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CU: Stem cells boost aging muscles


CU-Boulder stem cell research may point
to new methods of mitigating muscle loss

New findings on why skeletal muscle stem cells stop dividing and renewing muscle mass during aging points up a unique therapeutic opportunity for managing muscle-wasting conditions in humans, says a new University of Colorado Boulder study.

According to CU-Boulder Professor Bradley Olwin, the loss of skeletal muscle mass and function as we age can lead to sarcopenia, a debilitating muscle-wasting condition that generally hits the elderly hardest. The new study indicates that altering two particular cell-signaling pathways independently in aged mice enhances muscle stem cell renewal and improves muscle regeneration.

stem cells

One cell-signaling pathway the team identified, known as p38 MAPK, appears to be a major player in making or breaking the skeletal muscle stem cell, or satellite cell, renewal process in adult mice, said Olwin of the molecular, cellular and developmental biology department. Hyperactivation of the p38 MAPK cell-signaling pathway inhibits the renewal of muscle stem cells in aged mice, perhaps because of cellular stress and inflammatory responses acquired during the aging process.

The researchers knew that obliterating the p38 MAPK pathway in the stem cells of adult mice would block the renewal of satellite cells, said Olwin. But when the team only partially shut down the activity in the cell-signaling pathway by using a specific chemical inhibitor, the adult satellite cells showed significant renewal, he said. “We showed that the level of signaling from this cellular pathway is very important to the renewal of the satellite cells in adult mice, which was a very big surprise,” said Olwin.

A paper on the subject appeared online Feb. 16 in the journal Nature Medicine.

One reason the CU-Boulder study is important is that the results could lead to the use of low-dose inhibitors, perhaps anti-inflammatory compounds, to calm the activity in the p38 MAPK cell-signaling pathway in human muscle stem cells, said Olwin.

The CU-Boulder research team also identified a second cell-signaling pathway affecting skeletal muscle renewal – a receptor known as the fibroblast growth factor receptor-1, or FGFR-1. The researchers showed when the FGFR-1 receptor protein was turned on in specially bred lab mice, the renewal of satellite cells increased significantly. “We still don’t understand how that particular mechanism works,” he said.

Another major finding of the study was that while satellite cells transplanted from young mice to other young mice showed significant renewal for up to two years, those transplanted from old mice to young mice failed. “We found definitively that satellite cells from an aged mouse are not able to maintain the ability to replenish themselves,” Olwin said. “This is likely one of the contributors to loss of muscle mass during the aging process of humans.”

Co-authors included first author and CU-Boulder postdoctoral researcher Jennifer Bernet, former CU-Boulder graduate student John K. Hall, CU-Boulder undergraduate Thomas Carter, and CU-Boulder postdoctoral researchers Jason Doles and Kathleen Kelly-Tanaka. The National Institutes of Health and the Ellison Medical Foundation funded the study.

Olwin said skeletal muscle function and mass decline with age in humans beginning at roughly age 40. While there are a variety of muscle-wasting diseases — ranging from muscular dystrophy to Lou Gehrig’s disease — the condition known as sarcopenia can lead to severe muscle loss, frailty and eventual death and is leading to skyrocketing health care costs for the elderly. “If you live long enough, you’ll get it,” he said.

Olwin and his team worked closely on the research with a team from Stanford University led by Professor Helen Blau, which published a companion paper in the same issue of Nature Medicine. “We shared data with the Stanford team during the entire process and we all were very pleased with the study outcomes,” said Olwin. “This is how science should work.”


Boulder Police Badge

ID thieves targeting vehicles, cops say


Boulder police warn of ID theft ring operating in Boulder, metro area


Boulder police are reminding residents to lock their vehicle doors and to remember to take valuable items, such as purses and wallets, with them when leaving vehicles unattended.


The theft ring is believed to be involved in three cases in Boulder and more than 50 cases in other jurisdictions. So far, the thieves are responsible for approximately $100,000 in thefts. (Boulder police case numbers are: 14-1105, 14-1101 and 14-1475).


Investigators believe that at least two male suspects forcibly enter victim vehicles by breaking windows and then stealing purses and wallets, which were left in clearly visible areas of the cars. The suspects then deposit and cash the victim’s checks using the stolen IDs and often use wigs and other disguises when dealing with banks.

ID Theft Suspect2

ID Theft Suspect

It’s believed the suspects are using newer-model SUVs when they make deposits at drive-up bank windows. Some of the vehicles used include a new, mint-green Ford Explorer with tinted windows; a white SUV and a black Infinity SUV.


