Thursday, October 30, 2008
Tuesday, October 28, 2008
Stanford breaks ground on largest U.S. stem cell center
By Will Oremus
DAILY News STAFF WRITER
Stanford University broke ground Monday on a 200,000-square-foot, $200 million building that will become the nation's largest stem cell research facility.
When it opens in 2010, the Lorry I. Lokey Stem Cell Research Building will house 600 scientists who specialize in the study of stem cells, which may hold the key to treating diseases such as cancer, diabetes and Parkinson's. It will serve as a hub for work that is now spread across campus, partly due to federal restrictions on the promising but controversial subfield of human embryonic stem cell research.
"The Lokey Building will have a transforming impact on stem cell biology and regenerative medicine," predicted Philip Pizzo, dean of the School of Medicine.
The center is one of several that will be erected in California with the help of grant money from a 2004 state proposition authorizing $3 billion for stem cell research in the state. A 2001 Bush administration policy restricts research on new lines of embryonic stem cells in facilities that use federal funding, citing moral qualms with the destruction of human embryos.
Stanford this year received the largest of the state's stem cell building grants, $43.5 million. Earlier this month, philanthropist and Business Wire founder Lorry Lokey pledged another $75 million for the building. The university and other private donors will fund the remainder of the project's cost.A symposium before Monday's groundbreaking ceremony offered a glimpse into the type of work that the new center will encourage.
Stephen Quake, co-chair of the bioengineering department, described a recent breakthrough in which his team used a non-invasive DNA test to identify prenatal Down syndrome without risking miscarriage. A new microfluidics laboratory at the Lokey Center will facilitate similar research.
He was followed by Renee Reijo Pera, an expert in human embryonic stem cell research. She explained how the inner workings of embryonic stem cells can provide clues into the origin and nature of sporadic diseases such as Parkinson's and diabetes.
The new center, Pera said, will afford scientists "the tools to being to unravel the mysteries of the lineage and how we come to have the different cell types that we have."
Though they're colleagues, Quake and Pera run laboratories on opposite sides of the sprawling Stanford campus. Quake's work is sanctioned by the federal government, while much of Pera's is not.
The Lokey building will put them side by side, Pera said, "sharing equipment, sharing ideas, meeting in the halls and having lunch."
The university has been recruiting stem cell specialists in recent years, including Pera, cancer researcher Michael Clarke and otolaryngologist Stefan Heller, who works with stem cells in the inner ear. It plans to bring on even more once the center opens, Pizzo said.
Irving Weissman, director of Stanford's stem cell institute, said in a statement that the building will encourage researchers to "apply stem cell thinking to different problems, including regeneration, aging and cancer."
Article from the San Jose Mercury News
Friday, October 24, 2008
Here's our hallway. The runners are fine but the color doesn't look that great with our hardwood floors so I'm looking for new ones. Since the rugs themselves have worked pretty well, I'm looking back to the PB solid sisal runner again. It comes in some different colors now and I think espresso is closest to what we have. I can't tell if it's a warmer, and possibly better, color for the hardwood floor or not.
Saturday, October 18, 2008
And this is the new stainless steel chef's table:
We're deciding on a stool. I'm still hung up on this stool made by Tolix. It's available at Design Within Reach in a 30" version and elsewhere in various heights so don't worry if it looks puny here:
Friday, October 17, 2008
Janet Jackson's Form of Vertigo Once Challenged Medicine's View of Migraines
By LAUREN COX
ABC News Medical Unit
Oct. 17, 2008
After two weeks of last-minute concert cancelations and rumors about her health, Janet Jackson has revealed through a publicist the mystery disease that was keeping the lifelong performer off the stage: a rare form of migraines called vestibular migraines, or migraine associated with vertigo.
In this Sept. 17, 2008 file photo, singer Janet Jackson performs during her concert in Los Angeles. Jackson has been hospitalized after falling ill shortly before a concert performance, according to her representative.
(Mark J. Terrill/AP Photo)
"It feels so good to be back after being down just a little bit," Jackson told the crowd at Verizon Center in Washington, D.C., Wednesday.
"Janet wanted very much to resume her tour so as not to disappoint her fans, but she continued to suffer from vertigo and could not perform," said Jackson's manager, Kenneth Crear, in a statement Tuesday. Jackson's agents said she was not available for comment.
Most people know migraines come with pain and nausea, but migraine with vertigo?
