Summary of “F.D.A. Panel Recommends Approval for Gene-Altering Leukemia Treatment”

“It’s a new world, an exciting therapy,” said Dr. Gwen Nichols, the chief medical officer of the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society, which paid for some of the research that led to the treatment.
At the meeting, the panel of experts did not question the lifesaving potential of the treatment in hopeless cases.
Compared with standard treatment, which required dozens of spinal taps and painful bone marrow tests, the T-cell treatment was far easier to tolerate, Mr. McMahon said, and he urged the panel to vote for approval.
A third parent, Amy Kappen, also recommended approval, even though her daughter, Sophia, 5, had died despite receiving the cell treatment.
As to whether the treatment, known as CTL019 or tisagenlecleucel, will be available in other countries, Ms. Masow said by email: “Should CTL019 receive approval in the U.S., it will be the decision of the centers whether to receive international patients. We are working on bringing CTL019 to other countries around the world.” She added that the company would file for approvals in the European Union later this year.
Researchers are still debating about which patients can safely forgo further treatment, and which might need a bone marrow treatment to give the best chance of a cure.
The treatment requires removing millions of a patient’s T-cells – a type of white blood cell often called soldiers of the immune system – and genetically engineering them to kill cancer cells.
Because the treatment destroys not only leukemic B-cells but also healthy ones, which help fight germs, patients need treatment to protect them from infection.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The Five Best NBA Offseasons So Far”

Don’t underestimate Chinese center Zhou Qi as a rookie contributor; while leading his team to a CBA championship, Zhou won Defensive Player of the Year, extended his shooting range, and improved his body.
The trade freed up $11.3 million in guaranteed salary.
Plumlee might have one extra year on his deal, but a $12.5 million salary is a lot easier to move in any potential trade than Howard’s $23.8 million deal.
Their veterans have a full season of experience together, and the young players like Bell, McCaw, and Damian Jones have defined roles on the team, should they earn playing time.
This season, Detroit will pay $10.5 million to Jon Leuer, $7 million to Boban Marjanovic, and $6 million to Ish Smith, and the Pistons still owe $5.3 million for the next three years to a stretched Josh Smith.
Detroit overpaid for Langston Galloway, signing him to three years, $21 million.
The Knicks just signed Tim Hardaway Jr. for four years and $71 million.
It’s been almost two weeks since the Pacers shocked the basketball world by trading Paul George for Victor Oladipo, who has four years and $84 million left on his contract, and Domantas Sabonis, a good-not-great young big.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Cursed by the body that was his blessing, Greg Oden is headed back to Ohio State”

ODEN IS IN the lobby of the academic support center on the Ohio State campus on a late-May morning, registering for classes to finish the degree he started a decade ago.
Oden called his coach, Thad Matta, and said, “I can’t get to class.” A few weeks later, Oden announced that he would leave for the draft, one of many decisions in his life that wasn’t really his to make.
“Coach!” Oden hollers, dropping the bar and easing himself to the ground until he lies flat on his back.
Oden can’t prove that the orthotic is the sole reason his body collapsed in the NBA. The wheels were in motion for his body to fall apart the moment he hit his first growth spurt on the way to 7 feet.
Oden always had tried to reckon with what his body was and could be, its power and potential.
Former Ohio State assistant Alan Major remembers a jump shot Oden made against Georgetown in the Final Four because it was the Buckeyes’ 38th game and Oden had taken just a handful of jumpers all year.
On Aug. 7, 2014, Oden was supposed to be with the Ohio State basketball team in the Bahamas, volunteering on a summer tour, but he bailed at the last minute.
Oden walks down the stairs of the academic support center, back to the first floor.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Amazon Prime is on pace to become more popular than cable TV”

