Food Defense Conference 2016: Call for Papers
Consortium member the National Center for Food Protection and Defense is now accepting abstracts for speaker presentations and student posters to be presented at the 2016 Food Defense Conference. The conference will be held in Minneapolis on May 24-25, 2016; the deadline for submissions is Dec. 30, 2015. The goal of the conference is to bring together experts from around the world to create solutions that will lead to a safe and secure food supply.
Busy Summer for U of MN Bee Squad
The University of Minnesota Bee Squad is taking advantage of the warm weather to advance their mission of fostering healthy bee populations through community outreach. An article in the Star Tribune describes how members of the Squad are partnering with Urban Ventures to involve low-income Latinas – the self-described Reinas de Miel or Honey Queens – in beekeeping. Another program, “Healthy Honey Bees and Communities,” is supported by Consortium student research funds. Its goal is to explore the practicalities of establishing community apiaries in urban areas. (Left) Children participate in an event run by grantee Ana Heck (kneeling) and others to promote better understand of the importance of bee pollination to our food system. You can view more photos and updates of the Bee Squad's activities on Facebook.
U Among Leaders of New Medical Technology Coalition
A new enterprise has been launched to build on the Minnesota's leadership position in medical technology research and development. The Minnesota Medical Manufacturing Partnership (MMMP) is made up of the University of Minnesota and other nonprofits, economic development agencies and state government organizations. According to Maura Donovan, executive director of the U’s Office of University Economic Development, “this effort is a great example of how Minnesota can identify its key industry sectors and leverage them in creative new ways to spur economic development across the state.”
"Killer Kale" Stories Not Based on Science
Recent media reports about the dangers of eating too much kale have "all the hallmarks of a bogus health scare," according to an article in Vox. The meme began in a magazine profile of a Marin County alternative medicine practitioner who claims that because kale is a "hyper-accumulator" of the naturally-occurring toxic metal thallium, it can cause alarming symptoms ranging from neurological disorders to arrhythmias to digestive troubles. The story was picked up by outlets like Mother Jones, Women's Health and Cosmopolitan despite its questionable scientific basis. To throw cold water on concerns about "killer kale," Vox quotes William Toscano, director of Consortium member the Center for Environment & Health Policy: "Causality would be difficult to show because diseases are complex and probably have multiple causes including genetic and epigenetic involvement."
CTSI Researchers Collaborate with Industry to Develop New Cancer Treatments
Jeffrey Miller, MD, and Dan Kaufman, MD, will be working with Fate Therapeutics to harness the ability of natural killer (NK) cells to detect and destroy malignant cells. Miller and Kaufman are on the faculty of Consortium member the Clinical and Translational Science Institute (CTSI), and Miller also serves as deputy director of CTSI and of the Masonic Cancer Center. NK cells show promise in fighting tumors, but so far isolating and generating clinically relevant quantities has been challenging.