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Stem cells

first_imgBy Stephanie SchupskaUniversity ofGeorgiaFour times Hamilton Jordan has battled cancer. Each time he’s diagnosed, he researches his disease and hopes for new treatments.The scientists, politicians and lawyers gathered on the University of Georgia campus Monday believe some of those treatment answers lie in stem cell research.”Life never meant so much to me over the last few years as the years when I’m fighting for it,” Jordan said as the former White House chief of staff shared his cancer stories.Stem cell research brings to mind images of lab coats and microscopes. But Monday’s symposium brought to light the legal, political and personal issues facing stem cell research. Lawyer Sherry Knowles, U.S. Congressman Tom Price and Jordan came to discuss their respective points of view.”These are three very important topics that will really determine how medicine will reach the public,” said Steve Stice, a Georgia Research Alliance eminent scholar and director of UGA’s Regenerative Bioscience Center.Every year, UGA holds a “Human Embryonic Stem Cell Toolbox” workshop, a five-day clinic sponsored by the National Institutes of Health. Participants come from as far away as Japan.The RBC then holds the symposium to “advance public knowledge and awareness of genetic medicine,” Stice said.Jordan, a key figure in President Jimmy Carter’s administration, was diagnosed with histiocytic lymphoma in 1985 after an X-ray showed a golf-ball-sized tumor in his chest.”The doctor said it was likely cancer,” he said. As he waited for the results of his biopsy, “my wife, mom and sister took turns crying for three days as I lay there.”After he was diagnosed, Jordan “went into a funk. I was scared to death. I kind of cut myself off from my family.”Then a doctor friend from UGA dropped by for a visit at the hospital and asked him: “Who is going to have a greater decision in your life than yourself?”That night, Jordan went down to the hospital’s library and started learning about his cancer.The personal side plays a huge role in the research. But researchers must also keep in mind the legal aspects of stem cells.As a partner at King and Spalding, Knowles focuses heavily on protecting biotechnology patent portfolios. “You can do all the research you want, but if you’re blocked by patents, you’ll get nowhere,” she told the scientists. “I help get companies and universities through the patent thicket.”As of June 2005, 1,400 patents covered the various aspects of stem cell research. That makes it all the more important for scientists to investigate what has been patented and to get the proper licenses before proceeding with studies.Although Rep. Tom Price (R-Ga.) is an orthopedic surgeon and third-generation physician, “I’m here to give you opinion,” he said. He believes that stem cells, whether embryonic or adult, hold great promise for many diseases and many illnesses. Then he went on to explain the political dilemma.”Politicians like unanimity,” he said. “We don’t like controversy. … We try to help people and make people happy.”And stem cell research, especially embryonic research, is controversial. “With adult and cord cell research, you get into the whole area of political demagoguery,” Price said. “Oftentimes it seems in embryonic stem cells that the secret to so many diseases is just months away. This does a disservice to the public, science and those suffering from diseases.”Plus, “the government is not nimble,” he said. “You can’t get us to move in such a way that responds quickly to issues.”He asked the scientists to educate their politicians, to invite them into the lab and explain their research. It helps to add a personal view to something as tiny as cells.”I look at every day differently than before I had these experiences,” Jordan said of his battles with cancer. To him, stem cell research is “important to our country, our people and our economy. There’s so much to lose here.”(Stephanie Schupska is a news editor with the University ofGeorgia College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences.)last_img read more