Within a couple of years, more U.S. households could be subscribers of Amazon Prime than cable or satellite TV, according to recent estimates of Amazon’s popular shipping and entertainment service.
Based on Morningstar’s estimates of the average number of Prime memberships per household, that suggests about 66 million households have Amazon Prime memberships in 2017.
According to these estimates, more U.S. households may have an Amazon Prime subscription than a pay TV subscription in as soon as two years.
How we got there: If the number of Amazon Prime households increases by roughly the same pace it has, on average, for the past four years – almost 12 million per year – the number of Prime households in 2019 would be around 89 million.
Amazon knows that Prime is the core of its retail business: Prime members spend more in a year than non-Prime members do, shop more frequently than others and price-compare less, according to studies.
Correction: A previous version of this post and chart incorrectly displayed estimated Prime memberships as Prime households.
To more accurately estimate Prime households, we divided the number of memberships for the past three years by 1.2 and divided earlier years by 1.1.
We’ve updated the number of estimated U.S. households with Amazon Prime in 2017 to 66 million, instead of our previous figure of 79 million, which reflected memberships.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Full transcript: Defense Secretary James Mattis’ interview with The Islander – The MIHS Islander”

So I think once in awhile, people understand if we want to vote people into office that say “Let’s stop this, stop working on other people’s problems.” But I think eventually, as Winston Churchill put it, once the American people exhaust all the alternatives, they’ll do the right thing.
If you want to really change it in the long term, I think it comes down to doing so through education of the young people.
The short answer is, get the political end state right and then give it the full effort and explain to the American people and the American congress what you’re doing and get the whole world behind you.
TEDDY: How can the United States create an atmosphere of trust with the Arab people, especially in Iran?
Until the Iranian people can get rid of this theocracy, these guys who think they can tell the people even which candidates they get a choice of.
For so long when Russia vetoed the United Nations so they couldn’t do anything about it, the only reason that Assad is still in power and has killed hundreds of thousands of his own people and allowed the terrorists a place to set up camp and millions, literally millions of people, forced out of their homes with nothing but what they could cram into a car or put on their back, it’s all because of Iran.
Most of the Iranian people, I’ve known enough Iranian people or talked to Americans who grew up in Iran and it’s not them, it’s the regime.
I’ve sat behind then Secretary of Defense Gates who said the American people are not going to keep paying more than you for this defense.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Sean Marks Is Lifting the Nets Out of the Abyss”

Over the weekend, the Nets landed DeMarre Carroll and the Raptors’ first- and second-round picks in 2018 for Justin Hamilton, an NBA rotation player who, if we’re being honest, is probably better known as an unlikely narrative device in Zach Lowe’s column on the NBA’s scoring explosion last season than he is as a Nets big man.
To understand what GM Sean Marks has accomplished in his year and a half with the team, you have to hold your nose and take a dive back into that abyss.
In a short time Marks has constructed an identity for the Nets from a transactional perspective: They might be the pettiest little team in the league.
Since Marks took office, the Nets have signed offer sheets with four different restricted free agents and haven’t landed a single one.
The Nets still have one more year of purgatory left to go - no matter how well or how poorly they play next season, they will forfeit their first-round pick to Boston - so loading up on expensive, ineffective players doesn’t exactly affect what the Nets are hoping to achieve.
“So it’s not like last year when there were a couple dozen teams that could offer big salaries. It’s shrinking as it goes. There’s no secret out there now. Every team knows we’ve got plenty of cash to spend and maneuver around. We’ll just be strategic in how we do it.”
Three years ago, a painfully mediocre Brooklyn Nets team paid nearly $90.6 million in luxury tax, a record-obliterating figure that, despite a windfall in team spending power over the past two seasons, has yet to be matched, let alone topped.
True to their strategy, in proving that there is no such thing as an untradable contract, the Nets are also proving that there is no such thing as an unsavable team.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The NBA’s Salary Cap Is Normalizing. How Will Teams Adjust?”

In 13 years, the cap rose about as much as it did just last summer, when the NBA’s big cap boom rocketed the figure from $70 million in 2015-16 to $94.1 million in 2016-17.
You could say those teams were negligent - and you’d be right - but they operated under the assumption that the cap would keep surging.
If teams do want to splurge in free agency, they’ll need to strategically create cap space, just like they did not too long ago.
As Adrian Wojnarowski said on The Ryen Russillo Show, teams are already trying to figure out how to get Giannis Antetokounmpo out of Milwaukee, and the same can be applied to Anthony Davis, or even John Wall after he hesitated signing an extension this summer with the Wizards.
How Strong Is Your GM’s Investment Portfolio?In the meantime, teams will need to spend smartly and sign contracts that maximize their position, given the cap climate.
Teams that will be under the cap, including the Lakers, Hawks, and Suns, are loading up on cap space, putting themselves in position to pounce on opportunities.
Teams over the cap, such as the Rockets and Celtics, retain similar flexibility, even after their splash acquisitions this summer, with their mixture of assets and movable contracts.
The smartest teams that cleverly manipulate their contracts to best take advantage of the new cap will be rewarded.

