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Baked Wine-marinated Octopus with Tomato

Ingredients

750 g baby octopus
1 cup dry red wine
2 teaspoons oil
1 clove garlic, crushed
1 medium onion (120 g), finely chopped
2 bacon rashers (80 g), chopped
1 tablespoon pine nuts
1 can (425 g) tomatoes
1 tablespoon lemon juice
1 tablespoon chopped fresh parsley

Method

  1. Prepare octopus by cutting off the heads, just below the eyes. Remove beaks, rinse octopus under cold water. Place octopuses and wine in a bowl, cover, refrigerate, marinate 4 hours or overnight.
  2. Next day, drain octopus. Reserve 2 tablespoons of the wine marinade.
  3. Heat oil in a frying pan, add garlic, onion and bacon, stir constantly over heat until onion is soft.
  4. Add pine nuts, stir over heat a further 2 minutes.
  5. Add undrained, crushed tomatoes, lemon juice and reserved wine marinade, bring to a boil. Reduce heat, simmer. uncovered, 5 minutes.
  6. Place octopus in ovenproof dish, add tomato mixture, cover, bake in moderate oven for 1-1/2 hours. Stir in parsley just before serving.

Makes 4 servings.

Source: The Australian Women’s Weekly

In Pictures: Foods of Chinese Restaurants in London, UK

UK Government Announced Plans to Reduce 20% of Calories in Popular Foods by 2024 to Tackle Childhood Obesity

Major steps to cut people’s excessive calorie intake have been unveiled by Public Health England (PHE), as part of the government’s strategy to cut childhood and adult obesity.

The package includes:

  • new evidence highlighting overweight or obese boys and girls consume up to 500 and 290 calories too many each day respectively
  • a challenge to the food industry to reduce calories in products consumed by families by 20% by 2024
  • the launch of the latest One You campaign, encouraging adults to consume 400 calories at breakfast, and 600 for lunch and dinner; this comes as adults consume 200 to 300 calories in excess each day

Too many children and most adults are overweight or obese, suffering consequences from bullying and low self-esteem in childhood, to type 2 diabetes, heart disease and some cancers as adults. An obese parent is more likely to have an obese child, who in turn is more likely to grow up into an obese adult.

Obesity affects us all, as it is a burden on the NHS and local authorities. The NHS spends around £6 billion a year treating obesity-related conditions. Obesity-related health problems also keep people out of work, stifling their earnings and wider economic productivity.

The government’s challenge to the food industry is set out in Calorie reduction: the scope and ambition for action, published today, Tuesday 6 March 2018, by PHE. As with the sugar reduction programme, the industry has 3 ways to reduce calories:

  • change the recipe of products
  • reduce portion size
  • encourage consumers to purchase lower calorie products

Categories of food covered by the programme include pizzas, ready meals, ready-made sandwiches, meat products and savoury snacks.

If the 20% target is met within 5 years, more than 35,000 premature deaths could be prevented and around £9 billion in NHS healthcare and social care costs could be saved over a 25 year period.

The report also includes new data on children’s daily calorie consumption. Depending on their age, overweight and obese boys consume between 140 to 500 calories too many each day and for girls, it is 160 to 290 when compared to those with healthy body weights. Adults consume on average 200 to 300 calories too many each day.

Duncan Selbie, Chief Executive of PHE, said:

The simple truth is on average we need to eat less. Children and adults routinely eat too many calories and it’s why so many are overweight or obese.

Industry can help families by finding innovative ways to lower the calories in the food we all enjoy and promoting UK business leadership on the world stage in tackling obesity.

The latest One You campaign aims to support people to be more calorie-aware when they are out and about with its simple tip 400-600-600. Aim for 400 calories at breakfast, and 600 for lunch and dinner. Major high street brands are partnering with PHE on the campaign, signposting to meals that meet the 400-600-600 tip. Total daily calorie intake recommendations remain at 2,000 for women and 2,500 for men.

Dr Alison Tedstone, chief nutritionist at PHE, said:

It’s hard for people to make healthy food choices, whether for themselves or their families. That’s why we are challenging the food industry to take 20% of the calories out of everyday foods, building on their good work on salt and promising announcements on sugar.

We are also working through our campaign and its partners, to give the public the information they need to help make those choices easier.

