Professional Writer of Profiles, Science, Food, Entertainment and Business
All banner images were taken by Carma Spence. They rotate randomly.

Of “Monster” Genes and Sane Scientists

Article from CityLink, February 1998, pg 2. Published by City of Hope National Medical Center, Office of Public and Government Affairs, 1500 East Duarte Road, Duarte, CA 91010 Download the formatted version here. Of “Monster” Genes and Sane Scientists Part II of “City of Hope Builds World-Class Genetics Program” This is the second article in a series on City of Hope’s efforts to define the leading edge of genetics research. The series introduces several recently recruited geneticists and molecular biologists, and the programs they were developing. Together, these programs form the foundation for a comprehensive approach to genetic research and treatment–one that will lead City of Hope into the 21st Century. A monster is being studied in the laboratories of the Rose and Howard Fox Research Plaza–a “monster” gene that is. The Ataxia Telangiectasia Foundation (ATF) recently awarded a two-year, $50,000 grant to Steve S. Sommer, MD, PhD, director of

Pioneering Researcher Reflects on the Past and Looks to the Future

An article published in Cancer Center Research Report, Spring/Summer 1996, pp 13-15, by City of Hope Clinical Cancer Research Center and the Beckman Research Institute. Download the formatted version here. Pioneering Researcher Reflects on the Past and Looks to the Future –Susumu Ohno, DVM, PhD, DSc, Distinguished Scientist, Retires from City of Hope There are leaders as well as followers; then there are pioneers. One such pioneer is Susumu Ohno, DVM, PhD, DSc, distinguished scientist in the Division of Biology at City of Hope’s Beckman Research Institute. In March, Dr. Ohno announced his retirement from City of Hope, bringing to a close an association that has lasted more than 40 years. While at City of Hope, Dr. Ohno made seminal contributions to the field of modern biology-contributions that have garnered him international recognition and distinction. A scientist to the core, he emphasizes that although he is retiring from City of

Training Fish Like Pavlov’s Dogs

This press release resulted in several placements in the press, including The Baltimore Sun. You’ll find links to several of them below. Striped bass aquaculture would be more productive and cost efficient if we could just call the fish over to one location for feeding, harvesting and the treatment of disease. Arthur N. Popper, professor and chair of Zoology, is studying how to do just that. “What I want to do is straightforward,” says Popper, who is determining if striped bass can hear. If they can, Popper will ascertain if they can be trained to respond to a particular sound in a specific way. His experiment, supported by the Maryland Agricultural Experiment Station, is quite simple. First, he will play a three-to five-second pulse of sound underwater in a tank filled with striped bass. Immediately after the sound pulse, food will be dropped at a specific place in the tank.

‘Bionic Woman’ Producers Defend Hiring Washington

The recently announced decision to hire actor Isaiah Washington for a role in the remake of the cyborg NBC series Bionic Woman came under fire by reporters at this week’s Television Critics Association press tour, but producers apparently were already prepared for the onslaught. Washington was recently fired from the ABC series Greys Anatomy for making homophobic slurs regarding a co-star on the show. Continue reading on airlockalpha.com…

Strange Happenings On Set Of ‘Driftwood’

Driftwood

Filming at the abandoned Fred C. Nelles Youth Correctional Facility in Whittier, Calif., turned out to be just as spooky an experience as the one portrayed in the movie, “Driftwood,” cast revealed at a screening late Friday night at Haunt X. “Driftwood,” director Tim Sullivans latest release, takes place in an “attitude correction” camp for boys. But when 16-year-old David Forrester, played by Ricky Ullman, is sent to the camp by his misguided parents for writing in his blog the “wrong thing” about his grief over his brothers death, he uncovers a mystery no one wants to talk about. Continue reading on airlockalpha.com…

