Ban Asbestos in Unity – a very powerful message in the sands of Greens Beach Tasmania

A few days ago while I was walking along the beautiful and peaceful beach at a little cove/seaside town in Tasmania called Greens Beach, as there was no one else on the beach I decided spur of the moment to draw this heart in the sand with this powerful message as I felt it reaches out worldwide with a very important message.I stood back and went to take a photograph when all of a sudden a couple appeared from ‘no where’ and asked if they could ‘take a look at my artwork’! I showed them, they looked at each other and went a pale shade of grey and said ”a friend of ours was recently diagnosed with pleural mesothelioma and he lives in Launceston’! (Launceston …

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CONTENT REMOVED

Eggplant parmesan is one of my favorite Italian dishes!However, this vegetarian dish is often laden with oil and calories if ordered in restaurants or made at home traditionally. Olive Garden lists their eggplant parmesan at 850 Calories per dinner serving with 35 grams of fat! So, I came up with this easy eggplant parmesan recipe that slashes calories and fat, yet tastes even better than those greasy versions found in most Italian restaurants.Here’s What You’ll NeedThis recipe serves three people. (Two really hungry people, or just one famished person.)1 Large eggplant 1 ½ Cups Italian style panko breadcrumbs 1 Cup finely shredded parmesan cheese 2 Eggs ½ Teaspoon garlic powder ¼ Teaspoon salt 1 Jar of your favorite pasta sauce (some for the eggplant and some for your pasta side) 2 …

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Register Today for The 2nd Annual 5k Walk/Hike for Meso, Only 10 Days Away!

The 2nd Annual5k Walk/Hike for Meso at the Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills is just 10 days away! If you haven’t registered yet, head on over here to sign up as an individual or as part of a team.So far over $32,000 has been raised and we are still ten days away from the event – well on our way to reaching this year’s goal of $70,000!Up for live auction at the event is the unique and special experience of a tour of Fire Station 92, and dinner for four prepared by Station 92’s very own firefighters!Items up for raffle include gift certificates for dance lessons at Arthur Murray Dance Studios, a Sterling Wine Tour for four at Sterling Vineyards in Calistoga, gift certificates for …

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Breakthrough Mesothelioma Case

On February 13, 2012, the Italian court announced a verdict that may have an impact on people and families around the world who are dealing with mesothelioma. Billionaires Stephan Schidheiny and Jean-Louis de Cartier, key shareholders in the company Eternit, a producer of fiber-reinforced cement, were each sentenced to sixteen years in prison for the failure to comply with safety regulations in their factories’ uses of asbestos. This class action law suit is being touted as the most significant suit yet, because criminal charges were actually placed on the owners who benefited from the profits of the negligent factories.Invented in the late 19th century, fiber-reinforced cement products, generally containing a mixture of cement and asbestos, has been favored in construction for it’s relatively light weight …

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Just 21 Days to the 2nd Annual 5k Walk/Hike for Mesothelioma

In just 21 days the Pacific Meso Center (PMC) will host the 2ndAnnual 5K Walk/Hikefor Meso at the Paramount Ranch in Agoura Hills. Worthington & Caron, PC is proud to once again be the title sponsor of the event which seeks to raise money for mesothelioma research and increase awareness about mesothelioma, a cancer caused by asbestos.Last year’s inaugural event was attended by over 200 walkers, hikers and runners. Many of the teams were organized by families and friends of mesothelioma sufferers. The event proved to be a source of inspiration and hope for those fighting the disease. For those who have lost loved ones to the disease, the event was an opportunity to heal through remembrance, camaraderie and working together to support research that will benefit …

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High dietary intake of polyphenols are associated with longevity

