Boom Derby purse up by $1m, trainers happy

first_imgLocal trainers will have extra motivation when they saddle up for the 97th running of the Boom/Jamaica Derby on June 24 at Caymanas Park. A purse of $7 million was already set aside prior to the start of the press launch at Caymanas Park on Tuesday. However, during the briefing, Wysinco chairman William Mahfood, revealed that an agreement had been reached to increase the purse by a million dollars to $8 million. “In an earlier conversation with Supreme Ventures CEO, Paul Hoo, I said ‘let us increase the excitement a little more …’ I have a lot of friends in the racing community, and in conversations with them I told them, I would like to increase or suggest to Supreme Ventures an increase in the purse for the main race. “Wysinco agreed to increase their sponsorship by half million and Supreme Ventures decided to match it, so an extra million dollars will be put in the pool,” he explained. Brando Hayden, COO, Supreme Ventures Racing and Entertainment Limited (SVREL), hailed the move as great news for everyone. “It’s a great surprise for everyone, but great for the sport. The purse is fuelled by contributions from the punters, so again this (increase) will lift the sport and speaks to our commitment,” he commented. Trainers Wayne DaCosta, Anthony Nunes and Dwight Chen were all encouraged by the increase. MONEY RUNS SPORT “Purse money makes the sport run and if we are going to get investors and people in the ownership aspect of racing, we need to put more money into it, and SVREL has done a good job of getting Boom to come on board and we are very appreciative of it,” Nunes stated. Chen was very happy. “It is always a motivation because horse racing needs sponsors and we are glad Boom has come on board … . So I am elated, it makes me feel like when I was a child coming here with my parents,” he said. Although the prize money is a big incentive, just winning the derby is enough motivation for master trainer DaCosta. “You always want to win a derby. This year, we have the privilege of having Boom on board and they have helped to increase the purse from seven to $8 million, that is a good incentive for owners and trainers to get the job done,” he said. The derby will showcase Jamaica’s best three-year-olds over a distant of 2400 metres. The top contenders for this year’s race are SHE’S A MANEATER, FEARLESS SAMURAI, MARKET FORCE, SOTOMAYOR, MARLENE MY LOVE and HENRY THE SECOND.last_img read more

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Jose Mourinho reveals what has been behind Man United’s top four struggles

first_img Jose Mourinho, the Manchester United manager 1 Jose Mourinho is concerned that Manchester United’s home struggles could cost them Champions League qualification.Stoke City, Burnley, Arsenal, West Ham United, Liverpool, Hull City and Bournemouth have all left the north-west with a point this season.No team has drawn as many home games this term, and this inability to turn dominance into victories leaves United three points off a Champions League berth.The Europa League offers another route back to the continent’s top table, but Mourinho knows they can ill afford any more Old Trafford setbacks like Saturday’s 1-1 draw with 10-man Bournemouth.Asked if he is worried home form will cost United a top-four place, he retorted: “Of course, of course.“If you look at the points we lost at home – I don’t speak about the Man City match – all the other matches we drew.“If you accumulate these points, you are talking about 10 or 12 and with these points we are not just speaking about the top four, we would be speaking about the top two or top one.“We lost too many points at home and obviously cost us our position.“Are we dead in relation to the top four? No, we are not dead. We are not dead. There are matches to play, points to win, points to lose, points to fight for. We are not dead.“But the reality is that we are losing too many points at home.”Premier League games at Old Trafford have taken an all too familiar theme this term, with a lack of cutting edge seeing United fail to translate dominance into victories.Saturday was the fourth time in the league this season that United have managed 20 or more shots at goal without winning – and Mourinho knows that is costing his side.“The old story of create lots of chances but not score goals is an old story, but applies perfectly to our football in these matches at home against Hull, Burnley, Bournemouth, Stoke,” he said.“It is more of the same. We play well, we start well. We have one chance in the first minute, we have another in the third or fifth minute. We accumulate and the goalkeeper gets confidence.“The goalkeeper is the man of the match and so on, and so on, and so on. It is more of the same.“We need to score goals. Other teams with less chances, they score goals.”last_img read more

