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August 5, 2011

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Page14 POST-GAZE'IrE, AUGUST 5, 2011 rm- LO SAPEVATE CHE .,. Nell'ambito dei tanti centri di sperimentazione biologica, sia in Italia che negli Stati Uniti, c'e' un vivo fermento di 'giocherellare' con le cellule staminali. AI centro medico dell'ospedale pediatrico di Cincinnati sie' riusciti a creare il primo organo umano: l'intestino. Quest'ospedale ha al suo attivo altri 'pezzi di ricambio': cornea, pelle, ecc. Da un campione sono riusciti a creare un polmone ed un cuore capace di battere, sebbene debolmente. Ma creare un intestino, un tessuto composto da parecchi strati di differenti cellule, e' davvero eccezionale. Per crearlo, hanno usato alcune cellule staminali dentro una capsula di Petri, le hanno 'istruite' in modo da farle crescere per poi trasformarle in tessuto intestinale. L'intestino cosi' prodotto sembra naturale, come ha affermato James Wells, l'autore dell'esperimento. Le 'istruzioni' sono particolari proteine e sostanze chimiche chiamate 'fattori di crescita'. Queste vengono aggiunte alle cellule staminali chiuse nella cap- sula, cercando di imitare il mix di nutrienti che un embrione riceve durante il proprio sviluppo, quando l'intestino si forma naturalmente nell'utero della madre. Gli scienziati si augurano che i 1oro studi diventino utili, soprattutto per i pazienti. Ora resta da vedere se l'organo creato e cresciuto in laboratorio sia capace di eseguire tutti i suoi compiti. Le cellule staminali usate sono state quelle embrionali e quelle ottenute con una nuova tecnica che consiste nell'uso di cellule adulte (in questo caso, della pelle) e farle regredire allo stato delle staminali. Se le staminali 'regredite' abbiano la stessa efficienza delle embrionali, un caso positive, non sarebbe piu' necessario distruggere embrioni, eliminando cosi' la controversia sull'etica sperimentale che prima distruggeva gli embrioni. DID YOU KNOW THAT ... Within the many centers of biological research in Italy as well as in the United States, there we find a lively fervor to "play" with stem cells. At the Cincinnati Children Hospital Medical Center they have created the first human organ: the intestine. This hospital has also created other human parts: cornea, skin, etc. From a mouse they have been able to create a lung and a heart, albeit with a feeble beating! In order to create an intestine, with the tissue made up of different layers of cells, is quite outstanding. To make it, they used a few stem cells inside the capsule (Petri's), "instructing" them to grow and change into intestinal tissue. The intestine so created looks natural, as James Wells, in charge of the experiment, stated. The "instruc- tions" consisted of particular proteins and chemical elements called "growth factors." These are blended with the stem cells inside the capsule, trying to imitate the mix of nutrients which an embryo receives during its develop- ment when the intestine is created naturally inside the mother's uterus. The scientists only hope that their research become use- ful, above all to the patients. It remains now to see if the organ, created and grown in a lab, is able to perform all its functions. The stem cells used were the ones from the embryo and the others from a new technology, which makes use of adult cells (in this case, from the skin) and make them to "back up" to the status of stem cells. If these "new" stem cells perform as effectively as the stem cells, a posi- tive achievement, it would not make it necessary to destroy embryos, thus doing away with the controversy over the "experimental ethics, " which once related to the elimina- tion of embryos. The Agency for all your Insurance Coverages Richard Settipane AUTO HOMEOWNERS TENANTS COMMERCIAL Experience makes the difference SPECIALIST in RESTAURANT and BUSINESS POLICIES CALL TODAY FOR YOUR QUOTE 617-523-3456 - Fax 617-723-9212 1 Longfellow- Place Suite 2322 - Boston, MA 02114 Conveniently located with Free Parking The time has come, the walrus said, TO TALK OF MANY THINGS of shoes and ships and sealing wax of cabbages and kings SAVING THE IRISH SOCIAL CLUB Folks are trying to save the Irish Social Club's demise in West Roxbury. Over 90 folks showed up July 7  at the club on Park Street. There was another well-attended meet- ing on July 21 st. A planned fundraiser is coming up on Saturday, September 24 from 2:00 pm until midnight with music, dancing, bag- pipes and more. Even my pal, Seamus Mulligan, host of the "Irish Hour" on AM 950 WROL is getting involved in the club's hopeful rebirth. Kudos go out to State R',ep- resentative Ed Coppinger, D-West Roxbury, for leading the charge to save the club. He's been like the U.S. Cal- vary. Kudos also go out to other area political leaders: District 6 City Councilor Matt O'Malley, City Coun- cilor-at-Large John Connolly and District 5 City Councilor Rob Consalvo for aiding this great cause. REMEMBERING EDNA V. BYNOE Edna V. Bynoe was re- membered down at the Or- chard Gardens housing de- velopment in Roxbury this past June. Her relatives, friends and political leaders like Mayor Tom Menino gathered to honor her com- munity activism unveiling a 3-foot-high granite monolith at the edge of a community park along Prescott Street. Her image is etched in dark gray stone, and this park will bear her name. Bynoe died of cancer in March 2010 at age 68. About 200 folks showed up at the dedication ceremony. The plaque at the park has her image on it and a quote from Henry Ford which states, "Coming together is a begin- ning. Keeping together is progress. Working together is success." That epitomized Bynoe's life. She grew up in Orchard Park and was there for the good times and the bad. She stood up to the gangs and