News Column


May 12, 2014

The Honolulu Star-Advertiser

May 12--UH professor's work may yield heart drug

A new biotechnology firm has licensed technology from the University of Hawaii with the intention of developing new drugs to treat and prevent heart failure.

Makai Biotechnology LLC will be using intellectual property developed by Alexander Stokes, an assistant professor of cell and molecular biology at the John A. Burns School of Medicine and licensed via the UH Office of Technology Transfer & Economic Development.

Stokes' lab at the medical school recently published data from pre-clinical trials showing that inhibition of a biochemical sensor can protect the heart from dangerous changes associated with enlargement of the heart and subsequent heart failure.

Makai Biotechnology was founded by Stokes and David Watu­mull, CEO of the life sciences company Cardax.

The university holds an interest in Makai Biotechnology and may receive future revenue derived from its licensed property.

Damien places 19th at rocketry nationals

The Damien Memorial School rocketry team secured a top-20 finish in its first appearance at the prestigious Team American Rocketry Challenge in the Plains, Va.

Led by adviser Jacob Hudson, the newly formed team placed 19th out of 101 teams in Saturday's competition.

The team will meet with Gov. Neil Abercrombie at 3:30 p.m. Wednesday.

Damien was the first Hawaii team to qualify for the national competition in seven years.

To qualify, the team had to launch a rocket as close to 825 feet as possible and bring down two payloads of eggs within 48 to 50 seconds.

Due to limited open air space on Oahu, the team made their qualifying attempts from Marine Corps Base Hawaii on Sundays when there were no flight operations.

Visits canceled at women's prison

Regularly scheduled visitation at the Women's Community Correctional Center was canceled Sunday due to ongoing staffing shortages at the Department of Public Safety.

Such cancellations have been a frequent occurrence over the last several months as the department struggles with staffing shortages due to sick leave and other issues.

Man stabbed on Big Island

Hawaii County police have opened an attempted-murder investigation in connection with a stabbing Saturday in Hilo.

At 2:15 p.m. Saturday, South Hilo patrol officers responded to a report of a stabbing at 4-Mile Beach Park in the Keau­kaha area.

A 41-year-old Hilo man sustained multiple stab wounds to the back during a fight with another man, police said in a news release. Rescue workers took him in critical condition to Hilo Medical Hospital.

The suspect, a 46-year-old Ocean View man, was found shortly afterward on Lau­kapu Street, police said. He was arrested and taken to the police cellblock.

County contests landfill fines

HILO --State officials have fined Hawaii County$350,000 over permit violations at two landfills, but the county is contesting the allegations and order.

The Hawaii Tribune-Herald reported Friday that Bobby Jean Leit­head Todd, the county's director of environmental management, said she wants a hearing because many of the concerns have been addressed and there are several allegations.

An inspection last year found the county didn't cover solid waste and didn't monitor for methane gas along the perimeter of the Hilo landfill, the Department of Health said.

An inspection this year at a landfill in Puu­ana­­hulu found nearly 1,000 tons of scrap metal and appliances stored without permits.

Todd said the solid-waste issue was resolved with new tarps that were on order during the inspection. The scrap metal violation happened when the county was closing out one contract and issuing another, she said.


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Source: Honolulu Star-Advertiser (HI)

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