Reviews

Controversial New Drug for Muscular Dystrophy Approved by FDA

Published by:

controversial-new-drug-for-muscular-dystrophy-approved-by-fda

The FDA has tentatively approved a new drug for muscular dystrophy, despite an apparent lack of evidence that it works. Pressure from family and industry lobbyists helped the FDA come to this landmark decision, which has been seen as a victory for the families of sufferers.

controversial-new-drug-for-muscular-dystrophy-approved-by-fda

Image Credit

Duchennes Muscular Dystrophy

Duchennes Muscular Dystrophy is a rare muscle-wasting disease that affects boys. One in 3600 boys across the world will develop Duchennes, the most common form of Muscular Dystrophy. It causes weakness, a loss of movement and eventually an early death, with sufferers rarely getting past the age of 25. An actual cure has never been found. Until now all medication for muscular dystrophy has been in the form of steroids, which help muscles grow, in an attempt to slow the disease.

The Drug

The drug, Sarepta Therapeutics’ Exondys 5, has only been tested on 12 boys, and its effects are more ‘expected’ rather than proven. Exondys 5 acts on an important protein known as dystrophin. Dystrophin plays a key role in the growth of muscle fibres.

This is a rare approval from the FDA, which normally require more rigorous testing. However, the internal dispute became so heated that the Chief Advisor had to be involved in the final decision. Desperation for a treatment has led families to lobby the FDA for approval. The FDA is the US Federal Food and Drug Association, and all new drugs and medicine need to be approved by them. Many find out the answer to the question of how long does it take to get an FDA 510K approved drug on the market the hard way, although going through a third-party review company such as http://www.fdathirdpartyreview.com/ can shave up to three months from the review and approval process.

The drug was approved under an accelerated approval system which allows drugs that haven’t been fully proven but so show promising early signs. If the drug fails to work, the FDA has said they may remove their approval. The drug company has promised to help families fund payment for the drug, which will cost around $300,000 dollars a year for one patient.

Hopefully, the early indicators of the drug prove right and this will lead to more hope for those with Muscular Dystrophy.

Reviews

Search and social media: a match made in marketing heaven?

Published by:

search-and-social-media

Businesses are always looking for new ways to generate sales online and the perpetual growth of the internet and the platforms that influence it allow for fresh approaches to be adopted regularly.

Paid search advertising and SEO are tried and tested tools of internet marketing, while social media has emerged as an important but ultimately distinct platform for consumer engagement in recent years.

search-and-social-media

Image Credit

But now the worlds of search and social media are being drawn closer together than ever before following the announcement that Twitter and Google have partnered to bring tweets to SERPs with unprecedented immediacy.

This means that rather than having to head to Twitter’s site or use its dedicated app to find out about what is trending, people will be able to see this content clawed up for them by Google’s search algorithms.

So is the closer connection being forged between search engines and social media sites a positive step for online marketing, or will it present new challenges for companies that want to generate traffic for their sites and convert window shoppers into paying customers?

Going for Growth

From Twitter’s point of view the deal is immensely valuable, since it grants its site greater exposure and should help to boost user numbers at a time when its own growth has reached something of a plateau.

Businesses which use Twitter to raise the profile of their brand, interact with customers and run paid campaigns will also be better placed to increase the visibility of tweets, especially if they are targeted towards topical events.

The integration allows users to search for hashtags that are trending using Google’s SERPs as a sounding board for the hot topics of the day. And so companies which piggyback on a popular story or trend will be able to attract engagement from outside of Twitter’s closed platform.

Since allowing embedded ads to appear on other sites and apps earlier this year, Twitter’s efforts to monetise its service have blossomed, as have the opportunities available to businesses that are keen to exploit the diversification of this social media giant.

Combating Clutter

The downside of the partnership between Twitter and Google is that yet another alternation to the way SERPs are displays on desktop and mobile devices may cause problems for those chasing organic SEO visibility or PPC prowess.

If you’re business is based in Bristol then why not ring a Bristol web design agency that also offers digital marketing advice, like that offered by http://www.aardvark-creative.com they will help webmasters to keep pace with the changing face of search, especially now that mobile optimisation is taking a front seat.

