DAILY DOSE: A late phase Alzheimer’s drug gets pulled; AI predicts resistance before it occurs

Another setback for Roche: Drug maker Roche has pulled the plug on its phase 3 anti-Abeta Alzheimer’s drug, Crenezumab. Interim analysis of the trial indicated that the drug would not be able to hit their primary endpoints. An independent data monitoring committee concluded that the drug would not improve Clinical Dementia Rating Sum of Boxes scores. The question now is whether Roche will abandon the Alzheimer’s drug, considering the setback. http://bit.ly/2HE5L5w

Predicting resistance before it occurs: A recent paper by Australian scientists at the University of Technology Sydney, employed a range of machine learning tools to rapidly predict and detect resistant strains of E. Coli using whole genome sequencing data. They relied on the presence of absence of genes, population structure and isolation year as predictors. The group attained precision as high as 0.92. http://bit.ly/2Skl1bV

Strategy to take down malaria: A column in Scientific American highlights the perilous state of drug resistant malaria in Southeast Asia. Colin Ohrt outlines steps that must be taken in order to address the pending crisis. These include fostering commitment and sense of urgency, utilizing surveillance as a core intervention, and establishing a reliable leadership structure. He called on stakeholders such as the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation, the Global Fund, the World Health Organization, and the U.S. Army and Navy to step up efforts. http://bit.ly/2HH5Sxq

The right stuff: Blue Origin is in the news again. Jeff Bezos’ aerospace endeavor signed a contract with Canada’s Telesat to carry part of a satellite constellation into space. It is an important contract for Blue Origin as they compete in an increasingly crowded launch services market. Its competitors include Space X and United Launch Alliance, a collaboration between Boeing and Lockheed Martin. https://reut.rs/2HSZu5Y

It took long enough: Bad news for the half dozen people still using Google+. Alphabet, the parent company to Google, will be deleting absolutely everything from an unmitigated failure. April 2 is doomsday. http://bit.ly/2HGIT5q

Another one bites the dust: There’s good news for homeowners that hate tending to their lawns. iRobot is set to launch a self-mowing machine called the Terra. According to the company, it will operate much like the Roomba, relying on location triangulation and changing direction in the event it bumps into something. That’s one more human job being rendered obsolete by technology. http://bit.ly/2HT0jM6

IMAGE SOURCE: Creative Commons

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