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Indian-American Aziz Ansari ranked sixth top paid comedian

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Washington: Indian-American Aziz Ansari has debuted on the Forbes list of Highest-Paid Comedians 2015 with $9.5 million in earnings, thanks to his fan-favourite role as Tom Haverford on the NBC hit “Parks and Recreation”.

Like many other celebrities, Ansari, who is ranked sixth, has taken his fame from the stage and screen to the page, the US business magazine noted.

His book, Modern Romance – a sociological investigation into the dating and love lives of millennials — earned him an advance in the seven-figures. It also brought him name recognition among Tinder-swipers and Hinge-matchers.

Jerry Seinfeld ranks as the top-earning comedian, having raked in $36 million. Kevin Hart came in second on $28.8 million with Terry Fator in third at $21.5 million.

According to Forbes, “Women are noticeably absent from the list, and in the standup and television comedy business in general-a problem that goes back decades”.

Since 1959, only three comediennes have won the Grammy Award for Best Comedy Album (Kathy Griffin, Whoopi Goldberg and Lily Tomlin), it noted.

The list measures earnings before subtracting management fees and taxes between June 1, 2014 and June 1, 2015.

One of the most interesting developments in comedy in recent years is the growing action on the smallest screen. The Internet has given comedians new platforms on which to make money from their jokes, Forbes said.

“And just as in many areas of the entertainment industry, Netflix is changing the game. Thanks to comedy special exclusives, funnymen Peters, Louis C.K. and Ansari all added significant amounts to their earnings,” it said.

(IANS)

 

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Cepheid to Establish Manufacturing Unit for TB Diagnostics in India

Rifampicin is a drug commonly used in treating TB bacteria in first line of treatment

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The GeneXpert Edge is developed specifically for near-patient testing, to help support a one visit test-and-treat approach.
The GeneXpert Edge is developed specifically for near-patient testing, to help support a one visit test-and-treat approach. (IANS)

Expanding its footprint in India, US-based molecular diagnostics company Cepheid Inc on Thursday announced its plans to establish a manufacturing unit in the country to improve Tuberculosis (TB) diagnostics.

Cepheid’s GeneXpert MTB/RIF test is a closed-cartridge-based system that is easy to operate by minimally trained staff and gives results in approximately two hours, speeding the conventional backlog that used to exist in traditional diagnostic methods.

The new manufacturing unit would produce MTB/RIF test cartridges, contribute to the government’s “Make in India” initiative and thus bringing the company’s global expertise in TB diagnostics to India, the company said in a statement.

As part of the plan, Cepheid also unveiled its latest portable, easy-to-use TB-testing system — the GeneXpert Edge — which is expected to be available in India later this year, the company said.

The GeneXpert Edge is developed specifically for near-patient testing, to help support a one visit test-and-treat approach.

“Cepheid recognises the need for technological advancement and is committed to contributing significantly to India’s goal of TB eradication,” said Peter Farrell, Executive Vice President, Worldwide Commercial Operations, Cepheid.

Cepheid's Xpert MTB/RIF test has the potential to detect Mycobacterium tuberculosis(MTB)
Cepheid’s Xpert MTB/RIF test has the potential to detect Mycobacterium tuberculosis(MTB).

“We are hopeful that GeneXpert Edge will help eliminate delays in TB diagnostics by providing definitive results within hours and facilitating fast and easy last-mile delivery even in the remote villages of India,” he added.

India has nearly one-fourth of the global TB patients and an estimated 4.8 lakh lives are lost every year due to delayed diagnosis and inadequate treatment and there are above 2.5 million new cases of TB every year. The country aims to eradicate TB by 2025.

Approved by the World Health Organisation (WHO) in 2010, more than 1,200 Cepheid’s GeneXpert Systems have been installed in the last two years at various Revised National Tuberculosis Control Programme (RNTCP) sites in the country and more than 2.5 million cartridges were supplied last year at various centres of Central TB Division (CTD).

Also Read: Fruit Bats Identified As Source Of Nipah Virus Outbreak in Kerala

Cepheid’s Xpert MTB/RIF test has the potential to detect Mycobacterium tuberculosis(MTB) and rifampicin-resistance mutations, which are markers for MDR-TB strains in under two hours.

Rifampicin is a drug commonly used in treating TB bacteria in first line of treatment.

Xpert MTB/RIF tests also have excellent negative predictive value, which allows clinicians to manage TB-negative patients more effectively to prevent unnecessary and costly respiratory isolations. (IANS)