Monday, July 09, 2012

Car-Sharing: A Growing Trend But Is It For You?

There are pluses and minuses to car-sharing and on-demand rentals

By Daryl Nelson,

If you’ve noticed, car-sharing companies are growing in popularity, and many find them to be a more convenient alternative to rental car agencies.

Companies like Zipcar or City CarShare are pulling in new consumers by the thousands, and the customer base is primarily made up of those who live in big cities, and don’t need a car every day. Also, a big portion of these customers just don’t want to own a car.

Rental companies like Thrifty and Budget may provide the convenience of having access to a wider selection of vehicles, and a bigger network of repair and support services, but some are also known to have really poor customer service.

Read the entire article here.

In Treatment for Leukemia, Glimpses of the Future

Second Chance: Lukas Wartman, a leukemia doctor and researcher, developed the disease himself. As he faced death, his colleagues sequenced his cancer genome. The result was a totally unexpected treatment.

By Gina Kolata, The New York Times

ST. LOUIS — Genetics researchers at Washington University, one of the world’s leading centers for work on the human genome, were devastated. Dr. Lukas Wartman, a young, talented and beloved colleague, had the very cancer he had devoted his career to studying. He was deteriorating fast. No known treatment could save him. And no one, to their knowledge, had ever investigated the complete genetic makeup of a cancer like his.

So one day last July, Dr. Timothy Ley, associate director of the university’s genome institute, summoned his team. Why not throw everything we have at seeing if we can find a rogue gene spurring Dr. Wartman’s cancer, adult acute lymphoblastic leukemia, he asked? “It’s now or never,” he recalled telling them. “We will only get one shot.”

Dr. Ley’s team tried a type of analysis that they had never done before. They fully sequenced the genes of both his cancer cells and healthy cells for comparison, and at the same time analyzed his RNA, a close chemical cousin to DNA, for clues to what his genes were doing.

Read the entire article here.