Archive for July, 2008

phermones

July 31, 2008

wo male mice often fight when put in a cage, but if one is neutered they get along fine. Decades ago, scientists found out that dabbing urine from an intact male mouse on the back of a neutered mouse gave the latter the chemical signature of an unaltered male.  http://louis4j4sheehan4esquire.blogspot.com  The neutered mouse soon found himself brawling with the guys.

Combining this behavioral test with modern biochemical analyses, molecular biologist Lisa Stowers and her colleagues at the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, Calif., now reveal some of the chemistry behind the aggression.

In male mouse urine, proteins in a cluster called the major urinary protein (MUP) complex function as pheromones that literally strike a nerve in other males, the scientists report in the Dec. 6 Nature. An individual mouse has only a few of the 20 or so proteins that can show up in an MUP cluster. In the study, those few were enough to act as a fight pheromone when researchers dabbed them on neutered males.

Because neutered mice don’t make significant amounts of testosterone, they lack MUP proteins, Stowers notes.

Pheromones are chemical cues given off by animals that trigger others’ behavior by binding to sensory receptors in the vomeronasal organ in mice.  http://louis4j4sheehan4esquire.blogspot.com

To substantiate the behavioral findings, Stowers and colleagues placed the urine proteins in contact with live neurons obtained from male mouse vomeronasal organs in a lab dish. Using imaging techniques, the researchers detected when 1 of the roughly 250 receptors on the neurons was activated. The tests verified that the MUC proteins were pheromones and revealed that two neuron receptors, called Gnao and V2Rs, act as docking ports for them.

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hydrocarbons

July 26, 2008

Imagine corralling an aquatic oil spill with a ring of magnets — and then dragging that magnetic fence to some convenient spot where the fuel can be sopped up. As far fetched as this idea may sound, materials scientists began work, this summer, on developing a technology to do just that.  http://louisijisheehan.blogspot.com

I saw a tabletop demonstration last week that blew me away. Alas, it’s far from being something in which oil companies are likely to begin investing big bucks. One can even imagine a long list of limitations of this technology’s use with spills in rough weather or on the high seas.

But in terms of the science, this concept is way cool.

Mike McHenry of Carnegie Mellon University in Pittsburgh introduced a small group of reporters (this year’s Steinbrenner Media Fellows) to the novel application while showing off his lab’s work on magnets. Tiny magnets. Billionth-of-a-meter-scale, novel high-performance iron-cobalt magnets that they make, as needed, in the lab.

While we reporters looked on, a student applied a few drops of mineral oil onto the surface of some water in a Petri dish. That oil served as an early stage, laboratory stand-in for crude oil. Dyed blue, it was easy to see against its watery platform.

The woman then used an eye dropper to plop a small quantity of a black ferrofluid — oil seeded with untold quantities of the novel nanomagnets — into the same dish. The ferrofluid contained a surfactant (oleic acid) to keep the metallic nanonuggets in it from clumping. Almost immediately, the ferrofluid surrounded and intermixed with the blue oil in the center of the dish.

Afterward, another student placed a strong permanent magnet to the side of the dish. At once, the black nanomagnet syrup floated towards it — dragging along the blue spilled oil.  http://louisijisheehan.blogspot.com

To see a video of this, click here.

McHenry acknowledged “you’d need great amounts of this [ferrofluid] to clean up oil spills.” Other groups initially began probing the idea of magnetic attraction as a cleanup technology a decade ago. Their work pointed to the problem of “creating enough of these materials to make cleanup economical,” McHenry said. “But first we needed to show that you can make it work.” Which is what his team is exploring now.

They’ll also need to figure out how to recycle their nanomagnets, “because they are expensive to make,” McHenry notes. “But I think that you could recover them. In fact, we’re working on techniques for scaling up the production of nanoparticles. If they become cheaper, then [nanomagnets] are going to be a potential means of cleaning up oil.”

Once collected and herded to a removal site, what happens to that oil?

“You could skim it off,” McHenry says. “Or we could use a very porous mesh of polymers that oils like to stick to. And there’s a group at MIT that’s developed one that will hold 20 times its weight in oil.”

