Home' Greymouth Star : July 24th 2015 Contents Greymouth Star
10 - Friday, July 24, 2015
New hope for dementia sufferers
The first drug that slows down
Alzheimer’s disease could be
available within three years after
trials showed it prevented mental
decline by a third.
Pharmaceutical company Eli
Lilly said Solanezumab had
been shown to put the brakes
on memory loss and cognitive
decline in those with mild
symptoms of dementia. It is the
first time that a drug has been
shown to tackle the underlying
disease process, rather than just
Although trials are continuing
the treatment could be available
for use by 2018 if approved.
Health experts said the research
demonstrated a “huge step
for ward from the current
Alzheimer’s is caused when
sticky amyloid plaques form in
the brain, preventing neurons
each other. Solanezumab is an
antibody which binds to amyloid
in its early soluble form, allowing
it to be cleared by the body
before it can form dangerous
plaques. The drug was originally
developed for those with late-
stage dementia but was found to
However, researchers noticed
that it was having an impact
on people with mild symptoms.
Tests are in development that
could pick up Alzheimer’s 10
years before the first symptoms
emerge, meaning that treatment
could start very early and
perhaps prevent the plaques
Richard Morris, a professor of
neuroscience at the University
of Edinburgh, said the latest
research proved that amyloid
plaques were driving dementia
and showed that preventing
them forming was the key to
slowing or stopping the disease.
“This is not a mouse study, it’s
a people study. That matters,” he
The trial followed 1322 people
with mild Alzheimer’s for three
and a half years. Cognitive tests
showed that the mental decline
of those taking the drug was a
third less over the period than
those on placebo.
Results released yesterday
also showed that two other
Aducanumab, were effective
at reducing biomarkers for
Alzheimer’s disease and offered
early hope of new treatments.
Cape Canaveral (Florida)
A planet remarkably similar to Earth and
potentially capable of sustaining life has been
discovered in a “habitable zone” around a
distant sun-like star, United States scientists
The planet, which is about 60% bigger than
Earth, is located about 1400 light years away
in the constellation Cygnus. It was discovered
using Nasa’s Kepler space telescope and circles
a star that is similar in size and temperature to
“In my mind, this is the closest thing we have
to another planet like the Earth,” astronomer
Jon Jenkins, with the US space agency ’s Ames
Research Centre in Moffett Field, California,
told reporters on a conference call.
Dubbed Kepler-452b, the planet is positioned
about as far from its parent star as Earth is from
the sun. At that distance, surface temperatures
would be suitable for liquid water, a condition
believed to be critical for life.
Scientists previously have found Earth-sized
planets orbiting in stars’ so-called “habitable
zones”, but those stars are cooler and smaller
than the sun.
Nasa launched the Kepler telescope in 2009 to
sur vey a sampling of nearby stars in an attempt
to learn if planets like Earth were common in
“This is great progress in finding a planet like
Earth that is similar in size and temperature
around a sun-like star,” Kepler scientist Jeff
Coughlin, with the SETI Institute in Mountain
View, California, said.
Based on its size, scientists believe Kepler-
452b should be rocky, like the Earth, though
that theory is based on statistical analysis and
computer modelling, not direct evidence.
Kepler-452b’s parent star is about six billion
years old, compared to the 4.6 billion year age
of the sun.
“It’s simply awe-inspiring to consider that this
planet has spent six billion years in the habitable
zone of its star,” Jenkins said.
“That ’s considerable time and opportunity
for life to arise somewhere on its surface or in
its oceans should all the necessary ingredients
and conditions for life exist on this planet,” he
With the discovery of Kepler-452b, the
telescope has found 1030 confirmed planets and
identified nearly 5000 candidate planets. The
list of potential planets includes 11 other near-
Earth twins, seven of which circle sun-like stars.
Attempts to learn if Kepler-452b has an
atmosphere likely will have to wait for a new
generation of more sensitive space telescopes,
Nasa’s associate administrator John Grunsfeld
said. — Reuters
Mountain View (California)
Google is introducing a new feature to
its Maps application that allows users to
see where they have been on any given
day, month or year.
The search company already tracks the
location of Android users, as long as they
choose to share their location history
with Google. This allows the company to
provide more relevant and contextualised
information within applications and ads.
For example, Google Now provides
notifications when there are traffic
incidents along your commute, or
reminds you where you parked your car.
The new feature, called Timeline, puts
this information on to a map, letting
users “ visualise your real-world routines,
easily see the trips you’ve taken and get
a glimpse of the places where you spend
your time”, according to Google.
People who use Google Photos —
Google’s new app that assigns tags to
objects in photos and automatically
arranges them into albums — can also see
all the photos they took in a specific place
or on a specific day on their Timeline.
“ Have you ever wanted a way to easily
remember all the places you’ve been
whether it’s a museum you visited
during your last vacation or that fun bar
you stumbled upon a few months ago?”
Google product manager Gerard Sanz
said in a blog post.
“ Well, starting today, Google Maps
can help . . . Your Timeline is private and
visible only to you; and you control the
locations you choose to keep.”
