Friday, August 5, 2022

A Very Good Week For So-Called Sleepy Old Joe

It's been a very good week for Sleepy old Joe, who ain't so sleepy after all. First and foremost: today's jobs report, which is off the charts. 

Unemployment is at a 50-year low, at 3.5%, and 528,000 jobs were added this month.For all you arm-chair economists out there, you simply can not have that level of job growth and call this a recession. 

"The economy is not falling into recession," Brian Bethune, an economist at Boston College, told USA Today. "It is actually picking up speed as demand for services accelerates in a post COVID-19 environment."

It was also announced this week that gas prices are down for the seventh straight week and are on track to sink by about 20 percent from June’s $5.02-per-gallon peak to a national average of $4; some states are already below that marker. 
 
Refreshingly, the first gas station in the country to dip below $3 a gallon is in deep-red Oklahoma City. As of Friday morning, Gas Buddy shows that three stations along Mustang Road – two near Southwest 15th Street and another near Reno Avenue – have regular gas for $2.97. 
 
President Biden also ordered a military strike this week that killed Ayman al-Zawahiri, the torturing, monstrous leader of Al-Qaeda and successor of Osama bin Laden. This is of course huge news. Sleepy Old Joe got it done.

Also this week, after literally years of fighting over support for veterans who were sick because of the toxins they endured while on active duty, the PACT Act to expand healthcare coverage for veterans was finally passed.
 
But it came after Republicans cynically tried to dump the legislation. As a result, they were publicly blasted by just about everyone who cares about our veterans, and the GOP Senators, with collective tail between collective legs, changed their mind. 
 
Well, all but 11 Senators, that is. Here are the 11 GOP Senators who refused to help our veterans. For all of my Republican friends, remember these names. If you vote for any of these guys in November, you might as well just stop saying you support our most in-need veterans, because you don't:
 
Pat Toomey (Pa), Rand Paul (Ky), Mike Crapo (Idaho), Thom Tillis (NC), James Lankford (Okla), Mike Lee (Utah), Cynthia Lummis (Wyo), James Risch (Idaho), Mitt Romney (Utah), Richard Shelby (Ala), and Tonny Tuberville (Ala).

Biden got this done. Period. Because he actually cares about our veterans, unlike the other party, which too often pays lip service and uses veterans as political chess pieces. Or, in the case of most of these Republican lawmakers, checkers!
 
Biden is also preparing to pass the Inflation Reduction Act this weekend. This sweeping bill will bring prescription drug costs down, provide free vaccines for seniors, offer generous tax credits for electric vehicles, and much more. 
 
Its primary aim is to create more than 1 million jobs and substantially reduce inflation. The bill will enact historic deficit reduction that will fight inflation, as well as:
 
 • Lower energy costs, increases cleaner production, and reduces carbon emissions by roughly 40 percent by 2030 ;
 
• Allow Medicare to negotiate drug prices and caps out-of-pocket costs to $2,000;
 
• Lower ACA health care premiums for millions of American families;
 
• And make the biggest corporations and ultra-wealthy pay their fair share.
 
It should also be noted that in this bill there are zero new tax burdens on families making $400,000 or less and no new taxes on small businesses.

Also this week, a bipartisan majority of voters from Kansas - yes, KANSAS - voted to defend abortion rights, which Biden vocally supported
 
Politico's Playbook called what happened in Kansas “A POLITICAL EARTHQUAKE” and said the victory was “stunning”.

And finally, The House of Representatives passed a ban on semi-automatic firearms — the weapons used in multiple mass shootings during the last three months — on a near party-line vote.
 
Only two Republicans voted for it, and only five Democrats voted against it. 
 
Again, the Republicans are on the wrong side of this issue. Regarding this bill, Rep. Jim Jordan, a Ohio Republican, accused Democrats of “coming for your guns.”
 
But Jordan is lying, again.  
 
Rep. Deborah Ross, a North Carolina Democrat, said that the bill simply "prevents future sales of assault rifles,” and added that the weapons are “not designed for recreation, they’re designed for combat.” 
 
In a statement from the White House, a spokesman said, "40,000 Americans die from gunshot wounds every year and guns have become the top killer of children in the United States. As President Biden has repeatedly called for, we must do more to stop this gun violence and save lives."

You go, sleepy old Joe. Biden is a good man. Period. And is there anything more important than that? Despite relentless attacks, he continues to do the right thing, on multiple fronts. We're ALL getting older and a little sleepier, but that doesn't mean we can't still be very, very effective. You go, Joe!

Tuesday, June 28, 2022

BioFluidica's Liquid Biopsy Technology for Breast Cancer Outperforms Traditional Needle Biopsy

It was bound to happen. Liquid biopsies, the increasingly ubiquitous, non-invasive blood tests that can detect cancer in the blood, often at very early stages, are showing positive results in breast cancer. 

 

Among the most impressive data comes from BioFluidica, a San Diego-based biotech company whose LiquidScan, a next-generation liquid biopsy platform to detect HER2–positive genetic profiles in patients with breast cancer, performed better in a small but significant trial than traditional needle biopsies, according to study results from BioFluidica.


Larger clinical trials are on the way, says BioFluidica CEO Rolf Muller (left). But it now seems virtually inevitable that in the not-too-distant future, cancer clinics nationwide and  worldwide will be deploying liquid biopsies to discover and diagnose breast cancer. 

One of several companies studying liquid biopsy for breast cancer, Biofluidica provides advanced biomarker capture with what they call "unprecedented precision" that is clinically validated in six different cancer types as well as stroke. Muller believes the company’s technology will revolutionize disease and bring improved, non-invasive diagnostics to many people.


Biofluidica's diagnostic platform can precisely capture and isolate disease biomarkers in the blood such as circulating tumor cells (CTC's), and has been clinically validated.

HER2 is the human epidermal growth factor receptor 2, a gene that makes a protein found on the surface of all breast cells.

 

People with HER2–positive breast cancer showed favorable success when using personalized HER2-directed therapy, according to trial results from BioFluidica.


The study demonstrated that current biopsies are missing more than a quarter of patients who may be eligible for HER2-directed therapy. The results suggest that the use of non-invasive liquid biopsy methods can rapidly and accurately identify if patient samples have HER2 status.

 

"We at Biofluidica are very excited after a lot of work to commercialize rare cell and exosome applications important to oncology and fetal medicine,” Muller said in a press statement. "Specifically our recent study on HER2 breast cancer, which opens the door to more detailed tools that may guide targeted therapeutic decisions. "

 

While there are successful tests based on analysis of cell-free DNA, many diseases are not amendable to a cfDNA test. This may be because of the size of the DNA marker, the relative concentration of the marker in the blood, or because of a need to explore more within the biology of the disease in question.


The study was performed by BioFluidica, Neogenomics Laboratories, and Kay Yeung, MD, PhD, from the University of California San Diego Moores Cancer Center and the University of California San Diego Biorepository & Tissue Technology Shared Resource. 

"Our hope with LiquidScan is to be able to facilitate and revolutionize disease research and management. Thanks to its flexibility, LiquidScan can be readily adapted for several applications,” said Muller in a press statement.

"The platform is ideal for those applications where the ability to conduct frequent tests and deliver results quickly where point-of-care testing is critical. I am especially excited that we might be able to find more patients that could be eligible for improved therapy using the high sensitivity LiquidScan Next-Generation Liquid Biopsy platform.”