He was referring to Francesco Stellacci’s team, which a few months ago reported having developed a mesh made from a new manganese-oxide nanowire technology. Tangled and pressed flat, the thin nanowires provide a large surface area to which oil can adhere. Extremely water repellent, the paper-thin mesh selectively sops up oil, leaving water behind.

Stellacci shared a piece of his new mesh about the size of your palm with the Carnegie Mellon lab. Last week, a student then demonstrated the MIT mesh’s adsorption propensity with kerosene that had been poured into another dish of water.  http://louisijisheehan.blogspot.com

To recharge the mat, the mesh is heated until the oil vaporizes. Trapping and condensing the gases will recover the oil it held.

Right now, the mesh at Carnegie Mellon is only collecting thin oils. In future, McHenry’s group will evaluate how well such an oil sponge deals with other, more viscous hydrocarbons.

I’m fascinated about these innovative approaches to dealing with what has become a huge global problem — oil at sea. The trick, of course, is not just to find a better mousetrap — or oil trap — but to find one that’s affordable, reliable, and environmentally green. Whether the Carnegie Mellon and MIT technologies fill the bill remains to be seen. But both new technologies are clever, and regardless of whether they will tackle crude spills, they likely will find use somewhere in industry, even if it’s just to “green” industrial processes that rely on oily feedstocks or spit out oily wastes.

By the way, these new nanomagnets may see their initial commercialization in medicine. McHenry’s group uses the same nanoparticle recipe for use in ferrofluids to treat cancer. Read more about such magnetic therapy in the Aug. 16 print issue of Science News.

susskind

July 24, 2008

Say that the universe is a hologram. Say that reality is an illusion projected from lower dimensions. Say that you’re even smarter than Stephen Hawking (at least when it comes to black holes and what dribbles out of them). If you’re Leonard Susskind, father of string theory, then who knows? You might be right. Clear writing and a sprinkling of black-and-white doodles make this upward trudge through Theoretical Physics 101 (and 201) a satisfying haul. But if it’s proof you want, come back next millennium.  http://louis6j6sheehan.blogspot.com

pathogens

July 23, 2008

http://louis1j1sheehan.us   Advocates of “organic” or “natural” foods get up in arms about some of the practices at big commercial hog farms—especially putting antibiotics into the livestock feed to make the animals grow faster. The idea simply makes some people uncomfortable, but more importantly, the overuse of antibiotics in animals, just like in hospitals, can worsen the problem of antibiotic resistance in bacteria. According to a study out of Ohio State University, however, pigs that went without antibiotics were more likely to carry human pathogens like salmonella and trichinella.  http://louis1j1sheehan.us

The team of scientists led by Wondwossen Gebreyes studied around 600 pigs. About half lived in indoor commercial hog farms and received antibiotics; the other half lived the old-fashioned way, outdoors and antibiotic-free. The non-treated swine showed more salmonella infections, 54 percent compared to 39 percent of the treated pigs, and more infections of toxoplasma and trichinella.

At first, it might appear that we’ve reached an impasse: If we keep pumping livestock full of antibiotics, bacteria will continue to become more resistant and we’ll lose our best weapons against them, but if we stop giving livestock antibiotics, our meat will be more dangerous, so pick your poison.

However, these two scenarios are not equal. The first one, antibiotic resistance, could be much worse—if a person gets a bacterial infection that’s resistant to any known antibiotic, there’s not much a doctor can do. But as far as more food-borne pathogens are concerned, whether 39 percent or 54 percent of pigs carry salmonella, all it takes to kill the bacteria is cooking your pork chops all the way through—the U.S. Department of Agriculture recommends at least 160 degrees Fahrenheit.

Still, these food-borne pathogens are nothing to be trifled with. Salmonella infects 1 million Americans each year, whether through undercooked meat or outbreaks in fruits or vegetables, like the current tomato scare. Trichinella can make people terribly ill. But if the choice is between microbes we can kill pretty effectively and microbes we might not be able to, it’s an easy one.

