Email Previous article‘Campaign of intimidation’ leads to two jailed for five yearsNext articleTractor drove too slow on motorway admin RENTS in Limerick fell by 3.2% to an average of €688 per month, according to a recent survey by property website, Daft.ie.Nationwide they fell by just over half a percent (0.6%), over the course of 2010.The fall compares with a drop of 15% during 2009. The average rent nationwide now stands at €830, 27% below the 2007 peak.Sign up for the weekly Limerick Post newsletter Sign Up Advertisement Twitter WhatsApp Facebook Linkedin In Cork and Galway, rents were largely unchanged over the year. In Waterford and Limerick cities, rents fell by between 3% and 4% over the course of 2010.In Munster, rents fell by an average of 1.9% in the final three months of the year, having fallen by 1.1% between June and September.The average rent in Limerick city in the third quarter of 2010 was €690, a fall of €230 from peak levels in 2007. In the rest of the county, rents are €615 on average, down €185 from the peak.Average rents in the cities, Q4 2010Dublin: €1080, up 0.3% during 2010Cork: €824, down 1.9% during 2010Galway: €804, down 0.3% during 2010Waterford: €645, down 4.1% during 2010 Print NewsLocal NewsRents in Limerick average €688 per monthBy admin – February 9, 2011 550
Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) researchers at the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Regenerative Medicine (MGH-CRM) have a developed a new type of human pluripotent stem cell that can be manipulated more readily than currently available stem cells. As described in the latest edition of Cell Stem Cell, these new cells could be used to create better cellular models of disease processes and eventually may permit repair of disease-associated gene mutations.“It has been fairly easy to manipulate stem cells from mice, but this has not been the case for traditional human stem cells,” explains Niels Geijsen, PhD, of the MGH-CRM, who led the study. “We had previously found that the growth factors in which mouse stem cells are derived define what those cells can do, and now we’ve applied those findings to human stem cells.”The first mammalian embryonic stem cells (ESCs) were derived from mice and have proven very useful for studying gene function and the impact of changes to individual genes. But techniques used in these studies to introduce a different version of a single gene or inactivate a particular gene were ineffective in human ESCs. In addition, human ESCs proliferate much more slowly than do cells derived from mice and grow in flat, two-dimensional colonies, while mouse ESCs form tight, three-dimensional colonies. It is been extremely difficult to propagate human ESCs from a single cell, which prevents the creation of genetically manipulated human embryonic stem cell lines.In previous work, Geijsen and his colleagues demonstrated that the growth factor conditions under which stem cells are maintained in culture play an important role in defining the cells’ functional properties. Since the growth factors appeared to make such a difference, the researchers tried to make a more useful human pluripotent cell using a new approach. They derived human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) – which are created by reprogramming adult cells and have many of the characteristics of human ECSs, including resistance to manipulation – in cultures containing the growth factor LIF, which is used in the creation of mouse ESCs.The resulting cells visibly resembled mouse ESCs and proved amenable to a standard gene manipulation technique that exchanges matching sequences of DNA, allowing the targeted deactivation or correction of a specific gene. The ability to manipulate these new cells depended on both the continued presence of LIF and expression of the five genes that are used in reprogramming adult cells into iPSCs. If any of those factors was removed, these hLR5- (for human LIF and five reprogramming factors) iPSCs reverted to standard iPSCs.“Genetic changes introduced into hLR5-iPSCs would be retained when they are converted back to iPSCs, which we then can use to generate cell lines for future research, drug development and someday stem-cell based gene-correction therapies,” says Geijsen. He is an assistant professor of Medicine at Harvard Medical School and a principal faculty member of the Harvard Stem Cell Institute.Co-authors of the Cell Stem Cell are lead author Christa Buecker, MGH-CRM and Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI); Hsu-Hsin Chen, PhD, Laurence Dahern, and Konrad Hochedlinger, PhD, MGH-CRM and HSCI; Patricia Okwieka, MGH-CRM; Jose Polo, PhD, MGH Cancer Center; Lei Bu, PhD, MGH Cardiovascular Research Center; Tahsin Stefan Barakat and Joost Gribnau, PhD, University Medical Center, Rotterdam, The Netherlands; and Andrew Porter, PhD, Imperial College London, U.K. The study was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health, the Dutch Science Organization, the Gottlieb Daimler and Karl Benz Foundation and the National Science Council of Taiwan.
