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Asthma: Increased Meat Intake Linked To Increased Wheezing In Children


Researchers from the Mount Sinai Hospital/Mount Sinai School of Medicine have found that substances present in cooked meats are linked to increased wheezing in children.

The researchers, who published their study in Thorax, described pro-inflammatory compounds known as advanced glycation end-products (AGEs) as an early dietary risk factor that may have broad clinical and public health implications when it comes to preventing inflammatory respiratory disease.

In the United States, childhood asthma prevalence has risen over the last few decades. The current study researchers found that dietary habits earlier in life may be associated with wheezing, which could eventually lead to asthma.

The team looked at nearly 4,400 children aged between 2 and 17 from the 2003-2006 National Health and Nutrition Examination Survey (NHANES), a program of the National Center for Health Statistics and the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC).

The program is designed to evaluate the health and nutritional status of American adults and children through interviews and physical examinations.

The researchers evaluated associations between dietary AGE, meat consumption frequencies, and respiratory symptoms. They found that the higher the intake of AGE – the higher was the risk of wheezing, including wheezing that disrupted sleep and exercise.

Similarly, increased intake of non-seafood meats was associated with increased wheezing that disrupted sleep and wheezing that required prescription medication.

Lead author Dr. Jing Gennir Wanh said, “We found that higher consumption of dietary AGEs, which are largely derived from intake of non-seafood meats, was associated with increased risk of wheezing in children, regardless of overall diet quality or an established diagnosis of asthma.”

Senior author Dr. Sonali Bose said, “Research identifying dietary factors that influence respiratory symptoms in children is important, as these risks are potentially modifiable and can help guide health recommendations.”

“Our findings will hopefully inform future longitudinal studies to further investigate whether these specific dietary components play a role in childhood airways disease such as asthma,” she added. The article appeared on Science Daily.

Brazil’s Top Research Medical Center Says CoronaVac, An Experimental COVID-19 Vaccine, Is Safe

Preliminary results of a COVID-19 vaccine candidate called CoronaVac, developed by China’s Sinovac Biotech, appeared to be safe in a Phase III clinical trial in Brazil.

Brazil’s top biomedical research center called São Paulo’s Butantan Institute said CoronaVac has been proved safe so far in the late-stage trial that involves 9,000 volunteers.

However, Dr. Dimas Covas, head of Butantan, said data on the vaccine’s efficacy will not be released until the trial is completed on all of the 13,000 volunteers.

João Doria, Governor of São Paulo, told reporters, “The first results of the clinical study conducted in Brazil prove that among all the vaccines tested in the country, CoronaVac is the safest, the one with the best and most promising rates.”

Dr. Covas said, “The result is only preliminary and researchers will keep monitoring the participants in the on-going trial.” He also said there were no severe side effects reported with the vaccine so far.

Jean Gorinchteyn, São Paulo State Health Secretary, said CoronaVac appeared to produce protective antibodies.

The state hopes to get regulatory approval for CoronaVac by December to start inoculating its population early in 2021.

São Paulo has signed a deal with Sinovac Biotech to buy 60 million doses of CoronaVac by the end of February.

Sinovac wanted to conduct large trials in Brazil because it has been one of the global hotspots of the coronavirus. Brazil has so far reported more than 5.2 million coronavirus cases and over 154,200 deaths.

Meanwhile, competing coronavirus vaccine candidates, especially the ones developed by AstraZeneca and Johnson & Johnson, have had their trials suspended in the United States over safety concerns.

Experts say vaccines are an essential tool to curb the ongoing pandemic, which has so far killed more than 1 million people globally.

According to Sinovac, CoronaVac uses inactivated vaccine technology, a conventional way of using a killed virus, which cannot replicate in human cells to cause an immune response.

Scientists have warned that the safety of such vaccine candidates must be evaluated over longer periods. They say some other inactivated vaccines had led to infection-enhancement effect, where vaccine-triggered antibodies could worsen the infection when people are exposed to a virus after inoculation, instead of offering protection.

American Rapper Scarface Says “I Need A Kidney” After COVID-19 Damaged His Organ


Brad Terrence Jordan, an American rapper better known by his stage name Scarface, is looking for someone who can donate their kidney to him after his COVID-19 diagnosis left him with permanent kidney damage this year.