As the Des Moines Register asked last month, people in good health shouldn’t be taking antibiotics, so why should we put them in the food of perfectly healthy hogs? We probably shouldn’t.

evolution

July 19, 2008

If Stephen Jay Gould were alive today, he would be smiling. Maybe even gloating.  http://louis9j9sheehan9esquire.blogspot.com

New research suggests that the famous evolutionary biologist was right when he argued that, if the evolution of life were “wound back” and played again from the start, it could have turned out very differently.

In experiments on bacteria grown in the lab, scientists found that evolving a new trait sometimes depended on previous, happenstance mutations. Without those earlier random mutations, the window of opportunity for the novel trait would never have opened. History might have been different.  http://louis9j9sheehan9esquire.blogspot.com

“It’s a wonderful experiment, a wonderful set of observations,” comments Geerat Vermeij, an evolutionary biologist at the University of California, Davis.  http://louis9j9sheehan9esquire.blogspot.com

Though not firmly conclusive, the new research adds a real-world case study of evolution in action to the decades-old debate stirred by Gould’s thought experiment. British paleontologist Simon Conway Morris and others argued that only a few optimal solutions exist for an organism to adapt to its environment, so even if the clock were wound back, environmental pressures would eventually steer evolution toward one of those solutions — regardless of the randomness along the way.

Scientists obviously can’t turn back the hands of time, but Richard Lenski and his colleagues at Michigan State University in East Lansing did the next best thing. Lenski’s team watched 12 colonies of identical E. coli bacteria evolve under carefully controlled lab conditions for 20 years, which equates to more than 40,000 generations of bacteria. After every 500 generations, the researchers froze samples of bacteria. Those bacteria could later be thawed out to “replay” the evolutionary clock from that point in time.

After about 31,500 generations, one colony of bacteria evolved the novel ability to use a nutrient that E. coli normally can’t absorb from its environment. Thawed-out samples from after the 20,000-generation mark were much more likely to re-evolve this trait than earlier samples, which suggests that an unnoticed mutation that occurred around the 20,000th generation enabled the microbes to later evolve the nutrient-absorption ability through a second mutation, the researchers report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

In the 11 other colonies, this earlier mutation didn’t occur, so the evolution of this novel ability never happened.

“I would argue that this is a direct empirical demonstration of Gould-like contingency in evolution,” Lenski says. “You can’t do an exact replay in nature, but we were able to literally put all these populations in virtually identical environments and show that contingency is really what had occurred.”

The next step will be to determine what that earlier mutation was and how it made the later change possible, Lenski says. If the first mutation didn’t offer any survival advantage to the microbes on its own, it would make the case airtight that Gould was right. That’s because a mutation that doesn’t improve an organism’s ability to survive and reproduce can’t be favored by evolution, so whether the microbe happens to have that necessary mutation when the second evolutionary change occurs becomes purely a matter of chance.

“I don’t think they’ve necessarily shown” that the first mutation gave the microbes no survival advantage, comments Christopher Dascher, a microbiologist at Mount Sinai School of Medicine in New York. “But they certainly point very strongly in that direction.”

Lenski notes that the growth rate and the density of bacteria in the colony jumped up after the second mutation, but not after the first one.

inflammatory

July 18, 2008

he secretion of cytokines and chemokines by senescent cells has been associated with the potential to promote tumorigenesis. However, two papers published in Cell indicate that the expression of inflammatory mediators can help to maintain growth arrest.

CORBIS

Jesús Gil and colleagues instigated a short hairpin RNA inhibition screen to look for genes whose knockdown can extend the proliferative lifespan of near-senescent primary human fibroblasts. Among the genes that were identified was the chemokine-encoding CXCR2 (also known as IL8RB). Knockdown of CXCR2 was shown to extend the replicative lifespan of several primary cells as well as fibroblasts that had undergone oncogene-induced senescence (OIS) owing to the expression of the kinase MEK1. Levels of expression of CXCR2 were shown to increase as cells underwent either replicative senescence or OIS, so Gil and colleagues asked whether similar alterations were evident in chemokines that bind CXCR2.  http://Louissheehan.BraveDiary.com

