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Joseph Barbaccia

Posted: May 12, 2010 at 8:16 am

These body and product sculptures come from the unique mind of Joseph Barbaccia.  The cheese grater sort of made me vomit, but it’s still pretty striking to look at.  But you havvvve to check out some of the others which weren’t posted here

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Personal Genomes in Clinical Care. Quake paper Falls Short!

Posted: May 12, 2010 at 8:14 am

With all due respect to the scientists involved in analyzing Stephen Quake's genome in clinical context.

You did a major league $h!tty job.

No offense.

I can only assume this based on what you reported in the lancet paper.

Start by asking yourself.

"Is Stephen healthier because of what that genome and clinical assessment added to his care?"

I am speaking precisely on this topic at the Consumer Genomics Conference on June 3rd at 830 AM. So I will hold off on all my arguments....But,

The Paper
even says

"We noted that most of the sequence information is difficult to interpret, and discussed error rates"

Ummm, ok. Nice counseling session.

"patients with whole genome sequence data need information about more diseases with a wide clinical range"

Perhaps that person could actually be a physician, maybe a generalist?

"For this we offered extended access to clinical geneticists, genetic counsellors and clinical lab directors"

Nice! Joubert's is not Gilbert's is not Plavix. Thanks for stopping by.

I did appreciate that your paper calculated pretest probabilities. Unfortunately these were based on a pedigree which had no ethnicity and incomplete clinical data.

1. No Glycohemoglobin to evaluate for diabetes risk or maybe even diagnose it
2. No Iron Studies to evaluate for Hemochromatosis, yet you state genes may set him up for it.
3. No documentation of a physical exam including DRE for prostate hypertrophy/cancer or PSA
4. No dietary history? No Smoking history? No social history?

Shall I go on?

You show increased risk for Diabetes post test as well as prostate cancer, obesity, CAD, MI, Asthma, NHL, RA (no ESR/CRP/CCP?)

You projected an increased risk for 7 and decreased for 8. Yet no Assessment of MCI etc in Alzhemiers disease? My god, you did a stress test in an asymptomatic patient who exercises daily.

"Although the methods we used are nascent, the results provide proof of principle that clinically meaningful information can be derived about disease and response to drugs in patients with whole genome sequence data"

Translated: We made up a system and used novel DNA results to hypothesize about disease risk using research fellows, computer programs an excellent cardiologist (Not a GP) and an Echo machine.......But we skimped on the physical exam, use of primary care doctors, complete blood counts and other clinically useful testing and procedures.

I admire your efforts, but

A. You have missed the boat in using not all the tools at hand
B. By being Genome-centric, we miss the clinical picture.

"Although no methods exist for statistical integration of such conditionally dependent risks, interpretation in the context of the causal circuit diagram allows assessment of the combined effect of environmental and genetic risk for EVERY individual"

Translation: Nothing exists statistically to evaluate disease interaction and how it may increase risks of interlinked disease.

Ask yourself, "What have we done to make Stephen Quake healthier from this test?". Other than hype the use of a genome clinically?

This paper was all genome and NO CLINICAL ASSESSMENT!

The Sherpa Says: The only thing of note that is important here is the CYP2C19 data.......
I have seen abnormal CGH data in a child with severe developmental delay come directly from a high functioning mother who was a power litigator. The genome scan as it stands now is noise. It also requires a full team a month to intepret. Clearly not ready for medical prevention or prognostication, sorry.

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

International Stem Cell and Absorption Systems Confirm Results Showing Stem Cell Derived Corneal Tissue as an Alternative to Animals for Drug Testing

Posted: May 12, 2010 at 8:14 am

Other Tests Show Tissue's Ability to Focus Light, Pointing to Potential Therapeutic Applications

OCEANSIDE, Calif. – May 10, 2010 – International Stem Cell Corporation (OTCBB: ISCO),, the first company to perfect a method of creating human "parthenogenetic" stem cells from unfertilized eggs, announces the results of a second set of experiments confirming that its lab-grown corneal tissue closely mimics the drug absorption and drug metabolism characteristics found in normal corneal tissue. Other tests show that the stem cell derived corneal tissue refracts light, thus providing a further indication of its potential therapeutic value in treating corneal injury and disease.

