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Student Nutrition Expo set to showcase food services at Loveland schools

Posted: February 24, 2013 at 11:43 am

The face of school nutrition across the country is changing, and on Tuesday, parents, students and community members are invited to see -- and taste -- what that means for the Thompson School District.

The district's first Student Nutrition Expo will be held at Mountain View High School and features more than two dozen booths as well as educational presentations and lunchroom samples.

"It's just a perfect time for our district to really embrace the changes that are being made in school nutritional standards," Allie Clarke, district nutrition services clerk, said.

The USDA has continued to roll out new national standards for school meals, starting last fall when calorie limits and weekly minimums of grains and meat were put in place. The new guidelines have also increased daily servings of fruits and vegetables and increased the variety of vegetables served in school lunchrooms each week.

But district officials like to think they've always been ahead of the curve when it comes to encouraging healthy eating habits. In the past decade or so, the district has eliminated fried foods such as french fries from its menus and has made a concerted effort to move away from processed foods.

Thompson School District Student Nutrition Expo

When: 1 to 5 p.m. Tuesday.

Where: Mountain View High School, 3500 Mountain Lion Drive.

"Nutrition services has been ahead of the game as far as implementing the standards," Kathy Schlepp, wellness coordinator, said. "They've done taste tastes and worked on getting students to give input."

The new grain standard is one that Clarke said has been in place in the district for years, and this school year cafeterias started using a new pasta that's more than half whole grains. Locally processed in Aurora, the new pasta is also part of nutritional services's initiative to bring in local partners.

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Student Nutrition Expo set to showcase food services at Loveland schools

Fitness expert's members want to fight the flab

Posted: at 11:43 am

Fitness expert's members want to fight the flab

11:30am Saturday 23rd February 2013 in News By James Connell

A FITNESS expert says older people are making more effort to buck the obesity trend.

Marc Scriven, a Worcester-based strength and conditioning co-ordinator, has seen interest in his fitness classes increase as older people try and fight back against the obesity epidemic.

His sessions, aimed at men over the age of 60, only had about eight people in them until recently, but now more than 40 people attend classes at the University of Worcesters McClelland Centre of Health and Wellbeing in Infirmary Walk, off Castle Street, every Friday.

Your Worcester News recently reported how county strategists have said there is no magic wand to make people slim and they must take more responsibility for their own health, including exercise and diet as well as quitting smoking and reducing alcohol intake.

The latest figures show an estimated 115,900 in the county are obese (about a quarter of the adult population in Worcestershire), costing the NHS about 80 million a year and 60 million to the wider economy.

Mr Scriven, of St Johns, Worcester, said the demand for his classes shows people are willing to take more responsibility for their health if they are given the opportunity.

He said: It has been an incredible turnaround and success. We see our group as being a big part of tackling obesity and we see it as a catalyst to get to grips with other heath issues in an ageing population, for example, issues like nutrition. If we can have an effect where peoples lives are improved through exercise and healthy eating we can limit their exposure to the National Health Service.

Youre going to stop spending the money on care so youre preventative rather than reactive. It is too late when someone is having a hip replacement or heart surgery. We can do something four or five years before that happening. The interest from people has always been there but the opportunity to take advantage of that interest hasnt.

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Fitness expert's members want to fight the flab

Junction City fitness club owner ready to franchise 'boutique' concept

Posted: at 11:43 am

Its a health club without weight machines, treadmills or personal trainers. Started last May in a single room at Junction City shopping center, the place is called Body, the Fitness Boutique and you soon may be seeing more of them.

Sarah Krupka, who founded Body, is excited about the concept and that Chicago-based Francorp, the largest franchise development firm in the world, will help her spread that concept across the country.

She noted that Francorp wasnt shy about describing her fitness boutique concept. No one does what Body does. Thats single-handedly revolutionizing the fitness industry, a company representative told her.

Krupka said that reaction comes because she takes a different approach to the health club routine. Most fitness centers are obsessed with numbers, but thats not what life should be about, she said.

Instead of a grueling workout, Body tailors a fitness regimen to individual members who run the gamut from very young to very old and who often exercise together, said Krupka.

We put all the best methods under one roof, she said, referring to exercise routines that include aerobics, pilates and hot yoga.

Hot yoga is just that with workouts conducted in a room heated anywhere from 90 to 105 degrees, said Krupka, 28, who said she started her fitness journey at age 17.

Eleven years ago, I weighed over 200 pounds, she said.

After many failed attempts, Krupka, who grew up in Appleton, Wis., said she was in an exercise class but couldnt keep up with the group. She credits an exercise instructor who modified each exercise just for her, which showed her how to help others.

Within three months, I lost 87 pounds, she said.