Antibody arrays, ELISA and quantitative reverse transcription PCR showed that expression of CXCR2 ligands, including interleukin 8 (IL8), were increased in cells undergoing OIS. Importantly, the authors also found that increased staining for CXCR2 is evident in samples of human prostate intraepithelial neoplasia, which are associated with high levels of senescent cells, and CXCR2 staining levels decreased in more advanced disease. What induces expression of these ligands? By using several chemical inhibitors and analysing transcription factor binding sites within the promoters of these ligands, the authors established the involvement of both NFkappaB and C/EBPbeta. Knockdown of either of these transcription factors suppressed expression of IL8, and both factors bind the IL8 promoter.

Daniel Peeper and colleagues also found that C/EBPbeta is a crucial factor in OIS. They used an unbiased genome-wide expression microarray analysis in human fibroblasts expressing oncogenic BRAF to identify mRNAs that had increased expression during OIS and reduced expression on bypass of OIS. Several cytokine and chemokine mRNAs followed this pattern, and further analyses limited this to 24 genes that included IL6. IL6 seems to be upregulated in response to OIS independent of cell type, and is required to maintain OIS. Interestingly, this function seems to be restricted to OIS, as exogenous IL6 arrested cultured human fibroblasts only in the context of oncogenic stress. Importantly, the senescent effect of IL6 is mediated in an autocrine manner. Paracrine IL6 is known to have tumour-promoting effects, and media from OIS cells induced proliferation of B9 hybridoma cells in culture, which was inhibited by IL6 antibodies. C/EBPbeta is known to regulate IL6 transcription and knockdown of this transcription factor prevented expression of IL6 (and IL8) and prevented OIS. Further microarray expression analyses indicated that IL6 expression maintains an active inflammatory network, which includes IL8, and that this requires cooperation between IL6 and C/EBPbeta. Are these findings replicated in clinical samples? In 18 out of 20 human colon adenomas, IL8 staining specifically co-localized with arrested (INK4A-positive, Ki67-negative) epithelial cells.  http://Louissheehan.BraveDiary.com

Given the association of inflammatory mediators with both pro- and anti-tumorigenic effects, further analyses are needed to understand the function of these proteins in a cell-autonomous context as well as a tumour-microenvironmental one.

start-up

July 17, 2008

Investors are pumping $100 million into a start-up developing technology to propel DNA sequencing into mainstream medicine.

The infusion is expected to enable Pacific Biosciences of California Inc. to introduce in 2010 its high-speed system for reading the chemical “letters” of DNA. The technology is designed to expand the use of sequencing to develop treatments tailored to patients’ genetic makeup.  http://louisgjgsheehan.blogspot.com

In time, for example, pharmaceutical researchers may routinely use sequencing to identify people who respond well, or poorly, to a drug based on specific genetic markers.

The federally funded Human Genome Project, completed in 2003, took 13 years and cost $450 million. In five years, Pacific Biosciences will make it possible to sequence a genome in 15 minutes, Chief Executive Hugh Martin said. The initial product will facilitate genome sequencing in a matter of days, at an undisclosed cost, he said.

Corporate investors, asset managers and venture-capital firms are taking part in the latest funding round for Pacific Biosciences, of Menlo Park, Calif. They include Intel Capital, an arm of Intel Corp.; Deerfield Capital Management LLC; T. Rowe Price Group; Morgan Stanley; FMR LLC; AllianceBernstein Holding LP; Maverick Capital Ltd.; Redmile Group; Alloy Ventures; DAG Ventures; Teachers’ Private Capital; Kleiner Perkins Caufield & Byers; and Mohr Davidow Ventures.  http://louisgjgsheehan.blogspot.com

A key part of Pacific Biosciences’ system is an enzyme called polymerase that human cells use to copy DNA. With the system, scientists break double-stranded DNA molecules into single strands and then fragment the strands. These fragments are fed into chambers on sequencing chips. Then, individual nucleotide letters, each linked to a fluorescent marker, are added.