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Riverbed no longer home

first_img“I have no idea. No idea,” said Felix Lara, a thin 59-year-old with a bushy gray beard. He had lived in the riverbed for four months, along with his girlfriend and his pit bull, until, eight days ago, he got the last in a series of warnings to move out. “It’s a cold shot in the heart,” Lara said. “They could have given us a little more time.” But Azusa police said they have been in and out of the canyon area since May, warning transients that they would have to leave soon. On Sept. 28, they set Wednesday as the final deadline, and moved in Thursday with a skip loader to clear out anything that had not been carried away. Police were joined by homeless services agencies offering shelter and other support. “We’re assisting the Army Corps of Engineers, which is the property owner,” police Lt. John Momot said. “Their mission is to clear and clean the encampment. It’s dangerous for the people living down there, and for others.” • Video: Removing riverbed encampments • Photo Gallery: Removing riverbed encampments AZUSA – Heavy machinery rolled over makeshift homes and secondhand furnishings Thursday, as the Azusa police forced people out of a tent community based in the dry, brushy San Gabriel Riverbed. The squatters hauled generators, boxes of clothes and the rest of their possessions along hundreds of feet of sandy trails and up the steep sides of the riverbank, out of their partially-hidden encampments to a bike trail off Highway 39. Those being pushed out confronted the situation with everything from fury to resignation. Many do not know where they will go next. Cooking fires in the riverbed could set the tall, crackling brush on fire, and heavy rains could quickly fill the river and wash people away, Momot said. Camps have been swept downstream before, and three people – none of them transients – drowned in the past year, Momot added. Human waste and other trash flows from the encampments into the river and pollutes the region’s drinking water, Momot said. The Police Department has also gotten complaints from residents in neighboring homes about panhandlers on the bike trail that runs along the side of the river, and reports of thefts in the neighborhood have increased, he said. Some of the people living in the riverbed are on parole for stealing or drug use, Momot said, although police have yet to find any of the items reported stolen from the neighborhood inside the encampments. James Kitto, 52, who has lived there for a year, vehemently denied those accusations. “None of us have bothered these houses,” he insisted. The camps – an estimated 25 in all – were elaborate, homey arrangements where many people have lived for months or even years. Some featured plywood walls with screens for windows and curtains for privacy. Residents said many had generators and even satellite television. “I’m tired, man,” said Kitto, who stayed up all night Wednesday trying to move out. “I want to lie down and sleep. But they told us if we weren’t out of here, our stuff is going to be crunched.” Momot said the living spaces had to be knocked down to prevent people from returning. If they find anything valuable and intact, they will store it, and those being displaced can come to the police station to claim it, he said. “The point I want to make is this: This is not just a problem for Azusa. This – homelessness – is a wider problem for all of L.A. County,” Momot said. “We’re trying to deal with it the right way, and provide services while we’re here.” alison.hewitt@sgvn.com (626) 962-8811, Ext. 2730160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set!last_img read more

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Premier League Preview Show: The quadruple quest continues

first_img LIVE ON talkSPORT Southampton vs Liverpool (Friday, 8pm) – talkSPORTNorwich vs QPR (Saturday, 12:30pm) – talkSPORT 2Huddersfield vs Leicester (Saturday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2Manchester City vs Brighton (Saturday, 5:30pm)Coventry vs Bristol Rovers (Sunday, 3pm) – talkSPORT 2Watford vs Wolves (Sunday, 4pm) – talkSPORT talkSPORT’s Tom Rennie and David Walker are joined by the former Manchester United defender Paul Parker and the former Watford and Wolves striker David Connolly.They look ahead to both FA Cup semi-finals and what promises to be a tricky Friday evening game for Liverpool at Southampton.center_img talkSPORT is your home of live football! Here’s what’s coming up on talkSPORT and talkSPORT 2… last_img

