Monthly Archives: October 2013

VEVO Relaunches Its Web And Mobile Sites To Streamline Music Video Search And Discovery

Music video powerhouse VEVO is launching a major redesign this week, after rebuilding its back end from the ground up. The online music video site has undergone a complete overhaul, which you can see here, designed to make it easier for users to browse and discover new content, while also streamlining the ability to search for the videos that they want to watch.

The new VEVO, which goes live Friday, is an extension of the company’s continued iteration on its web, mobile, and connected TV platforms. With this launch, the VEVO team has done a lot of work to actually simplify the user interface and strip out some of the clutter that had been in previous versions. At the same time, it’s setting the stage for VEVO to do some more interesting things around content discovery and personalization.

The new website is designed to be cleaner, faster, and dynamic, so viewers can tune in via desktop, smartphone, or tablet, and it automatically fits the screen. Now viewers who go to VEVO TV will have a simplified nav bar with just a few options: VEVO TV, Search, and Browse.

On the homepage, in addition to the carousel of videos, there’s also now a feed of regularly updated content that goes beyond its usual daily feed. By featuring new videos regularly, the hope is to draw the user in and get viewers watching videos more quickly.

“We wanted to simplify things to get people watching videos right away. As we started thinking about engagement, there’s now a sense of urgency… There’s always something new coming up,” SVP of Product & Technology Michael Cerda told me.

In addition to updating the homepage, VEVO has also expanded its VEVO TV live music feed. Launched in May, VEVO TV is designed to evoke the same feeling of that old “music television” — you know, from back when it actually played music. But it’s mean to be streamed rather than just delivered via cable.

Now instead of a single VEVO TV channel, VEVO will have three channels of videos. VEVO’s “Pop” channel will take over as the main feed, providing a live broadcast of all the most popular music videos today. It’s also introducing two new channels — Country and R&B/Rap — to provide viewers with access to continuous, linear programming of music from both of those genres.

While the most obvious changes might be on the VEVO homepage, the more important work went on under the hood. When it first launched, VEVO had been built on a Microsoft .NET stack. But according to Cerda, the team has quietly moved its backend to a Node.js framework.

It’s also refined and rebuilt its API, which will help VEVO extend its content to new partners, and also make it easier for the company to build experiences for new platforms.

Given all the changes behind the scenes, Cerda called it the most significant update that the company has ever done. The company started building the new experience in the late winter, rebuilding the backend from the ground up. The first step was building the web and mobile web sites, but the new backend will speed up its ability to reach new devices and update apps on existing platforms.

For instance, the company just rolled out a new experience on Samsung Smart TVs and is currently working on apps that work with Google’s $35 Chromecast streaming dongle. Once that’s done, viewers will have the AirPlay-like ability to send videos from its mobile apps for iOS and Android straight to their TV.

Source: http://feedproxy.google.com/~r/Techcrunch/~3/Bf5jqWow5rI/
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EU spying backlash threatens billions in US trade

FILE – This is a Friday, May 18, 2012 file photo of President Barack Obama, right, greets President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso on Barroso’s arrival for the G8 Summit at Camp David, Md. The backlash in Europe over U.S. spying is threatening an agreement that generates tens of billions of dollars in trans-Atlantic business every year _ and negotiations on another pact worth many times more. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

FILE – This is a Friday, May 18, 2012 file photo of President Barack Obama, right, greets President of the European Commission Jose Manuel Barroso on Barroso’s arrival for the G8 Summit at Camp David, Md. The backlash in Europe over U.S. spying is threatening an agreement that generates tens of billions of dollars in trans-Atlantic business every year _ and negotiations on another pact worth many times more. (AP Photo/Charles Dharapak, File)

French President Francois Hollande addresses the media at the European Council building in Brussels, Friday, Oct. 25, 2013. Migration, as well as an upcoming Eastern Partnership summit, will top the agenda in Friday’s meeting of EU leaders. (AP Photo/Michel Euler)

(AP) — The backlash in Europe over U.S. spying is threatening an agreement that generates tens of billions of dollars in trans-Atlantic business every year — and negotiations on another pact worth many times more.

A growing number of European officials are calling for the suspension of the “Safe Harbor” agreement that lets U.S. companies process commercial and personal data — sales, emails, photos — from customers in Europe. This little-known but vital deal allows more than 4,200 American companies to do business in Europe, including Internet giants like Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon.

