An aging breakthrough at Mayo?


Expect Kim Kardashian and half of Hollywood to begin flying into Rochester. A Mayo Clinic study may have isolated cells that advance the aging process. Nicholas Wade of The New York Times writes: “[T]he cells hasten aging in the tissues in which they accumulate. In a delicate feat of genetic engineering, a research team led by Darren Baker and Jan van Deursen at the Mayo Clinic has generated a strain of mouse in which all the senescent cells can be purged by giving the mice a drug that forces the cells to self-destruct. Rid of the senescent cells, the researchers reported online Wednesday in the journal Nature, the mice’s tissues showed a major improvement in the usual burden of age-related disorders. They did not develop cataracts, avoided the usual wasting of muscle with age, and could exercise much longer on a treadmill. They retained the fat layers in the skin that usually thin out with age and, in people, cause wrinkling.”

You want an unapologetic football/stadium fan’s view of the situation here? At the national site, “SB Nation”, Christopher Gates writes: “Many knee-jerk reactionaries out there will chalk this up to a case of the Minnesota Vikings and owner Zygi Wilf attempting to hold the state of Minnesota hostage. The reality of it is that the Vikings have been playing this game with the state for over a decade, through two Vikings ownership groups (Wilf now and Red McCombs before him) and three Minnesota governors (Jesse Ventura, Tim Pawlenty, and now Dayton). Through all of that time, the Vikings have done everything that the state has asked them to do in their efforts to secure a new stadium. Minnesota told the Vikings that they would have to get in line behind the Minnesota Twins. The Vikings did that, and the Twins got funding for Target Field approved without a referendum … a referendum that would have failed, much like a referendum for a Vikings’ stadium would likely fail if it went to the public. Minnesota then told the Vikings that they would have to get in line behind Gophers football. The Vikings did that, too, and watched as the beautiful new TCF Bank Stadium went up on the U of M campus. Minnesota then told the Vikings that they would have to find a viable local partner. The team did that.” I don’t believe he’s wrong about any of this.

It’s not a free speech issue … it’s Minnesota weather. Kevin Duchschere of the Strib says: “After nearly a month camped out on Hennepin County Government Plaza, OccupyMN protesters were being told Wednesday that the time is coming to pack up. According to a memo issued by the county, once snow falls and temperatures fall below 25 degrees, overnight sleeping on the plaza will be prohibited, portable toilets will be removed and a canopy shelter taken down. County officials announced that winterization of the plaza will begin Friday. That means not only blowing out irrigation system lines but ‘consolidation’ of items left in the plaza, storing sleeping bags during the day and removing all non-county signs. The policy announced Wednesday would not remove protesters from the plaza, but it would shrink the area they can occupy.”

Selma’s ice cream, a St. Croix landmark in tiny Afton, will get new owners and a makeover. Paul Walsh of the Strib reports: “Selma’s, a landmark eatery in Afton that makes an undisputed claim of being Minnesota’s oldest purveyor of ice cream, is changing hands again and will reopen once a makeover is complete. A purchase offer has been accepted, and the deal is expected to close by Dec. 1 … [the Realtor] declined to say who bought the business on St. Croix Trail, Afton’s main street, or for how much. The asking price was $299,000. Thomas did say that the buyer ‘would like to operate it as Selma’s,’ but first must complete renovations that had been underway. The building has been sitting vacant for more than two years.”

Three business groups along the Central Corridor LRT route have given the construction company low grades. Frederick Melo at the PiPress says: “Low marks by neighbors of the Central Corridor light-rail transit line work will hit the contractor in the wallet. At the end of June, three committees composed of business owners and others who live or work along University Avenue in St. Paul gave Walsh Construction low marks for public accountability and responsiveness. The poor grade cut into Walsh’s incentive pay for the second quarter. The committees met again last month to grade Walsh for the third quarter. The results are out, and they are worse. The contractor was awarded 33 percent, or $23,200, of the available bonus pay of $70,000 for the quarter, which ended Sept. 30. The company had received 42 percent of its incentive pay three months earlier, based on such categories as maintenance of access, safety, cleanliness and information distribution.” Did they have community-grading when they built the London tube?

The Bard of Anoka is selling another property. Jim Buchta at the Strib says: “Keillor is selling the St. Croix River valley family retreat where he once lived and worked for $995,000. The 11-acre property includes 460 feet of shoreline along the Wisconsin side of the St. Croix River and four buildings, said Joyce Peterson of Coldwell Banker Burnet. … The property has a main house with a big wrap-around porch, a giant studio with a room for big family gatherings, a cozy guest house and a writer’s cottage where Keillor, radio host of the popular ‘A Prairie Home Companion,’ wrote ‘Wobegon Boy.’ Keillor, who wasn’t available Thursday, keeps a busy schedule and he splits his time between a swank pied-a-terre overlooking New York’s Central Park and an equally upscale house on St. Paul’s Summit Avenue.” There’s good dough in them biscuits.

