Wolves set for Abraham deal – but Chelsea won’t consider immediate saleby Paul Vegas10 months agoSend to a friendShare the loveWolves are confident of closing a deal for Tammy Abraham – however Chelsea insist they do not want to lose the striker permanently.The Daily Mail says Abraham, currently on-loan at Aston Villa, is keen to play in the Premier League and Wolves want competition for Raul Jimenez. Chelsea, who have until January 14 to trigger his recall, are reluctant to agree to a sale now despite Wolves intimating they would be willing to offer around £18m.The Stamford Bridge club will wait to see how he performs.They are aware and know that his value could increase significantly by the summer if he does well. TagsTransfersLoan MarketAbout the authorPaul VegasShare the loveHave your say
LINCOLN, NE – NOVEMBER 24: General view of footballs used by the Iowa Hawkeyes before the game against the Nebraska Cornhuskers at Memorial Stadium on November 24, 2017 in Lincoln, Nebraska. (Photo by Steven Branscombe/Getty Images)Your Guinness world record didn’t last very long, Odell Beckham. The New York Giants’ wide receiver set a world record on Thursday, catching 33 of New Orleans Saints’ quarterback Drew Brees’ passes in a minute with one hand on ESPN’s Super Bowl set in Scottsdale, Ariz. Iowa wide receiver Tevaun Smith one-upped the NFL star on Friday, snagging 41 passes using only one hand. .@TevaunSmith goes for @OBJ_3‘s one-handed catch world record and snags 41 in a minute! #GoHawks #Swarm2015 http://t.co/BnLBmRNutP— Hawkeye Football (@HawkeyeFootball) January 30, 2015Smith had two less catches in that one-minute video than he did during the entire 2014 season, during which he caught 43 passes for 596 yards and three touchdowns.
INDIANAPOLIS, IN – MARCH 10: Herky the hawk, mascot for the Iowa Hawkeyes performs against the Michigan State Spartans during the first round of the 2011 Big Ten Men’s Basketball Tournament at Conseco Fieldhouse on March 10, 2011 in Indianapolis, Indiana. Michigan State won 66-61. (Photo by Chris Chambers/Getty Images)Something needs to be done about Adam Woodbury, Big Ten. During the first half of Iowa’s game against Maryland Sunday afternoon, the Hawkeyes’ big man poked Terrapins’ freshman guard Melo Trimble in the eye. Trimble collapsed to the floor and had to leave the game for several minutes as his eye swelled up. No foul was called during the action, but the referees charged Woodbury with a Flagrant 1 after looking at the replay. It’s possible this specific incident was not an intentional play from Woodbury, but that seems unlikely since the 7-footer has done this before. During Iowa’s game against Wisconsin, he did it twice. This is happening far too many times for it to be unintentional. Some type of punishment – a suspension, perhaps – needs to be given to Woodbury from Big Ten commissioner Jim Delany.
ANN ARBOR, MI – DECEMBER 30: Jim Harbaugh speaks as he is introduced as the new Head Coach of the University of Michigan football team at the Junge Family Champions Center on December 30, 2014 in Ann Arbor, Michigan. (Photo by Gregory Shamus/Getty Images)Michigan fans are still pretty pumped about the hiring of former Wolverines quarterback Jim Harbaugh as head coach. One has chosen a rather interesting way to convey that excitement. A Twitter user who goes by the name of Mark the Nomad has gotten a tattoo that pays homage to Harbaugh’s 1994 appearance on the television show Saved By The Bell. No, really.Mark claims that he’s received the most negative feedback from Columbus, Ohio. That doesn’t surprise anyone.I have a very important announcement to make.— Mark (@MarktheNomad) April 4, 2015I want all of you to stop what you’re doing and look.— Mark (@MarktheNomad) April 4, 2015So, this just happened: #GoBlue pic.twitter.com/jqlqyDoFsM— Mark (@MarktheNomad) April 4, 2015A huge thanks to those who donated to the tattoo fund on GoFundMe. I certainly didn’t think it’d pick up traction the way it did.— Mark (@MarktheNomad) April 4, 2015I had the best tattoo artist, IMHO, on the planet. If you’re in the Sarasota area, hell if you’re in Florida, go see Caitlin at Trap Ink.— Mark (@MarktheNomad) April 4, 2015You may be shocked to learn that most of the negative feedback I’ve received is via Columbus, Ohio.— Mark (@MarktheNomad) April 4, 2015If we’re being honest, it’s actually some high-quality ink. That being said, he’s probably going to get tired of explaining it to everyone he ever meets.
When Vic Fangio was named defensive coordinator of the Chicago Bears in 2015, he took the helm of a ship that was essentially already at the bottom of the ocean. Not only were the Bears mired in a four-season playoff drought, but Chicago was also coming off consecutive seasons in which it fielded arguably the worst defense in franchise history.“We obviously aren’t a good team,” defensive end Jared Allen succinctly put it in 2014 after the Bears allowed consecutive opponents to pile up 50-plus points, a feat that had no precedent in modern professional football.Now, Chicago is under the direction of head coach Matt Nagy, atop the NFC North and in the midst of a three-game winning streak for the first time since the beginning of the 2013 season. But seemingly all anyone can talk about is Fangio’s defense.In its most recent victory, Chicago dismantled Tampa Bay’s then-league-best offense in a 48-10 bloodletting. Chicago’s front seven had Ryan Fitzpatrick and Jameis Winston, who made his season debut, running toward the nearest airport.Fitzpatrick and Winston haven’t been Chicago’s only victims, though.When it comes to getting at the quarterback, the Bears are off to the third-best start in franchise history. Even though the team had a bye in Week 5, its 18 sacks rank second in the league, one shy of the Pittsburgh Steelers’ 19. One-fourth of Chicago’s 16 best single-game sack performances since 2015 came in the first four weeks of this season. At 4.5 sacks per contest so far, Chicago is on pace to tie the NFL single-season sack record of 72, a record the Bears set in 1984.Chicago’s 11.6 percent sack rate1Sack rate is the number of sacks of the opposing quarterback divided by the quarterback’s total dropbacks, including passing attempts and sacks. is 1.5 percentage points ahead of the next-best team. If the Bears can maintain that pace, they would set the the fifth-best mark since 1980, according to Pro-Football-Reference.com. Chicago’s defense is collapsing the pocket better than perhaps any team.But here’s the remarkable thing about the Bears: They are racking up the sacks despite hardly blitzing.The Bears rank last in the league in blitzing, defined as sending five or more pass rushers at a quarterback who’s dropping back to throw, with 5.0 per contest, according to data from ESPN Stats & Information Group. If Chicago maintained its blitz average for the rest of the season, it would be the sixth-lowest rate since 2006, the first year for which data is available. Other teams have used this formula before. Most notably, Jacksonville last season was able to get to the AFC championship game and field one of the best defenses in football while ranking second in sacks and last in blitzes. Chicago’s defense is 7.6 points better than average this season, according to Pro-Football-Reference’s Defensive Simple Rating System. That’s the franchise’s best mark since the 1985 and 1986 campaigns, when the Bears went a combined 29-3 and won a Super Bowl.Blitz-less defenses aren’t always dominant; the 2006 Indianapolis Colts blitzed the least of any team for which data is available and were the fourth-worst defense in the AFC. But Chicago’s defense is dominating, leading the league in Football Outsiders’ Defense-adjusted Value Over Average,2DVOA is a statistic that “measures a team’s efficiency by comparing success on every single play to a league average based on situation and opponent.” while ranking no lower than third in pass and rush defense.This weekend, Chicago travels to Miami to take on a Dolphins outfit missing several offensive linemen, setting the stage for more defensive highlights from the Bears. A franchise long synonymous with hard-nosed defense and strong play from the linebacker corps has re-established its identity under Fangio.Check out our latest NFL predictions. This is in no small