Businesses can take comfort from the fact that the search market is not static and changes made to the layout of SERPs today can be changed in an instant if they prove not to be effective, or if they overcomplicate the interface to the point that users are turned off by them. The fact that Google and Twitter are taking a mobile-first approach with this matching of search and social media shows they know which way the wind is blowing.

Reviews

Choosing the Right Freezer for Your Business

Published by:

choosing-the-right-freezer-for-your-business

If you’re serious about the catering side of your business you may wish to review a selection of Catering suppliers such as https://www.247cateringsupplies.co.uk that have an array of products ideal for your start up.

choosing-the-right-freezer-for-your-business

Image Credit

As a catering business you will have to comply with food temperature control regulations, as explained on the UK Government’s website at food.gov.uk/business-industry/guidancenotes/hygguid/tempcontrolguidanceuk, and you’ve also got your business reputation to think about.

Will your customers return if you serve them half-thawed ice cream because the door of your domestic freezer is opened so often it simply cannot cope or they fall ill because of what they have eaten? You can find out more about how to store food safely from the NHS at nhs.uk/Livewell/homehygiene/Pages/how-to-store-food-safely.aspx.

Whether you need a commercial freezer will obviously depend on the nature of your business, but here are some factors to consider. First and foremost, they are specially-designed to cope with the demands of a business environment, even those that are extremely busy or operate in extreme temperatures.

Their extra power means they can cope with extremely hot cooking environments and regular opening and shutting of the door, and are better insulated and easier to clean, making them a serious consideration for any commercial kitchen or venue where catering or frozen product supply is a focus rather than a side-line. Even if the latter is true, they may still be worth a look.

The next decision, after opting for a commercial freezer, is what type should you choose? There are walk-in units, freestanding freezers and blast freezers. What you choose will depend on the requirements you have, your budget and the space available. You should also choose an appliance that needs as little maintenance as possible.

Upright freezer

This is the choice for you if you want to store items on shelves, and there are many different sizes available to fit in with your kitchen.

Chest freezer

Commercial chest freezers, such as those available at Fridge Freezer Direct, are the right choice if you want to stack and store large amounts of food. They are best when the products are of similar sizes rather than for a wide range of different shaped items, which can leave a lot of wasted space inside.

Walk-in freezer

This is an option for larger businesses who may want an inner section to store meat and an outer compartment that can be used for products that do not need hard freezing, such as desserts.

Counter and under-counter freezers

This is the type of freezer you will need to consider if space is short or if you want certain items to be easily accessible. Counter freezers can offer the additional benefit of providing extra work space on top.

Blast freezers

These appliances freeze items extremely quickly, and are often used before products are moved into another freezer to be stored.

Reviews

How gallium could be used as a reversible industrial glue

Published by:

How gallium could be used as a reversible industrial glue

Gallium is a little-known metal that could soon have a new profile as a reversible adhesive. Research has demonstrated that small changes in the temperature of gallium can control whether it sticks or not.


How gallium could be used as a reversible industrial glue

Image Credit

The science is fairly straightforward. At around 30 degrees Celsius, gallium transforms from solid metal to a liquid state. If a small amount of liquid gallium is applied to two surfaces and the temperature is reduced to less than 30 degrees, the two objects will stick together. Researchers applied hot gallium on the tip of a cylindrical rod and brought the gallium into contact with different materials such as plastic, glass or other metals.

DIY applications

When the occasion arises to separate the items, the temperature of the gallium is increased and the two items can be pulled apart with the addition of a little force. Gallium works somewhat like hot glue, a popular material deployed in DIY, although gallium requires less heating and cooling and can be removed more easily and cleanly.

It also works on rough surfaces, which have always been a test for reversible adhesives. Gallium was tested on damp and irregular surfaces that have proved challenging to other adhesives. Gallium’s performance was slightly reduced by water, but it still performed strongly. The binding power of gallium and its accompanying reversibility were seen to be effective in a number of conditions and are linked to its temperature-driven transition from solid to liquid..