Photos of suspects who appear to be females are attached and police are asking the public for help in identifying them. It’s possible that the suspects in the photos are wearing wigs or are otherwise disguised.


During the past two weeks, the suspects have trespassed vehicles and stolen IDs every single day somewhere in the Denver metro area.


Anyone with information about the crimes or the suspects is asked to call the Boulder Police Department at 303-441-3333 or to email us at Those who have information but wish to remain anonymous may contact the Northern Colorado Crime Stoppers at 1-800-222-TIPS (8477) or 1-800-444-3776. Tips can also be submitted through the Crime Stoppers website at Those submitting tips through Crime Stoppers that lead to the arrest and filing of charges on a suspect(s) may be eligible for a cash reward of up to $1,000 from Crime Stoppers.




CU soccer

CU Frosh soccer phenom gets called to camp



CARSON, Calif. – University of Colorado freshman phenom Brie Hooks was called into the U.S. Under-20 Women’s National Team training camp, which is running here from November 24 to December 1 at the U.S. Soccer National Training Center at the StubHub Center.

“We are excited that Brie has been called into this U-20 camp,” CU head coach Danny Sanchez said. “This opportunity is a byproduct of her play this fall, but also the team’s success. We know that she will represent herself and Colorado soccer well.”

Hooks was invited to the U.S. U-20 post season training camp

Hooks was invited to the U.S. U-20 post season training camp


Hooks stood out in her debut season at Colorado. In her first collegiate game, Hooks helped the Buffaloes to a 3-0 shutout of Northern Colorado behind a two-goal performance. Hooks is the first Buff in program history to score multiple goals in her Colorado debut. Hooks was an important part of the Buffs’ 1-0 victory over No. 15 Denver in the first round of the NCAA Women’s Soccer Championship, drawing the foul that set up the game-winning goal – Hooks and the Buffs ended their season with a trip to the Sweet 16, matching the program best finish first recorded in 2006.

In CU’s freshman offensive record books, Hooks concluded the season ranked third with eight goals and fourth with 18 points. Her 42 shots tie for eighth. Her eight goals also tie for eighth most in a single season at CU. Her four game-winning goals tie for fourth best in a single season at CU and tie for fourth best in Pac-12 Conference regular season play.

The training camp will serve as a bridge camp to an event in Florida in December, which will be the final preparation for the team before the Confederation of North, Central American and Caribbean Association Football Women’s U-20 Championship which will run from January 9-19 at the Truman Bodden Sports Complex in George Town, Cayman Islands.

The tournament features eight nations divided into two groups of four teams. The top two finishers in each group will qualify for the semifinals, with the winners of those games along with the winner of the third-place match earning berths to the 2014 FIFA U-20 Women’s World Cup, to be held in Canada. Players born on or after January 1, 1994 are age-eligible for the World Cup.

The USA is in Group A with Costa Rica, Jamaica and Guatemala, while Group B features the host Cayman Islands, Honduras, Trinidad & Tobago and Mexico.

The USA opens play on Thursday, Jan. 9 against Costa Rica, faces Jamaica on Saturday, Jan. 11 and finishes the group against Guatemala on Monday, Jan. 13. All three of the USA’s group games kick off at 5:30 p.m. MT. The semifinal matches will take place on Friday, Jan. 17 and the Championship and Third-Place matches are on Jan. 19.

Hooks joins the likes of Amy Barczuk and Nikki Marshall – record-breaking players at Colorado who turned their collegiate and national training camp success into professional careers. Barczuk was selected to the 2011 U.S. Women’s National Team Under-23 Training Camp and was a member of the U-23 player pool.

Marshall appeared in numerous training camps and tournaments as a member of the U.S. Women’s National Team U-23 player pool from 2009-11. With the U-20 team, Marshall helped the Americans to the silver medal at the 2007 Pan American Games and to the FIFIA U-20 Women’s World Cup Championship in 2008, where she was named the Sierra Mist Woman of the Match in the 2-1 championship win over North Korea.


Marlee Horn
Graduate Assistant SID
University of Colorado
A Colorado soccer flag at Prentup Field. (CU Independent/Robert R. Denton)

Historic Run For CU Soccer Ends In Sweet 16 At No. 3 FSU



TALLAHASSEE, Fla. – The University of Colorado soccer team’s historic season has come to an end as the Buffaloes fell 4-0 to No. 3 ranked Florida State in Saturday’s Sweet 16 match-up.

The No. 1 seeded Seminoles scored three goals in the first 15 minutes, and the Buffs could never find the footing to respond.