The new feature is available on desktop
and Android. — EF E
A mother was reported to the police after
she put a two-year-old boy with Down
syndrome in the washing machine for a
Courney Stewart, 21, posted a photograph
on Facebook showing an adult ’s hand holding
the washing machine door shut with the
She said that the boy, who was in her care at
the time “ loves the washing machine”, adding,
“ We took a picture and it was a laugh.”
However, neighbours reported the incident
to the police as they were concerned about
the child’s safety.
“It was terrible to look at,” one of Stewart ’s
neighbours in Erksine, Renfrewshire, told the
“ For anyone, let alone someone who is also
a parent, to take a picture like that and stick
it on Facebook for a laugh is unbelievable. It’s
no wonder people are angry about it.
“ People in the town have been talking about
it, because anyone who has seen it has been
Stewart claimed the boy, who is small for
his age, climbed into the machine of his own
accord, and criticised those who reported her
to police, calling it “absolutely ridiculous”.
She said: “He is clearly laughing in the
pictures. So I don’t understand why somebody
took that picture as — well, I don’t know
what they took it as.
“ What did they think I was doing to him?
Taking him for a spin?
“He’s got a bit of a washing obsession.
Anyone who knows him would know he’s got
a washing obsession.
“I don’t know who reported it. I don’t really
know why they would do that. I think it’s
Ms Stewart took down the photo from
Facebook after she was reported to the police.
“It’s horrible having the police at the door
thinking you’re a bad person,” she said.
“I was shocked, but in a sense I’m glad they
didn’t just take it as a joke and not come and
see me. So I was thankful in that way.”
She added that two police officers
questioned her for over an hour before leaving
without pressing charges.
A police spokeswoman confirmed Stewart
had been spoken to. She said: “Advice was
given. Relevant child care checks were made. ”
Stewart said that since posting the picture
last Thursday, she has been physically attacked
by a complete stranger.
She said: “I got assaulted by a woman. She
came to my door and said I was a f—ing
nutter and she wouldn’t let me anywhere near
“It happened on my doorstep at 11 o’clock
in the morning. I got assaulted in my own
A 42-year-old woman was arrested over the
alleged assault. She appeared at Paisley Sheriff
Court on Monday and the case was continued
without plea for a week. — PA
Woman puts Down syndrome son in washing machine
The boy in the washing machine and Courtney Stewart. The Facebook image has now been
engineer says he has 20 unfinished
tracks by the late pop star on his
computer — but he is not allowed
to let anyone hear them.
“I don’t have the right to write
the song titles or to let people
hear them for the moment,”
Michael D urham Prince told the
French newspaper Le Parisien
Months after Jackson’s death
in 2009 from a lethal overdose
of sedatives, the entertainer’s
estate signed a $US200 million
($302 million) deal with Sony
recording company, according to
the Wall Street Journal.
Under the agreement, Sony can
bring out up to seven albums
over a decade, including new or
remixed Michael Jackson songs.
Two posthumous albums have
already been released, in 2010 and
2014, but Sony said overnight no
others were currently in the works.
Prince, who was Jackson’s
audio engineer from 1995 up to
his death, said from Germany :
“ I have on my computer 20
unreleased (songs) by Michael,
all of them unfinished. ”
He explained that Jackson had
not sung the choruses for the
tracks, so “someone would have
to be found” to perform them
whenever they did get released,
if Sony and Jackson’s family gave
the go-ahead. “ That would mean
duets,” he said.
Prince added that he believed
there would be further Jackson
albums in the future, “ but for the
moment, we are thinking more
about bringing out new songs
every six months”.
Jackson died aged 50 on June 25,
2009 as he was readying to give a
series of concerts in London. His
personal doctor, Conrad Murray,
was jailed in 2011 for involuntary
manslaughter but ser ved only
half of his four-year sentence
because of prison overcrowding
and good behaviour. — AFP
Unfinished Michael Jackson tracks revealed
A British teenager incited a man in
Melbourne to break into someone’s home
and “get your first taste of beheading”, a
London court has been told.
The 15-year-old, who cannot be named
for legal reasons, pleaded guilty at the
Old Bailey overnight to inciting the
Melbourne man to murder police officers
in a terror attack at an Anzac Day parade
in Melbourne this year.
The teen, who remains in a youth
detention centre, appeared by video link
from Manchester. Wearing glasses, a
grey shirt and a dark tie, he sat quietly
during the hearing in front of Justice
John Saunders, saying only the word
“guilty” when asked to plead.
The prosecution dropped a second
charge of inciting a terror act, namely
the “murder by beheading of a person in
Prosecutor Paul Greaney, QC, told the
court the intentions of the plotters were
revealed when investigators discovered
thousands of electronic messages
between the boy and a man in Australia.
The court heard they both supported
the Islamic State group.
Greaney said a March 18 message
from the boy, who was 14 at the time,
contained the suggestion “you break into
someone’s home and get your first taste
of beheading”, prompting the response,
“ it seems a little risky”.
Following the arrest of the boy, police
made arrests in Australia and two men
face charges in a Melbourne court.
Sentencing was set for September 3 in
the Manchester Crown Court — AAP
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