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Junction City fitness club owner ready to franchise 'boutique' concept

Fitness rules–even at weddings!

Posted: at 11:43 am

Tessa! By Tessa Prieto-Valdes Philippine Daily Inquirer

NEWLYWEDS NicoleWuthrich-de la Cruz and Rio de la Cruz with friends Lara Parpan, Sea Princess and Guy and Tricia Concepcion

Fitness has become the buzzword of late. There are so many ways to get into shape, from run races to out-of-town triathlons, that it was only a question of when fitness would invade the fashion and social scene.

GORGEOUS ladies Sevrine Miailhe, ninang Karen Davila, Kit Zobel and Feli Atienza

It seems even weddings are now fitness-centered. Just a couple of months apart, two well-known fitness coaches tied the knot. And when you have fit people getting married, expect everyone to look beautiful, from the bride to the guests.

Bike coach Patrick Joson wed his charming bride Maricris Sarino late last year. Their bike-themed wedding invitations were so creative, and even the giveaways had a tandem bike drawing with the couples names emblazoned on them.

WEDDING guests Joseph and Stephanie Tay, ninang Pinky and Richard Yee and ninong Peter Coyiuto

Shortly thereafter, running coach Rio de la Cruz and Nicole Wuthrich had a happy wedding, again replete with race-themed details like directional maps from the church to the reception having kilometer markings. Their wedding invitation was designed like a race bib number.

Accomplished individuals

Even if I still have not accepted the fact that I fall under the ninang category, I was honored to be one for Coach Rio and Coy. Looking at the list of other principal sponsors, I felt privileged to be among the likes of Senator Pia Cayetano, Fernando Zobel and Kim Atienza, all super triathletes apart from being accomplished individuals. Kuya Kim is the latest poster boy of Runners World magazine.

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Fitness rules–even at weddings!

Chunk Fitness Announces Completion of 'Shoulder Exercises' Library

Posted: at 11:42 am

CHICAGO, Feb. 23, 2013 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) -- via PRWEB - Chunk Fitness, one the most complete physical education resources on the Internet, has recently released its collection of shoulder exercises to the public. This collection includes demonstration videos in-addition to complete write-ups on how to perform the specified exercise correctly in order to minimize risk of injury, tips on how to take your workout to the next level, detailed muscle charts showing secondary and tertiary muscle groups involved in a particular exercise, as well as related exercises one can perform to add variety to their exercise program.

Fitness websites are not new to the Internet but Chunk Fitness brings a new approach to this market. Michael Lepore, founder and CEO of Chunk Fitness says: "There are so many fitness websites out there all with their own 'special tricks' to fitness and health. At Chunk Fitness, we don't pull any strings; we focus on people performing intense and safe workouts. Individuals executing shoulder exercises can be exceptionally prone to injury and this is why went to such lengths to describe the exercise, inform the reader of how to perform it, and detail out exactly what not to do in order to avoid injury."

For those looking to tone and solidify their shoulder muscles, head over to the shoulder section of Chunk Fitness and give some of the available shoulder exercises a try. Each exercise comes with a written description as well as a video demonstration of how to properly execute it.

About the Company: Chunk Fitness was founded in 2010 on the principle that information about exercise and fitness should be available for everyone, not just one select group of people. This information is presented in a clear and non-partisan fashion. Chunk Fitness is a direct result of personal confusion and dissatisfaction with what was currently available on the Internet in regards to exercise and its related fields of nutrition. For more information, visit http://www.chunkfitness.com.

This article was originally distributed on PRWeb. For the original version including any supplementary images or video, visit http://www.prweb.com/releases/2013/2/prweb10461629.htm

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Chunk Fitness Announces Completion of 'Shoulder Exercises' Library

Health reform begins to slow premium increases

Posted: at 11:42 am

Published: Saturday, February 23, 2013, 12:01 a.m.

The data Friday by the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services showed one-third of requests last year asked states to approve premium increases of more than 10 percent. In 2010, three-quarters of petitions sought double-digit jumps, according to the report, which compared 15 states in 2012 with 11 in 2010.

The 2010 Affordable Care Act requires companies such as UnitedHealth Group, the country's largest health insurer, to have premium increase requests of 10 percent or more reviewed by state or federal regulators, a provision the U.S. government said has kept prices in check. America's Health Insurance Plans, the main industry lobbying group, said the Obama administration may be taking too much credit, citing already changing behaviors by insurers, hospitals and doctors.

"Health insurance premiums are not set arbitrarily," Robert Zirkelbach, a spokesman for the Washington-based insurers group, said in an email. "They are developed using established actuarial principles that take into account a variety of factors, including increases in medical costs, changes in the covered population, and new benefit mandates and regulations."