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Ex-Livi boss David Hopkin appointed Bradford manager

first_imgEx-Scotland international Hopkin, a Bradford player towards the end of his career, took Livingston into the Premiership last season.“I am absolutely delighted to be joining the Bantams and cannot wait to get started,” he Bradford’s official website. “This is a huge opportunity for me. We have a talented squad and I am looking forward to working with the players and staff.” Hopkin made 16 playing appearances for City in a career which also took in the likes of Leeds, Chelsea, Crystal Palace and Morton. Former Livingston manager David Hopkin has taken charge of Bradford City.Hopkin has signed a two-year-deal at Bradford, having opted to leave Livingston at the end of last season despite securing back-to-back promotions. The English League One club, who sacked Michael Collins on Monday night, have turned to the 48-year-old Scot as they look to usher in a period of stability.Stuart McCall and Simon Grayson both left the club last season, while Collins only lasted six games of this campaign.last_img read more

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Two Arrested on Drug-Related Charges

first_imgBoth Broshears and Williams were incarcerated in the Jackson County Jail pending their initial appearances in the Jackson County Circuit Court.An arrest photo of Broshears was not available.  An arrest photo of April Williams may be obtained from the Jackson County Jail. On Tuesday, May 28, two Jackson County residents were arrested on drug-related charges following a traffic stop and search warrant in Seymour, Indiana.The investigation began shortly after 2:30 pm when Trooper Tia Deaton stopped a 2000 Honda passenger car for a traffic violation on Sprenger Road in Seymour.  During the course of the traffic stop, Trp. Deaton became suspicious of criminal activity taking place.  Trp. Randel Miller and K-9 Jinx responded to assist.  Jinx alerted to the odor of illegal drugs coming from the vehicle.  During a search of the vehicle, troopers located approximately 50 grams of suspected crystal methamphetamine.  The driver of the vehicle, Derrick N. Broshears, age 34, Brownstown, Indiana was arrested on charges of Dealing Methamphetamine and Possession of Methamphetamine.Troopers then responded to a room at the Motel 6 in Seymour, Indiana that was rented by Broshears.  Upon arriving at the room, troopers located April R. Williams, age 38, Crothersville, IN in the room.  Troopers obtained a search warrant for the room.  During a search, troopers located syringes, drug paraphernalia, a legend drug, and additional evidence of Dealing Methamphetamine.  Williams was arrested on charges of Dealing Methamphetamine, Possession of Methamphetamine, Possession of Syringe, Possession of a Legend Drug, and Possession of Drug Paraphernalia. last_img read more

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Qatar nixes move to invest in American Airlines

first_imgPhoto: Qatar QATAR Airways has backed away from its surprise plan to invest in sparring partner American Airlines, saying the move no longer meets its objectives.The Gulf carrier raised eyebrows when it announced in June that it wanted to take a stake of up to 10 per cent in the US carrier and would start with an initial investment of 4.75 per cent.The announcement received a hostile reception from American with chief executive Doug Parker describing it as puzzling at best and concerning at worst.Read: CEO questions Qatar move to invest in American.Qatar said at the time that it saw the US carrier as “a strong investment opportunity”. “Qatar Airways believes in American Airlines’ fundamentals and intends to build a passive position in the company with no involvement in management, operations or governance,’’ it said.But in a statement issued Wednesday the airline said it had decided not to proceed with the investment. “Further review of the proposed financial investment, taking into account the latest public disclosure of American Airlines, has demonstrated that the investment no longer meets our objectives,’’ it said.“Qatar Airways will continue to investigate alternative investment opportunities in the United States of America and elsewhere that do meet our objectives.”American said it respected Qatar’s decision not to proceed with its proposed investment and it in no way changed the US carrier’s course.It was not clear what particular disclosure prompted the Qatar move.American in July reported a second-quarter pre-tax profit of $US1.3 billion and a net profit of $US803 million.The net profit was down from $US950m in the same quarter in the previous year but revenue was up 7.2 per cent to $US11.1 billion.Separately, the Gulf carrier has begun code sharing with South America’s LATAM Airlines Brazil and is now offering connections to 25 Brazilian cities, including Rio de Janeiro.Qatar has been flying to Brazil since 2010 with a Doha-Sao Paulo service that continues on to Argentina’s Buenos Aries.It introduced a freighter service in February,  2017, and recently announced plans to fly to Rio in 2018last_img read more

