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1  Science & Technology / Science & Technology / UW-Madison researchers report stem cell breakthrough on: November 15, 2010, 11:16:19 am

UW-Madison researchers report stem cell breakthrough

Story Discussion Font Size: Default font size Larger font size UW-Madison researchers report stem cell breakthrough
By SAMARA KALK DERBY | skalk@madison.com | 608-252-6439 madison.com | (15) Comments | Posted: Monday, November 15, 2010 9:00 am


 
 
This 2007 file photo shows UW professor Laura Kiessling, who recently announced that her research team has figured out a way to grow stem cells on a large scale so they can be used for studies and potential therapies.
 Leah L. Jones State Journal archives

A team of UW-Madison researchers has added another stem cell breakthrough to the university's leadership in the field, figuring out a way to grow the cells on a large scale so they can be used for studies and potential therapies.

"What we've developed is a very simple surface that anyone in the field could easily use to grow stem cells," said Laura Kiessling, a UW-Madison professor of chemistry and biochemistry.

The team led by Kiessling writes about the inexpensive system, which takes much of the guess work out of culturing the all-purpose cells, this week in the journal Nature Methods.

"We're very excited about it," Kiessling said. "It's very helpful for stem cell research to have defined conditions to culture the cells."

Stem cells have the ability to develop into many different types of cells in the body. In many tissues they serve as a sort of internal repair system, dividing essentially without limit to replenish other cells.

Research into stem cells is considered critical for finding cures for many diseases, including diabetes, Parkinson's and spinal cord injuries. UW-Madison stem cell researcher Jamie Thomson became the first person to isolate human embryonic stem cells in 1998.

Stem cells need a kind of food that supplies nutrients so they can grow, Kiessling said. They also need to stick to a surface to grow and there's been no defined surface for them to stick. Researchers have looked at different proteins, and cells can grow on top of the proteins, but it's expensive and difficult, she said.

There is clearly a need for defined, scalable approaches to grow stem cells, said Bill Murphy, a professor in biomedical engineering, pharmacology and orthopedics at UW-Madison, whose research involves developing materials that induce stem cells to regenerate lost or damaged tissues.

"This new development could address complications associated with the use of animal products in culture and lead to more well-defined tools for stem cell research and therapeutic applications," Murphy said.

Copyright 2010 madison.com. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.

 

Posted in Health_med_fit on Monday, November 15, 2010 9:00 am Updated: 9:06 am. | Tags: Uw-madison, Stem Cells, Science, Laura Kiessling,

http://host.madison.com/wsj/news/local/health_med_fit/article_1ec951a8-f065-11df-a756-001cc4c03286.html
2  Media & Film / Cinema / Review: This ain't Errol Flynn's 'Robin Hood' on: May 14, 2010, 03:17:02 pm
Review: This ain't Errol Flynn's 'Robin Hood'
By Tom Charity, Special to CNN
May 14, 2010 9:31 a.m. EDT



'Robin Hood' is Russel Crowe's fifth film with director Ridley Scott.STORY HIGHLIGHTS
Russell Crowe is the second Australian to play England's most famous outlaw
This is Crowe's fifth film with director Ridley Scott; Cate Blanchett stars as Marian
Review: Crowe's is a subdued performance in a film that could use more energy and passion
(CNN) -- The second Australian to play England's most famous outlaw, Russell Crowe might seem unlikely casting. But when you consider that in the 1930s Warner Bros. tapped James Cagney for the part -- until the star walked out in search of an improved deal -- Crowe doesn't seem like such a stretch. He's an improvement on Kevin Costner, surely?

With his graying beard and an accent that sometimes ranges a little too far towards Tyneside, Crowe is beginning to resemble his director, Ridley Scott. This is their fifth film together. With its mixture of manly adventure, populist rhetoric and a digitally enhanced historical canvas, it is evidently meant to capitalize on their biggest success, "Gladiator," (though Cate Blanchett's Marian seems to think she's doing "Thelma and Louise").