Inside each chamber, the polymerase enzyme pairs these letters to their corresponding nucleotides on the DNA fragment. As letters bind, they emit flashes of light, enabling scientists to read the DNA fragment’s sequence.

Other companies seeking to cut the time and cost of DNA sequencing include publicly traded Illumina Inc. and Helicos BioSciences Corp., and closely held Complete Genomics Inc.

general

July 13, 2008

A century before the Mayflower, a single man settled the destiny of the Americas far more momentously than the Puritans ever could. Hernán Cortés’s blitzkrieg-like conquest of the Aztec Empire in 1519-21 laid the foundation of a Spanish empire that would eventually stretch from California to the pampas of Argentina. Along the way, he sealed the doom of the native cultures of the Americas, both North and South, and set the pattern of global history right down to the present — as a series of fateful encounters between, on the one hand, Western ideas, technologies and institutions and, on the other, non-Western cultures, peoples and terrains.

In “Conquistador,” Buddy Levy offers a fascinating account of the first and most decisive of those encounters: the one between the impetuous Spanish adventurer Cortés and Montezuma, the ill-starred emperor of the Aztecs — clearly the wrong emperor at the wrong place at the wrong time. http://louis1j1sheehan1esquire2.blogspot.com
Mr. Levy has an eye for vivid detail and manages to build a compelling narrative out of this almost unbelievable story of missionary zeal, greed, cruelty and courage. By avoiding the kind of ideological posturing that usually distorts re-tellings of the conquest of the New World, Mr. Levy rightly focuses his reader’s attention on the story’s antagonists.

Cortés’s early life in Castile, before he headed off to the New World, was spent unpromisingly as a rogue and a wastrel. And in an era when most men were past their prime at age 40, he was already 34 when he left his farm on the island of Cuba to try to make direct contact with the native tribes on the Yucatan mainland. His hope was to trade for the one commodity that the Spanish in the New World could never get enough of: gold.

Others had tried what Cortés wanted to do, and failed. They died in shipwrecks or were captured and sold into slavery by the Indians. Cortés, though, had the advantage of iron resolve, a good mind and an instinct for seizing the initiative in a crisis. With his handful of men, three cannon and 15 horses, he overawed the first tribes he encountered. Realizing that the gold trinkets they offered him were only a hint of the wealth lying further west, he began his drive into the interior of Mexico, fighting and marching through scorching deserts and over ice-bound mountain passes. http://louis1j1sheehan1esquire2.blogspot.com
He did not stop until he reached the capital of the most feared people of the central Mexican valley, the Aztecs.

Cortés was a man of deep contradictions. A devout Catholic, he was horrified by the sights and sounds of Aztec worship: its human sacrifices and cannibalism, its skull racks, its idols draped with human body parts, its priests with their blood-clotted hair. But he was not above massacring his enemies or burning them at the stake. He was genuinely dazzled by his first sight of the Aztec capital, Tenochtitlán, with its tidy fields and gleaming stone causeways, a city of nearly a quarter-million people that was, he wrote in a letter to the Spanish king, more beautiful than any in Europe. Even so, he was ready to destroy it all to feed his desire for gold and to bend the Aztecs to his will.

If Cortés was a man of contradictions, Montezuma was not. Studious and conscientious, he had been trained for Aztec priesthood before becoming emperor in 1503 — the same year that Cortes set out from Spain for America. Montezuma believed in the rightness of his own convictions but also, it appears, in the importance of an open mind. As Mr. Levy shows, he always looked for ways to dispel a crisis by placating the feelings of all concerned. He would have made a fine college president.
http://louis7j7sheehan.blogspot.com
From his first meeting with Cortés in November 1519, though, he was desperately overmatched.

Montezuma hoped that, by giving Cortés magnificent gifts of gold and silver, he could make him go away. He made him want to stay instead. The Aztec ruler never quite shook off the suspicion that Cortés might be the Aztec god Quetzelcoatl returning home according to ancient prophesy — a suspicion that led Montezuma to want to treat the intrusive Spaniards as guests rather than a threat.

