KRAUSE’S GROVE, 2 Beach Road, Halfmoon, NY


1:00 PM TO 6:00 PM ~ RAIN OR SHINE

$30.00 per adult ticket at gate - $20.00 for children under 12

includes donation to Harvard Stem Cell Institute.

5 hour picnic with soda, beer, games, raffles, 50/50, live music




Abundant food and dessert being served 1:00 p.m. to 5:00 p.m.

Those who wish to join a pre-picnic motorcycle cavalcade around the beautiful Tomhannock Reservoir in Ali’s honor will meet at the Troy Plaza on Hoosick Street at 10:00 A.M. for sign up and the cavalcade will kick off at 11:00 A.M. sharp.

For more info: https://www.facebook.com/Rally4Ali

For Further Information


For the Run, Wally Urzan


For the Picnic & Cause

Alison Fisk


Friday, July 31, 2009


WASHINGTON (Reuters) - U.S. President Barack Obama directed federal agencies on Thursday to enact new rules governing federally funded research on human embryonic stem cells.

The rules, issued earlier this year by the National Institutes of Health, loosened some ethical requirements that scientists said could have cost them a decade of work.

"I hereby direct the heads of executive departments and agencies that support and conduct stem cell research to adopt these guidelines, to the fullest extent practicable in light of legal authorities and obligations," Obama said in a statement.

In March, Obama lifted restrictions on human embryonic stem cell research that had been put in place by his predecessor as president, George W. Bush, and asked the NIH to draw up new guidelines.

Monday, July 27, 2009

Rally for Ali Planning Committee Meeting

Rally for Ali Planning Committee Meeting

Minutes of 2nd Meeting

The 2009 Rally for Ali Planning Committee meeting was held on Wednesday, July 22, 2009 at the Tugboat Tavern in Cohoes.

Wally Urzan, Honorary Chair, gave the welcome.

Randy Smith, General Chair, presided over the meeting.

Alice Connally Fisk, Secretary, recorded the minutes.

Cathy Connally Caruso, Treasurer, announced she will open a bank account tomorrow Thursday, July 23, in the name of Rally for Ali where monies collected for start-up costs and donations for Harvard Stem Cell Institute will be deposited. Cathy said she would track all start-up costs and donations to HSCR in Excel and Bob Morse said he will add to Ali’s Blog the name and address of the bank where donations can be made in c/o Cathy Caruso. Wally Urzan donated $500.00 to get the ball rolling for start-up costs.

Wally and Randy noted that the venue for the Rally will be solidified before the August meeting regarding whether or not it will be held at the Capt. JP from 3 to 9 PM with Capt. Jim to cater. Or, in the alternative, Margie Collins will check on St. Michaels Pavilion in Cohoes as a venue, (time to be decided) in which case, “Twink” of Patricelli’s will cater.

It was decided that at the venue door a $20.00 donation will include food and music.

There will be 50/50 tickets sold for $20.00 - some for those “attending”, and others for those “not attending” the event.

Rosalie Repp announced the Yard Sale will be held at her home 49 Guideboard Road in Clifton Park from 9 to 3 p.m. on August 22 to raise money for hot items for raffles for gifts for prizes. Any items left over at the yard sale will be brought to the yard of Bob Morse at 124 Broad St., Waterford for weekend of September 6, 7, 8 yard sale. (Alicia Young emailed the Rally for Ali Yard Sale flier today (Saturday) to Alice and it has been forwarded in group e-mailings to all members to print and distribute; and to forward to their own group lists for printing and distribution).


Rally for Ali Yard Sale

August 22nd 2009

49 Guideboard Rd. Waterford/Halfmoon

(From Waterford approx. ½ mile past Waterford/Halfmoon firehouse on right)


To contribute items for the sale
Drop off your clean saleable goods
August 14th - 21st at above address.

All goods donated will be sold and not returned.
All unsold items will be saved for another sale or donated.

For additional information call
Rosalie 527-9124
Alicia 279-0819

Thank you for your support.!

Rock On!

Wednesday, July 15, 2009



2nd Planning Committee Meeting

Supporting Research for a CURE for Diabetes ~


Where: Tugboat Tavern, 159 Bridge Avenue, Cohoes, NY

When: Wednesday, July 22, 2009

Time: 6:30 P.M.

You are warmly invited to attend the 2nd Planning Committee meeting on the above date and at the above venue. Anyone wishing to volunteer for “Our Cause” who hasn’t done so already may do so at this meeting.

It was determined at the 1st Committee Meeting on June 10th that the Rally for our little Ali will be held each and every year on each Sunday of Columbus Day Weekend and is projected to be an ever bigger and better event as the years go by!

Our 1st meeting in June had a large and enthusiastic turnout. A lot was accomplished and gave all of Ali’s many circles of friends along with her family, a much more comfortable time frame in which to organize and plan many of the details. Even more specifics will be worked out at the up-coming meeting.

Everyone’s input is valued and we deeply appreciate the help and support of all.

