MCDERMOTT HANDED BACK TO GARDAI BY PSNI

first_imgMartin McDermott, the man convicted of the manslaughter of Garda Gary McLoughlin, has been handed back to Gardai.He had absconded from Loughan House in Cavan and was found in Derry the following day.He was jailed for four months but was officially handed back to Gardai by the PSNI this morning. The Raphoe man may face a further sentence for absconding from the low security prison.He is behind bars at Castlerea tonight.MCDERMOTT HANDED BACK TO GARDAI BY PSNI was last modified: June 1st, 2012 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Adult Stem Cells Beat Clones

first_img(Visited 10 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0 In a contest to see which are better, induced pluripotent stem cells proved just as good as clones.  More stem cell news follows.Stem cell recipes went head to head, Science Magazine reported, and came out in a tie.  Kelly Servick writes:What’s the best recipe for creating patient-specific stem cells? The question has prompted years of debate and a series of contradictory papers. Ideally, the cells should develop into any cell type just as well as those in a natural embryo do. For now, the 7-year-old method of introducing a small set of genes into adult cells to create so-called induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells dominates the field. But a few researchers have stuck with an older approach—putting a donor nucleus into an unfertilized egg and deriving stem cells from the resulting embryo. This somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) technique is costly, technically challenging, and ethically fraught on several fronts. But proponents have argued that cells created this way are superior, in part because iPS cells may retain features of mature cells and could acquire a greater number of genetic changes in the reprogramming process. The latest research on the matter, published this week in Cell Stem Cell, examines genetic features of the two cell types and declares a tie.That might surprise some people, because the researcher who led the work, Dieter Egli of the New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) in New York City, has long been a proponent of nuclear transfer. He gave a preview of the paper on 22 October at the foundation’s annual conference. “This means that all of you who are working on iPS cells are probably working with cells that are actually very good. So I have good news for you,” he told them, eliciting murmurs and chuckles. “What this exactly means for the SCNT program, I don’t know yet.” Indeed, some longtime champions of the nuclear transfer—Egli included—aren’t ready to abandon the method yet.Science Daily reports that the New York Stem Cell Foundation finds the two types of stem cells “very similar” in terms of DNA methylation, mutations, and gene expression patterns.  Since iPS cells are “not ethically fraught” at all, it would seem SCNT should declare no contest.  The articles do not give any clear reason why cloning should be continued; but proponents like Mitalipov are vowing to defend their work.The New York foundation claims that embryonic stem cells are still superior.  “It is important to note that both types of techniques led to cells that had more of these aberrations than embryonic stem cells derived from an unfertilized human oocyte, or than embryonic stem cells derived from leftover IVF embryos,” Science Daily says.  “These findings suggest that a small number of defects are inherent to the generation of stem cells from adult differentiated cells and occur regardless of the method used.”The question becomes whether it is advisable to destroy human embryos to heal those already born into the world, if iPS and adult stem cells are sufficient for therapeutic needs.  If adult stem cells from a 97-year-old  person’s cornea can heal retina damage (10/22/14), why take them from the unborn?  Why not instead, as PhysOrg reported, study how embryos produce their stem cells and use those secrets to reprogram adult cells?  A story in Science Daily shows how researchers are constantly refining methods for iPS, but SCNT-derived stem cells are not without problems.In the meantime, iPS and adult stem cells continue to show great promise for human health.  The smart money goes to ethically-clean methods.Brain injuries in mice treated using bone marrow stem cells, antioxidants (Science Daily): Stem cell treatment combined with drug therapy shows regeneration of brain tissue and the blood vessels supporting them.Reprogramming cells, long term (Science Daily): Harvard scientists “have demonstrated that adult cells, reprogrammed into another cell type in a living animal, can remain functional over a long period.“iPS cells used to understand schizophrenia (Nature): “We showed that mutant DISC1 [a schizophrenia marker] causes synaptic vesicle release deficits in iPS-cell-derived forebrain neurons,” researchers at Johns Hopkins found.  “…Our study reveals that a psychiatric disorder relevant mutation causes synapse deficits and transcriptional dysregulation in human neurons and our findings provide new insight into the molecular and synaptic etiopathology of psychiatric disorders.”Remotely controlled magnetic nanoparticles stimulate stem cells to regenerate bones (PhysOrg): “Medical researchers from Keele University and Nottingham University have found that magnetic nanoparticles coated with targeting proteins can stimulate stem cells to regenerate bone,” the article says. “Researchers were also able to deliver the cells directly to the injured area, remotely controlling the nanoparticles to generate mechanical forces and maintain the regeneration process through staged releases of a protein growth stimulant.”  