Harvard faculty members discuss state of research

first_imgA panel of experts said Tuesday (March 11) that stem cell research’s biggest impact on patients’ health likely won’t come from therapies that inject stem cells or implant tissues made from them, but rather from the knowledge gained by examining diseased tissues grown from the cells.Kenneth Chien, Charles Addison and Elizabeth Ann Sanders Professor of Basic Science at Harvard Medical School, head of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute’s Cardiovascular Program, and director of Massachusetts General Hospital’s Cardiovascular Research Center, said he expected stem cell research to transform our understanding of diseases over the next 10 years or so and lead to new drugs and treatment strategies.Stem cells’ impact on that transformation will come as scientists study diseased tissues grown from the cells of people afflicted by particular ailments. By growing cells themselves, they can watch as a disease progresses and better understand the driving forces behind it.Chien was less optimistic about stem cells’ impact on the future of cell replacement therapy — growing new cells, tissues, and even organs from stem cells to replace a patient’s diseased ones. For some ailments, he said, implanting replacement tissues grown from stem cells may turn out to be the best approach. But he also said stem cell-based therapy comes with its own complications — like the danger of an implanted cell turning cancerous — and he doesn’t see such therapy ever completely replacing pharmaceuticals and other traditional approaches.Chien made his comments during a public forum sponsored by the Harvard Stem Cell Institute Tuesday evening at the Fairchild Biochemistry Building. The event, attended by about 80 people, was the third in the institute’s public forums this year, which aim to stimulate discussion of the many aspects of stem cell research, such as science, health care, ethics, and government policy.The event, “Stem Cells and Key Diseases,” was moderated by Assistant Professor of Molecular and Cellular Biology Kevin Eggan and featured experts in three different areas of stem cell science: diabetes, neurology, and cardiology. Joining Chien were Professor of Medicine Gordon Weir, head of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute’s Diabetes Program and head of the Joslin Diabetes Center’s Section on Islet Transplantation and Cell Biology; and Professor of Surgery and of Neurology Jeffrey Macklis, head of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute’s Nervous System Program and director of Massachusetts General Hospital’s Center for Nervous System Repair.Weir kicked the event off, discussing goals and progress in diabetes-focused stem cell research. The goal in such work is, he said, simple: to increase the number of insulin-producing cells. There are two main thrusts for research — one focuses on creating new cells for implantation, and the second focuses on getting the remaining cells in the pancreas to multiply.“All we want to do is replicate insulin-producing islet cells,” Weir said. “In the end, the cause of diabetes is not enough [insulin-producing] cells.”Though the goal is simple, achieving it is not. Diabetes is an autoimmune disease, where the body for some reason destroys its own cells, which complicates transplanting cells made from a person’s own tissues. Research aimed at creating new insulin-producing cells is focused on understanding the developmental steps a cell goes through to develop from a stem cell to an insulin-producing beta cell.Considerable progress has been made on this front already. In February, researchers reported that they implanted cells into mice that are precursors to beta cells. The cells went on to develop into mature beta cells. The problem, the researchers reported, is that some of the cells also became cancerous, which has to be addressed before such therapy is used in people.Macklis gave the audience a view of the complexity of the nervous system, saying its diversity presents a hurdle to any work on regenerative medicine. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of types of different neurons in the brain, he said. They function as differently as a family sedan and a jet plane. Some of the research today focuses on understanding the specific types of neurons that are attacked in Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS), or Lou Gehrig’s disease, so they can try to prevent the death of those cells, support diseased ones, and enhance regeneration.Chien drew an analogy between today’s stem cell research and heart transplantation surgery in the past, saying it took 20 years for researchers and clinicians to get it right. We’re at the beginning of a similar process with stem cells, he said, but the scientific work will eventually lead somewhere.“We have to be careful about not raising false hopes,” Chien said. “We have to let science take us there.”alvin_powell@harvard.edulast_img read more

Cardboard Bicycle Can Change the World, Says Israeli Inventor

first_imgAddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMoreA sturdy bicycle made entirely of cardboard is an eco-friendly way to bring transportation to developing nations for just ten bucks.A coat of waterproofing resin and a layer of gray paint makes this cheap bike look slick and operate smoothly.Its Israeli inventor, Izhar Gafni, 50, is an expert in designing automated mass-production lines. He is an amateur cycling enthusiast who for years toyed with an idea of making a bicycle from cardboard. He told Reuters that after much trial and error, his latest prototype has now proven itself and mass production will begin in a few months.(READ the story from Reuters)AddThis Sharing ButtonsShare to FacebookFacebookFacebookShare to TwitterTwitterTwitterShare to EmailEmailEmailShare to RedditRedditRedditShare to MoreAddThisMorelast_img read more

