Thursday, August 6, 2009

Structure of HIV genome 'decoded'

Article from BBC News:

Scientists say they have decoded the entire genetic structure of HIV-1 - the main cause of Aids in humans.
They hope this will pave the way to a greater understanding of how the virus operates, and potentially accelerate the development of drug treatments.

HIV carries its genetic information in more complicated structures than some other viruses.
The US research, published in Nature, may allow scientists the chance to look at the information buried inside.

HIV, like the viruses which cause influenza, hepatitis C and polio, carries its genetic information as single-stranded RNA rather than double-stranded DNA.

The information enclosed in DNA is encoded in a relatively simple way, but in RNA this is more complex.

RNA is able to fold into intricate patterns and structures. Therefore decoding a full genome opens up genetic information that was not previously accessible, and may hold answers to why the virus acts as it does.

The team from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill said they planned to use the information to see if they could make tiny changes to the virus.

"If it doesn't grow as well when you disrupt the virus with mutations, then you know you've mutated or affected something that was important to the virus," says Ron Swanstrom, professor of microbiology and immunology.

"We are also beginning to understand tricks the genome uses to help the virus escape detection by the human host."

Deep inside
Dr David Robertson from the University of Manchester welcomed this "definitive analysis".
"What this may reveal is some of the proteins operating at a level below the structures, which may have all sorts of functions within the virus.

"More generally, if we can unpick the structures then we can compare the systems of different viruses and gain new understanding of how they work."

Keith Alcorn of the HIV information service NAM added: "Encouraging the virus to mutate is not a new idea, but it is one of a number of options on the table.

"How important this information will be for the development of new drugs remains to be seen, but it is a useful addition to what we know."

Monday, July 20, 2009

How Gus Helps Me Unpack


Julie Rossman is now Julie Tsai and this coming Sunday Shaunna Richmond will be Shaunna Imam !!!!


Laryngitis is an inflammation of the voice box, or larynx, that causes your voice to become raspy or hoarse. In my case, completely gone.
Most of the time, it comes on quickly and lasts no more than 2 weeks. (2 weeks is a long time!)

With most cases of laryngitis, home treatment is all that you need. Try to rest your voice, add moisture to the air in your home with a humidifier or vaporizer, and drink plenty of fluids.


Thursday, July 2, 2009


THE IRONY OF LOVE...... is loving the right person at the wrong time, having the wrong person when the time is right, and finding out that you love someone right after that person has walked out of your life.

Sometimes you think you're already over a person, but when you see them smile at you, you suddenly realize that you're just pretending to be over them, just to ease the pain of knowing that they will never be yours again. For some, letting go is one way of expressing how much they love a person, but for others it's holding on to that special feeling as long as possible before it fades away.

Most relationships tend to fail not because of the absence of love, love is always present, it's just that one was being loved too much and the other wasn't being loved enough.

We all know that the heart is the center of the body, but it beats on the left. Maybe thats the reason why the heart is not always right. Most often, we fall in love with the person we think we love only to discover that for them, we are just a pass time, while the one who truly loves us remains either a friend or a stranger.

So here's a piece of advice: Let go when you are hurting too much. Give up when you or the other believes love isn't enough, and move on when things are not like before. There is someone out there who will honestly love you, and only then will you know true love.

-Ellie Treinen

Tuesday, June 30, 2009


One of my clients just sent me a big bouquet of flowers! :)

Monday, June 8, 2009


Liz and I volunteered with the Washington Trails Association to clear a trail in the Snoqualmie National Forest. We started off the day clearing the start of the trailhead as you coule barely tell a trail started there. Luckily, we had purchased "Joy of Gardening" gloves from Fred Meyer the day before and we ready with the clippers to clear down some weeds and major over-grown plant life. After that, we started rebuilding a wall that had fallen with rocks. And when I say rocks, I mean boulders. It took us over 2 hours to esablish 6 rocks.\
Liz helped by being the brains of the rocks and I was the muscle. But she did help out as I was rolling the rocks down the riverbed by grunting and claiming "that looks heavy!". It was good fun.
At the end of the day in our sweet helmets.

Joy of Gardening gloves

NOT the rock wall we built

At lunch, fighting off knats and mosquitoes. The gloves were a great source of amusement throughout the day.

Packed lunch by the river

Friday, June 5, 2009


Tomorrow, Liz and I are volunteering for the first time with the Washington Trails Association. We have signed up to help clean up a hiking trail about 2 hours from Seattle. We wear hard hats and work gloves...this is going to be fun!

Wonderful Blog

My friend recently stumbled across this amazing blog. Please enjoy.

Tuesday, June 2, 2009

Social Media

Hiking Vernal Falls - Yosemite Day 4

We hiked to the top of Vernal Falls and the base of Nevada Falls. After hiking up the mountain, you then climbed 600 steps that were flattened rocks, slippery from years of use and mist from the waterfall and lined with a sheer cliff to the roaring river below.
Vernal Falls in the distance

Dad doing good on the climb up

Sean on the rock steps, see the incline?

Rainbow from about halfway up the hike

Another pretty rainbow caused by the mist, at this point, we were soaking wet from the "mist"

Top of Vernal Falls, this is what you go through before you reach...

...this! Vernal Falls!

Falls, river, rocks and rainbow

Hmm, fake smile #1.
(Please note the soaking wetness, Jena had a hood, I did not)

Kinda fake smile #2. I think its time for more Mom-packed lunches and snacks

So pretty

Up to the base of Nevada Falls we stopped to take a dip in the stream

Just kidding! I mean, I am a good swimmer but I am pretty sure that the 54 degree river would win.

Nevada Falls!

Jena, Sean, Nevada Falls

Rafting the Merced River - Yosemite Day 3

While we didn't want to wear the wetsuits at first, at that first soaking wave, we were glad we did!
Despite how awesome all of these pictures are, I think Jena is the bread-winner with the action shot of picking her butt in the wetsuit.

The Martin/Thompson clan loves Whitewater Excitement!

The "men" in their sweet wetsuits and even more awesome hats.

Yosemite Falls and Yosemite Valley - Day 2

Yosemite Falls
Upper and lower Yosemite Falls

Mom & Dad at lower Yosemite Falls

Krissy and I standing on a slippery rock at lower Yosemite Falls

Upper and lower Yosemite Falls, Krissy, Mom and Sydney

Half Dome - goal is to hike it next year!

Merced River, a much calmer section than what we rafted down.

Taking a walk by the river

Stopping to have PB and honey sandwiches (its nice having Mom pack your lunch again!)

Perfect weather

Yosemite Valley and Glacier Point - Day 2

Yosemite Valley
thunder clouds rolling in

Amazing rocks shaped by the glaciers

Bridal Veil Falls

Half Dome in the distance
Glacier Point
Beautiful meadows on the valley floor

Nevada Falls and Vernal Falls

Krissy and I at the top of Glacier Point with Nevada and Vernal Falls in the back

Upper and lower Yosemite Falls