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Good news abounds…

By Brian | June 29, 2009 | Share on Facebook

While the global media obsesses over a rash of celebrity deaths, I was pleased to find some good news in my newsfeed this morning.

1) U.S. Seeks New Roles as Troops Prepare Exit From Iraqi Cities

June 29 (Bloomberg) — Iraqi government officials will mark tomorrow’s long-planned withdrawal of U.S. forces from their cities by taking the day off, decorating cars with flowers and broadcasting patriotic music.

U.S. officers say that the Iraqis will be in exclusive control of major combat in urban areas, including the flashpoints of Baghdad, Mosul and Baquba, for the first time since the 2003 overthrow of Saddam Hussein. U.S. forces will ring volatile cities to prevent rebel infiltration, provide intelligence and fight if Iraqis request.

The urban pullout is part of an accord signed by the Bush administration and the Iraqi government in November, which called for a complete withdrawal of U.S. forces by the end of 2011. President Barack Obama wants to pull out all but 35,000 to 50,000 soldiers by August 2010. About 131,000 American troops are now in Iraq, according to Pentagon figures.

2) Scientists kill cancer cells with “trojan horse”

SYDNEY (Reuters) – Australian scientists have developed a “trojan horse” therapy to combat cancer, using a bacterially-derived nano cell to penetrate and disarm the cancer cell before a second nano cell kills it with chemotherapy drugs.

Sydney scientists Dr Jennifer MacDiarmid and Dr Himanshu Brahmbhatt, who formed EnGenelC Pty Ltd in 2001, said they had achieved 100 percent survival in mice with human cancer cells by using the “trojan horse” therapy in the past two years.

The first wave of mini-cells release ribonucleic acid molecules, called siRNA, which switch off the production of proteins that make the cancer cell resistant to chemotherapy. A second wave of EDV cells is then accepted by the cancer cell and releases chemotherapy drugs, killing the cancer cell.

“The beauty is that our EDVs operate like ‘Trojan Horses’ They arrive at the gates of the affected cells and are always allowed in,” said MacDiarmid. “We are playing the rogue cells at their own game. They switch-on the gene to produce the protein to resist drugs, and we are switching-off the gene which, in turn, enables the drugs to enter.”

So, major steps forward toward world peace and a cure for cancer? Not a bad day…

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