Responders to McFaddin Beach shooting honored at ceremony

first_imgSkyler Vyse wasn’t the least bit anxious when the call came in on June 30.“My first thought was, ‘Can I go down there?’” said Vyse, 26, a Florida native and Boatswain Mate Third Class in the United States Coast Guard.As they approached their destination, Vyse grew more apprehensive. “I started tensing up,” he said.On Thursday, Vyse and nine other members of the U.S. Coast Guard received Heroic Actions awards for their response to the grisly events of June 30 that left three people dead. At the time however, the Coast Guard knew there was an active shooter on McFaddin Beach. They knew there had been casualties. Beyond that, information was scant.“We got the call around 4 p.m. and grabbed our guns,” said Shawn McCutchen, 28, a Florida native and maritime law enforcement specialist. Because of their location in Sabine Pass, the Coast Guard arrived at the scene within 10 minutes. A Port Arthur police officer was already there. “They took control and helped us secure the area,” said Jefferson County Sheriff Mitch Woods. “They kept the crowd back.”The Coast Guard found Lauren Brack, 31, of Groves, dead from a gunshot wound. Her shooter, Eric Barragan, 32, of Bridge City, was also dead, from   an apparent self-inflicted gunshot to the head. Deputy Nick Garsee performed CPR on a second victim, Regino “Gino” Maybit, 34, of Groves, for approximately 30 minutes before Maybit died from his wounds.“All of them were invaluable that day,” Woods said.That’s why Garsee, the members of the Coast Guard, and two Port Arthur Police Department officers received the awards.center_img “When a tragic event occurs, it brings us all together,” Woods said. “We have an invaluable partnership, and in instances like this, we realize what those partnerships mean.”McCutchen, who said this was the first incident of its kind he has seen during his seven years with the Coast Guard, was appreciative, but nonchalant.“We’re just out there doing our job,” he said.Email: ecallahan@panews.comTwitter: @ErinnPAlast_img read more

Pot regulation bill to be waiting when lawmakers return in January

first_imgby Elizabeth Hewitt vtdigger.org(link is external) In a crowded Statehouse conference room, the Senate Government Operations Committee roughed out a sketch of what a regulated cannabis market in Vermont could look like. Legislative attorneys anticipate getting a first draft of the bill to committee chair Senator Jeanette White, D-Windham, by the end of the month. The tight timeline will give lawmakers just enough time to prepare the legislation for lawmakers’ return to Montpelier in early January. The preliminary legislation proposes a five-tiered licensure structure that would allow some Vermonters to cultivate plants at home in a 100-square-foot plot. Other licenses would regulate transporters of marijuana, product manufacturers, researchers and retailers.Sen. Jeanette White, D-Windham, during committee discussion Thursday. Photo by Elizabeth Hewitt/VTDiggerLawmakers are shaping a legalization bill that would roll out a regulatory structure over time, creating an independent board, similar to the Public Service Board or the Green Mountain Care Board, charged with ongoing oversight and management.Related storyBusiness group proposes framework for legal marijuana.(link is external)But the committee opted to stay silent on some of the most controversial topics that have been debated — including whether to allow edible products. Instead, lawmakers are deferring to a separate commission that would be created to oversee the implementation of the law in the short-term.Sen. Joe Benning, R-Caledonia, a strong proponent of pot legalization, backed the idea of a commission to work through some of the more controversial issues. When the committee delegates the issues of edibles to the commission, he told three-dozen onlookers, they are “putting it in the hands of people who understand the issue better than we do.”Sen. Anthony Pollina, D/P-Washington, had a starker view of the matter, asserting “I don’t think anybody should expect a bill like this to pass this year” if edibles are part of the legislation.The committee solicited input from the meeting’s attendees, a practice that White defended, telling the crowd, “I think that it is important for us to ask you.”But while many were eager to chime in as the five lawmakers pounded out elements of a draft bill, others were not impressed.Rutland City Mayor Chris Louras, who stopped by the committee meeting for part of the day, criticized the process, noting that he has “never seen such a free flow, stream-of-consciousness committee process in my life, and I don’t think it bodes well for the state. This isn’t a process,” Louras said, “it’s a circus.”A member of the Vermont League of Cities and Towns board, Louras said that he strongly opposes the proposal to legalize marijuana, and has heard from many of his constituents in Rutland that they are also against it.For Louras, Colorado’s experience with legalization is a clear warning sign that Vermont should not go down that path. He referred to a study of hospitalizations related to marijuana published in September by the Rocky Mountain High Intensity Drug Trafficking Area that found that the annual average of 5,937 visits between 2009 and 2012 leaped up to an annual average of 9,865 visits in 2013 and 2014.Meanwhile, many in the Statehouse are hung up on health concerns.Sen. Chris Bray, D-Addison, a member of the committee, hasn’t yet decided if he’ll put his name on the bill. He described himself as “open-minded” but noted, “I’m not there yet.”Bray, who comes from a family of doctors, has reservations on the grounds of public health. In the course of the trajectory the bill takes through legislative committee, he hopes that the proposal will be thoroughly vetted by lawmakers on the health committees.“It’s a long way from here ’til May,” Bray said.Benning, when asked if he plans to sponsor the bill, answered “probably.” The Northeast Kingdom senator is still mulling the effective dates for provisions in the legislation. His primary concern is reducing the criminal market for marijuana and increasing the economic development aspects as quickly as possible.White answered emphatically that she plans to put her name on the bill as a sponsor.She’s hoping that the bill will wind its way through both legislative chambers by the end of the session in May — which will also conclude the biennium.Despite the fact that Senate Government Operations has taken more than 50 hours of testimony on the topic this calendar year, White sees room for more public input. Her goal is to work through some of the big questions in the likely next stop for the bill — Senate Judiciary, of which she is also a member.Sen. Dick Sears, D-Bennington, chair of that committee, plans to take up the bill in the second week of the legislative session.The Bennington Democrat has “many concerns,” he said by phone Thursday, but he is gearing up to thoroughly weigh the proposal. Sears plans to hold public hearings, including some outside of the Statehouse in other parts of the state to gauge public sentiment.For Sears, public health and reducing overall marijuana use needs to be a core goal of the bill.“If we’re going to do this, the only reason I can think of is that prohibition is not working,” Sears said. “If prohibition is not working, how do we eliminate or lower the use of the black market.”last_img read more

