Fungal Invasion May Drive Some Pancreatic Cancers

By EJ Mundell
HealthDay Reporter

FRIDAY, Oct. 4, 2019 (HealthDay News) — Fungi living in the gut can move into the pancreas, triggering changes to normal cells that can result in cancer, a new study suggests.

The finding could advance the prevention and treatment of pancreatic cancer, which is usually fatal because it’s often detected too late. The disease has been in the news lately because “Jeopardy!” host Alex Trebek is waging a battle against an advanced form of the illness.

The new research focuses on a particular form of the cancer, called pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma, which can be fatal within two years.

While the exact causes of pancreatic cancer remain unclear, the American Cancer Society has long recognized that viruses, bacteria and parasites can help spur pancreatic tumors, the authors of the new study noted.

But fungi haven’t been shown to play a role — until now.

“While past studies from our group have shown that bacteria travel from the gut to the pancreas, our new study is the first to confirm that fungi, too, make that trip, and that related fungal population changes promote tumor inception and growth,” study co-author Dr. George Miller said in a news release from NYU Langone Health.

Miller is co-leader of the Tumor Immunology Research Program at Perlmutter Cancer Center at NYU Langone Health, in New York City.

Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma is cancer of the tube in the pancreas where digestive juices drain into the intestines. This exchange causes fungal populations in the gut and pancreas — the “mycobiome” — to become abnormal, the NYU team explained. That change may cause pancreatic cells to turn malignant.

In the new study, the researchers first looked at fungal transfer from the gut to the pancreas in mice that already had pancreatic tumors.

In those experiments, the researchers found that treating the rodents with an antifungal drug shrunk the weight of tumors from between 20% to 40% over 30 weeks.

Investigating further, the team catalogued the species of fungi in the poop of mice with or without pancreatic cancer. They even tagged the fungi with “glowing” proteins to watch the microbes travel from the gut to the pancreas.


Certain patterns emerged, with some populations of fungal species increasing at a far higher rate in the cancerous pancreases versus the non-cancerous ones.

One such cancer-linked species is called Malassezia.

“We have long known that Malassezia fungi — generally found on the skin and scalp — are responsible for dandruff and some forms of eczema, but recent studies have also linked them to skin and colorectal cancer,” study senior co-author Deepak Saxena noted in the news release.

“Our new findings add evidence that Malassezia is abundant in pancreatic tumors as well,” said Saxena, who is professor of basic science and craniofacial biology at NYU College of Dentistry. Pancreatic cancers in the mice grew about 20% faster when Malassezia was allowed to grow unchecked, the team noted.

The researchers theorized that fungi spur growth of the cancer by affecting immune system mechanisms that lead to abnormal tissue growth.

Study co-first author Smruti Pushalkar, a research scientist at NYU College of Dentistry, added, “Moving forward, one goal for our team is to determine which species are most relevant to cancer, as doing so could guide future attempts to slow tumor growth with targeted antifungal medications, and to avert side effects.”

The results of the study add evidence to the theory that fungi increase the risk for cancer by activating an ancient part of the immune system, the researchers said. This immune response fights infections but also increases cell growth as the infection is cured. Past studies have shown that aggressive tissue growth can cause cancer when it’s combined with genetic flaws.

The report was published Oct. 2 in the journal Nature.

WebMD News from HealthDay


SOURCE:Nature,  news release, Oct. 2, 2019

Copyright © 2013-2018 HealthDay. All rights reserved.

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Netflix Dates Global Invasion of Nick’s ‘Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus’

The highly anticipated new TV movie event Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus, from Nickelodeon and creator Jhonen Vasquez, will make its global streaming debut on Netflix on August 16! The original series about a bumbling alien bent on planetary domination premiered on Nick in 2001, sparking a devoted fandom — and getting “The Doom Song” stuck in jillions of puny human heads.

In Enter the Florpus, Zim (voiced again by Richard Horvitz) discovers his almighty leaders never had any intention of coming to Earth, and he loses confidence in himself for the first time in his life. This is the big break his human nemesis, Dib (Andy Berman), has been waiting for!

Returning voice stars also include Rikki Simons (GIR), Melissa Fahn (Gaz), Rodger Bumpass (Professor Membrane), Wally Wingert (Almighty Tallest Red) and Kevin McDonald (Almighty Tallest Purple) and Olivia d’Abo (Tak); along with Eric Bauza, Breehn Burns, Justin Roiland, Fred Tatasciore, Jenny Goldberg, Mo Collins and Michael McDonald.

