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Wednesday, June 21, 2006

Paralyzed rats walk in stem cell study

A team of Johns Hopkins researchers has restored movement to paralyzed rats using a new method that they say shows the potential of embryonic stem cells to restore function to humans suffering from neurological disorders.

"For the first time we have used stem cells to rewire part of the nervous system," said Dr. Douglas Kerr, the lead researcher.

The multipronged procedure, which requires the use of drugs and proteins as well as implanted stem cells, re-established the electrical path from the rats' brains, down their spinal cords and out to their muscles, Kerr said.

The results, released yesterday, are to be published in the journal Annals of Neurology.

Tuesday, June 20, 2006

Teach for America surges in popularity

Teach for America is surging in popularity. At sites around the country, the 17-year-old nonprofit organization has begun training about 2,400 recent graduates for two-year teaching stints in disadvantaged schools, nearly triple the figure in 2000. Nearly 19,000 college seniors applied -- and more than four in five were turned down. At Notre Dame, Spelman, Dartmouth and Yale, more than 10 percent of seniors applied.

Monday, June 19, 2006

Facing Their Scars, and Finding Beauty

HOBOKEN, N.J., June 14 — Louise Benoit stepped gingerly into the studio. Before her hung paintings of a proud humanoid race whose limbs and features were sculpted into impossible positions and fantastic shapes.

Wild tattoos in no discernible pattern marked their faces. A gnarled knob appeared where the eye expected a hand. Eyelids and ears were partly erased. Hues of blue and green and gold swirled in the pinks and browns of their skin, skin that looked like a moonscape or a field of flame, like anything but the familiar textures of the human body.

Monday, June 12, 2006

First player from Hawaii on World Cup field

First player from Hawaii on World Cup field

A Hawaii sports superstar is making a grand entrance on the world stage Monday, as the first player from Hawaii takes to the field in soccer's World Cup. It's a monumental milestone, and one that's expected to give the sport a boost in the islands.

There's nobody bigger in Hawaii soccer right now than 28-year-old Brian Ching.

"He found what he loved," says brother Patrick Ching. "It's what he was born to do."

Thousands of miles away in Germany, he's making history as the first Hawaii player on a World Cup team.

"He's probably got a lot of pressure on him," Patrick says. "Everybody's watching him, the first Hawaiian -- so hopefully he does really well. I think he just wants to score. Everybody just wants to see him score."

With family by his side in Europe, and cheering him on from home in Haleiwa, all eyes are on the superstar they call "Hawaiian Brian."

Wednesday, April 05, 2006

Motivational speaker tells how she went from 'Homeless to Harvard'

Motivational speaker tells how she went from 'Homeless to Harvard'

Murray was living on the streets when her mother died of AIDS when Murray was 15. She says she came to a realization then. "I need to take advantage of life right now. If I don't, it will pass me by. It's just that easy," says Murray. Oddly, Murray says living on the streets and learning to cope may have been the best preparation for Harvard.

"Then you kind of look around and say, what else can life do? Does it have to be negative? You become impressed with -- it's changeable and things don't have to be the way they are," says Murray.

Wednesday, March 29, 2006

Artsy Yoga Soothes The Soul, Tones The Body

Artsy yoga soothes the soul, tones the body

New York museum blends art lecture with exercise session

UTICA, N.Y. - It may seem like an ordinary art lecture for the visitors viewing a watercolor titled "Moon and Cumulus Cloud." But the listeners are sitting on exercise mats and wearing sweats.

"Yoga is really more than fitness," instructor Rachael Nickel explains before one of six Saturday morning classes at the Munson-Williams-Proctor Arts Institute. "It's a tradition that's over 5,000 years old, and it's really a spiritual tradition. So it's really a wonderful blending of art and movement."

Thursday, March 23, 2006

Jesse Sullivan Powers Robotic Arms With His Mind

Jesse Sullivan powers robotic arms with his mind

Jesse Sullivan became a real life "bionic man" after a terrible electrical accident.His arms were amputated. Jesse woke from a monthlong coma to discover his limbs gone, his life changed.

Jesse learned to use conventional prosthetics, by moving his back and pressing tabs with his neck. But doctors at the Rehabilitation Institute of Chicago thought he might make a good research patient -- and that instead of moving artificial limbs slowly with his body, Jesse could move them faster -- with his mind.