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February 28, 2005

Gene switch turns stem cells into cancer killers

Gene switch turns stem cells into cancer killers

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Monday, February 28, 2005

Human Genetics

A gene has been discovered that turns stem cells into cancer killers, promising new treatments that boost the body’s ability to destroy tumors.

South Korean scientists from the Korea Research Institute of Bioscience and Biotechnology in Daejeon say that the gene, Vitamin D3 Upregulated Protein 1 (VDUP1), spurs stem cells to become natural killer cells.

These components of the immune system can eliminate virus-infected and cancerous cells. Research leader Inpyo Choi says the team observed that VDUP1 plays a decisive role in causing stem cells to become natural killers.

The discovery was made by examining mice bred to lack the gene. The mice had a dramatic reduction in the number and activity of natural killer cells.

Besides determining the gene’s importance to the immune system, Choi and colleagues have developed technology needed to spur the creation of natural killers from a person’s own bone marrow stem cells.

Choi calls this “the first step toward developing new treatments using our own immune system to fight cancers and other serious diseases.”

The research is reported in the journal Immunity.



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\’Aviator,\’ \’Baby\’ dominate 2005 Academy Awards

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Monday, February 28, 2005

File:Oscar icon by reiartur.png

The 77th Annual Academy Awards were held on February 27th, 2005 and broadcast live across the world. Some of the more poignant moments included a tribute to Johnny Carson, frequent host of the Awards, as well as a video tribute to many people involved in the movie industry who died in the past year, including Rodney Dangerfield, Ossie Davis, Christopher Reeve, Marlon Brando, and Ronald Reagan, set to the music of Yo Yo Ma.

Winners/Nominees

Best Picture

Million Dollar Baby

Other nominees
  • The Aviator
  • Finding Neverland
  • Ray
  • Sideways

Achievement in Directing

Clint Eastwood, Million Dollar Baby

Other nominees

  • Martin Scorsese, The Aviator
  • Taylor Hackford, Ray
  • Alexander Payne, Sideways
  • Mike Leigh, Vera Drake

Best Actor in a Leading Role

Jamie Foxx, Ray

Other nominees
  • Don Cheadle, Hotel Rwanda
  • Johnny Depp, Finding Neverland
  • Leonardo DiCaprio, The Aviator
  • Clint Eastwood, Million Dollar Baby

Best Supporting Actor

Morgan Freeman, Million Dollar Baby

Other nominees
  • Alan Alda, The Aviator
  • Thomas Haden Church, Sideways
  • Jamie Foxx, Collateral
  • Clive Owen, Closer

Best Actress in a Leading Role

Hilary Swank, Million Dollar Baby

Other nominees
  • Annette Bening, Being Julia
  • Catalina Sandino Moreno, Maria Full of Grace
  • Imelda Staunton, Vera Drake
  • Kate Winslet, Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Best Supporting Actress

Cate Blanchett, The Aviator

Other nominees
  • Laura Linney, Kinsey
  • Virginia Madsen, Sideways
  • Sophie Okenodo, Hotel Rwanda
  • Natalie Portman, Closer

Best Original Screenplay

Eternal Sunshine of the Spotless Mind

Other nominees
  • The Aviator
  • Hotel Rwanda
  • The Incredibles
  • Vera Drake

Best Adapted Screenplay

Sideways

Other nominees
  • Before Sunset
  • Finding Neverland
  • Million Dollar Baby
  • The Motorcycle Diaries

Best Foreign-Language Film

The Sea Inside

Other nominees
  • As It Is In Heaven
  • The Chorus
  • Downfall
  • Yesterday

Best Animated Feature Film

The Incredibles

Other nominees
  • Shark Tale
  • Shrek 2

Achievement in Art Direction

The Aviator

Other nominees
  • Finding Neverland
  • Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera
  • A Very Long Engagement

Achievement in Cinematography

The Aviator

Other nominees
  • House of Flying Daggers
  • The Passion of the Christ
  • Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera
  • A Very Long Engagement

Achievement in Costume Design

The Aviator

Other nominees
  • Finding Neverland
  • Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events
  • Ray
  • Troy

Best Documentary Feature

Born into Brothels

Other nominees
  • The Story of the Weeping Camel
  • Super Size Me
  • Tupac: Resurrection
  • Twist of Faith

Best Film Editing

The Aviator

Other nominees
  • Collateral
  • Finding Neverland
  • Million Dollar Baby
  • Ray

Achievement in Makeup

A Series of Unfortunate Events

Other nominees
  • The Passion of the Christ
  • The Sea Inside

Best Original Score

Finding Neverland

Other nominees
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • Lemony Snicket’s A Series of Unfortunate Events
  • The Passion of the Christ
  • The Village

Original Song

Al Otro Lado Del Rio, from The Motorcycle Diaries

Other nominees
  • “Accidentally in Love”, Shrek 2
  • “Believe”, The Polar Express
  • “Learn to Be Lonely”, Andrew Lloyd Webber’s The Phantom of the Opera
  • “Look to Your Path (Vois sur ton chemin)”, The Chorus