Jhonen Vazquez wrote, exec produced (with Mary Harrington) and voices the movie. Breehn Burns is supervising producer and story consultant. Joann Estoesta is producer. Jenny Goldberg is art director. Music by Kevin Manthei.

Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus

Invader Zim: Enter the Florpus

Animation Magazine

Florida to call on Labrador retrievers to stem Giant Snail invasion

Florida Commissioner of Agriculture Adam Putnam holds a shell as he speaks at a news conference about successes in attempts to eradicate the Giant African Land Snail in Miami, Florida August 29, 2013. REUTERS/Joe Skipper

MIAMI | Thu Aug 29, 2013 7:36pm EDT

(Reuters) – Florida officials trying to eradicate the Giant African Land Snail, one of the world’s most destructive invasive species, plan to deploy a new weapon in the battle – Labrador retrievers.

State agriculture authorities say they hope the dogs will add to their success in fighting an infestation of the slimy snails, which were first spotted by a homeowner nearly two years ago and quickly swept through the Miami area.

On Wednesday, officials said that since the start of an aggressive extermination campaign they have collected 128,000 of the snails, which can grow as big as rats and devour plants as well as stucco and plaster in a hunt for calcium they need to grow their big shells. In large numbers, the snails can cause extensive structural damage to buildings.

“We see a lot of strange things in Florida and this one makes the top of the list,” said Florida Agriculture Commissioner Adam Putnam. “It is a very serious pest.”

Putnam said $ 6 million has been spent so far to eradicate the munching mollusks, which may have been introduced to Florida by a Miami Santeria group, a religion with West African and Caribbean roots that was found in 2012 to be using the snails in its rituals.

The snails can carry a parasitic rat lungworm that can cause illness in humans, including a form of meningitis, although no such cases have been identified in the United States.

To stamp out the snails, a team of 45 people regularly fans out across Miami, sometimes using rakes and getting down on their hands and knees to hunt for them.

The snail fighters are also using bait, chemical treatments and experimental traps to root out the mollusks, helped by phone calls from local residents who report sightings.

Joining them soon will be canine detectors, including a Labrador retriever being trained to sniff out the snails.

“They’re very good at detecting the Giant African Land Snail,” said Richard Gaskalla, the head of plant industry at the Florida Agriculture Department. “So we’re building four-legged technology into this program as quickly as we can.”

The Giant African Land Snail has no natural predator, posing a challenge to eradication efforts. But it can give off a strong odor that dogs can be trained to detect.

Officials showed off a black Lab named Bear who is expected to soon wrap up his three-month training and start accompanying the snail hunters. Two other Labradors are also expected to be trained, they said.

Officials say they believe they have contained the snails to the Miami area.

Gaskalla said the program was showing success, with a sharp drop in numbers found.

“The number of detections this last year were in the thousands; now they are down to around 200 to 300 a week,” he said.

(Editing by Eric Walsh)

Reuters: Oddly Enough

Florida battles slimy invasion by giant snails

1 of 2. A Giant African land snail is seen in this handout picture from the Florida Department of Agriculture Division of Plant Industry taken September 9, 2011.

Credit: Reuters/Florida Department of Agriculture Division of Plant Industry/Handout

ORLANDO, Florida | Sun Apr 14, 2013 1:50pm EDT

ORLANDO, Florida (Reuters) – South Florida is fighting a growing infestation of one of the world’s most destructive invasive species: the giant African land snail, which can grow as big as a rat and gnaw through stucco and plaster.

More than 1,000 of the mollusks are being caught each week in Miami-Dade and 117,000 in total since the first snail was spotted by a homeowner in September 2011, said Denise Feiber, a spokeswoman for the Florida Department of Agriculture and Consumer Services.

Residents will soon likely begin encountering them more often, crunching them underfoot as the snails emerge from underground hibernation at the start of the state’s rainy season in just seven weeks, Feiber said.

The snails attack “over 500 known species of plants … pretty much anything that’s in their path and green,” Feiber said.

In some Caribbean countries, such as Barbados, which are overrun with the creatures, the snails’ shells blow out tires on the highway and turn into hurling projectiles from lawnmower blades, while their slime and excrement coat walls and pavement.

