first_imgHe was only a high school senior when, in 1984 in the living room of his father, Dr. Edward Binyah Kesselly, Dr. S. Jabaru Carlon and others met to found the Unity Party to contest the 1985 presidential and Legislative elections.Young Kesselly recalled that UP’s founding fathers, by giving it the name “Unity Party,” were determined that the party would “epitomize Unity.”  Its original motto was “One People, One Destiny.”  He then told the Unity Party Leadership and membership that the best way to honor Dr. Carlon and all of its fallen heroes is by returning “to day zero—a day for us to reflect, start all over and finally realize that the Unity Party is an institution that was founded on ideals and principles, not on individuals and personalities.  We should revert to its original path for which he and other great men suffered, bled and died—one that epitomizes Unity.” One could candidly say that with Unity Party’s standard bearer, President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf, present at the funeral and listening, young Kesselly’s was a mouthful.    What was significant about the Tribute was what he did not say, but preferred to hold on the ancient dictum: “A hint to the wise is quite sufficient.”The Daily Observer on Sunday morning called around to talk with some UP stalwarts to gauge their reaction to Mr. Kesselly’s call.  Most of them said what the public already knew: that the party is in apparent disarray.  UP has not held a congress since 2011 when they met to nominate President Sirleaf and Vice President Joseph N. Boakai to succeed themselves on the UP ticket.The party’s youth wing has been critical of the leadership, and many members have bitterly complained that the administration has not rewarded it partisans with jobs.  Said one, “The entire Cabinet is filled with ‘friends of the President,’ not with partisans, and this has seriously embittered the party rank and file.Ironically, one of those in the party leadership being criticized is young Kesselly himself, who heads one of the major components of government, the Liberia Maritime Authority.  They say there is no party stalwart in the whole of Maritime except, of course, the Commissioner himself.Unfortunately, Mr. Kesselly could not be reached yesterday for comment on this allegation.But we wish to state that jobs for partisans alone are not what constitute a viable and properly functioning political party.  A properly functioning political party is one that holds regular meetings of the rank and file.  If it is the party in power, which UP currently is, it should keep the membership regularly informed about government policies and programs, in order to enlist party support. A political party, in developing countries, especially, should hold leadership seminars and workshops to empower the membership with leadership skills to keep them in top shape always, not just at election time.But the lack of jobs for the rank and file is not the only problem that has embittered the UP membership.  Some of them, including leading businesspeople within the party ranks, complain that they are unable to get a single contract from the UP-led government.  Here again, they complain that the party leadership is giving business opportunities only to “the President’s friends.”  Several key partisans with some financial resources say they have been trying to get into the ownership of some of the oil blocks, but to no avail.  They say the President’s friends are linking up with foreigners to purchase oil blocks; and these partisans are bitterly and painfully disappointed.Most Liberian leaders are very conversant with how American politicians do business.  Both Republicans and Democrats in power reach out to their partisans not only with jobs, but contracts also.  These beneficiaries, in turn, oil the parties’ money machines.  That is in part of how the American middle class keeps democracy functioning.But it appears that successive administrations in Liberia have frustrated the development of a Liberian middle class.  These administrations have consistently favored foreigners. Yet who can and will build Liberia in the way it should be built but Liberians themselves, in the same way the Americans and Europeans have built their countries and the Nigerians and Ghanaians are building theirs?  Share this:Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgA shot was fired in downtown Georgetown on Saturday afternoon after an alleged bandit attempted to relieve a City Police of his service pistol.Marlon Frederick after he was subduedAccording to reports, the officer, Adam Hoyte, was on patrol duties when 34-year-old Marlon Frederick of Tiger Bay, Georgetown – who was wanted for questioning in connection with a robbery – was observed between Charlotte and Regent Streets, Georgetown.As such, Hoyte attempted to apprehend Frederick who began to run. The officer gave chase and caught up with the suspect on Robb Street, near to Wellington Street.However, the man began to fight Hoyte for his service pistol – a 9mm Tauras pistol – which was in his holster at his waist.In doing so, the firearm discharged one round; however, no one was shot. Both men received injuries to their heads as a result of the scuffle.Frederick was later subdued and escorted to the Georgetown Public Hospital where he was treated and is being kept for observation.Hoyte was also treated and sent away. Investigations are continuing.last_img read more