On Wednesday, the 49-year-old rapper made a plea on social media, asking fans to donate a kidney.

He wrote on Twitter, “I need a kidney y’all any volunteers? B+ blood type.”

One fan responded, “It would be returning the favor. Your music speaks to me more than any artist ever. Learned how to manage depression openly cause of you.”

Rapper Glasses Malone replied, “I’m a go find out… all that street s*** your music got me thru, a kidney would be my pleasure.”

In March, Scarface got candid about his months-long, coronavirus health scare.

He told rapper Willie D, “I fought COVID double bilateral pneumonia, both lungs and kidney failure, in my house. I went back to the hospital. I just got out of the hospital [on April 20] … I have to change my entire diet, I have to do dialysis four days a week, three hours a day. That’s taking all my blood out, cleaning it and putting it back in my body.”

Scarface, who is now COVID-free, said it felt like an elephant was sitting on his chest when he tried to breathe.

At the time he said, “This whole three weeks has been an ordeal. It’s the craziest I’ve ever seen in my life. I’ve been to the point where I felt like I was gonna die.”

The rapper revealed that his kidneys had not recovered three months after his diagnosis.

He told Fox5 DC, “COVID attacked my lungs first, and then it attacked my kidneys and knocked them out. I got full lung recovery, but my kidneys never came back.”

“I’m still a little weak,” he added. “I don’t have a lot of strength in my legs yet. I still haven’t got full taste back and sense of smell yet. But I am glad to be alive.” In the United States, the virus has affected more than 7.8 million and killed over 217,000 people so far.

FDA Approves Additional Doses of Cancer Drug Keytruda in Adults


The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted accelerated approval of an additional recommended dose of Keytruda (pembrolizumab), a cancer drug, in adults, said its manufacturer Merck & Co.

The drug regulatory body approved the use of Keytruda 400 mg every 6 weeks alone or in conjunction with other drugs.

The FDA approved the additional recommended dosage of Keytruda given the complexity of the ongoing coronavirus pandemic, said Dr. Roy Baynes, Merck’s CMO.

“The important social distancing measures for COVID-19 have created a number of challenges for people with cancer, including keeping to planned treatment schedules,” he added.

“Today’s approval of an every 6-week dosing schedule for (pembrolizumab) gives doctors an option to reduce how often patients are at the clinic for their treatment,” continued Dr. Baynes, who is the head of global clinical development at Merck.

The FDA’s approval is contingent upon clinical verification and description in the confirmatory human trials.

Previously, Keytruda was approved to be administered at the dosage of 200 mg every 3 weeks.

The FDA said some of the immune-related adverse effects of Keytruda include inflammation of the colon, lungs, liver, and kidney. Other side effects include kidney dysfunction, skin reactions, and solid organ transplant rejection.

Belonging to antineoplastic agents, Keytruda is a humanized antibody used in cancer immunotherapy, which is administered intravenously. It is indicated for the treatment of melanoma (skin cancer), lung cancer, head and neck cancer, Hodgkin lymphoma, and stomach cancer.

Foods That Improve Your Immunity amid Coronavirus Pandemic

As the number of coronavirus cases continues to rise in the United States and internationally, it is high time to find ways to boost our immunity though through a healthy lifestyle, mainly by eating foods rich in antioxidants.

Nutritionists and fitness experts have come up with top foods that can boost your immune system, thereby reducing the risk and severity of illness.

Naturopath Elizabeth MacGregor from the Endeavour College of Natural Health told FEMAIL, “Immunity is a broad term to describe a complex system of bodily functions. There are two key types of defense – barrier and innate.”

She explained that barrier defense is the skin and the mucus membranes of the bodily systems, acting as a physical barrier to foreign substances that can cause illness. On the other hand, innate immunity is the non-specific cells of the body, which respond to the presents of foreign substances or noxious agents.

MacGregor said, “They will engulf, and destroy these. These are present in close proximity to the barrier defense. The body will also respond by producing inflammation and other chemical messenger agents to increase circulation to a site, carrying with it white blood cells triggering other immune system responses.”

