Posts Tagged ‘medicine’

Finally: Some Good Photos of the Ray and Dagmar Dolby Regeneration Medicine CIRM WORM Building at UCSF

Thursday, April 14th, 2011

Now I took some shots of the Ray and Dagmar Dolby Regeneration Medicine CIRM WORM Building at UCSF over Turkey Day weekend last year as I was coming down the hill, but, at long last, let’s see some good photos from Rafael Viñoly Architects.

Right here.

That’s what it looks like.

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For the record….

WWW.SmokeFreeMovies.UCSF.EDU What? Apparently, UCSF Doesn’t Want CA to Subsidize Films that Depict Smoking

Wednesday, February 23rd, 2011

Did you know that the state of California subsidizes movie production Down Hollywood Way to the tune of $100,000,000 a year? Well, some people want the Sacramento to cut off this source of movie funding for films that depict smoking, that’s the news of the day.

Did The Social Network glamorize smoking as far as you remember? I don’t recall, but it will win a few Oscars on Sunday so it’s as good a target as any, I s’pose. Here’s the closest I could find to a still that has somebody smoking:

(Hey, why does California subsidize film production in the first place? Shouldn’t Jerry Brown or somebody cut off this kind of corporate welfare tout de suite?)

All the deets, here and after the jump:

California Health Experts Fault State’s $100 Million Movie Subsidy, Ask for Reform - L.A. County’s health chief and the chair of California’s expert committee on tobacco control want future film projects with smoking made ineligible for millions in California tax credits

SAN FRANCISCO, Feb. 23, 2011 — Should California taxpayers invest millions of dollars to prevent youth smoking, then hand millions to studios whose films promote youth smoking?

That’s the contradiction spotlighted in separate letters to the California Film Commission released today from Jonathan Fielding, MD, director of L.A. County’s Department of Public Health, and Michael Ong, MD, chair of the Tobacco Education and Research Oversight Committee, which is mandated by the legislature to guide state tobacco prevention efforts.

Dr. Fielding’s letter, dated January 14, notes that two recent Sony blockbusters, The Social Network and Burlesque, both rated PG-13 and featuring tobacco imagery, qualified for more than $12 million in California tax credits through a $100 million a year program that began its payouts on January 1, 2011. (The two films have grossed $135 million so far.) “Any benefit that tobacco-related subsidies for films might have for California’s interstate competitiveness must be balanced against proven, catastrophic ‘collateral damage’ to young audiences and long-term health costs to the state,” the letter says.

Dr. Ong’s letter, dated February 18, reports that “approximately 44 percent of adolescent smoking initiation can be attributed to exposure to onscreen smoking” and 100,000 high school students in California are currently smokers as a result of this exposure. “It is unconscionable that one state program threatens to undermine our state’s public health achievements and goals, our investment in tobacco prevention, and our savings in health care costs, particularly in a time of declining state revenues,” the letter says.

Both letters urge that future film projects with smoking be made ineligible for taxpayer subsidies in California. Similar reforms are advocated by health groups in New York, New Mexico, Ontario and British Columbia, all major sources of film production subsidies. In 2008, U.S. states granted an estimated $500 million in production subsidies to youth-rated films with smoking, rivaling the $518 million they will spend for tobacco prevention in 2011.

Also today, the Smoke Free Movies campaign based at University of California, San Francisco, published a full-page ad in Variety and The Hollywood Reporter noting that two-thirds of Oscar®-nominated films this year include smoking and forty percent of these are rated PG or PG-13. The ad centers on the new animated film Rango (Viacom: Paramount and Nickelodeon) opening March 4. Headline: “How many studio execs did it take to OK smoking in a ‘PG’ movie?” California already makes animated films ineligible for public subsidy. The ad can be seen at www.smokefreemovies.ucsf.edu/ourads/index.html.

SOURCE University of California, San Francisco, Smoke Free Movies Initiative

University of California, San Francisco, Smoke Free Movies Initiative

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The Retro Sport of the Current Recession – Playing HooverBall in Golden Gate Park

Wednesday, October 7th, 2009

They played Hoover Ball back in the Depression, so it’s only fitting that the kids of San Francisco are playing this volleyball-like game in 2009.

That’s not a volleyball, it’s a medicine ball!

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Heavy, man.