“It becomes a slick mess,” Feiber said.

A typical snail can produce about 1,200 eggs a year and the creatures are a particular pest in homes because of their fondness for stucco, devoured for the calcium content they need for their shells.

The snails also carry a parasitic rat lungworm that can cause illness in humans, including a form of meningitis, Feiber said, although no such cases have yet been identified in the United States.


The snails’ saga is something of a sequel to the Florida horror show of exotic species invasions, including the well-known infestation of giant Burmese pythons, which became established in the Everglades in 2000. There is a long list of destructive non-native species that thrive in the state’s moist, subtropical climate.

Experts gathered last week in Gainesville, Florida, for a Giant African Land Snail Science Symposium, to seek the best ways to eradicate the mollusks, including use of a stronger bait approved recently by the federal government.

Feiber said investigators were trying to trace the snail infestation source. One possibility being examined is a Miami Santeria group, a religion with West African and Caribbean roots, which was found in 2010 to be using the large snails in its rituals, she said. But many exotic species come into the United States unintentionally in freight or tourists’ baggage.

“If you got a ham sandwich in Jamaica or the Dominican Republic, or an orange, and you didn’t eat it all and you bring it back into the States and then you discard it, at some point, things can emerge from those products,” Feiber said.

Authorities are expanding a series of announcements on buses, billboards and in movie theaters urging the public to be on the lookout.

The last known Florida invasion of the giant mollusks occurred in 1966, when a boy returning to Miami from a vacation in Hawaii brought back three of them, possibly in his jacket pockets. His grandmother eventually released the snails into her garden where the population grew in seven years to 17,000 snails. The state spent $ 1 million and 10 years eradicating them.

Feiber said many people unfamiliar with the danger viewed the snails as cute pets.

“They’re huge, they move around, they look like they’re looking at you … communicating with you, and people enjoy them for that,” Feiber said. “But they don’t realize the devastation they can create if they are released into the environment where they don’t have any natural enemies and they thrive.”

(Editing by David Adams and Peter Cooney)

Reuters: Oddly Enough

Nelvana’s ‘Alien Invasion’ to Sneak on YTV

Home » Television » Nelvana’s ‘Alien Invasion’ to Sneak on YTV

March 21, 2013 by Ramin Zahed divider image

Corus Entertainment’s YTV will sneak peek four back-to-back episodes of Nelvana’s new animated comedy series Oh No! It’s an Alien Invasion on Friday, March 29 beginning at 4 p.m. before its official fall premiere.

Described as “Home Alone meets War of the Worlds series for kids,” the show finds a world where a crazy band of partying aliens have invaded earth and hidden all of the grownups! The show’s hero Nate and his Super Wicked Extreme Emergency Team (S.W.E.E.T.) are on the case to take back the world, operating from their secret headquarters at the Swell-Mart. The series is written and developed by Philippe Ivanusic-Vallee and Peter Ricq, part of the creative team behind League of Super Evil.

Nelvana is comprised of Nelvana Studio and its distribution arm Nelvana Enterprises and owned by Corus Entertainment Inc. Nelvana Studio is a globally recognized studio that produces a stable of award-winning and globally renowned brands such as BEYBLADE: Metal Fury, BEYBLADE: Shogun Steel and Bakugan. For more info, visit

Oh No! It’s an Alien Invasion

Oh No! It’s an Alien Invasion

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Bird invasion brings real-life horror to Kentucky city

1 of 4. A flock of blackbirds search for trees to perch on in the town on Hopkinsville, Kentucky February 16, 2013.

Credit: Reuters/Harrison McClary

NASHVILLE, Tennessee | Tue Feb 19, 2013 3:59pm EST

NASHVILLE, Tennessee (Reuters) – Millions of birds have descended on a small Kentucky city this winter, fouling the landscape, scaring pets and raising the risk for disease in a real-life version of Alfred Hitchcock’s horror film, “The Birds.”

The blackbirds and European starlings blacken the sky of Hopkinsville, Kentucky, before roosting at dusk, turn the landscape white with bird poop, and the disease they carry can kill a dog and sicken humans.

“I have seen them come in, and there are enough that if the sun is just right, they’ll cloud your vision of the sun,” said Hopkinsville-Christian County historian William Turner. “I estimate there are millions of them.”

