first_img Arsene Wenger is in real danger of seeing his Champions League run come to an end 1 Despite a disappointing Premier League campaign for Arsenal, with one game to play the Gunners could yet secure a shot at the Champions League for a 20th year in a row.But missing out on fourth place could actually be a blessing in disguise for the North London club.Those 19 successive seasons of Champions League football represent remarkable consistency, second only to Real Madrid, with the Spanish club confirmed to play in the tournament for a 21st campaign in a row this autumn.But whereas Madrid have won the trophy five times during that run, with a sixth final to come this June, the Gunners have never won the Champions League, reaching just one final and one other semi-final.You’ve got to be in it to win it, but with seven consecutive last 16 exits to their name since 2010, Arsenal haven’t seriously looked like winning it for a long time.In the Premier League, meanwhile, Arsene Wenger’s team haven’t come close to winning the title since they last finished first, back in 2004.Something has to change if one of the biggest clubs in football is to kick on and claim the biggest trophies.And that something could be the end of Arsenal’s long run of Champions League football.The last two Premier League champions have been teams that didn’t have to contend with European competition.Granted, Arsenal would play in the Europa League if they finish fifth, but considering the Gunners helped pioneer the resting of key players in less significant competitions – allied with Arsene Wenger’s confidence in playing youngsters in the first team – there is every reason to believe they would rest their top talent on Thursday nights.That would mean the likes of Koscielny, Sanchez and Ozil getting a midweek breather, making them potentially fresher for key league games.Take earlier this season as an example, where that trio played against Tottenham, Ludogorets away in the Champions League, then Manchester United in the space of a week.A hard-fought away win in Europe was sandwiched by draws against Spurs and United – four dropped points that saw them go from joint top, four points clear of Chelsea, to fourth and level with the Blues.Even with the chance to rest players, there is a school of thought that with Arsene Wenger in charge things simply will not change at the Emirates Stadium; the Frenchman condemning the club to Groundhog Day, repeating the same season pattern, over and over.Yet missing out on the top four would break that pattern and, you would hope, force the people in charge to insist on meaningful change aimed at serious progression.Perhaps that would mean Arsene Wenger taking action himself to shake things up.It should certainly lead to those above him demanding change occurs, either with Wenger remaining as manager or by replacing him, if a suitable candidate be available.Either way, not qualifying for the Champions League would be a jolt to a system that has perhaps become too complacent.No fan wants to see their club fail and should Arsenal sneak in to fourth place again, there is always the dream that this time next year they will finally win the Champions League.But if the Gunners miss out, there is every reason for the club to seize the moment as a catalyst for positive change.last_img read more

first_imgThe Ebola vaccine furthest along in development has cleared a critical milestone and edged closer to entering large-scale efficacy trials in West African countries hard hit by the current epidemic.As reported online today in The New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM), a U.S. study done in 20 healthy people at no risk of developing the disease found the vaccine caused no serious side effects and, as hoped, triggered immune responses against the Ebola virus. The vaccine, jointly developed by GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and the U.S. National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), contains a gene for the Ebola surface protein stitched inside a harmless chimpanzee adenovirus. Researchers at NIAID in Bethesda, Maryland, began the trial on 2 September, and the super–fast-track development of the vaccine could move it into trials involving 15,000 people in Liberia and Sierra Leone at high risk of developing the disease as soon as mid-January, NIAID Director Anthony Fauci told ScienceInsider.Other small studies of the vaccine, which, combined, involve 260 people, are under way in Mali, the United Kingdom, and Switzerland and should produce data by the end of next month. Ripley Ballou, who heads Ebola vaccine development for GSK, told ScienceInsider that the company needs these data before it can finalize plans for efficacy studies. In particular, Ballou says the ongoing trials should clarify which dose of the vaccine will trigger the most robust immune responses without side effects.Sign up for our daily newsletterGet more great content like this delivered right to you!Country *AfghanistanAland IslandsAlbaniaAlgeriaAndorraAngolaAnguillaAntarcticaAntigua and