Health plans "are partnering with hospitals and doctors" to change payment in ways that "reward quality and better health outcomes," he said. They are also helping patients with chronic conditions such as diabetes better care for themselves, and are promoting more preventive care, he said.

A similar study in October by the Menlo Park, Calif.- based nonprofit group Kaiser Family Foundation found "reasons to believe that the ACA may have had an effect" on reducing premium increases. The Obama administration Friday said the law meant that for the first time, insurers in all states couldn't raise rates without some degree of accountability.

"The Affordable Care Act brings an unprecedented level of scrutiny and transparency to health insurance rate increases," the Health and Human Services Department said in its report. The law "contributed to a reduction in the rate of increase in premiums," it said.

The Obama administration said separately in a regulatory filing today that full implementation of provisions in the health law next year that require insurers to cover anyone who seeks a policy won't cause large premium increases, as some insurers have predicted. Aetna Inc. Chief Executive Officer Mark Bertolini warned of "premium rate shock," while speaking at a December conference with analysts.

Starting in January 2014, insurers must cover anyone who wants to buy a policy, regardless of their health. New marketplaces called exchanges under construction in every state are supposed to sell coverage to people who don't get it through work. The Congressional Budget Office estimates that 27 million Americans who would otherwise be uninsured will eventually gain coverage under the law.

Bertolini said in December that new taxes imposed by the law and its insurance reforms, including the prohibition against denying coverage to sick people and limits on what plans can charge old people compared to the young, will cause premiums to as much as double for some customers.

Originally posted here:
Health reform begins to slow premium increases

After Newtown, support for mental-health spending grows

Posted: at 11:42 am

Mental-health advocates from coast to coast are seizing upon a rare and unexpected chance to stem the years-long tide of budget cuts and plug gaps in the nations patchwork mental-health-care system.

In the wake of the massacre in Newtown, Conn., lawmakers from both parties, along with notoriously tight-belted governors, are pushing to restore some of the estimated $4.3billion in mental-health spending that was slashed from state budgets between 2009 and 2012. At the same time, they are weighing new initiatives, such as adding beds at psychiatric hospitals and improving treatment for inmates with behavioral disorders.


Reporting mental-health cases to the national database used for background checks varies from state to state. Here is the number of mental health reports made per 100,000 residents in each state.

Related stories

Aaron C. Davis and Michael Laris

Fearful of discouraging people from seeking treatment, the governor wont take a hard line on mental health.

James Arkin

Mental Health First Aid courses teach participants how to help people with mental health disorders.

Aaron C. Davis

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After Newtown, support for mental-health spending grows

Anti Aging Workshop by Natubhai Patel – Video

Posted: at 11:41 am

Anti Aging Workshop by Natubhai Patel
This video is in Gujarati language.

By: Natubhai Patel

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Anti Aging Workshop by Natubhai Patel - Video

Face Spring 2013 With the Best Anti Aging Cream: Samples at AntiAgingWrinkleCreamExperience.com

Posted: at 11:41 am

Spring is coming and women all over can begin the season with healthier, younger-looking skin. http://www.AntiAgingWrinkleCreamExperience.com will be giving away free trial sample of LifeCell, the tested and best anti aging cream on the market.

(PRWEB) February 24, 2013

Olivia Maguire, owner of AntiAgingWrinkleCreamExperience.com is very excited about this giveaway.

This is our websites version of a free makeover. With todays economy, its hard to buy a new wardrobe. But a younger, healthier-looking skin makes a better and more lasting impact than clothes, anyway. Its also our thank you to all our fans who supported us this past year. Celebrities often get the best beauty products out there and we wanted our fans to experience what celebrities have taken advantage of for years.

Users can take advantage of their free promotion just by visiting the website.

LifeCell, the favorite anti wrinkle cream used by TV stars like Felicity Huffman and Melora Hardin, have been called Botox in a Tube by beauty experts and dermatologist. Its instantaneous effect in reducing fine lines and overall improvement in skin health has made it the go-to, best anti aging cream for Hollywood professional make-up artists, beauty experts, and celebrities.

LifeCell is not only a popular cream amongst celebrities, it has been rated the best anti aging cream by users of AntiAgingWrinkleCreamExperience.com.

This beauty site also has other offers for their fans for Spring. Women can also make a list of products they want to buy for themselves or as gifts with the numerous reviews this website has on practically every anti aging cream in the market. They can also learn how to take better care of their skin during Spring with the beauty and diet articles AntiAgingWrinkleCreamExperience.com.

