US FDA grants the coveted Breakthrough Designation for early-stage prostate cancer detection blood test developed in India by Datar Cancer Genetics - Business Guardian
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US FDA grants the coveted Breakthrough Designation for early-stage prostate cancer detection blood test developed in India by Datar Cancer Genetics



Datar Cancer Genetics today announced that the US Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has granted ‘Breakthrough Designation’ for its blood test to detect early-stage prostate cancer. This is the second test from the Company that has received the Breakthrough Device Designation from the US FDA. Late last year, the company’s breast cancer detection test became the first such test to receive the designation.

This is the first blood test for men which can detect early-stage prostate cancer with high accuracy. Men with serum PSA of more than 3 ng / mL can avail of this test in consultation with their physician. The test requires 5 ml blood and does not involve exposure to radiation or any of the discomforts of a digital rectal examination. The blood test is based on the detection of Circulating Tumor Cells (CTCs) specific to prostate adenocarcinoma. The test can detect early-stage prostate cancers with more than 99 per cent accuracy without any false positives. The test has been validated in large clinical studies involving healthy males and prostate cancer patients.

In India, about 35,000 men were detected with prostate cancer in 2020 and this number is slated to increase every year, as is the case for all cancers due to various risk factors. Unfortunately, most prostate cancer cases are detected at late stages (III or IV) where it has spread to other organs. In such cases, curative surgeries that can remove the cancerous tissue are not viable options, and treatment involves long-term administration of anticancer drugs to manage the disease. If detected at early stages where cancer has not spread out of the prostate, prostate cancer has a very high (>99 per cent) chance of being cured.

“About 75 per cent of prostate biopsies are benign and with foreknowledge, these could be potentially avoided. The new blood test by the Datar team will help Doctors decide precisely the patients who need a biopsy and who do not. This is a very significant scientific advancement in the complex field of liquid biopsies coming from India. I congratulate the Datar team for their exemplary work and achievement,” said Dr Sewanti Limaye, Director of Medical and Precision Oncology and Oncology Research, Sir HN Reliance Foundation Hospital and Research Centre, Mumbai.

“It is a landmark acknowledgement that the US FDA has recognized the potential benefits of our ‘first in the world’ prostate cancer detection test. The highly coveted ‘Breakthrough Designation’ is granted after very rigorous evaluation. We take great pride in the fact that this test has been wholly developed in India and by Indian scientists and clinicians. This is our ongoing contribution to the Prime Minister’s ‘Atmanirbhar Bharat’ mission after the breakthrough breast cancer detection test and is further intended to augment the global fight against cancer,” said Rajan Datar, Chairman of the Company.

Appreciably, getting the test does not involve having to go to any hospital or health centre and waiting for appointments. The blood collection for this test can be done in the convenience and privacy of one’s home or office after which the patient can go about their routine work. From the patient’s point of view, the whole process is very non-intrusive.

The test is already available in Europe and is CE marked. The Company is in discussions with several leading healthcare providers for ready accessibility in India.

Datar Cancer Genetics is a global oncology research and applications company that is spearheading the development of non-invasive technologies for improved detection, treatment and management of cancer. The Company’s state-of-the-art cancer research centre is NABL, ISO, CAP and CLIA accredited. The Company serves cancer patients and suspected cases in the UK, European Union, United States, GCC, and India.




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For equipment upgrades, China eyes fresh $69 bn credit in tech sector



The Hong Kong-based ‘South China Morning Post’ (SCMP) newspaper, China has unveiled a plan to reintroduce two relending mechanisms previously utilized to mitigate the economic effects of Covid-19. The People’s Bank of China (PBOC) will facilitate loans through 21 banks to support small and medium-sized technology firms at an interest rate of 1.75 per cent. These loans can be extended twice, each extension lasting up to one year, as per the report. The move, announced on Sunday, comes amid challenges posed to the Chinese economy by a property crisis and geopolitical tensions with key trading partners. China’s policymakers are aiming to enhance liquidity and bolster confidence in the world’s second-largest economy.

Relending mechanisms these measures will allocate a combined 500 billion yuan (US $69.1 billion) to incentivise loans supporting technological innovation and large-scale equipment upgrades – two sectors that have been explicitly prioritised by the country’s leadership, said the report. The refinancing programme will cover 60 per cent of the principal amount for eligible loans extended to technology-focused small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) and can be renewed twice, each time for an additional year.