Oct. 9, 2013 — It is the first time that a scientific study associates high polyphenols intake with a 30% reduction in mortality in older adults. The research, published on Journal of Nutrition, is the first to evaluate the total dietary polyphenol intake by using a nutritional biomarker and not only a food frequency questionnaire. Research is signed by Cristina Andrés Lacueva, Montserrat Rabassa and Mireia Urpí Sardà, from the Department of Nutrition and Bromatology of the UB; Raúl Zamora Ros (ICO-IDIBELL), and experts Antonio Cherubini (Italian National Research Centre on Aging), Stefania Bandinelli (Azienda Sanitaria di Firenze, Italy) and Luigi Ferrucci (National Institute on Ageing, United States).Polyphenols: diet improves healthPolyphenols are naturally occurring compounds found largely in fruits, vegetables, coffee, tea, nuts, legumes and cereals. More than 8,000 different phenolic compounds have been identified in plants. Polyphenols have antioxidant, antiinflammatory, anticarcinogenic, etc. effects.The research published on Journal of Nutrition is based on a 12-year follow-up of a population sample composed by 807 men and women aged 65 or over from Greve and Bagno (Tuscany, Italy), within the InCHIANTI study. The group of the UB analysed the effect of polyphenol-rich diets by means of a nutritional biomarker — the total urinary polyphenol (TUP) concentration — as a proxy measure of intake. To be exact, UB researchers contributes to first literature references on TUP application to epidemiological or clinical studies.New biomarkers for nutritional studiesProfessor Cristina Andrés Lacueva, head of the Biomarkers and Nutritional & Food Metabolomics Research Group of the UB and coordinator of the study, explains that “the development and use of nutritional biomarkers enables to make a more precise and, particularly, more objective estimation of intake as it is not only based on participants’ memory when answering questionnaire. Nutritional biomarkers take into account bioavailabity and individual differences. …

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Genetic variant associated with coronary heart disease in type 2 diabetes

Aug. 27, 2013 — Joslin scientists, in collaboration with researchers from the Harvard School of Public Health and Italian research institutes, have identified a previously unknown genetic variant associated with an increased risk of coronary heart disease (CHD) in type 2 diabetic patients. This discovery has the potential to lead to the development of new treatments for CHD in diabetic patients.The findings appear in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA).CHD is the leading cause of morbidity and mortality among diabetic patients. Diabetic individuals have a two- to threefold increased risk for CHD and two- to fourfold higher CHD morbidity and mortality rates. In people with diabetes, CHD occurs at a younger age. While overall mortality rates of CHD have been declining in the U.S., the number of CHD deaths in the diabetic population has escalated as the prevalence of the disease has increased.It has been known for years that genetic factors influence susceptibility to CHD in the general population. However, studies have suggested that the genetic factors related to CHD risk may be different in the diabetic population. Investigating genetic variants related to cardiovascular disease in diabetes is an active area of research in the Section on Genetics and Epidemiology at Joslin.The scientists were interested in finding out whether there were genetic determinants of CHD specific to diabetic patients. In collaboration with colleagues from the Harvard School of Public Health and research institutes in Italy, they conducted genome-wide association analyses of 1,517 type 2 diabetic patients with CHD and 2,671 type 2 diabetic subjects without CHD. They compared the results to analyses of 737 non-diabetic participants with CHD and 1,637 non-diabetic participants without CHD. …

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Robots strike fear in the hearts of fish: Anxious zebrafish help researchers understand how alcohol affects fear

July 31, 2013 — The latest in a series of experiments testing the ability of robots to influence live animals shows that bio-inspired robots can not only elicit fear in zebrafish, but that this reaction can be modulated by alcohol. These findings may pave the way for new methodologies for understanding anxiety and other emotions, as well as substances that alter them.Maurizio Porfiri, associate professor of mechanical and aerospace engineering at the Polytechnic Institute of New York University (NYU-Poly) and Simone Macrì, a collaborator at the Istituto Superiore di Sanità in Rome, Italy, published their findings in PLOS ONE, an international, peer-reviewed, open-access, online publication.This latest study expands Porfiri and Macrì’s efforts to determine how bio-inspired robots can be employed as reliable stimuli to elicit reactions from live zebrafish. Previous studies have established that zebrafish show a strong affinity for robotic members designed to swim and appear as one of their own and that this preference can be abolished by exposing the fish to ethanol.Porfiri and Macri, along with students Valentina Cianca and Tiziana Bartolini, hypothesized that robots could be used to induce fear as well as affinity and designed a robot mimicking the morphology and locomotion pattern of the Indian leaf fish, a natural predator of the zebrafish. In the lab, they simulated a harmless predatory scenario, placing the zebrafish and the robotic Indian leaf fish in separate compartments of a three-section tank. The other compartment was left empty. The control group uniformly avoided the robotic predator, showing a preference for the empty section.To determine whether alcohol would affect fear responses, the researchers exposed separate groups of fish to different doses of ethanol in water. Ethanol has been shown to influence anxiety-related responses in humans, rodents and some species of fish. The zebrafish exposed to the highest concentrations of ethanol showed remarkable changes in behavior, failing to avoid the predatory robot. Acute administration of ethanol causes no harm and has no lasting effect on zebrafish.”These results are further evidence that robots may represent an exciting new approach in evaluating and understanding emotional responses and behavior,” said Porfiri. “Robots are ideal replacements as independent variables in tests involving social stimuli — they are fully controllable, stimuli can be reproduced precisely each time, and robots can never be influenced by the behavior of the test subjects.”To validate their findings and ensure that the zebrafish behavior being modulated was, in fact, a fear-based response, Porfiri and his collaborators conducted two traditional anxiety tests and evaluated whether the results obtained therein were sensitive to ethanol administration.They placed test subjects in a two-chamber tank with one well-lit side and one darkened side, to establish which conditions were preferable. …

