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


Wednesday, December 12, 2012

Cells Harvested From Human Urine Used to Make Stem Cells

Neural progenitor cells derived from human urine cells. Image: Lihui Wang, Guangjin Pan and Duanqing Pei
By Liat Clark, Wired UK
Biologists in China have published a study detailing how they transformed common cells found in human urine into neural stem cells that can be used to create neurons and glial brain cells. The find holds huge potential for the rapid testing and development of new treatments for neurodegenerative disorders.
Wired U.K.
The team, from the Guangzhou Institute of Biomedicine and Health, had announced in 2011 that it had successfully reprogrammed skin-like cells from the kidneys, found in urine, into induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. These iPS cells can be tweaked to become pretty much any human cell in the body; however the traditional technique prompting this transformation — inserting pluripotent genes into the blanket cells via a genetically engineered retrovirus — has its flaws. It seems the presence of the retrovirus leads to a destabilisation of the genome, rendering it unpredictable, susceptible to mutations and thus a liability.
Stem cell biologist Duanqing Pei and his team opted for another route, that they claim presents a safer, faster alternative. Having extracted kidney epithelial cells from the urine of three donors aged 10, 25 and 37, the team used vectors — a type of DNA molecule useful in transporting genetic information from cell to cell — to transport the information without having to integrate the new genes into the chromosome of the kidney cell, something that is presumed to be partly to blame for the aforementioned mutations.
In one experiment the pluripotent stem cells formed in Petri dishes after 12 days, which is about half the time it normally takes for them to form. These cultured cells soon took on the shape of neural rosettes and were deemed to be neural progenitor cells — a precursor to a fully blown neural cell. Eventually these neural progenitor cells were cultured to become neurons and astrocyte andoligodendrocyte glial cells
Though the team did not definitively prove that the cells would have less mutations in the long run, it did suggest the method could provide a good alternative to using embryonic stem cells to build new neurons. In a 2007 study, when the embryonic stem cells began their transformation into neurons and were transplanted into the brain’s of rats suffering from an equivalent to Parkinson’s, they began to divide too quickly and tumours formed. This time around, however, when the neurons and astrocytes were transplanted into rat brains they appeared to still be thriving a month later, with no signs of abnormal cell division or tumour formation.
The technique is extremely promising for several reasons. For one, the material is readily available and no invasive extraction is necessary. “We work on childhood disorders,” commented University of Connecticut Health Centre geneticist Marc Lalande, not involved in the study, in Nature, “and it’s easier to get a child to give a urine sample than to prick them for blood.”
It’s also far better to be able to develop a cell derived from an individual’s own cells — they are less likely to prompt an immune response and rejection, which could be the case when using embryonic orumbilical cord stem cells to make iPS cells. The fact that it bypasses the ethical questions of using embryonic cells, and appears to take half the time to develop also provides researchers with a faster, more efficient way to help combat neurological diseases such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s. And with millions suffering from these degenerative disorders worldwide, anything that can speed up research will be of huge benefit.
Source: Wired.co.uk

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Alzheimer's could be reclassified as Type 3 diabetes

Could Alzheimer's really just be another form of diabetes, caused by eating too much junk food?

By Bryan NelsonWed, Sep 12 2012 at 5:34 AM EST

PoutinePhoto: ZUMA Press
Growing evidence that Alzheimer's is primarily a metabolic disease has led some researchers to propose reclassifying it as Type 3 diabetesaccording to the Guardian. Such a revelation could have profound implications on the role that the junk food industry plays in causing Alzheimer's.
Today an estimated 35 million people suffer from Alzheimer's disease around the world, and as many as 346 million people suffer from diabetes. Both numbers are expected to rise wildly over the next several decades-- rises that also happen to be correlated with increasing obesity rates. The correlation is so uncanny that many scientists are now investigating a causal relationship between all three epidemics, with staggering results.
Type 2 diabetes has already been strongly linked with obesity and diet as well as with dementia and Alzheimer's. For instance, Type 2 sufferers are two to three times more likely to get Alzheimer's than the general population. The link between Alzheimer's and obesity has been studied less, but a growing cacophony of research is filling that gap. For instance, studies have strongly linked midlife obesity to Alzheimer's. Fitness and a better diet have also been linked to a decreased occurrence of dementia.
Now new studies are suggesting a link even more profound: that Alzheimer's may becaused directly by the brain's impaired response to insulin. A 2005 report found that levels of both insulin and insulin-like growth factors in the brains of Alzheimer's patients were lower than normal, with the lowest levels being found in the brain regions most devastated by the disease. Meanwhile, a report released just last year found that an insulin spray helped improve memory skills in people with Alzheimer's.
Insulin has a well-defined role in the brain's chemistry. For instance, it helps regulate the transmission of signals between neurons. It's not difficult to begin connecting the dots at this point. A causal relationship between Alzheimer's and the brain's insulin regulation isn't difficult to imagine and detail.
Of course, more research needs to be done to know for sure, but if Alzheimer's and other kinds of dementia are proven to be another form of diabetes, then the obesity epidemic — and the junk food industry that fuels it — could have consequences on public health that are even more profound than previously realized.
As the population continues to age, the discrepancy between the cheap cost of our highly processed junk food and the exploding costs of our health care system could become even more tragic.