part a function of the Bears’ new $141 million linebacker. Khalil Mack, who became the highest paid defensive player in NFL history after the Bears traded for him last month, is tied for fifth in the NFL in sacks (five) and tied for first in forced fumbles (four). In terms of pressure applied, Mack is ahead of the pace he set in 2016 when he was named defensive player of the year. In Week 3 of this season, during the Bears’ 16-14 win over Arizona, the Cardinals went as far as tasking three men with containing Mack. Late in the second quarter, after Mack beat every last one of those Cardinals, his teammate Akiem Hicks swooped in for the sack.Mack is not only a transcendent talent capable of getting to the quarterback on seemingly every snap; his play has also raised the performance of his teammates. Mack, Hicks, Danny Trevathan, Aaron Lynch and Roy Robertson-Harris have accounted for at least 1.5 sacks apiece this season. “Those boys inside can raise so much hell, it’s outrageous,” said hell-raiser Richard Dent, a Hall of Fame defensive end and a member of the vaunted 1985-86 Bears defense, in an interview with The Athletic.Blitzing requires a defensive player to eschew coverage in favor of pressure. Like so many other aspects of football, the blitz is a risk-reward proposition. Get to the quarterback quickly enough, and the play is over — and you may have even created a takeaway. Get to the quarterback a step late, and he will likely find a target in the hole you’ve left.Leaguewide, blitzing is trending down, largely because the game has gotten faster and offensive efficiency continues to skyrocket. It seems that defensive coordinators are content to send fewer pass rushers at the quarterback and instead rely on their secondary in coverage. In four consecutive seasons, the number of blitzes faced by quarterbacks has dropped, according to data from ESPN Stats & Information. Opposing quarterbacks saw a 17 percent decrease from 2013 to 2017 in total five-man blitzes.Long a proponent of blitz-scarce schemes, Fangio oversees an optimal situation in Chicago, where the Bears largely abstain from blitzing — yet they still manage to get to the quarterback.“I think the ideal thing is you’d like to pressure when you want to and not feel like you have to,” Fangio told The Athletic. “If you can get to that point, then you feel pretty good.”Fangio was well ahead of the trend of blitz-less defenses. He has held an NFL defensive coordinator role each season since 2011, when he took that job with the San Francisco 49ers, and over that stretch, his defenses have always been among the league’s most blitz-reluctant outfits.
Ohio State redshirt sophomore running back Mike Weber (25) runs the ball in the first half in the game against Illinois on Nov. 18. Ohio State won 52-14. Credit: Jack Westerheide | Photo EditorJust about everything that could have gone right for No. 9 Ohio State (9-2, 7-1 Big Ten) went right. The Buckeyes steamrolled Illinois (2-9, 0-8 Big Ten) 52-14 Saturday in Ohio Stadium. This was the final home game for the 19 Ohio State seniors, and the Buckeyes’ final test before traveling on the road to face No. 24 Michigan.5 – Illinois first downs. Ohio State dominated in nearly all facets of the game Saturday, and it showed in the offensive numbers put up by Illinois. The Fighting Illini offense was unable to get anything going all day, and it took until there was just 3:37 left in the second half for Illinois to come up with a first down. All told, the Fighting Illini were able to muster just five first downs in the game. Ohio State’s defense was suffocating, and the inaccuracy of Illinois’ quarterback did not help. Quarterback Chayce Crouch was just 4-for-14 and had five (counting) incomplete passes on third down tries, contributing to the 8 percent third-down conversion rating. The weather also contributed to the struggles of the Fighting Illini, affecting multiple receivers who dropped third-down passes. Though holding the Illini to few first downs, Ohio State’s defensive strength was just as responsible as Illinois’ offensive futility. 18:05 – Time spent by J.T. Barrett under center. On his senior day, quarterback J.T. Barrett spent a total of 18:05 playing quarterback for Ohio State. He was in the game for all of the first quarter, two full drives in the second quarter and two in the third quarter when he was subbed back in for the backups. Ohio State had possession of the ball for 37:16 in the game.Barrett’s final game in the ‘Shoe was exactly how many expected it would be: a blowout victory and early curtain call. The only reason Barrett returned at all for the third quarter was because backup quarterback Dwayne Haskins fumbled the football and saw the defense return it for a touchdown. Barrett then came out, had a three-and-out and then regained possession of the ball when Illinois muffed the punt. It was an early and expected hook for the three-time captain in a blowout as he attempts to stay healthy for Ohio State’s matchup against Michigan. He finished the game going 11-for-19 with 141 passing yards, two touchdowns. He added 33 rushing yards on five carries and a touchdown. 4 – Ohio State rushing touchdowns. Ohio State put up its most impressive rushing display of the season last game against Michigan State with 335 yards on 42 carries and four touchdowns. Though the Buckeyes did not have quite that much success against the Illini, its 325 rushing yards were good for second-most this season and the four rushing touchdowns were tied for the most. While a lot of the rushing yardage came toward the end, when Ohio State was just trying to run out the clock, the rushing touchdowns for Ohio State in the first half were more the product of a team relying on its biggest offensive strength. Redshirt sophomore running back Mike Weber punched in two on the ground in the first quarter, Barrett also had one in the first and freshman running back J.K. Dobbins had one in the second quarter. This was the second consecutive game where even in meaningful minutes, Ohio State relied heavily on its running backs once again for the majority of its offensive production, and the offensive line was able to provide the backs with the space to run. Ohio State seems to have found where its offense has the most success, and heading into a matchup against two of the best rushing defenses in the nation in Michigan and Wisconsin, it will need to hope the offensive line holds up against a pair of potent pass-rushes.55 – Illinois penalty yards. When it rains, it pours. And for Illinois, the rain was just the struggles to keep up with the gap in talent between the two teams. But so often, Ohio State poured it on the Illini by their penalties committed. Illinois had two penalties that resulted in the Ohio State offense receiving a first down, three penalties that pushed its own offense back and two on special teams. When it was all said and done, Illinois had a total of 55 penalty yards on seven penalties. For most of the season, Ohio State has been the team that has been penalized. Ohio State’s 72.2 penalty yards per game were the 10th-most by any team in the nation heading into the game. While the Buckeyes ultimately finished with more penalty yardage (68) and the same number of penalties, Ohio State’s advantage in talent helped minimize the damage felt by its penalties. The lack of discipline by Illinois was not the difference maker in the game, but it certainly did not help an already overmatched Illinois team.100 – Dwayne Haskins all-purpose yards. Ohio State was ahead by so much that it was able to send backup quarterback Dwayne Haskins into the game in the second quarter to get some playing time. And while he could not get anything going during his first two drives and fumbled on his third, he quickly turned things around and finished the game with 100 all-purpose yards, 77 through the air and 23 on the ground.Haskins was just one of three Ohio State quarterbacks to play in the game — he received the second-most playing time — but he still fell just 6 yards shy of surpassing the total yardage of the entire Illinois offense. His performance was far from perfect, but even he was able to lead Ohio State to more offensive success on just his small handful of drives than the Illinois’ offense was able to produce the entire game.