She said nutrition is one of the best ways to boost your immunity naturally, so make sure you eat a well-balanced diet. She said, “Adopt rainbow eating practices (ensure you are eating fruit and vegetables in every color) and each day focus on a range of plant foods, which are excellent sources of carotenoids that help support a healthy immune system.”

The naturopath said it is important to make sure you give your body all of the nutrients it requires.

You can add orange to salads, make fresh mango smoothies, and eat carrots and pumpkins, along with a good source of plant-based protein. She said you can even add herbs and spices to add flavors because they are antimicrobial.

MacGregor said, “Slow-cooked meals that include an adequate serve of protein, your favorite vegetables, culinary herbs, and spices are easy to digest and deliver some of the required nutrients for healthy immune support.”

“The addition of herbal teas can also support with antimicrobial action, and depending on the herb may have other properties such as aiding sleep, boosting energy and also building immunity,” she added.

Registered dieticians advise people to eat anti-inflammatory foods.

Wholefoods Chef and Holistic Nutritionist Lee Holmes said anti-inflammatory foods are essential in “healing the gut” and “improving overall immunity.”

Omega-3 fatty acids are essential for our body to avoid foggy brains, helping to produce energy and strengthen our immunity. Flaxseeds are full of Omega-3 fatty acids and high in fiber to promote regular bowel movements,” Holmes said.

She continued, “It’s no secret that oily fish like salmon, sardines and tuna are overflowing with omega-3 fatty acids but, our fishy friends can also raise dopamine and serotonin levels in the brain.”

Turmeric contains curcumin, a compound that increases the level of immunity-boosting proteins in our bodies,” Holmes added. “These proteins help fight bacteria and viruses when they try to attack. Turmeric is also a natural anti-inflammatory and painkiller.”

Holmes also advised to include foods rich in dietary fiber because it creates a healthy community of intestinal bacteria and eases digestion.

She said, “Soluble fiber dissolves in water, and is slower to digest as it attracts water to form a gel. Types include oatmeal, psyllium husks, acacia fibers, berries, lentils (soaked for easier digestion), fruit and vegetables.”

“Insoluble fiber doesn’t dissolve in water,” she added. “It passes through the digestive system relatively intact and speeds up the passage of food waste through your gut. Sources include grains, nuts, seeds, beans, fruit and vegetables”

Foods loaded with fiber include green leafy vegetables, sweet potatoes, carrots and other root vegetables, berries, nuts and seeds.

The chef also recommended including prebiotics and probiotics through food.

“While probiotics are live organisms, prebiotics are the components of our food that are otherwise not easily digested, but are thoroughly enjoyed by our beneficial bacteria,” Holmes said.

Good vegetable sources of prebiotics include fresh dandelion greens, Jerusalem artichokes, onions, leeks, chives, garlic, endive, asparagus, radicchio, chicory, shallots, spring onions (scallions), beetroot (beet), fennel bulbs, green peas, snow peas (mange tout) and savoy cabbage.”

Prebiotic fruits include avocados, custard apples, nectarines, white peaches, persimmons, bananas, apples, pomegranates and figs,” Holmes added. “I encourage you to incorporate some of these delicious prebiotic foods into your diet, it’s your body’s best defense to keep you ahead of common bugs and boost your immunity.”

Juul Accused of Promoting Vaping Products to Young Children Online


    Juul, the largest e-cigarette manufacturing company, has been accused of promoting their products to young children and teenagers online, including websites such as Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and seventeen Magazine.

    In a new lawsuit, Massachusetts prosecutors said the e-cigarette company explicitly target adolescents by advertising vaping products online. They said the company promoted mock-up ads of young-looking models who were seen holding Juul devices.

    Massachusetts Attorney General Maura Healey said, “A Juul customer service rep even told underage customers in Massachusetts how to get around our laws.”

    The e-cig company rejected a marketing proposal targeting adults; instead, the company chose a campaign targeting a “cool crowd,” according to the lawsuit.

    Juul prompted their vaping products on youth-centric websites, such as Nickelodeon, Cartoon Network, and seventeen Magazine.

