Archive for April, 2007

Today’s Healthy Picks

A few headlines today demonstrate some beneficial foods to keep you healthy.
Eat pistachios, and macadamia nuts … also, drink your daily cup of coffee – or five! Picstachios were found to lower cholesterol and provide antioxidants, macademia nuts were shown to reduce cardiovascular disease (according to researchers) and coffee was shown (in moderate consumption) to reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease in addition to previous studies showing it reduces kidney stones, gallstones, depression and suicide.

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CN Tower Update

I would like to thank those of you who sponsored me for the CN Tower climb. I managed to climb the 1,776 steps (144 flights) in 17 minutes and 24 seconds. Then they proceeded to tell me (as the lactic acid burned through my legs) that I had to climb another 10 service flights to get to the glass floor-level! Needless to say I was not impressed…

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Cleantech Spending

Amidst a flurry of chatter about cleantech and investment from VCs, there is some interesting results coming from a recent report from Lux Research. As the graph at right shows, there is about a 50/50 split between government and corporate funding of cleantech investment, with only a minor contribution from venture capitalists. At least we are seeing an increasing trend …

Below we see the cleantech investment by segment in total, and from VC funding. In the past three years we can see quite clearly that VCs have been investing in energy and sustainability which matches overall spending patterns.

What will 2007 bring? Leave your opinion …

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Alzheimers and Dementia

There has been much in the way of research in these two areas. Recently I attended a conference in Toronto called BioFinance which brings together companies looking to receive funding (either private or public) and investors. At the conference I saw a company presentation from Transition Therapeutics that discussed its new Alzheimer’s drug called AZD-103 which just received fast-track status from the FDA on April 3, 2007. It has some pretty exciting pre-clinical data … it demonstrates a breakdown of amyloid fibrils within plaques that form on and within the brain essentially reversing damage. The positive results were shown in mice using a Morris water maze test (bottom of page). Could this be that miracle drug we’re all looking for?

Next, I want to discuss a study released which claims that lost memories could be restored by ‘rewiring’ brain; the study was done by MIT researcher Li-Huei Tsai and interestingly enough also utilized the Morris water maze test to show clinical efficacy of their therapy. Their team targeted HDACs (enzymes that prevent histone acetylation) with an HDAC inhibitor under the assumption that HDAC inhibitors initiate the rewiring of neurons. Of course its too early to tell if their therapy is going to go anywhere … let’s wait to see a licensing deal come out of their technology – then I’ll get excited.

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