Cortés exploited Montezuma’s weakness without scruple, squeezing one concession after another out of him until, though outnumbered by more than 1,000-to-1, Cortés made him a hostage. When Montezuma had lost all credibility with his people and was no longer useful, Cortés cast him aside.
http://louis7j7sheehan.blogspot.com
Montezuma died a broken man — although probably not, Mr. Levy argues, at Cortes’s order. It is more likely that Montezuma died from wounds inflicted by his own subjects. When they saw him appear in chains and appeal for calm, they had bombarded him with stones and arrows. His weakness, they understood, had betrayed them to the Spanish.

Cortés wound up besieging Tenochtitlán, in alliance with Indian tribes who had cursed their lot under Aztec rule. By Aug. 31, 1521, the city was a smoldering ruin. Nearly 100,000 people died in the siege; another 100,000 died of smallpox — the disease that eventually tipped the demographic balance in favor of the Spaniards in the New World.

The Spanish would spend the next three centuries rebuilding and exploiting the lands they had devastated. Cortés got the wealth he wanted. By the time he died in 1547 he was a rich man, and America’s gold and silver had made Spain the world’s first superpower. Such riches would soon tempt others to devote men and resources to competing in the Western Hemisphere: Portugal, France, Holland, England. The history of Europe, and the world, would never be the same.

“It was Cortés, the consummate gambler,” Mr. Levy writes, “who staked high wagers and won.” Montezuma was the more lovable man. But his world has vanished into dust. The world Cortés made is still around us.

Ruth Greenglass, whose damning testimony in the Rosenberg atomic-bomb spy case of the early 1950s helped lead to the execution of her sister-in-law Ethel Rosenberg, died on April 7. She was 84.

Mrs. Greenglass’s testimony was later called into question.

Along with her husband, David Greenglass — Ethel’s brother and a central figure in the case — Mrs. Greenglass had lived in the New York metropolitan area under an assumed name for more than four decades. Her death was revealed in court papers on June 23.

That day, in an unexpected response to a suit by historians, the federal government agreed to release secret grand jury testimony, 57 years after Julius and Ethel Rosenberg were convicted of conspiracy to commit espionage. The government, however, consented to release the testimony of only 35 of the 45 witnesses; those who are dead or have consented to the release. Mrs. Greenglass was listed as one of the deceased; her death was confirmed by the United States Attorney’s Office in Manhattan and through Social Security records. Mr. Greenglass survives her.

The Rosenberg investigation can be traced to 1945, when a Soviet cipher clerk, Igor Gouzenko, defected to the West and stunned intelligence officials by revealing that the Russians were engaged in extensive spying against their wartime allies.
http://louis6j6sheehan.blogspot.com At the time, David Greenglass was an Army sergeant assigned as a machinist to the Manhattan Project, the program to develop the atomic bomb, at Los Alamos, N.M.

When Mr. Rosenberg, an avowed Communist, found out about his brother-in-law’s assignment, he recruited Mr. Greenglass to gather information about the Manhattan Project, including documents, handwritten notes, sketches of the bomb and the names of scientists.

One afternoon in September 1945, in the Rosenberg apartment in Knickerbocker Village on the Lower East Side of Manhattan, Mr. Greenglass dictated his notes to someone sitting before a Remington typewriter. Who was sitting at that typewriter, Ethel Rosenberg or Ruth Greenglass? Fifty-seven years after the Rosenberg trial the question remains.

In 1950, after confessing to his role as a spy, Mr. Greenglass agreed to testify against the Rosenbergs. At the time, he had not yet been sentenced.

A main element in the prosecution was the threat of indictment, conviction and possible execution of Ethel Rosenberg as leverage to persuade Julius Rosenberg to confess and to implicate other collaborators. http://louis1j1sheehan1esquire.blogspot.com

Those collaborators had already been identified, largely from what became known as the Venona transcripts, a trove of intercepted Soviet cables.

But with little more than a week before the trial was to start, on March 6, 1951, the government’s case against Mrs. Rosenberg remained flimsy, lacking evidence of an overt act to justify her conviction, much less her execution.