    On Wednesday, in a press conference, 19-year-old Emma Tigerman talked about her addiction to e-cigarettes.

    She said, “Unfortunately, I will have to consider myself an addict for the rest of my life and that is at the hands of Juul.”

    Juul has banned the sale of fruit-flavored vaping products. The company told CBS News, “We have not yet reviewed the complaint, but we working to combat underage use.”

    The company also said that their main customer base is “adult smokers.”

    Massachusetts’ attorney general is the ninth to sue Juul. E-cigarette manufacturers, including Juul, have a deadline until May 12 to apply to the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to continue selling their vaping products and that review will take at least a year.

    Black Friday and Mental Health: What’s The Connection?


    Black Friday is around the corner and people across the nation will go crazy again to reap the benefits of flash sales and attractive deals.

    On Black Friday, innumerable stores reduce the prices of their services and products, driving millions of people to go to the retailers. American retailers earned more than $7 billion on Black Friday in 2017, according to the American Marketing Association.

    On average, a person in the United States spends more than $1,000 to do Black Friday shopping, according to The Balance. These flash sales come along with a great amount of stress and excitement.

    Many stores offer attractive deals on a first-come-first-serve basis due to increased popularity and people wait in lines for long hours, feeling tired and fatigued.

    For shoppers, it could be quite hectic and stressful, especially those who have a history of mental health conditions. Large crowds, unruly shoppers, and long lines could increase irritability, anger or anxiety. And stress could exacerbate these mental health issues.

    According to the Money and Mental Health Policy Institute, “Flash sales like Black Friday can place great stress on people’s shopping experience. Periods of poor mental health can in some cases be accompanied by impulsive decision making, or anxiety and worry about the future.”

    There is also a scientific reason why Black Friday shopping affects your mental health. The flash sales and large crowds on Black Friday give a massive boost to one of your brain chemicals called dopamine, a neurotransmitter that gives you a feeling of intense pleasure when you are about to make a sizzling deal, of course, for a little while.

    The shoppers are not the only ones who are affected by Black Friday sales, the store workers also put extra efforts throughout their shifts with small breaks. The workers are also stressed out because they must help control large crowds and indulge in bargains with customers over several items. So all of this is quite stressful. Nevertheless, shopping on Black Friday can be less stressful if you plan well. You can plan ahead to expedite your shopping process. You can go online if you want to avoid those long lines, large crowds, and unwanted long waits.

    Relieving Pain with Drugs Could Increase Risk of Developing Chronic Pain

    A new study by researchers from McGill University and colleagues in Italy has found that using anti-inflammatories and steroids to treat pain could increase the chances of developing chronic pain, according to Science Daily.

    The study findings, published in Science Translational Medicine, raise questions about the conventional practice of using steroids and anti-inflammatory drugs to alleviate pain.

    Study author Prof. Jeffrey Mogil said, “For many decades it’s been standard medical practice to treat pain with anti-inflammatory drugs. But we found that this short-term fix could lead to longer-term problems.”

    The researchers examined the pain mechanisms in both humans and mice and found that neutrophils – one of the white blood cells (WBCs) that helps the body fight infection – play a key role in resolving pain.

    Another author Prof. Luda Diatchenko said, “In analyzing the genes of people suffering from lower back pain, we observed active changes in genes over time in people whose pain went away. Changes in the blood cells and their activity seemed to be the most important factor, especially in cells called neutrophils.”

    “Neutrophils dominate the early stages of inflammation and set the stage for repair of tissue damage,” Prof. Mogil said. “Inflammation occurs for a reason, and it looks like it’s dangerous to interfere with it.”

    The authors said experimentally blocking neutrophils in mice prolonged the pain up to ten times the normal duration. Although anti-inflammatories and steroids such as diclofenac and dexamethasone were effective at treating pain early on, they produced the same result found in mice.

    The current findings also support a separate analysis of 500,000 people in the UK, which showed that those taking anti-inflammatory drugs for pain were more likely to have chronic pain two to ten years later.

    Dr. Massimo Allegri of the Policlinico of Monza Hospital in Italy said, “Our findings suggest it may be time to reconsider the way we treat acute pain. Luckily pain can be killed in other ways that don’t involve interfering with inflammation.”

