Stem Cells Allow Nearly Blind Patients to See

TIME

In a report published in the journal Lancet, scientists led by Dr. Robert Lanza, chief scientific officer at Advanced Cell Technology, provide the first evidence that stem cells from human embryos can be a safe and effective source of therapies for two types of eye diseases—age-related macular degeneration, the most common cause of vision loss in people over age 60, and Stargardt’s macular dystrophy, a rarer, inherited condition that can leave patients legally blind and only able to sense hand motions.

In the study, 18 patients with either disorder received transplants of retinal epithelial cells (RPE) made from stem cells that came from human embryos. The embryos were from IVF procedures and donated for research. Lanza and his team devised a process of treating the stem cells so they could turn into the RPE cells. In patients with macular degeneration, these are the cells responsible for their…

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Ebola Advice from Atlanta and Nebraska Doctors Fails to Ease Fears

Every health facility, public and private, must be prepared.

TIME

Physicians who are treating patients with the Ebola virus at Emory University Hospital and the University of Nebraska Medical Center shared their advice and protocols with worried hospitals and health care providers over a phone conference on Tuesday. Whether the conference really quelled these fears, however, was not exactly clear.

The intent of the conference, which was organized by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC), was to answer health care questions related to admitting and treating a patient with Ebola. There’s growing concern among health officials that hospitals without specialized isolation units and with little experience treating serious communicable diseases may not be fully prepared to treat the disease. “We don’t want to have to face another person or family that ends up getting infected because we are not as good as we should be in treating patients,” Karen Higgins, co-president of National Nurses United (NNU) told TIME

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Watch Viola Davis’ Emotional Speech About Childhood Poverty

TIME

Viola Davis, the star of the new ABC drama How to Get Away With Murder, delivered a powerful speech Friday at Variety’s 2014 Power of Women luncheon, telling an audience that she’s driven to end childhood hunger by memories of “abject poverty” in her own life.

“I stole for food, I jumped in huge garbage bins with maggots for food,” said Davis. “I didn’t join the hunger is campaign to save the world. I set out to save myself.”

She was recognized at a luncheon along with Jane Fonda, Reese Witherspoon and Jennifer Lopez for humanitarian efforts, the Associated Press reports.

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Nobel Co-Winner Kailash Satyarthi: The Whole World Should Protect Children’s Rights

TIME

Kailash Satyarthi, a relatively unknown child rights activist from India, is sharing this year’s Nobel Peace Prize with Malala Yousafzai, a teen campaigner from Pakistan who was shot in the head by the Taliban while going to school in 2012. The reclusive Satyarthi, admittedly nowhere near as famous as his co-recipient, is, however, a messiah for India’s close to 50 million child workers. Satyarthi’s Bachpan Bachao Andolan (loosely translated as Movement to Save Childhood) has to date rescued and rehabilitated more than 80,000 child laborers. Just last month, it rescued 24 child workers between the ages of eight and 15 from a bag and shoe making plant in New Delhi.

Apart from freeing children from forced labor, Satyarthi has also successfully created international awareness about child workers issue by organizing global marches. The international social tag “Rugmark,” created by Satyarthi, is a widely recognized guarantee that a rug or carpet…

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JFK Begins Screening Airline Passengers for Ebola

TIME

Enhanced Ebola screenings began Saturday at New York’s John F. Kennedy International Airport as authorities moved to ensure passengers potentially carrying the virus don’t make it into the United States.

Anyone traveling from Liberia, Guinea and Sierra Leone will be singled out by Customs and Border Protection, who will take their temperature with a non-contact thermometer and ask them a series of questions, the New York Times reports.

Kennedy is the first of five American airports planning to tighten screening protocols in an effort to protect the U.S. from the disease’s possible spread. But health officials warned that the only way to stop Ebola is to defeat it in West Africa.

Still, experts say the state of medical care in the U.S. and the current precautions mean that the likelihood of widespread infection here is very low.

“The chances of seeing anything like the calamity in western Africa is profoundly…

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Venture

I went to the woods because I wished to live deliberately, to front only the essential facts of life, and see if I could not learn what it had to teach, and not, when I came to die, discover that I had not live. (Henry David Thoreau)

In life we are called to venture… As we live, we gain experiences from our encounters and the people or activities we engage.

The word venture refers to an undertaking involving uncertainty as to the outcome, especially a risky or dangerous one. How else would a mountain-climber know what it is to reach the summit if he/she does not take on a mountain-climbing venture. As our lives’ journey would allow us, our summits are the highest points of attainment or aspiration; the summit of our own ambition. How high are you going to let your ambition make you climb?

Entrepreneurs take on a venture when they speculate whether or not a commercial decision puts their enterprise at risk in the hope of profit. As individuals we to have such decisions to make with our own investments. As we say, “we work hard for our money”, we speculate whether or not that glamorous extra income opportunity that requires us to invest what we have in the hope of earning more. We also ponder on whether or not it is more lucrative to pay for further education or buy a vehicle or purchase that dream house(or what we can afford until further notice).

As we live, we expose our lives to hazards and risks; we brave the dangers of the decisions we make; we undertake to express what is on our minds especially when opposition or resistance appears likely to follow. We must be bold enough; we must dare ourselves to go, to do, to be.
As we live we must venture.
Koma 2014