David Chiles, president of the Little River Audubon Society, said the fact that migratory flocks are roosting in the city rather than flying further south is tied to climate warming.

“The weather, the climate plays a big role,” said Chiles, the bird enthusiast who also teaches biology at Hopkinsville High School.

“They somehow establish a roost south of where the ground is frozen solid,” he explained. “They are ground feeders, feeding on leftover crops and insects. If the fields are frozen solid, they can’t feed.”

Although the birds have not turned on humans as in the classic 1963 Hitchcock movie featuring vicious attacks on people in a small northern California town, the city has taken defensive measures.

The south-central Kentucky city of 35,000 people, about an hour north of Nashville, has hired a pest control company to get rid of the interlopers.

Henry Jako, general manager of McGee Pest Control, said crews use air cannons and “bird-bangers” – similar to bottle rocket fireworks aimed into the trees where the birds roost.

The artillery attacks are disturbing some locals as well as the birds.

“It scares my little dog to death,” said Christian County Judge-Executive Steve Tribble. “I don’t know what it does other than move the birds from one tree to the next.”

Jako said that in the worst-affected neighborhoods, multiple cannons and consecutive blasts are being used to keep the birds moving.

When they fly away, the birds leave behind a huge volume of excrement.

“I’ve got an apple tree that has almost turned white,” Tribble said. “Any vehicle parked outside is covered up. I guess it’s good for folks that have car washes.”

Historian Turner said that the blackbird invasion this year is the worst he’s witnessed since the late 1970s, when Hopkinsville suffered a similar bird blitz.

“We aren’t seeing the temperatures go as low as zero like we used to. Now we very often don’t even see temperatures in the teens around here,” Jako said. “If the birds are comfortable, they are going to stay around,” he added.

The birds also pose a serious health hazard because their droppings can carry a fungal disease called histoplasmosis, which can cause lung infections and symptoms similar to pneumonia, according to the Centers for Disease Control website.

“It does become a matter of public health,” said Dr. Wade Northington, director of the Murray State University Breathitt Veterinary Center, an animal disease diagnostic facility whose territory covers a 200-mile (322-km) radius from Hopkinsville, including parts of Tennessee, Illinois and Indiana.

“The blackbirds are able to harbor this organism … so it can be shed in their droppings and it becomes a problem, especially where they tend to roost in extremely high numbers,” he said.

It can cause illness in humans, and is particularly dangerous for people with compromised immune systems or respiratory ailments, he said. It can be fatal for canines.

Turner, who suffered histoplasmosis decades ago after excavating family property that once held a chicken coop, describes the disease as debilitating. “I didn’t have any energy, and I didn’t have much appetite and lost weight,” he said.

The droppings contaminate the soil, making it unhealthy for years. It is a worry for dog owners, said Northington.

“It can be very expensive and take months to get it arrested and get an animal cured from it,” Northington said. “The disease is very prevalent in our area.”

(Editing by Barbara Goldberg and Sandra Maler)

Reuters: Oddly Enough

Bomb-sniffing dogs enlisted to stem Florida python invasion

ORLANDO | Mon Apr 30, 2012 4:59pm EDT

ORLANDO (Reuters) – Some bomb-sniffing dogs trained to help fight terrorism are turning their olfactory attention toward a different scourge: Burmese pythons in Florida’s Everglades National Park.

The dogs are members of “EcoDogs,” a three-year-old collaboration at Alabama’s Auburn University between the science departments and the school’s Canine Detection Research Institute, which trains dogs to detect explosives.

“The dogs are really, really good,” said Christina Romagosa, a biologist at Auburn.

She said in a test of python detection in south Florida, the dogs could cover a search area 2.5 times faster than a person.

“People can only see that the snake is there if they can see the snake. The dogs can smell the snake even if it’s not visually apparent to us,” she said.

Todd Steury, an Auburn conservation biologist and co-founder of the project, said many of the EcoDogs were found temperamentally unsuitable for indoor explosives work but thrive outdoors searching for ecological targets.

Steury estimated training a new dog to detect a scent takes six to 10 weeks. Training for each additional scent takes “about 10 minutes. You can do it by accident if you’re not careful,” he said, by inadvertently rewarding the dog for something you weren’t looking for, which then becomes part of the dog’s repertoire.