John L. Mone/APCardinal Daniel DiNardo, of the Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.All eyes have been on the Catholic Church recently, following a 1,356-page Pennsylvania grand-jury report from last month that exposed sex abuse among the state’s priests.The leader of the U.S. Conference of Catholic Bishops, Cardinal Daniel DiNardo, met with the Pope on Thursday to discuss the scandal—but while he was on his way to Rome a new scandal erupted, this one in his own Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston.The Associated Press (AP) broke the story on Wednesday, reporting that police in Conroe, which is located in Montgomery County, had arrested a priest named Manuel Larosa-Lopez. The AP reported that Larosa-Lopez is accused of fondling two people years ago when they were teenagers and when he was a priest at Conroe’s Sacred Heart Catholic Church.On Thursday, News 88.7 talked with one of those alleged victims, who requested not to be identified by name. The victim said that he met with DiNardo last month to discuss his abuse in Conroe, but he left the meeting fuming.“The response at the end of the interview and everything from the Cardinal was that, ‘Well, you should’ve told us earlier, or you should’ve told us sooner.’ And I was like… are you kidding me? You have no idea what my life has been,” the victim said. “I wasn’t there, I wasn’t mentally prepared for that.”The Archdiocese of Galveston-Houston issued a statement acknowledging it was aware that allegations had been made against the priest by another victim as early as 2001. The Archdiocese said it reported the allegations to the state’s Child Protective Services.Last month, before the Conroe allegations became public, Cardinal DiNardo spoke to the Catholic TV Network EWTN about clergy sex abuse. He was asked to speak directly to survivors of such abuse.“To all of you, my profound repentance and sorrow for what you have experienced,” DiNardo said. “We need to together grow as a church, first in repentance then in our desire and in our action to move ahead where no one in the Church is subject to what you were subject to.”Critics worry that DiNardo and the rest of the Catholic Church will never do enough. One of the Church’s most vocal critics in Houston is Michael Norris, who was sexually abused at 10 years old by a priest in Kentucky. Today, Norris lives in Houston and serves as head of the Houston chapter of the Survivors Network of those Abused by Priests, commonly known as SNAP.Norris said that the grand-jury report in Pennsylvania gave him new hope.“I really think that we’ve turned a corner,” he said. “What I saw in Pennsylvania—this is different. The fact that the civil authorities are finally investigating and digging and subpoenaing… You can’t trust the Church. The Church will not share what’s happened. They’re not transparent. They refuse to be transparent. So, having the civil authorities dig and find all this, that’s great.”Norris said he is trying to generate public pressure on Texas, specifically on Attorney General Ken Paxton, to do what a growing number of other states have done—launch a state investigation of the Catholic Church.Houston Matters’ Maggie Martin interviewed Nomaan Merchant, the AP reporter who is working on the story about the allegations in Conroe.Merchant said the two alleged victims “said that they wanted to call attention to what they felt was Cardinal DiNardo’s inaction in taking their allegations seriously.”The attention sexual abuse in the Catholic Church has been receiving recently with the release of a grand jury report in Pennsylvania , as well as the resignation of Washington, D.C.’s Archbishop Theodore McCarrick, were also motivating factors for both persons, according to the reporter.Merchant thinks the story could continue unfolding. “There could be other people that come forward,” he said. “There could be more that comes out of what Cardinal DiNardo said in meetings with people who accused Father Manuel of abuse before the arrest.” Share
Autism Awarenesse WeeksDurkan calls on the public to support ‘Autism Awareness Week’FOYLE MLAMark H DurkanSDLP ShareTweet “However, there is quite some way to go in regard to providing faster turn-around times for ASD diagnosis and improved support models pre and post diagnosis.“In order to that we need to involve the experts; by introducing the narrative of autistic individuals and their families we can create services which best support their needs from childhood right through to adulthood. “When you meet one person with autism, you meet one person with autism – needs and complexities vary on an individual basis and this must be reflected in the types of support services we provide.”He continued: “I would urge the public to show their support this week, to educate themselves on what it means to be autistic – the daily challenges people living with autism face and how that impacts on their ability to do things most people take for granted. SDLP Health Spokesperson Mark H Durkan has called on the public to support ‘Autism Awareness Week’ (1st-7th April) which aims to raise awareness and increase public understanding of autism.The Foyle MLA said: “Autism Awareness Week is the perfect opportunity not only to raise awareness but to challenge our perceived notions of what it means to be autistic. “Slowly but surely public campaigns are increasing awareness which is reflected in the exponential rise in autism diagnoses. “By doing so, together we can build a more understanding and inclusive society that works for everyone,” added the SDLP health spokesperson.Durkan calls on the public to support ‘Autism Awareness Week’ was last modified: April 3rd, 2019 by John2John2 Tags:
Freegold Ventures Limited is a North American gold exploration company with three gold projects in Alaska. Current projects include Golden Summit, Vinasale and Rob. Both Vinasale and Golden Summit host NI 43-101 Compliant Resource Calculations. The 2012 exploration program includes additional drilling on both Golden Summit and Vinasale. An updated NI 43-101 resource was calculated on Golden Summit in December 2011 and using a 0.35 g/t cutoff is 14,840,000 tonnes @0.66 g/t Au – hosts 316,000 ounces in the indicated category and 50,0460,000 tonnes @0.61 g/t Au – hosts 991,000 ounces in the inferred category. Drilling has been underway on this road accessible project since mid January. To date over 36,000 feet have been drilled since January on the project, of which 30,000 feet have been aimed at resource expansion. Drilling remains ongoing. An updated NI 43-101 is expected to be completed in Q3. Additional drilling is also underway on Vinasale. Vinasale currently hosts recently updated NI 43-101 resource calculation of 