Arts & Entertainment

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Obesity, sugar, a sedentary lifestyle and abdominal fat contribute to the rise in type 2 diabetes.

By David Dunaief, M.D.

What causes type 2 diabetes? It would seem like an obvious answer: obesity, right? Well, obesity is a contributing factor but not necessarily the only factor. This is important because the prevalence of diabetes is at epidemic levels in the United States, and it continues to grow. The latest statistics show that about 13.3 percent of the U.S. population aged 20 or older has type 2 diabetes, and about 9.3 percent when factoring all ages. For those 65 and older, the prevalence is considerably higher, at 25.9 percent (1).

Not only may obesity play a role, but sugar by itself, sedentary lifestyle and visceral (abdominal) fat may also contribute to the pandemic. These factors may not be mutually exclusive, of course.

We need to differentiate among sugars, because form is important. Sugar and fruit are not the same with respect to their effects on diabetes, as the research will help clarify. Sugar, processed foods and sugary drinks, such as fruit juices and soda, have a similar effect, but fresh fruit does not.

Sugar’s impact

Sugar may be sweet, but it also may be a bitter pill to swallow when it comes to its effect on the prevalence of diabetes. In an epidemiological (population-based) study, the results show that sugar may increase the prevalence of type 2 diabetes by 1.1 percent worldwide (2). This seems like a small percentage, however, we are talking about the overall prevalence, which is around 9.3 percent in the U.S., as noted in the introduction.

Also, the amount of sugar needed to create this result is surprisingly low. It takes about 150 calories, or one 12-ounce can of soda per day, to potentially cause this rise in diabetes. This is looking at sugar on its own merit, irrespective of obesity, lack of physical activity or overconsumption of calories. The longer people were consuming sugary foods, the higher the incidence of diabetes. So the relationship was a dose-dependent curve. Interestingly, the opposite was true as well: As sugar was less available in some countries, the risk of diabetes diminished to almost the same extent that it increased in countries where it was overconsumed.

In fact, the study highlights that certain countries, such as France, Romania and the Philippines, are struggling with the diabetes pandemic, even though they don’t have significant obesity issues. The study evaluated demographics from 175 countries, looking at 10 years’ worth of data. This may give more bite to municipal efforts to limit the availability of sugary drinks. Even steps like these may not be enough, though. Before we can draw definitive conclusion from the study, however, there need to be prospective (forward-looking) studies.

The effect of fruit

The prevailing thought has been that fruit should only be consumed in very modest amounts in patients with — or at risk for — type 2 diabetes. A new study challenges this theory. In a randomized controlled trial, newly diagnosed diabetes patients who were given either more than two pieces of fresh fruit or fewer than two pieces had the same improvement in glucose (sugar) levels (3). Yes, you read this correctly: There was a benefit, regardless of whether the participants ate more fruit or less fruit.

This was a small trial with 63 patients over a 12-week period. The average patient was 58 and obese, with a BMI of 32 (less than 25 is normal). The researchers monitored hemoglobin A1C (HbA1C), which provides a three-month mean percentage of sugar levels.

It is very important to emphasize that fruit juice and dried fruit were avoided. Both groups also lost a significant amount of weight while eating fruit. The authors, therefore, recommended that fresh fruit not be restricted in diabetes patients.

What about cinnamon?

It turns out that cinnamon, a spice many people love, may help to prevent, improve and reduce sugars in diabetes. In a review article, the authors discuss the importance of cinnamon as an insulin sensitizer (making the body more responsive to insulin) in animal models that have type 2 diabetes (4).

Cinnamon may work much the same way as some medications used to treat type 2 diabetes, such as GLP-1 (glucagon-like peptide-1) agonists. The drugs that raise GLP-1 levels are also known as incretin mimetics and include injectable drugs such as Byetta (exenatide) and Victoza (liraglutide). In a study with healthy volunteers, cinnamon raised the level of GLP-1 (5). Also, in a randomized control trial with 100 participants, 1 gram of cassia cinnamon reduced sugars significantly more than medication alone (6). The data is far too preliminary to make any comparison with FDA-approved medications. However it would not hurt, and may even be beneficial, to consume cinnamon on a regular basis.

