La Jolla News Nuggets, Sept. 22

La Jolla team wins soccer tourney

Thee La Jolla Impact GU13 Blue team triumphed over a tough field of competition Labor Day weekend to win their home tournament, the La Jolla Labor Day Classic. The girls played against two teams from Arizona — Legacy White and Legacy Blue — as well as a team from Laguna, the Pateadores. The girls scored 23 goals over four games and the defense was unmatched with zero goals against. Coach Tash remarked, "I couldn't be more proud of the girls. They continuously raised their level throughout the weekend and played great soccer!" The team begins league competition this weekend, playing in the San Diego Development Academy. — Bess Marcus

Time change for Town Council meetings

To increase attendance at La Jolla Town Council meetings (held the second Thursday of each month at the La Jolla Recreation Center, 615 Prospect St.) president Ann Kerr Bache may move the start time from 5 p.m. to 5:30 p.m. As a test run, the Thursday, Oct. 13 meeting will begin with a meet-and-greet with San Diego Police Department Northern Division Captain Mark Hanten, 5-5:30 p.m. All are invited. lajollatowncouncil.org

Survey says San Diego roads improved

Since the last assessment in 2011, the streets of San Diego have gone from a 58.9 in average condition ("fair") to a 71.5 ("good"), a study says. However, only 60 percent of individual streets ranked "good," 34 percent were deemed "fair" and 6 percent were classified as "poor."

In the 2011 survey, which obtained the worst results on record, 35 percent of streets were found "good," 40 percent "fair" and 25 percent "poor."

The survey, which began in spring 2015 was recently completed, shows that the average rating for "major" roads is 75.7, whereas residential streets rank 69.9 and alleys 67.2.

Election 2016 focus of panel talk at UCSD

As part of its Helen Edison Lecture series, UC San Diego Extension will sponsor a Talk on Election 2016, 7 p.m. Friday, Sept. 23 at UC San Diego Mandeville Auditorium. Washington editor-at-large for The Atlantic, Steve Clemons, will moderate a panel that will examine how this year's presidential election is fundamentally reshaping the political process at every level of government — national, state and local — both now and in the future. The panelists include Thad Kousser, chair and professor of political science at UCSD; Scott Lewis, editor of Voice of San Diego; and Laura Fink, principal at Fink & Hernandez Consulting.

The free event will help kick off the Voice of San Diego Politifest, which takes place Saturday, Sept. 24 at San Diego State University. Guests who attend the Helen Edison lecture will receive discounted admission to Politifest. To register, visit helenedison.ucsd.edu

Church will host blood drive, Sunday

The San Diego Blood Bank will accept blood donations from 8:30 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Sunday, Sept. 25 at La Jolla Presbyterian Church, 7715 Draper Ave. The Blood Bank is experiencing a shortage of donations, due in part to the Zika virus travel deferral, which asks donors who've traveled to Mexico, the Caribbean, Central or South America to wait 28 days after returning to the U.S. to begin donating again.

All blood types are needed. Current inventory for the universal blood type, O negative, is at critically low levels. Donors must be at least age 17 and at least 114 pounds, and in good health. A photo ID must be presented upon signing up to donate. Donors may schedule an appointment for their convenience, but walk-ins are also welcome. (619) 469-7322. sandiegobloodbank.org

A massage matters on Sept. 28

Massage Envy and the Arthritis Foundation have joined forces to host the sixth annual Healing Hands for Arthritis (HHFA), a one-day event to build awareness and raise funds to fight arthritis. On Wednesday, Sept. 28, all San Diego Massage Envy clinics (including La Jolla's at 7650 Girard Ave.) will donate $10 from every 60-minute Wellness Massage or Murad Healthy Skin facial session to the Arthritis Foundation. Last year, nationwide, the event raised $1.1 million for the Arthritis Foundation.

Fitness fundraiser to fight ovarian cancer

The La Jolla-based Clearity Foundation presents an "All Out for Her" ovarian cancer fitness fundraiser, 11:15 a.m. Saturday, Sept. 24 at Orangetheory Fitness, 7734 Girard Ave.

The event will consist of hour-long sessions — running, indoor rowing and resistance training led by professional coaches — for $24. Established in 2008, Clearity Foundation (clearityfoundation.org) provides access to free molecular testing to help determine treatment options for ovarian cancer patients (treatment for newly-diagnosed patients has not changed in decades). Register at razoo.com/team/otf-all-our-for-her

Novel cancer treatment may stunt tumors

Fat isn't just something we eat: it may also lie at the heart of a new approach to treating cancer. Cells create their own fat molecules to build their plasma membranes and other critical structures. Now, researchers at the Salk Institute, along with academic and industry collaborators, have found a way to obstruct this instrumental process to stifle cancer's growth, detailed Sep. 19 in Nature Medicine. Like halting the delivery of supplies to a construction site, the approach stalls the molecular building blocks cancer needs to grow.

"Cancer cells rewire their metabolism to support their rapid division," said Salk Professor Reuben Shaw. His team partnered with Boston-based, Nimbus Therapeutics, a biotech developing a molecule to shut off a critical player in lipid synthesis, an enzyme called Acetyl-CoA Carboxylase, or ACC.

In multiple and extensive large-scale tests in both animal models of cancer and in transplanted human lung cancer cells, the results of the novel ACC inhibitor, dubbed ND-646, were far more promising than expected: tumor mass shrank by roughly two-thirds compared to untreated animals. And when the researchers paired ND-646 with one of the common treatments for non-small lung cancer called carboplatin, the anti-tumor response was even greater: a dramatic 87 percent of tumors were suppressed, compared to 50 percent with the standard treatment of carboplatin alone.

This combination of carboplatin (which damages DNA, a problem for rapidly dividing cells) and ND-646 (knocking out ACC and halting lipid synthesis) didn't seem to impair normal cells even as it dramatically slowed cancer growth. "The implications are that we have a very promising drug for clinical trials for subtypes of lung cancer as well as liver and other types of cancer. This represents a new weapon in the arsenal to fight cancer," Shaw said.

Many La Jolla students are National Merit semifinalists

Many students from La Jolla schools have qualified as National Merit Scholarship semifinalists, and have an opportunity to continue in the competition for some 7,500 National Merit Scholarships worth about $33 million that will be offered next spring.

La Jolla High School: Sajan Alagiri, Sophia Brittain, Heloise Carion, Warren Deng, Haoran Guo, Jae Yoon Kim, Shane Pauker, Michael Wang, Franklin Ye and Griffin Young;

The Bishop's School: Anna Acker, Hamilton Allport, Thomas Bao, Kevin Chen, Ryan Feng, Samuel Fu, Christian Gaffney, Gabriel Garon, William Griffith, Rachel Hong, Linette Pan, Anna Szymanski, Alexandra Tsai, Justin Wang and Joseph Wu;

La Jolla Country Day School: Arielle Algaze, Helen Day, Posy Stoller and Jerod Sun;

The Preuss School: Nhat Tran.

About 1.6 million juniors in more than 22,000 high schools entered the 2017 National Merit Scholarship Program by taking the 2015 Preliminary SAT/National Merit Scholarship Qualifying Test (PSAT/NMSQT), which served as an initial screen of program entrants.

The nationwide pool of semifinalists, representing less than one percent of U.S. high school seniors, includes the highest scoring entrants in each state. From the approximately 16,000 semifinalists, about 15,000 are expected to advance to the finalist level, and in February they will be notified of this designation.

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