News & Current Affairs

June 23, 2009

Apple chief Jobs ‘back at work’

Filed under: Latest, Technology News — Tags: , , , , , , , , — expressyoureself @ 7:17 am

Apple chief Jobs ‘back at work’

Steve Jobs

Analysts say Mr Jobs will likely start back at work on a part-time basis

Apple chief executive Steve Jobs has reportedly returned to work following six months of medical leave.

Mr Jobs, 54, who is reported to have had a liver transplant, was expected back at his desk at the end of June.

Apple has refused to comment on the matter but did quote Mr Jobs in a press release on first weekend sales figures for the next generation of iPhones.

The blogosphere has noted several sightings of Apple’s co-founder around its campus in Silicon Valley.

“Jobs is in the house!” declared CNBC’s Jim Goldman, who is regarded as having close ties to Apple.

“Confirmed! Steve Jobs did report for work today, according to employees who have seen him on campus,” wrote Mr Goldman in his TechCheck column.

Reuters news agency quoted sources saying Mr Jobs “was seen leaving the main Apple building in Cupertino and getting into a black car alone that was driven off by men in black suits with ear-pieces.”

Revelations

In 2004, Mr Jobs was treated for pancreatic cancer.

Last year there were fears that the cancer had returned when he appeared at a major Apple event looking thin and gaunt.

Months of rumour ensued and the company’s share price rose and fell as a result.

In January, Mr Jobs revealed that he was being treated for a “hormone imbalance”.

Over a week later he sent an e-mail to employees and told them that his medical problems were more complex than first thought and he would take six months off work to concentrate on his health.

The Wall Street Journal reported over the weekend that Mr Jobs underwent a liver transplant over two months ago, but Apple remained tight-lipped on the subject.

Analysts have predicted that Mr Jobs will stay on as chief executive officer on a part-time basis with a view to moving on to become chairman of the company.

June 20, 2009

Apple boss ‘had liver transplant’

Filed under: Latest, Technology News — Tags: , , , , , , — expressyoureself @ 2:53 pm

Apple boss ‘had liver transplant’

Steve Jobs

Steve Jobs had taken medical leave until the end of June

Apple boss Steve Jobs received a liver transplant about two months ago and is expected to return to work later this month, a US newspaper has reported.

The Wall Street Journal said the Apple chief executive would be returning to his job on schedule, but may initially work part-time.

Neither Mr Jobs nor a company spokeswoman confirmed the report, the newspaper said.

Mr Jobs ceased his normal management role more than five months ago.

In January, he announced that he was being treated for a “hormone imbalance”, and had been losing weight throughout 2008.

Mr Jobs co-founded Apple in 1976. He left in 1985, before returning in 1997 and becoming full-time chief executive in 2000.

He is seen to have played a crucial role in Apple’s growth.

The company’s share price has recently risen and fallen in step with rumours or news about his health.

He has already survived a pancreatic cancer that was diagnosed in 2004.

August 7, 2008

Hope for end to rejection drugs

Hope for end to rejection drugs

Surgery

At present patients must take powerful drugs

Scientists have developed a procedure which may help end theĀ  need for transplant patients to rely on powerful anti-rejection drugs.

The complex procedure involves mixing the patient’s infection-fighting white blood cells with cells from the donor.

One patient went eight months without immunosuppressive drugs and others were switched to low doses.

The study, by Germany’s University of Schleswig-Holstein, appears in Transplant International.

It could eventually offer patients who have had transplant surgery a much higher quality of life, free from complex drug regimes
Dr James Hutchinson
University of Schleswig-Holstein

Currently, transplant patients must take a cocktail of powerful drugs for life to dampen down their immune system, and prevent the new organ being rejected.

But the drugs themselves can cause side effects, and may not prevent the slow rejection of the organ over time.

The new technique involves giving transplant patients an infusion of specialised cells known as a transplant acceptance-inducing cells (TAICs).

The TAICs are created by isolating a type of white blood cell from the donor, and modifying them chemically in the lab.

Once modified, the cells gain the ability to kill off cells in the immune system which trigger the rejection process, and to boost the action of another type of immune cell which plays a beneficial role in guarding against rejection.

The cells are then cultured alongside those from the recipient – which helps prime the immune system further – before being injected into the patient.

The technique has been tested on kidney transplant patients, some of whom were given the cells before surgery, and others after the transplant, as an additional drug therapy.

Preliminary, but promising

Lead researcher Dr James Hutchinson said the technique was still at a preliminary stage, but results on 17 patients were promising.

He said: “It could eventually offer patients who have had transplant surgery a much higher quality of life, free from complex drug regimes.”

In the first stage of the clinical trials 12 patients received kidneys from deceased donors, and were given TAICs in addition to traditional anti-rejection drugs.

Ten patients were gradually weaned off the cocktail of conventional drugs, and six eventually took only a low dose of one particular drug, cutting the risk of side effects substantially.

In the second stage of the trial five patients who received kidneys from live donors were given an infusion of TAICs before their surgery was carried out.

One patient was able to go eight months without any immunosuppression drugs, and a further three were successfully weaned down to the single low-dose therapy.

Dr Hutchinson said: “Our research clearly shows that infusing TAICs into patients before they have a kidney transplant, or after the procedure has been carried out, is a practical and safe clinical option.

“Although this procedure is still being developed and refined, it poses an exciting possibility for clinicians and patients alike.”

Keith Rigg, a transplant expert and vice president of the British Transplantation Society, said: “This is interesting work which has the potential to both reduce the risk of rejection after organ transplantation and the amount of anti-rejection drugs that are required, both of which will be good news for patients.

“As the authors say this is still early and preliminary work, and further development and refinement of the process is required, but this procedure does seem to have potential.

“Further developments will be watched with interest.”

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