Harvard team reports major step forward in cell reprogramming

first_imgA team of Harvard Stem CellInstitute (HSCI) researchers has made a major advance toward producing inducedpluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, that are safe enough to use in treatingdiseases in patients. “This demonstrates that we’rehalfway home, and remarkably we got halfway home with just one chemical,” saidKevin Eggan, an HSCI principal faculty member who is the senior author of thepaper being published online today by the journal Cell Stem Cell.“There are four genes that do this,and with just one chemical we replaced half the genes,” said Eggan, who is alsoan assistant professor in Harvard’s Department of Stem Cell and RegenerativeBiology. “The one chemical replaces those two genes in different ways atdifferent times in the experiment. The experiments we performed not only led todiscovery of the chemical, but they also explained how it works,” he said.The chemical that the team used isa small molecule that members named RepSox in honor of another Boston team. Itreplaces Sox2 and cMyc, two of the four genes currently being used to reprogramadult skin cells into an embryonic-like state. Because cMyc is a tumor promoter and iPS cells created usingit could never be used to treat patients, researchers have been looking forways to turn back the cellular clock without the use of genes.Lee Rubin, director of translationalmedicine at HSCI and the other senior author on the research team, said that“our goals were to try to as discretely and specifically as possible guide thecells through the deprogramming process” from the adult state to theembryonic-like state.Finding a way to produce safe iPS cells that are the biologicalequivalent of embryonic stem cells is especially important because the cellscan then be created from the cells of individual patients for transplantationinto those patients. Thus, a patient with Parkinson’s disease might be treatedwith neurons created from his own cells, theoretically eliminating the need forimmunosuppressive drugs, or the possibility of rejection of the transplantedcells. Similarly, patient-specific iPS cells could be used to create muscle fordamaged hearts, or other individualized treatments.Additionally, iPS cells derivedfrom the skin cells of patients with specific diseases can be used as a sourceof differentiated cells to study those disease processes in a laboratorydish, and manipulated to find better drug targets and more effectivetherapeutics. “This discovery is exciting because it demonstrates thefeasibility of using chemicals to make safer patient-specific stem cells fortransplantation medicine,” said Justin K. Ichida, a postdoctoral fellow in Eggan’slab and the first author on the study. “One of the most important things welearned from this study is that, with respect to molecular pathways, there maybe several ways to convert one type of cell into another. By using a nonbiased chemical screeningapproach, we uncovered a previously unknown way to make stem cells. The bigchallenge over the next decade will be to figure out how to make the rightcells for disease treatment. This approach will be important for achieving thatgoal.”Other co-first authors on the study are Joel Blanchard, Kelvin Lam, and Esther Y. Son. Additional contributors include Julia E. Chung, Dieter Egli, Kyle M. Loh, Ava C. Carter, Francesco P. Di Gorgio, Kathryn Koszak, Danwei Huangfu, Hidenori Akutsu, and David R. Liu.The study was funded in part by the Harvard Stem Cell Institute, the Stowers Medical Institute, the Howard Hughes Medical Institute, and the New York Stem Cell Foundation.last_img read more

Tuition changes open new doors

first_imgThis time, the dice rolled favorably for local two-year students.The Texas State University System Board of Regents last Friday OK’d a change downward in tuition and fees for students at Lamar State College Port Arthur, Lamar State College Orange and Lamar Institute of Technology. How rare is that?News unfolded first during a telephone meeting for the regents, in which they OK’d using $17.3 million in newly appropriated state funds to reduce tuition and fees at these local two-year campuses, funding that will last for this biennium. The money was appropriated in the recently concluded legislative term.Mike Wintemute, TSUS deputy vice chancellor for marketing and communications, said regents set tuition and fees per semester a year in advance. In the case of Lamar Port Arthur, Lamar Orange and LIT, that meant tuition and fees were set a year ago at the follow rates for next year: Lamar Port Arthur, $3,056.37; $2,685 at Lamar Orange; $2,898.50 at LIT. But that infusion of $17.3 million gave those campuses the leeway to lower tuition and fees, making their schools more marketable in comparison to Texas state-supported community colleges and positioning these campuses as more plausible alternatives to state four-year campuses. The new tuition and fees are:Lamar Port Arthur: $2,165.55, a drop of 29 percentLamar Orange: $1,995, a drop of 26 percentLIT: $2,200, a drop of 24 percentThat’s a lot of savings. For students who are weighing the choice between starting a four-year college program at the two-year schools, then transferring, or paying higher, four-year campus tuition for all four years, lower tuitions and fees locally should be attractive.For students weighing two-year programs, the savings are substantial and in place for two years, starting in the fall.While the base tuition and fees for the three Golden Triangle campuses are all set at $1,995, slight differences in fees are based on services offered at the individual campuses. Here’s why the changes involving just these two-year campuses are inherently fair: Lamar Port Arthur, Lamar Orange and LIT draw support from the state and from tuition and fees. State community colleges can also draw support from local property taxes, an avenue for revenue denied to these three campuses.There’s this, too: Students at the three two-year campuses in the Golden Triangle were challenged — sometimes dramatically — by the flooding during Hurricane and Tropical Storm Harvey in 2017. Typically, lawmakers said, students at two-year schools, which include many students with family obligations and first-generation college students, are more affected by such economic setbacks. Oftentimes, enrollment decreases follow such events.Texas legislators, regents and campus leaders have done students great service, opening to them through these reductions new doors to higher education. At the least, students should peer inside.last_img read more

