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


Saturday, April 23, 2011

Lab Rat Of The Week: Sydney “Alison” Kraemer

S. Alison Kraemer ’12 knew she wanted to research stem cells before she came to Harvard.
At 13, she had a spinal injury while dancing that left her with herniated discs. She recovered from her injury with physical therapy, but she was no longer able to dance.
Kraemer’s injury helped spark her interest in stem cell research. She hopes that finding clinical solutions to spinal cord injuries will help those who were not as fortunate in their recoveries as she was.
Since the summer after her freshman year, Kraemer has worked continuously at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute. She researches in Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology Professor Paola Arlotta’s lab, where she investigates practical applications for recent breakthroughs in stem cell technology.
Kraemer’s work involves culturing induced pluripotent stem cells, skin cells which have been transformed into stem cells in order to eventually create corticospinal motor neurons. These neurons help transmit signals from the cortex, down the spinal cord, and ultimately to the muscles. They can be damaged in the case of spinal cord injuries or Lou Gehrig’s disease.
Kraemer’s laboratory hopes that if the damaged neurons can be replaced, some of these patients may be able to move again.
Coming into the lab, Kraemer was unfamiliar with the intricacies of stem cell research.
“I felt a little ignorant, and I needed to learn a lot to keep up,” Kraemer said.
She read many scientific papers on stem cells and gradually caught up.
“I can really engage in conversations now, and I feel like I’m helping answer the theoretical questions we’re asking,” Kraemer said.
Kraemer said she loves lab work. “Whenever I learn a new procedure I feel like a little kid. I’m like holy cow. That’s so cool,” she said.
Kraemer is invested in the implications of her lab’s research because ultimately she hopes to treat patients through clinical work, possibly in pediatrics, dermatology, or oncology.
“I’d like to be able to completely change someone’s life for the better,” Kraemer said.
Kraemer is part of the first class to graduate in the new Stem Cell and Regenerative Biology concentration.
Outside academics, Kraemer is a co-editor in chief of the Harvard College Global Health Review, a publication she joined her freshman spring in the first year of its publication.
Outside of science, Kraemer’s other passion is music. She has played the flute for 13 years and has played for the Mozart Society Orchestra and with Mather Chamber Music, while also volunteering with MIHNUET, an organization that performs music in nursing homes and hospitals.

Sunday, April 17, 2011

Japan urged to store N-workers' blood
Japanese physicians urge health officials to store blood samples from workers at the Fukushima nuclear plant for possible future stem cell transplants.

In report published in the journal Lancet, doctors from the Japanese Foundation for Cancer Research and Toranomon Hospital in Tokyo, urged authorities to take blood samples from the workers at risk of exposure to damaging levels of radiation.

The stem cells taken from these samples could be used in the treatment of certain diseases caused secondary to radioactive exposure.

The letter, written by a group of Japanese scientists led by Dr. Tetsuya Tanimoto, was published as teams are working in an extremely dangerous condition at the site of nuclear disaster to cool overheated fuel in the three damaged reactors and to remove irradiated water from the plant.

"The process to completely shut down the reactors is expected to take years. The risk of accidental radiation exposure will thus accumulate for the nuclear workers and banking of their PBSCs will become increasingly important," the scientists said.

The Japanese doctors called to mind that some workers received donated bone marrow transplants after the 1986 Chernobyl disaster, and two Japanese nuclear workers got donated stem cell transplants after the 1999 accident.

They stressed that providing Fukushima workers with their own stem cells, instead of donated cells, would lead to lower rejection rates and subsequently better results.

Doctors complain that officials in the Japanese nuclear industry have refused to store the workers' PBSCs, saying this act may damage their reputation.

"The most important mission is to save the nuclear workers' lives and to protect the local communities," the scientists emphasized. "Such an approach would be the industry's best defense: if a fatal accident happened to the nuclear workers, the nuclear power industry of Japan would collapse."

Saturday, April 16, 2011

Stem Cell Research Used to Create Human Kidney

Stem cell research was used to create human kidney by scientists at the Edinburgh University.
The organs were created artificially in a laboratory and are about the size of kidneys in a fetus. They were created with both human amniotic fluid and animal fetal cells.
''It sounds a bit science fiction-like but it's not,” Physiologist Jamie Davies, a professor at Edinburgh University, told The Telegraph. ''The idea is to start with human stem cells and end up with a functioning organ. 'We have made pretty good progress with that. We can make something that has the complexity of a normal, fetal kidney.''
By creating stem cell kidneys, scientists could provide the organs for thousands waiting on transplant lists. If the patient’s own organs are used then they may not need to take immunosuppressant drugs to prevent rejecting another person’s kidneys.
''Freezing a few cells is cost-effective compared with the cost of keeping someone on dialysis for years,” Davis added. ''If you have got a bunch of stem cells sitting in a test tube, that is a long way from being a beautifully, anatomically organized organ like a kidney, which is quite a complicated structure."
Scientists say stem cell organs could be used on human in about 10 years.
''So we are working on how you turn cells floating about in liquid into something as precisely arranged as a kidney.''