Gallium is versatile

Gallium does not occur in its free state in nature, and when extracted, it is a soft, silvery metal that is also used in semiconductors. Gallium has other uses, such as being a component of LED light bulbs. Because it requires processing, recovering the gallium is an important part of recycling LED bulbs, according to a report in The Guardian.

If you’re looking for an extensive range of metal bonding adhesives, you could try a supplier such as http://www.ct1ltd.com/en/metal-to-metal-adhesive.html, which will have a full range of bonding adhesives featuring the latest technology.

The developments with gallium are exciting, and it is thought that it could have applications in many areas where a temporary adhesive is needed. The applications include moving delicate biological materials such as organs or tissues, pick and place procedures in industry, short-term wafer bonding, or even transfer printing.

Reviews

New strategic alliance announced to further renal clinical trials development

Published by:

New strategic alliance announced to further renal clinical trials development

Quintiles is currently the leading global provider of healthcare services, with a large focus on product development and the delivery of integrated services for patients. The company has formed a partnership with DaVita Clinical Research, an organisation that is currently at the forefront of kidney care, to elevate and enhance trials focusing on treating renal disease.

New strategic alliance announced to further renal clinical trials development

Image Credit

It is hoped that the combination of quality clinical care and extensive research offered by DaVita, merged with the operational and therapeutic expertise of Quintiles will make great strides into trialling a range of new and improved treatments for patients.

Enhanced knowledge on a global scale

Jeanne Hecht, a senior figure at the site and patient network arm of Quintiles, has said that the partnership will give them the power to deliver enhanced nephrology knowledge on a global scale, in order to advance research into renal diseases. Improving the efficiency of clinical trials is a primary aim. Merging clinical research and clinical care will not only reduce time cycles of trials, but also lessen the impact, which can often be significant, on each individual patient.

DaVita Clinical Research is closely linked to DaVita Healthcare, which is one of the leading providers of healthcare in the United States. The organisation currently cares for over one million patients, some of whom may now be put forward to enrol in current and upcoming clinical trials.

An efficient and caring partnership

Clinical studies are challenging. Sufficient quality clinical staffing, such as that offered by http://www.gandlscientific.com/ is essential, and there is a growing call for an increasingly wide variety of patients to participate. It is hoped that the partnership will be able to overcome a number of these challenges more efficiently, allowing trials to be conducted smoothly with quality patient care being of utmost importance.

The identification of suitable locations, efficient enrolment of all participants and the implementation of detailed clinical studies will be enhanced by this new partnership. A joint focus on providing innovative solutions to the industry as a whole, as well as each individual participant, will ensure that research into the most complex issues will be undertaken professionally and proficiently.

Biopharmaceutical customers will quickly see the benefits of the combined specialities and resources of both companies, with clinical trials progressing efficiently and delivering quality results.

Reviews

How to Find the Right Architect tor Your Project

Published by:

How to Find the Right Architect

A building project can be an exhilarating and sometimes exhausting endeavour. The right architect can take much of the stress out of the process and put the enjoyment back in. Here are our top tips for finding a great one.

How to Find the Right Architect

Image Credit

1. Ask for a Recommendation

Word-of-mouth is probably the best way to find a reliable architect. If you know someone whose home you admire, hire the same architect if this is within your budget.

2. Contact RIBA

RIBA (Royal Institute of British Architects) has an online directory of chartered architects which you can search by location, services offered and areas of expertise.

3. Check Out the Website

Before you contact an architect, study their website for examples of their work. You should be able to gain a fairly clear picture of their focus and their values and therefore whether they would be suitable for your project. For example, are they experienced in restoration work? Or is their focus more on commercial properties? Some architects specialise in one area of architecture. For example, if you were wishing to build a tensile fabric structure, there are architectural practices out there which focus solely on this field, like fabric architecture.

4. Ask a Builder or Other Contractor

If you have a trusted local builder whose work you admire, ask him for a recommendation. A great builder-architect partnership is fundamental to a successful project. Also, other professionals whose work is related to building projects such as landscape contractors and interior designers should be able to advise you in the same way.