Sedentary lifestyle

What impact does lying down or sitting have on diabetes? Here, the risks of a sedentary lifestyle may outweigh the benefits of even vigorous exercise. In fact, in a recent study, the authors emphasize that the two are not mutually exclusive in that people, especially those at high risk for the disease, should be active throughout the day as well as exercise (7).

So in other words, the couch is “the worst deep-fried food,” as I once heard it said, but sitting at your desk all day and lying down also have negative effects. This coincides with articles I’ve written on exercise and weight loss, where I noted that people who moderately exercise and also move around much of the day are likely to lose the greatest amount of weight.

Thus, diabetes is mostly likely a disease caused by a multitude of factors, including obesity, sedentary lifestyle and visceral fat. The good news is that many of these factors are modifiable. Cinnamon and fruit seem to be two factors that help decrease this risk, as does exercise, of course.

As a medical community, it is imperative that we reduce the trend of increasing prevalence by educating the population, but the onus is also on the community at large to make at least some lifestyle modifications. So America, take an active role.

References: (1) www.cdc.gov/diabetes. (2) PLoS One. 2013;8(2):e57873. (3) Nutr J. published online March 5, 2013. (4) Am J Lifestyle Med. 2013;7(1):23-26. (5) Am J Clin Nutr. 2007;85:1552–1556. (6) J Am Board Fam Med. 2009;22:507–512. (7) Diabetologia online March 1, 2013.

Dr. Dunaief is a speaker, author and local lifestyle medicine physician focusing on the integration of medicine, nutrition, fitness and stress management. For further information, visit www.medicalcompassmd.com or consult your personal physician.

Christine Sweeney, with her band the Dirty Stayouts, performs at last year’s blues fest. Photo from Smithtown Historical Society

By Rebecca Anzel

Christine Sweeney, with her band the Dirty Stayouts, performs at last year’s blues fest. Photo from Smithtown Historical Society
Christine Sweeney, with her band the Dirty Stayouts, performs at last year’s blues fest. Photo from Smithtown Historical Society

There will be music in the air this weekend at the Smithtown Historical Society.

The third annual Smithtown Blues Festival kicks off on Saturday, July 9, from 1 to 10 p.m. at the society’s grounds on Middle Country Road.

The outdoor festival features more than 10 musical performances by community and professional bands, such as The Sweet Suzi Blues Band, Christine Sweeney & The Dirty Stayouts and Rock N Roll University’s Masterclass. This year, for the first time, artists will be playing on two stages.

Smithtown Historical Society director Marianne Howard said the festival has expanded from where it first started.

“We were able to build the festival even more from where it was last year,” she said. “And it’s growing in length too.” The several hundred expected attendees are welcome to bring food or try food from Chef Gail’s Italian food truck. About 20 arts and crafts vendors will sell blues music merchandise, jewelry, candles, soap and other goods, and The Wellness Nook will be providing free massages.

The festival is being held in conjunction with the Long Island Blues Society, All-Music’s Rock N Roll University, WUSB Stony Brook and Hertz Equipment Rentals. It will be held rain or shine, and tickets cost $15 for Smithtown Historical Society and Long Island Blues Society members; or $20 for nonmembers.

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David Morrissey Jr. as Benjamin Tallmadge

By Ed Randolph

The “Culper Spy Adventure,” a special presentation by TBR News Media, is an immersive digital attraction that will allow locals and tourists alike to be recruited into the ranks of General Washington’s secret Setauket spy ring. Accessed by scanning a special QR code on a panel of the Three Village map due out later this summer, you will begin an interactive 45-minute journey that puts you into the starring role of your very own secret spy adventure! Become a time traveler as you arrive in the year 1780, crossing paths with legends and heroes: Abraham Woodhull, Anna Smith Strong, Caleb Brewster, George Washington himself!

Enjoy interactive games between each episode that are filled to the brim with intrigue, action and fun! Created with the whole family in mind, the “Culper Spy Adventure” is great for all ages. We are also offering a special American Sign Language version as well as a handicap-accessible edition! Join the revolution later this summer!

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with David Morrissey Jr. who who plays Benjamin Tallmadge in this interactive journey.

Who was Benjamin Tallmadge?

