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“Genetic Roulette – The Gamble of Our Lives”

Are we risking our health on GMOs? Gastrointestinal disorders. Obesity. Diabetes. Cancer. “People are getting sicker. What’s changed?” Jeffrey M. Smith, Founder of the Institute for Responsible Technology, asks this question in “Genetic Roulette – The Gamble of Our Lives”, a documentary about the health crisis associated with genetically modified organisms (GMOs). The presentation and subsequent discussion was held at the Tewksbury Hospital, led by Kathy Whittaker, President of the Northeast Chapter of the Mass. Association of Public Health Nurses and Jack Kittredge, Policy Director for the Mass. Chapter of the Northeast Farming Association. Whittaker and Kittredge invited two dozen public health nurses to view “Genetic Roulette” to share Smith’s belief about the connection between the chronic illness epidemic in the United States and GMOs. Smith, who produced the documentary, explains the GMO process as “swapping genes between the normal species’ barriers, creating new organisms that were not part of the evolutionary process.” To withstand the use of pesticides, seeds have been genetically engineered to produce two types of crops Smith explains, herbicide-tolerant crops that survive when sprayed for weeds and pesticide-producing crops that make their own toxic insecticide. For example, when an insect bites into corn, its stomach breaks open and it dies. Some questioned whether this would hav...  

Industry Heavyweights Support Auschwitz 70th Anniversary Commemoration

Discovery Communications CEO David Zaslav and Steven Spielberg are heading to Poland this weekend to take part in the ceremony marking the 70th anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz. Zaslav, Spielberg and a number of other industry heavyweights have quietly worked with Spielberg’s USC Shoah Foundation, the Polish government and the Auschwitz-Birkenau Memorial and Museum to bring a delegation of 100 Auschwitz survivors and their families to take part in the solemn ceremony on Jan. 27. The 70th anniversary commemoration is expected to be the last time that a large group of Auschwitz survivors will be able to make the trip to the site of the Nazi concentration camp, because of their advancing years. As such, Zaslav and Spielberg recognized the importance of making sure that their voices were heard and that their families had the opportunity to share in the experience. Zaslav and Spielberg spearheaded the fundraising effort to cover the costs of the trip. The group will include 25 teachers from around the world who will take part in a four-day seminar on how to teach middle and high school students about the influence of genocide and hate on world history. Zaslav is chair of the Auschwitz: The Past is Present Committee, and he led the core leadership team comprised of Spielberg, Len Blavatnik, Haim Saban, Starbucks founder Howard Schultz, investor Joel Citron, attorney Stephen A. Cozen, World Jewish Congress president Rona...  

New imaging technique increases detection rates of invasive breast cancers

A new breast imaging technique pioneered at Mayo Clinic nearly quadruples detection rates of invasive breast cancers in women with dense breast tissue, according to the results of a major study published this week in the American Journal of Roentgenology. Molecular Breast Imaging (MBI) is a supplemental imaging technology designed to find tumors that would otherwise be obscured by surrounding dense breast tissue on a mammogram. Tumors and dense breast tissue can both appear white on a mammogram, making tumors indistinguishable from background tissue in women with dense breasts. About half of all screening-aged women have dense breast tissue, according to Deborah Rhodes, M.D., a Mayo Clinic Breast Clinic physician and the senior author of this study. MBI increased the detection rate of invasive breast cancers by more than 360 percent when used in addition to regular screening mammography, according to the study. MBI uses small, semiconductor-based gamma cameras to image the breast following injection of a radiotracer that tumors absorb avidly. Unlike conventional breast imaging techniques, such as mammography and ultrasound, MBI exploits the different behavior of tumors relative to background tissue, producing a functional image of the breast that can detect tumors not seen on mammography. The study, conducted at Mayo Clinic, included 1,585 women with heterogeneously or extremely dense breasts who underwent an MBI exam at the time of their screening mammogram. • Of the...  

Could Cultural Diversity Be The Key To Miami's Life Science Boom?

As Life Science and health technology parks pop up all over the US, it is rare to see them filled with minorities. However, when based in Miami, there is no choice. The city itself boasts several large hospital systems and universities, a growing startup scene, the most genetic diversity in the US, a booming urban setting, a hospitality rich workforce, and close proximity to Latin America. Additionally, as the expansive Research Triangle Parks (RTP) of the world grow outdated to younger academics, researchers and clinicians, single high-rises housing interdisciplinary businesses and researchers are gaining popularity. And, despite years of political battles to get it built, in 2011 the University of Miami opened the UM Life Science and Technology Park (UMLSTP) on ten acres of the university’s land, leading the way for a new kind of urban tech park. For example, according to Dr. Norma Kenyon, Vice Provost of Innovation and CIO at University of Miami, “By using a seasoned business development team we can put entrepreneurship and commercialization over collecting patents, and further, we are changing the entire culture of faculty and the organizations.”University Of Miami Takes The Lead Like other growing cities in the US, innovative people, buildings, collaboration, and thriving food and art scenes are key for attracting and maintaining a talented workforce. Yet, the building of “knowledge communities” holds fast to the goals of the co...  

How many species are there? First, define 'species'

QUESTION: How many animals are in the world? ANSWER: One of the wonderful things about living on planet Earth is that there is other life, and lots of it. How boring would it be if we never saw a bird flying or a squirrel scampering?The number and variety of species of life in an area is called biodiversity. Biodiversity is one of the most important characteristics of our planet. Throughout human history, animals have helped humans by serving as food and clothing, as well as inspiration for culture and technology.Most importantly, all animals are connected in some way to the natural processes, such as nutrient/water/energy cycles, that allow life to exist in the first place. One of the most basic questions of life is, "How many species are on our planet?" And we don't know!Scientists are working to answer this question and are close (probably) with some types of animals. So far, taxonomists (scientists who classify species) have catalogued more than one million animal species. Almost 60,000 of those are vertebrates, which include fish, birds, reptiles, amphibians and mammals.Invertebrates are much more numerous, as they include insects, of which there are almost one million species! If we include non-animal species, plants and microscopic life, scientists estimate there to be anywhere from two million to tens of millions of species. In Binghamton University's Nature Preserve alone, you can find everything from salamanders to moles to butterflies to woodchucks.As simple as it ...  

