Monday, June 30, 2008

New Treatment for Congestive Heart Failure in Las Vegas-July 10th Meeting

Dr. Richard M. Sweet, M.D. is the Medical Director of HemoTherapeutics which is opening an outpatient Aquapheresis treatment center. Aquapheresis is a method to safely remove excess fluid and salt from hear failure patients. Once filtered, the clean blood is returned to the body through a second catheter.By using the system, up to four liters of fluid can be removed in an eight-hour period with no significant impact on blood pressure, kidney function or electrolyte balance.He is speaking at the July 10, 2008 NevBio Meeting.

Dr. Edward Philbin, Medical director of the Heart Failure Program at Albany Medical Center told the Daily Gazette of Schenectady, New York that Aquapheresis is an innovative therapy that removes dangerous levels of excess fluid in patients suffering from congestive heart failure.

Congestive heart failure is the most expensive diagnosis in the medicare Program-over $30 Billion. The therapy has proven to be more effective in removing excess fluid than standard treatment and reduces the likelihood of repeated hospitalizations for congestive heart failure, said Philbin.

"The new research coming out and studies we are participating in would suggest that aquapheresis is more effective and safer than diuretics," he added. Aquapheresis is the first major advancement for acute fluid removal in the setting of acute heart failure since the introduction of diuretics more than 50 years ago.

Philbin explained that aquapheresis uses the process of ultrafiltration to remove excess sodium and water from the body. Blood is withdrawn through a catheter and circulated through the filter system that separates the fluids from the blood.
The Nevada Biotechnology & Bioscience meeting is Thursday, July 10, 2008 at Tommy Bahama's Tropical Cafe in Town Square at 6635 Las Vegas Blvd. The cost is $35.
RSVP with Judith at 702-839-7222 or

Friday, June 13, 2008

Are Bio-Fuels A True Alternative? Yes -5,000 Gallons an Acre

Yes and were not talking corn! It is algae. “One acre of algae can produce 5,000 gallons of biodiesel as compared to corn which produces 420 gallons per acre,” said Dr. Oliver Hemmers, the Director of Strategic Energy Programs at UNLV. Dr. Hemmers gave a presentation to the Nevada Biotechnology and Bioscience Consortium at their June meeting on biofuels. Asked how long it would take to produce 5,000 gallons, he went on to say, “One season. The longer and colder a winter is the shorter the period, similar to other crops. In warmer areas the production could be as high as 15,000 gallons per acre just because of the longer warm period.” Some of the proposed algae-based fuel projects have suggested building the systems next to coal burning power plants. The CO2 emissions could be used to feed the algae along with sun. Algae can capture up to 80% of the CO2 output of a plant which on average, produces over 5 million metric tons of CO2. A coal burning plant combined with an algae pond system could produce 156 million gallons of biodiesel a year, at $2.25 a gallon that would be $351,000,000 in revenue a year.

A number of the researchers at UNLV believe that an algae pond system should be set up next to the Reid-Garnerville plant outside of Moapa, Nevada (90 miles north of Las Vegas) and it could clean up one of the dirtiest per capita coal burning plants in the country and produce millions of gallons of biodiesel.

Dr. Hemmers said that Dr. Thomas Nartker, a chemical engineer at UNLV approached him about the potential of algae-based biofuels. A project like this would require scientists and engineers to work together. Because the algae grows exponentially, the challenge would be to effectively deal with the volume that is produced. These are good challenges.