Australian Open: Emotional Kvitova into Open semis with Tsitsipas and Collins

first_imgJanuary 22, 2019 Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova in action.   –  REUTERS COMMENT The Czech had not gone past the last eight at a major since a burglar slashed her left hand in December 2016, forcing her out of the game for six months An emotional Petra Kvitova swept into her first Grand Slam semi-final Tuesday since a terrifying knife attack almost ended her career as the fairytale runs of Stefanos Tsitsipas and Danielle Collins continued at the Australian Open.The Czech had not gone past the last eight at a major since a burglar slashed her left hand in December 2016, forcing her out of the game for six months and leaving her with lasting nerve damage in the fingers of her racquet hand.But the eighth seed has bounced back and is on a sensational 10-match unbeaten streak after claiming the Sydney International warm-up title.She proved too much for Ashleigh Barty, crushing the local hope 6-1, 6-4, and was in tears afterwards as she reflected on her long journey back to the top.“Really, I didn’t imagine to be back on this great stadium and play with the best,” the two-time Wimbledon champion said. “It’s great.” Kvitova will face unseeded American Collins in the semi-final on Thursday and she desperately wants to reach Saturday’s decider.“I want it bad, that’s right,” Kvitova said.Collins, the world number 35, had never won a Grand Slam match before entering this year’s tournament but she stunned three-time major champion and second seed Angelique Kerber in round four.And the 25-year-old from Florida continued her Cinderella run by bouncing back spectacularly to down Russia’s Anastasia Pavlyuchenkova 2-6, 7-5, 6-1 in the quarter-finals.Collins, who has spent long stretches of her career playing small tournaments to build up her ranking points, was in big trouble after losing the first set to the world number 44.But she fearlessly battled back into the match to again stamp her mark on the tournament.“This has all been a really incredible experience,” she said.“This time last year I was playing a challenger (tournament) in Newport Beach. But, yeah, I think I’m really embracing it. It makes it a lot easier when you play in front of great fans and really good energy.” Greek sensation Tsitsipas was also living the dream after powering into the last four with a measured 7-5, 4-6, 6-4, 7-6 (7/2) win over Spain’s Roberto Bautista Agut.The 20-year-old, who ended Swiss great Roger Federer’s tournament, became the youngest man to reach the semis at Melbourne Park since Andy Roddick in 2003 and the first player from Greece — man or woman — to get so far at Grand Slam.- Living the dream – His exploits line him up with semi-final against either fellow young gun Frances Tiafoe of the United States or 17-time Grand Slam-winning Spaniard Rafael Nadal.“I’m just living the dream, living what I’ve been working hard for,” said the 14th seed, who lives in Cyprus but trains at the academy of Serena Williams’ coach Patrick Mouratoglou in France.“I feel a bit emotional but not too much — I know I really worked hard to get here, playing in semis of a Grand Slam.” Bautista Agut, seeded 22, acknowledged Tsitsipas was playing well, but with Nadal and Novak Djokovic still in the tournament he doesn’t give him much chance of winning the title.“Of course, he has a lot of time to improve, a lot of time to get enough experience to be in the finals of these tournaments,” he said.“But here I think Rafa and Novak are my favourites.” Nadal, meanwhile, looks to move another step closer to winning an event he has only claimed once before among his 17 major titles against Tiafoe, who announced himself on the world stage by beating fifth seed Kevin Anderson in the second round.The Spaniard, who has been in ominous touch so far, is wary of the threat posed by the 21-year-old, who has nothing to lose.“He has everything. He’s quick. He serves well. Very quick forehand,” said the second seed, who has not dropped a set so far.“He’s a very dynamic player, aggressive one. Of course, he’s dangerous.” SHARE SHARE EMAIL COMMENTScenter_img × Published on Czech Republic’s Petra Kvitova in action.   –  REUTERS SHARE sportlast_img read more

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New system accelerates discovery of chemical compounds that inhibit enzyme implicated in

first_img Source:http://www.asbmb.org/ Reviewed by James Ives, M.Psych. (Editor)Sep 6 2018Researchers at the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences (NCATS), part of the National Institutes of Health, have developed a system to accelerate the discovery of chemical compounds that inhibit an enzyme implicated in a number of cancers. The set of tools and methods, which the researchers used to test more than 16,000 compounds, is described in a new paper published in the Journal of Biological Chemistry.The enzyme, NSD2, is overactive in cancers such as acute lymphoblastic leukemia and certain types of multiple myeloma, so inhibiting NSD2 activity seems like a promising strategy for treating those conditions. But, so far, researchers have not been able to find any chemicals that reliably block NSD2 even in a test tube in the laboratory, much less to test as drug candidates in living models.”There’s a total lack of available chemical probes, druglike molecules, to help study (NSD2) function,” said Matthew Hall, the NCATS scientist who oversaw the new work.Part of the reason it’s been difficult to discover chemical inhibitors of NSD2 is that the enzyme is difficult to work with in the laboratory. NSD2 modifies histones, the proteins around which DNA is wound. For technical reasons, scientists ordinarily would study this kind of activity using a fragment of the enzyme and a fragment of histone protein. But NSD2 works on only whole nucleosomes: units of histone protein in combination with DNA.”(NSD2 and similar proteins) are very picky, because they prefer to only act on whole nucleosomes,” Hall said. “They’re snobby when it comes to what they’re willing to interact with.”Related StoriesInhibition of p38 protein boosts formation of blood vessels in colon cancerResearch sheds light on sun-induced DNA damage and repairMother calls for protein shake regulation after daughter diesCollaborating with the biotechnology company Reaction Biology, Hall’s team, including lead author Nathan Coussens, developed laboratory tests involving whole nucleosomes that could be used to see whether NSD2 was able to modify histone proteins in the presence of various compounds. The compounds the team tested came from NCATS’s massive library of bioactive chemicals.But finding a compound that appears to block NSD2 activity is only the beginning. To confirm that the chemicals identified in the initial massive screen were indeed bona fide inhibitors that would reliably and reproducibly perform this function in future researchers’ studies, the NCATS team needed to use multiple types of biochemical methods to confirm the activity of each compound.”We screened 16,000 molecules, and we got 174 hits, but that doesn’t mean they all really work,” Hall said. “When we whittle away through the (additional screening methods), we get down to 44 molecules. You triage candidates out of your screen after you rigorously ask your molecule to prove itself to you.”With several molecules now having proved themselves in this round of screening, Hall’s team hopes to continue the search for reliable NSD2 inhibitors that can be used as research tools and then, further down the road, possibly as medicines.”We are in the process of planning to screen hundreds of thousands of molecules in order to find molecules that can be optimized for inhibition of NSD2 and disseminate these to the research community,” Hall said.last_img read more

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