Revelations of the extent of U.S. spying on its European allies is also threatening to undermine one of President Barack Obama’s top trans-Atlantic goals: a sweeping free-trade agreement that would add an estimated $138 billion (100 billion euros) a year to each economy’s gross domestic product.

Top EU officials say the trust needed for the negotiations has been shattered.

“For ambitious and complex negotiations to succeed, there needs to be trust among the negotiating partners,” EU Justice Commissioner Viviane Reding said Wednesday in a speech at Yale University.

At the very least, the Europeans are expected to demand that the U.S. significantly strengthen its privacy laws to give consumers much more control over how companies use their personal data — and extend those rights to European citizens, maybe even giving them the right to sue American companies in U.S. courts.

The Europeans had long been pressing these issues with the Americans. But since former National Security Agency contractor Edward Snowden began to leak surprising details on the extent of U.S. surveillance in Europe, the European demands have grown teeth.

“I don’t think the U.S. government can be convinced by arguments or outrage alone, but by making it clear that American interests will suffer if this global surveillance is simply continued,” said Peter Schaar, the head of Germany’s data protection watchdog.

One sanction the European Union could slap on the U.S. would be to suspend the Safe Harbor deal, which allows American businesses to store and process their data where they want. It aims to ensure that European customers’ data are just as safe as in Europe when handled in the U.S.

By signing up for the self-reporting scheme supervised by the U.S. Federal Trade Commission, U.S. companies gain the right to move data about their business and consumers back and forth between the EU and the U.S. as needed.

Without it, U.S. firms would face either a lengthy and complicated case-by-case approval procedure by European data protection authorities, or a technological nightmare of having to ensure that European data is stored and processed only on servers within the 28-nation bloc. That would be costly and in some cases impossible — and could force U.S. businesses to stop servicing European customers.

“There is really no viable alternative in the near-term,” said Chris Babel, chief executive of San Francisco-based TRUSTe, which helps American firms get Safe Harbor certification from the U.S. Department of Commerce.

He estimates that U.S. companies would face tens of billions of dollars in lost revenue and additional costs to redesign their technological infrastructure.

Facebook and Microsoft declined to comment on what a suspension of Safe Harbor would mean. Spokespeople for Google, Apple and Amazon could not immediately be reached.

Of course, any suspension would hurt Europe as well, just as the 28-nation bloc is emerging from a recession. Consumers and businesses would find themselves without U.S.-based services from flight-booking websites to email providers.

Options available to the EU include suspending or ending the agreement, or demanding that the United States enact more powerful data protection laws that include substantial fines for companies that don’t keep data safe.

Germany, Europe’s biggest economy, said Wednesday that it wants to see changes in Safe Harbor.

“We share the opinion that the Safe Harbor agreement needs significant improvements,” Interior Ministry spokesman Philipp Spauschus said.

U.S. Federal Trade Commission chief Edith Ramirez said Safe Harbor has nothing to do with the surveillance scandal, and urged Europeans not to damage what she called a commercial agreement that works well.

“It cannot be right … to conflate the distinct issues raised by the use of personal data to advance private commercial interests and to protect national security,” she said Monday in Brussels.

But the EU’s Reding made clear that the status quo is not an option.

“The existing scheme has been criticized by European industry and questioned by European citizens: They say it is little more than a patch providing a veil of legitimacy for the U.S. firms using it,” she said Tuesday in Washington.

Her agency is reviewing Safe Harbor and will present its results by the end of the year. The EU Commission could suspend the agreement or seek amendments to it rather easily, without the usual lengthy procedures of having to seek approval from all EU member states or the European Parliament.

An even bigger battle looms over already contentious free-trade talks between the world’s two biggest economies. Trade volume between the United States and the European Union totaled 800 billion euros last year.

Reding warned this week that the lack of data privacy safeguards in the U.S. could “easily derail” the talks, which resume in December and are expected to be concluded within a year.

It appears certain that as part of the negotiations the EU will insist on tougher U.S. data protection in line with new European laws.

That legislation lets users instruct companies to fully erase their personal data — the so-called right to be forgotten — as well as limiting user profiling, requiring greater transparency from companies and mandating prior consent. Plus they contain stiff fines for violations.

“Otherwise, the European Parliament may decide to reject” the EU-U.S. free trade deal, Reding said.

The most significant action taken in Brussels so far has been a vote by the European Parliament urging Europe to stop sharing bank transfer data with U.S. law enforcement in terror investigations.

