Leonard Lopate (WNYC) interviews Bill Moyers on democracy -- excellent!
Bill is a rare bird - an honest journalist who is upfront about his biases. It is a sad thing his kind is rare - I don't think there is a counterpart on the right.
A Washington Post story about surgery to lengthen limbs. It doesn't sound like much fun, but for some it is the best alternative. Being different can be hard.
You can't miss Caitlin Schroeder in the crowd: She's the pretty teenager in a wheelchair festively draped with multicolored feather boas and strands of beads, the girl with honey blond hair tucked behind her ears and a shy, genuine smile. She's wearing a T-shirt and shorts, her bare legs covered by a sheet. Hidden beneath the folds are 24 metal pins protruding from her flesh, each with one end anchored in bone and the other secured by a boxy, external plastic frame along her calves and thighs.
I was reading a friend's blog and noticed Marta commenting on game console energy use.
Part of it was a surprise - the Swedish discussion on jungle gyms vs playing in the forest. In NJ the average kid is tightly scheduled and hyperprotected to the point where it is hard to image kids playing in the forest.
I'm a strong believer in free range kids -- at least some of the time. Kids need to be outside playing and discovering nature. The Swedish argument is a much better argument than wondering if a Wii is better than a PS3 ... grumble.
The concept of a kid playing in the forest would make a helicopter mom's head explode -- probably not a bad thing.
Clone a light sensitive protein from algae and put it into the spinal cord tissue. The protein allows cells to fire when light pulses are shined on them. In the experiment breathing was restored in paralyzed rats by diaphragm control signals to propagate.
the media release
November 12, 2008
Case Western Reserve University research shows light stimulation restores breathing
Individuals with spinal cord injury at the top of the spine (location C-3 or above) have a hard time breathing. The spinal cord injury, a lesion in the spine, prevents the brain from sending messages to the nerves that operate the diaphragm. As a result, the diaphragm has a difficult time working and therefore the individual has a hard breathing.
Most people with neurologically complete lesions above C-3 die before receiving medical treatment. Those who survive are usually dependent on mechanical respirators to breathe. (National Spinal Cord Injury Association: http://spinalcord.org/news.php?dep=17&page=94&list=1191).
Using a rat model, Jerry Silver, Ph.D, professor of neurosciences at Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine, performed a half lesion in the spinal cord at C-2, preventing the diaphragm from functioning on the side of the lesion. Knowing that Channelrhodopsin-2 (ChR2), a light sensitive protein, made neurons fire when exposed to light, he then injected a virus containing ChR2 into the spine between C-3 and C-6, just below the lesion.
"The nerve cells with ChR2 "think" they are photoreceptors," said Silver. "So by shining light on the nerve cells it pushes them to work."
After four days, Silver and his team exposed the spinal cord to light. First they tried continuous light and then moved on to experimenting with light pulses.
"We found that when we repeated five minutes of one second pulses of light followed by five minutes of rest—for three cycles—and then switching the light off, that there was a bizarre seizure followed by normal breathing," said Silver.
Both sides of the diaphragm worked in tandem and the blood was well oxygenated. Breathing lasted for a day and a half without additional light stimulation.
Silver said there are groups already working on minimally invasive light sources, eliminating the need to surgically expose the spinal cord. Meanwhile, Silver intends to apply this same technique to the bladder.
No -- not a liberal rating, but the greenreport card ratings of sustainability for 300 highly endowed colleges and universities in North America. A nice idea as this is where much of the future will begin.
The College Sustainability Report Card is the only independent evaluation of campus and endowment sustainability activities at colleges and universities in the United States and Canada. In contrast to the academic focus on sustainability in research and teaching, the Report Card examines colleges and universities, as institutions, through the lens of sustainability. Sustainability means meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs. Are these considerations guiding how resources are managed in campus operations and endowment practices? TheReport Card is designed to identify colleges and universities that are leading by example on sustainability. The aim is to provide accessible information for schools to learn from each other’s experiences and establish more effective sustainability policies. Just as the grading system serves as an incentive in the classroom, the Report Card’s grading system seeks to encourage sustainability as a priority in college operations and endowment investment practices by offering independent yearly assessments. The focus is on policies and practices in nine main categories:
Now in its third year, the College Sustainability Report Cardcovers the colleges and universities with the 300 largest endowments in the United States and Canada, representing more than $380 billion in endowment assets, or more than 90 percent of all university endowments. It increases the number of schools included by 50 percent relative to the 2008 edition of theReport Card and provides insights into recent trends.