He’s the young mind who organized the Culper Spy Ring for General Washington. He originally was from Setauket and grew up with Caleb Brewster and Abraham Woodhull and acted as Washington’s direct connection with the spies. For most of the war he led a dragoon (cavalry) unit, and participated in a lot of major battles. He was brave and was the very definition of patriot.

What was the most challenging part about bringing Tallmadge to life?

I’d say it must have been acting like someone with the leadership skills to organize the Culper Spy Ring but yet still be a believable 26-year-old. Yeah, people grew up earlier back then, but it’s still so young to have done so much.

What’s your favorite memory from filming the ‘Culper Spy Adventure’?

My favorite memory is working with the reenactment soldiers (from the Third NY Regiment and the Huntington Militia), those guys are great. They know everything about the subject matter, so if you have a question about dialect or terms or anything they would definitely know it. Also, trying to get the words “whale fodder” out was a tough one for some reason, everyone on set got a good laugh about that one!

What do you think Benjamin Tallmadge would think about this project?

He’d probably think it was pretty cool, I mean you’d have to explain to him the whole film medium thing and how it works, but I’d imagine after introducing him to the concept he’d love the idea. It’d probably be pretty neat for him to relive an interpretation of things that really happened to him!

By Katelyn Winter

Peaceful. The word most commonly used to describe Setauket’s Frank Melville Memorial Park captures the tranquil nature scene you find around every bend in the trail.

With turtles sunning themselves on logs in the daytime and deer rustling in the brush just before dusk, the park is a sanctuary for wildlife. According to the park’s newsletter, the Four Harbors Audubon Society, which holds a bird walk at the park on the second Saturday of every month, recorded 76 bird species over the past year. One of the main reasons so many creatures can be seen is simply the atmosphere. On the sign at the entryway to the park, the informative bullet points end in a gentle reminder: Quiet please.

Frank Melville Memorial Park’s gates have been open to the public for 79 years. In 1937, the park was formally dedicated after years of work by Jennie MacConnell Melville and local philanthropist Ward Melville, the wife and son of Frank Melville. The park was added to the National Register of Historic Places on July 19, 2010.

The Melville family loved to spend their summers in the Stony Brook area and even had an estate, named Sunwood, built in Old Field in 1919. It is  fitting that the place they designed and built to memorialize a loving father and husband would turn into such a picturesque and beloved park by Three Village residents and visitors alike.

“I’ve been coming here for almost ten years. It’s only her second year, though,” said Kaleigh Gorman, motioning to her dog, Dakota, when they were out walking one warm Wednesday evening. “I love how peaceful and scenic the park is and all the memories that are made here.” 

There is definitely a lot of room to make memories. With 24 stunning acres to explore, the park is made up of a looping path around the pond and trails that wind through the bamboo forest and the meadows behind the Bates Barn, known locally as “the red barn.” Constructed in the 1920s, the wood for the barn came from buildings at Camp Upton near Yaphank, which was torn down after WWI. A community garden with its own apiary and the Bates House, which can be rented for private events, are just some of the park’s other charming features.

Frank Melville Memorial Park

Hours:

Open all year round from dawn to dusk

Address:

1 Old Field Road, Setauket

Phone number:

Park Office: 631-689-6146

Bates House: 631-689-7054

Website:

www.frankmelvillepark.org

Rules:

No professional photography without park pass

Dogs allowed on leash

Visitors can go for a jog around the pond, stopping to stretch out on the stone bridge with a view of both the pond and the marshlands, or sit on one of several benches that line the edge of the pond under large shade trees. Just to the side of that bridge is the Setauket Mill, a simulated mill with a working water wheel. Built in 1937, it was designed by architect Richard Haviland Smythe, who also designed the Stony Brook Village Center, to represent the long line of mills that had existed on the pond as early as 1660. The building now serves as the park’s headquarters.

You should feel free to bring in snacks for a picnic, but keep in mind to carry out what you carry in, and never feed the wildlife. And watch out! That wildlife also includes a snapping turtle who will snap at anything that moves too close to his algae-covered face. He’s been around for ages. When I was  just five years old, I thought I was looking at an otter emerging from the pond, until my mother realized it was the snapping turtle reaching out his long neck for a snack. The snapping turtle is by no means dangerous, though: just one more fun local “resident” to encounter. In fact, local resident Janet Morseman says that one of the reasons she loves coming to the Setauket park is because of how “safe and peaceful” it is.