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Social|median: Personalized News Filter – 1000 Invites

first_imgIn addition to auto-fed stories, users have the option of submitting stories to the site via a bookmarklet. The site automatically parses the stories to the users’ correct networks based on topic keywords it finds in the story. Goldberg noted that “relevant news submitted by users” is generally a top rated source in most news networks on the site.Social|median has two ways of displaying news: recent — which is based on time, relevance, and source weighting, and popular — which takes into account user interaction, such as commenting, voting, and emailing of stories. We noticed that often stories would stay popular for days at a time, but Goldberg tells us that is a function of not enough people using the site (just over 1000 at press time), rather than necessarily a faulty algorithm.Conclusion“My inspiration for this service came when I was on the treadmill at the gym one day and observing that all 50 people there were watching the same 30 minutes package of CNN Headline News,” Goldberg told us, “while all 50 of us have very different interests — it hit me that at some point in the future we should be able to get more of just the news relevant to our unique interests — so I started to think about how we might step our way towards that.”Information overload is something we’ve written a lot about on this blog. Social|median’s collaborative filtering approach to cutting through the noise is an old one (see: Digg, del.icio.us, etc.) but the concept of news networks and stories fed automatically based on topical relevance (as determined by a machine) is an interesting twist. Clearly, social|median is an alpha service — it has many rough edges — but Goldberg and company are iterating quickly and we’re keen to see what they come up with in the next few months. This is one to keep an eye on.1000 ReadWriteWeb readers can gain access to the invite only alpha by going to the sign up page and using “RWW” (without the quotes) as the invite code. Invites are on a first come, first serve basis. Related Posts 8 Best WordPress Hosting Solutions on the Market josh catone 1 Top Reasons to Go With Managed WordPress Hosting A Web Developer’s New Best Friend is the AI Wai… Over the past couple of months, Jason Goldberg, who previously founded job search engine Jobster and vacated the CEO role last December to “pursue other early stage ventures,” has quietly relaunched his personal blog social|median and transformed it into a collaborative news filtering service. The service is still very rough around the edges and is just weeks into a private alpha test. 1000 ReadWriteWeb readers can gain access to the invite only alpha by going to the sign up page and using “RWW” (without the quotes) as the invite code.Goldberg has created social|median along with a team of eight fellow founders working out of offices in Pune, India. Goldberg travels to India one week per month and keeps in contact with the team via Skype, Twitter, and Basecamp. “Our model at social|median is to ship fast and iterate faster based on user feedback,” he told us in an email. “As such, we shipped our first bit of ‘dogfood’ code after just 3 weeks of development just a few weeks ago and have been adding to that with nearly daily code releases ever since.”How It WorksSocial|median centers around the idea of “news networks.” Anyone can create or join a network on the site, which acts as a sponge, soaking up news that matches predefined topics from specified sources and delivering them back out to the network members. Once a network is created, users begin to add topics and sources it wants the network to watch out for. Social|median searches the web for news sites and blogs it things match the topics defined by users and suggests them as source additions. Network members have complete control over which sources social|median keeps tabs on and which topics it should match stories to, and can vote sources and topics up or down to help train the algorithm to suit the network’s tastes.Because anyone can create a network, they can literally be about anything, from very broad topics like “politics” to very specific ones, such as “lymphoma research.” Why Tech Companies Need Simpler Terms of Servic… Tags:#Product Reviews#web last_img read more

