Health, Medicine & Nutrition
New Stem Cell Biobank Partnership to Accelerate Drug Discovery PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Eric Branstad   
Tuesday, 08 January 2013 11:40

Coralville, IA.  January 8, 2013.  Cellular Engineering Technologies Inc. (CET), a stem cell biotech company, and the non-profit John Paul II Medical Research Institute (JP2MRI) announce a partnership to develop a private stem cell biobank.  CET, a biomanufacturer of human stem cells, is collaborating with the JP2MRI to create over 5,000 patient and disease-specific stem cell lines and other human cell lines to advance drug discovery, offer personalized medicine, and biomanufacturing.  These cell lines are derived from adult sources and do not include embryonic stem cells.

A stem cell biobank will help overcome the greatest obstacle to offering personalized medicine and will accelerate the search for effective treatments.  It will do so by enabling drug testing on patient specific stem cells, in contrast to the currently used models involving animal testing and clinical trials that are vastly more expensive and time consuming.  The biobank stem cell lines will serve as models to better predict the outcome of drug therapy in patients and dramatically advance research to bring new treatments to market sooner and at less cost.  The need to create a stem cell biobank of human somatic stem cells, induced pluripotent stem (IPS) cells, and other critical human cell lines is underscored by some sobering statistics.  The annual rate of FDA-approved drugs has declined while the research and development cost has significantly increased.  The cost of bringing a drug to market is currently more than one billion dollars and takes over ten years.  A new heart drug has a 20 percent chance of succeeding in a clinical trial and a new cancer drug has only an 8 percent chance of succeeding.

CET manufactures a variety of human somatic stem cells, induced pluripotent stem (IPS) cells, cancer cells, and specialized tissue culture media to grow and differentiate stem cells.  CET has also introduced its contract manufacturing service to develop IPS cell lines for scientists.  IPS cells are unique stem cells that are created by genetically reprogramming a patient’s own cell into very primitive pluripotent stem cells that can differentiate into more than 200 specialized cells.  Dr. Alan Moy, CEO and Co-Founder of CET said, “The collaboration with the JP2MRI will allow CET to provide scientists with the tools to accelerate drug discovery and advance personalized medicine.

The CET and JP2MRI partnership will eliminate the barriers that typically impact government and academic biobanks because stem cell donations will come directly from patients recruited from private practice doctors and private hospitals.  Jay Kamath, CEO of the JP2MRI, commented, “The Institute has launched its Give Cures program that has created a network of doctors in several private clinics and hospitals around the country to recruit patients to procure tissue to create the stem cell lines.  The program is currently recruiting patients with genetic diseases, cancer, and disorders like Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s disease so that industry, government, and academia can be more productive in their drug discovery efforts.”

Doctors and patients are invited to visit the JP2MRI website (www.jp2mri.org) and sign-up on the Clinical Provider Registry or Patient Registry.  Everyone is invited to share the Give Cures flyer (www.givecures.org) so more people will know how they can advance the adult stem cell research mission of JP2MRI.

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About Cellular Engineering Technologies, Inc.  CET is a stem cell biotech company co-founded by Dr. Alan Moy and whose mission is to fundamentally transform patient therapy by making drug discovery and the biomanufacturing process quicker, less expensive, more personalized, innovative, and regenerative through the use of human cells.  CET’s manufacturing facility is located in Coralville, IA.

About the John Paul II Medical Research Institute.  The John Paul II Medical Research Institute (JP2MRI) is a non-profit research institute whose mission is to advance ethical medical research and education with human somatic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells.  The Institute's goal is to reduce the barriers of translating basic research into clinical research.  This is accomplished by coordinating research activities between the Institute, academia, and industry to find treatment solutions for patients that could benefit from adult stem cell therapy.  The Institute is located in Iowa City, IA.

 
Cut the salt, be good to your heart! PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Alexson Calahan   
Tuesday, 08 January 2013 08:47

Change your salty ways in only 21 days

American Heart Association/American Stroke Association launches Sodium Swap Challenge on Jan. 7th

(DES MOINES, IOWA) – Sodium – the everyday meal offender that might make your face feel puffy and your jeans look, and feel, tighter.  Did you know that by reducing your sodium intake during a three week period you can change your sodium palate and start enjoying foods with less sodium?  On Jan. 7, step up to the plate, re-charge your taste buds and give your heart-health a boost with the new Sodium Swap Challenge from the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.

The average American consumes about 3,400 milligrams of sodium a day – more than twice the 1,500 milligrams recommended by the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association.  Changing your salty ways may be difficult, especially since you have acquired a taste for salt, but don’t worry – making the swap or taking the challenge doesn’t have to be hard.  With the help of the Salty Six (common foods that may be loaded with excess sodium that can increase your risk of heart disease), you’ll be able to identify, and keep track of, top food culprits.