    Prof. Diatchenko said, “We discovered that pain resolution is actually an active biological process. These findings should be followed up by clinical trials directly comparing anti-inflammatory drugs to other pain killers that relieve aches and pains but don’t disrupt inflammation.”

    Biosimilar and Generic Drug Success Boosts Biocon Revenue


    The total revenue of Biocon, India’s largest biopharmaceutical company, was up 21% – thanks to significant growth in sales for the company’s biosimilar and generic drugs, according to AJMC – The Centers for Biosimilars.

    A Biocon’s recent earnings report found that the total revenue for the fourth quarter of the 2022 fiscal year was up 21% from the same period of the year prior, largely due to biosimilar and generic drug success.

    The report said, “FY22 was a transformational year for Biocon. Key strategic moves in our biosimilars business position us for long-term growth and value creation for our stakeholders.”

    Overall, Biocon generated more than $1 billion in revenue for FY22, of which biosimilars generated $448 million and generic drugs accumulated $303 million.

    The company has the following biosimilars:

    1. trastuzumab (Ogivri)
    2. pegfilgrastim (Fulphila)
    3. bevacizumab (Abevmy)
    4. adalimumab (Hulio)
    5. insulin glargine (Semglee)
    6. recombinant human insulin (Insugen)
    7. insulin aspart (Kirsty/Kixelle)
    8. etanercept (Nepexto)

    Three biosimilars have been launched in the United States, while 7 are available in the European Union. The FDA is currently reviewing two more biosimilars developed by Biocon.

    Dr. Arun Chandavarkar, Managing Director of Biocon, said, “We have progressed well in the development of several next wave biosimilar programs, with 2 of our molecules entering the clinic. Whilst net R&D was at 9% of revenues in FY22, we expect this to ramp up in FY23 commensurate with the progress of our rich and diverse pipeline which provides Biocon Biologics a sustainable growth opportunity in the years ahead.”

    In March, Biocon announced the acquisition of Viatris’ entire biosimilar business for more than $3 billion in cash and stock. It has also signed a strategic alliance with Serum Institute Life Sciences, which will target inequitable access to vaccines and biological drugs.

    Biocon said in a statement, “We believe that the 2 strategic transactions, with Viatris and Serum Institute Life Sciences, will position Biocon Biologics as a world-leading, unique, fully integrated biologics company with a strong differentiated portfolio of biosimilars and vaccines. With a team of [about] 5000 people, Biocon Biologics is committed to transforming health care and transforming lives by enabling affordable access to millions of patients worldwide.”

    Influenza Can Directly Affect Cardiac Cells, Causing Heart Complications

    New research has shown for the first time in mice that cardiac complications associated with the flu are not caused by lung inflammation, as predicted previously, according to Science Daily.

    Instead, researchers at the Ohio State University revealed that influenza infection directly affects cardiac cells, causing electrical malfunctions and heart scarring in some patients with severe flu.

    The researchers had seen flu viral particles in cardiac cells of infected mice in previous work. However, they could not say for sure their presence in the heart was driving cardiac damage.

    When they infected mice with a genetically altered flu virus, which was not able to replicate in heart cells, the mice developed inflammatory flu symptoms but no cardiac complications.

    Lead author Dr. Jacob Yount said, “We showed that even when you have a very severe infection in the lungs, if you’re using that virus that can’t replicate in the heart, you don’t get those cardiac complications.”

    “It proves it’s direct infection of the heart that’s driving these complications,” he added. “Now we need to figure out what direct infection does: Is it killing heart cells? Does it have long-term ramifications? Do repeated infections have heart complications that build up over time? There are a lot of questions now for us to answer.”

    There is growing evidence that some hospitalized flu patients can develop heart problems. One recent study found that about 12% of American adults hospitalized with the flu over eight years developed sudden, serious cardiac complications.

    Dr. Yount explained, “We know those people are more susceptible to severe flu infections, and our mouse research would suggest they’re also more susceptible to heart complications with the flu.”