49,320,000 mt @1.09 g/t for a total of 1,735,000 contained gold ounces in the inferred category using a 0.5 g/t cutoff. Please visit our website for more information. Sponsor Advertisement All we can hope for is that we’ve covered all the bases in our own personal efforts to protect ourselves from what lies ahead.Gold got sold off about ten bucks during the morning trading session in the Far East. But the bottom was in by 1:00 p.m. Hong Kong time…and the gold price crawled higher from there until the jobs numbers were released at 8:30 a.m. in New York. The rest, as they say, is history.Gold blasted thirty dollars higher in about fifteen minutes…and this had all the hallmarks of a short-covering rally. Once that was done, the gold price worked its way higher from there until it ran out of gas…or into a not-for-profit seller…about ten minutes before London closed for the weekend. From there it more or less traded sideways into the 5:15 p.m. Eastern close.Gold finished the Friday trading session at $1,735.50 spot up $34.20 spot. Volume was an absolutely gargantuan 230,000 contracts.The silver chart looks the same as the gold chart, so I’ll spare you the play-by-play on that. Silver’s low tick [under $32.00 spot] came during the Hong Kong lunch hour…and the high tick [$33.80 spot] came shortly before the Comex close in New York.Silver closed up 98 cents at $33.69 spot…but had an intraday move of 5.5%. Volume was way up there at 57,000 contracts.The dollar index opened at 81.12…and began to slide lower starting at the open of London trading. The real decline began at 8:30 a.m. in New York…and by 10:40 a.m. most of the decline was in…and the dollar more or less traded sideways into the close. The dollar index finished the Friday trading session at 80.17…down 96 basis points, or 1.23%.Gold and silver prices were almost the inverse of the move in the dollar index…but to say that there was an exact relationship between the two is a bit of a stretch.The gold stocks gapped higher at the open…moved a bit higher from there…and only sold off a hair into the close. The HUI finished up 2.77%.Despite the big move in silver yesterday, the stocks didn’t do as well as one would expect…and a few actually finished down on the day here in Canada, with Silver Standard Resources being the most prominent…although a few junior producers put in a first-class showing. But, overall, I was underwhelmed. I felt the same with Thursday’s silver stock price action as well. But, having said all that, Nick Laird’s Silver Sentiment Index closed up 2.99%.(Click on image to enlarge)The CME’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 23 gold and 3 silver contracts were posted for delivery on Tuesday. Nothing to see here.For the second day in a row, there were no reported changes in either GLD or SLV. One can only imagine just how much metal is owed to both these ETFs…especially SLV. I’m sure that the authorized participants were forced to short the shares again both Thursday and yesterday.In an e-mail from Nick Laird in the wee hours of this morning, he informed me that Sprott did an offering on their Physical Gold Trust…and added 172,270 troy ounces of gold to it yesterday…along with another 89,848 troy ounces of silver to PSLV. I have more on Sprott’s gold offering in the ‘Critical Reads’ section further down.The U.S. Mint had a sales report yesterday. They sold 4,000 ounces of gold eagles…1,000 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes…and 304,000 silver eagles. For the first four business days of September, the mint has sold 10,500 ounces of gold eagles…1,500 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes…and 679,000 silver eagles. The silver/gold ratio based on these sales is just a bit under 57 to 1.It was a rather quiet day over at the Comex-approved depositories on Thursday. They reported receiving 600,848 troy ounces of silver…and shipped a smallish 30,599 ounces of the stuff out the door. The link to that activity is here.Here’s a rather interesting chart that Nick Laird sent me early this morning…and the chart title says it all. The ‘click to enlarge’ feature comes in handy here.(Click on image to enlarge)For the second week in a row, the Commitment of Traders Report was not happy reading. The Commercial net short position increased by another 6,346 contracts, or 31.7 million ounces. Ted Butler said that JPMorgan went short an additional 4,000 contracts…and the raptors sold another 1,000 long positions…and the rest of the increase was spread related. The Commercial net short position now stands at 224.6 million ounces.The ‘big 4’ shorts in the Commercial category are short 210.9 million ounces of silver…and the ‘5 through 8’ big shorts add another 40.6 million ounces. In total, the ‘Big 8’ are short 251.5 million ounces of silver.On a net basis, the ‘big 4’ are short 43.0% of the entire Comex futures market…and the ‘5 through 8’ add another 8.3 percentage points to that total. Adding it up, eight traders are short 51.3% of the entire Comex futures market in silver.Ted said that JPMorgan’s short position is now 26,000 contracts [130 million ounces] at a minimum…and that represents 26.3% of the entire Comex futures market in silver. Ted was incensed…and you should be as well, dear reader. One trader holding such a position is outrageous beyond belief. The CFTC and CME should be doing the perp walk for this…along with Jamie Dimon at JPMorgan.In gold, the Commercial net short position increased another chunky 15,762 contracts, or 1.56 million ounces. Ted Butler said that all of the increase was the ‘Big 4’ traders going short against all comers. The Commercial net short position now sits at 21.94 million ounces.The ‘big 4’ traders are short 11.51 million ounces of gold…and the ‘5 through 8’ traders are short an additional 5.29 million ounces. The ‘big 8’ are short 16.8 million ounces of gold, or 76.6% of the Commercial net short position.On a net basis, once you subtract the market-neutral spread trades out of the Non-Commercial category, the ‘big 4’ are short 27.7% of the entire Comex futures market in gold…and the ‘5 through 8’ are short an additional 12.7 percentage points. Straight addition shows that the ‘Big 8’ are short 40.4% of the entire Comex futures market in gold.Without doubt, the situation has deteriorated significantly once you consider the price action during the Friday trading session in both silver and gold.Here’s Nick Laird’s “Days of World Production to Cover Short Contracts“. Over two thirds of the red bar in silver is JPMorgan’s short position. At 26,000 Comex futures contracts…130 million ounces…that’s about 65 days of world silver production. The tiny difference between the red and green bar in silver, is the short position of the ‘5 through 8’ largest traders. It’s easy to see that the bulk of the short position in silver is held by only four traders…and almost all of that is held by JPMorgan.