But that resolution would need approval from the European Commission — and from all 28 national governments, a long and uncertain process.

___

Frank Jordans and Geir Moulson contributed reporting from Berlin.

___

Follow Juergen Baetz on Twitter at http://www.twitter.com/jbaetz

Associated PressSource: http://hosted2.ap.org/APDEFAULT/3d281c11a96b4ad082fe88aa0db04305/Article_2013-10-30-NSA%20Backlash/id-5a5f86a829144263a2f32bee24f0510b
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As Olympics Near, Bobsledder Still Fighting For A Spot

With just a hundred days to go before the Winter Olympic Games open in Russia, even many gold medalists are still fighting for a place on Team USA. Justin Olsen, a bobsledder from San Antonio, Texas, helped the U.S. win a historic gold medal four years ago in Vancouver, but he’s struggled to overcome injuries in the lead-up to Sochi.

Copyright © 2013 NPR. For personal, noncommercial use only. See Terms of Use. For other uses, prior permission required.

RENEE MONTAGNE, HOST:

With 100 days left before the Winter Olympic Games begin in Sochi, Russia, the U.S. Olympic Committee begins its countdown in Times Square today. they’re bringing ice and snow into the middle of Manhattan where temperatures will be in the mid-50s so the athletes can show off their skills. But in these final months, there’s still a lot of scrambling to figure out which athletes get to compete in the Games.

North Country Public Radio’s Brian Mann went to Lake Placid, New York where high stakes contests are sorting out who will make Team USA and who will be left behind.

BRIAN MANN, BYLINE: In a gleaming weight room at the Olympic Training Center here, bobsledder Justin Olsen from San Antonio Texas is loading thick metal discs onto a bar.

JUSTIN OLSEN: You’ve built up all this strength and now you’re going to direct it and you’re going to become explosive.

MANN: In a single motion, he jerks the loaded barbell above his head and hurls it to the floor.

(SOUNDBITE OF CRASH)

MANN: The idea, Olsen says, is to train his body to be a kind of quick-start engine, capable of launching a bobsled weighing more than a thousand pounds down that icy, winding track.

OLSEN: The first two steps, you’re going from standing still to trying to crank it up to 20-plus miles an hour.

MANN: Four years ago, Olsen – who tried bobsled racing on a whim – shocked everyone by winning a place on America’s top four-man team known as “Nighttrain.” With his help, that crew dominated the Europeans at the Winter Games in Vancouver with lightning fast start times.

(SOUNDBITE OF CHEERS)

MANN: “Nighttrain” made history, capturing the first U.S. Olympic gold in the four-man bobsled since 1948.

(SOUNDBITE OF VANCOUVER WINTER OLYMPIC GAMES)

UNIDENTIFIED MAN: Justin Olsen!

MANN: Olsen says that moment, standing on that podium was beautiful and crazy. But here’s the thing. Even with that gold medal hanging on his wall, he’s not guaranteed a spot on this year’s team.

OLSEN: Everybody’s fighting for their spot. Everybody wants to do well. And the only route is to, you know, not pace yourself. Go hard every day.

MANN: Nancie Battaglia is a sports photographer and journalist from Lake Placid who’s been covering the Winter Olympics and the build-up to the games since the 1970s.

NANCIE BATTAGLIA: This Olympics will be my 11th Olympics and it will be my 9th winter Olympics.

MANN: Battaglia says people don’t realize how much uncertainty there is for these young athletes. Four years of training between Olympic Games and many like Olsen will be chewing their nails right up to the last minute.

BATTAGLIA: Right now I think they’re jockeying for position, both on their team and in their mind. I’m sure they all have kind of the willies in their stomach, wondering if they’re really going to make it.

MANN: Justin Olsen has struggled since that big win back in Vancouver, trying to heal a nagging muscle injury in his leg. He’s also an active-duty member of the U.S. Army, which means he had to take time off from sledding to complete his basic training. Then, this fall, the partial government shutdown meant weeks of uncertainty for the Army’s federally-funded soldier-athlete program.

OLSEN: It kind of happened right before we supposed to go to Utah, so it made us a little worried. I want to make the Olympic team, so I’m going to find a way even if things in Washington are having trouble.

MANN: Olsen says he’s made up a lot that lost training time. He says he’s healthy and focused. Now he has 100 days of time trials and races to prove to his coaches that he’s the guy who can help take the U.S.A. to that medal podium in Russia.

