University of California at Merced biologist Rudy Ortiz received a grant from the National Institutes of Health to continue his work on food deprivation and sleep apnea.
The $414,720 grant will span four years, allowing Ortiz to spend more time researching obesity by reducing some of his teaching and administrative duties.
He is studying how elephant seals are able to fast for several months by relying on their fat reserves and how they can experience apnea without harming their health. Humans wouldn't live much longer than a month if they were deprived of food. An instance of sleep apnea has the potential to harm their body within minutes and can be fatal. Yet, Ortiz explained, there is something that cues this behavior in seals.
While fasting, elephant seals won't even bother to eat food put in front of them, he said.
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Ortiz's award covers most of his salary and dovetails with another of the institute's awards -- a five-year, $1.78 million grant he received in 2009.
The Modesto Phi Gamma Chapter of Omega Nu has granted $1,350 to the Central California Art Association to serve at-risk students and continue an art mentoring program. The Youth At Risk program began in 1989 with a grant from the city's culture commission, grant writer Betty Jean Reynolds said. But budget cuts to the commission eliminated the arts program grant, leaving the art association to look elsewhere. The Youth At Risk program allows students from seventh to 12th grade to develop artistic skills in their area of interest and to leave with a toolbox of supplies for art projects. Art educators help the students prepare their artwork for an exhibition and reception at the Mistlin Gallery.
The art association needs about $2,000 more in donations to fund the class, planned for spring 2011. Donations can be made directly to the Youth At Risk art program through the Central California Art Association, a nonprofit organization, at the Mistlin Gallery. The Mistlin Gallery is at 1015 J St., Modesto, 529-3369. Gallery hours are Tuesday through Friday, 11:30 a.m. to 5 p.m. and Saturday, noon to 4 p.m.
The California Association of Health Facilities has honored Benedict and Angela Cipponeri of Modesto's Evergreen Nursing Home with a lifetime membership award. The award recognizes those who have provided outstanding or exemplary service to the association at the chapter and state levels.
The Cipponeris founded Evergreen in 1960 and became indomitable advocates for the industry. They took advantage of training workshops to improve their skills, add to their knowledge and the quality of care provided at Evergreen. It became a certified teaching health facility.
El Concilio, which serves the Spanish-speaking communities of Stanislaus and San Joaquin counties, was honored by the National Council of La Raza as its national affiliate advocate for 2010. El Concilio was chosen from roughly 300 affiliate organizations nationwide. This is the first time it received the award.
Alison Foster-Davis, executive director of Family Connections Christian Adoptions in Modesto, has been selected as a 2010 Angel in Adoption for her advocacy in adoption and foster care issues.
Chosen by Rep. Dennis Cardoza, D-Modesto, she and 190 other "angels" will be honored at an event in the nation's capital Oct. 6. Foster-
Davis volunteers many hours to developing adoption-friendly legislation through the California Association of Adoption Agencies and the Academy of California Adoption Lawyers.
Penelope Miller, a broker associate with Prudential California Realty, led a team that won first place in residential real estate units sales among the company's agencies throughout California during the second quarter of 2010. Miller has almost 20 years of experience in real estate. Miller specializes in residential real estate, excelling in buyer brokerage and seller representation. She is a Direct Fannie Mae broker who closed more than 160 transactions in 2009.
Commendation by the Stanislaus County Board of Supervisors:
To the Congregational Church of Salida for its 100th anniversary.
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