Whether you are out for a brisk walk, a jog or a leisurely stroll, the ground beneath your feet is always clean, and the park, which is located next to the post office and just a short walk from Patriot’s Rock and Emma S. Clark Memorial Library, is small and well-enough trafficked to feel very safe.

The rules and regulations of Frank Melville Memorial Park, a “Private Park for Public Enjoyment,” are fairly lax and rely on common courtesy. If you’d like to ride your bike there, for example, it’s requested you stay on the paved pathway. Fishing in the pond requires you to join the Mill Pond Fishing Club, with a catch-and-release only policy.

And as far as photography in the park goes, anything more than snapping a picture of your kids with a cell phone (say, having a friend take your family holiday card photo at the park) means signing up to become a Friend of the Park and getting a photography pass. It will cost you $100 annually to be able to shoot photos in the park.

Those aren’t the only ways to take advantage of Frank Melville Memorial Park, though — it has so much to offer. Classes on Tuesday mornings at the Bates Barn — usually at 11 a.m. — are free ways to learn new skills, such as watercolor painting or have fun with a craft or scavenger hunt. One new opportunity is Walk-Yoga-Meditate-Chocolate, which is exactly what it sounds like. At 7 p.m. on Tuesday evenings through August 30, pre-registered participants will meet up in the Bates House parking lot to take a walk, practice yoga, mediate, and indulge in some chocolate. The class, by suggested donation, benefits the Community Growth Center. To learn more or register you can visit www.CommunityGrowthCenter.org or call 631-240-3471.

For those who are looking for a different way to relax, check out Wind Down Sundays, the park’s summer concert series held at the Bates Barn on Sunday evenings at 5:15 p.m. through Aug. 28. A variety of musicians will play classical, rock, jazz, reggae, R&B, and pop, which means there’s at least one Sunday you won’t want to miss, depending on your taste! These events are family-friendly ways to get outside and experience something new in a beautiful location. 

So pack up the kids, or the dog, or just a water bottle, and see what Frank Melville Memorial Park has in store for you. You may discover a favorite jogging trail, the perfect bench for reading, or the cutest baby turtle you’ve ever seen. There’s so much to do and see, no matter the time of day. And that’s why Frank Melville Memorial Park is a treasure among us.

Author Katelyn Winter is a rising junior at Muhlenberg College in Allentown, Pa.,  majoring in English and creative writing. She is from Stony Brook and hopes to one day work in the publishing industry.

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R.J. Torbert, back row, third from right, in front of Z-Pita with Grace Verruto from the Village of Port Jefferson, far left, family, friends and Z-Pita owner Joey Zee, front row Photo by Heidi Sutton

Z-Pita in Port Jefferson hosted a book signing for author R.J. Torbert on June 28 to promote the recent release of Torbert’s thriller novel, “No Mercy,” the action-packed sequel to “The Face of Fear.” Both plots take place in Port Jefferson Village. The Pie in Port Jefferson hosted a second book signing on June 30.

A resident of Miller Place, Torbert is also known as the creator of the famous ghost mask from the “SCREAM” movies.

The author is scheduled to appear at Barnes and Nobles on July 9 in Lake Grove at 4 p.m. and at the Port Jefferson Free Library on July 16 from 3 to 4:30 p.m. for a rare Q-and-A with guest speaker John Valeri of The Hartford Book Examiner. Registration is required for the library event by calling 631-473-0022.

For more information on the book, visit wwwpowersandjohnson.com.

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Limoncello is the perfect summer cocktail.

By Bob Lipinski

“Drink because you are happy, but never because you are miserable.”  — G.K. Chesterton, Heretics

If you’re like me, you probably enjoy cocktails year-round and perhaps you may even have a favorite one or even two. When I entertain specialty, cocktails abound replete with fancy names, a multitude of ingredients and compliments. I thought I’d share with you some of my homemade cocktails that will satisfy even the pickiest palate. However, in order for the cocktails to smell and taste authentic, the brands and measurements listed below must be followed.