The orginal article.

Summary of “The secrets of a hit summer song”

The warm-weather splendour also gives rise to a unique cultural phenomenon: The Summer Song.
Big, brash pop songs also fit the bill, with Rihanna’s Umbrella and Little Mix’s Black Magic both benefitting from a summer boost.
Summer blockbusters are the dumbest form of cinema; “Beach reads” are inevitably schlock romances and thrillers; and summer TV is epitomised by Big Brother and Love Island.
The best pop music holds up a mirror up to society; and the best summer songs reflect a time of year when we collectively take leave of our senses.
Songs with unique lyrics or arrangements often capture the carefree spirit of the summer.
Katy Perry scored her breakthrough hit with I Kissed A Girl in August 2008; while the whistled refrain of Maroon 5’s Moves Like Jagger resurrected their career in summer 2011.
While it’s possible for a late-breaking hit to elbow its way to the front of the pack, the song of the summer has usually been hanging around for a while before it takes over the world.
From Mungo Jerry’s lyrically-questionable In The Summertime in 1970 to Demi Lovato’s Cool For The Summer in 2015, releasing a song about the summer in the summer guarantees you a hit almost as quickly as putting the words “Featuring Justin Bieber” on the sleeve.

The orginal article.

Summary of “Children of the Opioid Epidemic Are Flooding Foster Homes. America Is Turning a Blind Eye. – Mother Jones”

The scourge of addiction to painkillers, heroin, and fentanyl sweeping the country has produced a flood of bewildered children who, having lost their parents to drug use or overdose, are now living with foster families or relatives.
The pattern mirrors a national trend: Largely because of the opioid epidemic, there were 30,000 more children in foster care in 2015 than there were in 2012-an 8 percent increase.
In Texas, Florida, Oregon, and elsewhere, kids have been forced to sleep in state buildings because there were no foster homes available, says advocacy group Children’s Rights.
Now in her ninth year as a social worker, she has perfected the code-switching that casework requires: She’s gentle with crying toddlers who don’t understand why they can’t see their parents, playful with teenagers over coffee check-ins, and unyielding with doctors who refuse to see the children she calls “My kids” because of insurance complications.
The $30 million boost in funding over two years, which will pay foster parents and provide counseling for the kids, won’t make up for the $55 million increase in child placement costs over the past three years.
Other than county pilot programs, “No policy or state investment has focused specifically on the children flooding into county agency custody as a result of the opioid epidemic,” concluded a report by the Public Children Services Association of Ohio this spring.
“There has been very little attention to the long-term effects this epidemic will have on children and what Ohio needs to do now to prepare for the onset of behavioral issues, learning disabilities, and developmental delays as children age.”
Today, Amber wears her mother’s ashes in a tear-shaped necklace and lives in a bustling house with nine other foster kids.

The orginal article.

Summary of “What I Wish I’d Known About My Knees”

With walking now painful and my quality of life diminished, I finally had both knees replaced, which has enabled me to walk, cycle, swim and climb for the last 13 years.
He’s been playing tennis and basketball on that knee without pain for the last 24 years.
The panel noted that about one-quarter of people older than 50 experience knee pain from degenerative knee disease, a percentage that rises with age.
A study published in May in JAMA by researchers at Tufts Medical Center found that the injection of a corticosteroid every three months over two years resulted in greater loss of knee cartilage and no significant difference in knee pain compared to patients who received a placebo injection.
The value of the other procedure I had, injections of hyaluronic acid, has somewhat better research support for patients with knee pain.
For those who underwent five or more courses, the injections delayed the average time to a total knee replacement by 3.6 years, whereas those who had only one course averaged 1.4 years until knee replacement, and those who had no injections had their knees replaced after an average of 114 days.
The more you weigh, the more pressure on your knees with every step and the more they are likely to hurt when walking or climbing stairs.
Probably most helpful of all, undergo one or more cycles of physical therapy administered by a licensed therapist, perhaps one who specializes in knee pain.

The orginal article.