Wednesday, June 28, 2006

I don't think you understand

how much I miss my Kenny and how excited I am that she's coming back in 1 month and two days! (That's 33 days. Approx. 792 hours. 47,520 minutes.) I lived with her in second year (though we didn't hang out a whole lot) and then moved to BC with her for the summer, where we shared a room, a bed, and a workplace. Third year first semester was tough because I lived on campus and she lived with her brother, but we still had dates a few times a week. Second semester was torture - I moved to England for four months - the longest we'd been apart since September of second year. May 2004 was a happy time - we moved into the same room at the Sugar Shack, and spent a whole year together (and started dating the Brians!). After graduation she moved back in with her brother and I moved downtown, but we again shared a workplace. At the end of July, we took those horribly difficult steps through the security doors at Pearson International Airport and got on the plane to Japan. We lived four hours away, but saw eachother once or twice (a few times, three times!) a month. And then I punked out and moved back to Ontario. I left my dear kenny in Japan, and have been Kenny-less for the past six months. That's the longest that I've gone without seeing her since we became friends. It's hard.

Monday, June 26, 2006

Did you know that wasps bite?

I didn't. Until last week when Marty gave me a hug.

Thursday, June 22, 2006

Is there anything tastier?

Yesterday evening my ladies and I went strawberry picking at Tigchelaar Berry Farms (which, I might add, is staffed almost entirely by Redeemer students of the female persuasion). Beautiful weather, beautiful strawberries, beautiful straw (normally it pokes and scratches your legs... it was so soft this time!). We each picked about ten litres. This morning I had half a bowl of cheerios and half a bowl of strawberries. MMM! Hopefully mumsy will give me some of her rhubarb this weekend and I can make strawberry rhubarb pie early next week. Strawberry season is the (second) most wonderful season of all.

Wednesday, June 21, 2006

1. Take the nearest book and look up page 18 line 4: to bring delight and fulfillment to another, an expression of...

2. Reach out your arm as far as you can, what do you touch?

The cute late birthday card that Mare sent, Rolf (the stuffed dog Mare gave me on my 18th birthday) and the wall.

3. What is the latest thing you watched on tv?

Must've been Full House... Classy, I know. Jesse was building the apartment in the attic and got stuck in the wall...

4. Without looking, guess what time it is.

10:13 - nope--wrong by 7 min. It's 10:06.

5. Apart from the computer, what else do you hear?

A public reading by Alice Munroe, entitled "Giving up Writing." It's on CBC radio 1.

6. When were you last outside, what did you do?

Picked strawberries!

7. What did you look at before you started answering all these questions?

I was reading Kenny's blog. And tabbing through all the other blogs.

8. What are you wearing?

Comfy pants and my England t-shirt.

9. Did you dream last night? If so, what do you remember?

Yes, I sure did. If I answered this question before I went to work in the morning, I might actually be able to tell you about it.

10 When did you last laugh?

About half an hour ago, Rachel's dad set the ringer on their cordless phone-- it's louder and more obnoxious than those silly ring tunes on cell phones! Funny stuff.

11. What is on the wall of the room you're sitting in right now?

Two framed pictures of sand and beaches, an empty picture frame, a cool mirror and my calendar from one of those Japanese hyaku-en shoppusu. Wow, this is the least-cluttered that my walls have been since I was too young to be allowed to tape things onto my walls!

12. Have you seen anything strange lately?

I was on the 403 up the mountain this evening and a huge stack of styrafoam insulation blew off of the truck ahead of me and landed in the middle of the highway and the driver just kept right on going along his merry way.

13. What do you think of this challenge?

This is a silly question. Very self-important. Meta-quiz...

14. What movie have you watched most recently.

When Harry Met Sally

15. If you became a multi-millionaire, what would you buy?

A big old house downtown, a christmas tree farm, a few boats for my babe...(sail boats, towing boats)...

16. Tell something about yourself that others don't know.

I've got a thing for guys that look like Hugh Grant.

17. If you could change one thing in the world without having to worry about politics or feelings of guilt, what would it be?

Genetic diseases. I'd be comfortable if they were gone.

18. Do you like dancing?

Mm, yeah, I do. But not when lots of people can see me dance. Eesh.

19. George Bush?

Elliot Tree? Jordan Flower? I like this game. I'm good at it.

20-21. What would you name your girl/boy respectively?

Um. Well, the names Reuben, Nadine, Evan and Judah are out... Darn it, those were all my choices. Gotta start over.

22. Could you consider living abroad?

Mhmm. But preferably next time in an anglophone country.

23. What would you like God to say to you when you arrive to the Pearly Gates?

That he's got a place 'specially for me.