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Local Ferguson Reporters Use Twitter Like War Correspondents

first_imgDuring barrage, this skipped off ground and struck me behind the knee. Consistency between plastic and wax. #Ferguson pic.twitter.com/151NnG7WWo— Danny Wicentowski (@D_Towski) August 19, 2014 selena larson Tags:#Data Journalism#Ferguson#Missouri#Riots#twitter Getting The Timeline RightTwitter really helps establish a narrative timeline to help me figure out, “What was I thinking about this time? What was the reason I tweeted it?” If it was important, I can return to that. I’ve been doing that in my stories. I’ll loop back on something like quotes that I’ve picked up on, or expand on them in a later story. The Dos and Don’ts of Brand Awareness Videos The residents know we’ll be there, and we’ll be there later. It helps the undercurrent of animosity to the national media who residents may suspect can be little more than riot tourists, or crafting things all about hype. Lead image courtesy of Danny Wicentowski.  Related Posts I haven’t seen any national guard troops, just cops. Tense, pissed off cops. #Ferguson— Danny Wicentowski (@D_Towski) August 19, 2014The Importance Of Mobile ReportingI should say humbly, (the Riverfront Times is) kicking ass. We are not waiting to aggregate or to only do analysis. We’ve all been out there at various times on the ground reporting firsthand. Though we are local, not all of us have deep ties to the area. But our local connections and our ability to connect with and local activists who we know already gives us a much better handle. A Comprehensive Guide to a Content Audit Guide to Performing Bulk Email Verification Local reporters in Ferguson covering the ongoing unrest have turned to what’s become a mandatory tool for war correspondents covering conflict in real time, Twitter. For Danny Wicentowski, 24, a staff reporter at the Riverfront Times, a St. Louis weekly, Twitter serves as his pipeline to the newsroom, allowing him to provide realtime updates as well as photographs, and helping his entire team beat back burnout as the demonstrations and police interactions continue. “YOU ARE UNLAWFULLY ASSEMBLED..FOR THOSE ASSISTING US, WE APPRECIATE IT. ALL OTHERS, CONTINUE NORTHBOUND” #Ferguson pic.twitter.com/Ypx7synlPw— Danny Wicentowski (@D_Towski) August 19, 2014On the street until 3 a.m. nearly every day since Sunday, his dispatches from Ferguson have been retweeted hundreds of times. His 300 followers have grown to more than 2,000. Like the other reporters on the ground, his Twitter feed is a window on Ferguson for the rest of the nation. Twitter also came in handy when Wicentowski wanted to know what left the big bruise on his leg. “I thought it was the cap of a flash bang, but (after I tweeted a photo) someone posted a link and said, ‘Oh, no, it was a foam disk, which is a different anti-riot device.’”This happened. Then someone threw a water bottle. #Ferguson pic.twitter.com/L9oUNCspm3— Danny Wicentowski (@D_Towski) August 19, 2014For all the solid news Wicentowski is turning out in 140-character snippets, you wouldn’t know this is his first journalism job … as well as his first time really using Twitter. I talked with Wicentowski about what it’s like covering the protests and riots in Ferguson, and how Twitter and other social platforms are crucial to helping him tell the story.New police line. Around 30 remaining protesters (who avoided arrest) moving north in distance. #Ferguson pic.twitter.com/zq3A9Q5TcU— Danny Wicentowski (@D_Towski) August 19, 2014A Twitter NewbieMy experience with Twitter has been almost non-existent. Before this, I did very little twittering. I’ve had to learn how to do all of this as it happens. Learning To Write ShortA lot of the writing I do is narrative, long form writing, which doesn’t translate to Twitter. Twitter does give you the ability to do little vignettes. I can’t not do that—it’s the way I write, and I tweet that way as well. It has a poetic quality to just have these little moments, like noticing the moon is really big while there’s gunfire and tear gas happening.I can sort of spit out impressions that go in my head that would normally go in my notebook that I would save later to establish a scene in some longer piece—now they’ve become tweets … [I can] build a narrative out of what I’m seeing. Police surged and arrested non media. Where were they supposed to go? #Ferguson pic.twitter.com/MKzNxfQbLO— Danny Wicentowski (@D_Towski) August 19, 2014 Facebook is Becoming Less Personal and More Pro…last_img read more