first_img AD Quality Auto 360p 720p 1080p Top articles1/5READ MOREGift Box shows no rust in San Antonio Stakes win at Santa Anita But a leg injury has cost her what would have been her senior season. She will redshirt after being slow to recover. However, the 49ers’ own Big West POY candidate has been ready and able to go every game. On a team with plenty of contributors to the hot start, senior guard Crystal McCutcheon averages 16.3 points and 5.4 rebounds per game, and though her shooting touch is off as it has been in the past two games, she continues to do the job defensively, with a team-high 40 steals on the season. A pair of Lynwood High graduates lead the Matadors in scoring. Junior LaJoyce King tallies 10.9 points per game, while Jazelle Burries has 10.8 a contest. LBSU won last season’s meeting at CSUN, 89-74. Matt Zimmerman can be reached at or (562) 499-1338. 160Want local news?Sign up for the Localist and stay informed Something went wrong. Please try again.subscribeCongratulations! You’re all set! Instead, while LBSU is rolling along with its best conference start in years, CSUN is in the middle of the pack. That’s what happens when a team loses a preseason conference player of the year candidate to injury. Ofa Tulikihihifo was named first-team all-Big West as a freshman, sophomore and junior. Last season, Tulikihihifo led the Matadors to a 66-63 upset of LBSU at the Walter Pyramid. center_img It’s important to stay focused, to not take anyone too lightly. But it’s undeniable that Long Beach State’s challenge today will not be as tough as it could have been. At Cal State Northridge, the 49ers (10-5, 3-0 Big West) take on the Matadors (5-10, 2-2) in a 4 p.m. game that could have been so much more. last_img read more

first_img 20 20 20. Olympic Stadium (West Ham United) – We’ve got to put West Ham’s new stadium in last place, on account of the trouble they’ve had since moving. Fears over the distance fans will be from the pitch, the atmosphere compared to the old Upton Park ground and how it will affect West Ham’s identity have yet to be allayed. On the flip side, it is brand new, holds around 20,000 more fans than the Boleyn Ground and is in a much better location. One person at talkSPORT Towers described the Olympic Stadium as a ‘soulless bowl of doom’, but then he is a Tottenham fan and probably a bit biased. 20 20 8. Stadium of Light (Sunderland) – It was always going to be tough to replace Roker Park, but the Black Cats do have a pretty decent home. Opened in 1997, it’s current capacity is 49,000, while there is planning to extend it further. In 2007 it was named the Football League’s Best Away Ground while not many other stadiums can boast hosting concerts by One Direction, Beyonce, Take That, Oasis, Coldplay and Rihanna. Now you know where Big Sam learnt his dance moves! They just need to smarten up those sun-bleached seats, which look a bit shoddy. 4. Bet365 Stadium (Stoke City) – Better known as the Britannia, Stoke have led the way in imbuing a sense of tradition in a stadium that is less than 20 years old. ‘A cold wet night’ at this stadium is synonymous with the atmosphere associated with what is now called the Bet365 Stadium. The name change is a bit cumbersome, and with manager Mark Hughes steadily changing the image of an away day at the Potters, this stadium’s reputation could yet undergo a makeover, although the home support will have something to say about that. Plus, we like the fact that it’s not a boringly uniform design, with the South and East Stands separated from the L-shaped adjoined Boothen End and West Stand. 20 3. White Hart Lane (Tottenham Hotspur) – Tucked away and surrounded by housing estates and the High Road in N17, it’s not the easiest stadium to travel to but it’s a gem which the Premier League is, sadly, soon to lose. Fans are up close and personal with the players, situated mere feet from the touchline – which helps create an impressive atmosphere when the home fans find their voice. The Jumbotrons allow fans a glimpse of goals just moments after they go in. It’s an excellent mix of old and new, having opened way back in 1899 and been modernised in the Premier League era, and makes it in at No.4 on our list. At one time capable of holding over 70,000, it’s capacity in recent times it has been let down by dropping to just 36,000, and for that reason Spurs are on the move, next door. 20 10. The Hawthorns (West Bromwich Albion) – West Brom’s home since 1900, the Hawthorns is one of the great names in English football ground history. Over the years it has been updated, leaving a compact, atmospheric all-seater stadium that we see today. talkSPORT presenter Adrian Durham has praised the ground’s atmosphere, saying: “When the Baggies are boinging, The Hawthorns is jumping. They don’t always fire it up to the max, but when they do you can hear the noise over the traffic on the nearby M5.” 