(Click on image to enlarge)It should come as no surprise, that the September Bank Participation Report, which is derived from the same data set as yesterday’s Commitment of Traders Report, was pretty ugly as well. During the prior month, the 4 U.S. banks that hold Comex futures contracts in the silver market, increased their short position by 8,295 Comex futures contracts…and I’m guessing that most of that amount would have been JPMorgan.The BPR states that these four U.S. banks are now net short 28,760 Comex silver contracts…29.3% of the entire Comex futures market. Don’t forget that Ted figures that JPMorgan is short 26,000 Comex silver contracts on its own, so that doesn’t leave too many short positions left to be divided up between the other three U.S. banks in this category, now does it?Reader E.W.F…who sends me a complete set of COT charts based on the Disaggregated Commitment of Traders Report made the following comment…”The U.S. bank net short position in silver hasn’t been this large since 11/2/2010, the day before QE2 was announced.”The 13 non-U.S. banks that hold Comex futures positions in the silver market were net long 828 Comex futures contracts in silver in the August report, but in the September report, they now are net short 2,801 contracts…a swing of 3,629 contracts in one month, but only 215 Comex contracts per bank on average, which is a rounding error in the grand scheme of things…especially when JPM is short 26,000 Comex silver contracts on its own.So, in one month, the world’s banks have increased their short position in the Comex silver futures market by 11,924 contracts…or 59.6 million ounces of silver. But it’s still a “Made in the U.S.A. by JPMorgan” silver price management scheme from top to bottom.In gold the situation is just about as egregious. The 4 U.S. banks that hold Comex futures contracts are now net short 84,583 contracts, or 8.46 million ounces…an increase of 26,894 contracts [2.69 million ounces] from the August Bank Participation Report.The 20 non-U.S. banks are short 53,434 Comex contracts in gold…5.34 million ounces, an increase of 12,861 contracts [1.29 million ounces] since the August BPR.On a net basis, the 4 U.S. banks are short 20.3% of the entire Comex futures market…and the 20 non-U.S. banks are short 12.8%…making the grand total 33.1% of the entire Comex futures market in gold.The short positions in gold are much more spread out between all the world’s banks…but in silver, it’s all U.S.A…and virtually all JPMorgan.Reader Scott Pluschau has posted commentary over at his Internet site headlined “Bull Pennant” forms as the “Triangle” target gets nailed in Gold…and the link is here.With some ruthless editing on my part, I managed to keep the number of stories down to a reasonable level, so I hope you have the time to at least skim them all over what’s left of the weekend.I have a couple of musical selections for you today. I’m sure you’ve heard the term ‘child prodigy’ a few times in your life. Gifted children can be a blessing…and a curse. Having spent eleven years on the board of directors of the Edmonton Symphony Orchestra, I’ve met quite a few of various ages…and abilities.But this four year old piano prodigy is something else. His playing skills are only limited by the fact that his hands are too small to play any chord larger than three or four notes…and full octaves are still a long way off in this child’s life…but the gift this little boy has should be obvious to anyone…and he’s already a little showman to boot!I ran the video past reader George Miladin, who is a world-class pianist in his own right…and he, like me, was totally blown away. I thank Roy Stephens for sending me this video last night…and it’s certainly worth your time. It runs for 3:53 minutes…and the link is here.Today’s ‘blast from the past’ is a 1970’s classic by a group that I’m sure just about everyone on Planet Earth has heard at one time or another in their lives. The story behind the group’s name is amazing…and the link to one of their many hits from that era, is here. While I’m at it, here’s another.Well, there weren’t too many shades of grey yesterday, as it was up, up, up and away for gold and silver on the jobs report. But, on the flip-side of all that fun, was the fact that except for some early short covering, JPMorgan et al were the not-for-profit sellers again and, without doubt the Commitment of Traders Report will be even uglier when it comes out next Friday.Of course, there’s still that possibility they could be over run this time around…and there’s a very long list of people that would love to see that happen. My name is near the top.There’s not a person out there, including this writer, that really knows how this will all unfold in the short term…but one way or another, sooner or later, this will all end up like the London Gold Pool of the 1960s…and that’s very badly if your a bullion bank massively short the gold and silver markets. And there’s a very special place reserved in hell for the big silver shorts.But they certainly won’t give up without a fight…and there’s nothing meaner than a cornered ‘junk-yard dog’…and I’m sure that Jamie Dimon and the CME Group will leave no stone unturned in their frantic efforts to avoid a melt-down of their respective companies…and a melt-up in the precious metal prices.The problems with the mining industry in South Africa have not gone away…and will probably get much worse before they get any better. This is just another straw piled on the camel’s back as far as the bullion banks are concerned…along with imminent and ongoing debasement of world currencies as the various central banks try to fix an international solvency problem via the printing press.As everyone with two synapse to rub together already knows…you can’t borrow your way out of debt, or spend your way to prosperity…but this is precisely what they are attempting to do.Here’s a graph the Nick Laird sent me yesterday. You may recall the very recent stories about India trying to curb its citizens’ never-ending demand for gold. Well, if you look at the chart of their currency vs. the yellow metal, it’s obvious why they prefer it over their central bank’s crappy paper…and it won’t be too much longer before all the world’s currencies have a chart that looks similar.(Click on image to enlarge)As I’ve said a couple of times already this week…all we can hope for is that we’ve covered all the bases in our own personal efforts to protect ourselves from what lies ahead. I’m still ‘all in’…with fingers crossed.I’m off to bed. See you on Tuesday.