Multi-Family: Downtown Phoenix Housing Project

first_imgDowntown Phoenix Housing ProjectDeveloper: Concord EastridgeGeneral Contractor: hardison/downeyArchitect: Ayers Saint GrossLocation: Roosevelt St. to the north; McKinley St. to the south; Fourth St. to the east; Third St. to the westSize: 2.9-acre site comprising 2 parcelsThe $52M, 2-building, mixed-use project is the first private investing supporting Downtown Phoenix student housing. Plans call for 325 apartment units and 5,000 SF of retail space. Subcontractors include Spectrum Engineers, Dibble Engineering, PK Associates and SmithGroupJJR (landscape architect). Expected completion is 3Q 2013.AZRE Magazine May/June 2012last_img read more

CSHQA celebrates 125 years of operation

first_imgCSHQA, an architecture and engineering firm, is celebrating 125 years of continuous operation. It was established in 1889 as William S. Campbell Architects. James A. Fennel joined in 1904 the name changed to Wayland & Fennel Architects. Glen Cline and his friend Neil Smull joined inNautical Beach Resort1949 and 1961, respectively. Shortly after Robert Hamill and Allen Quintieri joined in 1969 and 1970, the firm became Cline Smull Hamill Quintieri Associates. The name was shortened to CSHQA in 1985.CSHQA opened its Phoenix office in 2008.  Kent A. Hanway, AIA, President and John D. Maulin, AIA, Executive Vice President recently joined Jorge A. Pierson, AIA, LEED AP BD+C, Associate Stockholder and Phoenix Regional Manager for a 125+6 celebration for area clients, consultants and friends to mark this important milestone.Pierson has been with the firm since the opening of the Phoenix office six years ago and has been instrumental in facilitating improved services to several major clients in the region.  CSHQA has worked on hundreds of projects in the Phoenix area since the early 90s for various clients including Albertsons, CVS Pharmacy, Eduardo’s, Divine Word Ministries, Goodwill Industries, Henry’s Marketplace, Jack in the Box, Koret, Nautical Beach Resort, OSCO Drug, Rocky Mountain Chocolate Factory, Starbucks, Safeway, T-Mobile, Walgreens and various retail shopping centers.Check out CSHQA’s projects through the decades (click to enlarge):last_img read more

Parents Need to Help Their Children Take Risks

first_imgIf life is less risky, why are young people more fearful? A new study in the journal Nature Human Behavior, by Nim Tottenham at Columbia University, Regina Sullivan at New York University and their colleagues, suggests an answer. Young people are designed to take risks and avoiding them too much may lead to anxiety. But productive risk-taking depends on having a sense of safety—knowing that a parent is there in the background to take care of you. Read the whole story: The Wall Street Journal More of our Members in the Media > Today’s children and teenagers seem to be taking fewer risks. The trend has had some good effects, like decreases in teenage pregnancy, drug use and even accidents. On the other hand, there has been an equally dramatic increase in anxiety in children and teenagers.last_img read more

Richard Balfour-Lynn puts his failed Vector flotation behind him and looks to future hotels plans – Alternative arrangements

first_imgTo access this article REGISTER NOWWould you like print copies, app and digital replica access too? SUBSCRIBE for as little as £5 per week. Would you like to read more?Register for free to finish this article.Sign up now for the following benefits:Four FREE articles of your choice per monthBreaking news, comment and analysis from industry experts as it happensChoose from our portfolio of email newsletterslast_img