Olivia Maguire AntiAgingWrinkleCreamExperience.com 253-291-0771 Email Information

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Face Spring 2013 With the Best Anti Aging Cream: Samples at AntiAgingWrinkleCreamExperience.com

The Old Have Been Persuaded to See Themselves as Worthless

Posted: at 2:53 am

One of the more depressing consequences of degenerative aging is the pervasive ageism of our societies. It is taken as read that the old are worth less than the young, are less deserving, their wants and desires less meaningful, their rights to the pursuit of life and happiness weak to nonexistent. This is something that even the old themselves are largely sold on, one of those shared cultural myths that isn't so much taught as absorbed and spread invisibly, clinging on to every story and conversation as a cloud of assumptions and implicit judgments of value.

The value of a life diminishes with age, or so goes the belief - and as we are creatures of hierarchy and position, it's a short step from there to trampling on the old in any number of ways. If the young get to it before the old trample themselves, in any case. Ageism is as much a matter of people telling themselves that they are of little value as anything else.

Below you'll find the rather gloomy viewpoint of a near-70-year-old, informed by the Tithonus Error, the incorrect view that extended life achieved through biotechnology will result in more and increasingly decrepit old age rather than more vigor and youth as is in fact the case. As Aubrey de Grey asked in a recent editorial, why do people completely ignore what the research community says on this topic? Or for that matter, why do they ignore history? The incidental lengthening of human life achieved over the past two centuries through general improvement in medical technologies has been an extension of youth rather than an extension of old age.

The public doesn't stick its head in the sand in the same way for heart disease or Parkinson's research. One might well ask why this happens for aging. Here is a telling sort of a quote when it comes to self-value:

Please welcome the 150-year-old woman

Maybe it's time to ask medical science to shut it down already. Maybe there's something about our bodies that has a sell-by date. Maybe we're not supposed to stare vacantly into space while eating up money and time. There is so much else for science to be doing. There are the cancers that get people in their 30s and 40s and 50s. There are orphan diseases, with not enough sufferers to warrant full-scale research efforts. There are those wounded in war and the challenges they present. Surely all of these matters deserve more attention than how to make sure a 110-year-old person lives to be 125.

I speak myself as someone on the cusp of 70. I am not fond of disease and decay, and I think medical science should be all over finding cures for whatever I've got. But I have visited nursing homes, and seen the floors of lost people, technically alive but not aware of their surroundings, bewildered by everything.

Is this really a vision of the future that you want to have, or you want your parents to have? The geriatric lifestyle seems an awful lot like just taking up space. That's not really anybody's ambition for their end-of-life situation, but it happens anyway. People run out of friends and loved ones; they disappear from memory and from society. And yet they survive.

The goal of longevity science is to roll out ways to slow, halt, and reverse aging: making people healthy and physiologically younger for longer, not older and increasingly frail for longer. Researchers are all agreed on that goal, and say as much in their publications and to the press. Yet as you can see, there remains something of a disconnect - the message has yet to come through to the public at large.


Drugs to Slow Aging are a Matter of When, Not If

Posted: at 2:52 am

It is pleasing to see this sort of article emerging from a university publicity group - a part of the necessary trend within the scientific community towards making it acceptable and desirable to talk about extending human life through biotechnology. The silence of the research community on this topic across past decades was very harmful to the prospects for progress and funding in the field of aging research and longevity science.

That said, it is problematic that the vast majority of resources and researchers presently focus on modestly slowing aging rather than trying to repair and reverse the causes of aging. Based on what we know today, it is probably harder to safely adjust metabolism to slow down aging than it is to repair the root causes of aging to restore a metabolism back to its youthful state. Further, slowing aging is of no use to old people, whereas repair based approaches are useful - and given that people in middle age today will be old by the earliest possible time that therapies might emerge, it won't be all that great if all those therapies can do is slow down the progression of aging.

So more work on SENS and similar repair-based strategies, and less fiddling around with calorie restriction mimetics, longevity genes, and the like, is what we need to see if there is to be an effective near-term lengthening of human life. That result has to be based on rejuvenation, not slowing of aging.

Evidence is accumulating that not only is it possible to slow down aging, but that by doing so the onset and progression of multiple age-related diseases can be delayed. "Slowing aging should increase both lifespan and healthspan - the period of life spent in relatively good health, free from chronic disease or disability. A shared feature of most medically relevant diseases is that your risk of dying from them increases dramatically as you get older. Unlike traditional approaches, which tend to focus on a specific disease, targeting the aging process itself has a much greater potential to improve human health."

Many experts in the biology of aging believe that pharmacological interventions to slow aging are a matter of 'when' rather than 'if'. A leading target for such interventions is the nutrient response pathway defined by mTOR, a protein that controls cell growth. "Inhibition of this pathway extends lifespan in model organisms and confers protection against a growing list of age-related pathologies. Characterized inhibitors of this pathway are already clinically approved, and others are under development. Although adverse side effects currently preclude use in otherwise healthy individuals, drugs that target the mTOR pathway could one day become widely used to slow aging and reduce age-related pathologies in humans."

