Exciting iPSC Stem Cell Technology~Autologous & Allogeneic

This Morning  this brief news release on breakthroughs in Stem Cell Research caught my attention

It also added two words to my vocabulary ~ Autologous & Allogeneic in this regenerative medicine space

The Japanese Shinya Yamanaka who won the 2012 Nobel Prize for his research on stem cells has created a new exciting approach termed as iPSC Technology…that’s induced Pluripotent Stem Cells

Any human cell can be genetically reprogrammed to an embryonic state

In US there have been ethical concerns on the use of embryonic stem cells .However,Yamanaka’s research allows for the use of adult cells 

Here are some interesting extracts :

“The use is now autologous: meaning the cells were taken from the patient, engineered then returned into the same person. The company is working on allogeneic cells – that do not depend on using the same patient’s cells—so that some day these products could be bought off-the-shelf.”

“We can regenerate using a 70-year-old’s skin cells and make them iPS cells that are virtually zero years old. What we thought of as science fiction is now becoming a reality.”

“has the potential of setting off a medical and industrial revolution,”

Leading Pharmaceutical companies,most of them globally listed, are now adopting iPSC cells along with the traditional animal model for research & clinical tests for drug development & trying different therapies for those “afflicted with everything from Parkinson’s Disease and diabetes to spinal cord injuries and heart disease.”

Stem Cells already find autologous application in Skin & Cartilage replacement & Research is on to to address many diseases including Cancer & growing various organs,beginning with the liver using iPSC Technology

Regenerative Medicine has the Potential to be a US $ 120 b industry by 2030 & Japan has opened out regulations quicker than US in this space & it is where leading scientists & companies are heading.Japan feels this space will be one in which they can give the world another Innovative Industry & regain & maintain economic power

Re-engineered Stem Cells & their Application based on  iPSC Technology ~Interesting Investing Theme

Opprobrium~Harsh Censure~ Charlie Munger thrashes Valeant Pharma calling it a sewer

Warren Buffett and Charlie Munger

Came across the use of Opprobrium in context of the shaming the conduct of  Valeant Pharmaceuticals, once the darling of Wall Street

It stands for Harsh Criticism or Censure or public disgrace for shameful conduct…. Valeant has been accused of Price gouging, secret network of speciality pharmacies & fraud  

Always loved the Bluntness of Charlie Munger ,Vice Chairman of Berkshire Hathaway.He’s 92 now and his words carry huge weight

Yesterday at BH’s AGM in Omaha,both Warren Buffett & he took on pre-selected questions for several hours.This Q & A is one of the most awaited sessions at the AGM

A question was asked on Sequoia’s Investment in the embattled Valeant Pharmaceuticals.Warren likes Sequoia but their decision to invest in Valeant was unfortunate  & the manager who made that decision has been fired

Here’s what both Buffett & Munger said on Valeant yesterday

Charlie Munger ~ “Valeant of course was a Sewer and those who are directors deserve all the OPPROBRIUM they’re getting”  

Warren Buffett ~ In my view the Business Model of Valeant was enormously flawed…….one can see patterns of ‘Chain Letter’ Wall Street Schemes….If you’re looking for a manager you want someone who is intelligent, energetic, and moral.But if they don’t have the last one, you don’t want them to have the first two”

In 2015 William Ackman whose Pershing Square Fund has been much maligned for supporting Valeant and taking a huge equity position of @ 9% equity stake in it had sought Warren Buffett’s help in seeking an appointment with Charlie Munger with the then CEO of Valeant,Michael Pearson.Buffett directed Ackman to connect directly with Munger. Munger did not respond…..Pearson is just out and Valeant has a new CEO Joe Pappa

Valeant Pharma’s Share Price  is just under US $ 34 today with a fallen market cap of US $ 11.45 b.It’s crashed from a 52 Week High of US $ 263.81 ! but up from a 52 week low of @ US $ 25

Interestingly,Aswath Damodaran,the Valuation Guru has recently worked out a Value of US $ 43.66 for Valeant with Share Price level at US $ 32 and thinks it’s an emphatic buy ofcourse with caveat.He has taken a position

This has always been my pet theme of debate with many who grudgingly respect my principles but in the same breath think I’m foolish to let go a brilliant investment opportunity !