5. Interview the Potential Candidates

Once you have narrowed down your list of professionals, set up meetings with each of them. You should not ever be charged for this.

At the initial consultation ask to see examples of their work which relate to your project. Tell them how you envisage the project outcome, and get their ideas about how to carry out your suggestions. Discuss fees and budget, and ask for an honest estimate of the likely time-scales involved. Also make sure you talk about any potential problems with the build, and how these could be negotiated. A great architect can also recommend trustworthy and talented contractors and may even have a team of tried and tested professionals to bring with them.

Reviews

HMRC will be cracking down on tax advisors behind tax avoidance schemes

Published by:

HMRC will be cracking down on tax advisors behind tax avoidance schemes

Tax avoidance has frequently been in the headlines, with large organisations and well-known names often being implicated. The government is now taking steps to deter not only those that engage in the practice, but also the advisers that help them to do so.

HMRC will be cracking down on tax advisors behind tax avoidance schemes

Image Credit

The true cost of tax avoidance

Strictly speaking tax avoidance is not illegal, because it involves sticking to the letter if not the spirit of the law, yet the practice costs the UK taxpayer £4bn in lost revenue each year. That is nearly as much as the £5.1bn lost annually due to the criminal act of tax evasion. In addition, even when HMRC successfully challenges cases of tax avoidance, those who either advised on, or facilitated the implementation of the tax avoidance schemes, face no consequences under the current law. To rectify this situation, the government is now setting its sights on IFAs and other professionals, in proposals currently open to public consultation.

Penalising the “enablers”

Under the new rules, IFAs found to be benefiting from fees or commissions earned by promoting or marketing tax avoidance schemes, could face financial penalties of up to £3000 or the full value of the avoided tax, whichever is higher. Other professional engaged at any stage of the process would also be penalised. For example, a promoter who puts together a tax avoidance scheme and has it added to the many products available to IFAs through their financial adviser software, could, if the scheme was successfully challenged by HMRC, face penalties alongside the IFA, and any other professionals that enabled the end client to exploit the scheme.

The idea behind the proposals, which are currently at the public consultation stage, is that advisers would be deterred from the practice. IFAs might instead use software such as that offered by intelliflo.com, to advise their clients on tax practices in line with the spirit of UK tax rules.

The new proposals, published by the Government in early August, have been largely welcomed. However, Vicky Johnson, president of the Association of Revenue and Customs, has suggested that, for the proposed policy changes to work, the consultation needed to include addressing the issue of pay and reward, for those tasked with implementing it.

The proposal also suggests naming and shaming IFAs involved in the practice, as a further deterrent.

Reviews

Getting it right – 5 web application testing tips for success

Published by:

Getting it right - 5 web application testing tips for success

Productivity software is increasingly moving away from being installed on in-house servers and desktops to being accessed from the cloud and the web. This puts greater emphasis on network connectivity and also on the quality of web applications, which need to be up to scratch and able to serve the needs of multiple users.

Getting it right - 5 web application testing tips for success

Image Credit

In turn, this means that the testing of web applications is vitally important. Here are some key items to consider when undertaking the test process.

1 Make security a priority

Running software from the web naturally raises issues surrounding security. It is important for testers to ensure that the application itself is secure and safe from common attacks such as SQL injection and cross-site scripting; in addition, data must be properly protected, such as by encryption, when it is in transit and being stored.

2 Automate repetitive tasks

Any website testing service will need to carry out the same testing over and over as the application develops. Rather than using human testers, this can be better done using an automated process that reduces the chance of errors and oversights.

3 Check dependencies

By its very nature, software on the web is subject to dependencies with other technologies. Multimedia content, for example, may use Flash or HTML5 and it is vital that this works correctly. Testing services such as https://www.bugfinders.com/ therefore need to check that these technologies work and in different versions. There is also a security implication, as an app could be made vulnerable by a bug in a platform it depends on.

4 Use multiple browsers

One of the issues with web-based software is that there are several different browsers available and it is impossible to know which one users are running. Testers therefore need to check that a web application works not just on different browsers, such as Firefox, Chrome and Edge, but also that it works with different versions.