    “We have this mouse model and this virus that allowed us to distinguish between the severe lung inflammation and the direct replication of the virus in the heart,” he explained. “We hadn’t been able to separate those two things in the past. If you don’t have the virus replicating strongly in the heart, you don’t see the same electrical abnormalities or the same fibrotic response.”

    The researchers said there is still a lot to learn. The flu virus often infiltrates the lungs. It generally is not present in the blood or other organs; however, it does get to the heart.

    Dr. Yount said the study findings, published Wednesday in the journal Science Advances, suggest clearing the viral infection could be key to reducing flu’s problematic effects on the heart. “One thing this tells us is that this is another reason to get your flu shot because you don’t want your heart to get infected by the flu — and it is a possibility,” he explained.

    Mark Cuban Is On a Mission to Sell Cheaper Prescription Drugs to Americans

    Billionaire Mark Cuban is eager to solve the US prescription drug price crisis. He is on a mission to sell cheaper prescription drugs directly to Americans,

    Earlier this year, the 63-year-old entrepreneur launched his online pharmacy that offers more than 100 generic drugs at an affordable price.

    His startup venture, called Mark Cuban Cost Plus Drug Company, is now offering steeply discounted prices on generic prescription drugs, with some drugs available at a very competitive price.

    Imatinib 100 mg, a generic leukemia drug, currently costs $2,502 for 30 tablets. Cuban’s company is selling the same medicine for just $17.10.

    A 2021 study by RAND found that Americans pay nearly 245% more for prescription drugs than any other developed country.

    A September 2021 West Health and Gallup survey showed that 7% (18 million) of Americans reported they can no longer afford one or more of their prescription drugs.

    Undeniably, Cuban should be applauded for making life-saving drugs more affordable; however, one startup is not enough to solve the nation’s ongoing prescription drug price crisis, according to some health care industry reformers.

    The billionaire’s online pharmacy offers discounted prices on only generic drugs. In the US, drug companies are awarded patents for a certain period, wherein they get the exclusive rights to sell the drug. The companies have the exclusive right to sell the drug for about 12 to 16 years at a price they decide, which is, of course, expensive.

    Once the patent is expired, other manufacturers can start making and selling the same drug in generic versions. The price of generic drugs comes down quickly if companies start making more and more generic medicines.

    Americans have already started using generic drugs. About 4 out of 5 medicines prescribed in the US are generic. However, still, Americans pay 84% more for generic drugs than other countries like the UK, Australia, France, Germany, Japan, and Spain. Generic drugs are not breaking people’s budgets; it is the brand-name drugs.

    Scientists Identify a Potential New Target for Treating Pediatric Blood Cancer

    A new study, published in eLife, has identified a possible new target for treating patients with juvenile myelomonocytic leukemia (JMML), according to Science Daily.

    The study findings suggest that treatment with anti-inflammatory drugs could be a possible new approach to combating JMML, a highly aggressive blood cancer with poor outcomes for patients.

    Children with a developmental syndrome called Noonan Syndrome (NS) are at greater risk of developing a condition similar to JMML, called myeloproliferative neoplasm. The genetic cause of JMML is a mutation in the PTPN11 gene, which encodes the protein-tyrosine phosphatase SHP2.

    The study’s first author Maja Solman said, “Hematopoietic stem and progenitor cells are considered to be the cells of origin for JMML. Currently, hematopoietic stem cell transplantation is the only treatment for the disease, but it has a relapse rate of 50%.”

    “With such limited treatment options for JMML, we wanted to gain a better understanding of how the disease develops to identify other possible ways of targeting it.”

    Solman and the team used a novel zebrafish model with a mutation in the SHP2 gene, which is equivalent to the mutation in NS patients, which can cause JMML.  They treated the zebrafish embryos with dexamethasone – one of the most common anti-inflammatory drugs.

    Upon analysis, the team found that dexamethasone helped rescue JMML-like blood defects in the fish. This suggests that anti-inflammatory drugs could play a key role in treating JMML.

    The study’s senior author Jeroen den Hertog, “Our work reveals striking similarities in the proinflammatory response of human and zebrafish cells containing SHP2 mutations, and shows that inhibiting this response can improve JMML-like symptoms in a zebrafish model. Together, these findings lay the groundwork for future studies to verify the effectiveness of anti-inflammatories as a potentially new treatment approach for JMML patients.”