“Should you always shun a Company which has demonstrated serious lapses on Corporate Governance even if the Share Price & Objective Valuation beckon to buy?”

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Have you Got any Civic Sense !?…then go Vote in the Civic Elections in Mumbai today !…I did

Mumbai Votes today in Civic Elections to elect it’s Municipal Councillors

These days I don’t hear the Greek Definition of an Idiot as someone who did not Vote ! …I suppose this has everything to do with an other stronger Greek Definition emerging that defines an Idiot as a Greek who let his Country go bankrupt !

Have you Got any Civic Sense !?…then go Vote in the Civic Elections in Mumbai today !…I did

….Voting began early at 7.30 am…What is this Love Affair between Senior Citizens and Voting !….my father In law called me precisely at 8 am this morning to inquire if I have voted !…he had just returned from being one of the early birds to vote !

….and by 11 am,when I did vote later in the morning, there was a short queue of a few definitely 75+ aged citizens….one was graciously allowed even though he did not carry any identification…he was recognised by another….and one elderly Parsi gentleman,who I recognised said “Sahibji….we must cast our vote hoping the successful candidate  will do some good,otherwise a wrong candidate may get elected ….that is the only power we have as a citizen in a democracy ” ….I added ” we must vote regardless of whether the elected candidate actually goes on to do any good for the constituency,community and city !”  

Till I had voted,Just 40 odd voters in the three and a half hours before me had cast their vote in Booth No 27 at Greenlawns School in South Mumbai…work out the hourly average….. turnout was sad really

…I read that in the past three civic elections the turnout has been below 50% and in fact candidates that had polled even below 10% of the votes had been declared elected !

….there were eleven candidates in my constituency of which nine were women…so who did I vote for…candidate or party ?…well,all these years my wife and I have voted for different parties and their candidates…I have a theory that this was one of many extremes that kept our marriage wondorously alive and lively !…… this time we voted for the same party !…now ! now ! don’t read too much into this !….as we moved in to vote,she asked me who the candidate for that party was !…I told her it was a woman named….and she has made a host of promises …”ya,right!” she mumbled and grumbled

…so would our vote count !?….think of the tied one day cricket international between India and Sri Lanka the other day in the tri series in Australia if you want the answer !…every ball and every run counts !…the Umpire called a five ball over when India was batting…the media is going over town to say we would have won if the umpire had a good memory and simple and basic mathematical skills to count upto six !

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Everything copasetic at Guangzhou Asian Games Town

Copasetic….It’s an American Slang adjective that means “Everything’s ok” or “Completely satisfactory”

…came across it while browsing through the official website of the ongoing Asian Games 2010 at Guangzhou in China…check out http://www.gz2010.cn/10/1120/23/6LVISNVR0078002T.html 

…Everything copasetic at Guangzhou Asian Games Town

Copasetic does not feature in the English Oxford Dictionary….that gave me a hint that it could be of American source and origin…it is…check out wikipedia http://en.wiktionary.org/wiki/copacetic …the etymology is not proven but originated probably in the US South…..from African Americans in the early 20th or late 19th century….Copasetic has only one meaning but could also be spelt as Copacetic

….I’m enjoying blogging…it’s copasetic at my end…..hope the context is in order…..Cheers !

Life is Lively ! ….. Ghost in the House ! ?… and we had just cleared Paraskavedekatriaphobia ! ?

Life is certainly Lively !

Do you believe in Ghosts !?…. You would if you are frantically woken up at 3.30 am in the morning by your Wife frantically whispering that our Entrance Door was ajar and kept gently banging !

