Aza Comics, owned by black woman creator Jazmin Truesdale and known for its roster of multicultural female superheroes, is aiming to continue providing hope and escapism for the world as people support the Black Lives Matter movement. “Aza Comics has always addressed the issues of black people in its storylines,” says Truesdale, “I’m just happy that now people are finally understanding what is happening and joining this fight that is truly everyone’s fight.”
The Aza Universe is centered almost entirely around women of color and has always tried to provide hope and inspiration for women around the world as they face various issues like racial inequity, sexism, misogyny and homophobia. This hits especially close to home for Truesdale as countless black women like Sandra Bland and Breonna Taylor have yet to see justice in a time when black women face the highest rates of homicide in the US. During this time, Aza Comics received an incredible growth in sales and exposure as more people discovered what the Aza superhero universe is all about. “I just want people to at least feel safe in their imagination,” says Truesdale. “For black people and many other people of color, everywhere we look pain is reflecting back at us. I want Aza Comics to be that escape where you can feel heard and empowered to fight another day.”
Aza Comics has a lot in store this year for its growing number of fans. “We will do what we’ve always done,” says Truesdale,” Continue to grow and enrich the lives of people of color around the world and partner with people and brands who truly care about the lives of others.” The company plans to use its revenue to invest in entrepreneurs of color, support women athletes, expand its universe with more inclusive superheroes and do what it can to continue being a voice.
Aza Comics is a superhero brand based in Durham, North Carolina founded by serial entrepreneur and author Jazmin Truesdale. The company is known for its multicultural female superheroes and philanthropic initiatives that have been featured in Vogue, TIME, USA Today, and various other national and international publications.
GRAMMY nominated artist Tori Kelly will kick off a North American headline tour on October 18 at The Tabernacle in Atlanta, GA. The run is in support of her new project, Hiding Place, a powerful collection of R&B infused gospel songs that was produced by 12-time GRAMMY Award winner Kirk Franklin.
In addition to playing such venues as Warner Theatre in Washington DC (October 28) and Nashville’s Ryman Auditorium (November 8), Tori and her band will perform at several historic houses of worship, including New York City’s Riverside Church (October 30) and the Cathedral Sanctuary at Immanuel Presbyterian Church in Los Angeles (November 16 & 17). Tickets go on sale Friday, September 14. See below for itinerary or visit www.torikellymusic.com
Capitol Records will release Hiding Place on September 14. The passion project follows Tori’s 2015 album Unbreakable Smile, which Idolator recently hailed as “one of the better debut albums in recent memory.” It entered the Billboard 200 at No. 2 and contained the Gold-certified singles “Nobody Love,” “Shouldߣve Been Us” and “Hollow”
Tori recorded Hiding Place primarily at Kirk Franklin’s studio just outside Dallas. Half of the songs were penned solely by Franklin, while the remaining tracks came from a collaboration between the two artists the first time that Franklin had ever co-written in a decades-long career that’s seen his songs performed by legends like Stevie Wonder and Whitney Houston.
Fans who pre-order / pre-save Hiding Place in digital format will instantly receive the first single “Never Alone” (feat.Kirk Franklin,) and “Help Us To Love” featuring The Hamiltones, official background vocalists for GRAMMY winner Anthony Hamilton. Other guests include Jonathan McReynolds and Lecrae. The video of Tori performing “Never Alone” live with Kirk Franklin, which has more than two million views, can be seen HERE.
Tori Kelly Hiding Place Tour
10/18 Atlanta, GA @ The Tabernacle
10/19 Birmingham, AL @ Lyric Theatre
10/21 Charlotte, NC @ McGlohon Theater at Spirit Square
10/22 Durham, NC @ Carolina Theatre
10/25 Munhall, PA @ Carnegie Music Hall of Homestead
10/27 Philadelphia, PA @ Temple Performing Arts Center
10/28 Washington, DC @ Warner Theatre
10/30 New York, NY @ Riverside Church
11/1 Detroit, MI @ Masonic Temple Theatre
11/2 Grand Rapids, MI @ Fountain Street Church
11/5 Chicago, IL @ Fourth Presbyterian Church
11/6 Chicago, IL @ Fourth Presbyterian Church
11/8 Nashville, TN @ Ryman Auditorium
11/11 Dallas, TX @ Majestic Theater
11/12 Austin, TX @ Paramount Theatre
11/13 Houston, TX @ Wortham Center Cullen Theater
11/16 Los Angeles, CA @ The Cathedral Sanctuary at Immanuel Presbyterian Church
11/17 Los Angeles, CA @ The Cathedral Sanctuary at Immanuel Presbyterian Church
A new study recently published in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine demonstrates the long-term safety of laboratory-expanded endothelial progenitor cells for treating ischemic stroke. This could be good news for the 15 million people who, according to to the World Stroke Organization, suffer from this dangerous condition each year.
