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Students attend Donald Trump rally

first_imgThe night before the pivotal Indiana primary, GOP frontrunner Donald Trump filled the Century Center in downtown South Bend to capacity. “And now the biggie is in Indiana. If we win in Indiana, it’s over,” Trump said in his speech Monday night.Rachel O’Grady | The Observer His prediction came true, as he won 53.3 percent of the Republican vote in Indiana the next day, leading Sen. Ted Cruz to drop out of the race. “We then focus on Hillary, and that’s going to be fun,” Trump said. “But remember, we started with 17 and one by one by one they went off. A governor, a senator, a senator, a governor. They didn’t know what the hell happened.”Wednesday afternoon, Ohio Gov. John Kasich also dropped out of the race, leaving Trump as the presumptive Republican nominee. Senior Steve Trottier was in attendance at Monday’s rally and said everything happened as he expected. “Ultimately, it was what I expected,” Trottier said. “Trump fulfills America’s thirst for the reality TV show style of politician.  He disdains any real substance and embraces the dramatic, often outrageous phrases one would expect behind a hashtag on Twitter.”Trump was 45 minutes late to the rally, which Trottier said built up the anticipation amongst the audience. “Trump was late and the anticipation was definitely mounting for him,” he said. “As I waited I spoke to a few supporters of Trump who said they couldn’t identify with ‘lyin’ Ted’ and wanted a president who would stick up for America.”Trottier said he saw the audience consisted mostly of white, working class individuals. “Unlike what I had seen in the media, I didn’t notice any protesters or agitators — most had been restricted to outside the convention center,” he said.Rachel O’Grady | The Observer Some of Trump’s major points included his endorsements from former Notre Dame football coach Lou Holtz and former Notre Dame basketball coach Digger Phelps, according to Trottier. “He did his usual song and dance about winning and mentioned ‘lyin’ Ted’ every chance he got, which was met with overwhelming boos from the audience,” Trottier said. “The only real substance Trump eventually offered came in the form of building a wall and stopping America’s abuse in international trade deals.”Trottier had also been in attendance for both the Bernie Sanders rally and the Ted Cruz rally on the two days prior. “I personally don’t support Trump.  I was able to attend the Cruz, Bernie and Trump rallies this past week,” he said. “I went to the rally to hear Trump unfiltered by the media and experience the rally for myself. The difference between the Cruz and Bernie rallies and Trumps rally was like night and day. Cruz and Bernie both presented substantive policy plans to address issues such as dwindling wages, while Trump’s was devoid of any.” As far as the political climate on campus, Trottier said there seems to be a clear divide. “I can’t speak for all Notre Dame students, but I do think people are very split on the candidate,” he said “I have not experienced any uncomfortable encounters talking or debating about the issues and candidates which is ultimately good. I think people at Notre Dame are willing to listen to each other and walk away disagreeing, but with a better understanding of where each person stands.”Tags: 2016 Election, Donald Trump, Donald Trump rally, Trumplast_img read more

SMA drug test

first_imgBy Rebecca AyerUniversity of GeorgiaAthens, Ga. – Researchers at the University of Georgia have beenawarded a $425,598 subcontract to develop a human embryonicstem-cell–derived test for screening drugs capable of treatingspinal muscular atrophy, the No. 1 genetic killer of childrenunder 2 years old.The subcontract was awarded through the Spinal Muscular AtrophyProject to speed up the process of developing safe and effectivetreatment of SMA.The SMA Project is a model translation program established by theNational Institute of Neurological Disorders and Stroke at theNational Institutes of Health. Its goal is to identify andcomplete preclinical research and develop candidate therapeuticsfor treating SMA by late 2007.The UGA team hopes to have the first assay ready in one year.”All the talk surrounding stem cell research has focused on celltherapy,” said Steven Stice, one of UGA’s Georgia ResearchAlliance Eminent Scholars and the project’s principalinvestigator.”We hope this will be the first use of human embryonic stem cellsin human medicine,” Stice said. “Our goal is to have an immediateimpact on health issues through better ways of identifyingpromising drug therapies for diseases like SMA.”Spinal muscular atrophy is a group of inherited and often fataldiseases that destroys the nerves necessary for voluntary musclemovement, such as crawling, walking, head and neck control andeven swallowing.According to the NIH, one in every 40 people is a genetic carrierof the disease. One in 6,000 babies is born with it. And of thechildren diagnosed before age 2, half will die before theirsecond birthday.SMA is caused by a defect in the survival motor neuron gene 1(SMN1), which produces a protein necessary for all of the body’smotor neurons to develop and function.In people with SMA, limited amounts of SMN protein are providedby a second SMN gene (SMN2) and allow for the correct functioningof most of the body’s cells.However, the reduced protein levels produced by SMN2 aren’tenough to keep the neurons in the spinal cord from degenerating.Transgenic mouse models developed to study SMN function have beeninformative, Stice said. However, typical model systems, such asthe mouse, possess only one SMN gene. And research has found thatthe initial survival of human SMA patients depends on proteinproduced by the SMN2 gene, found only in humans.”The unique sensitivity of spinal motor neurons and configurationof SMN genes in humans make it essential for us to create abetter model to study the disease,” Stice said. “And the bestmodel would be a human one.”Stice and his group will establish two different, butcomplementary, human motor neuron systems using mixed motorneuron cultures derived using NIH-approved embryonic stem celllines owned and distributed by BresaGen, a private researchcompany in Athens.The cell-culture–based systems will be designed to test candidatedrugs’ ability to increase SMN protein levels.”We have good candidate drugs from studies in other systems,”said Michael Terns, associate professor of biochemistry andmolecular biology at UGA. “In addition, there are libraries ofcompounds available for testing to see if protein concentrationsgo up without having to know the mechanism behind it.”Michael and Rebecca Terns, both advisors on the SMA Projectcontract, have been studying the molecular functions of SMN1since their laboratory first cloned the gene in 1996.The Terns recently received a $300,000 supplement to theirexisting grant from the NIH to specifically examine the functionof SMN in motor neurons.”What our lab is trying to understand is why only spinal motorneurons are affected by a mutation in SMN when the gene isinvolved in mechanisms required for all cell functioning,” Ternssaid.(Rebecca Ayer is an information specialist with the Universityof Georgia Biomedical and Health Sciences Institute.)last_img read more