Daily Archives: October 25, 2014

**Breaking** Major police incident in Edinburgh city centre *Edits*

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By Shaun Gibson : @ShaunyNews

Breaking news

EDINBURGH city centre has been brought to a halt following a major police incident.

Around 50 police officers carrying riot shields and wearing balaclavas were deployed on Cockburn Street, in the city’s historic Old Town, at around 10pm on Saturday evening.

Crowds gathered as police helicopters circled the area for more than an hour.

Sniffer dogs, fire engines and police vehicles were on the scene as the drama unfolded, with officers cordoning off Cockburn Street with police tape.

Police searched floor by floor the old Scotsman building at 30 Cockburn Street.

Police moved onlookers back last night saying there was an “ongoing dangerous incident”.

One witness said: “The helicopter has been circling for more than an hour shining its search light down over the tops of buildings.

“The police have been warning us all to stay back.”

Some onlookers took to Twitter to describe the scene. Rudra Kapila wrote: “Area is mini war zone”.

Abbie Jessie added: “All the streets have been blocked of by police and helicopters.”

Police Scotland refused to comment on speculation there had been a shooting, but did confirm there was an “ongoing incident”.

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EDIT* Cut off the Bridges, man on top of Scotsman building. 11:49 pm

EDIT* Police say no guns involved. 00:12 am

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Cockburn Street

EDIT* 

Parts of Edinburgh city centre are on lockdown as dozens of police officers hunt a man reported to be on a roof.

Fire crews have joined officers in the search for the man in the city’s Old Town.

Police have refused to comment on reports of a shooting in the area at around 10pm last night, but did confirm there was an ongoing incident.

Sky’s Scotland correspondent James Matthews said police do not believe a firearm is involved in the operation.

According to reports, more than 50 officers in riot gear were deployed to Cockburn Street with a police helicopter circling overhead.

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: “Police and the fire service are in attendance to trace a man reported to be on a roof in Edinburgh city centre.

“The police helicopter has been deployed and a cordon is in places to ensure public safety.”

Police Helicopters all over

Police Helicopters all over

A Police Scotland spokeswoman said: ‘Police and the fire service are in attendance to trace a man reported to be on a roof in Edinburgh city centre.

The police helicopter has been deployed and a cordon is in places to ensure public safety.’ Man on rooftop in central Edinburgh. Police tell us he poses no risk to anyone. Yet there are swat teams and helicopters. Overreaction much?

EDIT*

EDIT* 01:10 AM

Riot police were involved in a search for a rumoured gunman on Edinburgh rooftops last night after reports of a shooting near the Royal Mile.

Around 50 officers with shields were deployed on the city’s Cockburn Street and a police helicopter circled skies above the Old Town from 10pm.

The fire service were also in attendance.

There were reports from Twitter users of a possible shooting and that the gunman may have escaped on to a roof but police later confirmed there were no firearms involved.

A police spokeswoman said: “Police and fire services are in attendance to trace a male on the roof of a building in Edinburgh.

“A helicopter has been deployed and a cordon has been put in place for the public’s protection.”

EDIT* 01:20

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Parts of Edinburgh city centre have been cordoned off as police hunt for a man reported to be on a roof.

Emergency services were called to the Royal Mile at Cockburn Street at around 10pm on Saturday.

More than 50 officers in riot gear were seen searching buildings around the area, with the police helicopter overhead.

Early reports of a shooting were dismissed by Police Scotland, who said there is no risk to the public.

Writing on Twitter, the force said: “The incident on the Royal Mile this evening is not an armed incident, and there is no risk to the public.

“Police presence around the Royal Mile after a man was reported to be on a roof. A cordon is in place to ensure safety.”

EDIT*

Police say incident which saw part of central Edinburgh cordoned off now concluded; one person detained

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Cancer-killing stem cells engineered in lab

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Brain tumours are often solid and hard to reach so stem cells are an effective way of targeting them

Brain tumours are often solid and hard to reach so stem cells are an effective way of targeting them

By Shaun Gibson @ShaunyNews

Scientists from Harvard Medical School have discovered a way of turning stem cells into killing machines to fight brain cancer.

There may soon be a new way to use stem cells in the fight against brain cancer. A team has created a way to genetically engineer stem cells so that they can produce and secrete tumor-killing toxins that eradicate cancer cells remaining in mouse brains after their main tumor has been removed.

The stem cells are placed at the site encapsulated in a biodegradable gel. This method solves the delivery issue that probably led to the failure of recent clinical trials aimed at delivering purified cancer-killing toxins into patients’ brains.  Cytotoxins are deadly to all cells, but since the late 1990s, researchers have been able to tag toxins in such a way that they only enter cancer cells with specific surface molecules; making it possible to get a toxin into a cancer cell without posing a risk to normal cells. Once inside of a cell, the toxin disrupts the cell’s ability to make proteins and, within days, the cell starts to die.

Encapsulated toxin-producing stem cells (in blue) help kill brain tumor cells in the tumor resection cavity (in green). Credit: Khalid Shah, MS, PhD

“Cancer-killing toxins have been used with great success in a variety of blood cancers, but they don’t work as well in solid tumors because the cancers aren’t as accessible and the toxins have a short half-life,” said Harvard neuroscientist Khalid Shah, MS, PhD, who directs the Molecular Neurotherapy and Imaging Lab at Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School. “A few years ago we recognized that stem cells could be used to continuously deliver these therapeutic toxins to tumors in the brain, but first we needed to genetically engineer stem cells that could resist being killed themselves by the toxins. Now, we have toxin-resistant stem cells that can make and release cancer-killing drugs.”

Shah’s stem cells escape this fate because they are made with a mutation that doesn’t allow the toxin to act inside the cell. The toxin-resistant stem cells also have an extra bit of genetic code that allows them to make and secrete the toxins. Any cancer cells that these toxins encounter do not have this natural defense and therefore die. Shah and his team induced toxin resistance in human neural stem cells and subsequently engineered them to produce targeted toxins.

“We tested these stem cells in a clinically relevant mouse model of brain cancer, where you resect the tumors and then implant the stem cells encapsulated in a gel into the resection cavity,” Shah said. “After doing all of the molecular analysis and imaging to track the inhibition of protein synthesis within brain tumors, we do see the toxins kill the cancer cells and eventually prolonging the survival in animal models of resected brain tumors.”

Shah next plans to rationally combine the toxin-secreting stem cells with a number of different therapeutic stem cells developed by his team to further enhance their positive results in mouse models of glioblastoma, the most common brain tumor in human adults. Shah predicts that he will bring these therapies into clinical trials within the next five years.

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/health-29756238#?utm_source=twitterfeed&utm_medium=twitter

http://www.popsci.com/article/science/injecting-engineered-stem-cells-brain-may-effectively-treat-tumors

http://hsci.harvard.edu/news/scientists-engineer-toxin-secreting-stem-cells-treat-brain-tumors

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