All donations raised in Ali’s memory will go to Harvard Stem Cell Institute in rigorous search of a CURE for diabetes.



Tuesday, July 14, 2009


Me, Ali and Grogs drove down for this show with about $40 between us and got in for free and had one hellava good time. During this tune we got pretty close to the front and I remember everyone swinging their shirts around in the air, great memories, Ali even keep the boots she wore covered in mud, she kept them like that since 1994, gotta luv that.

Saturday, July 11, 2009


DALLAS — July 9, 2009 — In a new study that could transform embryonic stem cell (ES cell) research, scientists at UT Southwestern Medical Center have discovered why mouse ES cells can be easily grown in a laboratory while other mammalian ES cells are difficult, if not impossible, to maintain.

If the findings in mice can be applied to other animals, scientists could have an entirely new palette of research tools to work with, said Dr. Steven McKnight, chairman of biochemistry at UT Southwestern and senior author of the study appearing in the July 9 issue of Science Express.

“This might change the way medical research is done. But it’s still a big ‘if,’” he said.

According to the research, the activation of a gene called TDH in mouse ES cells results in the cells entering a unique metabolic state that is similar to that of rapidly growing bacterial cells. The gene controls the production of the threonine dehydrogenase (TDH) enzyme in mouse ES cells. This enzyme breaks down an amino acid called threonine into two products. One of the two products goes on to control a cellular process called one carbon metabolism; the other provides ES cells with an essential metabolic fuel.

Research led by Dr. Steven McKnight has demonstrated that the activation of a particular gene may be a key component of why mouse embryonic stem cells are easily grown in a laboratory while other mammalian ES cells are difficult, if not impossible, to maintain.

Both of the threonine breakdown products are necessary to keep the ES cells growing and dividing rapidly in a petri dish without differentiating into specific tissues.

The various substances currently used by scientists to keep mouse ES cells alive in the laboratory were found by trying many different combinations until something worked, Dr. McKnight said. But until now, it wasn’t known that these culture conditions keyed into keeping the TDH gene actively expressed.

“Scientists added this and that until they got the right ‘soup,’ one that works in the mouse ES cells to somehow activate the TDH gene,” he said, adding that exactly how that gene is regulated is still unknown.

Other mammalian species have a functional version of the TDH gene, suggesting the possibility that the process could also be activated in them.

“You would think that the ‘mouse soup’ would then work for all species, but it doesn’t. Researchers have been trying for 20 years to get the right formula for maintaining ES cells from other species. With few exceptions, however, they still haven’t gotten it right,” Dr. McKnight said.

The research was funded by a National Institutes of Health Director’s Pioneer Award, which Dr. McKnight received in 2004. The program encourages investigators to take on creative, unexplored avenues of research that carry a relatively high potential for failure but that also possess a greater chance for truly groundbreaking discoveries.

“By applying a highly innovative technique to manipulate the TDH gene, McKnight’s work could be an important breakthrough with a profound impact on future research,” said Dr. Raynard S. Kington, acting director of the NIH. “This research, which was partially funded by our Pioneer Award program, shows the value of supporting exceptionally creative approaches to major challenges in biomedical and behavioral research.”

Embryonic stem cells are “blank slate” cells — derived from embryos — that go on to develop into any of the more than 200 types of cells in the adult body.

Because mouse ES cells are easily maintained in the lab, they can be manipulated genetically to produce adult mice in which various genes are either modified or eliminated. So-called “knockout mice” allow scientists to study the genetic aspects of many diseases and conditions, including cancer, Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and paralysis.

In the living mouse, and in other species, ES cells exist for only a short time. In that time, they need to grow rapidly in order to accumulate enough cells to begin the process of differentiating into all the body’s cell types. Dr. McKnight hypothesizes that the TDH gene tightly controls this process in the animal, allowing the ES cells to grow, but then it shuts off when it’s time to differentiate.

“If we can tweak conditions and determine how to keep the gene turned on in other animals, we might be able to grow and maintain ES cells for study in many species. It’s still speculative at this point whether it will work, but if it does, then this may prove to represent a transformational discovery,” Dr. McKnight said.

Interestingly, although humans carry a form of the TDH gene, it contains three inactivating mutations. As such, human ES cells do not produce the TDH enzyme.

“In the human embryo, something else is taking the place of this TDH-mediated form of rapid cell growth,” Dr. McKnight said. “Human ES cells may exist in a unique metabolic state, but it would not appear to involve threonine breakdown.”

Human ES cells grow slowly and are difficult to maintain in the laboratory, which is a huge impediment to this field of study, Dr. McKnight said.

“If scientists could repair the mutated human TDH gene and replace it into human ES cells, could they make those cells grow faster in culture? I don’t know whether this will work or not — it’s highly speculative. But if so, it would be profound,” he said.

Other UT Southwestern researchers involved in the study were lead author Dr. Jian Wang, postdoctoral researcher in biochemistry; Peter Alexander, graduate student in biochemistry; Leeju Wu, senior research scientist in biochemistry; Dr. Robert Hammer, professor of biochemistry; and Dr. Ondine Cleaver, assistant professor of molecular biology.