OLSEN: Some people might be at their peak right now, but now doesn’t matter. It’s February – it’s the guys that can be at their peak in February.

MANN: Olsen says all the down-to-the-wire uncertainty can make you crazy. But he also says it keeps athletes pushing hard, fighting to shave tiny fractions of seconds off those explosive starts. For NPR News, I’m Brian Mann in Lake Placid, New York.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

MONTAGNE: This is NPR News.

(SOUNDBITE OF MUSIC)

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Source: http://www.npr.org/2013/10/29/241548524/as-olympics-near-bobsledder-still-fighting-for-a-spot?ft=1&f=3
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The Magic of Magnets Can Now Even Keep Your Pants Up

The Magic of Magnets Can Now Even Keep Your Pants Up

The belt buckle can trace its roots back thousands of years, and the design and functionality of the average buckle hasn’t changed for centuries. But it’s the year 2013 now, and in addition to intelligent watches and robot maids, we deserve a smarter way to keep our pants up. And thanks to the mysterious miracles known as magnets, now we have it.

Read more…

    



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Study finds new genetic error in some lung cancers

Study finds new genetic error in some lung cancers

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27-Oct-2013

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Contact: Robbin Ray
robbin_ray@dfci.harvard.edu
617-632-4090
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

May offer target for therapies in patients


BOSTON A fine-grained scan of DNA in lung cancer cells has revealed a gene fusion a forced merger of two normally separate genes that spurs the cells to divide rapidly, scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the University of Colorado Cancer Center report in a new paper in the journal Nature Medicine. Treating the cells with a compound that blocks a protein encoded by one of those genes NTRK1 caused the cells to die.

The finding suggests that the fusion of NTRK1 to other genes fuels the growth of some lung adenocarcinomas (a form of non-small cell lung cancer), and that drugs that target NTRK1’s protein product could be effective in patients whose lung tumors harbor such fusions.

“Treatment with targeted therapies is now superior to standard chemotherapy for many patients with lung cancers that harbor genetic changes including those with fusions involving the gene ALK,” says Pasi A. Jnne, MD, PhD, of Dana-Farber, the senior co-author of the paper with Robert C. Doebele, MD, PhD, of CU Cancer Center. “We know of several other genes that are fused in lung cancer and that offer attractive targets for new therapies. Our discovery places lung adenocarcinomas with NTRK1 fusions squarely within that group.”

In the study, researchers performed next-generation DNA sequencing tests which read the individual elements of the genetic code over long stretches of chromosomes on tumor samples from 36 patients with lung adenocarcinomas whose tumors did not contain any previously known genetic alterations that could be found with standard clinical tests. In two of those samples both from women who had never smoked investigators found that a key region of the NTRK1 gene had become fused to normally distant genes (to the gene MPRIP in one patient; and the gene CD74 in the other).



NTRK1 holds the blueprint for a protein called TRKA, which dangles from the surface of cells and receives growth signals from other cells. The binding of NTRK1 to other genes causes TRKA to issue cell-growth orders on its own, without being prompted by outside signals.

In the laboratory, investigators mixed NTRK1-inhibiting agents into lung adenocarcinoma cells harboring NTRK1 fusions. The result was a dampening of TRKA’s activity and the death of the cancer cells.

Investigators then designed a new test using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) to detect NTRK1 fusions and tested an additional 56 tumor samples. In total, three of 91 tumor samples which had no other sign of cancer-causing genetic abnormalities, had fusions involving NTRK1.

“These findings suggest that in a few percent of lung adenocarcinoma patients people in whose cancer cells we had previously been able to find no genetic abnormality tumor growth is driven by a fusion involving NTRK1,” Jnne says. “Given that lung cancer is a common cancer, even a few percent is significant and translates into a large number of patients. Our findings suggest that targeted therapies may be effective for this subset of lung cancer patients.”

“This is still preclinical work,” Doebele says, “but it’s the first and maybe even second and third important steps toward picking off another subset of lung cancer with a treatment targeted to the disease’s specific genetic weaknesses.”