The dollar index closed in New York late Thursday afternoon at 79.73. It’s low of the day [79.69] came at 2:30 p.m. Hong Kong time. The subsequent rally ran out of gas at 79.99 just before 8 a.m. in New York. By 11:30 a.m. EDT, the index had declined by 10 points, but from there it rallied up to a hair over 80.15 before trading basically flat into the close. The dollar index finished up 42 basis points at 80.15.The gold stocks opened in the black, but got sold down into the red as gold hit its 10:30 a.m. low tick in New York. They struggled back to almost unchanged during the next hour of trading, but never got a sniff of positive territory again for the remainder of the day. The HUI closed down 0.45%.It was the same chart pattern for silver stocks right up until the 10:30 a.m. low tick for that metal. The subsequent rally off that low ended back in positive territory, and the silver equities stayed there right up until almost the end before closing down the smallest amount possible. Nick Laird’s Intraday Silver Sentiment Index closed down a miniscule 0.01%.The CME’s Daily Delivery Report showed that 84 gold and zero silver contracts were posted for delivery within the Comex-approved depositories on Tuesday, and it was all the usual crooks as issuers and stoppers. The short/issuer on all 84 contracts was Canada’s Bank of Nova Scotia. HSBC USA stopped 59 contracts, and JPMorgan Chase stopped the rest. The link to yesterday’s Issuers and Stoppers Report is here.There were no reported change in either GLD or SLV.It’s been mid-September since I’d heard from the folks over at Switzerland’s Zürcher Kantonalbank. But I finally received an e-mail update from them yesterday for Monday, September 30. They reported small declines in both their gold and silver ETFs. Their gold ETF declined by 17,176 troy ounces, and their silver ETF by 51,955 troy ounces.The U.S. Mint had a tiny sales report yesterday, they sold 2,000 one-ounce 24K gold buffaloes, and that was all.Over at the Comex-approved depositories on Thursday, they reported shipping out 35,808 troy ounces of the stuff for parts unknown. All of it came out of the vaults over at HSBC USA. The link to that activity is here.In silver, these same depositories shipped out 385,368 troy ounces, and didn’t report receiving any. The link to that action is here.With no Commitment of Traders Report or Bank Participation Report yesterday, this column is going to be a little on the skinny side.I don’t have a huge number of stories for you, and I hope you have enough time over what’s left of your weekend to read everything of interest to you.The revenue to silver exporting countries is set by the same illicit pricing mechanism on the COMEX that is bedeviling silver investors, because the COMEX sets the price for silver worldwide, by means of HFT computer scams and JPMorgan’s short market corner. Mexico, Peru, Australia, Russia, Poland, Bolivia and Chile, among other silver exporting nations have been shortchanged by JPMorgan ever since the bank inherited its concentrated short position and market corner from Bear Stearns in 2008. Making it worse is that the US, as a big silver importer (net 150 million oz), has profited from the crooked pricing on the COMEX as a country, adding credence to the allegation from many that the US Government is involved in the manipulation. – Silver analyst Ted Butler, 02 October 2013Today’s pop “blast from the past,” two actually, are from a British group that didn’t stay together long enough to make it to the big time in North America, but their music was immensely popular back in the mid-1960s. Two of their biggest hits are linked here and here. I know I’ve posted these before, but it’s been a couple of years. Enjoy.Today’s classical “blast from the past” is another well-known symphonic work that sees a lot of air time in concert halls the world over, and is another one of those performances that recordings never really do justice to. But this recording comes close. It’s Rimsky-Korsakov‘s masterpiece “Scheherazade: Op. 35“, an orchestral suite he composed back in 1888. This particular youtube.com video is recorded with High Definition picture quality, with an audio track to match. So put it on full screen, turn up the audio, and then click here.Another day, and another appearance by a not-for-profit seller the moment that prices spiked early yesterday morning in New York. As I’ve said on numerous occasions, I wonder why JPMorgan et al don’t just hire a brass band to march up and down Wall Street in advance of their engineered price declines as it’s oh-so obvious, except to the willfully blind of course.And I carefully noted that, once again, silver wasn’t allowed to close over the $22 spot price mark, and it’s 50-day moving average. This makes 10 days in a row. Here’s the 30-day chart once again.You have to wonder why the silver miners aren’t up in arms about this obvious price rigging, along with the massive short-side corner that JPMorgan et al have had in the silver market since 2008.One of the reasons is The Silver Institute. It’s always loaded with mining company executives and other members whose sole purpose is to make sure that these questions never get asked.For instance; can you imagine any silver mining company executive vying for the job of President of that organization on the platform that he was going to get to the bottom of this JPMorgan price fixing scheme? He wouldn’t have a chance. All presidents, current and past, sold out to the dark side of The Force years ago, or they would never have been asked to join, let alone serve.Here’s their list of their members just so you can see who is on the list of silver companies that are actively working against your best interests, and it’s a depressing read. I note that even the CME Group is a member. All any one of the members has to do is ask the CME Group why they’re allowing JPMorgan Chase to hold a short-side corner in the Comex futures market in silver for over 5 years. But no one has obviously got the gonads to do that.You couldn’t make this stuff up.I’m done for the day, and the week.Before heading off to bed, I’d like to point out something that you’re probably already aware of, and that’s the pre-show promotion of the Casey Research 2013 Summit Audio Collection. The Summit itself started yesterday and ends on Sunday, October 6. The pre-show pricing will be valid until the product is ready to ship, which will be a few days after the show is over. All you need to know about this offer is linked here, and there’s no cost to you just to check it out, which I urge you to do.See you on Tuesday. You have to wonder why the silver miners aren’t up in arms about this obvious price riggingThe gold price traded in a tight five dollar range through all of Far East trading, and then right up until 12:30 p.m. in London. During the next 30 minutes, the price got smacked for about ten bucks. Then at 1 p.m. BST, which was 8 a.m. in New York, the price took off skyward like a homesick angel until about 10 minutes or so after the Comex open. Then the not-for-profit sellers put in an appearance. That rally was the high of the day at $1,326.30 spot. Then gold got sold down to its low of the day [$1,305.50 spot] shortly before 10:30 a.m. EDT. After that it spent the rest of the New York session struggling to gain back a few dollars of its losses.Gold finished the Friday session at $1,311.20 spot, down $5.50 from Thursday. Net volume was pretty light at around 111,000 contracts.It was more or less the same for silver, so I’ll spare you the details. The low of the day for silver [around $21.45 spot] came shortly after 1 p.m. in London. The high tick came 30 minutes later in Comex trading, and Kitco recorded that as $22.02 spot.After the 10:30 a.m. Comex low, silver also struggled higher into the 5:15 p.m. EDT electronic close. Every rally attempt, no matter how tiny, got dealt with in the usual manner.Silver managed to close in the plus column, but only by 4.5 cents, finishing the Friday session at $21.74 spot. Net volume was only 28,500 contracts.Here’s the New York Spot Silver [Bid] chart on its own, so you can see the price action there in more detail.The price action in both platinum and palladium was a derivative of the price action in both gold and silver. Here are the charts, so you can check it out for yourself.
