the past four to eight years. The cards tend to be intimate and "much of the correspondence includes personal anecdotes and the letters become 'cherished keepsakes' for the residence staff," such as the butlers, cooks, and housekeepers, who do not tend to turn-over between administrations, CNN writes.Melania Trump, however, reportedly did not personally write the cards for the approximately 80 staff members charged with caring for her, her husband, and her teenage son, Barron, while they lived in the White House. Instead, she is said to have instructed a "lower-level East Wing staffer" to write the type-written notes "in her voice," and then signed her name."I think she was a reluctant first lady and she did it for her husband," society publicist R. Couri Hay, who knows Trump from New York, told The New York Times. He added that after she departs Washington, "I think that you will find that she will be even less visible, and less available."More stories from theweek.com Bernie Sanders steals the inauguration with his grumpy chic outfit Clyburn says George W. Bush called him 'the savior' over his Biden endorsement Biden's team reportedly fears the new COVID-19 variant is even worse than they thought
- NBC News
Suspect William McCall Calhoun Jr. faces a host of charges stemming from the Jan. 6 pro-Trump riot at the U.S. Capitol Building.
- Associated Press
British Prime Minister Boris Johnson narrowly avoided a defeat in Parliament on Tuesday after lawmakers voted against a controversial proposal seeking to bar trade deals with any country deemed by the U.K. High Court to be committing genocide. The amendment to the government’s post-Brexit trade bill was largely designed to force international action in addressing China’s alleged human rights abuses against the Uighur minority in the far western Xinjiang region.
- The Independent
‘What happened?’: QAnon followers left upset and angry as conspiracy theory’s ‘storm’ fails to materialise
Followers of QAnon have been left upset and angry in the wake of the apparent collapse of the conspiracy theory. Followers had hoped for mass arrests of their enemies and the final proof that their faith in the unknown person named Q and Donald Trump had not been misplaced. The baseless QAnon theory suggests, without any evidence, that argued that a group of powerful, Satan-worshipping people running a cannibalistic child sexual abuse ring.
- Yahoo News Video
Alejandro Mayorkas, President-elect Joe Biden’s pick to head the Department of Homeland Security, said during his Senate confirmation hearing that he would execute Biden’s plan to stop building the wall along the U.S.-Mexico border. Mayorkas also said that CBP and ICE play “critical roles” in the federal government and that he wouldn’t abolish them.
Biden's transition team lawyers have reminded Vice President-elect Kamala Harris' niece, Meena, that she can't profit off her famous aunt's image, after she unveiled a collaboration between her company and Beats By Dre.Why it matters: Following Republican attacks, President-elect Joe Biden pledged that neither his family nor Harris' would profit from their service as president and vice president. Be smart: sign up FREE for the most influential newsletter in America. * While Meena Harris did nothing illegal, it underscored the challenge of keeping relatives in line, and of adhering to the higher ethical standards that the incoming administration has pledged.The backdrop: The specially curated products come in a black box and include a black hoodie emblazoned with the word AMBITIOUS on the front; a Bluetooth speaker with the word PHENOMENAL across it; and the over-ear headphones. * Ambitious refers to the criticism some leveled against Harris — who was a first-term senator — as Biden weighed a variety of female candidates to be his running mate. * Phenomenal is a female-powered lifestyle brand of which Meena Harris is CEO.The spine connecting the two earpieces reads, "The First But Not The Last," an apparent reference to Kamala Harris' becoming the first female vice president. * While the products are not for sale, they were gifted to influencers and celebrities ahead of the inauguration.The team surrounding the incoming vice president was not made aware of the collaboration in advance, people familiar with the situation told Axios. The lawyers followed up and told Meena Harris that she — like anyone else — cannot profit off of Harris' image or likeness once she becomes vice president. * Meena Harris's team did not respond to a request for comment. * Meena is the daughter of Kamala Harris' sister, Maya.Between the lines: The optics of Meena Harris' business ventures are especially challenging after Democrats spent four years criticizing business deals involving President Trump and his children, and after Biden's public pledge to avoid any influence-peddling. * “My son, my family will not be involved in any business, any enterprise that is in conflict with or appears to be in conflict,” he said last year. * In December, lawyers for the presidential transition team started "drafting new rules for the Biden White House that are likely to be more restrictive than the rules that governed the Obama administration," per the Washington Post. The bottom line: Phenomenal has sold several other items inspired by Kamala Harris since Biden announced her as his running mate. * They include a sweatshirt with "MVP" on it, standing for "Madam Vice President," and another with the phrase "I'm speaking" on the front — a nod to a moment when Kamala Harris complained about being interrupted during a vice-presidential debate. * After Kamala Harris received the "too-ambitious" criticism, her niece created and sold a pink sweatshirt with "AMBITIOUS" written on the front. * “I look at her as another figure in history and someone to be celebrated,” she said of her aunt during an interview with the New York Times.Get smarter, faster with the news CEOs, entrepreneurs and top politicians read. Sign up for Axios Newsletters here.
- The Week
Sen. Richard Burr (R-N.C.) said Tuesday that the Justice Department has informed him it will not prosecute him for insider trading, making him the last of five senators known to have been investigated for selling stocks right before the market crashed when the COVID-19 pandemic hit. Burr sold up to $1.7 million worth of stock on Feb. 13, 2020, days after receiving briefings on the emerging coronavirus threat. Burr at the time was chairman of the Senate Intelligence Committee and a member of the Senate health committee.Burr has acknowledged he sold the shares because of the pandemic, but says he was guided solely by public news sources, specifically CNBC's Asia health and science reporting. After the FBI executed a search warrant and seized his cellphone in May, he stepped down as chairman of the Intelligence Committee. Democrats take control of the Senate on Wednesday, and it's unclear if Burr will seek the top GOP slot on either the intelligence or health committees now that the investigation is over.Three of the other senators investigated for possible insider trading — Kelly Loeffler (R-Ga.), James Inhofe (R-Okla.), and Dianne Feinstein (D-Calif.) — were cleared in May. An investigation into Sen. David Perdue (R-Ga.)'s stock trades expanded but then was closed in August, The New York Times reports. Perdue and Loeffler were both defeated in special elections earlier this month and their Democratic successors will be sworn in Wednesday.Burr has already said he plans to step down after his term ends in 2022, but the timing of his exculpation, on the final day of the Trump administration, raised some eyebrows. President Trump was not a fan of Burr, who led a bipartisan investigation into Russia's interference in the 2016 election, though Burr will now sit as a juror in Trump's second impeachment trial.It was always a steep climb for prosecutors to prove criminality in congressional insider trading cases, The Washington Post reports. "The law under which Burr was investigated — the Stock Act, which prohibits members of Congress and other federal officials from trading on information they glean from their government work — has not been used as the basis for a criminal charge since it was passed in 2012."More stories from theweek.com Bernie Sanders steals the inauguration with his grumpy chic outfit Only a sprinkling of Trump supporters showed up at state capitols to protest Biden's inauguration QAnon believers are realizing their entire conspiracy was a hoax as Biden is sworn in
- Associated Press
A Wisconsin pharmacist accused of trying to defrost and spoil dozens of vials of COVID-19 vaccine was charged Tuesday with attempted misdemeanor property damage, and prosecutors warned more serious charges could follow if tests show the doses were ruined. Police arrested 46-year-old Steven Brandenburg on Dec. 31 as part of an investigation into how 57 vials of the Moderna vaccine were left for hours outside a refrigerator at Advocate Aurora Health in Grafton, a Milwaukee suburb. The vials contained enough vaccine to inoculate more than 500 people.