Scott unveils new Plasma2 TT bike ready for Giro d’Italia 08

first_img Related Scott Bicycles has unveiled plans to debut the new Plasma2 TT bike at this year’s Giro D’ Italia. Riccardo Ricco, the young team leader for Saunier Duval–Scott at the Giro, will be on the new bike. According to Scott, the Plasma2 is an evolution of the original Plasma, drawing upon the years of research and development conducted since its release.Scott engineers relied on input from professional cyclists on Team Saunier Duval–Scott along with data acquired from wind tunnel testing to improve the design. Scott has also made dramatic improvements in their carbon processes since inventing the ‘tube to tube’ style construction introduced with CR1 models.Scott has further developed and improved its carbon processes, resulting in an entirely new method of maximizing carbon material called IMPTM (Integrated Moulding Process). The first bikes to feature IMPTM were the Addict and Spark models. The process allows Scott engineers to optimize the use of material in critical areas of the frameset using shape, thickness and a unique blend of carbon called HMXTM (High Modulus Xtreme) to save precious weight while maintaining the integrity of each layer of carbon fibre.The CR1 process itself was a turning point for carbon bicycle construction as it managed each layer during the process in regards to tension in the fibres, bias of the material and preventing folds and voids in the carbon. The Plasma2 features IMP5TM. In this new and sophisticated process the individual top, head, down and seat tubes along with a portion of the chain stays are created in one step. The Twin Turbo chain stays are tucked away from the often-turbulent bottom bracket area, resulting in a very clean aero profile and less drag. The Plasma2 represents a 20% decrease in overall drag in the wind tunnel, while retaining its lightweight competitive edge. The Plasma2’s Shelter127 wheel coverage provides an increased area of protection and allows the bike to be more slippery and aero in a headwind. Another quality of the bike is the SDS seat stays which are much more compliant than standard aero tubing stays, resulting in reduced fatigue over the course of a time trial split.www.scottusa.com  last_img read more

Stines ranked fourth in the world

first_img AT THE ABU DHABI WORLD Professional Jiu Jitsu Championship, a tournament Robert Stines of Phelps Dunbar in Tampa calls “the Olympics of jiu jitsu,” he placed fourth in his division (Master II – Purple Belt, Lightweight). He competed against fighters from countries like Japan, Australia, Lebanon, Brazil, and UAE, and is, therefore, considered to be ranked fourth in the world in his division. Rob considers this tournament to have been a great learning experience and hopes to make it back next year for a shot at the championship. Stines ranked fourth in the world June 1, 2015 Regular Newslast_img read more

Foss: What do we need to do to reopen the economy after COVID-19 closure?

