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Genome study will make chemo 'a thing of the past'

The £300 million genome research announced by the PM will make chemotherapy "a thing of the past", according to one medical expert.

Professor Jeremy Farrar, director of health charity the Wellcome Trust, believes genome sequencing has the potential to transform medicine.

It's actually happening now, in small ways. If you go into a hospital with lung cancer, for instance, that cancer will be sequenced.

Twenty years from now academics and industry will have developed therapies which will be targeted at you and specific forms of cancer.

We will look back in 20 years time and the blockbuster chemotherapy drugs that gave you all those nasty side effects will be a thing of the past.

– Professor Jeremy Farrar

White House calls for permanent ceasefire in Gaza

The White House has called for a permanent ceasefire in Gaza following the announcement of a three day truce.

It also urged for "all parties to act with restraint" until the ceasefire begins at 8am (5am GMT).

The White House also said it hopes talks can begin "immediately" in Cairo for a longer-term truce.

In a statement it added: "We believe the only sustainable way to address Israel's security concerns and enable Palestinians in Gaza to lead normal lives is through a permanent ceasefire agreement. "

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Sierra Leone cyclist in 'Ebola scare' at Games

There were fears the deadly Ebola virus could have spread to Britain's shores after a Sierra Leone cyclist competing at the Commonwealth Games had to be tested for the killer disease.

A microscopic view of the Ebola virus which has so far killed 729 people.
A microscopic view of the Ebola virus which has so far killed 729 people. Credit: DPA

Moses Sesay, 32, was admitted to a Glasgow hospital last week after feeling unwell and kept in isolation for four days, the Daily Mirror reports.

But Sessay, whose homeland has declared a public health emergency after 729 across West Africa died from the disease, was later given the all-clear in time to compete in the men's individual time trial yesterday.

A spokesman for Glasgow 2014 said: "There is no Ebola in the Athletes Village of the Glasgow 2014 Commonwealth Games.

"We can confirm an athlete was tested for a number of things when he fell ill last week, including Ebola. The tests were negative and the athlete competed in his event on Thursday."

A spokeswoman for Health Protection Scotland added it was an isolated incident and no other athletes were tested.

PM hails 'landmark' research project to map DNA

A "landmark" project to map 100,000 complete DNA code sequences has been hailed by the Prime Minister, who hopes it will make Britain a world leader in genetic research.

Read: Scientists find 80 genes associated with schizophrenia

DNA
Scientists hope the research will mean more treatments can be based on the patient's genetics. Credit: PA

David Cameron predicted the £300 million genome project would make the UK a world leader for research into rare cancers and diseases.

Over the next four years, about 75,000 patients with cancer and rare diseases, plus their close relatives, will have their whole genetic codes, or genomes, sequenced.

Cancer patients will have the DNA of both healthy and tumour cells mapped, making up the 100,000 total.

Scientists expect the project to be pivotal to the development of future personalised treatments based on genetics, with the potential to revolutionise medicine.

Read: 'Genetic signature' breakthrough in prostate cancer tests

High cancellation fees 'punish' broadband customers

Customers forced to pay fees of up to £190 just to cancel their broadband are being "punished," the the Citizens Advice Bureau claims.

Read: BT ridiculed after thousands lose internet connection

Broadband
Citizen's Advice wants ISPs to scrap cancellation charges altogether. Credit: PA

The consumer charity said consumers who challenge the fees soon found themselves in the hands of debt collectors.

Other customers became locked into a broadband service which did not meet their needs or were hit by excessive fees when they tried to switch providers.

One woman was hit by a cancellation fee, even though it was not in the terms and conditions of her contract, when she tried to switch provider after her broadband speed became so bad that she was paying repeatedly to use an internet cafe.

Citizens Advice chief executive Gillian Guy called on internet service providers (ISP) to "not shackle customers" and ditch cancellation fees altogether.

Read: Customers 'forced to pay' for slow broadband

Ministers accused of 'failing whistleblowers'

Margaret Hodge is chair of the Commons Public Accounts Committee.
Margaret Hodge is chair of the Commons Public Accounts Committee. Credit: PA

Government ministers have been accused of failing to protect whistleblowers despite their role in exposing a series of major scandals.

The Commons Public Accounts Committee said the treatment of whistleblowers was often "shocking," with bullying and harassment from colleagues.

However, government departments were unable to say whether any action had been taken against their persecutors.

The committee highlighted the important role played by whistleblowers in uncovering the scandals at the Mid Staffs NHS hospital trust and policing of the Hillsborough football stadium tragedy.

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Hammond: 'We must redouble efforts for lasting solution in Gaza'

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond applauded the efforts of the US and Egypt for all they had done to end the crisis.
Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond applauded the US and Egypt for their part in the ceasefire. Credit: PA

Foreign Secretary Philip Hammond has welcomed the news of a 72-hour ceasefire in Gaza, but stressed the need to "redouble efforts" to bring about a lasting solution.

In a statement, Mr Hammond said the truce was "an achievement we have all been working tirelessly for".

But he added: "We should now redouble our efforts and leave no stone unturned to ensure this is a lasting and durable ceasefire to make way for substantial discussions to resolve the underlying issues on both sides."

The news was also hailed by former prime minister Tony Blair, who said there must be a "new and hopeful future for both sides".

US to begin testing new Ebola vaccine on humans

The US government will begin testing an experimental Ebola vaccine on humans after seeing positive results during tests on primates, Reuters reports.

The vaccine trial could start as early as September.

But the National Institute of Health's infectious disease unit and US Food and Drug Administration said they are working together to implement it as soon as possible.

Three day Gaza ceasefire is 'precious time,' says Kerry

US Secretary of State John Kerry.
US Secretary of State John Kerry. Credit: Reuters

The three day ceasefire in Gaza is "precious time" to try and resolve the conflict, US Secretary of State John Kerry has said.

Kerry explained that while the United States is grateful that the violence and bloodshed can stop for more than 24 hours "it is up to the parties, all of them, to take advantage of this moment."

He added: "There are no guarantees. This is a difficult, complicated issue, years and years in the building, and I think everybody knows it has not been easy to get to this point.

"It is imperative people make the best effort to try to find common ground and do so."

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