Two black Labrador retrievers from EcoDogs, Ivy and Jake, went on assignment in 2010 to demonstrate to the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers their potential usefulness in battling the python problem in the 2,358-square-mile (6,100-sq-km) Everglades park.


Environmentalists fear the pythons are upsetting the native ecological balance of South Florida. The invasion is generally attributed to both irresponsible pet owners dumping their snakes and 1992’s Hurricane Andrew, which destroyed an adjacent exotic snake warehouse.

In controlled experiments, the EcoDogs success rate in finding pythons at the park was 75-92 percent, Romagosa said. The dogs helped researchers trap 19 pythons, including a pregnant snake with 19 eggs, according to an EcoDog report.

Linda Friar, spokeswoman for the Everglades National Park, said the snakes are so thoroughly adapted to the Everglades, and the park is so wild and inaccessible that there is no expectation of eradicating them, even with the dogs’ help. The best hope is to prevent the pythons from spreading and be prepared for future invasions of new exotics, she said.

Romagosa said analysis is underway to determine whether the dogs can play a role in a rapid response team and whether funding their role , in a cost-cutting era is possible.

“The dogs would be useful in a scenario where we might not be sure the python has moved on beyond a certain range. The dogs can give us an idea of whether the species is present or not,” she said.

Meanwhile, Ivy retired and was adopted, Steury said. Jake switched to a new project assessing the deer population in Alabama, looking for fawns and deer antlers.

Other EcoDogs are rooting out a tree fungus damaging forests in the state, and locating various skunk, bear and other animal populations based on their scat, or droppings.

“Pretty much a dog can be trained to find anything,” Romagosa said.


Three years of working with the dogs disproved a common misconception that a smart dog is best, added Steury.

“The worst dog is a really smart but kinda lazy dog. Because that dog is always trying to figure out how he can cheat. Once you reward him for cheating, he’s done. He’ll never work again. The best dogs are the ones that are kind of dumb but just work really hard. We can train those dogs to work all day long and they’re the best detection dogs,” Steury said.

And the dogs enjoy the work so much that ones like Kasey, who searches for weasel, bobcat and gray fox scat, eventually lose interest in the reward, he said.

“She finds a scat, you’ll give her the ball, she plays with it for a really short time, then she’s back to the search. She likes the search,” Steury said.

(Editing by David Adams and Eric Walsh)

Reuters: Oddly Enough

Hollywood’s Video Game Invasion of the ’90s

Hollywood has always had its fingers on
the pulse of popular culture, so when video games began to blossom
during the ’80s, Tinseltown saw an opportunity to expand. Within a few
years, the gaming market was awash with titles featuring A-list actors,
iconic athletes, and all manner of celebrity in-between. It’s hard to
imagine a time when star-power had such sway in video games, especially
when you consider that the concept of celebrity has devolved over the
past decade into anyone who’s willing to share their messy existence of
a life in front of a Bravo TV camera. The number of actors, musicians
and athletes who lent their likenesses to video games throughout the
’90s is absolutely staggering. There’s no way we could go through all
the instances where the player could interact with a celebrity, so we
narrowed the list down to a select few games that represent the vast
scope of this strange trend.



2: The Darkening

– PC


Today in Gaming – 4/12/11: Zelda 3D Dated, Portal Invasion

It’s somewhat alarming to see just how few games Nintendo has coming out over the next few months. The release schedule put out today shows that there simply isn’t much in the way of hardcore games coming to the Wii or DS in the second quarter of 2011. The 3DS fares a bit better, but it’s not going to be until the latter half of the year that we begin to see original content designed for the hardcore crowd from Nintendo. Things could get even better for the 3DS with the launch of the eShop next month, but we’ll see how well it’s supported as compared to DSiWare.

Today’s highlights:

And here’s what else happened today:

Indie Games Invaded by Portal


Armed robbers make off with ‘large amount of drugs’ in Madison home invasion

Latest from CHS Armed robbers make off with ‘large amount of drugs’ in Madison home invasion by jseattle 230 Broadway project about to dig in on Capitol Hill’s main drag by jseattle Edgar the Store leaves behind missing consignments, landlord problems
Moreover Technologies – Search results for… drugs – 30 of 856 returned

Drugs between Research and Regulations: Proceedings of the 5th International Meeting of Pharmaceutical Physicians, Munich, October 14-17, 1984

List Price: $ 55.00