Somethin’ Happenin’ Here…

Between my last few posts here and recent comments elsewhere, I’ve probably given the impression that I’m bearish on Pittsburgh, at least as far as the tech/start-up economy goes. Not so. While it’s sometimes hard for me to keep my mood up in the winter, this has actually been a bullish week for me, Burgh-wise.

Among the things that lifted my mood this week was lunch today with Matt Harbaugh from InnovationWorks. Before today I had lumped IW in with the slew of public/non-profit/consortium/partnership groups around here that purport to help the tech economy. And frankly, it was never very clear to me what any of them did, or whether anyone in the local tech industry would care if they just disappeared.

After talking with Matt, however, a couple of things became much more clear: (1) there is a burgeoning start-up scene here, and (2) a lot of it is in the IW portfolio. (Though by no means all of it!) I don’t think the scene reached the perpetual-motion-machine stage yet, but that just means you gotta keep pedaling. Just knowing that there are people out there taking real, concrete action to move things the right way is a great thing. Talk is cheap, especially in the blogosphere. Action, baby. That’s where it’s at. I expect exciting things from IW.

Cell Implantation Cure for Alzheimer’s?

A study published in PLoS on August 27 (apparently as a birthday present to me), reports that researchers have been able to remove the amyloid-beta plaques associated with Alzheimer’s disease. The researchers, by implanting genetically engineered skin cells in the brains of mice. As described in a more accessible write-up in the Harvard Gazette, these implanted cells delivered genes that allowed the brain to clear away the plaques. More below the jump…

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