    Teddi Mellencamp Opens Up About Her Decision to Get a Neck Lift

    Teddi Mellencamp Arroyave has defended her decision to get a neck lift, according to PEOPLE.

    On Monday, the 40-year-old former Real Housewives of Beverly Hills star said on her Instagram Story, “So I’m going through my DMs doing a little work for Two Ts in a Pod, and someone sent me a message. I want you guys to read it and let me know your thoughts.”

    Mellencamp then shared a screenshot of her answering the Instagram user’s message, which read, “Ur a public figure trying to help women loose [sic] weight yet your getting a face lift to remind those of us who need one who can’t afford one how ugly we are Thanku.”

    She responded, “I am being transparent with my journey. Would you prefer I lie and pretend the loose skin on my neck disappeared? That’s not who I am. You want to only follow people that show themselves through a filtered version of themselves then I am not the person to follow.”

    Mellencamp continued, “(Btw, this has nothing to do with going all in on your life – I changed my life 7 years ago and am proud of that and will continue sharing and helping others achieve their goals).” She then posed the question to her followers, “Do you appreciate me being open about my journey or would you rather I just pretend I did nothing?”

    In 2019, the self-professed accountability coach opened up about her cosmetic procedures.

    At the time, she penned a lengthy Instagram post about her weight loss transformation, which led her to undergo cosmetic procedures.

    The reality star was praised in the comment section of her post, but some followers questioned her on whether she had work done.

    One user wrote, “You look amazing your nose is smaller did u have surgery?” Mellencamp replied, “Not on my nose. I did on my tata’s.”

    Another fan asked, “Was it bc you needed a lift? Just curious from my weight loss, I feel I need a lift or redone?” Mellencamp explained she “didn’t need a lift,” but “they deflated after breast feeding and weight loss so they added 210 cc implants.”

    Researchers Identify Drug That Inhibits Growth of Recurring Brain Tumor


      A non-metastatic brain tumor, also called meningioma, often recurs after surgery and radiotherapy. Patients with this type of tumor run out of treatment options. There are no drugs for these aggressive brain tumors.

      However, scientists at Northwestern Medicine, Chicago, the University of California, San Francisco, and the University of Hong Kong have identified a drug that inhibits the growth of the most aggressive brain tumors, according to Medical Xpress.

      They also found how to accurately identify which meningiomas will respond to the drug.

      The drug, called abemaciclib, is a newer cancer treatment. Using mouse models, the researchers demonstrated the efficacy of the drug in a 3D living tissue brain tumor (organoids) and cell cultures.

      Lead author Dr. Stephen Magill said, “Our study identifies which patients we should treat with this drug because their tumor will likely respond to it. We now have the potential to give them options and hope for a longer, symptom-free life.”

      Meningiomas are the most common non-metastatic tumors in the central nervous system. In the United States, about 31,000 people are diagnosed with meningioma every year. The signs and symptoms of meningiomas include headaches, seizures, or neurological deficits such as weakness, vision loss, double vision, or sensory changes.

      Abemaciclib is a cell cycle inhibitor, which means it blocks the cell division cycle and inhibits tumor growth.

      Dr. Magill explained, “Eventually we hope to tailor medical therapy to the genetic changes within each individual person’s meningioma. We can find a weakness in that tumor, put a stick in the spokes and stop it from growing.”

      The study, published in Nature Genetics, used DNA methylation profiling and RNA sequencing on 565 meningiomas, which enabled investigators to see what genes are expressed by the tumor and the level of expression, revealing a signature of the DNA, according to Medical Xpress.

      Dr. Magill said, “By doing that we found three separate groups of meningiomas based off their biology. For each group, we found a different biological mechanism promoting the tumors’ growth, with each group having a different clinical outcome.”

      “These groups are different than the previous grading system and “are more accurate at predicting the clinical behavior of the tumor,” he added. “We wondered if by inhibiting that pathway we could stop the tumors from growing. We tested that in multiple ways and found it was true in patients, mouse models and cell cultures.”