Prosecutors had been interrogating Mrs. Greenglass since June 1950. In February 1951, she was interviewed again. After reminding her that she was still subject to indictment and that her husband had yet to be sentenced, the prosecutors extracted a recollection from her: that in the fall of 1945, Ethel Rosenberg had typed her brother’s handwritten notes.

Soon after, confronted with his wife’s account, Mr. Greenglass told prosecutors that Mrs. Greenglass had a very good memory and that if that was what she recalled of events six years earlier, she was probably right.

The transcripts of those two crucial interviews have never been released or even located in government files. But at the trial, Mr. Greenglass testified that his sister had done the typing. Called to the stand, Mrs. Greenglass corroborated her husband’s testimony.

In his summation, the chief prosecutor, Irving Saypol, declared: “This description of the atom bomb, destined for delivery to the Soviet Union, was typed up by the defendant Ethel Rosenberg that afternoon at her apartment at 10 Monroe Street. Just so had she, on countless other occasions, sat at that typewriter and struck the keys, blow by blow, against her own country in the interests of the Soviets.”

On June 19, 1953, the Rosenbergs were put to death in the electric chair at Sing Sing.

It may never be determined who actually took that dictation. But in the late 1990s, Sam Roberts, a reporter for The New York Times, interviewed Mr. Greenglass for more than 50 hours while doing research for a book, “The Brother: The Untold Story of the Rosenberg Case” (Random House, 2003).

In the book, Mr. Roberts recounts how Mr. Greenglass acknowledged for the first time that he had lied on the stand and that he had no recollection that his sister had typed his notes.

“I frankly think my wife did the typing, but I don’t remember,” Mr. Greenglass told Mr. Roberts.

“You know, I seldom use the word ‘sister’ anymore; I’ve just wiped it out of my mind,” Mr. Greenglass continued, adding: “My wife put her in it. So what am I going to do, call my wife a liar? My wife is my wife.”

Ruth Leah Printz was born on either April 30 or May 1, 1924 (official records differ), the eldest of four children of Max and Tillie Leiter Printz. Growing up on the Lower East Side, she and David Greenglass were neighbors and childhood sweethearts. After graduating with honors from Seward Park High School at 16, she was ready to go to college. But her mother insisted that she learn how to type.

At the time of the Rosenberg trial, Mrs. Greenglass was working as a legal stenographer for Louis J. Lefkowitz, a Republican assemblyman from the Lower East Side, who later became the New York State attorney general. http://louis6j6sheehan.blogspot.com
She was fired.

After serving 10 years of a 15-year sentence, Mr. Greenglass was released from federal prison in 1960. In return for her and her husband’s cooperation in the Rosenberg case, Mrs. Greenglass was not indicted.

her2

July 12, 2008

Monogram Biosciences Inc. said it will begin offering a new test next week to diagnose patients with a very aggressive form of breast cancer.

The HERmark test, which will cost $3,350, will require that physicians send a biopsy sample to Monogram in South San Francisco, Calif. The service is to begin July 15.

Separately the Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday approved another new test for aggressive breast cancer called the SPOT-Light test by Invitrogen Corp. of Carlsbad, Calif. A spokeswoman said the test kits will be sold to hospital laboratories for about $1,400 for a packet of 20 kits.

Unlike Invitrogen’s test which is sold as a kit, Monogram’s HERmark test will be marketed as a service performed at its laboratories. Such tests are certified by a route different from the FDA, under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the company said. http://Louissheehan.BraveDiary.com

The new tests reflect the growing business of developing diagnostics that help doctors determine which patients are more likely to respond to often costly treatments and spare those who aren’t likely to be helped the cost and side effects that can accompany the drugs.

The new tests check patients for a form of cancer known as HER2-positive breast cancer because the tumor cells overproduce a protein called HER2. As many as a third of the breast-cancer cases in the U.S. — or 60,000 cases a year — are driven to aggressive spread by overactive HER2 genes, Monogram said.

Such cancers don’t respond well to conventional treatment, but are treatable with drugs such as Genentech Inc.’s Herceptin, or GlaxoSmithKline’s Tykerb. Abbott Laboratories and Dako Denmark A/S also market HER2 tests.