Doctors say Jackson's type of migraine is well-documented, but it only affects 3 to 5 percent of the general population. Why it happens remains somewhat of mystery.
"It's a variant of migraine headaches, but the pain it not so severe," said Dr. Susan Broner, an attending physician, neurologist and headache specialist at the Headache Institute at Roosevelt Hospital in New York, N.Y.
"We don't have strict diagnosis criteria for it yet … and we don't have any hard evidence of why people experience the dizziness," she said. "But we are interested in studying this."
In the past, doctors thought dizziness was figuratively in the patient's head, usually a woman's head.
From Floating Women to Migraines
"Twenty to 30 years ago this used to be called floating women's syndrome; [doctors] used to consider it a psychiatric or neurotic syndrome," said Dr. Steven D. Rauch, a professor of otology and laryngology at Harvard Medical School and a doctor at Massachusetts Eye and Ear in Boston.
Rauch said the symptoms of vestibular migraines may mimic the spinning in classic vertigo, or patients might just constantly feel off balance.
"Patients feel like they have no balance, or they feel like they're rocking on a boat all the time, like you're lost in space," said Rauch.
True Vertigo, or Not?
Those symptoms might sound exactly like vertigo to a lay person, but Lisa Haven, executive director of the Vestibular Disorders Association, said there's a clear difference.
"First of all, vertigo is a symptom; it's not a disorder," said Haven. A common cause of vertigo is something called Benign Paroxysmal Positional Vertigo, or BPPV.
Haven said patients often get BPPV with age or a head injury such as whiplash. In BPPV, the tiny particles in the inner ear that tell nerve cells which way is down become dislodged. Like a maraca, the loose particles move with any motion of the body confusing the nerves in the ear and the brain.
But with migraine-associated vertigo, the tiny particles are not the problem. Instead, Rauch said, doctors are redefining what it is to have a migraine.
"Migraine was all about headache, and now we realize the headache is part of the greater spectrum," said Rauch. "The modern migraine is this global distortion, and usually it's an intensification of a sensation."
Migraine a Sensory Problem
That sensation could be pain, but it also could be vision, sound, smell and motion. But, according to Rauch, painkillers for migraines won't help the symptom of vertigo. Patients who have vertigo with migraines can only prevent migraines through lifestyle changes and carefully adjusted medication.
Just as all the other sensitivity during a migraine can be severe, so too can the problems with motion.
"It can be very disabling until it's brought under control, I really can believe she's unable to meet her obligations," said Rauch.
Rauch guessed Jackson would have a particularly challenging time managing her symptoms on tour, since preventing migraines requires a regular sleep, eating and exercise schedules.
But Jackson's publicist implied that everything was under control.
"She's a world-class entertainer and needs to be at the top of her game to give her fans the show they expect," said Crear, Janet's publicist. "She's feeling much better and is ready to hit the road again to finish the tour."
Tuesday, October 14, 2008
Monday, October 13, 2008
Sunday, October 12, 2008
Saturday, October 11, 2008
Friday, October 10, 2008
Important Message from the Dissolution Committee (DC)
It is with a great deal of regret that we write to inform you that we will not be able to pay you for work performed after today, Friday October 10 and, as a result, that your employment with the firm will be terminated today. We also expect that we will need to inform other employees over the following two weeks that we are unable to pay them any further and will need to terminate their employment. We do expect that we will be able to continue to pay some people for a longer period of time. Regular paychecks will be provided today but because of the volume of final paychecks we will need to prepare, it may take a few days to get your final paycheck to you. We know this is important to you but please be assured your colleagues in the Payroll Department will be working as hard and as quickly as they can to get you your paycheck.
These actions have been forced upon us by the two banks -- Citibank and Bank of America -- that control our ability to make any payments. Generally, they have refused to pay employees who we cannot convince them are necessary (as they define it) for the wind down efforts. We understand how upsetting this news is. You should continue your activities to serve clients, including, where applicable, to bill your time. Time billing and client service are two of the criteria the banks are examining in our continuing negotiations with them to maintain an orderly transition.
We want to thank you for your professionalism and forbearance to date and ask you to continue to proceed with the same degree of professionalism you have demonstrated during your valuable service to the firm and to its clients.
The Dissolution Committee
It may seem a bit unusual but I'd like to recommend another blogspot site that was created by the late Yolanda Bain, a yoga instructor from San Francisco. http://yogayolanda.blogspot.com/
There's a lot of inspiring and life affirming content on the site. She appears to have been a wonderful person who will be greatly missed.