20 12. Selhurst Park (Crystal Palace) – Let’s be honest, Selhurst Park is a pretty awful ground, not least the old Arthur Waite stand. The Whitehorse Lane stand is dominated by executive boxes, like a rubbish version of the old Clock End at Highbury. And it’s poorly served by public transport. So why isn’t it lower in our ranking? The Holmesdale Road end and the fans in it that have given Selhurst one of the best atmosphere’s in the country. 15. KC Stadium (Hull City) – Another modern stadium that holds around 25,000, with little memorable features otherwise. If only we could forget Phil Brown singing there in 2009. 19. Dean Court (Bournemouth) – With a capacity just under 12,000, Dean Court is the smallest ground in the top flight. There are thousands of high school stadiums in the USA that comfortably hold more than Bournemouth’s ground. Based on this tiny capacity alone, it’s right down our list. 20 20 17. Stamford Bridge (Chelsea) – Plastic flags. 20 7. Goodison Park (Everton) – Yes, we know it’s showing its age badly in many ways, and Everton FC would love to have a new stadium, but cherish Goodison while it’s still around. Built in 1892 when the Toffees left their old home ground (Anfield), Goodison was developed by the most influential architect in British football stadium history, Archibald Leitch. Situated a stone’s throw from row-upon-row of terraced housing, Goodison is symbolic of the place football has held in the working class communities of England. As the connection between the ordinary fan and the mega money involved in the Premier League gets more and more detached, Goodison stands as a reminder that football is the people’s game, not a corporate play thing. It’s even got a church wedged into one corner of the ground. It’s old, out-of-date, out of fashion, but it’s dripping with the kind of character and feeling completely lacking in most new stadiums. 11. Emirates (Arsenal) – A real opinion divider. Arsenal’s 10-year-old stadium was the first large, modern arena built by one of the traditional giants of English football, with its 60,000 capacity comparing more than favourably with Highbury’s 38,000 seats (in a ground that once held over 70,000 when standing was allowed). Despite its modern limitations, Highbury was an incredible home for Arsenal, steeped in history, dripping grandeur and representing so much that was great about the club. Now they play in a stadium named after a middle-eastern airline. Arsenal have tried to inject some instant history into the Emirates, with nods to the club’s history, but you can’t create tradition with a few design touches. The fans are also further away from the action than at Highbury, and every side of the ground is awash with corporate seats – dubbed the ‘prawn circle’. 20 6. Etihad Stadium (Manchester City) – Another of the new breed, the Etihad Stadium – formerly/formally known as the City of Manchester Stadium – is an example for West Ham’s new Olympic Stadium of how to convert an athletics arena into a football ground. Built originally for the 2002 Commonwealth Games, it was remodelled, completely removing the athletics track, to make a grand new home for City. It went from holding 41,000 for the Games, to 48,000 for football, and has since increased to 55,000, with plans to expand to 61,000. The only problem is that, despite City’s oil wealth-fuelled recent success, and the club’s historic core support, the club has yet to generate enough appeal to pack out the Etihad week in, week out. And like Arsenal, having a stadium named after a middle eastern airline isn’t as evocative as, say, Maine Road. 9. Turf Moor (Burnley) – Incredibly, ground was first broken at Turf Moor in 1833, when a cricket facility was constructed on the site for Burnley Cricket Club. The first football match took place there in 1883, and it’s witnessed Burnley title wins in 1921 and 1960. These days, Turf Moor holds just over 21,000, which is pretty small… until you consider the population of Burnley as a town is estimated in the region of 80,000. This is a ground with real charm. 1. Old Trafford (Manchester United) – By far the biggest stadium in the Premier League, with a capacity of 75,635, Old Trafford is the only English club ground capable of being spoken of in the same breath of the world’s biggest, most iconic football venues. It is up there with the Camp Nou, the Bernabeu and the San Siro. United’s home since 1910, it carries the history of Billy Meredith, the Busby Babes, the Class of 92, Ronaldo, Cantona, Charlton, Robson… the list goes on and on. That is why it is the Theatre of Dreams, the very best of old and new. The number one stadium in the Premier League. 20 18. Riverside Stadium (Middlesbrough) – When it opened in 1995, the Riverside Stadium was at the vanguard of Premier League stadiums, but it’s spawned a generation of bland, identikit, out of town arenas. And it is, as one online review explains, “surrounded by a building site and an industrial sludge river”. 