drugs, which swept through the project in the '80s. She stayed and she fought. Bynoe was born in 1942 and lived in Orchard Park since age three when the project opened right after WWII and raised her family there. During busing, she watched neighborhood chil- dren board buses for far-off schools and spear-headed a fight for a community school. She was instrumental in re- developing the Orchard Park projects in 1999, and it be- came Orchard Gardens. When the new Orchard Gar- dens K-8 public school opened on Albany Street in 2003, she played a role in that dream of hers actually happening. She was a community ac- tivist who didn't just reside somewhere, she lived in and for her neighborhood, always seeking what was best for it. As Diana Kelly, vice presi- dent of Maloney Properties Inc., which manages Or- by Sal Giarratani youth, the more they know about Edna, the more they will protect this and pre- serve it for the future." NICK'S PLACE IN WINTHROP Every so often I cross the Winthrop border to either visit family in that little community or I am having a great meal at Nick's Place on Pauline Street. Recently, I stopped by there for dinner with friends and had the best lamb tips in the world. Their salads are always su- per fresh. The wait staff makes the whole experi- ence complete. Stop by and check it out. See if I'm not right. THE WIZARD OF OZ: A SUMMER TREAT The Children's Educa- tional Exhibition is now showing "The Wizard of Oz," so follow the yellow brick road to the Boston Children's Museum until Septem- ber 10. For more informa- tion, go to www.Boston or call 617-426-6500. NO PASTA, NO POTTY There was a great story in the Boston Herald recently written by reporter Jessica Fargen concerning the lack of restrooms for tourists roaming the historic sites of Boston's North End. The only public toilet is on Commer- cial Street by Langone Park, a coin-operated Jetston-like tin can. By the time you fig- ure out how it works, you don't need to go anymore. There used to be a state visitor center on Hull Street with facilities, but the state apparently didn't have enough money to keep it open. Today, the firehouse on Hanover Street has be- come a God-send for helpless tourists who are never turned away, but a firehouse toilet shouldn't replace a much-needed visitor cen- ter. In the news story, it is reported that folks at the Old North Church were not available for comment about that historic church having public restrooms on site. City Councilor Sal LaMat- tina would like the city to set up one of those Star Trek toilets mentioned above inside the Prado. Long ago, the Prado did have public restrooms in a little building now being used as a storage facility. It sadly closed when it became a public safety danger to all. Kudos to the Boston Har- bor Community Church for always opening its door to tourists in need of its facili- ties. I remain surprised that the North End Health Cen- ter doesn't have public facili- ties. Shouldn't it? That's all for now on this ongoing story because I gotta go. I mean it, I gotta go. CELEBRATING THE RED, WHITE AND BLUE OF PUERTO RICO Thousands once again turned out to enjoy this year's 45  Puerto Rican Fes- tival & Parade at Franklin Park. This summer festival chard Gardens _, told .that .(July 22-24_)was.a weekend, crowd back in June, "For the gathering to promote Puerto Rican heritage. When I was a kid, there were few Puerto Ricans living in Boston, mostly in the South End. However, by the mid to late '60s, the population grew into a sizable community. SOMERVILLE SOLONS JUST AS BAD AS BOSTON POLS Somerville Mayor Joe Curtatone said he will with- hold support for the Boston area's first Walmart Market until the giant retailer "im- proves" its labor practices. If Somerville doesn't watch out, it could be a repeat of what just happened in Boston when some city councilors started bashing Walmart only to see the retailer look- ing at Somerville as a pos- sible better site than Melnea Cass Boulevard. Walmart says they are ready to talk with both Somerville's politi- cal leaders and community residents and are ready to listen to all of their concerns about the company coming into Somerville. MEANWHILE, BACK IN ROXBURY Not far from where Wal- mart was considering one of its new urban supermarkets before the company gave up hope after both the mayor and a few city councilors seem to distance them- selves from the company. So instead of a new Walmart supermarket in Roxbury, we get the company eyeing Somerville now. Meanwhile, back at the ranch, the Bos- ton Redevelopment Author- ity says they have received four responses to its request for proposals covering 3.4 acres along Melnea Cass Boulevard by Washington Street. All four proposals sound positive. I happen to like the joint venture by Tropical Foods and the nonprofit Madison Park Community Develop- ment Corp. to create an ex- panded supermarket, office space and 66 residential units. Tropical Foods has become Lower Roxbury's su- permarket, which is some- thing the neighborhood has long needed since the de- mise of the old Blair's Food- land near Dudley Station. I still think Walmart on Melnea Cass Boulevard was ideal for this major road- way. This giant retailer em- ploys almost 12,000 folks in Massachusetts in full-time jobs at good pay with good benefits. TO ALL THOSE KISS 108 FANS Matty Siegel, host of "Matty in the Morning" on WXKS- FM Kiss 108, has been given a five-year extension to his contract. He's been do- ing a radio show on this spot on the dial for 30 years now going back to when Kiss 108 was a disco station. Back then, his show was on in the afternoon drive time while Sunny Joe White woke listeners up every weekday morning. Matty says he is "handsomely paid" and said, "I am lucky." He's .lucky. and so too are Kiss 108 radio listeners.