"To get started with the association's challenge, we ask that consumers get familiar with the food labels and nutrition facts for  the foods they eat  and track their sodium consumption over the first two days to get an  idea of how much they are eating, which I'm sure will be surprising to  many people." Says Interventional Cardiologist at the University of Iowa, Phillip Horwitz, MD "Then, over the course of the next three weeks, consumers will use the Salty Six as their guide to help lower their sodium intake."

Here’s an outline of how you can kick-off your own Sodium Swap Challenge:

-         Week 1 – Start by tackling your consumption of breads and rolls as well as cold cuts and cured meats.  For example, one piece of bread can have as much as 230 milligrams of sodium while a serving of turkey cold cuts could contain as much as 1,050 milligrams of sodium.  When your recommended daily intake is kept to 1,500 milligrams or less, it’s amazing how fast it all adds up.  Check your labels on these items, look for lower sodium items and track your sodium consumption each day and log how much you’ve shaved out of your diet. Portion control does make a difference.  Foods eaten several times a day add up to a lot of sodium even though each serving is not high.

-         Week 2 – Keep that momentum going!  This week’s foods include pizza and poultry.  If you’re going to eat pizza, try to aim for one with less cheese and meats or lower sodium versions of these items or try something different and add veggies instead.  When cooking for your family this week use fresh, skinless poultry that is not enhanced with sodium solution rather than fried or processed.  Keep your eyes on the 1,500 milligrams of sodium each day and, again, log your results.

-         Week 3 – As you round out your challenge and embark on the last week of your challenge, your focus includes soups and sandwiches.  The two together typically make a tasty lunch or dinner duo, but one cup of chicken noodle or tomato soup may have up to 940 milligrams – it varies by brand --and, after you add all of your meats, cheeses and condiments to your sandwich, you can easily surpass  1,500 milligrams in one day.  This week, when choosing a soup, check the label and try lower sodium varieties of your favorites and make your sandwiches with lower sodium meats and cheeses and try to eliminate piling on your condiments.  Be sure to track your sodium and try to keep your daily consumption to less than 1,500 milligrams.

By the end of the challenge you should start to notice a change in the way your food tastes and how you feel after you eat. You might even start to lean towards lower sodium options and will be aware of how much sodium you are consuming in a day – keeping that sight on the goal of only having no more than 1,500 milligrams in a day and controlling the portion sizes of your meals.

As you start jotting down your grocery list, or planning your next meal out, be sure to keep the Salty Six in mind and look for the Heart-Check mark on products in your local grocery story and menu items in restaurants.  Products that are certified by the Heart-Check Food Certification Program meet nutritional criteria for heart-healthy foods and can help keep you on track during your challenge.  (www.heartcheckmark.org)

Making an effort to reduce the sodium in your diet will help you feel better and will help you live a heart-healthier life.  Take time to educate yourself and lean more from others.  Explore links to tasty recipes, get shopping tips, access tools and resources and share your personal Sodium Swap successes on our Facebook page: www.facebook.com/americanheart and click on the Sodium Swap tab.  For further sodium tips, resources and encouragement during your own Sodium Swap Challenge visit www.heart.org/sodium.

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About the American Heart Association/American Stroke Association’s Sodium Reduction Efforts

The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is committed to improving cardiovascular health of the whole population as part of its 2020 impact goal.   Successful sodium reduction is just one of the contributing factors to this goal and requires action and partnership at all levels—individuals, healthcare providers, professional organizations, public health agencies, governments, and industry.  The association urges a renewed and intensive focus on this critically important public health issue. The American Heart Association/American Stroke Association is actively working toward a population-wide reduction in sodium intake.  For more information on the association’s sodium reduction efforts, visit www.heart.org/sodium

 
Fighting Fat with Fat: Update on Atkins Diet PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Monday, 07 January 2013 12:54
Colleague of Celebrity Dietician Shares FAQ
on Low-Carb Diets

When Dr. John Salerno – a protégé of “Atkins Diet” creator Dr. Robert Atkins – testified before the U.S.D.A. about plans for its most recent Food Pyramid revision, he spoke his mind: The food industry is corrupt and has supported recommendations that do not support the population’s health.

“Hidden sugar, preservatives and highly processed white starch are what are really causing our health epidemic in the United States,” says Salerno, author of “The Silver Cloud Diet,” (www.thesilverclouddiet.com). “Obesity, diabetes, heart disease, cancer and Alzheimer’s disease are killing this country, and it’s not because people are eating too much organic natural fats.”

Since the initial popularity of the Atkins food plan some years ago, however, there have been critics of the low-carbohydrate diet. The science was and is sound, says Dr. Salerno, who worked closely with Atkins on research. The problem was that the diet itself was not sustainable.

“The basic principles needed revision both to make the diet sustainable and to take into account the foods available today,” he says.