Saturday, June 17, 2006

Cure Found for Huntington Disease in Mice Offers Hope for Treatment in Humans

(Dr. Michael Hayden is a member of the HDSA Coalition for the Cure)

VANCOUVER, B.C. June 16, 2006: Researchers at the Child and Family Research Institute’s Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics (CMMT) have provided ground-breaking evidence for a cure for Huntington disease in a mouse offering hope that this disease can be relieved in humans.

Published today in Cell journal, Dr. Michael Hayden and colleagues discovered that by preventing the cleavage of the mutant huntingtin protein responsible for Huntington disease (HD) in a mouse model, the degenerative symptoms underlying the illness do not appear and the mouse displays normal brain function. This is the first time that a cure for HD in mice has been successfully achieved.

“Ten years ago, we discovered that huntingtin is cleaved by ‘molecular scissors’ which led to the hypothesis that cleavage of huntingtin may play a key role in causing Huntington disease”, said Dr. Michael Hayden, Director and Senior Scientist at the University of British Columbia’s Centre for Molecular Medicine and Therapeutics.

Now a decade later, this hypothesis has resulted in a landmark discovery. “This is a monumental effort that provides the most compelling evidence of this hypothesis to date”, said Dr. Marian DiFiglia, Professor in Neurology, Massachusetts General Hospital, Harvard Medical School and one of the world’s leading experts on Huntington disease. “Dr. Hayden and his team have shown in convincing fashion that many of the changes seen in HD patients can be erased in HD mice simply by engineering a mutation into the disease gene that prevents the protein from getting cleaved at a specific site”.

To explore the role of cleavage, Dr. Hayden’s team established an animal model of HD that replicated the key disease features seen in patients. A unique aspect of this particular animal model is that it embodied the human HD gene in exactly the same way seen in patients. This replication allowed researchers to examine the progression of HD symptoms including the inevitable cleavage of the mutant huntingtin protein. In the study, researchers confirmed that the deadly cleavage is caused by a key enzyme called caspase-6. By blocking the action of this target, they showed that the mouse did not develop any symptoms of Huntington disease.

Hayden's team is now trying to test this model of prevention in a mouse using drug inhibitors and then ultimately in humans. “Our findings are important because they tell us exactly what we need to do next”, said Dr. Rona Graham, Post Doctoral Fellow at the CMMT and lead author in the study.

This work is also pivotal for the individuals and families affected by Huntington disease. “Patients of this disease should know that this is a research milestone for all and that this work brings the field closer to finding effective treatment for a devastating disorder”, said Dr. DiFiglia.

The Huntington Society of Canada (HSC), a national network of volunteers and professionals united in the fight against HD, echoed this sentiment. “This ground-breaking research provides great hope for the Huntington community”, said Don Lamont, the Society’s CEO and Executive Director. “This research brings us closer to treatment and ultimately a cure”.

Huntington disease is a degenerative brain disease that affects one in every 10,000 Canadians. One in 1,000 is touched by HD — for example, as a person with HD, a family member, a person at risk, caregiver or friend. The disease results from degeneration of neurons in certain areas of the brain causing uncontrolled movements, loss of intellectual faculties, and emotional disturbances. Currently, there is no treatment to delay or prevent HD in patients.

This research was funded by Canadian Institutes of Health Research, Hereditary Disease Foundation, Huntington Disease Society of America, Michael Smith Foundation for Health Research, High Q Foundation, Merck Frosst, Child and Family Research Institute of BC.

Saturday, June 10, 2006

Y'all come back now, y'hear?

Care for sum chikin? Just got home from a four day trip to the great state of Kentucky, the horse capital of the world. The town that we stayed in (if it can indeed be called a town) is Willmore (pronounced WIllMOre), located in Jessamine county (prounouce: JEHssaMINE CAHnty). As the president of the college said, it's not the end of the world, but you can see it from there! No one goes through Willmore unless there's something in Willmore that's pulling you there- and for most of the population of the town, (and those like us who come as foreigners) the only thing doing any pulling is Asbury College and Theological Seminary.
So why did Asbury draw us canadians? The annual NACAAP conference. (I'm still not sure what it stands for). Advancing enrollment in higher Christian Education-- ie/ a conference for Admissions Counsellors. There were some fabulous presentation sessions, and also some keen team building that went on after hours... hangin out at the local waaal-maart - we even had some drinks at John Michael's - belonging to Mr John Michael Montgomery of Country Music fame, who lives just a few short miles out of Nicholasville (what, you thought there'd be a walmart in Willmore? Not a chance). Nathan was really pulling hard for making a trip out to Elizabethtown but I voted against-- I could hardly stay awake during the movie, it bore no inspiration within me to visit the town.
Anyhow, we skipped out on a concert by Seven Day Slumber, relaxed to a live out door big band, slept on rock-hard matresses (I have a bruise on my hip) and bonded over Denny's breakfast. It was fun. (with the exception of the bruising part)

Back to the office on Monday. Sigh.