Achievement in Sound Mixing

Ray

Other nominees
  • The Aviator
  • The Incredibles
  • The Polar Express
  • Spider-Man 2

Achievement in Sound Editing

The Incredibles

Other nominees
  • The Polar Express
  • Spider-Man 2

Best Visual Effects

Spider-Man 2

Other nominees
  • Harry Potter and the Prisoner of Azkaban
  • I, Robot

Best Documentary Short

Mighty Times: The Children’s March

Other nominees
  • Autism is the World
  • The Children of Leningradsky
  • Hardwood
  • Sister Rose’s Passion

Best Animated Short Film

Ryan

Other nominees
  • Birthday Boy
  • Gopher Broke
  • Guard Dog
  • Lorenzo

Best Live-Action Short Film

Wasp

Other nominees
  • Everything in this Country Must
  • Little Terrorist
  • 7:35 in the Morning
  • Two Cars, One Night

Sources


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Three Romanian ports closed due to heavy fog

Filed under: Archived,Black Sea,Merchant shipping,Romania,Transport,Weather — admin @ 5:00 am

Three Romanian ports closed due to heavy fog

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The Constanţa port, Romania’s largest, was closed due to the fog…

… as was the Danube-Black Sea Canal, a major transitway for ships between the North Sea and the Black Sea

Monday, February 28, 2005

Bucharest, Romania — The Romanian Black Sea ports of Constanţa, Midia and Mangalia were closed on Saturday due to heavy fog. The Danube-Black Sea Canal was also caused due to reduced visibility. The canal, which runs for 64 km, is an important part of the European shipping channel that links the North Sea to the Black Sea and the Mediterranean.

The port closures left 54 ships in the harbour or stranded at sea, said Alexandru Mezei, the director of shipping navigation at Constanţa Port, the largest port in Romania. However, he claims that the closure was necessary to prevent accidents from occurring, as the fog had reduced visiblity below safe levels.

References


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Romanian VAT to remain at 19 percent

Romanian VAT to remain at 19 percent – Wikinews, the free news source

Romanian VAT to remain at 19 percent

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Monday, February 28, 2005

[[w:Bucharest, Romania|Bucharest, Romania] — The Romanian Finance Minister Ionuţ Popescu has responded to public fears of a rise in value added tax (VAT) by saying that Romania’s VAT will remain at 19% and will not increase. He rejected rumours that the value added tax, which is applied to most goods and services, will increase due to negotiations with the International Monetary Fund and a need to boost government revenue.

After introducing a low flat tax rate of 16% on January 1, 2005, which applies to both personal income and corporate profits, the government has had to fund the tax cuts through alternative means, including increases in other types of taxation, to avoid running a high budget deficit. For example, from April 1, the government will increase excises as well as a range of other taxes. Despite the increase, Romania continues to have one of the lowest fiscal burdens in Europe due to the new 16% flat tax rate.

References

  • Florin Cepraga. “VAT stays at 19%” — Bucharest Daily News, February 28, 2005


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Rare antibody yields AIDS vaccine insight

Filed under: AIDS,Archived,Health,Vaccination — admin @ 5:00 am

Rare antibody yields AIDS vaccine insight

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Monday, February 28, 2005

La Jolla, California, USA –

A rare antibody has yielded insight into creating an effective AIDS vaccine.

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California and several other institutions say that the neutralizing antibody broadly defuses HIV.

Neutralizing antibodies are secreted into the bloodstream following exposure to a virus, where they bind to viral particles, prevent them from infecting cells and spur their destruction. Because neutralizing antibodies attack viruses before they enter cells, they could form the basis for effective AIDS vaccines if present before exposure to HIV. But while the body makes many antibodies against HIV, they are usually unable to neutralize the virus. Some people, however, do produce effective neutralizing antibodies for HIV.

Dennis Burton of Scripps and colleagues have now described the structure of one of these, called 4E10. In tests, the antibody neutralized nearly 100 strains of HIV from around the world.

Isolated about a decade ago from an HIV-infected person by study coauthor Hermann Katinger of the Institute for Applied Microbiology of the University of Agriculture in Vienna, Austria, the antibody shows what type of structure can neutralize HIV.

It appears that 4E10 targets an area on the HIV surface protein GP41 that the virus uses to fuse its membrane to a human cell’s membrane during infection.

Because the antibody’s structure shows what this area on HIV’s surface looks like, it provides scientists with a template for reverse-engineering components for AIDS vaccines.

The research is reported in the journal Immunity.


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Lebanese Government resigns amid protests

Filed under: Archived,Lebanon,Politics and conflicts,Syria — admin @ 5:00 am

Lebanese Government resigns amid protests

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Monday, February 28, 2005

Syria has 14,000 troops in the Lebanon

The Government has resigned amid a protest by 10,000 people in Martyrs Square. The -backed government lead by Prime Minister Omar Karami was under pressure in recent weeks, particularly after former Prime Minister Rafik al-Hariri was killed earlier this month.

The protests were demonstrating over Syria’s large military presence in Lebanon. Syria has over 14,000 troops in Lebanon.