How does a low-carb diet work? Salerno answers the most frequently asked questions:

• How is a low-carb diet today different from the Dr. Atkins plan? Thirty years ago, the food supply was less degraded. Now, low-carb dieters have to be more proactive about selecting chemical-free foods that are not highly processed. There are many more farming techniques today that introduce unnatural elements into our meats and vegetables, and there are many, many more highly processed foods on store shelves. We need to be vigilant about preservatives and additives; hormone-infused meat can wreak havoc on a body.

• What’s the first step? The Fat Fast Detox quickly puts one’s body into fat-burning mode. Adhering to the carb-free diet for two weeks will have participants losing five to 15 pounds and two inches from the waistline. Breakfast, for example, could include two large organic eggs and a side of bacon, sausage or ham, which can be washed down with coffee or tea with cream and sweetener.

• What about eating out? Sustaining a low-carb diet is pretty simple when eating at restaurants. Take the burger out of the bread and skip the French fries. You’re good to go with grilled fish, roast chicken, pot roast, pork tenderloin, shrimp, scallops and pates.

• How can you eat on the run? A small amount of planning goes a long way. Boil eggs and keep them on hand for long car trips and office snacking. Add to that list jerky salmon, nuts and string cheese. These foods are dense with nutrients.

• Where can you find “clean” foods? Buy as “close to the ground” as possible, meaning choose organic produce, eggs and dairy. Inquire at farmer’s markets where they grow crops. Find a local provider for meats and fish if possible.

• Can you eat cake on a low-carb diet? As your health and vitality improves with lost weight and increased activity, you can introduce more carbohydrates into your diet.

• Are low-carb meals safe for family members who do not need to lose weight? What’s good for you – a broad and varied diet of unprocessed foods – is good for your family!

• When is the diet over? Eating foods that are healthy, unprocessed and natural is something you should never stop doing. However, if you feel you’re starting to gain excess weight, go on a detox regimen by cutting out carbs completely for one week.

• So, fat is good for you? Natural fat is the most nutrient-dense food there is. It’s lubricates your joints and helps your brain function at its best. It also keeps your hair shiny and helps prevent wrinkles. When you cut out processed carbs from your diet, you don’t need to worry about natural fat, which is an appetite suppressant.

About Dr. John Salerno

A board-certified family physician, Dr. John Salerno has been pioneering complementary medicine for more than 20 years. Best known for his Silver Cloud Diet nutrition program, anti-aging supplements, and natural therapies, Dr. Salerno has crafted original treatment plans to restore human health. His publications and professional studies have made him a popular expert on the physiology and assessment of many complex medical conditions. Dr. Salerno was a protégé and colleague of prestigious Dr. Robert Atkins and has worked with Hollywood actress/author Suzanne Somers (bioidentical hormone replacement therapy pioneer); actor Steven Cannell; and president of the International Congress of Integrative Medicine, Dr. Hiroyuki Abe M.D.

 
Finding Healing, Renewal in 2013 PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ginny Grimsley   
Friday, 04 January 2013 13:25
By: Caroline Flohr

As a new year dawns, many Americans still grieve losses experienced in 2012. For some, it’s very personal – the death of a parent, spouse or child. Others mourn the  lives lost in one of the many tragedies we experienced together as a nation.

As a mother of a 16-year-old twin daughter killed in a car accident involving eight teenagers, I assure those of you who are still coming to terms with your loss and grief – it is possible to journey from the unimaginable to acceptance and a spiritual peace. I urge you to embrace the healing power of family and community, love and faith. You will be surprised at how it can transform you.

You can find renewal in this new year.

I have learned that death defines not the end, but a beginning. I have learned that, by weaving tragedy into the fabric of our lives, we can be stronger, spiritually richer and, yes, even happier for it.

Here are some of the milestones I experienced on my journey to inner peace:

• Deeper meaning: Through the death of someone so important, you will be changed. The question is how you will be changed. Will you grow, or become diminished? I grew with the realization that death – so often viewed as an end – is just the beginning of another phase of existence. One of my favorite quotes is from poet Rabindranath Tagore: Death is not extinguishing the light. It is putting out the lamp because dawn has come.

• Celebrate life: When the bereaved are able to look at the life of a person who has passed and see more beauty than pain, they should rejoice. The reality of a person’s absence will always have an element of sadness, but the joy of  wonderful memories is even more powerful. When loved ones leave this Earth, graces are given to those relationships left behind. These are gifts. When we can acknowledge them, our lives can expand in the present.

• Ready for anything: Once you’ve experienced the worst and pulled through, you know you will be able to weather just about any adversity. Maya Angelou wrote, ‘“You may encounter many defeats, but you must not be defeated. In fact, it may be necessary to encounter the defeats, so you can know who you are, what you can rise from, how you can still come out of it.” Have faith in that inner strength we all harbor.