Link: http://www.washington.edu/news/2013/02/21/drugs-to-slow-aging-are-a-matter-of-when-not-if/


An Example of the Future of Stem Cell Therapies

Posted: at 2:52 am

One major branch of future progress in stem cell therapy will discard transplantation of cells in favor of manipulating the signals that tell local cells what to do - which is generally what the transplanted cells are actually doing anyway. This will become more effective as researchers gain a better understanding of the intricacies of cell signalling relevant to growth and repair, but here is an early example of what can be done with this sort of approach:

In the first human study of its kind, researchers activated heart failure patients' stem cells with gene therapy to improve their symptoms, heart function and quality of life. [Researchers] delivered a gene that encodes a factor called SDF-1 to activate stem cells like a "homing" signal.

SDF-1 is a naturally occurring protein, secreted by cells, that guides the movement of other cells. Previous research [has] shown SDF-1 activates and recruits the body's stem cells, allowing them to heal damaged tissue. However, the effect may be short-lived. For example, SDF-1 that's naturally expressed after a heart attack lasts only a week. In the study, researchers attempted to re-establish and extend the time that SDF-1 could stimulate patients' stem cells. Study participants' average age was 66 years.

Researchers injected one of three doses of the SDF-1 gene [into] the hearts of 17 patients with symptomatic heart failure and monitored them for up to a year. Four months after treatment, they found: 1) Patients improved their average distance by 40 meters during a six-minute walking test. 2) Patients reported improved quality of life. 3) The heart's pumping ability improved. 4) No apparent side effects occurred with treatment.

"We found 50 percent of patients receiving the two highest doses still had positive effects one year after treatment with their heart failure classification improving by at least one level. They still had evidence of damage, but they functioned better and were feeling better." Researchers are now comparing results from heart failure patients receiving SDF-1 with patients who aren't. If the trial goes well, the therapy could be widely available to heart failure patients within four to five years.

Link: http://www.eurekalert.org/pub_releases/2013-02/aha-sc021813.php


Noting the Inaugural Breakthrough Prize Awards

Posted: at 2:52 am

The Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences is a new and narrowly focused Nobel-like initiative launched by a noteworthy Russian entrepreneur in collaboration with some of the high net worth individuals that the California start up community has produced over the past decade. The tagline is much as follows:

Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences is founded by Art Levinson, Sergey Brin, Anne Wojcicki, Mark Zuckerberg and Priscilla Chan, and Yuri Milner to recognize excellence in research aimed at curing intractable diseases and extending human life. The prize is administered by the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences Foundation, a not-for-profit corporation dedicated to advancing breakthrough research, celebrating scientists and generating excitement about the pursuit of science as a career.

Note that "extending human life" in the middle there. It looks like we'll have to wait to see whether the ongoing prize initiative will place any real emphasis on that goal, however. The eleven inaugural awards of $3 million each went to researchers who don't have a great deal to do with longevity research.

Eleven scientists, most of them American, were scheduled to be named on Wednesday as the first winners of the world's richest academic prize for medicine and biology - $3 million each, more than twice the amount of the Nobel Prize. The award, the Breakthrough Prize in Life Sciences, was established by four Internet titans led by Yuri Milner, a Russian entrepreneur and philanthropist who caused a stir last summer when he began giving physicists $3 million awards.

Cancer and its mechanisms form the dominant theme in this first set of awards. In some cases the scientists' work touches on aging, such as the telomere research of Titia de Lange, but then so do a great many other line items - it's quite possible to run a very successful career as a telomere researcher without contributing towards efforts to extend human life by intervening in the aging process.

That said: this is an entirely sensible and rational effort. In the long view the only thing that really matters is progress in technology - not money, not politics, not the chatter of the masses, but technology. What was built and invented, and how fast it arrived. What use is money if you can't use it to change the world for the better? The best way to do that today is through spurring progress in biotechnology. The greatest gains for all humanity, wealthy and poor alike, over the decades to come will be attained through advances derived from the life sciences: better medicine, longer lives, and ultimately the defeat of degenerative aging.

This Nobel for the 21st century is a step in the right direction and to be applauded. It is encouraging to see that the right ideas about medicine, biotechnology, and the near-term promise of radical, transformative applications are percolating through the community of high net worth individuals - that some are seeing clearly enough how and why they can make a difference. Still, the Breakthrough Prize is a drop in the bucket of what could be accomplished should any similarly-sized group of billionaires decide to devote a few hundred million dollars towards developing rejuvenation biotechnologies of the sort specified in detail in the SENS plan.