By the end of last year, the PBOC had 17 active structural support tools with a cumulative outstanding size of 7.5 trillion yuan – equivalent to 16.4 per cent of central bank assets. What are China’s relending programmes? These targeted monetary instruments gained prominence in 2014 when pledged supplementary lending was first utilised to directly provide loans to commercial banks to renovate outdated residential buildings. Among the tools, 13 were introduced as temporary measures during the pandemic to support small businesses, toll roads, private firms, property delivery, logistics, and carbon emissions reduction. Seven of them have already expired.

SCMP said the move has sparked speculation among market participants regarding the extent to which Chinese authorities are willing to implement monetary easing, in light of the US Federal Reserve postponing anticipated interest rate adjustments and the Chinese economy concluding the first quarter of 2024 on a stronger footing. The previous relending mechanism for technology, with a quota of 400 billion yuan (US $55.2 billion), was initiated in April 2022 and has since concluded. Similarly, the earlier equipment renovation program, with a quota of 200 billion yuan (US $27.6 billion), was active from September to December 2022.


This relending programme aligns with Beijing’s guidelines for domestic banks, encouraging them to provide funding for five essential finance categories outlined by President Xi Jinping: technology finance, green finance, inclusive finance, pension finance, and digtal finance.

Furthermore, it corresponds with the objective of large-scale equipment upgrades mentioned during the February meeting of the Central Financial and Economic Affairs Commission. This objective serves dual purposes: Leveraging the country’s substantial fixed-asset investment to stimulate economic growth and advancing its vast manufacturing sector, the Hong Kong-daily said. The relending program and other structural measures aim to aid China amidst ongoing challenges in the property market and fragile investor sentiment.

These hurdles will scrutinize the country’s aspirations to attain a 5 percent economic growth rate this year, as reported by SCMP.

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OpenAI transcribed Google’s YouTube videos to train AI models, says report



OpenAI transcribed more than one million hours of YouTube videos to gather training data for its advanced GPT-4 model, disregarding copyright regulations set by the Google-owned platform. Utilizing an indigenous speech recognition tool named Whisper, supported by Microsoft, OpenAI converted audio from YouTube videos into conversational text. This text served as training material for the AI model behind ChatGPT.

According to the report, makers of ChatGPT internally discussed how the use of YouTube data for training might be against the platform’s policy. The company reportedly opted to use YouTube videos’ data as it had exhausted the reservoir of publicly available data. The report stated that OpenAI’s president, Greg Brockman, personally assisted in selecting videos for transcription. Google prohibits the use of videos posted on YouTube for applications that are “independent” of the video platform.

In a statement to The Verge, OpenAI spokesperson Lindsay Held said that the company uses “unique” datasets for each of its models to “help their understanding of the world.” She added that the company uses “numerous sources including publicly available data and partnerships for non-public data.”

Commenting on the topic, Google spokesperson Matt Bryant told The Verge that Google has “seen unconfirmed reports” related to OpenAI using YouTube videos for training AI models. He added that the streaming platform’s “Terms of Service and robots.txt files prohibit unauthorized scraping or downloading of YouTube content.”

Earlier this week, YouTube CEO Neal Mohan in an interview said that “he has seen reports” related to OpenAI using YouTube videos to train their text-to-video generator Sora. He said that he has no information about the same, but it would be a “clear violation” of the platform’s policies if it did.

Google has also used transcribed texts from YouTube videos for training its AI model Gemini. If true, this violates the copyright to the videos, which belongs to the creator who posts the video to the platform.

The report stated that Google broadened its terms of service to allow the company to be able to use publicly available Google Docs files, restaurant reviews on Google Maps, and more for training AI models.

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Realme targets top spot in Rs 15-25k segment with P series launch



Realme India aims to garner the highest share in the Rs 15,000-25,000 mobile phone segment this year with the launch of a new portfolio of devices under the P series, a senior company official said.

While sharing the plans on the P series, Realme India’s business strategy lead, Tarini Prasad Das, told reporters that in 2024, the company aims to achieve 50 million smartphone sales cumulatively under its partnership with Flipkart.

“We aim to lead the Rs 15,000-25,000 smartphone segment this year overall with the launch of the P series. The P series itself is expected to lead the segment,” Das said.

Realme is among the top five smartphone brands in terms of volume market share. The company had a 12 percent market share in 2023.

The company plans to launch the P series in the second week of April in the sub-Rs 20,000 price range.

Das said that both offline and online sales contribute equally to the overall business of Realme, and the company is looking to consolidate its leadership in the Rs 15,000-25,000 segment with the P series.

Without revealing the specifications of P series smartphones, Das said that it will focus on performance, design, better display, and charging facility in the target segment.