Key Lime Pie Cocktail 

This cocktail smells and tastes just like Key Lime Pie!

2 parts Cruzan Vanilla Rum

1 part pineapple juice

1/2 part Rose’s Lime Juice Splash Sprite (not diet)

Mix or shake the first three ingredients with ice, add Sprite, quickly stir and enjoy.

Bourbon Margarita

Use the same ingredients as you would for a margarita, except substitute bourbon for tequila and rim the glass with sugar instead of salt.

Tom Collins

1 (6-ounce) can frozen lemonade

1 (6-ounce) can of gin

2 (12-ounce) cans of lemon soda

Several sprigs of mint

Blend the first two ingredients, then stir in the soda and garnish with a sprig of mint.

Piña Colada Martini

Equal parts of…

Cruzan Pineapple Rum

Cruzan Coconut Rum

Shake with ice and pour into a chilled martini glass. Garnish with a wedge of fresh pineapple.

Sours

1 (6-ounce) can frozen lemonade

1 (6-ounce) can water

1 (6-ounce) can whiskey (any type)

Blend with plenty of ice and serve in a chilled glass. Top with a cherry. Bob’s Blender Margarita Use the same ingredients for your traditional margarita, except substitute fresh lemon juice for the lime juice and before cutting the lemon, zest the outer skin and add to the blender. The cocktail will be slightly tart with an incredible aroma and flavor of fresh lemon.

Limoncello

1 dozen large lemons

1-liter bottle 80-proof vodka

2 cups white sugar

3 cups cold water

Peel thin strips of lemon, avoiding the white pith. Macerate the peels in vodka for two weeks. Strain the liquid removing the peel. Make simple syrup by dissolving sugar in water over medium heat. Once the syrup is cooled, add it to the lemon-infused vodka. Mix and allow to settle for 24 hours, then chill and serve.

Cheesecake Cocktail

Smells and tastes exactly like cheesecake!

2 parts Cruzan Vanilla Rum

One part each of pineapple juice and cranberry juice

Blend or shake with ice and serve in a cocktail glass.

Vodka Punch

12 ounces of 80 proof vodka

2 (6-ounce) cans of frozen lemonade

2 cans of orange juice (use empty lemonade cans)

1 bottle seltzer (33 ounces)

1 bottle ginger ale (33 ounces)

1 can (16 ounces) pineapple chunks, drained

24 pitted maraschino cherries, drained

Mix the above ingredients with a wooden spoon, add ice cubes, chill and serve.

By the way … I’ll be over later for a vodka martini, “shaken, not stirred!”

Bob Lipinski, a local author, has written 10 books, including “101: Everything You Need to Know About Vodka, Gin, Rum & Tequila” and “Italian Wine & Cheese Made Simple” (available on Amazon.com). He conducts training seminars on wine, spirits and food and is available for speaking engagements. He can be reached at www.boblipinski.com or boblipinski2009@hotmail.com.

File photo by Rachel Shapiro

By Fr. Francis Pizzarelli

It’s hard to believe that another school year has ended and the high school class of 2016 is in the midst of moving on. This class, like all classes before them, has made a powerful impact upon all of our communities. There are a record number of seniors going off to Ivy League colleges on scholarships. There are an exceptional number of young people going off to the service academies and enlisting in the military.

This year’s high school seniors have made their mark scholastically as well as athletically. An impressive number of sports teams have made it to the states with significant numbers bringing state titles home to their high schools in our local communities.

However, what is most impressive about the Class of 2016 is how many seniors, in addition to all their school activities, are involved in community service. Yes, many school districts have a mandatory requirement, but many don’t. More significant is the number of students who complete their obligatory number of hours and continue to give of themselves without expecting anything in return and the countless number of seniors who give of themselves with no compelling obligation.

This past year there have been so many different campaigns to help the sick, the poor and the terrorized, not to mention the various specialized needs of people who have suffered terrible tragedies due to hate, violence and terror.  So many of our seniors from the Class of 2016 gave from their hearts.

It is a commitment to community service in the spirit of inclusiveness that is refreshing, especially since we live in a world that seems more grounded in narcissism and self-centeredness, rather than thinking about others first, especially those in need.