Announcing his resignation, Karami said, “Out of concern that the government does not become an obstacle to the good of the country, I announce the resignation of the government I had the honour to lead.” In response to the governments decision to resign, opposition leader Walid Jumblat said, “The people have won.”

The Syrian Government, which backed the government of Mr Karami said that the matter was “an internal affair” for Lebanon.

Sources


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Construction for Romania-Italy pipeline to start in 2007

Filed under: Archived,Economy and business,Italy,Romania — admin @ 5:00 am

Construction for Romania-Italy pipeline to start in 2007

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Monday, February 28, 2005

Bucharest, Romania — The construction of the oil pipeline linking Constanţa, Romania with Trieste, Italy could commence as soon as 2007, claims Eugen Tapu, the Romanian State Secretary in the Economy and Trade Ministry. The exact date will depend on how fast the countries involved in the project can sign the project.

The pipeline will run from Constanţa, Romania’s largest port on the Black Sea, through Romania, Serbia, Croatia, Slovenia before ending up in Trieste, northern Italy. Tapu named Chevron Texaco, British Petroleum and OMV among the companies interested in the project.

The oil pipeline is expected to cost Romania 1.9 billion euro.

References


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Cambridge Planning Board approves new science building at Harvard

Cambridge Planning Board approves new science building at Harvard

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Future site of the Northwest Science Building

Monday, February 28, 2005

Cambridge, Massachusetts — The planning board of Cambridge, Massachusetts voted in unanimous approval of Harvard University’s plan to build a 410,000 ft² (38 090 m²) science center at 24 Oxford Street, according to the local newspapers, the Harvard Crimson and the Cambridge Chronicle. More than half of the space in the building will be constructed underground.

Hammond Street– a sound barrier erected to protect local residents from construction noise can be seen at right.

The Northwest Science Building, as it will be called, will house the laboratories of roughly 30 Harvard science faculty members, as well as a chilled water plant and an electrical substation. The building was designed by Craig Hartman, an architect in the San Francisco office of Skidmore, Owings and Merrill, who also completed Harvard University Master Plan in 2002, according to the firm’s website. Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill also designed such notable buildings as Chicago’s Sears Tower and the recently completed international terminal at the San Francisco airport.

The vote to approve the plan occurred at the February 15, 2005, meeting of the Cambridge Planning Board at the City Hall Annex, 344 Massachusetts Avenue in Cambridge. In what the Harvard Crimson called a “departure from the norm,” there were no comments from residents at the hearing. The Crimson reported that the Harvard officials at the meeting took this as “a signal that the community was well-informed about the project prior to the presentation.” The sign advertising the hearing can be seen at right.

Notice of public hearing at the construction site. While the sign appears blank, there was handwritten text on the sign. The sign had been put where the sun does shine.

In related news, the Director of Urban Design for Skidmore, Owings, and Merrill’s New York office, Vishaan Chakrabarti, will be speaking at the Harvard Graduate School of Design on March 1, 2005.

Sources

Wikinews
This article features first-hand journalism by Wikinews members. See the collaboration page and notes page and notes page for more details.


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

Bank of America declares 1.2 million account records \”lost\”

Filed under: Archived,Economy and business,North America,United States — admin @ 5:00 am

Bank of America declares 1.2 million account records “lost”

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Monday, February 28, 2005

Charlotte, North Carolina — One of the biggest domestic banks in the United States, Bank of America, has admitted to losing computer tapes containing 1.2 million federal employee accounts, including the accounts of several U.S. senators, in a statement by the bank. According to the Pentagon, most of the accounts belong to staff and civilians in the Department of Defense. The bank said the tapes were lost in December 2004 as they were being transported to a data back-up centre by a commercial plane.

Currently, the U.S. Secret Service are looking in to the matter, a federal agency whose brief includes investigations of serious financial crime such as this. All parties concerned are worrying about possible identity theft as it contained valuable information such as bank account numbers, names and addresses.

Sources


This text comes from Wikinews. Permission is granted to copy, distribute and/or modify this document under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution 2.5 licence. For a complete list of contributors for this article, visit the corresponding history entry on Wikinews.

February 27, 2005

Two-headed baby has second head removed

Filed under: Africa,Archived,Cairo,Egypt,Health,Middle East — admin @ 5:00 am

Two-headed baby has second head removed – Wikinews, the free news source

Two-headed baby has second head removed

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Sunday, February 27, 2005

An Egyptian baby, born with two heads, is recovering after a successful operation to remove the second head in Cairo on Thursday.

The ten-month old baby was suffering from a condition known as Craniopagus parasiticus, which is a medical condition where an undeveloped, parasitic twin head is attached to the body of a developed twin.

The second head was said to be able to smile and blink, but was not capable of independent life.

Manar Maged underwent a thirteen hour operation to have the head removed. There have only been eight cases of this condition recorded. A baby suffering from it underwent a similar operation in the Dominican Republic in February 2004 but did not survive.

Baby Manar is doing well and shows no signs of paralysis. It is expected that she will remain in intensive care for at least a week.

Sources



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