Presumably the stem cells come from the patient’s own body.Establishment of induced pluripotent stem cells from Werner syndrome fibroblasts (Science Daily): Werner syndrome causes patients to age rapidly; now, “genome editing” of patient-derived stem cells offers new hope.  “Induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from Werner Syndrome fibroblasts have been established, scientists report.”Making personalized blood vessels from a patient’s blood sample (Science Daily): Swedish researchers rebuilt blood vessels from blood stem cells, without having to drill into bone marrow, which is painful.Delivery of stem cells into heart muscle after heart attack may enhance cardiac repair and reverse injury (Mt. Sinai Hospital): “A novel SCF gene transfer delivery system induced the recruitment and expansion of adult c-Kit positive (cKit+) cardiac stem cells to injury sites that reversed heart attack damage. In addition, the gene therapy improved cardiac function, decreased heart muscle cell death, increased regeneration of heart tissue blood vessels, and reduced the formation of heart tissue scarring.”Technology to advance stem cell therapeutics patented (Rutgers U): “Our motivation was to develop a highly robust, efficient nanoparticle-based platform that can regulate gene expression and eventually stem cell differentiation,” says Ki Bum-Lee, who developed NanoScript for that purpose.  NanoScript uses gold nanoparticles to mimic the transcription factors that regulate stem cell differentiation.Production of human motor neurons from stem cells gaining speed (PhysOrg): Researchers at the Institute for Stem Cell Therapy are finding new ways to rapidly produce large quantities of human pluripotent stem cells.  “In the medium term, the approach should contribute to the development of treatments for paralytic diseases such as infantile spinal muscular amyotrophy or amyotrophic lateral sclerosis.“Nail stem cells prove more versatile than press-ons (University of Southern California): Think about it; your fingernails grow, don’t they?  That’s because of an “elusive” source of stem cells that produce both nails and skin.  USC researchers made a “surprising discovery,” the press release says; they “identified a new population of nail stem cells, which have the ability to either self-renew or undergo specialization or differentiation into multiple tissues.”What is the ultimate stem cell?  An article on Medical Xpress indicates that embryonic stem cells may not be very much ahead of iPSCs, the stem cells reprogrammed from adult tissues.  Researchers at the Wellcome Trust-Medical Research Council Cambridge Stem Cell Institute compared the two.  The director was asked if embryonic stem cells are better:Could naive human ES cells be the stem cell of choice for tissue therapy? “We don’t yet know,” said Smith. “These cells would offer the hope of having a broader and more consistent ability to differentiate into a range of cell types because they are at an earlier stage of development. But it’s also entirely possible that current stem cells are good enough for some applications. The point is, we needed these new stem cells in order to find out what is best.”But those nagging ethical issues remain.  In “The ethical, legal and political minefield of stem cell research,” PhysOrg reminds readers that the “Great Debate” about using human embryos for research “has been the subject of comment, criticism and even court cases.”  With its recounting of the strong opinions voiced on both sides, the patent debates and the ethical outcries over what constitutes a human, the article is a sad reminder of the hand-wringing that still goes on over ESC research.  When there is more than one way to reach a destination, wisdom dictates walking around the minefield when possible.  That’s the path adult stem cell technology takes.Update 11/24/14: Harvard scientists failed to get embryonic stem cells to form neurons, until they tried induced pluripotent stem cells, reports Science Daily.  “I think the ability to make human pain neurons for the pain field is going to be very important,” Clifford Woolf says.  “Furthermore, our failure with embryonic stem cells lead us to work with adult tissue samples making the technology much more clinically relevant since these are easy to collect from patients suffering from different kinds of pain.”  This is important for showing that iPS cells can actually perform better than embryonic stem cells.Can anyone find a really good reason for using human embryos in the burgeoning field of stem cell therapeutics?  The only claim is that they are totipotent, able to generate any tissue in the body, and iPSCs are pluripotent—something less.  Even that argument is not clear, though.  Each new discovery appears to show adult stem cells throughout the body—in the cornea, brain, bone marrow, placenta, mesenchyme, heart and elsewhere—that can be activated in place or relocated where needed.  And then there is reprogramming, using iPSC methods to turn skin cells into stem cells.  The toolkit seems plenty adequate for desired therapies, and it’s getting better all the time.  The burden of proof should be on the SCNT and ESC researchers to show why they deserve any money or respect.last_img read more