The country’s largest disability charities have been accused of “selling out” disabled people, as they look set to play a significant role in providing back-to-work services under the government’s new Work and Health Programme.Disability News Service (DNS) has contacted seven of the largest disability charities – most of which are not user-led – and none of them has ruled out seeking contracts from the Department for Work and Pensions (DWP).Disabled activists say this means the charities will be unable to campaign effectively on welfare reform, because of the size of contracts on offer.All seven – the group that in past years were known as the “big seven” disability charities – insist that any contracts they win from the government will have no impact on their campaigning work, including whether they speak up about social security reform, including cuts to disability benefits and back-to-work policies for disabled people.But their generally supportive responses to the government’s work, health and disability green paper – which was published on 31 October – could suggest otherwise.One of the seven – Mind – has already been caught lying about its interest in seeking DWP contracts under the Work and Health Programme.Paul Farmer, Mind’s chief executive, told protesters on 31 October (pictured) that the charity had “no contracts with DWP” and that he was “not interested in future contracts at this stage”.His lies were exposed when a disgruntled employee leaked internal documents showing that Mind was applying to join a DWP framework that would allow it to bid for contracts.Last month, the charity’s policy and campaigns manager, Tom Pollard, joined DWP on secondment as a senior policy adviser.Asked whether winning DWP contracts would impact on its campaigning work, Mind told DNS last week that it “always speaks out about the issues that we believe impact on people with mental health problems, and we don’t enter into financial relationships which would prevent us from doing this”.The DNS investigation comes as the Charity Commission confirmed that it has written to Mind’s trustees following a complaint about the charity’s close links with the government – and about Farmer’s lies – by Dr Minh Alexander, an NHS whistleblower and former consultant psychiatrist.She told the commission that she was “concerned that Mind’s independence has been compromised through collaboration with the government which goes beyond constructive joint working”.A Charity Commission spokesman told DNS: “The Charity Commission can confirm that a concern was raised with us regarding the charity Mind.“The commission is in correspondence with the trustees to highlight the concern and to request more information.“We have provided the trustees with the appropriate guidance and we are awaiting a response which we will consider in due course.”But there are also concerns about the future independence of the other six charities.Leonard Cheshire Disability said that it already provides services under the government’s Work Choice programme, but refused to say if it was seeking contracts under the Work and Health Programme, or if any such contract would impact on its campaigning work.RNIB said that it was “exploring” possible involvement in the Work and Health Programme as a “specialist sub-contractor”, although only if any programme was “entirely voluntary” because “we don’t support the sanctioning of individuals’ benefits if they do not attend a programme”.An RNIB spokeswoman said: “We will continue to represent and campaign on behalf of people with sight loss as part of our constructive dialogue with the DWP.”Action on Hearing Loss said that it “may consider DWP contracts in the future”, but denied that this would impact on its campaigning work.Scope said that it had “yet to make a decision regarding upcoming opportunities to deliver employment support but hope to make an announcement in the new year”.A Scope spokeswoman said: “We have been and will continue to speak out on the issues that matter to disabled people.“We believe that the work capability assessment is fundamentally flawed and doesn’t accurately identify the barriers disabled people face in entering or staying in work and will continue to speak out against this.”Disability Rights UK (DR UK) said it was too early to say if it would bid for contracts, but if it did “it would likely be in partnership with other disabled people’s organisations”, and that it would “never compromise on being able to speak out about issues of welfare reform”.Mencap’s head of employment, Mark Capper, said the charity was “disappointed” to see that the framework for the main contracts “appears to favour large businesses rather than third sector providers who can offer specialised support”, and that it would not want to be involved “unless significant changes were made to involve third sector providers”.But a Mencap spokesman said the charity “may” consider smaller contracts “if we believe they will allow third sector providers to support people with a learning disability into employment”.Capper said that Mencap wanted to “ensure disabled people receive the support they need to realise their ambitions, and that the government meets its commitment to halve the employment gap experienced by disabled people”.He added: “Whether this is achieved by working with the government or speaking out against them when we believe they are failing, we will continue to do both.”But Disabled People Against Cuts (DPAC) dismissed the suggestion that the charities would speak out strongly against DWP if they won multi-million pound contracts under the new programme.Linda Burnip, DPAC co-founder, said: “It is clear to everyone that organisations taking money from the government to provide services of any kind will not be in a position to campaign in any effective way against the policies on welfare reform.“These contracts are rumoured to be worth between £2 million and £30 million and once part of propping up the system, any independence to criticise it will be lost.“It is shameful that organisations supposedly existing to benefit disabled people are willing to sell them out in such an abhorrent way.”Freedom of information responses secured by DNS show that six of the “big seven” were invited to DWP’s national launch of its green paper, while the seventh – Scope – hosted the event. Five of the six, plus Scope, attended the event.The freedom of information response also shows that the government’s guest list of 79 organisations included just six disabled people’s user-led organisations, five of which, including DR UK, attended the launch event.The green paper includes the possibility that DWP could in future force all sick and disabled people on out-of-work disability benefits to take part in “mandatory” activity, including those in the employment and support allowance (ESA) support group.But despite this measure – and the horrified response from many disabled people – the reactions of the “big seven” to the green paper last month were generally positive.Scope even welcomed the green paper’s publication in DWP’s own press release, allowing work and pensions secretary Damian Green to claim in the House of Commons that criticism of the government’s plans was “completely out of touch with those who represent disabled people”.Leonard Cheshire Disability also welcomed the green paper, and said the government had taken “an important first step towards reducing the disability employment gap”.RNIB said it welcomed the government’s “aim to tackle the barriers that disabled people face in employment”, although it said that “the proof of the pudding will be in the eating”.Action on Hearing Loss – formerly RNID – also welcomed the green paper, praising the “collaborative focus of the Department of Work and Pensions and the Department of Health on integrated support for work and health”.The other three charities were more critical, although none of them could be said to have attacked the green paper.Disability Rights UK criticised elements of the green paper, pointing to its failure to announce any new incentives or requirements on employers, calling for more enforcement of the Equality Act, and warning that the government appeared to be cutting funding for employment support.Mencap welcomed much of the green paper but was critical of the planned £30-a-week cuts to ESA, and said that the possible changes to the support group “could cause deep concern to sick and disabled people”.Mind also welcomed parts of the green paper but, like Mencap, was critical of the support group measure, while it also criticised the government’s failure to consider “a fundamental rethink of the way conditionality and sanctions are used”.
