Charlie Knuth making big strides while recovering from transplant in Minnesota
A few weeks back, Trisha Knuth had to see her son go to a place, no six-year-old should ever get to. "Charlie thought he was going to die, as a 6-year-old," Trisha recalls, "I would be trying to comfort him and he would just say out of the blue, mama you're going to be so sad." ...Sometimes it got so bad, Trisha herself wasn't so sure what was going to happen to Charlie, who suffers from Epidermolysis bullosa, an extremely rare and terminal skin disease. ...Charlie's first stem cell transplant was back in 2010 as a part of the clinical trial started by Dr. Jakub Tolar at the University of Minnesota Amplatz children's hospital. Since 2007 they've performed 25 transplants on EB patients. "The ultimate goal has always been to cure Epidermolysis bullosa," said Dr. Tolar, "we are closer than before for sure, I'm also very clear on the fact that we are not done, this is truly the beginning, or the end of the beginning if you will, because we have accomplished something but there is truly a long road to go."
To Watch: http://wearegreenbay.com/fulltext?nxd_id=146942
Something for the weekend
Decisions, decisions, decisions...the way people make choices has huge implications for both business and society, according to the latest business school research. In the retail sector, researchers at the University of Miami, Texas A&M University and the University of Minnesota say that shoppers are more likely to buy a product if they are offered more - a three-for-the-price-of-two offer, for example - rather that a discounted price - 20 or 30 per cent off. This is true even if the cut-price offer is a better deal, they say.
Business and Politics
Romney gets welfare politics right as attack ad misses on facts
Mitt Romney’s claim that President Barack Obama has quietly gutted the nation’s welfare overhaul may be a political winner with some voters. Yet it’s an assertion that is at odds with the views of policy experts, the Republican governor who suggested the idea of more flexible rules, and former President Bill Clinton, who signed the landmark 1996 welfare reform into law. ...The line of attack speaks to concern among white working class voters, a crucial constituency for Romney, as well as independents that the government is catering to the highest and lowest rungs of society at their expense, said Larry Jacobs, a political science professor at the University of Minnesota.
San Francisco Chronicle
Pawlenty on 7 corporate boards, raising new VP questions
Former Minnesota Gov. Tim Pawlenty has joined the boards of seven corporations in the past year and become senior adviser to a California investment firm, opening a new, private-sector chapter in his life that could leave vice presidential vetters with lots of new questions. ..."I think [Mitt] Romney's experience proves that any company where a candidate for high political office is working or has worked is going to receive very close scrutiny," said Ian Maitland, a professor at the University of Minnesota's Carlson School.
Minneapolis Star Tribune
Commentary and Opinion
Harry Boyte: Citizen Politics -- a new Minnesota miracle
In the Civic Health Index conducted each year by the congressionally mandated National Conference of Citizenship, Minnesota leads the nation in civic engagement when a variety of measures, from voting levels and volunteering to involvement in neighborhood problem-solving and charitable contributions, are taken into account. Some years ago, the vitality of the civic culture in the state prompted a Time cover story called "The Minnesota Miracle." Harry C. Boyte is...a Senior Fellow at the Humphrey School of Public Affairs. Hunter Gordon is a graduate student at the University of Minnesota-Twin Cities and a democracy organizer for the Center for Democracy and Citizenship.
Updates and Events
CardioVascular Centers offers $101 tests in Minneapolis' skyways to gauge heart-attack risk
Ever wonder if you have heart disease? Entrepreneur Maury Taylor says his startup, CardioVascular Centers, can answer that question in less than 15 minutes via a few short tests, which he will offer at a new clinic in the Minneapolis skyway. ...Taylor’s business has licensed a cardiovascular disease-detection system developed by University of Minnesota cardiologist Dr. Jay Cohn.
Twin Cities Business Journal (requires subscription to read full article)
Drought brings questions over supremacy of corn
In a few hours, the Agriculture Department is going to give us new estimates for this fall's harvest, and the expectation is: it won't be pretty. Corn prices hit a new record high yesterday, because of fears that the drought could shrink supply by 15 percent. Corn is America's biggest crop, though some experts are questioning whether that should still be the case. ..."Very little ends up at corn on a dinner plate. Most of it is turned into cows or cars." Jon Foley directs the Institute on the Environment at the University of Minnesota.
American Public Media (Marketplace Sustainability)
UMD Large Lakes Observatory plants robot-like innovation in Lake Superior
Researchers with UMD's Large Lakes Observatory are still marveling at the extent of the potential that the Autonomous Moored Profiler, or AMP, posessess. With its deployment into the depths of Lake Superior, scientists will be able to measure everything; from temperature, to currents, to nutrient and sediment levels.
Robots are spending a year in Lake Superior. Even when the top of the lake is frozen. They'll measure temperature and currents. Researchers hope to eliminate fair weather bias where conclusions about a lake are reached based only on data collected in the summer when humans can collect it. Robots are better than humans. Sorry, just trying to get in good when the revolution comes.
American Public Media (Marketplace Tech Report)
Agriculture in United States losing ground in innovation
Funding for the basic research that makes American agriculture a world leader in innovation and production is stagnant if not in decline. America used to account for 21 percent of all research and development focused on agriculture in the world. Today, it is China that holds that lead position. The U.S. investment has shrunk to 14 percent, according to Dr. Brian Buhr, head of the Department of Applied Economics at the University of Minnesota. Buhr was part of a panel of U of M department heads speaking at Farmfest on Thursday.
West Central Tribune
Good Question: Are Minn. lakes getting warmer?
It’s an amoeba not normally found in Minnesota lakes. It’s more common in the south, where it’s warmer. But it’s blamed by Minnesota health investigators for the death of a 9-year-old boy, who went swimming in a Stillwater lake. Are Minnesota lakes getting warmer, and what does that mean to our lake lifestyle? “We definitely know they are getting warmer,” said biology professor Dr. Jim Cotner. Cotner’s lab at the University of Minnesota specializes in the microbiology of underwater ecosystems.
To Watch: http://minnesota.cbslocal.com/2012/08/09/good-question-are-minn-lakes-getting-warmer/
Weisman show is a Minnesota muddle
From its "North Star" motto to the "Land of Sky Blue Waters" advertising slogan, Minnesota has long linked itself to geography and nature. ...Given that deep appreciation of this place called Minnesota, there should be more to love in "Tenuous, Though Real," the Weisman Art Museum's summer show of work by more than 30 Minnesota-affiliated artists.
Minneapolis Star Tribune