Brain Waves

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January 25, 2006

Women's Technology Cluster Hosts Stem Cell Conference

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Posted by Zack Lynch


The Women's Technology Cluster is hosting a one-day Stem Cell conference at UCSF Mission Bay on February 7th. Over 30 internationally renowned panelists from the US, UK, Canada, Australia, Netherlands, Germany, and Singapore will explore the potential challenges to commercialization and make recommendations for a successful and time effective transition from lab to patient. Speakers will also investigate how to effectively build alliances across key research and industry groups in the US and internationally.

Topics covered include: building a common language; translating the research into the clinic; building alliances across academia, industry and non-profits; models for commercialization of stem cell outcomes; International alliances and stem cell landscape and new developments in stem science. Click here to register.

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July 23, 2004

She19 - Inspiring Women to Vote

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Posted by Zack Lynch

Last night I attended a fundraiser for She19, a recently formed movement focused on getting more women to vote. Why? Check out these astounding stats:

22 Million unmarried women who were eligible to vote did not cast ballots in the election in 2000.
• If unmarried women voted at the same rate as married women, over six million more voters would have gone to the polls in 2000.
• 16 million unmarried women were not registered to vote in 2000.
• 56% of all women not registered to vote are unmarried.
• 46% of all voting-age women are unmarried.

The 19th amendment, ratified in 1920, guarantees all American women the right to vote. The fight for the amendment’s ratification took many years and composed of a variety of methods of protest. Woman suffrage supporters lectured, wrote, marched, lobbied, went to court, and practiced civil disobedience. Fierce opposition including verbal and physical abuse and imprisonment often confronted supporters.

Click here for a summary of that struggle or click here to buy a very cool t-shirt to help support the movement and to look very cool.

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June 06, 2004

BIO 2004 Conference June 6-9, San Francisco

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Posted by Zack Lynch

The BIO 2004 Annual International Convention that begins today in San Francisco is the world's largest biotechnology gathering. BIO 2004 runs June 6-9 at the Moscone Center and offers 23 tracks of programming, including sessions on policy, finance, business development, science and regulatory affairs. The convention also features forums on bioethics, business development and global opportunities with over 440,000 square feet of exhibit space. I'll be covering the conference with a heavy focus on neurotechnology over the next few days.

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February 11, 2004

Gavin Newsom, SF Mayor, to Support Same Sex Marriage

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Posted by Zack Lynch

"A little more than a month ago, I took the oath of office here at City Hall and swore to uphold California's Constitution, which clearly outlaws all forms of discrimination," Gavin Newsom said. "Denying basic rights to members of our community will not be tolerated."

As today's S.F. Chronicle recounts, "San Francisco was the first city in the nation to pass a law requiring city contractors to provide the same benefits to their employees in domestic partnerships as married workers receive." In addition, "the city assessor also has awarded the rights when it comes to property transfers."

On the national level, President Bush plans to endorse the following language introduced by Representative Marilyn Musgrave, R-Colorado, for a constitutional amendment: "Marriage in the United States shall consist only of the union of a man and a woman. Neither this Constitution or the constitution of any state, nor state or federal law, shall be construed to require that marital status or the legal incidents thereof conferred upon unmarried couples or groups."

For his part, Senator John Kerry, Democratic front-runner, opposses gay marriage but does not support a constitutional amendment, according to his campaign.

My great uncle was a Jesuit priest at USF. Another great uncle was a Jesuit missionary in China. My great aunt was a nun in Los Angeles. My grandfather attended the seminary before marrying my grandmother. While I love and respect the passion of my deceased relatives, I believe they'll be squirming in heaven today when I provide my full support for Gavin Newson's decision to support same sex marriages. Why? People are people, beliefs are beliefs, and we our country is based on the premise of liberty and justice for all.

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September 15, 2003

Dear Chronicle Watch:

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Posted by Zack Lynch

(Local issue:  I sent this letter to the SF Chronicle and city government officials this morning)


There is a serious design flaw in MUNI's network at the corner of 30th and Church, outbound direction.  The incredibly loud screeching (exceeding 130 decibels many times during the day!) coming from the MUNI cars incorrectly sitting on the rails of the outbound J-line is causing hearing damage to the neighborhood's children, elderly, animals and adults. 


This is a physical health, mental health and quality of life problem.


Physical health problems associated with screeching:


1) I have independently verified that the screeching created from the MUNI cars at 30th and Church exceed safety and acceptability limits (over 130 db several time a day)

2) Sounds above 100db (decibels) are known to cause hearing loss over time

3) Exceeds OSHA regulations


Mental health problems associated with screeching in children and elderly:


1) Solid research has shown that intermittent loud sounds (above 100 db) has been proven to create learning difficulties in young children, lowering their IQ over time by at least 10% 

2) There are several schools in the immediate area including St. Paul's School and Church, Kate Kennedy Elementary School, not to mention the On Lok Senior center  (Article on hearing loss in children) not mention the many day care facilities in the immediate area and the many children that play daily at the Upper Noe Valley Community Center. 


Quality of life:


Lastly, the the screeching is irradiating to the entire neighborhood, waking up children, disturbing shoppers and conversations throughout the day and night.  All of this increases stress levels in the neighborhood. 


The Chronicle has done an excellent job in the past of alerting the citizens of San Francisco to this problem, but even since it was highlighted in 1997, this particular problem at 30th and Church continues unresolved.  Current stop gap measures of greasing the tracks does not work.


Here are several links to S.F Chronicle articles written over the past several years about this problem: (1), (2),(3) 


I want to bring this to the attention of city manager's before lawsuits based upon the above facts become obvious to the wider community and costly, emotionally draining legal action is taken by citizen groups.  Let's save the city money now, by taking action immediately.  Use the new increase in fares to solve this problem.


Update: The past three days MUNI workers have been out every morning greasing the tracks and the noise levels have dropped dramatically.  The you to the 15 board of supervisors who I sent this email to.

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August 14, 2003

Brain Waves at the Bay Area Futurist Salon

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Posted by Zack Lynch

If you are in the Bay Area tomorrow night, please come here my talk on The Neurotechnology Wave (2010-2060) at the Bay Area Futurist Salon.  I'll be sharing many of the thoughts from my forthcoming book -- Brain Wave: Our Emerging Neurosociety.  If you are interested in having me speak at one of your events please email me. 

Also: A Big THANKS to Pat Kane, Steven Johnson and Paul Zak for their guest blogs.  They have made it possible for me to make significant progress on the book as well as setting the bar pretty high for the Wrye and Richard who will be focusing on neuroethics in the coming weeks, not to mention the other two amazing guest bloggers that will follow them. 

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