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NASA releases images of Earth by two interplanetary spacecraft

July 22, 2013 — Color and black-and-white images of Earth taken by two NASA interplanetary spacecraft on July 19 show our planet and its moon as bright beacons from millions of miles away in space.NASA’s Cassini spacecraft captured the color images of Earth and the moon from its perch in the Saturn system nearly 900 million miles (1.5 billion kilometers) away. MESSENGER, the first probe to orbit Mercury, took a black-and-white image from a distance of 61 million miles (98 million kilometers) as part of a campaign to search for natural satellites of the planet.In the Cassini images Earth and the moon appear as mere dots — Earth a pale blue and the moon a stark white, visible between Saturn’s rings. It was the first time Cassini’s highest-resolution camera captured Earth and its moon as two distinct objects.It also marked the first time people on Earth had advance notice their planet’s portrait was being taken from interplanetary distances. NASA invited the public to celebrate by finding Saturn in their part of the sky, waving at the ringed planet and sharing pictures over the Internet. More than 20,000 people around the world participated.”We can’t see individual continents or people in this portrait of Earth, but this pale blue dot is a succinct summary of who we were on July 19,” said Linda Spilker, Cassini project scientist, at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, Calif. “Cassini’s picture reminds us how tiny our home planet is in the vastness of space, and also testifies to the ingenuity of the citizens of this tiny planet to send a robotic spacecraft so far away from home to study Saturn and take a look-back photo of Earth.”Pictures of Earth from the outer solar system are rare because from that distance, Earth appears very close to our sun. A camera’s sensitive detectors can be damaged by looking directly at the sun, just as a human being can damage his or her retina by doing the same. Cassini was able to take this image because the sun had temporarily moved behind Saturn from the spacecraft’s point of view and most of the light was blocked.A wide-angle image of Earth will become part of a multi-image picture, or mosaic, of Saturn’s rings, which scientists are assembling. This image is not expected to be available for several weeks because of the time-consuming challenges involved in blending images taken in changing geometry and at vastly different light levels, with faint and extraordinarily bright targets side by side.”It thrills me to no end that people all over the world took a break from their normal activities to go outside and celebrate the interplanetary salute between robot and maker that these images represent,” said Carolyn Porco, Cassini imaging team lead at the Space Science Institute in Boulder, Colo. “The whole event underscores for me our ‘coming of age’ as planetary explorers.”In the MESSENGER image, Earth and the moon are less than a pixel, but appear very large because they are overexposed. …

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Chemical nanoengineering: Designing drugs controlled by light

June 18, 2013 — The scientific cooperation between chemists, biotechnologists and physicists from various Catalan institutes, headed by Pau Gorostiza, from the Institute for Bioengineering of Catalonia (IBEC), and Ernest Giralt, from the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), has led to a breakthrough that will favor the development of light-regulated therapeutic molecules.The “Design, synthesis and structure of peptides and proteins” lab headed by Dr. Giralt, also senior professor at the University of Barcelona and holder of the 2011 Spanish National Research Prize, has synthesized two peptides (small proteins), which, on irradiation with light, change shape, thereby allowing or preventing an specific protein-protein interaction. The association of these two proteins is required for endocytosis, a process by which cells allow molecules to cross the cell membrane and enter. The Italian scientist Laura Nevola, postdoctoral researcher who works in Dr. Giralt’s lab, and Andrés Martín-Quirós, a PhD student with Dr. Gorostiza’s lab, co-authors of the study, have spent four years working on the design of photo-sensitive peptides.”Photo-sensitive peptides act like traffic lights and can be made to give a green or red light for cell endocytosis. They are powerful tools for cell biology,” explains Dr. Giralt. “These molecules allow us to use focalized light like a magic wand to control biological processes and to study them,” adds the physicist Pau Gorostiza, ICREA professor, and head of the “Nanoprobes and nanoswitches” lab at IBEC.The researchers highlight the immediate applicability of these molecules to study, for example, in vitro endocytosis in cancer cells -where this process is uncontrolled- which would allow selective inhibition of the proliferation of these cells. Also, they would also allow the study of developmental biology -where cells require endocytosis to change shape and function, processes that are orchestrated with great spatial and temporal precision. …

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