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The Takeaway: Steve Jobs Dies; Palin Out For 2012; Alzheimer's Infectious?


Death of a Visionary:  Steve Jobs, the iconic Apple co-founder who's influenced 21st century technology, computing, gadgetry and culture in inestimable ways, has died. He was 56.

There's no doubt  Jobs was an innovator. The creativity he put into technology will forever change how we communicate--from Gen Z to boomers.  He moved technology from crowded garages to pockets, took entertainment from record stores to iTunes.

Steve Jobs gave us the future," says Washington Post reporter Hank Stuever. "A sense of ourselves moving forward into this century, which has proved especially hard to do, with its lack of employment opportunities and its addiction to panic."

What Obama said: "Steve was among the greatest of American innovators - brave enough to think differently, bold enough to believe he could change the world and talented enough to do it."

The sadness of his death is being heralded on all social media fronts, with people speaking out in Facebook posts, tweets , message boards and blog posts. AARP's technology blogger, Mike Lee, remembers his first experience with an Apple product.

In his 2005 Standford University commencement address, Jobs emphasized the importance of pursuing dreams. "You can't connect the dots looking forward; you can only connect them looking backwards. So you have to trust that the dots will somehow connect in your future. You have to trust in something - your gut, destiny, life, karma, whatever. This approach has never let me down, and it has made all the difference in my life."

Jobs battled cancer in 2004 and underwent a liver transplant in 2009 after taking a leave of absence for unspecified health problems. He took another leave of absence in January, his third since his health problems began - and resigned as Apple CEO in August, though he still remained active in company affairs.

Pancreatic Cancer Action released the following statement regarding Jobs and his cancer:

While Steve Jobs battled a rare form of pancreatic cancer (pancreatic neuroendocrine tumor), his passing, if due to pancreatic cancer, is a stark reminder of the severity of this deadly cancer and lack of effective treatment options available to patients. It's time to make pancreatic cancer a national priority and give patients a fighting chance. We invite all those inspired by this great man to join the Pancreatic Cancer Action Network in the fight against this devastating disease. We must come together to know, fight and end pancreatic cancer."

Palin Rules Out 2012 Run: Sarah Palin has officially announced that  she won't be seeking the Republican presidential nomination for 2012, ending speculation that's practically been taking place since the end of the 2008 presidential election.

After much prayer and serious consideration, I have decided that I will not be seeking the 2012 GOP nomination for president of the United States," Palin wrote in a letter to supporters.

With New Jersey Governor Chris Christie announcing yesterday that he won't run, this leaves Republican voters to choose from the field of candidates who have been participating in GOP debates over the past several weeks, including forerunners Mitt Romney, Herman Cain, and Rick Perry.

Alzheimer's Could Have Contagious Properties: The brain damage that goes along with Alzheimer's disease resembles the spread of other infectious diseases in the body,  according to a new study. Researchers injected the brain tissue of an Alzheimer's patient into some mice, while a control group of mice was injected with non-Alzheimer's tissue. None of the mice injected with the control tissue showed symptoms of Alzheimer's, but  all of the mice injected with Alzheimer's brain extracts developed plaque and other brain changes associated with Alzheimer's.

The mouse developed Alzheimer's over time and it spread to other portions of the brain," researcher Claudio Soto said. "We are currently working on whether disease transmission can happen in real life under more natural routes of exposure."

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Photo: Markus Schreiber/AP

Additional reporting: Jevonya Hughes

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