Charlottesville Breaking News

Junk science? Most preclinical cancer studies don't replicate

When a cancer study is published in a prestigious peer-reviewed journal, the implication is the findings are robust, replicable, and point the way toward eventual treatments. Consequently, researchers scour their colleagues' work for clues about promising avenues to explore. Doctors pore over the pages, dreaming of new therapies coming down the pike. Which makes a new finding that nine out of 10 preclinical peer-reviewed cancer research studies cannot be replicated all the more shocking and discouraging.

The scientific journal Nature just published a disturbing commentary claiming that in the area of preclinical research– which involves experiments done on rodents or cells in petri dishes with the goal of identifying possible targets for new treatments in people– independent researchers doing the same experiment cannot get the same result as reporte...

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Down and dirty: New mud race draws thousands

It was less than two months before race day when Joshua Bare got the bad news: the owner of the Ruckersville-area property where Bare had planned to hold his upcoming Mud Warrior mud race was backing out.

"He kicked me off his property," exclaims Bare. "There was no reason given."

Left scrambling to find a new location for the already nearly 2,000 people who'd paid as much as $55 to run, leap, wade, and climb their way through the latest addition to the nations's obstacle-filled exercise craze, the 32-year-old Bare worried that his upcoming April spectacle, conceived several years ago while an MBA student at Regent University, would be derailed.

"I thought I was going to lose my head," says the 1998 Charlottesville High School graduate.

Disaster was averted when Bare quickly located a willing land owner outside of Gordonsville, but the hard work wasn't over.

Planning an event like Mud Warrior takes time and money. Bare, who played soccer in college and now works for the non-profit Hope Community Center in Charlottesville, says he spent the last two years planning and estimates the cost of putting on the first Mud Warrior race will approach $80,000 once all expenses are tallied.

A mud race, after all, is no road race. There are obstacles to build and a trail to forge– along with advertising, insurance premiums, food and bands for the after-party, and of course, clean-up. But the demand...

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Pho-nomenon: Vietnamese soup comes to West Main

Pho, the hearty Vietnamese noodle soup filled with big chunks of beef or chicken and served with a side of bean sprouts, mint leaves, and basil that you add yourself, is hard to find in Charlottesville. Celebrity chef Peter Chang had a visiting chef prepare it once, Ten launched a "pop-up" pho restaurant, and Saigon Café has perhaps the best offerings, but we've yet to see a local place fully dedicated to the stuff– until now.

In mid-May, Zinc owner Vu Nguyen should be ready– he hopes– to open Moto Pho Co. in the newly renovated former auto service garage at 505 & 509 West Main Street, which is across the street just a tad to the west of Zinc. Formerly home to C&R Auto Service, the building was...

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Flame retardant: SRO trumps most mansions in smoke safety

With more than 150 solar and hot water heating panels on the roof and a high-tech security system featuring live video feeds of all public spaces, the formerly homeless and low-income residents of The Crossings, the new SRO, or "single room occupancy," will experience plenty of impressive residential gadgets. But the most significant technology at the 60-unit complex at the corner of Fourth Street and Preston Avenue will give those living there one priceless advantage over even most mansion dwellers: they're less likely to experience a fatal fire at home, thanks to a multi-faceted fire-suppression system and the use of smoke-savvy photoelectric smoke detectors.

"We use them because they eliminate nuisance alarms," says Skip Hannan of Mechums River Security Concepts, the company that installed the fire protection system at the $6.6-million-dollar development.

Avoiding false alarms is only one benefit of photoelectrics. As longtime readers of the Hook know, there are two types of smoke detectors, and they're not created equal. Ionization detectors, the kind found in the vast majority of American homes, use a small amount of radioactive material to detect the large particles released by live flames. They're prone to false alarms, leading residents to disab...

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Closing chapter: VQR's Genoways resigns, Waldo celebrates

After serving for nine years as the editor of Virginia Quarterly Review, Ted Genoways has stepped down to "concentrate on his own writing," according to a midnight UVA press release. Recently appointed deputy editor Donovan Webster will serve as interim editor until a national search for a new editor is launched in July.

"Ted has been an outstanding editor," said Thomas Skalak, UVA vice president for research, who took over operation of the magazine following an internal investigation in 2010. "Under his direction, VQR built a devoted following and an unparalleled record of recognition."

"I look back on my nine years as editor with pride, but I also hope that the new staff will not feel in any way encumbered by that legacy," said Genoways. "VQR is theirs to steward and re-imagine now, and I hope they will be able to build on and exceed past successes."

Judging from the UVA press release, Genoways single-handedly transformed VQR from an obscure college literary magazine to one that could compete with the likes of National Geographic and the New Yorker.

"Under Ted Genoways, Virginia Quarterly Review has become one of the most widely-admired...

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EDITOR'S NOTE
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