For only the fourth time this season, the Buffs allowed an opponent to take over 20 shots. The Seminoles took 24, while holding the Buffs to a season-low four (marking just the sixth time this year the Buffs have taken fewer than 10 shots in a game). Senior Anne Stuller (who set season records at CU this year with 93 shots and 53 shots on goal) led CU with two shots and one on goal. Senior co-captain Annie Brunner grabbed three saves in the net.

“This whole season has been a dream for me,” Stuller said. “We knew we were coming in today with a big challenge ahead of us and Florida State showed us what a good team they were but I’m not going to hang my head. I have so much to be proud of and how proud I am of my team.”

CU senior soccer player is proud of her team, which finished the best in CU history

CU senior soccer player Anne Stuller is proud of her team, which finished the best in CU history

After beginning the year with a program-best five shutouts and six wins, CU concludes its record-breaking season with a 14-7-2 record – marking just the fifth time in program history the Buffs won at least 14 games in a single season. As it did in 2006 – the Buffs’ only other trip to the Sweet 16 – CU’s season is put to an end by a top three ranked Atlantic Coast Conference opponent (the Buffs fell to No. 1 Notre Dame in ’06).

Florida State keeps alive the nation’s longest active streak of trips to the NCAA quarterfinals, reaching the fourth round for the ninth consecutive year. FSU improves to 21-1-3, with its only loss coming to No. 1 Virginia and extends its home unbeaten streak to 34 games (and to 31 games in NCAA play). The Seminoles are the only remaining seeded team in their quadrant of the bracket. They will face the winner of the Boston College-Illinois (who both took down seeded teams in the Round of 32) match-up next Friday in the Elite Eight.

“I think that Florida State is very good, I’m just going to state the obvious,” CU head coach Danny Sanchez said. “We have played a lot of good teams this year but just the way that they came out and the way they possessed and created chances; getting that early goal, I think that we needed to get through that first stretch of the game and that didn’t happen. Then after that we were just chasing the game. I am proud of the team and how they continued to battle. I mean we gave up three goals in the first 14 minutes and it could have gotten ugly.”

The first half belonged to the Seminoles, with FSU outshooting CU 14-2. It took just 36 seconds for the Seminoles to take their first shot, with Carson Pickett knocking the left post. Less than one minute later, FSU had grabbed the lead. At 1:19, Michaela Hahn crossed to the far post to Dagny Brynjarsdottir, who headed one in past the keeper.

Two shots and less than six minutes later, FSU was ready to score again. The Noles extended their lead to 2-0 at 6:59 as Brynjarsdottir took little time to record her fourth multiple goal game of the season. Isabella Schmid found Jamia Fields at the right edge, who crossed to Brynjarsdottir near the net. Her header bounced off the left post, and came into the net off Brunner.

The Buffs continued to struggle to make any moves into FSU territory, taking until the 12th minute to take their first of two first half shots – with Madison Krauser breaking away from the pack to shoot wide right. The Noles’ attack continued to perplex the CU defense, scoring again in the 15th minute to increase their lead to 3-0. Megan Campbell took a free kick from just beyond midfield, sending her strike to the net, where Kristin Grubka headed inside the left post.

In the final 30 minutes, the Buffs regained some focus. In a 22 minute span, the Buffs held the surging Seminoles to four shots with all but one off the mark. During that time, the Buffs were able to pick up some offensive momentum, when Brie Hooks came up with a big tackle just behind the FSU box to help Anne Stuller get free and shoot at the keeper.

FSU came back with a vengeance in the closing minutes of the half, taking three more shots. The Buffs defense held strong, blocking one and forcing the other two wide.  With under minutes remaining before the break, FSU seemed to push their lead to 4-0 off an own goal when a throw-in reached the net, but the Seminoles were called offsides, keeping their lead at 3-0.

To the favor of the Buffs, the second half started off more slowly than the first, with CU getting the first offensive opportunity. In the 50th minute, Stuller rushed from the center, and crossed to Hooks at the right, setting up a corner kick. The ball got in front of the net, and despite lots of FSU players making contact, Hayley Hughes was able to strike the ball (a shot that would go high) as a Seminole defender went down.

The Buffs began to play more aggressively with an increased pressure (especially from Lizzy Herzl, who had several strong clearances) trying to limit the Seminole attack. In the 56th minute, while Brunner was drawn out of the net, Kassey Kallman gave her shot a bit too much heat, hitting the ball high. With more shots starting to come her way, Brunner picked up back-to-back saves.

