FDA approves Merck's lung cancer drug as first-line treatment

Merck & Co Inc said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved its immunotherapy Keytruda for use in certain previously untreated lung cancer patients, making it the only approved first-line treatment.

The drug has been approved for treating metastatic non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) patients with high-levels of a protein known for suppressing the immune system called PD-L1, according to Reuters.

Keytruda works by taking the brakes off the immune system by blocking the interaction between PD-L1 and another protein, PD-1. The drug has already been approved for patients who have undergone previous chemotherapy for advanced non-small lung cancer.

Smart mouth: Chinese fish fossil sheds light on jaw evolution

A bottom-dwelling, mud-grubbing, armored fish that swam in tropical seas 423 million years ago is fundamentally changing the understanding of the evolution of an indisputably indispensable anatomical feature: the jaw.

Scientists said they unearthed in China's Yunnan province fossils of a primordial fish called Qilinyu rostrata that was about 12 inches (30 cm) long and possessed the telltale bones present in modern vertebrate jaws including in people, according to Reuters.

Stone Age people 'roasted rodents for food' – archaeologists

Rodents appear to have been roasted for food by Stone Age people as early as 5,000 years ago, archaeological evidence suggests.

Bones from archaeological sites in Orkney show voles were cooked or boiled for food, or possibly for pest control,  according to BBC.

This is the first evidence for the exploitation of rodents by Neolithic people in Europe, say scientists.

Rodents were consumed later in history, with the dormouse regarded as a delicacy during Roman times.

Lost Mars lander fell 2-4 km, destroyed on impact – NASA images

Schiaparelli, the landing craft from the European Space Agency’s Exomars probe, which went missing earlier this week near the surface of Mars, has apparently been destroyed, according to new data.

The ESA craft fell to the Mars surface from a height of 2 to 4 kilometers (1.2 to 2.5 miles), the agency said. The disc-shaped spacecraft, which weighed 577 kilos (1,272 lb) was destroyed on impact, according to RT.

Mammals diversified only after dinosaur extinction left space

Biologist Dr Matthew Phillips used molecular dating from DNA sequences to challenge the dominant scientific theory that placental mammals diversified 20 million years before dinosaurs became extinct.

In a paper , Dr Phillips said biases in models of DNA evolution inflated estimates of when modern mammals, which were once no larger than a guinea pig, diversified and evolved into the animals familiar to us today.

"We can infer that some placental mammals did co-exist with dinosaurs," he said.

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