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Why Naked Mole Rats Don’t Get Cancer

first_imgAlthough they are quite ugly and confined to a life underground, naked mole rats have at least one attribute that other animals, even humans, might aspire to: They don’t get cancer. Now, researchers have discovered that the secret to this rodent’s good health is a complex sugar that helps keeps cells from clumping together and forming tumors. Whether this sugar will be useful as an anticancer agent in humans is unclear. But because it exists in the spaces between cells called the extracellular matrix, “the work underlines the very important regulatory role of [the] extracellular matrix in cancer,” says Bryan Toole, a cancer biologist at the Medical University of South Carolina in Charleston who was not involved with the study. Many researchers study cancer in mice, which live no more than 4 years and are prone to tumors. Molecular and cell biologist Vera Gorbunova of the University of Rochester in New York wanted to take a different tack and focus on animals that seem protected from tumors. So she tracked down the lifespans of 20 different rodents, looking for the ones that live a long time. Beavers and gray squirrels last a couple of decades, but naked mole rats outlive those larger animals by 10 years. Furthermore, because naked mole rats have a unique social structure, with one queen that produces all the young for an underground colony full of helpers, they have been the subject of long-term research. Thanks to these studies, scientists know for sure that this species doesn’t get cancer. Given that naked mole rats live long and are resistant to cancer, “we fell in love with them right away,” Gorbunova says. Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*) At first, she and her colleagues did not know where to look for the source of animals’ cancer resistance. But when they grew naked mole rat cells in a lab dish, they noticed that cells wouldn’t get too close together. Furthermore, the dish contents got very gooey over time, so much so that lab technicians found the cells hard to work with. When the technicians eliminated the goo, the cells would clump together, suggesting they might now form tumors. The researchers tracked the stickiness to a complex sugar called hyaluronan, which cells make and release into the extracellular matrix. Hyaluronan exists in all animals, helping lubricate joints and serving as an essential component in skin and cartilage. It’s been used in skin lotions and antiarthritis treatments, and some forms have even been proposed to promote cancer. However, naked mole rat hyaluronan is unusual in that each molecule is about 5 times the size of hyaluronan molecules from mice, rats, and humans. In addition, the researchers discovered that the enzyme that breaks down this sugar is not very active in naked mole rats, allowing the compound to accumulate to higher concentrations than it does in other animals. The researchers think that this sugar evolved to make naked mole rat skin more elastic and able to cope with the tight squeeze of the narrow underground tunnels. But does it prevent cancer? Gorbunova and her colleagues tried to stimulate naked mole rat cells to form tumors by exposing them to viral proteins that in mice lead to tumor growth. These proteins inactivate genes that suppress cancer, yet still naked mole rat cells did not show uncontrolled growth. However, when the researchers interfered with the production of hyaluronan or revved up the activity of the enzyme that breaks the sugar down, thereby reducing its concentrations, tumors did form in live animals, they report online today in Nature. The work is “very thought-provoking [and] adds an interesting wrinkle to the role of the extracellular matrix in cancer,” says Roy Zent, a cell biologist at Vanderbilt University Medical Center in Nashville. Toole agrees. “It pushes our thoughts forward [about hyaluronan] in a very dramatic way,” he notes. “It establishes hyaluronan as an important player in cancer.” “If we could alter our [hyaluronan] or stabilize it somehow, we may be able to suppress cancers,” suggests Carlo Maley, an evolutionary cancer biologist at the University of California, San Francisco, who was not involved with the work. The next step, he adds, is to “put the naked mole rat [hyaluronan] gene into mice and test if they are cancer resistant.”last_img read more

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