• Appreciate what you have: Life as we know it will come to an end. This includes everyone we know, love and care about; it’s a fact that we often forget, and it’s as startling to remember as it is true. Come good or bad, we do not know what the future will bring, which means we should take every opportunity to fully embrace the present, and our loved ones.

About Caroline Flohr

Caroline Flohr is the author of “Heaven’s Child,” www.heavenschild.com. It details her  spiritual journey beginning with the sudden death of 16-year-old twin daughter, Sarah. Flohr was forced to dig into the deeper meaning of existence and came away with profound edification and appreciation for the gifts left behind by those who leave us. Flohr lives with her husband and children on Bainbridge Island, a suburb of Seattle.

 
Make regular blood donation a New Year’s resolution PDF Print E-mail
News Releases - Health, Medicine & Nutrition
Written by Ben Corey   
Friday, 04 January 2013 13:22

PEORIA, Ill. (Jan. 4, 2013) — With the beginning of a new year comes a fresh start. New Year’s resolutions are often made to form good habits and reach new goals. This New Year’s, the American Red Cross encourages people to resolve to help patients in need through regular blood donations.

As the winter season continues, blood donations are especially needed. Donations typically decline this time of year, as many regular donors are impacted by inclement weather and seasonal illnesses.

There is no better resolution to make this New Year’s than to help save lives with the Red Cross. Give the gift of life and help give patients another year with their loved ones. Make an appointment to donate blood at redcrossblood.org or 1-800-RED CROSS.

Upcoming blood donation opportunities:

Carroll County
Jan. 18 from 8:30 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. at Milledgeville High School, Highway 40 in Milledgeville, Ill.

Clinton County
Jan. 19 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at American Red Cross, 1220 13th Ave. North in Clinton, Iowa

Jan. 24 from 2-6 p.m. at United Methodist Church, 621 S. Third St. in Clinton, Iowa

Jan. 25 from 10 a.m. to 1 p.m. at Ashford University, 400 N. Bluff in Clinton, Iowa

Jan. 30 from 12-6 p.m. at Northeast High School, 3690 Highway 136 in Goose Lake, Iowa

Henry County
Jan. 23 from 1:15-5:15 p.m. at First Christian Church, 105 Dwight St. in Kewanee, Ill.

Jan. 23 from 2-7 p.m. at Alwood Elementary School, 101 E. A St. in Alpha, Ill.

Mercer County
Jan. 17 from 1-5 p.m. at Alexis Community Center, 204 W. Palmer Ave. in Alexis, Ill.

Jan. 22 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Mercer County Hospital, 409 NW Ninth Ave. in Aledo, Ill.

Rock Island County
Jan. 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Quad City International Airport, 2200 69th Ave. in Moline, Ill.

Whiteside County
Jan. 16 from 2-6 p.m. at Rock Falls Blood Donation Center, 112 W. Second St. in Rock Falls, Ill.

Jan. 18 from 3-7 p.m. at CGH Medical Center, 100 E. LeFevre Road in Sterling, Ill.

Jan. 19 from 6 a.m. to 12 p.m. at CGH Medical Center, 100 E. LeFevre Road in Sterling, Ill.

Jan. 22 from 1-5:15 p.m. at River Bend Senior Center, 912 Fourth St. in Fulton, Ill.

Jan. 23 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Rock Falls Blood Donation Center, 112 W. Second St. in Rock Falls, Ill.

Jan. 24 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at Halo Branded Solutions, 1980 Industrial Drive in Sterling, Ill.

Jan. 26 from 7:30-10:30 a.m. at Rock Falls Blood Donation Center, 112 W. Second St. in Rock Falls, Ill.

Jan. 29 from 1-5:15 p.m. at River Bend Senior Center, 912 Fourth St. in Fulton, Ill.

Jan. 30 from 2-6 p.m. at Rock Falls Blood Donation Center, 112 W. Second St. in Rock Falls, Ill.

How to donate blood
Simply call 1-800-RED CROSS (1-800-733-2767) or visit redcrossblood.org to make an appointment or for more information. All blood types are needed to ensure a reliable supply for patients. A blood donor card or driver’s license or two other forms of identification are required at check-in. Individuals who are 17 years of age (16 with parental consent in some states), weigh at least 110 pounds and are in generally good health may be eligible to donate blood. High school students and other donors 18 years of age and younger also have to meet certain height and weight requirements.

About the American Red Cross
The American Red Cross shelters, feeds and provides emotional support to victims of disasters; supplies about 40 percent of the nation’s blood; teaches skills that save lives; provides international humanitarian aid; and supports military members and their families. The Red Cross is a not-for-profit organization that depends on volunteers and the generosity of the American public to perform its mission. For more information, please visit redcross.org or join our blog at http://blog.redcross.org.

The need is constant. The gratification is instant. Give blood.™

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