Tag Archives: news

Henrietta Lacks Story Updated

This is an amazing scientific story. Perhaps this latest news and the upcoming film by Oprah Winfrey’s production company will spark a renewed interest in the book:

immortal life of henrietta lacksThe Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks was/is an incredible story as told by Rebecca Skloot. If you haven’t read the book,  it details the life of an African Amercian woman. In 1951 while she was being treated at Johns Hopkins for cervical cancer, doctors took (without her permission or knowledge) a specimen. This tissue sample became the first human cancer-cell line that grew endlessly in culture.  These HeLa cells are used by scientists around the world for research on many diseases.

In March this year the HeLa genome was published in an open access database. This move was disturbing to the Lacks family. So a new method for access to the sequence data was needed.

lacks familyIf you missed the New York Times story, it’s here.  And here is the announcement from the NIH as published in Nature about the discussion and decision about accessing the information.

– posted by Brenda, Reference Services

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Affordable Care Act and New York

The United States Supreme Court upheld the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act on Thursday June 28, 2012. Visit the www.supremecourt.gov/opinions, choose “Latest Slip Opinions” and view the full text of the ruling. The slip opinion is cited as Docket 11-393 National Federation of Independent Business v. Sebelius.

You can find the full text of the law in our online catalog by searching the title Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. Another related act, Health Care and Education Reconciliation Act can also be found in our online catalog.

New York State implemented reforms in compliance with the Affordable Care Act. Visit Health Care Reform New York   and discover what New York is providing New Yorkers.

New York State provides the following:

  • NY Bridge Plan for those with preexisting conditions
  • Health Insurance Exchange
  • Small Business tax credit
  • Support for health coverage for early retirees
  • Existing law – Coverage expansion to “Age 29” Dependent Extension  (Age 29 Law)

Also visit the Health Care Reform New York site for complete coverage.

-posted by Ed G., Reference Services

Government Information on Osama Bin Laden

We’re all interested in the recent events surrounding Al Qaeda leader Osama Bin Laden.  The U.S. Government has made much information available to the general public.  Listed below are several websites with pertinent information:

President Obama announced late Sunday that a special unit of the Navy Seals had captured Osama Bin Laden. Read the transcript of the President’s speech.

President Obama reported that Osama Bin Laden had been captured and killed by a U.S. strike team, the Navy Seals, from the Naval Special Warfare Command. Visit the Naval Special Warfare Command and find out about the Navy Seals.

How did this happen? How did they find him? Which agencies were involved in the search?

The Central Intelligence Agency (CIA) and its divisions were involved in the search. Visit the CIA to learn about the various divisions that assisted in finding and capturing Osama Bin Laden.

Another agency that supported this effort was the National Geospatial-Intelligence Agency (NGA). NGA applied a range of geospatial intelligence (GEOINT) capabilities that allowed the United States to carry out this operation. Their GEOINT was critical to helping the intelligence community pinpoint Osama Bin Laden’s compound. Visit the agency’s website.

The National Security Agency (NSA) collects, processes, and disseminates intelligence information from foreign signals for intelligence and counterintelligence purposes and to support military operations. This Agency also assisted in capturing Osama Bin Laden. Visit the NSA website to understand its mission.

-posted by Ed G., Reference Services

A good week for J.K. Rowling

If you thought that Queen Elizabeth is the most influential woman in the U.K., you would be wrong.  A recent poll of magazine editors named Harry Potter creator, J.K. Rowling, to that honor (if you are interested, the Queen came in third after Rowling and former Spice Girl Victoria Beckham).  Guess selling more 400 million copies of the Harry Potter books makes you pretty influential!

In the same week, Rowling received a bronze statue of the Ugly Duckling when she was named the recipient of the Hans Christian Andersen Literature Award. This new award recognizes an author who can be compared with the Danish writer who wrote some 160 stories and poems including “The Little Mermaid” and “The Ugly Ducking” before his death in 1875.

In her acceptance speech (video), Rowling said that Andersen “understood that writing for children does not mean ‘pureeing’ what one would have written for adults… it ought not to be bland or sloppy or devoid of challenging ingredients” and praised his “indestructible, eternal characters”.

– posted by Brenda, Reference Services