Criminal evidence

first_imgAdmissibility – Defendant being charged, inter alia, with possession of cocaine with intent to supply – No defence being served by time of plea and case management hearing R v Newell: CA (Crim Div) (Sir Anthony May (president), Mrs Justice Dobbs, Mr Justice Underhill): 30 March 2012 Paul Jackson (assigned by the Registrar of Criminal Appeals) for the defendant; Robert Spencer-Bernard (instructed by the Crown Prosecution Service) for the Crown.center_img In 2009, the defendant’s cousin, X, who was the tenant of a flat, allowed the defendant to stay. Later in the year, X effectively moved out. In February 2010, officers of the landlords of the flat gained entry to it to enforce an eviction order against X. They found a quantity of white powder which was found to contain lignocaine, a cutting agent commonly used with cocaine. A further quantity of white power was also discovered which, upon analysis, was found to contain 26.6 grams of 66% cocaine. Also found were an empty box for digital mini scales, £400 in cash and pieces of paper showing names and amounts. The defendant was subsequently arrested. In November 2010, prior to trial, a plea and case management hearing (PCMH) took place, at which time no defence had been served. In response to the question on the PCMH form (the form), ‘if not clear from the defence statement, what are the real issues?’, the advocate for the defendant wrote ‘no possession’ (the statement). In April 2011, the defendant’s legal advisers were changed. A defence statement was served on the first day of the trial and stated, inter alia: ‘I accept possession of exhibit MLR/07 [the cocaine]. However, I deny that I was in possession of the cocaine with intent to supply.’ The defendant gave evidence in accordance with the defence statement. At the beginning of his cross-examination, counsel for the prosecution handed the form to the defendant and the judge, seeking to adduce what was stated therein, as it was inconsistent with the defendant’s defence. Counsel for the defendant objected. The judge ruled, inter alia, that what was on the form was no different to a defence statement signed on the defendant’s behalf by his solicitors in accordance with his instructions and that it was perfectly proper to cross-examine the defendant on the statement. When cross-examined on the form, the defendant accepted that the form had been completed by his original counsel and alleged that the words ‘no possession’ were the result of a misunderstanding by counsel. In the course of his summing up, the judge gave, inter alia, a Lucas direction in relation to the statement. The defendant was subsequently convicted, inter alia, of one count of possession of cocaine with intent to supply. The defendant appealed against conviction. The issue was whether the judge had been correct to admit as evidence the statement on the form. The questions that fell to be determined were: (i) whether the statement was admissible evidence; and (ii) if the statement was admissible evidence, whether the judge ought to have exercised his discretion under section 78 of the Police and Criminal Evidence Act 1984 to exclude it. Consideration was given, inter alia, to section 118(1) of the Criminal Justice Act 2003. The appeal would be allowed. (1) An advocate plainly had implied actual authority to do what was normally incidental, in the ordinary course of his profession, to the execution of the advocate’s express authority. Recording a matter on a PCMH form was incidental to that which the advocate had been authorised to do – conduct the defence of a client. Even if the advocate had no implied authority, as the client had said something different to what he had recorded, the advocate would have ostensible authority to do so with regard to the court (see [22] of the judgment). On the facts of the instant case, applying established principles, as what the court had been told at the PCMH had been said by counsel in the presence of the defendant, it had been admissible. It had not mattered that the defendant could call evidence to show that what had been said had not been said on instructions; the advocate had had ostensible authority to make the statement. The evidence was admissible even though the defendant could call evidence to show that it had been said without authority. Accordingly, the judge had been entitled to conclude that the statement made on the PCMH form had been in principle, as a matter of law, admissible at the trial before him (see [23], [24] of the judgment). (2) Provided that the case was conducted in accordance with the letter and spirit of the Criminal Procedure Rules, a statement written on a PCMH form should, in the exercise of the court’s discretion under section 78 of the act, not be admitted in evidence as a statement that could be used against the defendant. The information was provided to assist the court. There might be cases where it would be right not to exercise the discretion but to admit such statements. Those circumstances were fact-specific, but one example would be a case where there was no defence statement despite the judge having asked for one to be provided and an ambush attempted inconsistent with what was stated on the PCMH form. In such a case it would not be appropriate to exercise the discretion to refuse to admit what was stated on the form, if an adjournment to enable the prosecution to deal with the issue could be avoided. However, provided that the parties adhered to the letter and the spirit of the Criminal Procedure Rules and followed the practices outlined, such cases ought to be very rare (see [36] of the judgment). On the facts of the instant case, the judge ought not to have admitted the statement on the PCMH form as evidence against the defendant. That was partly for reasons connected with the good administration of justice, but primarily because of what happened at the trial. The defendant’s counsel had, by the time of the trial, produced a defence statement which had made the case clear and had admitted possession. The statement on the form had been put to the defendant in the witness box without any warning to his counsel. The prosecution was then seeking to say that the defendant’s previous position as recorded on the form had been a lie and to rely on that lie as evidence of his guilt. It was therefore a case where there had been no disadvantage to the prosecution; on the contrary, the prosecution had been seeking to use the statement to the detriment of the defendant. The way in which it had been done had been unfair to the defence. The discretion under section 78 of the act ought to have been exercised so as to refuse the admission of the statement. Accordingly, the conviction was not safe (see [37], [38] of the judgment). The conviction would be quashed (see [2], [38] of the judgment).last_img read more