Injectable Scaffold Gel to Spur Heart Regeneration

Posted: at 2:52 am

Researchers are here working on an injectable gel scaffold material that appears to improve regeneration of heart damage:

[Researchers have] developed a protein-rich gel that appears to help repair cardiac muscle in a pig model of myocardial infarction. The researchers delivered the hydrogel via a catheter directly into the damaged regions of the porcine heart, and showed that the product promoted cellular regeneration and improved cardiac function after a heart attack. Compared to placebo-treated animals, the pigs that received a hydrogel injection displayed a 30% increase in heart volume, a 20% improvement in heart wall movement and a 10% reduction in the amount of scar tissue scar three months out from their heart attacks.

[The researchers] developed their hydrogel by stripping muscle cells from pig hearts, leaving behind a network of proteins that naturally self-assembles into a porous and fibrous scaffold upon injection into heart tissue. They previously tested its safety and efficacy in rats, where they found increased cardiac function and no toxicity or cross-species reactivity.

Link: http://blogs.nature.com/spoonful/2013/02/injectable-gel-repairs-damage-after-heart-attack-in-pigs.html


City of Hope Exec Will Leave California Stem Cell Agency Board

Posted: at 2:51 am

Michael Friedman
City of Hope photo
The governing board of the $3 billion
California stem cell agency will lose another one of its veteran
members this year – Michael Friedman, the CEO of the City of Hope
in the Los Angeles area.
He will join Claire Pomeroy in leaving
the board. Pomeroy is resigning as vice chancellor of Human Health
Services at UC Davis this spring to become president of the Lasker Foundation in New York.. Friedman is retiring at the end of this year.
Both have been on the CIRM board since
its first meeting in December 2004. Pomeroy was appointed by the UC
Davis chancellor. Friedman was appointed by the state treasurer.
No names have surfaced concerning
likely successors. However, the UC Davis chancellor is required by
law to appoint an executive officer from the campus. The new dean at
the UCD medical school would seem to be the most likely candidate.
To fill Friedman's seat, Treasurer Bill
must appoint an executive officer from a California research
institute. The tradition on the board has been for particular
institutes to hold particular seats on the board. The major exception
is the Salk Institute, which lost a seat on the board a few years
Both UC Davis and the City of Hope have
benefited enormously from CIRM largess. UC Davis has received $131
million and the City of Hope $51 million. Although Friedman and
Pomeroy have not been allowed to vote on grants to their
institutions, their presence and the presence on the board of other executives
from beneficiary institutions has triggered calls for sweeping changes at the agency.
A blue-ribbon report by the Institute
of Medicine
said “far too many” board members are linked to
institutions that receive money from CIRM. The institute recommended
that a new majority of independent members be created on the board.
According to compilations by the
California Stem Cell Report, about 90 percent of the $1.8 billion the
board has awarded has gone to institutions with ties to past and
present board members. Fifteen of the 29 members of the board, which
has no independent members along the lines suggested by the IOM, are
linked to recipient institutions.
The agency has $700 million remaining
before money for new awards runs out in less than four years.  


Monitoring the Cash and IP at the California Stem Cell Agency

Posted: at 2:51 am

The $3 billion California stem cell
agency appears unlikely to make any changes in who gets the cash from
any commercial products that its research grants help finance despite
recommendations from the Institute of Medicine(IOM).

The subject will come up next Wednesday
during a meeting of the intellectual property subcommittee of the
governing board of the stem cell agency. Intellectual property (IP) simply
determines ownership rights and the share of any revenue from
therapies that result from research.
CIRM staff has prepared a briefing paper with recommendations for next week's meeting, which has
teleconference locations in La Jolla, Los Angeles, two in Irvine
along with the main site in San Francisco.
The document summarized two key IOM
recommendations in this fashion:

“Because CIRM is a new institution
without a track record to reassure stakeholders, and because its
finite funding timeline means as yet unknown agencies will be
enforcing these policies years down the road, CIRM should “propose
regulations that specify who will have the power and authority to
assert and enforce in the future rights retained by the state” in
CIRM IP, specifically referring to march-in rights, access plans and
revenue sharing....

“Second, as other sources of funding
become more prevalent, the agency should “reconsider whether its
goal of developing cures would be better served by harmonizing CIRM’s
IP policies wherever possible with the more familiar policies of the
BayhDole Act.

Here are the CIRM staff

“CIRM staff has engaged in
preliminary discussions several years ago with other agencies
regarding future enforcement of CIRM’s regulations and agreements.
Staff proposes to restart those discussions and return to the
Subcommittee (or the Board) with a formal proposal to address future
enforcement of CIRM’s IP regulations.”