Personal Growth

first_imgI’ve learned a lot about myself during this holiday season, which has presented me with multiple opportunities for personal growth. I’ve learned that I think carolers are charming in the movies, but annoying as hell when they show up at your door. I mean, what are you supposed to do, stand on your porch and watch these strangers sing? For the duration of the whole song? It’s awkward. I’ve learned that when you go shopping for Christmas decorations after having a few cocktails, you’re more likely to buy a nine-foot tall inflatable penguin. Also, I’ve learned that nine-foot tall inflatable penguins are awesome. I’ve learned that I’m a competitive person, and if I don’t have an outlet for that competitiveness because of a broken arm, I’ll turn decorating the front yard into a sport. I mean it’s a friendly competition, but I’m definitely out to crush and humiliate my neighbors with their paltry attempts at holiday cheer. For the past two weeks, I’ve sent my kids out on “scouting missions” to see what the neighbors are crafting in their yards. If the Johnsons line their sidewalk with candy canes, I put up a candy cane forest. If the Gragtmans have an inflatable Minion, I buy an inflatable penguin. Because inflatable penguins are classy. It’s nothing personal. I’m just better at the Suburban Games. This Christmas, I’ve also learned that my wife doesn’t share my affinity for giant penguins and competitive illumination. It’s caused some tension. Fortunately, she does share my love for Asheville Brewing Company’s Ninjabread Man. I ordered one for myself in a bar a few weeks ago, and she drank all of it herself. Then she went to the store and bought an alarming number Ninjabread Bombers. So, if you’re in the Asheville area, and you can’t find a bottle of this gingerbread beer, it’s because they’re all sitting in my garage. And I can’t fault her enthusiasm. It is a great beer. A little bit sweet and spicy, malty as hell, but not in an annoying way. This isn’t the Christmas beer sugar bomb that tastes good for the first sip but then grows tiresome as you move through the bottle. You can drink several Ninjabread Mans and still want more. Which explains my wife’s inclination to hoard this seasonal brew. Also, I’ve found it’s useful to have a healthy supply on hand. You can give them to carolers so they’ll get the hell off your porch. And crack one open after you’ve been declared the King of the Suburban Games. Merry Christmas. Cheers to personal growth.last_img read more

Mikel Reveals Eagles’ Advantage at AFCON 2019

first_imgJohn Mikel Obi, Duro IkhazuagbeSuper Eagles Captain, John Mikel Obi, is banking on the fitness level of the three-time champions to play a big role when the 32nd Africa Nations Cup kicks off on June 21 in Egypt.Mikel who returned to Eagles almost one year after he last played for Nigeria at the 2018 World Cup in Russia said at the team’s media briefing in Asaba yesterday that fitness level will play a big role in deciding which countries qualify from the group stage to the knock out phase. ”If you look back at 2013 (when Nigeria won the AFCON in South Africa), we were one of the fittest teams. We were well drilled as we were put through hard work during the camp. We knew exactly what we were doing. We were really fit,” recalled Mikel.He revealed that it is almost the same fitness regimen the current class of Eagles are being put through ahead of the AFCON 2019 in Egypt.”That’s exactly what we are doing now, training twice a day. If you want to win this trophy you have to do things like that.”With hindsight, Mikel further observed that fitness plays a big role in African football.”Well, I think obviously fitness is going to play a big part in this tournament, it always does when it comes to African football, fitness always plays 80 per cent part in who wins the tournament.”The former Chelsea of England midfielder who ended his one-year loan deal with Middlesbrough at the close of the season is excited that the current squad under the watch of Franco-German coach, Gernot Rohr are brimming with excitement to make marks.”I am happy that every player in this team want to do it, we want to achieve the same thing, we want to be in the finals and win the tournament but we also need to know we are not the outright favourite, we have to remain cool, calm, just do what we have to do, not look at other teams.”If we do that, we’ll keep winning games. Experience will also play a big part.The Eagles midfielder also commended the handlers of the team for having a very good mix of experienced and up coming players.Mikel will play his 21st game at the AFCON in Egypt if he is selected in the final 23-man squad for Nigeria’s opening game against Burundi on June 22.Meanwhile, Shanghai Greenland Shenhua striker, Odion Jude Ighalo and Udinese central defender, William Troost-Ekong have finally joined their colleagues for the final tune up before departing for Egypt.Super Eagles Media Officer, Toyin Ibitoye confirmed that the two players arrived camp yesterday and took part in the evening workout at the Stephen Keshi Stadium in Asaba.While Troost-Ekong had muscular problems towards the end of the 2018-2019 season, Ighalo just recovered from a hamstring problem which kept him on the sidelines for about three weeks.The Africa Cup of Nations qualifiers top scorer has not played competitively for his Chinese club since May 10 as manager Quique Sánchez Flores refused to risk him against Chongqing Dangdai Lifan (June 1), four days after the striker resumed full training.Share this:FacebookRedditTwitterPrintPinterestEmailWhatsAppSkypeLinkedInTumblrPocketTelegramlast_img read more