Why it’s better to think in the long term

first_imgI am fascinated by the ‎concept of time and timing in the construction industry’s decision-making process.How long should the building last? Does it really matter if more often than not we demolish it way ahead of its intended lifespan? Lowest capital cost before whole life cost? These decisions, among many others, are often made on the basis of the perceived best answer when looking at the issue in the moment, or just a little way ahead, rather than perhaps what may be best over the medium or longer term. Perhaps the most everyday example is: why pay more if someone else is offering to do it cheaper?In this respect, I’m very familiar with the idea that everyone being asked to bid is considered equally capable of carrying out the scope of work, they all seem to know about the project and the people being offered seem fine. So the implied differentiator must be price, right? In a world where appraisals and finances are tight, and there appears no obvious tangible benefit‎ to appointing someone at a higher price (because any benefits relate to the future and not now), you can perhaps understand why many plump for the cheapest. But all too often these decisions come back to haunt, as during the medium to longer term a pattern emerges that has financial consequences that far outweigh the money saved at initial decision stage.There is always a right price to allow a good job, but rarely a very low price to do the same good job. We translate this in everyday life as ‘you get what you pay for’. The last time I had domestic building work carried out at home I decided to obtain three prices from local builders (in true quantity surveyor style) and the prices received covered quite a wide range. My initial reaction was, as you might expect, to go for the lowest. However logic meant that, despite the temptation, I would be walking into a wave of problems and commercial headaches. Put simply, the offer was too good to be true. Fortunately I chose the sensible option and employed the builder with the offer that I believed to represent the best value for money in the longer term. Rationalising this in my mind as the best value for money meant that I was not selecting the most expensive – an important distinction! I had a fantastic experience and later learned that friends who employed the lowest bidder on another project sadly had the opposite experience, which ended in a legal dispute.I realise I’m not telling anyone anything new here, but it does amaze me how many intelligent people often make rather short-sighted decisions. Perhaps that’s because they are simpler to make, more straightforward to explain to others, easier to gain approval for or make budgets look more attractive. I suspect there is also a human psychology angle here about finding it difficult to make a decision based on a prediction of how things may, or may not, play out in the fullness of time (which is much less tangible than the numbers staring you in the face at the moment you need to decide). These points are also often exacerbated by little evidence of added value from paying more than the lowest bidder (who has generally bid tactically with no motivation to deliver a job that exceeds the client’s expectations).The search should be for best value, which is not the same as appointing the cheapest. If the market is going to turn this year, it is worth remembering this and avoiding similar mistakes to those ‎made after the credit crunch. Caveat emptor, as some might say….Iain Parker is a founding partner of Alinea Consultinglast_img read more

Police: Baby died after mom fed her meth to offset methadone

first_img PHOENIX (AP) – Authorities say a Phoenix woman has been arrested in her daughter’s death after giving the toddler methamphetamine in an effort to counteract the methadone she had consumed from an open container.Police say 30-year-old Natalie Russell was arrested last week on suspicion of one count of first-degree murder and two counts of child abuse.They say 22-month-old Adalynn Russell died on April 14 and autopsy results showed she had toxic levels of methadone and methamphetamines in her system. Methadone is a drug used to prevent withdrawal symptoms in those addicted to opiates.Officers were called to the family’s home in response to a child not breathing. Paramedics worked to revive the girl, but she died at the scene.It wasn’t clear Tuesday if Natalie Russell has a lawyer yet. Published: August 2, 2016 5:53 PM EDT Police: Baby died after mom fed her meth to offset methadone SHAREcenter_img Do you see a typo or an error? Let us know. Author: Associated Press last_img read more

Gove sidesteps legal aid U-turn speculation

first_imgThe justice secretary chose neither to rebut nor confirm speculation today that he is on the brink of abandoning a controversial new contracting regime for criminal legal aid.Answering justice questions in the House of Commons this morning, Michael Gove (pictured) was asked by Labour’s shadow minister for human rights Andy Slaughter to confirm press reports that he was about to abandon new contracts to provide 24-hour cover at police stations.Gove replied: ‘As far as criminal legal aid contracts go, it has been the case that we have had to reduce the spend on criminal legal aid in order to deal with the deficit that we inherited from the last government. But it is also the case that we maintain more generous legal aid in this country than any other comparable jurisdiction.’   Both the Law Society and shadow justice secretary Lord Falconer have called for a public statement to clarify the future of the new contracting system, currently bogged down in challenges to the procurement process.A judicial review, sought by the Fair Crime Contracts Alliance, is set to open on 7 April and is expected to last seven days. A hearing into more than 100 individual procurement law challenges will begin on 3 May and is expected to finish on 16 May.last_img read more