Ischemic stroke is the most common type of stroke, affecting nearly 90 percent of all cases. It is caused by a blocked blood vessel in the brain. In the normal central nervous system, endothelial progenitor cells (EPCs) play an active role in building blood vessels. This has led researchers to wonder whether EPCs circulating in the blood could be recruited after a stroke to assist in repairing damaged vessels in the brain. However, there is one major problem with this idea: The number of circulating EPCs is too low to provide much regenerative capacity – a number that further decreases in the aging or in those with heart problems.
This makes ex vivo (lab) expanded EPCs an attractive alternative.
“Transplantation of EPCs was already determined in animal experiments to be a safe and effective method for treating ischemic stroke. However, their safety and efficacy had yet to be determined in humans,” said Zhenzhou Chen, M.D., Ph.D., Southern Medical University, Guangzhou, China, and a corresponding author on the study. “In our trial, we tested the safety and feasibility of transplanting an acute ischemic stroke patient with his or her own (autologous) ex vivo expanded EPCs.”
Eighteen patients were recruited for the randomized, single-blinded study. Each received conventional treatment after their stroke then, seven days after symptom onset, underwent a bone marrow aspiration to collect EPCs and bone marrow stromal cells (BMSCs) for expansion in the lab. The patients were divided into three groups and, beginning at week four after the aspiration, one group was intravenously infused with their own EPCs, while the other two groups received either their own BMSCs or a saline placebo as the controls.
Each patient was then monitored for 48 months. Study co-author Xiaodan Jiang, M.D., Ph.D., also from Southern Medical University, explained, “We watched for mortality of any cause, adverse events and any new-onset diseases or conditions. Changes in neurological deficits were also assessed at different time points.”
In the end the researchers found no toxicity events nor did they see any infusional or allergic reactions in any of the patients. “The EPC group had less serious adverse events compared to the placebo-controlled group, although there were no statistical differences in mortality among the three groups,” Dr. Chen reported. “Ex vivoexpansion always raises concerns that it may cause instability in the chromosomes or maybe lead to tumors. However, in our long-term study we observed no increased tumorigenicity. This safety indicator was also confirmed by many animal studies and other trials using expanded bone marrow-derived stem cells for treatment of ischemic stroke.”
The researchers did note limitations in their study, including lack of patient-centered quality of life outcomes. “Moreover, because of the small size of the cohorts involved, we could neither identify the neurological or functional benefits of EPCs on ischemic stroke, nor determine the pros and cons between EPCs and BMSCs for stroke treatment,” Dr. Jiang said. “Thus, we believe a larger phase 2 trial is warranted.”
“This is a promising line of cell therapy research using a novel treatment method that is simple and non-invasive,” said Anthony Atala, M.D., Editor-in-Chief of STEM CELLS Translational Medicine and director of the Wake Forest Institute for Regenerative Medicine. “We look forward to larger phase 2 trial results.”
The full article, “Autologous endothelial progenitor cells transplantation for acute ischemic stroke: A four-year follow-up study,” can be accessed at http://www.stemcellstm.com.
About STEM CELLS Translational Medicine: STEM CELLS Translational Medicine (SCTM), published by AlphaMed Press, is a monthly peer-reviewed publication dedicated to significantly advancing the clinical utilization of stem cell molecular and cellular biology. By bridging stem cell research and clinical trials, SCTM will help move applications of these critical investigations closer to accepted best practices. SCTM is the official journal partner of Regenerative Medicine Foundation.
About AlphaMed Press: Established in 1983, AlphaMed Press with offices in Durham, NC, San Francisco, CA, and Belfast, Northern Ireland, publishes two other internationally renowned peer-reviewed journals: STEM CELLS® (www.StemCells.com), celebrating its 36th year, is the world’s first journal devoted to this fast paced field of research. The Oncologist® (www.TheOncologist.com), also a monthly peer-reviewed publication, entering its 23rd year, is devoted to community and hospital-based oncologists and physicians entrusted with cancer patient care. All three journals are premier periodicals with globally recognized editorial boards dedicated to advancing knowledge and education in their focused disciplines.
About Wiley: Wiley, a global company, helps people and organizations develop the skills and knowledge they need to succeed. Our online scientific, technical, medical and scholarly journals, combined with our digital learning, assessment and certification solutions, help universities, learned societies, businesses, governments and individuals increase the academic and professional impact of their work. For more than 200 years, we have delivered consistent performance to our stakeholders. The company’s website can be accessed at www.wiley.com.
About Regenerative Medicine Foundation (RMF): The non-profit Regenerative Medicine Foundation fosters strategic collaborations to accelerate the development of regenerative medicine to improve health and deliver cures. RMF pursues its mission by producing its flagship World Stem Cell Summit, honouring leaders through the Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine Action Awards, and promoting educational initiatives.
Three-time GRAMMY® Award-nominated and BRIT Award-winning multiplatinum singer-songwriter James Bay will release his anxiously awaited second full-length album, Electric Lighton Friday, May 18, 2018 via [Republic Records]. Full track list below as well as the album pre-order Here!
