Institute of Regenerative Cures

My class got to go on a field trip last week.

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All the joys of barely being able to see the tour guide when you’re at the back of the group.

I know! Field trips in a Master’s of Science program? How ridiculous!

It was awesome. We went to the Institute of Regenerative Cures in Sacramento.

I arrived early and waited out front with some classmates. Our tour guide arrived and we waited out front a little longer til everyone showed up.

While waiting the tour guide, who had designed the building we were about to go into, told us about his hobby, early television history!

After the primer on early television we entered the building and got a tour of one of the best facilities for practicing biology in existence right now.

The building itself was actually built a long time ago for the California state fair. It was the “women’s building.”

The brick exterior and columnaic entrance have stayed the same since the building was constructed to maintain the historical site. The interior has been heavily modified.

The building had no roof back in the day and was just an enclosure for a bunch of different events that you usually see at state fairs.

The building was sold to the University of California system. They slapped a roof on it, and used it to store records.

Our tour guide said that he was called in to turn it into a biology facility later on. Half the building is used for bio research while the other half is rented out to other companies.

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The entrance hallway with pictures of the cooler discoveries at the Institute.

The researchers in the Institute are working on a number of things. They researched a treatment for the “bubble boy disease” there. They’re working on using umbilical cords to create bone marrow for transplants, using Tal proteins to treat Huntington’s, creating HIV resistant cells, and helping people who can’t swallow to swallow are just a few of the things they work on there.

Where all the research is done!
Where all the research is done!

The tour guide also showed us the section that he was most proud of as he had designed it. A set of rooms for making the actual drugs and proteins to export to hospitals. Making the drugs requires extremely sterile technique to prevent giving someone who is already sick something that will make them worse. The rooms are designed to be extremely sterile.

To enter the rooms you pass through an airlock where you are required to cover every inch of your body in a disposable gown.

The airlock goes to a hallway with access to three separate clean rooms.

There is “negative pressure” in the rooms. That means that air is constantly entering the room from the top and going out the bottom. This is so that if any cells that are worked with in the rooms get into the air, they will be redirected to teh ground and sucked out through a grate in the wall instead of ending up in someone’s medicine.

The air is cleaned excessively to about 3000 times more clean than average air before entering the facility.

There is a lot of electrical equipment in the rooms that will require replacing eventually. To prevent electricians from having to gown up just to replace a lightbulb, all the eletricals are accessible from panels on the second story of the building.

It was pretty cool for a scientist like me to see the best possible place to do research in. The tour guide mentioned that he does tours of the interior of the super clean rooms for smaller groups. I might take him up on that at a later time!

-GoCorral

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World Cup Opening Match

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The opening game of the World Cup was yesterday between Brazil and Croatia.

Brazil is the hosting nation this year if you didn’t know. They won the match against Croatia 3-1.

While that’s a pretty big win as soccer games go, it went poorly in my opinion.

The goal for Croatia was actually an own goal by one of Brazil’s defenders.

The own goal wasn’t the usual type where it bounced off him and went in. He seriously just messed up and kicked the ball into the goal instead of away from it.

One of the goals Brazil got against Croatia was off a penalty kick as well. One they didn’t deserve…

A Brazilian player took a dive in the box and convinced the referee that he had been fouled for real to get the penalty kick.

Brazil’s star forward, Neymar, also got a yellow card early on in the game.

There isn’t any punishment for him yet, but if he gets another then he’ll have to sit out the game he received it in and the next game after that.

Losing Neymer wouldn’t be the end of Brazil’s team, but it wouldn’t be a good thing. It would certainly hurt fan enthusiasm.

So now Neymar needs to play a super careful game or risk leaving the field.

I haven’t had a chance to see any other games yet.

The games are all broadcast between 9 and 5 Pacific time.

ESPN is carrying the games in English, but I don’t get ESPN.

Fortunately, I do get Univision in my cable package which is broadcasting the games in Spanish. I speak Spanish, so I should be good (I also don’t really care what the announcers say whatever language they’re speaking).

The games are also broadcast over ESPN’s radio stations. The local one for Davis and the surrounding area is 1320AM.

So if you’re into soccer/football like I am you should check out some of the games!

The USA plays Ghana at 3:00PM Pacific time on Monday July 16th. I expect them to win that match, but not make it out of the group stages of the tournament.

That’s all for now!

-Mister Ed