This happened to me a few hours ago….. and this is how it went….. Red denotes Fear and Blue stands for Calmness and it’s just a coincidence that Wife is in Red and Me in Blue… often the colour codes are reversed !

Wife at 3.30 am pulling my Legs frantically while I was just about to conquer Mount Everest : “Wake up ! Wake Up !”

Me murmuring :”Uhh!….!?”

Wife whispering frantically and agitatedly: “Our Front Door is slightly ajar and gently keeps banging”

Yesterday was Friday the 13th… many carry a Fear  of this Day…the phobhia is called ‘PARASKAVEDEKATRIAPHOBIA’…. that’s Greek..’ Paraskave’ denoting ‘Friday’ and ‘Dekatria’ meaning denoting ‘Thirteen’ and ‘Phobia’ standing for ‘Fear’….. Interestingly the Fear for the Number 13 is called ‘TRISKAIDEKAPHOBIA’…… somewhere back of mind this thought lingers…. I had blogged on Feb 14, 2009 too on this Fear… check it out here Darr kay baad hee Jeet hai !.. Yesterday was ‘Fear’ful Friday the 13th.. today it’s ‘Love’ly Valentine Day!

Me jumped straight out of Bed to check : “But it’s Shut”

Wife : “I just Shut it…. but it was open like this”…. she then opens the Door to demonstrate

Me : “I came in last at 10.30 pm…. and you saw me close the door… so how could it be Open ? “

Wife : “Just Check the Living Room…is everything in place?”

Me :”TV is there… Music System is there…. Medals Showcase is intact… nothing seems to have been touched”

Me (in lighter vein): “And even you’re there…. must be a Ghost !”

Wife mumbles something inaudible under her breath

Me : “Go to Sleep”…. 3.30 am may be an ideal hour to relate and share true Ghost Stories…. but…….

Wife visibly less frantic, but yet deeply concerned goes off to Bed reluctantly… but lies awake

And I return to the Living Room and keep my gaze fixed at the Door…. I had seen ‘Ghost Hunters’ on TV and one scene, similar to our Door situation, keeps flickering in my mind

Suddenly I hear a Key Opening the Door !…. Ghosts don’t need keys I thought excitedly !

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Sinecure…… a Paid Job requiring little or no work… a Judge gets one on retirement as a quid pro quo !?

Sinecure….. A Paid Job requiring little or no work

Now wouldn’t all of us just love a Sinecure !

Have come across this word several times and recently here in the Editorial of the Monday,August 2,2010 Edition of the Mumbai Tabloid, The Afternoon & Despatch Courier

http://afternoondc.in/afternoondc/editorial/higher-judiciary-too-cut-from-the-same-tattered-cloth-isnt-it/article_6327

It reveals that a few years ago, a Delhi High Court Judge, in what would appear to have to be a quid pro quo, was given a Sinecure, on retirement, in a quasi judicial body by the CM of Delhi because he squashed suo motu the Bofors FIR and lavished praise on our late PM, Rajiv Gandhi

The same article reveals that the Supreme Court Judge who signed the Order for CBI to close out the Shorabuddin Sheikh Investigation by a certain deadline was actually acused by the CBI itself for being a beneficiary of the Provident Funds Scam that rocked the Ghaziabad Courts…. seems he was exonerated just before retirement and CBI removed his name from the List of those who ought to be penalised for the PF Scam !….. shamming what the Congress Spokesmen have been ad nauseam repeating recently on Media News Channels that this is not a Vendetta against the Gujarat CM, Narendra Modi but this CBI Investigation is directed by the Supreme Court !… and Congress has nothing to do with it !

Mind you , I hold no brief for any one here….. No one’s a Saint here….. but I’ve always held that if it were not for our Judiciary and Media,our Politicians and Bureaucrats would have sold off even our Qutb Minar !….. Sadly and Dangerously too this View has been shaken in recent times

I’m sure there are many more instances of quid pro quo Sinecure !