The Department of Health (DH) has refused to say why it failed to warn NHS bodies and other local services that claimants of out-of-work disability benefits are at a hugely-increased risk of attempting to take their own lives.DH published the latest version of its national suicide prevention strategy in January this year.The strategy was published four months after NHS Digital produced the results of its Adult Psychiatric Morbidity Survey (APMS), which showed that more than 43 per cent of claimants of employment and support allowance (ESA) had said (when asked in 2014) that they had attempted suicide at some point in their lives.But the suicide prevention strategy fails to mention these figures or to highlight ESA claimants as a high-risk group, even though it briefly mentions Department for Work and Pensions (DWP) guidance for dealing with ESA claimants who may be at risk of suicide or self-harm.This week, a DH spokeswoman refused to explain why the figures were not mentioned in the strategy or why ESA claimants were not highlighted as a group at particularly high risk of suicide.Instead, she said: “As I know you’ve discussed with the DWP, suicide is a very complex issue, so it would be wrong to link it solely to anyone’s benefit claim.“There is clear guidance in place for DWP staff members to follow if a claimant expresses a desire to self-harm, to ensure the claimant receives appropriate care and support.“We updated the National Suicide Prevention Strategy to strengthen delivery of its key areas for action to reduce suicides. “This includes ensuring that every local area has a suicide prevention plan in place by the end of the year to ensure that all local services are working together to implement tailored approaches to reducing suicide in their communities. “Good suicide prevention plans include action to address the wider determinants of suicide risk including unemployment and living with long-term conditions or disabilities.”The DH refusal to explain its failure to highlight ESA claimants in its suicide prevention strategy comes as Disability News Service this week publishes new figures (see separate story) which show that the proportion of people claiming the main out-of-work disability benefit who have attempted suicide doubled between 2007 and 2014.The figures show that in 2007 – a year before the introduction of the much-criticised work capability assessment, which tests eligibility for ESA – 21 per cent of incapacity benefit (IB) claimants told researchers they had attempted suicide at some point in their lives.IB began to be replaced by ESA under the New Labour government the following year, in 2008.But by 2014, following four years of social security reforms under the new coalition government, and austerity-related cuts to disability benefits and services – and six years of the WCA – more than 43 per cent of ESA claimants were saying they had attempted suicide.The figures were calculated for DNS by Sally McManus, who leads research on the survey for the independent social research institute NatCen, on behalf of NHS Digital.It is unclear if the government has ever made the same calculation, and if it has, why these figures have never been published.But the DH failure is just the latest evidence that the government has ignored, and even covered up, links between its efforts to force people with mental health conditions into work, and increased levels of suicide, attempted suicide, suicidal thoughts and self-harm.Letters written by coroners, which blamed the WCA process for triggering two suicides and called for changes to the assessment process, were ignored by ministers.They also failed to pass the first of those letters, written in April 2010, to the independent expert who was reviewing the WCA, Professor Malcolm Harrington.Ministers also failed to pass on the results of internal reviews into the deaths of ESA claimants that were linked to the WCA to Professor Harrington.As a result of these failures to act to improve the WCA, many other claimants are believed to have died, including Mark Wood, Paul Donnachie, David Barr, and a woman known only as Ms D E.The strongest evidence until now that there was a link between the WCA and an increase in mental distress came in November 2015, when public health experts from the Universities of Liverpool and Oxford showed in a study that, for every 10,000 IB claimants in England who were reassessed for ESA between 2010 and 2013, there were an additional six suicides, 2,700 cases of self-reported mental health problems, and an increase of more than 7,000 in the number of anti-depressants prescribed.In all, across England, the reassessment process from 2010 to 2013 was “associated with” an extra 590 suicides, 279,000 additional cases of self-reported mental health problems, and the prescribing of a further 725,000 anti-depressants.DWP dismissed the findings of that report in 2015 and said it was “wholly misleading”.Samaritans can be contacted free, 24 hours a day, 365 days a year, by calling 116 123 or emailing email@example.comPictured: The Department of Health’s Whitehall offices
Source:https://www.aftau.org/page.aspx?pid=974&storyid4704=2442&ncs4704=3 Reviewed by Kate Anderton, B.Sc. (Editor)Mar 12 2019All stem cells can multiply, proliferate and differentiate. Because of these qualities, leukemic stem cells are the most malignant of all leukemic cells. Understanding how leukemic stem cells are regulated has become an important area of cancer research.A team of Tel Aviv University researchers have now devised a novel biosensor that can isolate and target leukemic stem cells. The research team, led by Dr. Michael Milyavsky of the Department of Pathology at TAU’s Sackler School of Medicine, discuss their unique genetically encoded sensor and its ability to identify, isolate and characterize leukemic stem cells in a study published on January 31 in Leukemia.”The major reason for the dismal survival rate in blood cancers is the inherent resistance of leukemic stem cells to therapy,” Dr. Milyavsky says. “But only a minor fraction of leukemic cells have high regenerative potential, and it is this regeneration that results in disease relapse. A lack of tools to specifically isolate leukemic stem cells has precluded the comprehensive study and specific targeting of these stem cells until now.”Related StoriesSugary drinks linked to cancer finds studyNew shingles vaccine reduces outbreaks of painful rash among stem cell transplant patientsTrends in colonoscopy rates not aligned with increase in early onset colorectal cancerUntil recently, cancer researchers used markers on the surface of the cell to distinguish leukemic stem cells from the bulk of cancer cells, with only limited success. “There are hidden cancer stem cells that express differentiated surface markers despite their stem cell function. This permits those cells to escape targeted therapies,” Dr. Milyavsky explains. “By labeling leukemia cells on the basis of their stem character alone, our sensor manages to overcome surface marker-based issues.”We believe that our biosensor can provide a prototype for precision oncology efforts to target patient-specific leukemic stem cells to fight this deadly disease.”The scientists searched genomic databases for “enhancers,” the specific regulatory regions of the genome that are particularly active in stem cells. Then they harnessed genome engineering to develop a sensor composed of a stem cell active enhancer fused with a fluorescence gene that labels the cells in which the enhancer is active.The scientists were also able to demonstrate that sensor-positive leukemia stem cells are sensitive to a known and inexpensive cancer drug called 4-HPR (fenretinide), providing a novel biomarker for patients who can potentially benefit from this drug.”Using this sensor, we can perform personalized medicine oriented to drug screens by barcoding a patient’s own leukemia cells to find the best combination of drugs that will be able to target both leukemia in bulk as well as leukemia stem cells inside it,” Dr. Milyavsky concludes. “We’re also interested in developing killer genes that will eradicate specific leukemia stem cells in which our sensor is active.”The researchers are now investigating those genes that are active in leukemic stem cells in the hope finding druggable targets.