Today’s Healthy Picks

A few headlines today demonstrate some beneficial foods to keep you healthy.
Eat pistachios, and macadamia nuts … also, drink your daily cup of coffee – or five! Picstachios were found to lower cholesterol and provide antioxidants, macademia nuts were shown to reduce cardiovascular disease (according to researchers) and coffee was shown (in moderate consumption) to reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease in addition to previous studies showing it reduces kidney stones, gallstones, depression and suicide.

CN Tower Update

I would like to thank those of you who sponsored me for the CN Tower climb. I managed to climb the 1,776 steps (144 flights) in 17 minutes and 24 seconds. Then they proceeded to tell me (as the lactic acid burned through my legs) that I had to climb another 10 service flights to get to the glass floor-level! Needless to say I was not impressed…

Cleantech Spending

Amidst a flurry of chatter about cleantech and investment from VCs, there is some interesting results coming from a recent report from Lux Research. As the graph at right shows, there is about a 50/50 split between government and corporate funding of cleantech investment, with only a minor contribution from venture capitalists. At least we are seeing an increasing trend …

Below we see the cleantech investment by segment in total, and from VC funding. In the past three years we can see quite clearly that VCs have been investing in energy and sustainability which matches overall spending patterns.

What will 2007 bring? Leave your opinion …

Alzheimers and Dementia

There has been much in the way of research in these two areas. Recently I attended a conference in Toronto called BioFinance which brings together companies looking to receive funding (either private or public) and investors. At the conference I saw a company presentation from Transition Therapeutics that discussed its new Alzheimer’s drug called AZD-103 which just received fast-track status from the FDA on April 3, 2007. It has some pretty exciting pre-clinical data … it demonstrates a breakdown of amyloid fibrils within plaques that form on and within the brain essentially reversing damage. The positive results were shown in mice using a Morris water maze test (bottom of page). Could this be that miracle drug we’re all looking for?

Next, I want to discuss a study released which claims that lost memories could be restored by ‘rewiring’ brain; the study was done by MIT researcher Li-Huei Tsai and interestingly enough also utilized the Morris water maze test to show clinical efficacy of their therapy. Their team targeted HDACs (enzymes that prevent histone acetylation) with an HDAC inhibitor under the assumption that HDAC inhibitors initiate the rewiring of neurons. Of course its too early to tell if their therapy is going to go anywhere … let’s wait to see a licensing deal come out of their technology – then I’ll get excited.

ColdFusion 8 Coming Soon

This might be a little outside the scope of my usual blogging topics, but its exciting! ColdFusion 8 Scorpio has begun its pre-release tour – in case you are wondering, ColdFusion is an internet-based programming platform. It is owned by Adobe, who bought Macromedia, who bought Allaire – the company that originally developed the technology. It’s come a LONG way! It includes built-in AJAX widgets, JSON support, .NET integration, Microsoft Exchange integration, a Flash-based presentation builder, full PDF integration and many other cool features. I may or may not be getting a little excited about this news.

More details available on

Dave Howlett Live!

Last night I had the chance to see Dave Howlett give one of his famous “Knocking Down Silos” talks; it was a networking event not to miss. He has a way of working the crowd by telling story after story to keep people’s keen attention! Oh, and he keeps his crowd on their toes by bringing them into his talk when they are least expecting it…

Dave said that if we should only remember one phrase, that it should be “Watch your weekend challenges” to symbolize 3 ways to begin a meaningful conversation with another. I could easily post what its supposed to mean, but I would rather instill mystery and send you off to find out for yourself. So, check out his website at and take one of his seminars – it’s a worthwhile experience! It’s the morning after, and I have already received one email from someone looking to follow up on a chat we had last night. It’s all about people.

Eat Your Berries!

Cyanidin-3-rutinoside, or C-3-R which is found in fruits and vegetables has been found to have extremely high chemopreventive properties. When extracted from black raspberries, it was found to cause apoptosis (programmed cell death) in leukemia and lymphoma cell lines. It is thought that this compound can prevent other cancers from developing as well. One of the most interesting aspects of the research discusses how C-3-R, an antioxidant, that usually stabilizes reactive oxygen species (free radicals), actually increases the amount of peroxides (reactive oxygen species) within leukemia cells through an activated mitochondria-mediated apoptotic pathway. See full story for more details.

Harvesting Bioenergy from Switchgrass

Recently, scientists have made progress on finding the key genetic elements responsible for controlling lignin production in swtichgrass though monitoring of mRNA transcripts. This discovery brings switchgrass one step closer to being used as a source of bioethanol. See full story at Scientists Turn Genetic Keys To Unlock Bioenergy In Switchgrass.

Off to California!

It’s about time! Everyday I’m reading about the next big thing coming out of California, all the VC money in California, all the great networks in California, and the wakeboarding … well I’M COMING, TODAY!

I’m flying into San Francisco, where I will be attending the Web 2.0 Expo @ Moscone West on Sunday, and possibly some of Monday if I can’t resist going back. I mean seriously, take a look at this schedule; it looks sick, right? If you are going to be in the Bay Area and want to check out the Expo part only, you can get in for free by using the discount code “webex07wbr” which gives you $100 off the $100 expo pass price! If you’re going to be around the expo, fire an email to jsookman [(at)] and we can grab a coffee.

I’ll be flying south to Orange County, yes “The O.C.”, to go to the World Innovation Forum which I spoke about at length in my post trying to recruit others! In any case, hopefully I’ll learn a thing or two … if you’re interested but can’t make it, I’ll give you a summary when I get back to T.O.

Special Note: If you are reading this, and you (1) live in San Francisco, (2) own a wakeboard boat and wakeboard, and (3) are free on Saturday morning (April 14th) — fire me an email at the address above, because I can’t wait to get back on the water!!