Thursday, July 9, 2009

Cellular Dynamics International Reprograms Blood Cells into Stem Cells

Findings to be Presented at the International Society of Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) Annual Meeting Demonstrate that Any Stored Blood Sample is a Candidate for iPS Cell Reprogramming

MADISON, Wis., July 8, 2009– Researchers at Cellular Dynamics International (CDI) report the ability to generate pluripotent stem cells, which have the ability to generate all tissue types in the body, from very small volumes of ordinary human blood samples. This significant breakthrough provides a readily obtainable source of pluripotent stem cells from the millions of samples in storage at blood repositories and healthcare institutions worldwide. These findings, announced today, will be presented during a poster session beginning at 4:45 p.m. on July 10 at the ISSCR annual meeting in Barcelona, Spain.

“Industry’s challenge was to reliably create iPS cells from a commonly available and easily accessible tissue source and we focused on stored human peripheral blood samples,” said Chris Kendrick-Parker, chief commercial officer of CDI. “Generating pluripotent stem cells from small volumes of blood—either freshly collected from a patient or accessed from blood storage repositories, provides a convenient source for generating patient-specific stem cells that are valuable research tools and may one day be used as a cellular therapy to treat disease.”

Emile Nuwaysir, chief operations officer of CDI said, “The ability to use common tissue repositories to create iPS cells from donors with known medical history enables us to provide the pharmaceutical industry with a cell portfolio representing individual biology, disease models, retrospective analysis and ethnic diversity. This is the first step in paving the way for large-scale processing and industrialization of iPS cells.”

To generate the induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, CDI scientists isolated T-cells, a type of white blood cell, from a 3 ml donor blood sample. The cells were stimulated, expanded and exposed to documented reprogramming factors. iPS cell colonies were observed after three weeks. Analysis revealed that the iPS cells are functionally identical to embryonic stem cells and iPS cells generated from other human tissue sources, that they carry the same genetic background as the source blood sample, and that they have the pluripotent ability to differentiate into any cell type.

About Cellular Dynamics International, Inc.
Cellular Dynamics International, Inc. (CDI) is a leading developer of next-generation stem cell technologies for drug development and personalized medicine applications. CDI harnesses the power of pluripotent stem cells and their ability to differentiate into any cell type for world-class drug development tools. In addition, it is the leader in iPS technology, the production of pluripotent stem cell lines from adult tissue. CDI was founded in 2004 by Dr. James Thomson, a pioneer in human embryonic stem cell research at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and Tactics II Ventures, a Wisconsin-based venture capital fund. CDI’s facilities are located in Madison, Wisconsin.

Wednesday, July 1, 2009


Scientists in California have discovered that the discarded placentas of healthy newborns provide a much more abundant source of stem cells than umbilical cord blood.

According to the new study, the stem cells in placentas can be safely extracted for transplantation.

Furthermore, it is highly likely that placental stem cells, like umbilical cord blood and bone marrow stem cells, can be used to cure chronic blood-related disorders such as sickle cell disease, thalassemia, and leukemia.

The study, led by Children’s Hospital & Research Center Oakland (Calif.) scientists Frans Kuypers, Ph.D.[ PICTURED ], and Vladimir Serikov, Ph.D., The doctors and their team made the discoveries by harvesting term placentas from healthy women undergoing elective Cesarean sections.

“Yes, the stem cells are there; yes, they are viable; and yes, we can get them out,” Kuypers said.

Using stem cells from umbilical cord blood, Children’s Hospital Oakland physicians have cured more than 100 children with chronic blood-related diseases through their sibling donor cord blood transplantation program, which began in 1997.

However, according to the American Cancer Society, each year at least 16,000 people with serious blood- related disorders are not able to receive the bone marrow or cord blood transplant they need because they can’t find a match.

Kuypers said that even when a patient receives a cord blood transplant, there may not be enough stem cells in the umbilical cord to successfully treat their disorder.

Placentas, however, contain several times more stem cells than umbilical cord blood.

“The greater supply of stem cells in placentas will likely increase the chance that an HLA (human leukocyte antigen) matched unit of stem cells engrafts, making stem cell transplants available to more people. The more stem cells, the bigger the chance of success,” said Kuypers.

Kuypers and Serikov have also developed a patent-pending method that will allow placental stem cells to be safely harvested and made accessible for transplantation.

The process involves freezing placentas in a way that allows them to later be defrosted and suffused with a compound that enables the extraction of viable stem cells.

The method will make it possible for companies to gather, ship and store placentas in a central location.

“We’re looking for a partnership with industry to get placenta-derived stem cells in large quantities to the clinic,” Kuypers said.

He said that much more research and grant funding are needed to explore the maximum potential of this latest discovery.

“Someday, we will be able to save a lot more kids and adults from these horrific blood disorders.”

The study is published in the July 2009 issue of Experimental Biology and Medicine.

Contact: Frans Kuypers, 510-450-7620, fkuypers@chori.org