Starting today fans can pre-order Electric Light which will unlock an instant download of critically acclaimed single “Wild Love” and brand-new track “Pink Lemonade.” Premiering as Apple Music Beats 1“World Record” today, “Pink Lemonade” illuminates another shade of Electric Light – showcasing Bay’s evolution with a louder sound and transistor guitars. The song comes out right in time for his NBC Saturday Night Live debut performance on Saturday, March10th with host Sterling K. Brown (This Is Us, Black Panther). Check out “Pink Lemonade”Here!
After selling out his spring headline tour, Bay is also announcing details for his expanded North American and European run. Adding nearly 30 new dates, the tour takes Bay across North America and Europe making stops at New York’s Beacon Theater on September 18th and Los Angeles’The Greek Theatreon October 7th. Fan pre-sale for these newly added shows will begin on Wednesday, March 14th at 10am local time, with the public on-sale taking place on Friday, March 16th at 10am local time. Fans can gain access to pre-sale tickets with purchase of any item from shop.jamesbay.com and every pair of online tickets comes with a copy of Electric Light (offer valid for US residents only). Tickets can be found at www.jamesbay.com.
Aspiring to push his own musical boundaries with Electric Light Bay noted: “If I had to describe my first album visually it would probably be a flame – while this new album is about a real sonic and artistic evolution for me. The feeling of a 100 watt bulb expanding and brightening is what I envisioned. Electric Light came to my mind and I knew it was perfect.”
Composed in East London’s Baltic Studios, Bay co-wrote and co-produced Electric Light with longtime friend and collaborator Jon Green and brought onboard Paul Epworth [Adele, Florence and The Machine] to add final production elements to the record. Released on February 8th, single “Wild Love” has already reached 10 million Spotify streams and counting in addition to racking up nearly 3 million views from its official music video co-starring Natalia Dyer of Stranger Things. Watch the “Wild Love” music video here. Across the globe it has earned widespread critical acclaim from NME,Forbes, Harpers Bazaar, Time, GQ UK,Rolling Stone, People, Clash, Billboard, and more.
Be on the lookout for more news from BAY and pre-order Electric LightHERE via Republic Records.
James Bay is the definition of a modern day rock star. Following the release of his debut album Chaos And The Calm, featuring—“Hold Back The River” and “Let It Go”— BAY was nominated for “Best Rock Album,” Best Rock Song,” and “Best New Artist” at the 2016 Grammy Awards. In the UK, the record became the “Biggest New Artist Album Release” that year and has been certified Gold in the United States, Germany, Australia, Switzerland, platinum in Canada, Ireland, Netherlands, Sweden, double platinum in the UK and has sold nearly 3.5 million albums in global consumption, and 2.7 billion streams worldwide. Receiving the BRIT’s Critics Choice award in 2015, BAY has gone on to receive a win for “Best Male Solo Artist” at the BRITS, International Newcomer at the ECHO Awards, “Best New Act” & “Best Solo Artist” at the Q Awards, “Most Performed Work” at the Ivor Novello Awards and was nominated for “Best New” & “Best PUSH” at the MTV EMA’s and a MTV VMA for “Best New Act.” On the other side of the globe, he has received a nod for “Best International Artist” at the ARIA Awards in Australia. In addition to selling out shows and performing at festivals across the globe, BAY lent a new version of his song “Running” for the 2016 Sports Relief charity, is an advocate for the international non-profit Wateraid, designed his own signature line for Topman, and Epiphone created the Limited Edition James Bay Signature “1966 Century” Guitar in his name.
ABOUT REPUBLIC RECORDS
A division of Universal Music Group, the world’s leading music company, Republic Records is home to an all-star roster of multi-platinum, award-winning legends and superstar artists such as Ariana Grande, Aminé, Black Sabbath, DNCE, Florence + the Machine, Gotye, Hailee Steinfeld, James Blake, James Bay, John Mellencamp, Jordan Smith, Julia Michaels, Keith Richards, Kid Cudi, Liam Payne, Marian Hill, Of Monsters and Men, Post Malone, Seth MacFarlane, Stevie Wonder, and more. Founded by brothers and chief executives Monte and Avery Lipman, it is also comprised of innovative business ventures, including American Recordings (The Avett Brothers, Towkio), Boominati Worldwide (Metro Boomin), Brushfire (Jack Johnson), Casablanca Records (Giorgio Moroder, KUNGS, Tïesto), Cash Money (Drake, Lil Wayne, Nicki Minaj), Hollywood Records (Sofia Carson, Zendaya), Lava Records (Greta Van Fleet, Jessie J, Lorde), Monkeywrench (Pearl Jam), XO (The Weeknd), Roc Nation (Belly, Justine Skye, The Dream), Tuff Gong (Damian Marley), Victor Victor Records (D Savage, Ski Mask The Slump God), among others. Republic also maintains a long-standing strategic alliance with country powerhouse Big Machine Records (Taylor Swift), and Universal Music Latin Entertainment (Luis Fonsi, J Balvin). In addition, Republic has expanded to release high-profile soundtracks for Universal Pictures (Fifty Shades of Grey, SING), Fox TV (Lee Daniels’ STAR), and NBC TV (The Voice), as well as other notable film and television franchises.
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