By Bodie V. PennisiUniversity of GeorgiaAs the winter holidays near, the first flower that comes to mind is probably the poinsettia. Against a backdrop of evergreens, its bold, red foliage creates a dramatic, living decoration.Available in many colors now, poinsettias’ popularity is well-deserved. But other deserving flowering plants will nicely complement your holiday decorations, too.All of these plants will add living color to your holiday decoration and help you enjoy the yule-flower spirit throughout the season:Christmas cactus (Schlumbergera — Zygocactus — species) is an old-time favorite that gets its name from its dependable holiday flowering.A succulent perennial from the tropics, Christmas cactus is an epiphyte, which means it lives on other plants. Unlike a parasitic plant, which gets nutrients from its host, epiphytes use their host simply as substrate, a place to live. And unlike many cacti, this one has no spines.Christmas cactus is one of the most widely cultivated and enjoyed groups of cacti in the world. They have been extensively hybridized to produce many colors of flowers, including magenta, white, pink, salmon and orange. Keep plants in bright light and on the dry side.Christmas peppers (Capsicum annuum) are cultivars of our garden peppers that have been selected for fruit color and form. The fruits, which are often quite hot to the taste, can be globe- or cone-shaped and range from yellow, orange and red to green and purple.Buy plants with good fruit color, as good color won’t develop in the low light of home environments. Since this is a true annual, discard the plants when the fruit fades.African violets (Saintpaulia ionantha) are rosette-forming perennials with oval, medium to dark green leaves that are covered with hairs. The leaves may be ruffled, scalloped, quilted or even variegated. The flowers are produced year-round in blue, lavender, pink, red, white and bi-colors. Miniature varieties also are available.African violets grow best with bright (but not direct) light, constant conditions and high humidity.Gloxinias (Sinningia speciosa), close relatives of African violets, are tuber-forming perennials with rosettes of oval to oblong, scalloped, dark green leaves that are covered with velvety hairs.They produce single or clustered, trumpet-shaped red, violet-blue, pink, white or bi-colored flowers. A 6-inch gloxinia will have a dozen or more buds and will continue to flower for three to four weeks, if properly cared for.Treat gloxinias as African violets: Avoid high-intensity, direct sunlight. Water them from the saucer with warm water (at least 70 degrees Fahrenheit). Keep them on the moist side but not waterlogged. And avoid cold or hot drafts.Reiger begonias (Begonia hiemalis) look very similar to the garden tuberous and “Nonstop” begonias. The leaves are somewhat glossy and can break easy. Both single and double flowers may be found on the same plant.Riegers are relatively tolerant of sun exposure and temperature and prefer a slightly moist medium. A high-quality plant will be at least half-covered by flowers.Kalanchoe (genus Kalanchoe) is perhaps the most durable of the red-flowering potted plants you can find in the holiday season. It has a fleshy stem and toothed or scalloped, fleshy leaves.Kalanchoe will be happy when warm and dry. However, drought stress will shorten the flower life.Blushing bromeliad (Neoregelia carolinae) is an epiphytic bromeliad with an open rosette of strap-shaped, toothed, mid-green or variegated leaves. The inner leaves are purplish to red, and the flowers are violet or lavender.Bromeliads like bright light and warmth. Be careful to not overwater the soil, but keep the central vase formed by the leaves filled with rainwater or distilled water. Feed them by spraying the leaves with a dilute fertilizer solution.