“In light of the IOM’s own
recognition that it may be premature to assess whether CIRM’s
regulations will act as a deterrence to future investment, the fact
that a number of CIRM’s regulations have been codified in statutes
and CIRM’s positive progress in its industry engagement efforts to
date, although quite early, CIRM staff proposes to continue to
monitor this area and not to pursue any changes at this time.”

The director's subcommittee is unlikely
to diverge significantly from the staff proposal, which was dated
Feb. 14 but not posted on the CIRM website until Feb. 20.   


Half-full, Half-empty Editorial on California Stem Cell Agency

Posted: at 2:51 am

The California stem cell agency's
editorial road show paid off a bit again this week with a mildly
approving editorial in the Oakland Tribune.

The Feb.18 piece said that the presence
of Jonathan Thomas, a Los Angeles bond financier, as chairman of the
$3 billion agency has improved things, compared to the reign of Bob
, who “built a protective shield” around the agency's
governing board and prevented action to deal with obvious
conflict-of-interest problems.
The newspaper also said that “to some
extent” the agency has brought “cutting edge” scientists to the
state and helped boost the stem cell field.
That was the half-full side of the
editorial. The half-empty side included the headline.

must get its stem cell house in order”

The editorial continued:

“...{T)he agency must prove that it
understands how to properly handle the public's money. …. If
the stem cell agency can establish a record as a good steward of
public dollars to finance brilliant science, it can continue to play
a useful role in stimulating and guiding research to bring the
potential cures from stem cell research to fruition.

“If it cannot do that, it will be
just another expensive Tyrannosaurus rex.”

Thomas and company are knocking on
editorial doors around the state in hopes of building support for the
board's modest – some might say inadequate – response to
recommendations for sweeping changes at the agency.  


Time For Public Disclosure of Financial Interests of Stem Cell Agency Reviewers

Posted: at 2:51 am

Should the scientists who evaluate
and score the applications for $3 billion in taxpayer funds be
required to publicly disclose their financial interests?

No, says the California stem cell
agency, despite concerns by the state auditor and the state's Fair
Political Practices Commission (FPPC)
that date back at least six
years. The agency says that its governing board makes the decisions
on the applications – not the grant reviewers – and that the
members of the board fully disclose their economic interests.
However, last month the agency produced
a document that sheds new light on the issue. The document confirms
that the board rubber-stamps virtually all the reviewers' decisions,
going along with their actions 98 percent of the time. The board
exercised independent judgment on 28 out of 1,355 applications.
Why is this important? Here is what the state auditor said in 2007,

“(T)he FPPC believes that, under
state regulations, working group members (including grant reviewers)
may act as decision makers if they make substantive recommendations
that are, over an extended period, regularly approved without
significant amendment or modification by the committee. Thus, as
decision makers, working group members would need to be subject to
the conflict-of-interest code. This would mean that working groups
would be subject not only to the (public) financial disclosure requirements of
the Political Reform Act but also to the prohibition against a member
participating in a government decision in which that member has a
disqualifying financial interest and may be subject to the penalties
that may be imposed on individuals who violate that act.”

The auditor recommended that the stem
cell agency seek an attorney general's opinion on the matter, a
recommendation the agency agency summarily dismissed seven months later..
Then interim CIRM
President Richard Murphy, a former member of the agency's board and
former president of the Salk Institute, replied to the auditor:

"We have given careful
consideration to your recommendation and have decided it is not
appropriate to implement at this time. In almost three years of
operation and approval of four rounds of grants, the recommendations
of the CIRM working groups have never been routinely and/or regularly
adopted by the ICOC. Until the time that such a pattern is detected,
the question you suggest we raise with the attorney general is
entirely hypothetical, and is therefore not appropriate for
submission. We will, however, continue to monitor approvals for such
a pattern and will reconsider our decision if one emerges."

In the four rounds mentioned in
Murphy's response, 100 percent of reviewer decisions were
rubber-stamped by the board. In the other two rounds, the percentage
was 95 and 96 percent.
Currently, scientific grant reviewers at the stem cell agency, all of whom are from out-of-state, disclose financial and professional conflicts
of interest in private to selected CIRM officials. (See policy here.)
From time to time, grant reviewers are excused from evaluating
specific applications.
The CIRM governing board has resisted
requiring public disclosure of the interests of reviewers. The subject
has come up several times, but board members have been concerned
about losing reviewers who would not be pleased about disclosing
their financial interests.  Nonetheless, disclosure of interests among researchers is becoming routine in scientific research articles. Many universities, including
Stanford, also require public disclosure of financial interests of
their researchers. Stanford says,

“No matter what the circumstances --
if an independent observer might reasonably question whether the
individual's professional actions or decisions are determined by
considerations of personal financial gain, the relationship should be
disclosed to the public during presentations, in publications,
teaching or other public venues.”