###

The co-lead authors of the study are Aria Vaishnavi, BS, of the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Marzia Capelletti, PhD, of Dana-Farber. Co-authors include Anh Le, BA, Severine Kako, Sakshi Mahale, MS, Kurtis Davies, PhD, Dara Aisner, MD, PhD, Amanda Pilling, PhD Eamon Berge, MD, and Marileila Varella-Garcia, PhD, of the University of Colorado School of Medicine; Mohit Butaney, Dalia Ercan, and Peter Hammerman, MD, PhD, of Dana-Farber; Levi Garraway, MD, PhD, of Dana-Farber and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard; Gregory Kryukov, PhD, of the Broad Institute; Jhingook Kim, MD, of Samsung Medical Center, Seoul, Korea; Hidefumi Sasaki, MD, of Nagoya City University, Nagoya, Japan; Seung-il Park, MD, PhD, of Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea; Julia Haas, PhD, and Steven Andrews, PhD, of Array BioPharma; Doron Lipson, PhD, Philip Stephens, PhD, and Vince Miller, MD, of Foundation Medicine.

The research was supported by the Colorado Bioscience Discovery Evaluation Grant Program, the National Institutes of Health, and the Boettcher Foundation’s Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Program, the Cammarata Family Foundation Research Fund, and the Nirenberg Fellowship at Dana-Farber.


About Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is a principal teaching affiliate of the Harvard Medical School and is among the leading cancer research and care centers in the United States. It is a founding member of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, designated a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute. It provides adult cancer care with Brigham and Women’s Hospital as Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center and it provides pediatric care with Boston Children’s Hospital as Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. Dana-Farber is the top ranked cancer center in New England, according to U.S. News & World Report, and one of the largest recipients among independent hospitals of National Cancer Institute and National Institutes of Health grant funding. Follow Dana-Farber on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/danafarbercancerinstitute and on Twitter: @danafarber.


About University of Colorado Cancer Center

The University of Colorado Cancer Center is Colorado’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center. NCI has given only 41 cancer centers this designation, deeming membership as “the best of the best.” CU Cancer Center is headquartered on the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and is a consortium of three state universities (Colorado State University, University of Colorado Boulder and University of Colorado Denver) and six health delivery institutions: University of Colorado Health System (including University of Colorado Hospital, Poudre Valley Hospital, Medical Center of the Rockies and Memorial Hospital), Children’s Hospital Colorado, Denver Health, Denver VA Medical Center, National Jewish Health and Kaiser Permanente Colorado.


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Study finds new genetic error in some lung cancers

[ Back to EurekAlert! ]

PUBLIC RELEASE DATE:

27-Oct-2013

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Contact: Robbin Ray
robbin_ray@dfci.harvard.edu
617-632-4090
Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

May offer target for therapies in patients


BOSTON A fine-grained scan of DNA in lung cancer cells has revealed a gene fusion a forced merger of two normally separate genes that spurs the cells to divide rapidly, scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and the University of Colorado Cancer Center report in a new paper in the journal Nature Medicine. Treating the cells with a compound that blocks a protein encoded by one of those genes NTRK1 caused the cells to die.

The finding suggests that the fusion of NTRK1 to other genes fuels the growth of some lung adenocarcinomas (a form of non-small cell lung cancer), and that drugs that target NTRK1’s protein product could be effective in patients whose lung tumors harbor such fusions.

“Treatment with targeted therapies is now superior to standard chemotherapy for many patients with lung cancers that harbor genetic changes including those with fusions involving the gene ALK,” says Pasi A. Jnne, MD, PhD, of Dana-Farber, the senior co-author of the paper with Robert C. Doebele, MD, PhD, of CU Cancer Center. “We know of several other genes that are fused in lung cancer and that offer attractive targets for new therapies. Our discovery places lung adenocarcinomas with NTRK1 fusions squarely within that group.”

In the study, researchers performed next-generation DNA sequencing tests which read the individual elements of the genetic code over long stretches of chromosomes on tumor samples from 36 patients with lung adenocarcinomas whose tumors did not contain any previously known genetic alterations that could be found with standard clinical tests. In two of those samples both from women who had never smoked investigators found that a key region of the NTRK1 gene had become fused to normally distant genes (to the gene MPRIP in one patient; and the gene CD74 in the other).



NTRK1 holds the blueprint for a protein called TRKA, which dangles from the surface of cells and receives growth signals from other cells. The binding of NTRK1 to other genes causes TRKA to issue cell-growth orders on its own, without being prompted by outside signals.

In the laboratory, investigators mixed NTRK1-inhibiting agents into lung adenocarcinoma cells harboring NTRK1 fusions. The result was a dampening of TRKA’s activity and the death of the cancer cells.

