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Science is the Key to our Nation’s Prosperity

21 Dec

President-elect Obama recently announced his top scientific advisors which include Harold Varmus  and Eric Lander. "It's time we once again put science at the top of our agenda and work to restore America's place as the world leader in science and technology," he said on his  weekly radio address.

Looks like Obama is signaling potential changes in policies governing everything from war tech to stem cell research.  The following is my favorite quote from the radio address:

“Whether it’s the science to slow global warming; the technology to protect our troops and confront bioterror and weapons of mass destruction; the research to find life-saving cures; or the innovations to remake our industries and create 21st century jobs — today more than ever, science holds the key to our survival as a planet and our security and prosperity as a nation.”

Let's see what happens — we need a science advocate in the White House now more than ever. 

Om Malik Says “Help Yourself & Help UCSF Foundation”

21 Dec

Blogger Om Malik just notified me that he posted the following message on his Facebook profile this morning. Om is helping advocate UCSF among his readers and web industry colleagues.

This is for all my peeps who work too hard, stay up long hours, drink too much coffee and hit in-and-Out too often. From my own personal experience I know people don't really spend much time thinking about the long term impact of such busy lifestyle. It causes problems that we don't even know we have. Such as heart and vascular diseases.

My friends at UCSF have put together a simple Prevention Tips Page. Take a moment to check it out and see if you need to visit the doctor. Prevention, is much better than the cure.

Given the fact that UCSF folks saved me from near disaster last year, they are my favorite charity. I am trying to help them raise some cash for their various heart-disease related efforts. If you would like to help, then send them a check — however small (or big) — you can afford.

1. Make checks out to "UCSF Foundation"

2. Please write in the notes area of check "OM/Cardiovascular Research Initiative"
3. Mail Checks To: UCSF Foundation, UCSF Box 0248, San Francisco, CA 94143-0248.

Support UCSF's Cardiovascular Research Institute online here.

Thanks, Om!

Arnold Schwarzenegger At UCSF Stem Cell Event

17 Dec

Today, Eli Broad made a $25 million gift to fund UCSF's
stem cell program. Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger addressed the audience of distinguished guests. The Governor said that Broad's donation should offer hope to the "millions of people who suffer from
spinal cord injuries, diabetes, Alzheimer's, Parkinson's, multiple
sclerosis and many other illnesses." The funding is the largest single private donation to the university's
stem cell program and is a major source of funding for the $123
million  Institute for Regeneration Medicine building which will open in 2010. Read the press release here.

ArnoldArnold schwartzenegger @ucsf

Microsoft Examines Causes of ‘Cyberchondria’

28 Nov

A new survey from Microsoft  suggests that self-diagnosis by search engine frequently leads Web searchers to conclude the worst about what ails them. John Markoff reported on the study in the November 25 issue of The New York Times.    Microsoft's goal is to position its search service as a reliable health advisor.  According to Ryen White and Eric Horvitz, the AI researchers who conducted the research, "directly tackling cyberchondria is an opportunity to leverage readily-available expertise in the information-retrieval and medical informatics communities in areas such as document ranking, user modeling, machine learning, and user interface design for the direct benefit of the many people turning to the Web to interpret common medical symptoms."