Why You Need Your Own Business Cards

We had a warm day after a week of freezing cold and my youngest wanted a Jamba Jamba Juice, so I took him to get his Jamba and hit the phone store on the same trip. The young man taking care of us at the phone store was a dynamo. He got us what we needed and switched our family plan so we save money on our phone bill. I asked the young man about himself. “Oh no,” said my twelve-year-old, rolling his eyes. “This is my mom. Now she’s going to ask you about your career plans!” The young man didn’t mind talking about his plans. His name is Yaz. Yaz had already given me his phone-company business card when I walked into the store. When I asked him about his career plans, he pulled two more business cards out of his pocket and gave them to me. “This is my dj business,” he said about the first card. “I dj for weddings and other events.” “This other card is my entrepreneurial business,” he said. “I design websites now and do social media marketing for small businesses. I’m looking for someone to help me launch an iPhone app.” “How old are you, Yaz?” I asked. “Twenty-three,” he said. Yaz has the right idea. Maybe you have a job already, but you still need your own business cards! You may have business cards that your employer gave you, or you may not. It doesn’t matter. Your full-time job working for your employer is only one side of you. ...  

Missouri State Swimming Sets 4 Pool Records Against S&T

ROLLA – Missouri State swimming cruised past Missouri S&T on Friday night. Missouri State Press Release The Missouri State men’s swimming and diving teams broke four pool records which led the Bears to a 131.5-72.5 dual victory over host Missouri S&T at the S&T Pool in Gale Bullman Multi-Purpose Building on Friday, Jan. 23. After racing less than 24 hours hours prior in the Duel in the Pool, the Bears started out strong by breaking the first pool record in the 200 medley relay (1:31.75) behind the group of Paul Le, Isaac Springer, Vitalii Baryshok and Uvis Kalnins. After winning the 1000 free at Drury Thursday, Miguel Davila earned another victory in the event Friday, breaking the S&T pool record in a time of 9:25.14. “I am very pleased with my training at this point,” MSU junior Miguel Davila said. “I was unsure how back-to-back 1000 races would go, but racing tired and being able to still perform well gets us all really excited for what’s coming in March.” In the next two events, the Bears earned second and third-place finishes in the 200 free with Kalnins and Kacper Cwiek, respectively, and in the 50 free with Caleb Schuermann and Baryshok. MSU created some separation following the two S&T victories by having a first-place finisher in the next five events. Le earned the first of two individual event victories by clinching a pool record in the 200 IM (1:50.79). He later followed that with top honors i...  

Sundance: Vertical Entertainment Buys 'Dial a Prayer' With William H. Macy

Alexandra Wyman/Invision Vertical Entertainment has acquired North American rights to “Dial a Prayer” and plans to release the film in theaters in spring of 2015. The film stars Brittany Snow, William H. Macy and Glenne Headly. Vertical Entertainment Co-President’s Rich Goldberg and Mitch Budin closed the deal during a meeting at the 2015 Sundance Film Festival with producer Jason Potash, Paul Finkel, and representatives from XYZ Films and Preferred Content. The picture centers on troubled young woman who works at a prayer call center. The prayers she makes make a difference in callers’ lives forcing her to reconcile her reckless past with the faith she inspires in others. “Dial a Prayer” was written and directed by Maggie Kiley, produced by Storyboard’s Paul Finkel and Jason Potash, producer Dan Hyman, executive producers Marcus Dean Fuller and Julie S. The film was financed and produced by Storyboard Entertainment in association with Compass Entertainment. The deal was negotiated by Rich Goldberg and Peter Jarowey, vice presidents of acquisitions, at Vertical, with Marc Bortz of Preferred Content, Mette-Marie Katz of XYZ Films, & Elsa Ramo of Ramo Law on behalf of the filmmakers. Want Entertainment News First? Sign up for Variety Alerts and Newsletters! ...  

Jim Harbaugh a focus of ESPN basketball College GameDay

Football coach makes an appearance, helps with half-court shootoutOn an ESPN basketball "College GameDay" show that barely mentioned the current Michigan basketball team, the show opened and nearly closed with U-M football coach Jim Harbaugh.The start was the GameDay crew in the Crisler Center tunnel and analyst/former Virginia Tech coach Seth Greenberg dressing up as a Michigan coach. Not John Beilein, but Harbaugh.Harbaugh received a cheer when he entered and brought his assistants and the recruits on official visits with him to watch the show.In the show's lone Michigan-focused feature, a touching trailer for the Feb. 8 full special on Austin Hatch, even Beilein mentioned Harbaugh, eliciting major cheers from the students in attendance at Crisler Center.Harbaugh's formal show appearance came just near the end, when he was helping the U-M student selected to compete in the half-court shootout.Before it began, analyst Jay Bilas asked him about his own high school basketball career at Palo Alto High School and how good he was."Probably average," Harbaugh said. "19.8 points per game. Not that I was counting."How many shots per game?"A lot," he said. "Before the three-point line."Bilas asked if he could coach basketball also."I thought I could," said Harbaugh, whose brother-in-law, Tom Crean, coaches the Indiana basketball team. "I went to an Indiana game last year, sat on the bench and my nephew Riley Crean knew a lot more about basketball than I did. I'll stick to football."H...  


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