Wednesday, April 13, 2011


Published On Tue Apr 12 2011
Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO)employees wear protective gear as they work near the Fukushima Dai-ichi (no.1) nuclear power plant on March 18, 2011.
Tokyo Electric Power Company (TEPCO)employees wear protective gear as they work near the Fukushima Dai-ichi (no.1) nuclear power plant on March 18, 2011.
Debra BlackStaff Reporter
One of the world’s leading experts on treating victims of nuclear reactor accidents has said that it is premature to consider life-saving infusions of blood stem cells to boost the bone marrow of the workers fighting to keep Japan’s Fukushima nuclear plant from melting down.
On Tuesday Japan announced that the severity level of the crisis at the tsunami-damaged nuclear plant has been raised to the highest rating — equivalent to the Chernobyl disaster in 1986.
Japanese regulators raised the rating from 5 to 7 — the highest level on an international scale — after new tests of radiation leaks at the Fukushima plant.
But experts from around the world say despite the rating increase, the level of radiation the workers are being exposed to isn’t severe enough to require an infusion of blood stem cells to treat any medical problems such as radiation induced leukemia or blood abnormalities.
Robert Peter Gale, a leading hematologist and one of two medical leaders of the U.S.-Soviet medical team that responded to Chernobyl in 1986, told the Star that he believes the radiation exposure so far does not require an infusion of blood stem cells to boost bone marrow.
Gale is part of the team of experts currently advising the Japanese Prime Minister’s Office and the Tokyo Electric Power Company on the radiation levels at the damaged nuclear plant at Fukushima. Gale, who is currently a visiting professor of hematology at Imperial College London, was at Fukushima earlier this month, assessing the situation.
Workers there are “being exposed to levels of radiation that are permissible under most international guidelines,” Gale said in a phone interview. “It is higher than what the Japanese government had set for its workers, but it is within international guidelines so there shouldn’t be any need for treatment.”
Some media reports have suggested that medical experts were looking at the possibility of an infusion of blood stem cells to boost bone marrow to save the lives of Japan’s nuclear workers who have been exposed to high levels of radiation. There are also reports that Japanese authorities have been considering plans to collect and freeze cells from some of the workers in case they needed such surgery.
But for Princess Margaret Hospital hematologist John Kuruvilla the key issue is whether or not people exposed to radiation at Fukushima go on to develop medical complications, such as abnormal blood counts and bone marrow function, at all.
If so, even before a transplant is considered other treatments are looked at such as blood transfusion support, antibiotics and cytokine growth factors, he said. A stem cell transplant would be reserved for people who had significant blood count problems and an available donor, Kuruvilla said. It has been performed on those with radiation injuries, however it is not successful in the majority of cases, he added.
Gale doesn’t believe the radiation the workers have experienced will require this kind of dramatic intervention. “Less than one sievert we don’t need to intervene,” he said. And that’s the case with the workers at Fukushima, he said.
The workers are being removed when they’ve had a dose of contamination that measures 250 millisieverts, Gale said. That’s equivalent to a quarter of one sievert, he said.
“We are worried about bone marrow failure when a person’s entire body is exposed to radiation, not a small part of it,” said Gale. “If I look at the physical structure of the plant and consider how likely is it for these workers to get a whole body dose of radiation … it is extremely unlikely.”
Further complicating the situation is the question whether a blood stem cell transplant would do any good even if there was serious exposure. “Bone marrow damage in an accident setting rarely occurs alone,” Gale explained.
“If you get a dose of radiation high enough for this you likely have other serious injuries such as damage to the lungs and the gastrointestinal tract and the skin.” The likelihood of dying from those is also high.
So you have to calculate, if you are going to do such a transplant, what are the odds that the person may die from the other injuries, he said. Some simply will die no matter what is done with a high blast of contamination.
A blood stem cell for bone marrow is not a panacea, he said.
If the radiation levels were high enough, a blood stem cell transplant might be a “viable option” for radiation induced leukemia, said Dr. Mick Bhatia, director and senior scientist at McMaster Stem Cell and Cancer Research Institute.
But he agrees with Gale that so far the radiation levels received by workers are not likely that severe. However, he cautioned: “Having said that, no one knows how much damage they (the workers) have had before. This dose may be enough to tip the balance to a leukemic state.”
It might be prudent to seek out possible donors just in case, Bhatia said.

Thursday, April 7, 2011

First Eyeball Grown From Stem Cells

Posted by Pelliciari on April 7, 2011
Photo: Danny Hope (CC)
The Guardian reports:
Scientists have used stem cells to grow a rudimentary eye in the laboratory in a landmark study that raises the prospect of creating tissues to treat blindness and tease apart how diseases can destroy eyesight.
The Japanese team is the first to make significant progress in turning embryonic stem cells into an organ as complex as the eye.
Writing in the journal Nature, the scientists describe how they used embryonic stem cells from mice to grow an “optic cup”, a structure that forms the retina and contains the light-sensitive cells and neurons needed to see properly.
The work gives researchers hope for growing parts of the human eye to investigate the progression of devastating diseases that lead to blindness, and to screen for drugs that might slow or even reverse the conditions.
It also raises the more distant prospect of creating banks of healthy retina cells to transplant into patients whose…

Saturday, April 2, 2011

LATEST UPDATE: 31/03/2011 

Steps forward in stem cell research
This week, we investigate the latest advances in stem cell technology. We bring you a breakthrough by Dr. Peschanski in France, who’s shone more light on Steinert’s disease, a rare muscle-wasting condition.
In newly published research, Dr. Marc Peschanski unveils how he has used stem cell modelling to identify two genes responsible for Steinert’s syndrome. The discovery could one day lead to groundbreaking solutions for a disease for which there is currently no treatment.
Peschanski’s team believes research using embryonic stem cells is essential for continued progress on rare diseases. However, proposed changes in French bioethics laws could restrict working with cells taken from embryos. IPS cells, which are instead taken from adults and then modified in a laboratory, may be a way to circumvent these regulations. But scientists warn they could cause cancer and should be used with caution.
Finally, we bring you a report from the controversial NuTech Mediworld clinic in India, one of the few treatments centres in the world to inject its patients with stem cells. So-called ‘stem cell tourists’ travel to New Delhi from all around the world seeking cures for serious illnesses and disabilities. Health authorities in India advise caution, saying the therapy has not yet been