Seniors, as you continue your journey, do not let the social filters of our time enable bigotry, exclusivity and social injustice. Showing compassion and understanding rooted in justice is more significant than a science formula. These are difficult lessons to learn because they demand that you risk all that you are now for what you could become tomorrow.

Teach love to those who know hate and let that love embrace you as you continue in the world.

Look around you! We are living in a very challenging world. A new revolution is afoot. Your generation is moving away from the indifference and complacency of yesterday and moving toward a new idealism of freedom and responsibility. Despite the recent act of terrorism and hate in Orlando, Florida, where 50 innocent young people were gunned down because of hate, it still gives me hope that tomorrow can and will be better.

As you graduate from high school, keep these simple thoughts in mind: May you discover enough goodness in others to believe in a world of peace and to work for peace grounded in justice.

May a kind word, a reassuring touch and a warm smile be yours every day of your life. Remember the sunshine when the storm seems unending. Teach love to those who know hate and let that love embrace you as you continue in the world.

May the teachings of those you admire become a part of you so that you may call upon them. It is the content and quality of who you are that is important, not merely the actions you take.

Don’t judge a book by its cover, or stop at the introduction. Read it through, seek the meaning and messages it offers for life, for everyone’s life is sacred, and even those who are different from you or whom you do not like.

Be more inclusive than exclusive. Don’t be blinded by those who tend to use shame, blame and guilt to shackle people down and divide them. Set people free with your respect and nonjudgmental way.

May your moral compass be grounded in respect for all human beings, no matter what their color, their race, their creed or their sexual orientation. May this compass guide you on a path that is committed to working for peace and social justice. As Gandhi once said, “Be the change you hope for in the world.”

Congratulations graduates of the Class of 2016. Thanks for making the world a little richer, a little brighter and a better place to be!

Fr. Pizzarelli, SMM, LCSW-R, ACSW, DCSW, is the director of Hope House Ministries in Port Jefferson.

Ute Moll in her lab at Stony Brook University. Photo by John Griffin

Some day, people may be able to breathe easier because of a cancer researcher.

No, Ute Moll doesn’t work on respiration; and, no, she doesn’t study the lungs. What Moll, research scientist Alice Nemajerova and several other collaborators did recently, however, was explain the role of an important gene, called p73, in the formation of multiciliated cells that remove pollutants like dust from the lungs.

Initially, scientists had studied a knockout mouse, which lacked the p73 gene, to see if the loss of this gene would cause mice to develop cancers, the way they did for p73’s well-studied cousin p53. Researchers were surprised that those mice without p73 didn’t get cancer, but found other problems in the development of their brains, which included abnormalities in the hippocampus.

While each of these mice had a respiratory problem, researchers originally suspected the breathing difficulties came from an immune response, said Moll, the vice chair for experimental pathology and professor of pathology at Stony Brook University.

A board-certified anatomical and clinical pathologist who does autopsies and trains residents at Stony Brook, Moll took a closer look and saw an important difference between these mice and the so-called wild type, which has an intact p73 gene.

Moll on a recent trip to Africa says hello to Sylvester the cheetah who is the animal ambassador in Zimbabwe. Photo from Moll
Moll on a recent trip to Africa says hello to Sylvester the cheetah who is the animal ambassador in Zimbabwe. Photo from Moll

“Microscopic examinations of many types clearly showed that the multiciliated cells in the airways were severely defective,” she explained. “Instead of a lawn of dense long broom-like motile cilia on their cell surface which created a strong directional fluid flow across the windpipe surface, the [knockout] cells had far fewer cilia, and the few cilia present were mostly short stumps that lost 100 percent of their clearance function.”

This finding, which was published in the journal Genes & Development, could have implications for lung diseases such as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease, or COPD, which affects more than 330 million people around the world and is the third leading cause of death.

The discovery provides “the long-awaited explanation for the diverse phenotypes of the p73 knockout mice,” wrote Elsa Flores, a professor of molecular oncology at the UT MD Anderson Cancer Center, in a commentary of the work.

In an email, Flores said Moll is a “wonderful collaborator and colleague” whose “meticulous” work is “held in high regard.”

Carol Prives, Da Costa professor in biological sciences at Columbia University, suggested this was a “very significant finding.”

