Statewide: September 12, 2011 Archive
Posted at 7:58 AM on September 12, 2011
by Michael Olson
Filed under: Around MN
The Duluth News Tribune digs into the money trail of Excelsior Energy. The company received "more than $40 million of public money" during the last decade as "the company and its CEOs spent nearly $1.8 million on lobbying and campaign contributions."
State Rep. Tom Anzelc, DFL-Balsam Township describes the expenditures.
"These developers have been really successful in capturing public money and getting language and statutory changes giving their company preferential and special treatment," Anzelc said. "I believe that their highly effective lobbying efforts are directly attributable to the public resources they've had at their disposal. I think they used public dollars to lobby public law-making bodies."
"Contrary to repeated false claims of project opponents, absolutely no state funds have been used to lobby the Legislature," Co-CEO Tom Micheletti told the News Tribune. "In addition, every expenditure has been approved by administrators of the programs and is in compliance with the rules of the programs and all applicable laws and regulations."
The nature of disclosure laws make it difficult to get beyond the claims of the two men quoted by the paper, but you can dive into more detail on the numbers.
Also on MN TodayGOP lawmakers question need for school district levies (MPR News)
Minnesota's hotel sector finally shows strength (Star Tribune)
Mayo Clinic teams with 'glowing cats' to fight AIDS
According to a release sent out Sunday, the team of researchers are using a technique called gamete-targeted lentiviral transgenesis, which essentially inserts a gene known to block cell infection with a jellyfish gene for tracking purposes. The result? An offspring of green-glowing cats (WCCO).
By the numbers
Average yearly cost of infant care in Minnesota: $13,000
A new report ranks Minnesota as the 5th least-affordable state for "cost of center-based infant care." KAAL reports "That's almost the same as what it costs for an undergraduate's tuition at the University of Minnesota-Rochester this year, which was $12,692."
Posted at 12:27 PM on September 12, 2011
by Michael Olson
Filed under: Around MN
Sunday's "strong north winds drove a point of the Pagami Creek Fire south toward the Isabella River. Approximately 50 campers from the river and lake routes south of the fire and 70 campers along the eastern front of the fire were assisted out of the wilderness by Public Safety Crews. Entry points near the fire were closed," reads a statement from the U.S. Forest Service.
Saw northern lights, spent 3 nights at a sand beach campsite, ate walleye, and ended with evacuation due to wildfire. Awesome #BWCA trip.
Greg Seitz paddled in the shadow of the Pagami Creek Fire, Boundary Waters Canoe Area Wilderness, September 2011.
Researchers at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester are using glow-in-the-dark cats in the fight against AIDS.
The clinic announced Sunday that researchers have developed a genome-based immunization strategy to fight feline AIDS and find ways to combat human HIV/AIDS and other diseases.
Researchers said the goal is to create cats with intrinsic immunity to the feline AIDS virus. The findings appear in the current online issue of Nature Methods.
"One of the best things about this biomedical research is that it is aimed at benefiting both human and feline health," said Eric Poeschla, M.D., a Mayo molecular biologist and leader of the international study, in a statement. "It can help cats as much as people."
Mayo researchers paired a gene from a fluorescent jellyfish to track another gene, called rhesus macaque restriction factor. The former gene makes the offspring cats glow green and the latter is known to resist the development of the feline AIDS virus.
Feline immunodeficiency virus (FIV) causes AIDS in cats as the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) does in people: by depleting the body's infection-fighting T-cells. This was the first time this method succeeded in a carnivore, according to Mayo.
Researchers aimed to mimic the way evolution normally gives rise over vast time spans to protective protein versions.
The method for inserting genes into the feline genome is highly efficient, so that virtually all offspring have the genes, according to Mayo. And the defense proteins are made throughout the cat's body. Mayo officials said the cats with the protective genes are thriving and have produced kittens whose cells make the proteins, thus proving that the inserted genes remain active in successive generations.