Two sets of collaborative experiments between ISCO and Absorption Systems have now shown that corneal tissue cultured by ISCO exhibits topical drug absorption barrier properties and tissue-appropriate enzymatic activity, making it a promising model for studying human ocular drug absorption as an alternative to live animal testing. ISCO's human corneal tissue is created in the laboratories of its wholly owned subsidiary, Lifeline Cell Technology (Walkersville, MD).

In a second set of tests conducted by a third party expert, a beam of diverging light was projected through the corneal tissue from different distances, becoming more or less refracted with the changing distance, showing that the corneal tissue was clear and had optical properties that allow the focusing of light. Additional experiments will be conducted to better define these optical characteristics.

According to Jeffrey Janus, Senior VP of ISCO and CEO of Lifeline, "We are very excited to confirm our initial results showing drug absorption that correlates with animal models and add to these results the observation of enzymatic activity. This not only advances our plans to manufacture a product that can be used to reduce the need for tests that use living animals, but it also is one more step toward the potential therapeutic use of this tissue as a treatment for human corneal injury or disease. This has implications, not only in the US, but also in India and Asia, where millions of people suffer from corneal blindness that now goes untreated. The experiments showing light refraction are a tempting indication that this tissue will have therapeutic application."

"There is a large commercial need for a predictive and reproducible non-animal method for testing the safety of ophthalmic drugs and consumer products," said Patrick M. Dentinger, President and CEO of Absorption Systems. "The combined knowledge and expertise of ISCO and Absorption Systems have allowed us to take a step forward toward addressing an unmet need in the field of ophthalmology by creating a unique in vitro model to study human ocular drug absorption without using animals. Our collaboration with ISCO underscores our commitment to helping bring safe drugs to market."

The collaboration between Absorption Systems and ISCO uses Absorption Systems' know-how in creating and characterizing assay systems to develop superior preclinical methods of testing drugs. Such methods can also reduce the use of laboratory animals currently necessary for other tests, including safety testing of consumer products.


International Stem Cell Corporation is a California-based biotechnology company focused on therapeutic and research products. ISCO's core technology, parthenogenesis, results in creation of pluripotent human stem cells from unfertilized oocytes (eggs). hpSCs avoid ethical issues associated with the use or destruction of viable human embryos. ISCO scientists have created the first parthenogenic, homozygous stem cell line that can be a source of therapeutic cells with minimal immune rejection after transplantation into hundreds of millions of individuals of differing sexes, ages and racial groups. This offers the potential to create the first true stem cell bank, UniStemCell™, while avoiding the ethical issue of using fertilized eggs. ISCO also produces and markets specialized cells and growth media for therapeutic research worldwide through its subsidiary Lifeline Cell Technology. More information is available at ISCO's website,


Absorption Systems, founded in 1996, assists pharmaceutical, biotechnology and medical device companies in identifying and overcoming ADMET (Absorption, Distribution, Metabolism, Excretion and Toxicity) barriers in the development of drugs, biologics and medical devices. The company's mission is to continually develop innovative research tools that can be used to accurately predict human outcomes or to explain unanticipated human outcomes when they occur. The CellPort Technologies® platform, a suite of human cell-based tests systems for drug transporter characterization, exemplifies Absorption Systems' commitment to innovation. Absorption Systems has facilities near Philadelphia, PA, and in San Diego, CA, and serves customers throughout the world. For information on the company's comprehensive contract services and applied research programs, please visit

To subscribe to receive ongoing corporate communications please click on the following link:


Statements pertaining to anticipated technological developments and therapeutic applications, and other opportunities for the company and its subsidiary, along with other statements about the future expectations, beliefs, goals, plans, or prospects expressed by management constitute forward-looking statements. Any statements that are not historical fact (including, but not limited to statements that contain words such as "will," "believes," "plans," "anticipates," "expects," "estimates,") should also be considered to be forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, risks inherent in the development and/or commercialization of potential products, uncertainty in the results of clinical trials or regulatory approvals, need and ability to obtain future capital, application of capital resources among competing uses, and maintenance of intellectual property rights. Actual results may differ materially from the results anticipated in these forward-looking statements and as such should be evaluated together with the many uncertainties that affect the company's business, particularly those mentioned in the cautionary statements found in the company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings. The company disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.