George Romero Speaks His Mind At Haunt X

George Romero

George Romero stands tall in the VIP Suite at the Hilton Los Angeles Airport, his long grey hair pulled back in a ponytail, his head leaning forward to look over the rims of his large black-rimmed glasses, and a small group of adoring fans standing casually around him. A young man with a mohawk animatedly tells him about how Romeros business partner once gave him grief over requesting an autograph on his copy of “Night of the Living Dead.” Turns out the video, which he received when he was just 8 years old, was a bootleg. Romero smiles and they all have a carefree laugh at the story. Continue reading on airlockalpha.com…

Shatner Never Wanted To Trek To Space

William Shatner

Despite life’s problems, the actor who played Captain James T. Kirk would rather stay here on Earth. “Who the heck wants to go out into space?!” William Shatner told The Ottawa Citizen, dismissing with a laugh the rumors that he purchased a seat aboard Virgin Galactics planned flights for 2008. The Montreal-born actor has two Emmy awards to his name and is happy with his life here on Earth. Continue reading on airlockalpha.com…

Remembrances of Roscos

roscos

The following short was published in the October 2004 edition of The Nature of Writing News. Notes From Afield Remembrances of Roscos Abuela was the consummate cook, the perfect grandmother from a Norman Rockwell painting. My early holiday memories are filled with the smells and tastes that came from her kitchen. Pumpkin pies, homemade pizza, enchiladas and a score of Christmas cookies. I especially remember the delicate, flaky donut-shaped roscos — cookies made chiefly from three ingredients: white wine, melted butter and flour. A teaspoon of anise seeds cooked in the melting butter and then discarded, as well as a final dusting of cinnamon sugar after the cookies baked, were the only other flavorings. One year, I ate so many, sneaking out of my bed at night to grab just a few more, that I earned the nickname “bottomless stomach.” I remember countless nights sitting at her kitchen table sharing

NHGRI-Funded Researcher Among Pioneer Awardees

Stephen R. Quake, Ph.D., a researcher funded by the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), is among the first recipients of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) Director’s Pioneer Award, which were announced on Wednesday, September 29, 2004. Dr. Quake, formerly of the California Institute of Technology, and currently a professor of bioengineering at Stanford University has received substantial funding from NHGRI for highly innovative research that may dramatically improve the technologies used to advance genomics. Continue reading by downloading the PDF

Chromosome Abnormalities

What are chromosomes? Chromosomes are the structures that hold our genes. Genes are the individual instructions that tell our bodies how to develop and function; they govern our physical and medical characteristics, such as hair color, blood type and susceptibility to disease. Each chromosome has a p and q arm; p is the shorter arm and q is the longer arm. The arms are separated by a pinched region known as the centromere. Continue reading at genome.gov

The Ultimate Juggling Act Maintaining a Work/Life Balance

juggling

This weekly feature was posted on KidsGrowth Professional, a now defunct part of KidsGrowth.com, on July 31, 2000. The Ultimate Juggling Act Maintaining a Work/Life Balance Roger, a pediatric practice manager, comes home late after a long day of fighting administrative fires to find his wife asleep-the fifth day in a row and it is only Wednesday. Dr. Jones, a private practice pediatrician, catches herself confusing two different patients’ medications-this is the third time this week she has caught herself about to make a potentially dangerous mistake. John, a third-year pediatric resident, comes home after pulling the night-shift rotation at the NICU, just in time to wave goodbye to his daughter as she heads off to pre-school. Americans work more hours than the rest of the industrialized world, the International Labor Organization found. In fact, we work 350 hours more per year than Europeans and 70 hours more per year

Hey! What’s a Snake Doing in My System?

ASPs

The following was a Weekly Feature for KidsGrowth Professional. It was first posted April 24, 2000. Hey! What’s a Snake Doing in My System? ASPs: What Are They? What Can They Do for Pediatric Practices? The health care industry is the largest single industry in the U.S. but, when compared to similar information-rich industries like finance, it under-invests in information technology (IT). In fact, in 1997 the health care industry spent only 2-3 percent of its total revenue on IT (the financial industry spent a little more than 7 percent). Continue reading…