A legendary, rather than historical figure, Robin is fair game for revisionists, though audiences may be surprised at how freely Scott and screenwriter Brian Helgeland have strayed. For a start, he's not Robin of Loxley at all, but plain Robin Longstride, a yeoman archer who returns from the Crusades bloodied but unbowed, clutching the dead King Richard's crown to his chest. He agrees to play the murdered Loxley at the request of his father (Max von Sydow) to prevent the widow, Marian, from forfeiting their estate to King John (Oscar Isaac).

This Robin Hood doesn't steal from the rich and give to the poor -- except for a shipment of seed he liberates from the Church coffers -- but Scott plunders wholesale from classic historical dramas: The opening sequence in France comes from Richard Lester's "Robin and Marian" (with Danny Huston as a fine, blustery Lionheart); the subterfuge with Marian suggests "The Return of Martin Guerre"; King John's peevish egomania reminds us of Joaquin Phoenix's Commodus in "Gladiator." With all the tub-thumping about the rights and wrongs of kings, it wouldn't be surprising if Scott has worn out his copies of "Braveheart" and "El Cid" too. The pick-n-mix approach is all very well, but sometimes you wonder if the filmmakers knew what story they wanted to tell.



Video: Cannes kicks off
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Robin Hood
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Crowe's Robin is not, first and foremost, a socialist intent on redistributing wealth. Rather, he's a libertarian who believes every Englishman's home is his castle, and the King should keep his greedy hands out of it.

The movie is handsomely designed and solidly put together with a sterling supporting cast (Mark Strong is the best bad guy in the business right now) but the overly complicated plot drags and the copious action scenes often feel flat-footed.

Long in the tooth to be embarking on what turns out to be an origin story, Crowe shoots a mean arrow, but lacks the jaunty athleticism and the mischievous twinkle Errol Flynn brought to the Greenwood. Merriment is in short supply. Scott doesn't do him any favours with his penchant for shooting all the action as if the cameraman was involved in hand-to-hand combat and -- in the long, underwhelming finale -- fighting a losing battle.

Crowe's is a subdued performance in a film that could use more energy and passion -- more Cagney, if you will.

Paradoxically, though, the most effective moments are where Scott slows it right down, like the bonfire song and dance that seals Robin and Marian's attraction, and which is ripe with nostalgia for an Olde England of verdant forests and free-flowing mead. It's in touches like this that the movie suggests there's something real at stake, and it's not just going through the motions.
http://www.cnn.com/2010/SHOWBIZ/Movies/05/13/robin.hood.review/index.html?hpt=C2
3  Space / NASA / Atlantis launches on final voyage on: May 14, 2010, 03:13:15 pm
Space shuttle lifts off FridayBy the CNN Wire Staff
May 14, 2010 3:08 p.m. EDT
Space shuttle Atlantis' final voyageSTORY HIGHLIGHTS
Space shuttle Atlantis lifts off Friday afternoon




Two-week mission will take crew to the international space station
Mission is one of the final three for the shuttle program
Kennedy Space Center, Florida (CNN) -- The space shuttle Atlantis lifted off Friday afternoon on its final planned mission.

The shuttle blasted off under bright sunny skies at 2:20 p.m.

The six astronauts on board plan to deliver an integrated cargo carrier and a Russian-built mini-research module to the international space station. They also plan to bring a "set of batteries for the station's truss and dish antenna, along with other replacement parts," NASA says.

In addition to the mission that got under way Friday afternoon, NASA has plans for two space shuttle missions before the program ends.

This Just In: The (maybe) final flight of Atlantis

Atlantis has flown more than 115 million miles in almost 25 years, NASA says. It was the first orbiter to dock with the Russian space station, Mir.

"Atlantis has a history of being the shuttle that did the most international things," said Emily Nelson, lead space station flight director for the mission.

"It's the orbiter that the Russians have known best, because it's one that came to their space station most often, and it's one that we used to deliver a module for them in the past."