Moll and her scientific team went beyond showing that the loss of the p73 gene caused the defective or missing cilia. They took stem cells from the trachea, which can grow on a culture dish into a range of other cells. With the proper nutrients and signals, these stem cells can grow back into a fully differentiated respiratory epithelium.

The organotypic culture had the same defects as the knockout mice. The scientists then used a lentivirus to insert a copy of the functioning p73 gene. The cells in the culture developed a complete set of long, motile cilia.

“It’s a complete rescue experiment,” Moll said. “This closes the circle of proof that” p73 is responsible for the development of these structures that clean the lungs.

In addition to the lungs, mammals also develop these cilia in two other areas, in the brain and in the fallopian tubes.

There could be a range of p73 deficiencies and some of these could be indicative of vulnerability or susceptibility to lung-related problems that are connected to incomplete cilia. This could be particularly valuable to know in more polluted environments, where the concentration of dust or pollutants is high.

Moll plans to “find tissue banks from COPD patients” in which she might identify candidate alleles, or genes, that have a partial loss of function that would contribute to the reduction in the cilia cells.

While Moll will continue to work on respiration and p73 in mice, she described her broader research goals as “gene-centric,” in which she studies the entire p53 family, which includes p53, p63 and p73.

Colleagues suggested that she has made important and unexpected discoveries with p53.

“She was among the first to show that in some pathological states, p53 is sequestered in the cytoplasm rather than in the nucleus,” Prives, who has known Moll for 25 years, explained in an email. “This led to her original and very unexpected discovery that p53 associates with mitochondria and plays a direct role in mitochondrial cell death. She was very courageous in that regard since the common view was that p53 works only in the nucleus.”

Moll was raised in Germany and earned her undergraduate and medical degrees in Ulm, the same town where Albert Einstein grew up. She lives in Setauket with her husband, Martin Rocek, a professor of theoretical physics at SBU. The couple has two sons, 26-year-old Thomas, who is involved in reforestation in Peru, and 29-year-old Julian, a documentary filmmaker focusing on environmental themes.

Moll is also focused on the environment.“If humankind doesn’t wake up soon, we are going to saw off the branch we’re sitting on,” she warns. One of Moll’s pet peeves is car idling. She walks up to the windows of people sitting in idling cars and asks if they could turn off the engine.

As for her work with p73, she feels as if she is “just at the beginning. This is a rich field.”

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An interactive historical experience powered by TBR News Media

George Overin as Caleb Brewster. Production still from Circadian Studios and TBR News Media

By Alecsa Kazenas

The “Culper Spy Adventure,” a special presentation by TBR News Media, is an immersive digital attraction that will allow locals and tourists alike to be recruited into the ranks of General Washington’s secret Setauket spy ring. Accessed by scanning a special QR code on a panel of the Three Village map due out later this summer, you will begin an interactive 45-minute journey that puts you into the starring role of your very own secret spy adventure!

Become a time traveler as you arrive in the year 1780, crossing paths with legends and heroes: Abraham Woodhull, Anna Smith Strong, Caleb Brewster, George Washington himself! Enjoy interactive games between each episode that are filled to the brim with intrigue, action and fun! Created with the whole family in mind, the “Culper Spy Adventure” is great for all ages. We are also offering a special American Sign Language version as well a handicap-accessible edition! Join the revolution later this summer!

I recently had the opportunity to sit down with George Overin who plays Caleb Brewster in this interactive journey.

Tell us a little bit about Caleb Brewster. Who was he?

Caleb was a former whaler who didn’t like a humdrum life. He was an adventure seeker! He was his own man. He wouldn’t wear a uniform while serving his country and would fire at the British whenever he could. Being a trained whale boat captain, he could pilot his boat out of reach of the British guns quickly and safely. Though they wanted to capture him, the British never could.

What is your favorite memory from filming the “Culper Spy Adventure”?

Working with this wonderful cast and crew has been a joy that I will always remember! We all helped each other. Whether with character development or with something technical. The whole filming process has been a treat! Every scene I was involved in, every cast member I worked with, every direction given, everything just seemed to come together perfectly. Like it was meant to be. I hope we’ll be filming more in the near future!

What was it like bringing a character back to life two centuries after his death?