In the 64th minute, the Buffs had a chance to bounce back, when Tori Cooper drew a foul just outside the penalty box, setting up great positioning for a free kick. Stuller put her striking skills to the test, but hit her ball high. The shot would be the Buffs’ last of the game.

Following a CU yellow card in the 70th minute, FSU was able to grab some momentum. There was lots of movement at the net following the free kick. Hahn got the ball at distance from Kallman and beat the keeper as Brunner tried to jump on the save, but the ball slid just to her right.

The pace would slow in the final 20 minutes, but the Seminoles would still take four more shots and continue to press the Buffs defensively until the final minute.

“I think that Florida State took their foot off the gas a little bit, but they still had their starting back four in there at the end and they were still pressing us,” Sanchez said. “I was pleased though how we played the second half and kept competing and playing with pride. This doesn’t diminish what this team has accomplished this year and where they came from this preseason getting picked 10th in the Pac 12, tied for last place for last year and then having the opportunity to play in the Sweet 16 against a great team like Florida State who will compete for a national championship, so there is no shame in that so I’m proud of this group.”

Marlee Horn
Graduate Assistant SID
University of Colorado

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Stuller, Herzl and Hooks named to All Pac 12 soccer teams



Seniors Anne Stuller and Lizzy Herzl were named second-team and honorable mention, respectively, while newcomer Brie Hooks was selected to the Freshman Team. This is the first all-conference honor for each.

Stuller and Herzl were also recently honored as College Sports Madness All-Pac-12 Conference Second Team selections.

Stuller, a forward from Boulder, has had her best season with the Buffaloes in what has already been an impressive four-year career. In her final season, Stuller has set single season records for shots (86) and shots on goal (50). With 36 shots on goal last season, Stuller is the only Buff to rank in the top six of that category twice. With 23 points, off eight goals and seven assists, this season, she is just six shy of her total from her first three seasons combined. Her points and goal totals as a senior also rank in the top three on the CU single season list. She holds the all-time top spot for points, assists and shots by a senior at CU and is tied for second in goals by a senior. Stuller ended the regular season ranking in the Pac-12’s top seven in shots, points, assists and goals.

Anne Stuller was named All-Conference

Anne Stuller was named All-Conference


Brie Hooks named to All Freshman team

Brie Hooks named to All Freshman team

Herzl, a defender from Littleton, Colo., has also had an impressive senior season, starting all 20 games and playing a team-high 1,845 minutes. As part of the Buffs’ strong defense, she has helped the squad to its second consecutive eight shutout season, including a record-breaking five to start the 2013 campaign. Herzl earned a spot on the Omni Hotels Colorado Women’s Soccer Classic All-Tournament Team earlier this season when she helped the Buffs to a 4-0 win over Stony Brook and a 3-1 victory over UNLV. Herzl has also taken 10 shots this season, with five on target.

Hooks, a forward from Maple Valley, Wash., has been a standout player in her debut season at Colorado. Hooks has made her mark since the first minute she stepped on the pitch in a Buffs’ jersey. In her first collegiate game, Hooks helped the Buffs to a 3-0 shutout of Northern Colorado behind a two-goal performance. Hooks is the first Buff in program history to score two goals in her Colorado debut. In CU’s freshman offensive record books, she ranks third with eight goals and fourth with 18 points. Her 38 shots ties for 10th. Her eight goals also tie for eighth most in a single season at CU. Her four game-winning goals tie for fourth best in a single season at CU and also ties for fourth best in the conference. Her goal and point totals also rank in the conference’s regular season top 10.

Since joining the Pac-12 in 2011, five soccer Buffs have been named to All-Pac-12 teams. Amy Barczuk (2009-12) earned back-to-back honors from the Pac-12, first as an honorable mention her junior season, then as a second-team selection as a senior. Last season, Madison Krauser was named to the Freshman Team. This is the first year since 2010 (when the Buffs were a member of the Big 12) that at least three Buffs have received all-conference honors.

Marlee Horn
Graduate Assistant SID
University of Colorado

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Motion Underground at Band on the Bricks

Motion Underground at Band on the Bricks


Boulder Channel 1 watches the breaking, popping, locking, spinning and dancing from the kids trainers and freestylists at Motion Underground Studio in Boulder on their dance floor at the Band on the Bricks summer concert series.

Motion Underground Breakdancing

Motion Underground Breakdancing


Boulder Channel 1 watches the breaking, popping, locking, spinning and dancing from the kids trainers and free-stylists at Motion Underground Studio in Boulder.

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