Investigators then designed a new test using fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) to detect NTRK1 fusions and tested an additional 56 tumor samples. In total, three of 91 tumor samples which had no other sign of cancer-causing genetic abnormalities, had fusions involving NTRK1.

“These findings suggest that in a few percent of lung adenocarcinoma patients people in whose cancer cells we had previously been able to find no genetic abnormality tumor growth is driven by a fusion involving NTRK1,” Jnne says. “Given that lung cancer is a common cancer, even a few percent is significant and translates into a large number of patients. Our findings suggest that targeted therapies may be effective for this subset of lung cancer patients.”

“This is still preclinical work,” Doebele says, “but it’s the first and maybe even second and third important steps toward picking off another subset of lung cancer with a treatment targeted to the disease’s specific genetic weaknesses.”

###

The co-lead authors of the study are Aria Vaishnavi, BS, of the University of Colorado School of Medicine and Marzia Capelletti, PhD, of Dana-Farber. Co-authors include Anh Le, BA, Severine Kako, Sakshi Mahale, MS, Kurtis Davies, PhD, Dara Aisner, MD, PhD, Amanda Pilling, PhD Eamon Berge, MD, and Marileila Varella-Garcia, PhD, of the University of Colorado School of Medicine; Mohit Butaney, Dalia Ercan, and Peter Hammerman, MD, PhD, of Dana-Farber; Levi Garraway, MD, PhD, of Dana-Farber and the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard; Gregory Kryukov, PhD, of the Broad Institute; Jhingook Kim, MD, of Samsung Medical Center, Seoul, Korea; Hidefumi Sasaki, MD, of Nagoya City University, Nagoya, Japan; Seung-il Park, MD, PhD, of Asan Medical Center, Seoul, Korea; Julia Haas, PhD, and Steven Andrews, PhD, of Array BioPharma; Doron Lipson, PhD, Philip Stephens, PhD, and Vince Miller, MD, of Foundation Medicine.

The research was supported by the Colorado Bioscience Discovery Evaluation Grant Program, the National Institutes of Health, and the Boettcher Foundation’s Webb-Waring Biomedical Research Program, the Cammarata Family Foundation Research Fund, and the Nirenberg Fellowship at Dana-Farber.


About Dana-Farber Cancer Institute

Dana-Farber Cancer Institute is a principal teaching affiliate of the Harvard Medical School and is among the leading cancer research and care centers in the United States. It is a founding member of the Dana-Farber/Harvard Cancer Center, designated a comprehensive cancer center by the National Cancer Institute. It provides adult cancer care with Brigham and Women’s Hospital as Dana-Farber/Brigham and Women’s Cancer Center and it provides pediatric care with Boston Children’s Hospital as Dana-Farber/Boston Children’s Cancer and Blood Disorders Center. Dana-Farber is the top ranked cancer center in New England, according to U.S. News & World Report, and one of the largest recipients among independent hospitals of National Cancer Institute and National Institutes of Health grant funding. Follow Dana-Farber on Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/danafarbercancerinstitute and on Twitter: @danafarber.


About University of Colorado Cancer Center

The University of Colorado Cancer Center is Colorado’s only National Cancer Institute-designated comprehensive cancer center. NCI has given only 41 cancer centers this designation, deeming membership as “the best of the best.” CU Cancer Center is headquartered on the University of Colorado Anschutz Medical Campus and is a consortium of three state universities (Colorado State University, University of Colorado Boulder and University of Colorado Denver) and six health delivery institutions: University of Colorado Health System (including University of Colorado Hospital, Poudre Valley Hospital, Medical Center of the Rockies and Memorial Hospital), Children’s Hospital Colorado, Denver Health, Denver VA Medical Center, National Jewish Health and Kaiser Permanente Colorado.


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Source: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-10/dci-sfn102513.php
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U.S. denies Obama knew of Merkel spying

Washington (AFP) – The imbroglio over the tapping of Angela Merkel’s phone deepened Sunday, after a US denial that President Barack Obama was personally informed for years of electronic surveillance against the German chancellor.

As a sense of betrayal spread in European capitals about spying activities conducted against world leaders and ordinary citizens, German media reports said tapping of Merkel’s phone may have begun as early as 2002.

Bild am Sonntag newspaper quoted US intelligence sources as saying that America’s National Security Agency chief General Keith Alexander had briefed Obama on the operation against Merkel in 2010.

“Obama did not halt the operation but rather let it continue,” the newspaper quoted a high-ranking NSA official as saying.