The latest version of CIRM's conflict
of interest rules are under review by the FPPC. They do not include
any changes in public disclosure for grant reviewers. In view of the
new information that confirms that reviewers are making 98 percent of
the decisions on who gets the taxpayers' dollars, it would seem that it is long past due for public disclosure of both financial and professional
interests of reviewers. Indeed, given the nature of scientific
research and the tiny size of the stem cell community, disclosure of
professional interests may be more important than financial
As Francis S. Collins, head of the NIH,
said concerning his organization's own strengthening of disclosure requirements,

"The public trust in what we do is
just essential, and we cannot afford to take any chances with the
integrity of the research process."

Here is the CIRM document concerning
reviewers' decisions and governing board action. The table has not
been posted on the CIRM website, but it was prepared for last month's
meeting dealing with the Institute of Medicine's recommendations for
sweeping changes at the agency, especially related to conflicts of


BioTrust Low Carb Protein Review Revealed By BioTrust Nutrition Reviews

Posted: February 22, 2013 at 11:47 pm

Biotrust Nutrition Reviews Releases a Brand New Review of the Delicious Low Carb Protein Powder from Biotrust.

Atlanta, GA (PRWEB) February 22, 2013

BioTrust has one of the best protein supplements on the market, said Whitfield. He went on to say, There are so many protein powders to choose from, and unfortunately, many of them will do more harm than good, especially if youre trying to lose weight. They have all kinds of fillers, processed ingredients and way too many carbohydrates and fats. You think you might be drinking a healthy protein shake, but the truth is that you could be setting yourself back. The new Low Carb Protein from Biotrust delivers quality ingredients without all the excess artificial sweeteners you find in other protein powders. What Im impressed with this product is that you wont find artificial colors or flavors with their protein supplement. When I saw they used Stevia, a natural sweetener, I knew it was a quality product. The artificial sweeteners you find in other protein powders give them a bad aftertaste. But with Low Carb Protein from BioTrust, you not only avoid the nasty aftertaste, but it actually tastes incredible. I was also blown away that you get 4 grams of quality fiber per serving. You just dont find that kind of quality protein supplement anywhere.

According to the Biotrust website, they also use ProHydrolase, a patented blend of specialized enzymes designed to dramatically enhance the ability of the body to break down, absorb, and utilize whey protein.

Biotrust low carb protein discount available here http://BiotrustLowCarb.com/

Rick Porter Biotrust Nutrition Reviews 401-808-1371 Email Information

The rest is here:
BioTrust Low Carb Protein Review Revealed By BioTrust Nutrition Reviews

Matrix Nutrition Launch a New Product to Accelerate Winter Weight Loss

Posted: at 11:47 pm

Matrix Nutrition have launched a product that combats the trinity problems that hinder weight loss in winter

(PRWEB UK) 18 February 2013

As well as this, many weight gainers suffer from the effects of SAD, the seasonal affective disorder that affects over ten per cent of the population. Symptoms can include an increase in appetite, lethargy and depression the trinity of problems that guarantee weight gain.

This new product however is extra strong in order to give that boost to help dieters and weight trainers lose weight, however Matrix Nutrition have not stopped there.

To help combat the trinity of lethargy, hunger and depression, their new fat burners incorporate high concentrations of natural vitamins and minerals that support the bodys own natural defences and increase energy lift moods, supress hunger and remove toxins from the body.

These natural ingredients include Acia Berry which is known as the new super food as it reduces bloating, removes toxins and promotes cardiac health.

The other active ingredient is Side Cordifolia which contains real ephedrine Alkaloids which are known for promoting weight loss. Sida Cordifolia is also well documented to provide the user with extra energy keeping them more awake, alert and motivated.

The other ingredient is green tea, and Matrix Nutrition claim they use only the best, as Adam Lowther the founder explains, Its well know that green tea is one of the best fat burning products on the market but Matrix Nutrition have taken this to new levels with a massive 1,500mg pure ingredient per tablet. The difference in grades comes down to the amount of EGCGs contained in the green tea. To put it simply, the more EGCG, the more active the ingredient. In weight loss industry new ingredients seem to be invented every day but green tea has stay fast simply because it works! Our new accelerated fat burners, Zepherine are quickly becoming the UK no.1 choice for losing weight."

Matrix provides effective sport supplements at an affordable price. While it is common knowledge the price of raw materials within the nutrition industry is rising (i.e. whey protein) they do their best to ensure Matrix Nutritions products are some off the most affordable on the market. While other companies may take advantage of these rising costs to inflate their prices even more Matrix will not.

Andrew Brown Dual Media 01253 406663 Email Information

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Matrix Nutrition Launch a New Product to Accelerate Winter Weight Loss

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