Another Nobel Prize for UC San Francisco – Dr. Elizabeth Blackburn Brings Home the Gold

Monday, October 5th, 2009

Here she is, America’s newest Nobel Prize winner: UCSF‘s Elizabeth H. Blackburn, Ph.D:

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They’ll be partying hard today down at the Mission Bay campus. The celebration in Genentech Hall starts in just a few minutes and they’ll have a full-blown news conference this afternoon.

Wow! First Oprah and now this.  

Of course Elizabeth wouldn’t want to leave out her co-winners, so let’s give a shout out to Carol W. Greider of Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine and Jack W. Szostak of Harvard Medical School.

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It’s going to be on!

Congratulations to Elizabeth and everybody at the University of California, San Francisco

Fiat Lux, baby!

THE DISCOVERY OF THE TELOMERASE ENZYME

The scientists discovered an enzyme that plays a key role in normal cell function, as well as in cell aging and most cancers.  The enzyme is called telomerase and it produces tiny units of DNA that seal off the ends of chromosomes, which contain the body’s genes. These DNA units – named telomeres—protect the integrity of the genes and maintain chromosomal stability and accurate cell division.  They also determine the number of times a cell divides—and thus determine the lifespan of cells.

Telomerase is pronounced (tel-AH-mer-AZE). Telomere is pronounced (TEEL-oh-mere).

The research sparked a whole field of inquiry into the possibility that telomerase could be activated to treat such age-related diseases as blindness, cardiovascular disease and neurodegenerative diseases, and deactivated to treat cancer, in which the enzyme generally is overactive.

In recent years, Blackburn and colleagues have explored the possibility that life stress, the perception of life stress and lifestyle behaviors could take a toll on telomerase and telomeres. They have reported several studies with human participants, suggesting a correlation. The findings may offer insight, at the cellular level, into the impact of stress on early onset of age-related diseases.

The scientists were named to receive the prize “for the discovery of how chromosomes are protected by telomeres and the telomerase enzyme,” according to the Nobel committee in Stockholm, Sweden.

Evolution of discovery

Blackburn’s road to discovery traces back to 1975 to 1977, when she was a postdoctoral fellow at Yale University. There, working with Joseph Gall, she discovered the unusual nature of telomeres, with their simple, repeated DNA sequences comprising chromosome ends. The work was published in 1978.

With Szostak, she established that these DNA repeats stabilize chromosomes inside cells. They also predicted the existence of an enzyme that would add the sequences to the ends of chromosomes.

In 1985, while a professor at University of California, Berkeley, Blackburn and her then-graduate student Greider reported the discovery of such an enzyme, which they named telomerase. Their research showed that in some organisms, such as the single-celled pond dweller Tetrahymena, telomerase continuously replenishes the chromosome’s telomeric tips. In humans, however, researchers, including Blackburn and her group, showed that telomerase is damped down at certain times in the lives of many types of cells, limiting their ability to self-replenish.

With this discovery, scientists saw the possibility of exploring whether, in humans, the enzyme could be reactivated to prolong cell life to treat age-related diseases, and deactivated to interrupt cancers.

Blackburn joined the UCSF faculty in 1990 and is the Morris Herzstein Endowed Chair in Biology and Physiology in the Department of Biochemistry and Biophysics.

She is the fourth UCSF scientist to win the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.
A native of Australia, Blackburn has lived in the United States since 1975, and is a naturalized citizen of the United States as of September 2003.

She lives in San Francisco with her husband, John Sedat, PhD, a professor of biochemistry and biophysics at UCSF. They have one son, Benjamin.

UCSF is a leading university dedicated to promoting health worldwide through advanced biomedical research, graduate-level education in the life sciences and health professions, and excellence in patient care.

Play Volleyball with a Medicine Ball – It’s HooverBall in San Francisco

Sunday, June 15th, 2008

The sport of Hooverball has found it’s way to San Francisco.

Hoover-ball is a medicine ball game invented by Herbert Hoover‘s personal physician to help keep then-President Hoover fit. In general, the game is played on a volleyball type court of grass or sand and involves throwing a heavily weighted medicine ball over the net. Officially, in Hoover-ball, the medicine type ball weighs about six pounds, and is thrown over an eight-foot volleyball type net.

Here’s what HB looks like in action. Check out some more short videos here and here.

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Click to expand. Throwing around the old six-pound medicine ball in the Panhandle section of Golden Gate Park in San Francisco.

What’s holding you back? Start your own league today. Amazon will sell you a ball for like ten bucks.

Game on!