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11 posts from March 2010

04 March 2010

Chet of Arabia (The Atlantic Monthly - March 2010)

COVER_bigger_atlWhy do I travel to exotic destinations with my son?  In "Chet of Arabia," I discuss traveling to Jordan with my three-year-old son during my husband's deployment to nearby Iraq.


We ENTER THE archeological park early in the morning, soon after it opens. As a solo mother with a preschooler, I choose to take the horse-drawn carriage through the Siq—the astonishing mountain-cut pathway to Petra...

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

Alzheimer's drug may also treat Huntington's (The Dana Foundation Website - 19 February 2010)

Dana_logoCan an FDA-approved Alzheimer's drug offer any relief for those who suffer Huntington's disease?  Some scientists believe so.


A drug used to treat Alzheimer’s disease may help harness the protective pathways of brain cells to stay the deadly symptoms of Huntington’s disease, according to new research...

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

Renowned journal retracts controversial autism/vaccine paper (The Dana Foundation Website - 10 February 2010)

Dana_logoWhat do scientists think about the Lancet's decision to pull Andrew Wakefield's controversial case study suggesting there might be a link between the measles/mumps/rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism?  Read about it here:


On Feb. 2, renowned medical journal The Lancet retracted a controversial 1998 paper that hypothesized a link between the measles, mumps, and rubella (MMR) vaccine and autism. Citing ethics violations by the lead author, Andrew Wakefield, the journal’s decision set off a global media firestorm. Many scientists argue the paper’s retraction definitely debunks the premise that vaccines play any role in the development of autism. But advocacy groups, as well as many parents of children who have autism, argue that Wakefield’s work still has merit—and questions about why autism rates have risen so dramatically over the past few decades still need to be answered...

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

Parkinson's disease: A paradign shift (The 2010 Dana Foundation Annual Progress Report on Brain Research)

ProgReport2008CVR_thmbOnce again, I contributed a chapter to the Dana Foundation's Annual Progress Report on Brain Research.  This year, I summarized the up and coming research into Parkinson's disease - and what that may mean for treating it in the future.

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

Cocaine vaccine may offer alternative therapy to addicts (The Dana Foundation Website - 4 January 2010)

Dana_logo Researchers are working on a vaccine for cocaine - a vaccine that may help addicts stay clean.


Andrew Kent, 51, has been battling his addiction to cocaine for more than two decades. Though he has tried different recovery programs over the years, this Houston, Texas, native has relapsed time and time again...

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

Gene therapy offers hope for rare retinal condition (The Dana Foundation Website - 7 December 2009)

Dana_logo A one-shot gene therapy may offer sight to children with a rare retinal condition called Leber's congenital amaurosis.  A recent clinical trial of the therapy showed remarkable success.


Three years ago, when nine-year-old Corey Haas was first diagnosed with Leber’s congenital amaurosis (LCA), a rare form of retinal degenerative disease, his parents weren’t given a hopeful prognosis regarding his vision...

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

One man's scotch whisky passion (Wine Enthusiast - 1 December 2009)

We-cover An article about Claive Vidiz's incredible 3400+ bottle scotch whisky collection - and how he amassed it - appears in the 1 December 2009 issue of Wine Enthusiast magazine.  The collection is now on display at the Scotch Whisky Experience attraction in Edinburgh, Scotland.

The issue is available in most major bookstores and newsstands.

Military experts discuss the attack at Fort Hood (The Washington Post - 6 November 2009)

Washpostlogo After the attacks at Fort Hood, the Washington Post reached out and asked if I'd give my point of view as a military spouse on what occurred for the Topic A section.


As details about the shootings streamed across the Web, I noticed how the nature of the messages changed over time. Initially, some military friends lamented that they no longer felt safe on Army posts. But once Maj. Nidal Hasan was identified as the lone gunman, many focused on his name, rank and faith. The fear that had been so palpable diminished. Few of the messages were explicit -- one simply said, "A single shooter and a Muslim?!" But their meaning was clear -- that Hasan's Islamic faith explained what had previously been an unfathomable act of violence...

(To read the rest of the op-ed, click here).

Music training linked to better understanding of speech (The Dana Foundation Website - 30 October 2009)

Dana_logo New research suggests that music education may help individuals understand speech better - and may lead to new treatments for different speech-related disorders.


French author Victor Hugo once wrote, “Music expresses that which cannot be put into words and cannot remain silent.” A new study suggests that musical skills can also help people understand spoken words buried in a noisy cacophony. This ability may help explain why music training seems to help some people with other forms of learning and could eventually lead to new therapies for children with autism and older people with hearing difficulty...

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

Alzheimer's drugs may help treat brain injuries (The Dana Foundation Website - 11 September 2009)

Dana_logo How might Alzheimer's disease and traumatic brain injuries be related?  I discuss that in this article for the Dana Foundation Website.


For decades, scientists have postulated a link between traumatic brain injuries and an increased risk for developing Alzheimer’s disease down the line. Now neuroscientists have uncovered a possible mechanism the two conditions shares—and identified a class of Alzheimer’s drugs in testing that may also help minimize the damage that occurs in TBI cases...

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

Oakland County, Michigan shares notification service with local cities (Government Technology - 9 November 2009)

Govtech0808 An article about how a county in Michigan is sharing an online government with all of its cities for free is in Government Technology magazine.


When the H1N1 "swine" flu epidemic broke loose in late April 2009, Americans clamored for information about the disease and its potential impact in their communities. Many local governments turned to their own Web sites and other means of digital communication to disseminate information...

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