Lighting the way to safer crosswalks

By CLARK MASON THE PRESS DEMOCRAT Nov, 12, 2013
Michael A. Harrison, president and CEO of LightGuard Systems Inc., stands beside a table of assembled LED lights that are set into pavement for lighted crosswalks at LightGuard Systems in Santa Rosa on Monday, Nov. 11, 2013. (ALVIN JORNADA/ PD)

Michael A. Harrison, president and CEO of LightGuard Systems Inc., stands beside a table of assembled LED lights that are set into pavement for lighted crosswalks at LightGuard Systems in Santa Rosa on Monday, Nov. 11, 2013. (ALVIN JORNADA/ PD)

 

 

Good things can come from tragedy.

That’s one lesson of the crosswalk safety system Michael Harrison of Windsor invented two decades ago.

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‘Decoding Annie Parker’ shines light on genetics of breast cancer

By Adrienne LaFrance, For Digital First Media

Posted: 10/17/2013 01:01:50 AM

The breast cancer diagnosis came when Annie Parker was 29. She had been expecting it.

The disease killed her mother, her sister and a first cousin, leaving Parker convinced that the breast cancer in her family wasn’t just a matter of chance. But she was diagnosed in 1980, long before most doctors accepted the possibility that breast cancer could be hereditary. Parker’s suspicions would later be confirmed when scientists in the 1990s identified the BRCA gene mutation she had.

“I guess much like this BRCA gene that I carry, I am going to have to say my tenacity or my stubbornness probably comes somewhere in genetics,” Parker said. “It was a gut feeling.”

Geneticist Mary-Claire King believed early on that some cancers might be hereditary, too. She spearheaded research that led to the identification of the BRCA gene mutation. A new film, “Decoding Annie Parker,” tells the story of Parker and King, portrayed respectively by Oscar-recognized actors Samantha Morton and Helen Hunt.

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