Key Words: Stem Cells, Biotechnology, Parthenogenesis

International Stem Cell Corporation
Kenneth C. Aldrich, Chairman
Brian Lundstrom, President

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Protect Your Baby’s Smile

Posted: May 12, 2010 at 8:14 am

(HealthDay News) -- The best way to give your children's teeth a healthy start is to begin dental care early in life, and the American Dental Association has tips for keeping kids' teeth in tip-top shape:

• Visit the dentist for regular checkups. Set up an appointment within six months of the eruption of a child's first tooth, but no later than the first birthday. Routine exams, cleanings and fluoride treatments can catch problems early before they get worse and require significant care.

• Guard against tooth decay by clearing your baby's mouth within a few days of birth and wiping your baby's gums with a damp washcloth or gauze pad after every feeding. This will help remove plaque.

• Don't allow your child to breast-feed for long periods of time. Tooth decay can develop if you allow your baby to nap or sleep at night with a bottle of milk, formula, sugar water or fruit juice.

• Encourage your child to drink from a cup by age 1.

• Discourage frequent use of a training cup.

• For older kids who play sports or even those who ride a scooter or bicycle, mouth protectors can provide important protection. Your dentist may be able to make a better-fitting mouth protector than those supplied in stores. Read more...

Radiancio - Radiate Beauty from the Inside Out

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Can a Midday Nap Make You Smarter? Adults Who Nap for 90-minutes at 2 PM Learn and Perform Better at Tests

Posted: May 11, 2010 at 8:16 am

According to a new study, if you devote your lunch hour to a nap, you may perform and learn better in the afternoon.

Napping at midday, when the brain's ability to learn may have deteriorated, may clear the brain's memory "storage area" and make room for new information.

In the study, the nap group was given the chance for a 90-minute siesta at 2 p.m.; the no-nap group was asked to stay awake.

People in the group which didn't nap had a 10% reduction in their learning capacity. The people who had a nap improved their ability to learn by 10% (not much).

Image source: Sleeping kitten. Wikipedia, Tilman Piesk, public domain.

Posted at Clinical Cases and Images. Stay updated and subscribe, follow us on Twitter and connect on Facebook.

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Benefits of Olive Oil Include Fighting Ulcerative Colitis

Posted: May 11, 2010 at 8:15 am

New research indicates that people who ingest more olive oil, grapeseed oil and peanut oil are less likely to get ulcerative colitis.

A new study by researchers at the University of East Anglia has shown that consuming more olive oil can actually prevent ulcerative colitis.  The findings were presented at this year’s Digestive Disease Week conference in New Orleans.  The study centered on oleic acid, which is present in olive oil, peanut oil and grapeseed oil.  Oleic acid is a monounsaturated fatty acid.

Over 120,000 people in the UK and 1 million in the US have ulcerative colitis.  The disease causes inflammation in the lining of the colon and bowel leading to pain and diarrhea.  Other symptoms of ulcerative colitis include fever, weight loss, and gastrointestinal bleeding.

This new research studied over 25,000 middle-aged people in the UK who did not have ulcerative colitis.  The participants completed food diaries during the study, which were then analyzed by nutritionists.

When researchers analyzed the results, they found that the people, who developed ulcerative colitis, had the lowest intake of oleic acid.  On the other hand, those who ate the most foods with oleic acid had a 90% less change of getting ulcerative colitis.

Dr. Andrew Hart was the leader of the research, he stated, “We estimate that around half of the cases of ulcerative colitis could be prevented if larger amounts of oleic acid were consumed.  Two-to-three tablespoons of olive oil per day would have a protective effect.”

Other dietary suggestions for those with ulcerative colitis include drinking lots of water, eating smaller portions, and avoiding fattening greasy foods.  Obviously, these are good suggestions for everyone, even if this digestive issue does not impact them.


Discuss this post in Frank Mangano’s forum!

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

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