Santa Cruz Real Estate Blog

CRISPR Technology to Cure Sickle Cell Disease

University of Illinois Chicago is one of the U.S. sites participating in clinical trials to cure severe red blood congenital diseases such as sickle cell anemia or Thalassemia by safely modifying the DNA of patients' blood cells.

CRISPR_Technology_to_Cure_Sickle_Cell_DiseaseThe first cases treated with this approach were recently published in an article co-authored by Dr. Damiano Rondelli, the Michael Reese Professor of Hematology at the UIC College of Medicine. The article reports two patients have been cured of beta thalassemia and sickle cell disease after their own genes were edited with CRISPR-Cas9 technology. The two researchers who invented this technology received the Nobel Prize in Chemistry in 2020.

In the paper published in the New England Journal of Medicine, CRISPR-Cas9 Gene Editing for Sickle Cell Disease and beta-Thalassemia, researchers reported gene editing modified the DNA of stem cells by deleting the gene BCL11A, the gene responsible for suppressing fetal hemoglobin production. By doing so, stem cells start producing fetal hemoglobin so that patients with congenital hemoglobin defects (beta thalassemia or sickle cell disease) make enough fetal hemoglobin to overcome the effect of the defective hemoglobin that causes their disease.

The advantage of this approach is that it uses the patient's cells with no need for a donor. Also, the gene manipulation does not use a viral vector as with other gene therapy studies but is done with electroporation...

Why Older Adults Must Go to the Front of the Vaccine Line

Study shows speeding up roll-out, prioritizing 60-plus could save 65,000 US lives in three months.

covid 19 vaccineVaccinating older adults for COVID-19 first will save substantially more U.S. lives than prioritizing other age groups, and the slower the vaccine rollout and more widespread the virus, the more critical it is to bring them to the front of the line.

That's one key takeaway from a new University of Colorado Boulder paper, published today in the journal Science, which uses mathematical modeling to make projections about how different distribution strategies would play out in countries around the globe.

The research has already informed policy recommendations by the Centers for Disease Control and the World Health Organization to prioritize older adults after medical workers.

Now, as policymakers decide how and whether to carry out that advice, the paper -- which includes an interactive tool (https://vaxfirst.colorado.edu/) -- presents the numbers behind the tough decision.

"Common sense would suggest you want to protect the older, most vulnerable people in the population first. But common sense also suggests you want to first protect front-line essential workers (like grocery store clerks and teachers) who are at higher risk of exposure," said senior author Daniel Larremore, a computational biologist in the Department of Computer Science and CU Boulder's BioFrontiers Institute. "When common sense leads you in two different directions, math can help you decide."

For the study, Larremore and lead author Kate Bubar, a graduate student in the Department of Applied Mathematics, teamed up with colleagues at the Harvard...

California Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) Plan - Your Last Resort Insurance Plan

Is your home hard to insure?

Don’t fret! Your home is not uninsurable.

wildfire_californiaThe California Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) plan is your insurer of last resort. You have to exhaust all efforts to benefit from this.

The California Fair Access to Insurance Requirements (FAIR) plan is an insurance pool established to guarantee the availability of basic property insurance to those who have been unable to obtain insurance through the voluntary insurance market.

firefighters_fighting_wildfire_californiaHomeowners in wildfire-prone regions may need to turn to the FAIR Plan if they cannot find insurance elsewhere.  You should exhaust all other avenues before going with a FAIR Plan policy, which should only be considered a last resort.

A FAIR Plan policy is pretty bar bones: it will cover losses due to fire and smoke and it will satisfy a mortgage company’s requirement that a home be insured, but it will not cover damages from earthquake, theft, vandalism or personal liability.  As of April 1, 2020, the FAIR plan’s combined dwelling coverage limit is $3 million, up from $1.5 million.  For more information visit cfpnet.com

...

Consumer Protection: PACE Liens C.A.R. sponsored law mandating a paper copy of the PACE disclosure, prohibits prepayment penalties, and prohibits PACE assessments when a reverse mortgage is in place.

PACE disclosure Assembly Bill 1551This law mandates a paper copy of the PACE disclosure be given to potential customers. Also, prohibits prepayment penalties for those who wish to pay off their assessment (commonly done at the time of the transaction) and prohibits PACE assessments when a reverse mortgage is in place.

BACKGROUND:
PACE programs enable home owners to finance energy and water efficient home upgrades such as solar panels, landscaping, new windows, new HVAC systems, new roofs and energy efficient appliances. It also allows for home mprovements that "harden" a home against wildfire danger.

The financing requires no money up front and is repaid through an additional assessment on the property owner's property tax bill. The loan is secured to the property through a super-priority lien that takes rest in line status over all other claims to the property. Despite the low risk for the lender of such financing, PACE financing typically carries rates of 6.5 to 8.5 percent, higher than the average for a home equity loan.

Some PACE administrator companies also have prepayment penalties associated with their products. Although PACE financing must be sanctioned through a local government entity, the financing is conducted entirely through private enterprise. "Homeowners are sometimes told they are not responsible for the assessment if they sell the property and that it will carry over to the new homeowner. While technically accurate, Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac will not purchase a mortgage with a lien that has higher priority than theirs. Thus, in practice the...

Law that Authorizes Common Interest Developments (CID) to Impose Rental Restrictions

Common Interest Developments:
Law on Common Interest Development (CID)Requires common interest developments (CIDs) to allow at least 25% of owners to rent or lease out their units starting January 1, 2021, regardless of whether the HOA has formally amended their governing documents.

This law:

1) Authorizes a CID to impose reasonable rental restrictions that have the effect of limiting the total number of rentals to 25% or higher of the individual dwelling units in the CID. Provides that ADUs and junior accessory dwelling units (JADUs) must not be counted toward this cap. Provides that such a cap must not change the right of an individual owner who was renting their unit out prior to the effective date of this law, to continue renting out their unit.

2) Requires CIDs to follow the requirements of this law on January 1, 2021 and requires amendments of governing documents to be completed by CIDs by December 31, 2021. Requires CIDs to comply with this law regardless of whether the governing documents have been amended.

3) Provides that a CID that violates the provisions of this law must be liable for a civil penalty of up to $1,000.

Assembly Bill 3182 is codified as Civil Code Sections 4740 and 4741, and Government Code Sections 65852.2.

Effective January 1, 2021.

...
Current Homes for Sale
Santa Cruz County
City # Price Range
Aptos Homes 43 $329k - $6.5m
Capitola Homes 34 $75k - $11.9m
Rio Del Mar / Seascape Homes 26 $405k - $6.5m
Santa Cruz Events 153 $48k - $10.0m
Santa Cruz Homes 153 $48k - $10.0m
Santa Cruz Real Estate 153 $48k - $10.0m
Monterey County
City # Price Range
$0-$300000 283 $75k - $5.5m
Alta Mesa-Monterey 283 $75k - $5.5m
Big Sur Homes 6 $1.8m - $30.0m
Carmel Homes 180 $15k - $24.0m
Fishermans Flats 283 $75k - $5.5m
Glenwood Circle Monterey 283 $75k - $5.5m
Monterey Homes For Sale 283 $75k - $5.5m
Oak Grove Monterey 283 $75k - $5.5m
Old Town Monterey 283 $75k - $5.5m
Pebble Beach Homes 58 $729k - $29.9m
New Listing

Email Alerts

Subscribe Today!
Why List

With Us?

Learn More!
What People

Are Saying

Recommendations!