September 2010

Living Legend Visits SBC


By Erin Crager, Marketing Intern, Stanford Blood Center

Olympic and FC Gold Pride soccer star Nicole Barnhart recently visited SBC, taking time out of her busy schedule as goalie to meet with donors and staff. The Stanford alum seemed to have a knack for keeping her composure, given FC Gold Pride was to compete the following weekend in the WPS Championship against finalist, the Philadelphia Independence. Having grown up in Gilbertsville, a small town in a county tangent to Philly, it would be difficult not to feel conflicted about the impending match. If she did, Barnhart’s confident, yet humble demeanor suggested otherwise as she fielded questions and chatted casually with fans.

Gold Pride’s 2009 season, in which the team finished dead last, was a stark contrast to this year’s dominant run. And their 4-nil shutout against the Independence in the aforementioned WPS championship only mirrored the team’s play all year. Since 2003 Barnhart or “Barnie” as she’s commonly called, has volunteered as an assistant coach to Stanford’s women’s soccer team where she holds the record for most stopped shots on goal. A gold medal winner in the 2008 Beijing Olympics, she is currently training with the US National Team and come October, will fly to Cancun for qualifying rounds to the FIFA World Cup held in Germany next July. SBC appreciates Nicole’s support, which includes both photo ops for donors and blood donations for patients.

Scarlett Trains for the World Cup

By Scarlett O'Negative

My mentor and buddy, Nicole Barnhart, dropped by the blood center yesterday to hang out with donors, sign autographs, and mentor me for the Women’s Soccer World Cup. Nicole’s the goalkeeper for the US Women’s National Team and local WPS club, FC Gold Pride. Nicole has been a great supporter of and is a blood donor. Check out the photo below, where Nicole is teaching me how to do a blood drop kick!

FC Gold Pride, who is top of the Women’s Professional Soccer League, will be playing in the WPS Championship game this Sunday, 9/26. Blood drops of the world, wish them well.

Be sure to catch Erin's, (fellow blogger) great interview with Nicole, which will be posted next week.

2 movie tickets to the first person to name the non-US players on the FC Gold Pride team. Please leave comments below.

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The Japanese Blood Drop


By Billie Rubin, Hemoglobin’s Catabolic Cousin, reporting from the labs of Stanford Blood Center

Meet Kenketsu-chan ("blood donation girl"), Japan’s most well-known blood donation mascot. She is a little pixie with big shiny drops of blood for ears. Kenketsu-chan is the official blood donation mascot of the Ministry of Health, Labour and Welfare, which maintains a website devoted to the character. It is said that Kenketsu-chan’s ears shrink when she runs low on blood, but return to their original size when people donate (see the different images above). She comes from Tasuke Island (Help Island), which features a heart-shaped spring at its center. The spring shoots forth rainbows that carry Kenketsu-chan to wherever people need blood.

Hmmm, what should we use for our official mascot?? Any ideas?

Scarlett’s Going Bookish

By Scarlett O'Negative

I thought it time to hit the books, so I checked out the Stanford University Libraries – wow, what a lot of books. The thing is, libraries of the future may not have any physical books at all. For instance, Stanford’s Engineering Library is now almost entirely digital. I like to sit on books to give myself a little more height, but I can’t do that as well virtually. Think of all the trees saved though, and the convenience of accessing texts from your laptop.

2 movie tickets to the first person to name the world’s first library. Please leave comments below.



Scarlett Applies to Med School to Get Her iPad

By Scarlett O'Negative

Someone told me that first year students at Stanford Medical School would be getting iPads, so, as blood drops are not the wealthiest creatures on the planet, I thought it might be easier to apply to med school to get the iPad rather than buying one. Was I wrong! Do you know how competitive it is to get into Stanford Med School? They told me to enroll in a pre-med program first, so now I have declared a major – yeah!

Many people believe that Stanford Blood Center is part of Stanford Hospital, but we are in fact part of Stanford University’s School of Medicine. What’s really cool is that all these bright medical students at this incredibly innovative school will be studying little ol’ me. Red Blood Cells are very important after all.

Two movie tix to the first person to name this brand new structure (below) on the Stanford Campus. Please leave your comment below.


Scarlett’s Going Orange, Which is Just Peachy


By Scarlett O'Negative

In my last post, I said that I was trying to eat a healthier diet, so I’ve been sneaking into the canteen at Stanford Blood Center and indulging myself with delicious award-winning oranges. They come from a wonderful place, Pleasant Valley Ranch, and are occasionally, when available, given to blood donors after they have donated. What a great way to get hydrated.