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Our young MPs are overrated

first_imgThere is endless media buzz on younger MPs and how promising, photogenic and well coiffed they are.The recent cabinet reshuffle where, against expectations, young MPs were ignored, and Sonia Gandhi’s call that politicians retire at 64 are noteworthy.There is endless media buzz on younger MPs and how promising, photogenic and well coiffed they are. They are all that and literally made- for- the- movies nextgen politicians. Truly, when you compare them to the earthier politicians of yore, they look great.The subtext of the buzz seems to be that if they were given power ( ministerships), they would turn India around.They all sport foreign degrees which ensures them the tag of intellectuals too.Their complaint is that they are not given power, though they are over- flowing pots of talent. In fact the recent Ministry reshuffle convinced everyone what a great opportunity Manmohan Singh missed by not dropping senior ministers and then inducting the younger MPs.Thank God for that.Attributes95 per cent of younger MPs got their seats through family connections. Inimitably, Rahul Gandhi admitted as much with regard to his own seat. The list of honour includes the Badals of Punjab, Yeddyurappa, Dhumal of Himachal, Karunanidhi’s brood, Sharad Pawar, Mulayam Singh, Gogoi of Assam, Ajit Singh of UP, Chautala and Hooda’s sons in Haryana, Sheila Dikshit and Vasundhara Raje and sons, Scindia of Madhya Pradesh, Sachin Pilot, Ranes of Maharashtra, Jaganmohan Reddy of Andhra, Murali Deora, Jyoti Mirdha from Rajasthan and other lesser known family origin MPs.There are over 75 such MPs and they frequently give interviews, claiming achievements, which really involve the routine spending of their MP funds. They give the right bytes and visuals, but are they delivering? Or have they become one more millstone around the country’s neck? Their characteristics are: A. Risk- averse behaviour : Young MPs of all parties are petrified to do anything unusual. They are totally risk- averse. They do not behave like leaders, but executives in Fast- Moving Consumer Goods ( FMCG) firms. They never espouse un- popular causes or display initiative. None of them take any position on any issue. They fashion a role as status quoists and their overriding ambition is re- election and making politics a full time career, just like company executives. They quietly lobby the same leaders that the less sophisticated do, but with greater success. Their social skills and pedigree give them advantage.They never associate themselves with anyone who might, even peripherally, be anti- establishment or out of favour. The farthest thing in their minds is ” to speak truth to power”. Their policy is timidity and their un- stated religion is that it is better to be mediocre and survive.B. Total opposites of Rahul Gandhi: In fact, the only younger MP who does show antiestablishmentarianism is Rahul Gandhi.He stays out of Delhi and courts controversy over new ideas. Unlike the Young MPs, he is ready to risk his reputation. It is therefore surprising why younger Congress MPs do not emulate Mr Gandhi.C. Parliament membership is a career : Most of the younger MPs are familiar with the perks and prestige of being an MP. They know the cost of loss and it is deeply ingrained in them that they should hold onto their seats at any cost. By being compliant, they ensure they are viewed as non- ambitious. Naturally, inner circles in all parties like them and feel un- threatened.Such postures have been wellhoned, with masterly fawning, brilliant sycophancy and sophisticated flattery.D. No crusader amongst younger MPs: Again, Rahul Gandhi is an exception. It is puzzling why in the last 12 years, we never saw younger MPs crusade against corruption or any other ill in India. In the recent Telecom Scam, we never found a young MP raise the issue. All young Ministers and MPs were totally silent and avoided the storm. Governance, security issues, environment or education have never attracted their attention.Then what are they interested in? This servile behaviour fortifies their image as harmless, innocent executives in FMCGs but not as leaders, who are in dire shortage.E. Younger Ministers non- performing: There are about 15 younger ministers in government.Some of them have been there for 4 years. But these Ministers have not shown any originality or even made an effort to be role models or take any risk.They focus on being a pleasing part of status quo and go along with any Minister as perfect team- players as they would in a FMCG firm. Be it a Telecom Raja, or others, they adjust and survive. Then how do you expect the Prime Minister to elevate them? When you are totally non- performing in even a supporting role, how can you play the hero’s role?SeniorsIf they are not leaders, then they are not even good managers. Where is their achievement? Of course, DMK MP Kanimozhi has achieved much for herself. But is that the kind of achievement we want? Sonia Gandhi is wrong to ask for the retirement of capable seniors. The real performers in government, in fact, are the oldest Ministers. A. K. Antony, Pranab Mukherjee and P. Chidambaram are visible and take risks every day. Antony has brought honesty and gravitas to defence.Pranab is a problem solver and Chidambaram has energised the security apparatus. The younger MPs might say that such ministers had the benefit of experience. True, but they were also great risk takers. Antony, Pranab Mukherjee, Chidambaram, Mamata Banerjee and Sharad Pawar are great risk takers. Antony became Chief Minister at 33 years and resigned in 1978.Pranab Mukherjee left the Congress and was in the cold for 10 years. Chidambaram left the Congress and was out of power. Mamata Banerjee and Sharad Pawar are habitual risk- takers.DangerThis is not to argue that younger MPs should self- destruct their careers by recklessness.But we need something more than their artful silences and inactivity.If the younger generation is not idealistic, then who will be? Fortune favours the brave and risk- takers rise to great heights. Younger MPs need to shed some timidity and display some idealism. By doing so, Rahul Gandhi has gained increasing acceptance in the country.The younger MPs who rose due to family connections must remember that genetics is their greatest enemy. Nature will constantly try to see their exit. The enterprise shown by their forefathers got them positions. But their timidity, lethargy or total conformity will ensure their failure.Status quo never works. They have to outwit the law of genetics- that genes lose their steam after some time. Where are the descendants of the Mughals or other rulers? The law of genetics has ensured a fast turnover of rulers.The country noticed the deafening silence of all young politicians during the 2G scam. Not one raised his voice. Rajiv Gandhi, Rajesh Pilot, Madhavrao Scindia all took risks when they were young Ministers. Chandrashekhar was a rebel in the 1970s and see how far he went. Indira Gandhi herself was a hightrapeze politician.By being too non- controversial and donning mediocrity, longevity in politics will not be ensured. Your genes and strategy will hasten the end. The British tolerate their monarchy, because they see them as practitioners of ” meritocratic nepotism”. There seems to be little merit in our political nepotism.advertisementadvertisementlast_img read more

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