5 Interaction with other apps

In addition to catering to different browsers, there are a whole range of other possible configuration issues; for example, common plug-ins and extensions may cause compatibility issues. If an application relies on third-party apps such as chat services and video players to deliver part of its content, it is also important that this interaction is thoroughly tested.

Reviews

Why aren’t millennials using credit cards like Gen X?

Published by:

Why arenot millennials using credit cards like Gen

Often touted as irresponsible and only concerned with “living in the now”, it may come as a surprise that young people are cutting back on the use of credit cards. In fact, studies have found that card use for millennials is lower than ever.

Why arenot millennials using credit cards like Gen

Image Credit

Less credit

Loved by Generation X, credit card use has done nothing but go up since plastic credit cards first arrived on the mass market in the 1950s. However, new data from the US-based Survey of Consumer Finances has found that millennials are using cards much less. This could be due to a number of reasons, namely a less rosy future than Generation X could expect with fewer jobs, less affordable housing and more unpredictable economies. The debt students leave university with is also substantial and may well prevent millennials from wanting to make things worse. Young people are also increasingly distrustful of banks that offer huge credit limits after an increased dissatisfaction with banks following the global recession.

The flipside

Whilst it’s great news that young people are staying within their limit by paying for things with money they actually have in the bank, they may be unwittingly making life harder in the long run. Those who have never had a credit card simply won’t have the positive credit rating needed to get a mortgage as they will be unable to demonstrate they can handle debt. The best thing for those who don’t want any debt is to apply for a card with a low limit and use it for the odd payment, paying it back in full each month.

When debt becomes too much

The tendency to avoid debt does not apply to all millennials, especially in the UK, where newly graduated students are frequently leaving university with tens of thousands of pounds of debt. Those who also have personal loans and large credit card debt may be asking Is an IVA for me? An IVA means you can avoid bankruptcy and allows you to pay all your debts back in one low, manageable payment over a longer period of time.

It’s warming news that millennials are using credit cards less than the generation before them, but it’s also a sign that the status quo is changing, and banks will need to respond to this accordingly.

Reviews

Has Brexit Been Beneficial for Landlords and Buy-To-Let Schemes?

Published by:

Has Brexit Been Beneficial for Landlords and Buy-To-Let Schemes

The housing market is facing uncertain times post brexit. In the grand scheme of things we’re still in the early days, with many months of negotiations needed before the UK formally withdraws from the EU and as such, this level of uncertainty means that the future of the housing market is currently looking very changeable.

Has Brexit Been Beneficial for Landlords and Buy-To-Let Schemes

Image Credit

Concern Surrounding Interest Rates

Interest rates naturally have a distinct effect on the housing market. The Bank of England recently cut rates in response to the leave vote, but there are still concerns that rates may soar in the future. A large increase in interest rates would put a strain on the finances of landlords who are hoping to widen their portfolios, however flats to rent in Gloucester may be more difficult to find, as rental demand increases with landlords reaping the rewards of unaffordable mortgages.

Value of Sterling

As we have already seen, predictions surrounding the fall of sterling have been proven. If sterling was to see any further reduction in value, foreign investment in London property may fall away. Whether this would be a blessing or a curse on the wider market however is currently the subject of much debate. Buyers are nervous and as the Sunday Express reports a reduction of turnover in housing is expected, meaning brexit could be a useful negotiating point when it comes to purchasing property for a good price.

Housing Stock

The uncertainty about the future is arguably the most damaging aspect for the property market. Investment has certainly reduced since the referendum was called, however when properties are limited in supply prices increase. As this also translates to the rental market, individuals looking to rent gloucester flats through TGRES may increase and as such, landlords could benefit greatly from this. Lenders may also start to offer a range of tempting buy-to-let rates.

Individual Spending

As the referendum approached, the Treasury warned that leaving the EU could cost households £4000 each year in reduced income. It is currently unclear whether this will prove to be the case, however there is the potential for concern surrounding the ability of tenants to pay increasing rents. However landlords who keep on top of new developments and closely watch the market should still find plenty of opportunities in this post-brexit environment.