20 20 20 20 20 5. King Power Stadium (Leicester City) – Leicester’s stadium is so high for one reason: the fans. According to our Matchday Live presenter, Adrian Durham, who travels the country attending Premier League games, “Even during the run of poor results the fans were loud, supportive and energised. It’s been a golden year for Leicester fans and the KP has been rocking.” 14. Liberty Stadium (Swansea City) – Swansea moved to the Liberty Stadium from the Vetch Field in 2005 and they haven’t looked back. Its drawback is the modest 20,972 capacity, but it’s got a good atmosphere. Shame it’s shared with a rugby team, which isn’t ideal, pitch-wise. 16. St Mary’s (Southampton) – Modern, but totally boring to look at. The Premier League is the most exciting football competition in the world and, as such, deserves to be played in fantastic stadiums.But what makes a great football ground?It’s a contentious issue, but we’ve got our own ideas and so have ranked each Premier League club stadium, from worst to first.We took into account the capacity, facilities, location, history, design and atmosphere, to come up with our top 20.Disagree with our verdict? Comment below! 2. Anfield (Liverpool) – There are few more famous stadiums in world football than Anfield. It boasts an incredible history (yes, Liverpool fans love their history) and probably the most iconic end stand in the game. The seated Kop replaced the legendary terrace in 1994, but the Reds were canny enough to keep it a single-tier stand, retaining its identity. Liverpool looked at moving to a completely new stadium, with Anfield in need of modernising, but opted to stay at the place they have called home since 1892. The result of this decision is the hulking new Main Stand, which has taken capacity to 55,000 and represents a leap forward for a club accused of dwelling too much on the past. As for the ‘famous atmosphere’, on the right occasion, against the right opposition, Anfield really is a noisy venue. But it is also fair to say it can be embarrassingly quiet – a problem that afflicts all of the most popular Premier League clubs. 20 13. Vicarage Road (Watford) – Home to the Hornets since 1922, it’s been modernised in recent years but retains the traditional feel of an English football ground – four separate stands. 20 20last_img read more

first_img1 Chelsea and Manchester United have been given a boost in their pursuit of Keita Balde Diao after Juventus rubbished claims they have tied up a deal for the Lazio star.The 22-year-old is drawing plenty of interest ahead of the summer transfer window after putting in some impressive performances in Serie A this season.Both Chelsea and Manchester United are tracking the winger, while he has been linked with Spanish side Sevilla too.Juventus, however, are said to be at the front of the queue to land the Senegal international and some reports even claimed a deal with Lazio had been rubber-stamped.But now Juve’s CEO, Giuseppe Marotta, has acted swiftly to deny any talk which has suggested Keita is set for a move to Turin.“Is Keita already ours? Absolutely not,” Marotta said on Radio Rai.“He is a Lazio player and he has another year on his contract. We’re watching him, I think he’s a good player but for the moment there’s no negotiation.“We’re interested, but we’ll evaluate things calmly.” Keita Balde Diao last_img read more

first_imgA man who downed six pints before getting behind the wheel before almost killing his two friends during a horrific head-on collision has been jailed for three years.Seamus O’Donnell, now 27, did not have insurance or a valid NCT for his fourteen year old car which he had bought for just €350. On October 5th, 2014, he drank at least six pints of beer over a three hour period before getting a takeaway of more beer and driving away with brothers Liam and Sean Ryan.He pleaded guilty to four different charges of dangerous driving causing serious injury, drink driving, driving with no insurance and driving without an NCT.Garda Colm McIntyre told the court that he attended the scene at 5.35am at Quay Road, Dungloe and found Liam Ryan in a nearby field with injuries while his brother Sean had a serious head injury.O’Donnell’s 2000 registered Toyota Avensis car had flipped over after it crashed into another car coming in the opposite direction.Both men had been forced to undergo extensive medical treatment after suffering life-threatening injuries and had since moved to Co Tipperary to start new lives.Victim impact statements were read into the court on behalf of both injured men.Liam Ryan suffered a broken pelvis and femur and spent nine days in hospital and now has a one foot-long scar.He is not able to work in his old job, has mood swings, suffers from post traumatic stress and has a fear of driving.Sean Ryan has suffered facial disfigurement as well as a personality change, bruising of the brain, has bad headaches, short term memory loss, a fear of driving, is unable to work and the right side of his head will always be out of shape.Judge John O’Hagan said that once again in Co Donegal he had to bang the drum about dangerous driving.