The 20% reduction target is the result of analysis of the new calorie consumption data, experience of sugar and salt reduction programmes, and more than 20 meetings with the food industry and stakeholders.

The next step in the programme involves engagement with the whole food industry such as retailers, manufacturers, major restaurant, café, takeaway, and delivery companies, and health and charity sectors, to develop category guidelines. These will be published in mid-2019.

Source: GOV.UK

Researchers Invent New Technology for Cancer Immunotherapy

Johns Hopkins researchers have invented a new class of cancer immunotherapy drugs that are more effective at harnessing the power of the immune system to fight cancer. This new approach, which was reported in Nature Communications, results in a significant decrease of tumor growth, even against cancers that do not respond to existing immunotherapy.

“The immune system is naturally able to detect and eliminate tumor cells. However, virtually all cancers — including the most common cancers, from lung, breast and colon cancers to melanomas and lymphomas — evolve to counteract and defeat such immune surveillance by co-opting and amplifying natural mechanisms of immune suppression,” says Atul Bedi, M.D., M.B.A., an associate professor of otolaryngology — head and neck surgery at the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine, a member of the Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center and Bloomberg~Kimmel Cancer Institute for Cancer Immunotherapy, and senior author of the study.

A major way tumors evade the immune system is via regulatory T cells (Tregs), a subset of immune cells that turn off the immune system’s ability to attack tumor cells. Tumors are frequently infiltrated by Tregs, and this is strongly correlated with poor outcome in multiple cancer types.

Many tumors produce high levels of a protein that promotes the development of Tregs. Bedi’s team reasoned that since Tregs in the tumor shut down immune responses against tumor cells, turning off Tregs may help immunotherapy work better.

“This is especially challenging because Tregs are not only induced by the TGFbeta (transforming growth factor-beta) protein made by tumor cells, but make their own TGFbeta to maintain their identity and function in the tumor,” says Bedi. Tregs also make cytotoxic T-lymphocyte associated protein 4 (CTLA-4), which prevents anti-tumor immune cells from acting.

To address this problem, the researchers invented a new class of immunotherapy drugs they called Y-traps. Each Y-trap molecule is an antibody shaped like a Y and fused to a molecular “trap” that captures other molecules nearby, rendering them useless.

The researchers first designed a Y-trap that targets CTLA-4 and traps TGFbeta. This Y-trap disables both CTLA-4 and TGFbeta, which allows anti-tumor immune cells to fight the tumor and turns down Treg cells.

To test the Y-traps, the team transplanted human cancer cells into mice engineered to have human immune cells. The researchers found that their Y-trap eliminated Treg cells in tumors and slowed the growth of tumors that failed to respond to ipilimumab, a current immunotherapy drug that targets the CTLA-4 protein.

“Tregs have long been a thorn in the side of cancer immunotherapy,” says Bedi. “We’ve finally found a way to overcome this hurdle with this CTLA-4-targeted Y-trap.”

Antibodies to another immune checkpoint protein, PD-1, or its ligand (PD-L1), are a central focus of current cancer immunotherapy. While they work in some patients, they don’t work in the vast majority of patients.

The research team designed a Y-trap targeting PD-L1 and trapping TGFbeta. Tested against the same engineered mice, they found that their Y-trap works better than just PD-L1-targeting drugs atezolizumab and avelumab. Again, this Y-trap slowed the growth of tumors that previously had not responded to drugs.

“These first-in-class Y-traps are just the beginning. We have already invented a whole family of these multifunctional molecules based on the Y-trap technology. Since mechanisms of immune dysfunction are shared across many types of cancer, this approach could have broad impact for improving cancer immunotherapy,” says Bedi. “Y-traps could also provide a therapeutic strategy against tumors that resist current immune checkpoint inhibitors.”

“This approach appears to be an innovative strategy, and an exciting technical accomplishment to target multiple suppressive mechanisms in the tumor microenvironment,” says Robert Ferris, M.D., Ph.D., professor of oncology and director of the Hillman Cancer Center at the University of Pittsburgh. Ferris was not connected with the study. “I look forward to seeing its translation into the clinic.”

Bedi envisions using Y-traps not only for treatment of advanced, metastatic cancers, but also as a neoadjuvant therapy to create a “vaccine” effect — that is, giving them to patients before surgery to prevent recurrence of the disease.

Source: John Hopkins Medicine


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