Monday, September 3, 2012

Embryonic stem cell research can be funded by US gov, court rules

The US government can continue funding embryonic stem cell research, after a federal appeals court upheld a lower court’s decision to throw out a lawsuit challenging federal funding for the research.
According to the Associated Press, opponents of stem cell research had claimed that the National Institute of Health was violating the 1996 Dickey-Wicker law, which prevents US funding for any work that could harm an embryo.
“Dickey-Wicker permits federal funding of research projects that utilize already-derived ESCs — which are not themselves embryos — because no ‘human embryo or embryos are destroyed’ in such projects,” Chief Judge David B. Sentelle said in the ruling, AP reported.
stem cell 410x274 Embryonic stem cell research can be funded by US gov, court rules
The US government can continue funding embryonic stem cell research, after a federal appeals court upheld a lower court’s decision to throw out a lawsuit challenging federal funding for the research. (Shutterstock photo)
Dr. Francis Collins, the director of NIH, said in a statement that they would “continue to move forward, conducting and funding research in this very promising area of science. The ruling affirms our commitment to the patients afflicted by diseases that may one day be treatable using the results of this research.”
The lawsuit was filed in 2009 by Dr. James Sherley of Boston Biomedical Research Institute and Theresa Deisher of AVM Biotechnology in Seattle, NBC News reported. The two use adult stem cells for research, but oppose the use of embryonic stem cells, stem cells found in day old embryos that act source of all of the cells and tissues in the body.
According to the NIH, stem cells have “the remarkable potential to develop into many different cell types in the body during early life and growth” and can provide “new potentials for treating diseases such as diabetes, and heart disease.”
In Canada, a drug using stem cells, has been approved to treat bone marrow diseases.

Read more: http://www.voxxi.com/embryonic-stem-cell-research/#ixzz25P1EsOri

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Jonathan D. Moreno


Can Romney Be a Stem Cell Statesman?

Posted: 08/28/2012 2:45 pm

Is Governor Romney a statesman on the scale of John McCain? Like McCain, he has an opportunity to break with the more extreme elements of his party on an issue that has consistently shown to be important to the American people, and one that he supported for a time as governor: federal embryonic stem cell research.
The stem cell controversy was a top-line issue for the last three presidential elections, but at a time when Americans are understandably preoccupied with the future of the American economy, it has receded as a values question that defines the candidates.
That may be about to change. Not only has the Akin controversy reignited cultural concerns, but the Republican Party platform states hard-line opposition to embryonic stem cell research. And the legal challenge to the National Institutes of Health policy that allowed funds to be used to do research on the products (called cell lines) derived from using derivatives of unused and freely donated embryos, but not to cause harm to the embryos themselves, has been defeated on appeal.
The policy that was being challenged had been accepted by presidents Clinton, Bush and Obama, even though the number of embryonic stem cell lines (the scientifically valuable products of embryos), that could be used in federally funded research was limited. This limit was challenged by the scientific community, and even by his own NIH director, as severely hampering the research. President Obama allowed more lines to be funded once the ethical nature of their donation had been checked.
Then in 2009 two scientists who worked on "adult" stem cells argued that they were subject to unfair competition from their peers in grants competition. The 1996 Dickey-Wicker amendment to the NIH budget banning research that could harm embryos was being violated, they said, putting them at a disadvantage in obtaining funding for their non-embryonic stem cell line work.
This argument had already failed before one three-judge panel last year, and on August 24 an appeal court panel agreed with the lower court that no harm was being done to embryos using federal funds. Notably, the panel was chaired by a Reagan appointee and the other members were both appointed by the presidents Bush.
The apparent end of this case (further appeals are possible but almost certainly futile) should help to establish that basic medical research on all types of stem cells, including embryonic, is now part of normal laboratory practice. However, a new presidential administration could again revise the policy, even though the many new cell lines authorized under President Obama are now being integrated into important medical studies.
Opponents argue that a process that appears to make adult stem cells resemble embryonic stem cells is replacing the controversial cell lines, but it is uncertain whether the non-embryonic cells can be made to function in the ways that make the embryonic cell lines so valuable. Scientists are working on that now. But the "induced pluripotent stem cells," the adult-derived kind, still must be compared to embryonic stem cells to test their potency. Ironically, the more-controversial embryonic cells are needed in order for the new uncontroversial cell lines to be made useful.
This subtlety can't be reduced to a bumper sticker, but the bottom line can. President Obana's position has been clear, as was Senator McCain's four years ago, that federal funding of embryonic stem cell research on diseases like Parkinson's, Alzheimers, diabetes and multiple sclerosis should be continued.
Romney's position so far is unclear. His campaign website reads like we're back in 2008, promoting non-embryonic sources, without seeming to realize that the state of the science in 2012 relies on various sources of cell lines in the same research study.
It's not a hard question to ask: As president, would Governor Romney support a federal law that banned embryonic stem cell research, regardless of funding source? Or would he ban federal funding and let states and the private sector proceed?
Either would be harmful, but at least the voters should know how much damage would be inflicted.