News weekly Der Spiegel reported that leaked NSA documents showed Merkel’s phone had appeared on a list of spying targets for over a decade, and was still under surveillance weeks before Obama visited Berlin in June.

But NSA spokeswoman Vanee’ Vines, in Washington, flatly denied the claims.

Alexander “did not discuss with President Obama in 2010 an alleged foreign intelligence operation involving German Chancellor Merkel, nor has he ever discussed alleged operations involving Chancellor Merkel,” Vines said.

“News reports claiming otherwise are not true,” she added.

The allegations, derived from documents acquired from US fugitive defense contractor Edward Snowden, have stoked global outrage that American spy agencies were responsible for broad snooping into the communications of several dozen world leaders and likely millions of ordinary people.

A poll for Der Spiegel found that 60 percent of Germans believe the scandal has damaged bilateral ties.

European leaders have since called for a new deal with Washington on intelligence gathering that would maintain an essential alliance while keeping the fight against terrorism on track.

Germany is to send its own spy chiefs to Washington to demand answers.

Swiss President Ueli Maurer warned the revelations risked “undermining confidence between states.”

“We don’t know if we’re only seeing the tip of the iceberg or if other governments are acting in the same ruthless manner,” he told the Schweiz am Sonntag weekly.

With anger simmering in Berlin, Interior Minister Hans-Peter Friedrich sharpened his tone.

“Surveillance is a crime and those responsible must be brought to justice,” he told Bild, while Foreign Minister Guido Westerwelle decried the “highly damaging” spying among friends.

Merkel confronted Obama with the snooping allegations in a phone call Wednesday saying that such spying would be a “breach of trust.”

The Frankfurter Allgemeine Sonntagszeitung said Obama had told Merkel during their call that he had been unaware of any spying against her, while Spiegel said he assured her that he would have stopped the operation at once.

Merkel’s office declined to comment on what Obama told her.

The White House has said it is not monitoring Merkel’s phone calls and will not do so in future, but it has refused to say whether it did previously.

Two phones monitored

Bild said Obama wanted to be informed in detail about Merkel, who has played a decisive role in the eurozone debt crisis and is widely seen as Europe’s most powerful leader.

As a result, the NSA stepped up its surveillance of her communications, targeting not only the mobile phone she uses to conduct business for her conservative Christian Democratic Union party but also her encrypted official device.

Merkel only acquired the latter handset over the summer.

Bild said US specialists were then able to monitor the content of her conversations as well as text messages, which Merkel sends by the dozen each day to key associates.

Only the specially secured land line in her office was out of the reach of the NSA, which sent the intelligence gathered straight to the White House bypassing the agency’s headquarters, according to the report.

Bild and Spiegel described a hive of spy activity on the fourth floor of the US embassy in central Berlin, a stone’s throw from the government quarter, from which the United States kept tabs on Merkel and other German officials.

Spiegel cited a classified 2010 document indicating that US intelligence had 80 high-tech surveillance offices worldwide in cities including Paris, Madrid, Rome, Prague, Geneva and Frankfurt.

If the spying against Merkel began in 2002, it would mean the United States under then president George W. Bush targeted her while she was still the country’s chief opposition leader, three years before she became chancellor.

Bild said Merkel’s predecessor Gerhard Schroeder was also in the NSA’s sights because of his vocal opposition to the US invasion of Iraq and close relationship with Russian President Vladimir Putin.

The Social Democrats’ chief whip Thomas Oppermann told Bild that German MPs would now like to question Snowden in a new parliamentary probe of the affair.

“Snowden’s accounts seem credible while the US government apparently lied to us about this matter,” he said.

Source: http://news.yahoo.com/obama-aware-merkel-spying-since-2010-german-report-092009842.html
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U.S. Healthcare Is Not Manageable by Federal Gov’t

Why should CBS have all the fun of pointing out the many facets of the ObamaCare disaster? Meet the Press host David Gregory tells Morning Joe that the epic faceplant of the rollout raises much larger questions than just whether a web portal can or will get fixed. Republican predictions of disaster didn’t even include the incompetence in producing a $400 million website failure, Gregory says with a laugh. Republicans predicted that the federal government was too incompetent to run the health-care sector — and this tends to prove they were right all along, and that proof gets stronger the longer the incompetence continues

Source: http://www.realclearpolitics.com/2013/10/26/us_healthcare_is_not_manageable_by_federal_gov039t_318623.html
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