“This is a disaster for everyone. How long do I and my colleagues have to beat the drum, how often do the press have to advertise the tragedy and who listens to either me or them? He picked up a wreck of a car.“It’s like a recurring bang on that drum – they buy a car for next to nothing and do very stupid things. People get hurt and get killed,” he said.O’Donnell, who had pleaded guilty to all four charges, took to the witness box and apologised to the Ryan brothers in their absence.He admitted that he has had issues with alcohol since he was about 17 but was trying to deal with them by attending AA meetings.Passing sentence Judge O’Hagan said “I have heard this story so many times in Co Donegal but the clock cannot go back. The harm is done and it cannot be undone.”He sentenced O’Donnell, of Oillean Teora, Crolly, to six years for the charge of dangerous driving causing serious injury but suspended the last three years and also disqualified him from driving for 10 years.He also jailed him to six months for driving without insurance and disqualified him from driving for two years.On the charge of drink driving, Judge O’Hagan sentenced O’Donnell to six months and disqualified him for 2 years while he took the charge of having no valid NCT into consideration.All charges are to run concurrently.Man who downed six pints and almost killed two friends jailed for 3 years was last modified: December 12th, 2016 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

first_imgA man headbutted a supermarket manager after he was asked to move his car from outside the store.Owen McDonagh appeared at Letterkenny District Court in Co Donegal charge with viciously assaulting ALDI supermarket manager Sean Cafferkey. Mr Cafferkey had asked McDonagh to move his car from outside his store on Neil T Blaney Road in Letterkenny because it was inconveniencing his customers.However, when he approached McDonagh, the accused responded by lunging at him with his head and breaking his nose.McDonagh, aged 20, of the Big Isle, Manorcunningham admitted the attack which happened on May 24th last year.His solicitor, Mr Frank Dorrian said there had been an argument about the positioning of the car before the attack took place.The court heard that the defendant had six previous convictions including incidents of dangerous driving, theft, and public order offences.Judge Paul Kelly adjourned the case to May 14th to await a Probation Report on the defendant.Man head-butted ALDI manager when asked to move car was last modified: March 21st, 2018 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:ALDIcourtdonegalhead-buttManagerOwen McDonaghParkinglast_img read more

first_imgAlisson Becker went from hero to zero in the eyes of Liverpool fans after his extraordinary mistake gifted Leicester City a goal.The most expensive goalkeeper in history wowed Premier League fans with his impudent chip over Anthony Knockaert last week. Jesus Christ Alisson, that’s worse than Karius😂— Jay White (@jaywhitebcafc) September 1, 2018 Alisson you idiot! We didn’t pay £60m for you to dribble and turn in your area of expertise. You had one job and that was to clear it. #LEILIV— Jackson To (@jacksonto888) September 1, 2018 But he was brought crashing back down to earth after being caught in possession trying to dribble out from the back.After receiving a woeful back-pass from Virgil van Dijk, the former Roma shot-stopper shaped his body as if to clear the ball down the right-hand touchline.With Kelechi Iheanacho closing, the flamboyant keeper instead decided to whip out a conveniently timed Cruyff Turn on the byline so as to deceive the striker.But the Nigeria international read the attempted piece of skill and easily dispossessed the bewildered Alisson and squared the ball for Rachid Ghezzal to tap into a virtually empty net. So is Alisson also going to Turkey on loan?— Deji Faremi (@deejayfaremi) September 1, 2018 2 It mattered very little in the end as first half goals from Sadio Mane and Roberto Firmino ensured Ghezzal’s strike was a mere consolation.As Ruud Gullit once infamously said: “A goalkeeper is a goalkeeper because he can’t play football.”While the £67million summer signing will surely bounce back from the mistake, several Liverpool fans were far to quick to chastise the 25-year-old. Check out the best Tweets below. As long as it stops him doing it ever again— Haydn (@haydnstpierre1) September 1, 2018 Does Alisson have a concussion🤔— SULTAN (@SultanBinKhalid) September 1, 2018 Awful by Alisson, only a matter of time till his over confidence let him down and here it is. Should have booted it for a throw. Very bad play, game on— Sean Williams (@seanwills11) September 1, 2018 Poor from Alisson, just kick the ball lad.— Jake (@Addonnn) September 1, 2018 Alisson wasn’t joking.— ESPN FC (@ESPNFC) September 1, 2018center_img Hahahahaha Alisson is a fraud #LeiLiv— This Charming Man (@LHS_TCM) September 1, 2018 Sooooo casual from VVD, far too sloppy and Alisson had his pants pulled down trying to be a superstar. Liverpool have paid the price for being complacent there— Duncan Wright (@dwright75) September 1, 2018 The Brazilian has been an otherwise brilliant signing Oh Alisson, Alisson #LEILIV— Susan Seddon 🚗🎶💕🐒 (@SuzeTwelve) September 1, 2018 Alisson has just caught the Karius virus 😂😂😂— Agostinho Sousa (@agostinhosousa7) September 1, 2018 Simon Mignolet to Alisson at full time— Taylor Budgell (@TaylorBudgell7) September 1, 2018 Thats way too cocky from Alisson— JulianLFC22 (@JulianLFC22) September 1, 2018 Alisson’s tekkers…— Soccer AM (@SoccerAM) September 1, 2018 Alisson was robbed in possession by Kelechi Iheanacho 2last_img read more