first_imgCategories: News, Opinion, Schenectady CountyHong Kong was a COVID-19 success story.The city appeared to have the virus under control, with just 100 cases at the beginning of March, and life there was returning to normal. People were going out again — back to their offices, to the gym. Residents stuck overseas began returning home.Then the number of COVID-19 cases jumped, prompting Hong Kong to impose new restrictions. The city shut down movie theaters, gyms and other social spots, and barred people from gathering in groups of more than four.GAZETTE COVID-19 COVERAGEThe Daily Gazette is committed to keeping our community safe and informed and is offering our COVID-19 coverage to you free.Our subscribers help us bring this information to you. Please consider a subscription at DailyGazette.com/Subscribe to help support these efforts.Thank YouOn Monday, Gov. Andrew Cuomo joined together with governors from throughout the region to announce plans to develop a strategy for reopening the regional economy.With the U.S. unemployment rate now above 10 percent, I’m all for discussing what needs to be done to reopen the economy, and I think a regional approach makes sense. Increased testing capacity will enable public health officials to identify possible outbreaks quickly, by identifying those who are carrying the virus and contacting everyone they’ve come in contact with — a labor intensive process known as contact tracing.The countries with the most successful responses to COVID-19 all have rigorous contact tracing programs; Wuhan, China, where the virus was first detected, had 1,800 teams of at least five epidemiologists working to trace tens of thousands of contacts each day. Blood tests, to determine who might be immune to the virus, are also a necessity.Is the U.S. anywhere close to being able to test 750,000 people a week for COVID-19, as some experts believe is necessary?Not that I’ve seen.Right now, we’re struggling to test 100,000 people a week.The sad reality is that it will be a long time before life can fully return to normal.Reopening businesses and schools on a case by case basis doesn’t mean everything can go back to the way it was. Until a vaccine is developed crowded restaurants, packed movie theaters and busy sports events might be a thing of the past.Most of the concerts I was planning to go to this year have already been canceled. The summer vacation I was planning to take to the Midwest is on hold. I’m sure other disappointments are in store.Our coronavirus recovery is going to have successes and setbacks.We’re going to be able to go out and do things again, but it won’t be exactly like before.At least, not for a while.Reach Sara Foss at sfoss@dailygazette.net. Opinions expressed here are her own and not necessarily the newspaper’s.GAZETTE COVID-19 COVERAGEThe Daily Gazette is committed to keeping our community safe and informed and is offering our COVID-19 coverage to you free.Our subscribers help us bring this information to you. Please consider a subscription at DailyGazette.com/Subscribe to help support these efforts.Thank YouMore from The Daily Gazette:Schenectady police reform sessions pivot to onlineEverything new from The Daily Gazette Sunday, Oct. 11EDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusCapital Region COVID-19 Tracker for Monday, Oct. 12, by countyToys for Tots announces drive-thru collectionscenter_img But experiences like that of Hong Kong’s make it clear that there are risks to letting your guard down. Reopening the economy might lead to a spike in COVID-19 cases, illnesses and deaths.Done right, reopening the economy will be a gradual process, with different approaches for different places and a readiness to shut things down again when new outbreaks flare up.During his Monday press briefing, Cuomo hinted at this, even going so far as to suggest that upstate New York might reopen sooner than downstate areas more gravely impacted by COVID-19.“Could I see a distinction in places that have different caseloads? Yes,” Cuomo said, when asked whether upstate might reopen sooner than downstate. “How do you calibrate that in a reopening plan? That’s what we have to think through.”It’s been clear for some time that the New York City area has been much harder hit by COVID-19 than upstate New York. But that doesn’t mean there’s no risk to lifting upstate restrictions. One frightening possibility is that we see a second wave of infections that’s worse than the first.Nobody wants that, which is why rushing to reopen the economy would be a huge mistake.We need to ramp up our testing for COVID-19 before we can even think about reopening schools and businesses.last_img read more

19th International Harmonisation Council (IHC) Meeting

first_imgSubscribe Get instant access to must-read content today!To access hundreds of features, subscribe today! At a time when the world is forced to go digital more than ever before just to stay connected, discover the in-depth content our subscribers receive every month by subscribing to gasworld.Don’t just stay connected, stay at the forefront – join gasworld and become a subscriber to access all of our must-read content online from just $270.last_img

House building in the history books

first_imgSubscribe now for unlimited access Stay at the forefront of thought leadership with news and analysis from award-winning journalists. Enjoy company features, CEO interviews, architectural reviews, technical project know-how and the latest innovations.Limited access to building.co.ukBreaking industry news as it happensBreaking, daily and weekly e-newsletters Get your free guest access  SIGN UP TODAY To continue enjoying Building.co.uk, sign up for free guest accessExisting subscriber? LOGIN Subscribe to Building today and you will benefit from:Unlimited access to all stories including expert analysis and comment from industry leadersOur league tables, cost models and economics dataOur online archive of over 10,000 articlesBuilding magazine digital editionsBuilding magazine print editionsPrinted/digital supplementsSubscribe now for unlimited access.View our subscription options and join our communitylast_img read more