My human friends at SBC will give a pair of movie tickets to the first person to name a word which rhythms with "orange". Please leave your answer in the “comment” section below.

ABO Dominant and Recessive Genes

By Billie Rubin, Hemoglobin’s Catabolic Cousin, reporting from the labs of Stanford Blood Center

Here's an interesting trivia question: Can a man who is type A and a woman who is type B have a type O baby?

a) Only if the baby is adopted
b) Only if the blood was mistyped
c) Yes

The answer is yes! They have a 25% chance of having a type O baby. We actually have two ABO genes, not one. We inherit one ABO gene from dad and one from mom. In this case, one parent would be AO and the other BO. And each could pass either gene to the baby. You just don't know they are AO or BO until you do family studies because the O gene is recessive (the blond, blue eyes of the ABO world), and an AO person looks like an A when you type them and a BO person looks like a type B. A type O person would need two recessive genes (OO). Here’s a chart that explains the four possible ABO types of the children:


Kelly Straight – A Stanford Blood Center Resource Par Excellence

By Erin Crager, Marketing Intern, Stanford Blood Center

I first met Kelly in a work place behavior training class, which was required for all new Stanford Blood Center (SBC) staff. I’ve never been a very social person. I get red in the face easily and I regularly stumble over my words in front of large groups. I’ve taken speech classes in an attempt to overcome my fear but this has only served to point out the severity of the situation to everyone enrolled, much less improve my ability.

The large room for orientation was packed with unfamiliar faces from various departments across Stanford campus, all of whom looked to be superb practitioners of customer service. They all looked like highly respectable individuals and Kelly was no exception. Shortly after sitting in the front row, we were divided into groups of six or seven, Kelly and I being assigned to the same group, to discuss workplace behavior scenarios. When prompted by one of the workshop leaders, Kelly eloquently summarized our conclusions to the leader and then without warning turned to me and quickly asked, “Would you like to take it from here?”

Not particularly, I thought. I was suddenly reminded of all those times in speech class when I was picked to follow the top presenter. Kelly easily could have been up there leading the hour long discussion. It was like she was talking one on one with every person in the room. I looked down at the floor and tried to ignore the sea of eyes beaming through the back of my head. I stuttered, took a deep breath and managed to hammer out the summary of our group’s discussion before my voice completely petered out into some pathetic, quivering squeak rivaled only by mice. Still, after the episode had passed, I remained envious of Kelly’s ability to command a room.

A new addition to SBC’s staff of blood bank nurses, Kelly is a fast talking, enthusiastic individual with unparalleled fervor and a very down to earth personality. After graduating in 2001 with a degree in cultural anthropology, she worked for two not-for-profit organizations as a fundraiser where she routinely communicated with donors and volunteers. A few years later she decided to attend nursing school and shortly after graduating, landed a job at SBC. Kelly still works with donors, although the donations have changed slightly. “We’re still asking people for a resource,” she says, taking a break from her busy schedule. “And just like any other not-for-profit out there, you have to be worthy and deserving of that resource.”

Blue Blooded Relations

By Billie Rubin, Hemoglobin’s Catabolic Cousin, reporting from the labs of Stanford Blood Center

The next time you hear somebody say they have "blue blood" in their ancestry & are trying to tell you that they are of royal blood lineage…think "molluscs." Because they must have a high class horse-shoe crab, clam, squid, or octopi in their family tree.

Molluscs are the true blue bloods of the world. Their blood is truly blue when they bleed because instead of hemoglobin, they have a copper-containing protein called hemocyanin which turns dark blue when exposed to oxygen. So, try to be understanding of your blue-blooded friend: their great, great grand-daddy was a royal horse-shoe crab, and they are proud of it.

Scarlett Be Well

By Scarlett O'Negative

Stanford University has a wonderful health and wellness resource called, Be Well.

As you may have noticed, I could lose a few pounds, so I enrolled in some Be Well classes and have cut down my ice cream consumption to 3 pints per day.

I recently read a great article from BeWell about the physiology of inactivity. Apparently, sitting a lot makes it easier to gain weight. Luckily I’m constantly moving around the blood system, so I’m OK – really!

My agent will give a $15 Trader Joe's Gift Card to the first person to guess my birthday (day and month). They have lots of healthy stuff. Scarlett_IceCream.jpgPlease leave your answers in the comments section below.

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