first_imgLighting a fire is one of the basic skills for a scout leader.Scout leaders from all over Donegal and beyond attended a skills training day at Stranorlar Scout Den and Drumboe woods.The new leaders were instructed in scouting skills such as cooking in the outdoors, erecting tents, map reading and building structures from natural resources.Some of the skills learnt were lighting fires only using available materials, cooking bananas with chocolate, of course they adopted the “Leave No Trace” guidelines. Some leaders got themselves in knots at the camp.They also practised their map reading skills and how to erect different styles of tents and caring for them.The course leader Joe Boland commented that this was an opportunity for new leaders to get a taste of what Scouting is about and providing them with the necessary skills to provide our young scouts of all ages with a great outdoor experience which they will cherish for years to come.As one participant stated “We are wet, we are cold, but despite all we are just leaving a great day where we learned a lot and the craic was mighty.”Putting up a camp at the skills training day.Course Leader, Joe Boland thanked all those who ran bases and especially Martina Flanagan of 6th Donegal (Stranorlar) Scout Group who provided the venue and the tea and scones and also to Strabane Catering for the excellent lunch. There’s no smoke without fire at the camp. I could have sworn I put the map around here somewhere. Scout leaders getting in some mapping practise. Getting the tent up on the skills day. DONEGAL SCOUTS SKILL UP ON TRAINING COURSE was last modified: March 3rd, 2014 by StephenShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window) Tags:donegalJoe BolandScoutsskillslast_img read more

first_imgStem cells were a huge issue a few years ago, but discoveries are still being made. Here’s a wrap on stories in the news.Adult Stem Cells (AS) and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (iPSC)Editor Note: These kinds of stem cells do not present ethical controversies, for the most part.Rapid and efficient generation of oligodendrocytes from human induced pluripotent stem cells using transcription factors (PNAS). This paper announces the use of iPSC to generate human oligodendrocytes. “The strategy presented herein will markedly facilitate the studying of human myelin diseases and the development of screening platforms for drug discovery.”Turning skin cells into blood vessel cells while keeping them young (Medical Xpress). A new method of converting skin cells doesn’t require making them pluripotent. “Researchers from the University of Illinois at Chicago have identified a molecular switch that converts skin cells into cells that make up blood vessels, which could ultimately be used to repair damaged vessels in patients with heart disease or to engineer new vasculature in the lab.”Scientists turn human induced pluripotent stem cells into lung cells (Medical Xpress). Researchers at Boston University are finding ways to grow and isolate lung tissue precursors from iPSCs, this article says.Red blood cells derived from stem cells could offer a limitless supply for transfusions (Medical Xpress). This article mentions “reprogrammed stem cells” presumably meaning iPSCs. If so, Singapore is making progress in generating red blood cells (RBCs) from reprogrammed stem cells. If it works, this could reduce the need for blood banks. The researchers at A*STAR appear to be experimenting with both embryonic and reprogrammed stem cells.iPSCs hold great promise in regenerative medicine, personalized medicine and drug discovery… while avoiding the ethical controversies associated with embryonic stem cells.First evidence of ischemia-induced multipotent stem cells in post-stroke human brain (Medical Xpress). This interesting article describes the brain’s self-repair mechanism with its own stem cells following stroke. “Researchers have shown that following a stroke-induced ischemic injury to the human brain, stem cells are produced that have the potential to differentiate and mature to form neurons that can help repair the damage to the brain.”Alerting stem cells to hurry up and heal (Medical Xpress). This article also describes how the body uses its own stem cells for tissue repair, sending stem cells to sites of injury. Researchers at Stanford have identified a signal that tells them to speed up. Patients in surgery, the aged, and those injured in sports might benefit from this accelerated repair.First participant treated in trial of stem-cell therapy for heart failure (Medical Xpress). The first clinical trial of using one’s own bone-marrow stem cells to repair heart muscle is underway at the University of Wisconsin. The trial is entering Phase III.Differentiation of V2a interneurons from human pluripotent stem cells (PNAS). Know someone with spinal cord injury? Read this paper about how researchers at Columbia University are ditching embryonic stem cells for iPSCs, in order to develop “a novel therapy to restore functional connections between the brain and spared downstream neurons” to repair spinal cord injuries.Blood: Education for stem cells (Nature News). Two papers in Nature show promise for heart disease patients. “Haematopoietic stem cells give rise to all lineages of blood cell, and their production in vitro has been a long-sought goal of stem-cell biology,” the subheadline reads. “Two groups now achieve this feat through different means.”In four related papers, researchers describe new and improved tools for stem cell research ( Basic research on iPSCs continues. It’s necessary to understand genetic variants or obstacles to their safe use.New twin study sheds light on what causes reprogrammed stem cells to have different epigenetic patterns (Medical Xpress). One good way to understand iPSC behavior is to compare iPSCs derived from identical twins. That’s what researchers are doing at UC San Diego. It’s allowing them to answer questions they couldn’t ask before. “You’re able to see what happens when you reprogram cells with identical genomes but divergent epigenomes, and figure out what is happening because of genetics, and what is happening due to other mechanisms.”Stem cells show promise – but they also have a darker side (Jill Johnson at The Conversation via Medical Xpress). Johnson talks about mesenchymal stem cells, which are ‘multipotent’ but not as ‘pluripotent’ as iPSCs. There are promises and perils of using MSCs, but the barriers to their use are falling with research. The article includes discussion about stem cells and why they are desirable.A new method for creating safer induced pluripotent stem cells ( This article investigates ways to rid iPSCs of any oncogenic factors and virus elements that might affect their safe use, recognizing that iPSCs “hold great promise in regenerative medicine, personalized medicine and drug discovery… while avoiding the ethical controversies associated with embryonic stem cells”.Embryonic Stem CellsEditor Note: These are the stem cells that generate the most ethical controversy, because they require killing a human embryo.Public opinion on stem-cell research was more strongly associated with religious convictions in the U.S. than in Canada and Europe.California’s $3-billion bet on stem cells faces final test (Nature). How predictable: $3 billion in California taxpayer money is running out, and now they want more. Back in 2004, largely a result of high-pressure ads, Californians approved $3 billion in funds to investigate embryonic stem cells for ‘regenerative medicine.’ Anything to show for it? A lot of research grants, but very little in the way of actual cures— certainly not for Superman star Christopher Reeve and Back to the Future star Michael J. Fox, whose pleas on TV swayed voters. Now, CIRM eyes the money running out in 2020. Time to hold out the offering plate again.Scientists expand ability of stem cells to regrow any tissue type ( Reporters seem to be guarding their words about embryos. Salk Institute researchers are collaborating with Chinese to tease out more capabilities of “human stem cells” to produce placentas and other embryo-related tissues, but they only obliquely indicate are experimenting on actual human embryos. Part of the reason for their work is to study “development, evolution and human organ generation” from stem cells. They appear to be working with rat embryos at this stage.Religion and the public ethics of stem-cell research: Attitudes in Europe, Canada and the United States (PLoS One). This paper goes back to 2005 to study ethical attitudes in different countries about the use of human embryos.In the U.S., moral acceptability was more influential as a driver of support for stem-cell research; in Europe the perceived benefit to society carried more weight; and in Canada the two were almost equally important. We also find that public opinion on stem-cell research was more strongly associated with religious convictions in the U.S. than in Canada and Europe, although many strongly religious citizens in all regions approved of stem-cell research. We conclude that if anything public opinion or ‘public ethics’ are likely to play an increasingly important role in framing policy and regulatory regimes for sensitive technologies in the future.Clearly, religious convictions play a major role in what researchers are allowed to get away with – and that will apply to other ethical controversies in the brave new world.Those who value human life must not be silent when researchers try to play God in their labs, especially if it is for fame or filthy lucre. (Visited 348 times, 1 visits today)FacebookTwitterPinterestSave分享0last_img read more