“We have exclusively partnered with Flipkart for the P series. We aim to achieve the 50 million sales milestone on Flipkart with the launch of the new P series this year,” Das said.

Realme captured the top spot on Flipkart in the price band of Rs 20,000-30,000 in February 2024 with a 29.2 percent share, as per the Counterpoint February 2024 trend report.

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Microsoft warns of AI misuse in Global polls by China



Countries like India, South Korea and the US, tech giant Microsoft has warned. Voting for 543 Lok Sabha seats in India will take place.

Microsoft has cautioned that China may utilize AI-generated content on social media platforms to influence public opinion and advance its geopolitical agenda during elections in nations such as India, South Korea, and the US. The Lok Sabha elections in India are scheduled to be conducted in seven phases between April 19 and June 4, involving the voting for 543 parliamentary seats. South Korea is set to hold its general election on April 10, while the US is gearing up for its Presidential election on November 5.

“With major elections taking place around the world this year, particularly in India, South Korea, and the United States, we assess that China will, at a minimum, create and amplify AI-generated content to benefit its interests,” Clint Watts, General Manager of Microsoft Threat Analysis Center, stated in a blog post.

Despite the chances of such content affecting election results remaining low, China’s increasing experimentation in augmenting memes, videos, and audio will likely continue and may prove more effective down the line, he said.

China will do it along with North Korea, he wrote.

These are among the Microsoft Threat Intelligence insights in the latest East Asia report published on Wednesday by the Microsoft Threat Analysis Center (MTAC).

China is using fake social media accounts to poll voters on what divides them most to sow division and possibly influence the outcome of the US presidential election in its favour.

China has also increased its use of AI-generated content to further its goals around the world.

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Google tests AI email replies in Gmail Android App



Google is reportedly testing Gemini AI integration into the Gmail app for Android. According to a report by Android Central, Google is testing a new feature for the Gmail Android app that will allow users to use AI-generated replies to respond to emails.

Google has already made Gemini Advanced-powered AI tools available on its services like Google Drive and Docs through Google One AI Premium subscription. It appears that the company is now targeting AI integration into the mobile application of its services.

Gemini AI-powered tools are also available on Gmail. Google One AI subscribers can get suggestions for writing an email, although this functionality is only available in beta version.

According to the report, once the new feature gets enabled, Gemini will be able to analyze the content of the email that the user has received and come up with suggestions. The AI-powered tool will provide users with three potential replies that make sense in the context of the received email. The report states that in certain scenarios, the AI-generated responses can be as long as full sentences or multiple sentences. The user can then tap on any one of the suggested replies, which then moves automatically to the compose field. The message can then be edited or sent as it is.

The feature is currently available to select users; however, it is expected to roll out soon to Google One AI subscribers globally.

In related news, Google is reportedly planning to make the Search Generative Experience (SGE), its generative AI-powered search tool, exclusive to the paid-tier. According to a report by the Financial Times, Google is considering charging for generative AI features for Search, including the experimental AI-powered search service. According to the report, Google’s traditional search service will remain free to use, and the generative AI search experience will be added to its One AI Premium subscription plan. However, it is likely that the company will run ads in search results, irrespective of the subscription.

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Google restricts generative AI search to paid tier



Google is reportedly considering making its Search Generative Experience (SGE), a generative AI-powered search tool, exclusive to its paid-tier services. According to a report by the Financial Times, Google is contemplating charging for access to generative AI features in Search, including the experimental AI-powered search service.

The traditional search service provided by Google will continue to be free to use, while the generative AI search experience may be added to its premium subscription services. These premium subscriptions already offer access to advanced features like Gemini Advanced and AI-powered tools for services such as Gmail and Docs. However, it’s expected that Google will continue to display ads in search results, regardless of the subscription status.

In response to inquiries from the Financial Times, Google stated, “With our generative AI experiments in Search, we’ve already served billions of queries, and we’re seeing positive Search query growth in all of our major markets. We’re continuing to rapidly improve the product to serve new user needs.” However, Google clarified that there are currently no new announcements regarding this matter. Additionally, Google emphasized that it is not considering making Search ad-free and will instead focus on developing new premium capabilities and services to enhance its subscription offerings across Google.

Google introduced the AI-powered SGE in August last year, and it has been available to users as an opt-in experiment in Google’s Search Lab. Once enabled, SGE provides relevant information directly on the search page, instead of displaying links to multiple websites. It generates an AI-powered overview of key information along with relevant links to the source of information.

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