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, December 31, 2010

Embryonic Stem Cell Research: A Debate

Two US Companies made history in 2010 when they got approval to start the first experiments using embryonic stem cells on humans suffering from spinal cord injuries and blindness.
Researchers say stem cells can transform into nearly any cell in the human body. Supporters of the research believe that will lead to cures for everything from Parkinson’s Disease to paralysis to heart disease.

Opponents say that when the cells transform, they could form tumors and lead to other problems.
This is an issue with controversy rooted in medicine, ethics, politics and religion.
Fox 29’s Mike Jerrick spoke to two men on opposite sides of the debate – Senator Arlen Spector and Princeton University professor Robert George. 

Friday, December 24, 2010

Ring in 2011 with a stem cell calendar

Need a last minute gift? Try a calendar of stem cell scientists, which will also support the research

[Published 23rd December 2010 02:02 PM GMT]

For yet another last minute Christmas gift for the scientifically inclined -- one that will not only help keep track of the coming year but also support stem cell research in the U.S. -- consider the CELLebrity Doctors calendar. 

July: Robert LanzaImage: Megan O'Neil Photography
Brainchild of Sabrina Cohen, a Miami native who heads the Sabrina Cohen Foundation for Stem Cell Research, the calendar features 12 researchers who are pushing the boundaries of stem cell research on a variety of human diseases including diabetes, Parkinson's, and Alzheimer's disease, among others. 

The glossy pages include Memorial Sloan-Kettering Institute neurologist Lorenz Studer, Nicholas Maragakis from Johns Hopkins, Robert Lanza, chief scientific officer at Advanced Cell Technology, and Gary Hammer, director of the endocrine oncology program at University of Michigan's Comprehensive Cancer Center. 

Images: (from left to right) December: Gary Hammer, February: Joshua Hare, and October: Hans Keirstad 

Cohen and the director of business development for the foundation, Bernis Katz, spent the better part of this year wooing the 12 researchers from across the U.S. away from their busy schedules and putting them right in front of the cameras. 

They were met with giggles and a few replies of the "I-don't-think-I'm-calendar-material"-sort, but for the most part the researchers were highly enthusiastic about the idea, Cohen said. 

By selling the calendars at $18 a pop, Cohen hopes to rake in from $15,000 to $20,000, which will go toward a $25,000 grant funding a stem cell researcher that will be awarded in 2011. The foundation has already awarded two grants since its inception in 2006. 

Sabrina CohenImage: Neox Image
The promise of stem cell research strikes a deeply personal chord in Cohen, who has been a quadriplegic ever since she was in a car accident in her high school sophomore year. 

"Sabrina is an amazing person," said cardiologist Joshua Hare, who runs an interdisciplinary stem cell research institute in the University of Miami, and graced the calendar as February. "She's got so much energy. She's devoted her life to support stem cell research." 

"I'm really proud to be associated with this project and bringing all these amazing scientists together," said Cohen, who will soon start working on a 2012 calendar. 

Calendars are available at cellebritydocscalendar.com 

Related stories:
  • Scientific stocking stuffers 
    [9th December 2010]

  • Super Stemmys, a stem cell story 
    [8th April 2010]

  • Benefits of the stem cell ban 
    [8th June 2009]

  • Read more: Ring in 2011 with a stem cell calendar - The Scientist - Magazine of the Life Sciences http://www.the-scientist.com/news/display/57902/#ixzz192XWpPro

    Saturday, December 18, 2010


    sternThe first person ever successfully cured of HIV, thanks to the miracle of stem cells? Aidsmap reports:
    Doctors who carried out a stem cell transplant on an HIV-infected man with leukaemia in 2007 say they now believe the man to have been cured of HIV infection as a result of the treatment, which introduced stem cells which happened to be resistant to HIV infection.
    The man received bone marrow from a donor who had natural resistance to HIV infection; this was due to a genetic profile which led to the CCR5 co-receptor being absent from his cells. The most common variety of HIV uses CCR5 as its ‘docking station’, attaching to it in order to enter and infect CD4 cells, and people with this mutation are almost completely protected against infection.
    The “Berlin patient,” Timothy Ray Brown, a US citizen who lives in Berlin, was interviewed this week by German news magazine Stern.
    His course of treatment for leukaemia was gruelling and lengthy. Brown suffered two relapses and underwent two stem cell transplants, as well as a serious neurological disorder that flared up when he seemed to be on the road to recovery.
    The neurological problem led to temporary blindness and memory problems. Brown is still undergoing physiotherapy to help restore his coordination and gait, as well as speech therapy.
    Friends have noticed a personality change too: he is much more blunt, possibly a disinhibition that is related to the neurological problems.
    On being asked if it would have been better to live with HIV than to have beaten it in this way he says “Perhaps. Perhaps it would have been better, but I don’t ask those sorts of questions anymore.”
    Timothy Brown is now considering a move from Berlin to Barcelona or San Francisco, and, reports Stern magazine, enjoying a drink and a cigarette.
    Stern also interviewed Dr Gero Hütter, who was in charge of Timothy Brown’s treatment. Dr Hütter told Stern that as a scientist he was “in the right place, at the right time” and that “for me it is important to have overthrown the dogma that HIV can never be cured.  Something like this is the greatest thing one can achieve in medical research”.
    If a cure has been achieved in this patient, it points the way towards attempts to develop a cure for HIV infection through genetically engineered stem cells.
    The German researchers and San Francisco-based immunologist Professor Jay Levy believe that the findings point to the importance of suppressing the production of CCR5-bearing cells, either through transplants or gene therapy.
    Scientists were sufficiently intrigued by the Berlin patient that they met in Berlin in 2009 to discuss how they could coordinate efforts to identify CCR5-delta32 homozygous donors and expand the supply of stem cells from these donors, for example through sampling blood cells from the umbilical cord of babies born to mothers who are homozygous for CCR5-delta32, in order to eventually facilitate stem-cell therapy.
    Gene therapy techniques which can transform stem cells – and all their descendents – into cells resistant to HIV entry may be a more practical option than looking for matching donors.
    Several US research groups announced in October 2009 that they had received funding to explore techniques for engineering and introducing CCR5-deficient stem cells.
    If these approaches prove successful they will be expensive, so in the early stages it is likely that they would be reserved for people with no remaining treatment options or a cancer requiring bone marrow or stem cell transfer.
    As Timothy Brown’s experience shows, curing HIV infection through ablative chemotherapy, immunosuppressive drugs and stem cell transfer is not a course of treatment for the faint-hearted. It has required courage, determination and a lot of support to become the first person to be pronounced `cured` of HIV infection.