This was an honor for me! Growing up, I never even heard of a Long Island spy ring during the Revolutionary War. When I was approached by Michael Tessler about filming the “Culper Spy Adventure,” I knew I had to find out who Caleb Brewster was. I had gotten three books about the spy ring to read,watched the first season of “Turn” and attended a lecture on the subject. While I still only feel like I’ve just scratched the surface, I was able to start to “feel” Caleb. I will be looking for information on him for as long as I play him.

What do you think Caleb Brewster would think of this project?

I truly think Caleb would be proud of the efforts made. I’m sure he’d take me aside to discuss how he did what he did. Wouldn’t THAT be a great class to sit in on! When the Revolutionary War ended, the Culper Spy Ring just kind of dissolved. Everybody went their own way. Nobody really discussed what they did and the parts they played to help win the war. There were no parades or big honors given. If Caleb Brewster and the rest of the group could be here and see their history, their lives being exalted today, I believe they would be pleased. They would be modest and maybe a little embarrassed. After all, they were serving a Great Cause! And they all had the hearts to do what they did!

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By Nancy Burner, Esq.

While discussing an estate plan with a client, she stopped me and said “What is probate.” Sometimes we forget to explain the simplest concepts. Probate is the process by which a last will and testament is given effect. Under New York State Law, a will is admitted to probate after the executor files a Petition for Probate with the decedent’s will attached and gives proper notice to the individuals that would have inherited from the decedent had the decedent died without a will. The proceeding for the probate of a will takes place in the Surrogate’s Court in the county where the decedent resided at the time of his or her death. The probate proceeding gives the interested parties (distributees) the right and opportunity to object to the probate of the will.

Typically, we advise that a client that creates a will consider if there are any circumstances that will make the probate proceeding an expensive one. For instance, is any distributee being disinherited? If so, that disgruntled distributee may come to Surrogates Court and object to the will. The litigation objecting to a will can be long and drawn out — and expensive as well. Are there missing heirs that must be found before the will can be probated? If so, it could be very expensive and time-consuming to find all the individuals that are required to be given notice and an opportunity to object. Is there real property owned by the decedent in different states? If so, then the will would have to be probated in each state. If any of these circumstances exist, you may want to avoid probate altogether.

We also suggest avoiding probate if you are the surviving spouse and your spouse is or has received Medicaid benefits. Medicaid has a lien against the spouse’s estate for any Medicaid benefits paid for the other spouse within 10 years of the death of the surviving spouse.

Another reason to avoid probate is if you have a disabled beneficiary as the Surrogate’s Court may appoint a guardian ad litem to protect that person’s interest. That could be another delay and cost to the estate.

The next question to consider is how do you avoid probate? One way to avoid probate is to name beneficiaries on all your accounts. But I rarely, if ever, suggest that a client resort to this solution without first considering the consequences. First, it may not be possible to name beneficiaries on all your accounts. What if your beneficiaries are minor’s or disabled? If that is the case, the minor or disabled beneficiary would have to have a guardian appointed to collect the bequest. This is also timely.

For minor’s, the guardian would have to put the money in a bank account, earn little or no interest and turn the money over to the beneficiary when he or she turned 18. If the account was a retirement account, the result is even harsher. The IRA or other retirement account would have to be liquidated, all income taxes paid and then put into a custodial account at a bank, earn little interest and then be paid to the beneficiary at age 18.

Most clients, when given the choice, would rather protect their heirs from divorcing spouses, Medicaid liens, creditors and taxes than avoid probate. We can protect beneficiaries by having their assets paid to trusts. This can be done in a will (and probate) or by avoiding probate altogether by using a revocable trust.

The important point here is that it is a mistake to make the avoidance of probate the overriding consideration when embarking upon an estate plan. Not everyone needs a revocable trust, but some people will be well served by using a trust, if the circumstances make probate impractical.

One size does not fit all. A successful estate plan takes all factors into consideration. In a world where people are computer savvy and everything is available on the internet, it is easy to believe that you can just do it yourself. The fact is attorneys are called counselors at law for a reason. The documents are only part of the problem and solution. The fact is, there is no substitute for competent legal advice.

Nancy Burner, Esq. practices elder law and estate planning from her East Setauket office.