Atlantis also carried into orbit the Magellan spacecraft, which went on to map 98 percent of the planet Venus. It also sent the Galileo spacecraft on its way to collect data about Jupiter and its moons for eight years.
http://www.cnn.com/2010/US/05/14/space.shuttle/index.html?hpt=T1
4  General Category / General & Miscellaneous / More jobs might be created this year than during George W. Bush's presidency on: May 14, 2010, 03:09:50 pm
Repairing The Job Machine
More jobs might be created this year than during George W. Bush's presidency.
by Ronald Brownstein

Saturday, May 15, 2010





If the economy produces jobs over the next eight months at the same pace as it did over the past four months, the nation will have created more jobs in 2010 alone than it did over the entire eight years of George W. Bush's presidency.

That comparison comes with many footnotes and asterisks. But it shows how the economic debate between the parties could look very different over time -- perhaps by November, more likely by 2012. More important, the comparison underscores the urgency of repairing an American job-creation machine that was sputtering long before the 2008 financial meltdown.

First, the numbers: From February 2001, Bush's first full month in office, through January 2009, his last, total U.S. nonfarm employment grew from 132.5 million to 133.5 million, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. That's an increase, obviously, of just 1 million. From January through April of this year, the economy created 573,000 jobs. Over a full year, that projects to 1.72 million jobs. Job-creation numbers are notoriously volatile, so the actual result could run above or below that estimate. But Obama administration economists are increasingly optimistic that job growth this year will exceed expectations. Few of them will be surprised if more jobs are created in 2010 than over Bush's two terms.

Now the principal footnote: To compare job growth in 2010 with Bush's record ignores the nearly 4 million jobs lost in Obama's first year, during the freefall that began in Bush's final months. That's like ignoring a meteor strike. Over time, voters are likely to judge Obama by his degree of success in eliminating that deficit and reducing unemployment. Still, if the economy this year produces more than 1 million jobs -- or, conceivably, more than 2 million -- that will give Democrats more ammunition to argue that their agenda has started to turn the tide.

The real point of looking again at Bush's record is to underscore how few jobs the economy was creating even before the 2008 collapse. Bush's tally of 1 million jobs was much less than the economy had generated during any other two-term stretch since World War II: Dwight Eisenhower produced nearly 4 million, John Kennedy and Lyndon Johnson (together) almost 16 million, Richard Nixon and Gerald Ford (together) 11 million, Ronald Reagan 16 million, and Bill Clinton more than 22 million.

Bush's total, of course, was suppressed by the slowdown he inherited from Clinton and the full-scale meltdown during his last year. But even during the recovery in between, job growth lagged. In only eight of Bush's 96 months did the economy create as many jobs as the 290,000 it did last month. Clinton exceeded that level 33 times. Reagan exceeded it 24. In all, the economy gained about 1.2 million jobs annually during the six years of recovery under Bush. It averaged about twice that during the expansion from March 1991 to February 2001.

This record suggests two conclusions. One is that there's no evidence to support the argument from congressional Republicans that tax cuts offer a silver bullet for expanding employment. Job growth boomed after Reagan cut taxes, but expanded even faster after Clinton raised them, and then faltered despite two massive tax cuts under Bush. If tax rates are the critical factor in that record, the relationship is well disguised.

The other point is that even optimistic scenarios suggest a sustained period of uncomfortably high joblessness. The economy lost more jobs during 2008 and 2009 than it gained throughout the Bush recovery. Obama administration officials see positive signs of the economy's reaching what one called "escape velocity," but acknowledge a long tough climb, even under relatively hopeful projections, to recreate the jobs vaporized by the recession. It is possible that the economy could experience a full decade without any sustained period matching the rapid job growth of the late 1990s. Obama himself has privately described long-term unemployment as his greatest domestic concern.

Although the immediate jobs picture is clearly brightening, lasting surges in U.S. job growth usually have followed technological breakthroughs (the personal computer, the Internet) or expanded access to education (mass primary schooling in the late 19th century and increased access to college after World War II). Obama is betting heavily on both fronts, with big increases in federal investment in education and new technologies, such as alternative energy. But the engine that will propel the next great burst of American job creation has yet to be discovered.

http://www.nationaljournal.com/njmagazine/nj_20100515_5237.php?mrefid=site_search
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