“The best methods to assess HER2 status remain controversial. We need to find better tests,” said Edith Perez, professor of medicine and chairperson of the breast cancer program for the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville. She said further studies are needed to correlate new testing technologies with patient outcomes.

About 182,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and 40,000 will die from it according to the American Cancer Society.

The new tests begin with a patient’s tumor samples, but use different technologies to assess HER2 activity. Invitrogen’s test counts copies of the HER2 gene, while Monogram’s test checks for levels of HER2 protein churned out by those genes. Monogram Biosciences Inc. said it will begin offering a new test next week to diagnose patients with a very aggressive form of breast cancer.

The HERmark test, which will cost $3,350, will require that physicians send a biopsy sample to Monogram in South San Francisco, Calif. The service is to begin July 15.

Separately the Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday approved another new test for aggressive breast cancer called the SPOT-Light test by Invitrogen Corp. of Carlsbad, Calif. http://louis-j-sheehan.biz
A spokeswoman said the test kits will be sold to hospital laboratories for about $1,400 for a packet of 20 kits.

Unlike Invitrogen’s test which is sold as a kit, Monogram’s HERmark test will be marketed as a service performed at its laboratories. Such tests are certified by a route different from the FDA, under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA) by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, the company said.

The new tests reflect the growing business of developing diagnostics that help doctors determine which patients are more likely to respond to often costly treatments and spare those who aren’t likely to be helped the cost and side effects that can accompany the drugs.

The new tests check patients for a form of cancer known as HER2-positive breast cancer because the tumor cells overproduce a protein called HER2. As many as a third of the breast-cancer cases in the U.S. — or 60,000 cases a year — are driven to aggressive spread by overactive HER2 genes, Monogram said.

Such cancers don’t respond well to conventional treatment, but are treatable with drugs such as Genentech Inc.’s Herceptin, or GlaxoSmithKline’s Tykerb. Abbott Laboratories and Dako Denmark A/S also market HER2 tests.

“The best methods to assess HER2 status remain controversial. We need to find better tests,” said Edith Perez, professor of medicine and chairperson of the breast cancer program for the Mayo Clinic in Jacksonville. She said further studies are needed to correlate new testing technologies with patient outcomes.

About 182,000 women will be diagnosed with breast cancer this year and 40,000 will die from it according to the American Cancer Society. http://Louis2J2Sheehan2Esquire.US

The new tests begin with a patient’s tumor samples, but use different technologies to assess HER2 activity. Invitrogen’s test counts copies of the HER2 gene, while Monogram’s test checks for levels of HER2 protein churned out by those genes.

socrates 1905791100

July 10, 2008
Product Description
The problem of Socrates concerns the nature of the philosophy and personality of a major thinker who did not himself write anything. While this fact confronts anyone considering his intellectual biography, compensation comes by way of the particularly authentic sources, such as Plato’s Dialogues and Xenophon’s Apology. The early dialogues of Plato, who was born around the same time as Xenophon, are concerned with the portrayal of Socrates as a character and a philosopher. It is from Plato that Socrates has come down to us in familiar form as the great thinker with an ugly body but a beautiful mind, a man who was sociable and convivial, with a lifestyle that not exclude the erotic but yet was austere and morally compelling. Socrates is presented as a talker, a thinker who thought and taught through the spoken word. Plato’s dialogues bring Socrates the conversationalist to life while presenting scholars with complex problems of differentiating the views of Socrates from those of Plato himself. A biography of the Socrates must begin with an account of the social and political world in which he lived. The ancient world of Greece is the broader canvas with which one needs some acquaintance. The social, political and cultural currents flowing through fifth century Athens are inseparable from an understanding of the events and attitudes that Socrates examined and intellectually dissected. http://louis2j2sheehan2esquire2.blogspot.com

About the Author
Sean Sheehan has written many guidebooks, mainly on his native Ireland, but also accessible introductions to philosophy, such as Wittgenstein – Headway Guides for Beginners, and the Classics, like Ancient Greece – Cultural Atlas for Young People.