BarbudaArgentinaArmeniaArubaAustraliaAustriaAzerbaijanBahamasBahrainBangladeshBarbadosBelarusBelgiumBelizeBeninBermudaBhutanBolivia, Plurinational State ofBonaire, Sint Eustatius and SabaBosnia and HerzegovinaBotswanaBouvet IslandBrazilBritish Indian Ocean TerritoryBrunei DarussalamBulgariaBurkina FasoBurundiCambodiaCameroonCanadaCape VerdeCayman IslandsCentral African RepublicChadChileChinaChristmas IslandCocos (Keeling) IslandsColombiaComorosCongoCongo, The Democratic Republic of theCook IslandsCosta RicaCote D’IvoireCroatiaCubaCuraçaoCyprusCzech RepublicDenmarkDjiboutiDominicaDominican RepublicEcuadorEgyptEl SalvadorEquatorial GuineaEritreaEstoniaEthiopiaFalkland Islands (Malvinas)Faroe IslandsFijiFinlandFranceFrench GuianaFrench PolynesiaFrench Southern TerritoriesGabonGambiaGeorgiaGermanyGhanaGibraltarGreeceGreenlandGrenadaGuadeloupeGuatemalaGuernseyGuineaGuinea-BissauGuyanaHaitiHeard Island and Mcdonald IslandsHoly See (Vatican City State)HondurasHong KongHungaryIcelandIndiaIndonesiaIran, Islamic Republic ofIraqIrelandIsle of ManIsraelItalyJamaicaJapanJerseyJordanKazakhstanKenyaKiribatiKorea, Democratic People’s Republic ofKorea, Republic ofKuwaitKyrgyzstanLao People’s Democratic RepublicLatviaLebanonLesothoLiberiaLibyan Arab JamahiriyaLiechtensteinLithuaniaLuxembourgMacaoMacedonia, The Former Yugoslav Republic ofMadagascarMalawiMalaysiaMaldivesMaliMaltaMartiniqueMauritaniaMauritiusMayotteMexicoMoldova, Republic ofMonacoMongoliaMontenegroMontserratMoroccoMozambiqueMyanmarNamibiaNauruNepalNetherlandsNew CaledoniaNew ZealandNicaraguaNigerNigeriaNiueNorfolk IslandNorwayOmanPakistanPalestinianPanamaPapua New GuineaParaguayPeruPhilippinesPitcairnPolandPortugalQatarReunionRomaniaRussian FederationRWANDASaint Barthélemy Saint Helena, Ascension and Tristan da CunhaSaint Kitts and NevisSaint LuciaSaint Martin (French part)Saint Pierre and MiquelonSaint Vincent and the GrenadinesSamoaSan MarinoSao Tome and PrincipeSaudi ArabiaSenegalSerbiaSeychellesSierra LeoneSingaporeSint Maarten (Dutch part)SlovakiaSloveniaSolomon IslandsSomaliaSouth AfricaSouth Georgia and the South Sandwich IslandsSouth SudanSpainSri LankaSudanSurinameSvalbard and Jan MayenSwazilandSwedenSwitzerlandSyrian Arab RepublicTaiwanTajikistanTanzania, United Republic ofThailandTimor-LesteTogoTokelauTongaTrinidad and TobagoTunisiaTurkeyTurkmenistanTurks and Caicos IslandsTuvaluUgandaUkraineUnited Arab EmiratesUnited KingdomUnited StatesUruguayUzbekistanVanuatuVenezuela, Bolivarian Republic ofVietnamVirgin Islands, BritishWallis and FutunaWestern SaharaYemenZambiaZimbabweI also wish to receive emails from AAAS/Science and Science advertisers, including information on products, services and special offers which may include but are not limited to news, careers information & upcoming events.Required fields are included by an asterisk(*)The report in NEJM describes results from two different doses: The higher one triggered more impressive antibody and T cell responses, but it also caused “transient fever” in two recipients. Fever is an early symptom of Ebola itself, and a vaccine that raises body temperature could lead recipients to needlessly worry they were developing the disease. “Clearly we want to select a dose that is both immunogenic and has an acceptable reactogenicity profile, including a low rate of fever,” says Ballou, who is based in Rixensart, Belgium. The ongoing trials are also evaluating a dose in between the two used in the NIAID trial.Fauci says he has no hesitation moving forward with the higher dose used in the NIAID study. “Obviously, we’d like to see no fevers, but the fact that we had two fevers that lasted less than 24 hours doesn’t bother me,” Fauci says. “We see transient fevers with other vaccines.”Similar small-scale tests of a second Ebola vaccine began in October; results are also expected by December that will determine whether to move it into efficacy trials, and at which dose. That vaccine, licensed by the Canadian government to NewLink Genetics of Ames, Iowa, contains the gene for Ebola’s surface protein stitched into a weakened version of vesicular stomatitis virus (VSV), a pathogen that causes disease in livestock. NewLink, a small startup that focuses mainly on cancer drugs and has no products on the market, has been somewhat in the shadows of GSK, a big pharma. But on 24 November, NewLink and pharmaceutical giant Merck of Whitehouse Station, New Jersey, announced that they had entered a licensing agreement to jointly research and develop the VSV Ebola vaccine.Results from those efficacy studies could be in by April 2015. If the vaccines protect people from Ebola and appear safe, a pressing question will surface: Will GSK and Merck have enough doses produced by then to vaccinate enough people—which could mean hundreds of thousands or even millions—to help bring this epidemic to an end?*The Ebola Files: Given the current Ebola outbreak, unprecedented in terms of number of people killed and rapid geographic spread, Science and Science Translational Medicine have made a collection of research and news articles on the viral disease freely available to researchers and the general public.last_img read more