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9 posts from August 2009

17 August 2009

Balanced between different worlds: A review of Sophia Raday's "Love in Condition Yellow: A Memoir of an Unlikely Marriage (Literary Mama - August 2009)

LMbook_large I recently reviewed Sophia Raday's new book, "Love in Condition Yellow:  A Memoir of an Unlikely Marriage" for the Literary Mama website.


A change occurs when I tell people outside the military community that I am an Army spouse. It's a small one, certainly. In fact, the shift may be imperceptible to the uninitiated. But it is there all the same. Once my admission is out there, floating in the ether, I know there will now be misconceptions about who I am, assumptions about my values and beliefs, and conversation topics that my associates will no longer feel comfortable broaching. That's just the way it is...

(To read the rest of the review, click here).

Post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury (The 2009 Dana Foundation Annual Progress Report on Brain Research)

PR09_cover_t For the 2009 edition of the Dana Foundation's Annual Progress Report on Brain Research, I contributed a chapter concerning new research directions in the study of post-traumatic stress disorder and traumatic brain injury.


For decades, researchers have hoped to uncover the biological mechanisms behind post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD) and traumatic brain injury (TBI), increasingly common afflictions among both soldiers and civilians. In 2008, researchers renewed their focus on these conditions and sought to identify the processes that will provide new avenues for prevention and treatment...

(To read the rest of the chapter, click here)

Hotel Duo Review (Smith Hotels - August 2009)

Smith-hotels-logo On a recent trip to Paris, I wrote a review/essay about my experience at the Hotel Duo for boutique hotel experts, Mr. & Mrs. Smith.


For many, driving in Paris rates somewhere between a visit to the dentist and replacing a toilet commode. It’s true that the bustling labyrinth of small streets that makes the city so charming for a visiting pedestrian can make it downright perilous for your average suburban driver. As we ventured into the lively Le Marais district, searching for the small cross-street that would take us to the Hotel Duo, we were no exception. We might have missed our turn entirely if not for the young man in an afro wig, fishnet tights and tuxedo jacket that cut us off on his bicycle. He ended up being our beacon, his nearly bare bottom guiding us directly to the hotel’s entrance spare grey entrance...

(To read the rest of the review, click here).

Amsterdam Hotel Reviews (Travel Intelligence - August 2009)

Ti While in Amsterdam, I reviewed two hotels for luxury travel and hotel specialist, Travel Intelligence

Hotel Pulitzer Excerpt:

Leave your stereotype of the usual Starwood Hotels and Resorts property by the wayside – the Pulitzer is a charming and quite distinctive 230-room hotel in the heart of Amsterdam. Located on the Prinsengracht, only a few blocks from the city centre, the hotel is composed of 25 restored 17th- and 18th-century houses that mix Dutch tradition and modern luxury in an unforgettable way...

Hotel Toren Excerpt:

The word “unforgettable” gets thrown around a lot in hotel marketing copy. But Hotel Toren, a small 38-room boutique property in Amsterdam, truly is. This romantic hotel makes its home in a renovated 17th-century mansion along the Keizersgracht.  Its combination of history, luxury and service will soon have you feeling as if you’ve stepped back in time – and perhaps wondering why you’d ever stay anywhere else...

New drug target reduces seizures in mice (The Dana Foundation Website - 12 August 2009)

Dana A neuroscientist at Carnegie Mellon University has stumbled on a neuronal membrane channel that may shows promise as a therapeutic target to control epileptic seizures.


Despite a variety of available drug treatments, many people who have epilepsy still are unable to control their seizures with medication. New research suggests a molecular mechanism that seems to “reset” neurons may and offer another avenue for treatment...

(To read the rest of the article, click here). 

Immune gene evolution may be driven by parasites (The Dana Foundation Website - 22 July 2009)

Dana Helminthes, or parasitic worms, may have helped shape the human immune system.  And that symbiotic relationship may be responsible for the rise of auto-immune disorders in developed countries.


Soon after I brought my newborn son home from the hospital, my grandmother admonished me not to bathe him too often. If babies are too clean, they are more likely to get sick, she said. Now researchers are finding there may be something to that folk wisdom. A population genetics study published in the June 8 issue of the Journal of Experimental Medicine suggests that parasites have helped shape the human immune system—and that a lack of exposure to helminthes, or worms, may account for rising rates of autoimmune disorders such as irritable bowel disease (IBD), Type 1 diabetes and celiac disease...

(To read the rest of the article, click here).

How stress affects the brain may depend on age (The Dana Foundation Website - 12 June 2009)

Dana It's long been known that stress affects the brain.  But new research suggests that at what age you experience that stress may determine what kind of impact it has. 


Researchers have long known that chronic stress can harm the brain. In particular, hormones called glucocorticoids, released by the adrenal gland in response to stress, have been linked to depression, reduced hippocampal volume and learning and memory deficits in some people. But new research suggests chronic stress alone does not cause the damage—instead, the stage of life in which one experiences that stress may be the key to understanding its potential lasting and detrimental effects...

(To read the rest of this article, click here).

Anesthesia in young children may be linked to later learning disabilities (The Dana Foundation Website - 3 June 2009)

Dana Scientists are now learning that the use of anesthesia in young children is correlated with learning disabilities later in life.  A piece discussing these findings appears on the Dana Foundation Website. 


Each year, hundreds of thousands of children 3 years of age and under are anesthetized during surgeries and other common medical procedures and tests. Doctors believed that the risk of using anesthetics in infants and toddlers was minimal. But recent scientific studies, both in animals and humans, suggest that there may be a relationship between the use of anesthesia in young children and later cognitive deficits...

(To read the rest of the article, click here).

Autism researchers explore genetic and environmental risk factors (The Dana Foundation Website - 14 April 2009)

Dana An article about how scientists are trying to put both the genetic and environmental pieces of Autism's puzzle together appears on the Dana Foundation's Website.


Although scientists diligently seek the genetic underpinnings of autism, the spectral nature of the disorder has made it difficult to find a “smoking gun” gene. Some researchers hope that their research into the role of environmental risk factors will help explain the disorder’s causes...

(To read the rest of the article, click here).