Today in Bachmannia:  Our Favorite Congresswoman is back on the topic of everyone paying taxes. The AP’s Philip Elliott writes: “Bachmann is telling college students in politically important Iowa that all Americans should pay taxes since they all benefit from services such as roads and bridges, national defense and the courts. Her position, which she was outlining today at Iowa State University in Ames, is a direct challenge to rivals Rick Perry and Herman Cain, who are advocating plans that would allow low-wage earners to continue paying no taxes while implementing a form of a flat tax on all other workers. … In an outline of her speech released late Wednesday, she criticizes the current federal tax code as too complicated and corporate tax rates as unreasonably high.” Grandma on a pension really needs to step it up.

Oh, and Our Gal has a new 10-point plan for getting the economy back on track, Mark Zdechlik of MPR lays it out:

1.    Repatriate US businesses foreign earnings
2.    ‘Massively’ cut government spending
3.    Repeal ‘Obamacare’
4.    Reform tax code, cut taxes on job creators
5.    Repeal Dodd-Frank Act
6.    ‘Legalize’ American energy production
7.    Repeal ‘job killing’ regulations
8.    Increase exports
9.    ‘Unleash’ investment
10.  Increase innovation/ Enforce immigration laws.

The proponents of the giant new St. Croix bridge took  their case to the top. Brett Neely of MPR reports: “According to a press release from the Coalition for a St. Croix River Crossing, Oak Park Heights council member Mary McComber was in Washington for an event sponsored by the National League of Cities when she raised the question with both officials. ‘Secretary LaHood and Bill Daley both said that the St. Croix River Crossing is a top priority for President Obama, and he is committed to moving the project forward,’ said McComber. Replacing aging bridges and other infrastructure is a centerpiece of the White House’s strategy to combat unemployment. Yesterday, President Obama spoke before the Key Bridge in Washington, DC about his proposals and the Senate will vote later today on a bill put forward by DFL Sen. Amy Klobuchar to authorize an additional $50 billion in infrastructure spending. That measure, financed by a tax on millionaires, will likely fail due a Republican filibuster.” Goes without saying.

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Comments (6)

  1. Submitted by Jackson Cage on 11/03/2011 - 02:52 pm.

    “it’s Minnesota weather” plus “would shrink the area they can occupy.”

    OK Brian, cold weather equals shrinkage. Any male knows this isn’t news. Now, will you let this past the censor?

  2. Submitted by Mark Gisleson on 11/03/2011 - 03:11 pm.

    Walsh deserves low grades. I live in Midway and they have made next to no effort to let people know from day to day which intersections they’ll shut down. and they have done NOTHING to stop the selfish few from tying up one-lane intersections by turning left (something that should have been routinely prohibited but which to the best of my knowledge Walsh failed to do anywhere but at Snelling and University).

    Once I was so fed up with a sign telling me Raymond was closed when it wasn’t, I parked my car and took the sign down myself (the worst part was that both alt-routes were shut down, but Raymond was open).

    I supported light rail, but I did so cluelessly, assuming the Metro Council would actually make an effort to oversee the construction crews. Since work began last spring, I’ve seen no sign of any oversight, or that anyone cares.

    Whatever grades Walsh got, they were too high and whatever credibility the Metro Council may have had, they have lost.

  3. Submitted by Greg Kapphahn on 11/03/2011 - 03:40 pm.

    Funny how Mickey Bachmann’s ideas about how to get the US economy “back on track” reads like a list of ways for a Jr. High School-aged “in” group to get even with the “out” kids who managed to put one over on them and embarrass them by taking away some of their power and actually making the school a better, happier place.

    If she paid any attention to factual analysis, heck! if she even lived in the same reality the rest of us share, she’d recognize that of her items would have exactly the opposite effect of putting the US economy “back on track,”…

    well, unless your aim is NOT to help the average citizen, but rather, to speed up the pace of stripping the members of the Middle Class (i.e. MOST of Mickey’s supporters) of their income, their assets, their property, their health care, and any hope they ever had of a comfortable retirement,…

    while continuing the massive (and undeserved) increases in income the already fabulously wealthy have enjoyed over the past three decades here in the US.

    If you liked the financial collapse of 2008 and the necessity of the taxpayers going into hock up to our eyeballs to bail out the bankers’ high stakes games of risk (played with OUR retirement money),…

    then, yeah, Mickey’s list will put us RIGHT BACK on that track.

  4. Submitted by scott cantor on 11/03/2011 - 04:29 pm.

    The next time someone tells me to get in line, I must remember that I’m doing them a favor.

    (and if I get out of line and they admonish me to get back in, then they owe me double)

  5. Submitted by James Hamilton on 11/03/2011 - 06:38 pm.

    I was not a supporter of either Target Field or TCF Stadium, but it’s worth noting in response to SB Nation that the combined cost of the two was only slightly more than the $650 million Wilf wants us to pay for a new home for the Vikings. After the Twins contribution, our cost was well under $650 million. Moreover, the Twins 40,000 seats play something on the order of 80 home games over a 6 month season.

  6. Submitted by Luke Ferguson on 11/04/2011 - 09:55 am.


    I think yours are both important points that are often overlooked.

    The stadium the Wilfs want costs 1.1 billion. It is very high cost, and will be very low use, especially if it is in Arden Hills, far from the bars, restaurants, hotels, and transportation infrastructure that currently exists.

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