miércoles, 25 de abril de 2018

Sexual Violence Prevention | Features | CDC

Sexual Violence Prevention | Features | CDC

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. CDC twenty four seven. Saving Lives, Protecting People

New on the MedlinePlus Sexual Assault page:
04/23/2018 11:33 AM EDT

Source: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention

Three women

Nutrition: MedlinePlus

Nutrition: MedlinePlus

MedlinePlus Trusted Health Information for You



New on the MedlinePlus Nutrition page:
04/17/2018 08:54 AM EDT

Source: Academy of Nutrition and Dietetics

Zebrafish Scrapbook | Biomedical Beat Blog - National Institute of General Medical Sciences

Zebrafish Scrapbook | Biomedical Beat Blog - National Institute of General Medical Sciences



Zebrafish Scrapbook

Name: Danio rerio
Hometown: Freshwater ponds and rivers of India, Nepal, and neighboring countries
Occupation: Research
Long-term goal: Solving the basic mysteries of life
Work site: More than 600 science labs worldwide
Danio rerio
That’s me and some other zebrafish, swimming in a tank in one of the more than 600 labs around the world that use us to study embryo development, genetics, and all kinds of human diseases. Credit: Wikimedia Commons, Azul.
Apart from the tell-tale stripes that give me my nickname, zebrafish, I look a lot like your standard minnow swimming in the shallows of any pond, lake, or river. But I like to think I’m more important than that. In fact, researchers around the world have turned to me and my extended family to understand some of the most basic mysteries of life. From studying us, they’re learning about how embryos develop, how cancer works, and whether someday humans might be able to rebuild a heart, repair a spinal cord injury, or regrow a severed limb.
Why us? Because zebrafish are pretty special and researchers think we’re easy to work with. First, unlike your standard lab mouse or rat, we lay lots of eggs, producing baby fish that grow up fast. We develop outside our mothers and go from egg to embryo to free-swimming larva in just 3 days (check out this video Exit icon of how we grow, cell by cell, during the first 24 hours). Within 3 months, we’re fully mature.
Not only do zebrafish moms have many babies at the same time, and not only do these babies grow up quickly, but our eggs and embryos are see-through, so scientists can literally watch us grow one cell at a time. We stay mostly transparent for a few weeks after hatching. That makes it super easy for scientists to monitor us for both normal and abnormal development. In fact, scientists have learned how to turn off the genes that give our skin its color. These zebrafish, named casper, after the “friendly ghost” of cartoon fame, stay semi-transparent, or translucent, through adulthood.
And last, but certainly not least, did I mention that we can regenerate? If parts of my body are damaged, even to a significant degree, they can regrow. This holds true for my heart, fins, spinal cord, and even brain tissue. Our regenerative capacity is seemingly unlimited; my caudal fin, for example, can grow back dozens of times.
We don’t look much like humans. But we aren’t as different as you think. We’re both vertebrates, with a central spinal column, and we have the same major organs and tissues. And we have lots of similar genes. Seventy percent of human genes have a least one close match to our genes.
Although a few researchers in Oregon started working with us in the 1970s, we really skyrocketed into science labs in the mid-1990s, when a huge study Exit icon of my cousins identified 4,000 genetic mutations—small changes in different genes that could alter how those genes work. Researchers like working with organisms with mutated genes because this lets them more easily understand normal genes. They can compare fish with an abnormal copy of a gene with fish that have a normal copy. We became even more popular when, in 2013, scientists sequenced all of a zebrafish’s genes Exit icon.
I hope you enjoy this scrapbook. It shows some of my favorite pictures of my kin hard at work in the lab. These snapshots demonstrate just how important we are to research that can promote human health and potentially help treat and prevent human disease.
Click on an image below to launch slideshow.
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RISE-ing Above: Embracing Physical Disability in the Lab | Biomedical Beat Blog - National Institute of General Medical Sciences

RISE-ing Above: Embracing Physical Disability in the Lab | Biomedical Beat Blog - National Institute of General Medical Sciences



RISE-ing Above: Embracing Physical Disability in the Lab

This is the fourth post in a new series highlighting NIGMS’ efforts toward developing a robust, diverse and well-trained scientific workforce.
Marina Nakhla
Marina Z. Nakhla
Hometown: West Los Angeles, California
Blogs For: Ottobock “Life in Motion,” Exit icon a forum for the amputee community, where she’s covered topics ranging from medical insurance to dating.
Influential BookThe Catcher in the Rye by J.D. Salinger
Favorite TV Show: Grey’s Anatomy
Languages: English and Arabic
Unusual Fact: Gets a new pair of legs every year or two
Nakhla at her graduation from California State University, Northridge, where she graduated with a B.A. in psychology with honors. She is currently a second-year master’s student there studying clinical psychology. Credit: Christina Nakhla.
When Marina Z. Nakhla was just a toddler, she lost both of her legs. Now 22 and a graduate student at California State University, Northridge (CSUN), she has hurdled obstacles most of us never face.
Nakhla conducts research to better understand the decrease in mental abilities experienced by people with brain diseases. She is a scholar in CSUN’s Research Initiative for Scientific Enhancement (RISE) Program. This training program aims to enrich and diversify the pool of future biomedical researchers. Her long-term goal is to earn a Ph.D., to work as a clinical psychologist and to continue conducting research in neuropsychology. Along the way, she aspires to be a leader to her peers and an advocate for underrepresented people, particularly those with disabilities.
I first learned about Nakhla from an email message titled “CSUN RISE Student.” The acronym, pronounced “see [the] sun rise,” is an apt motto for a program that prepares students for a bright future in science. I believe it also encapsulates Nakhla’s positive, forward-looking mindset, despite the obstacles she has faced. Here’s her story:
Q: What got you interested in science?
A: Growing up, I was always drawn to science. I enjoyed learning how things work. I first became interested in psychology after reading The Catcher in the Rye in high school. I was so intrigued by Holden Caulfield’s thought processes and experiences of alienation and depression, despite the fact that he came from a wealthy family and went to a good school.
Why are some people more prone to experiencing depression? Why are some peoples’ thought processes so different than others? What factors contribute to resiliency? How can we help these people? These questions also made me think about the significant adversities that I had personally experienced. My desire to know more about the brain, as well as my personal experiences, instilled my passion to make a difference in others’ lives through science.
When I started doing research, my mentor inspired my interest on the medical side—in neuropsychology, which is a subspecialty within clinical psychology. Neuropsychology is the study of brain and behavior, which includes how damage to the brain affects cognitive, daily and psychological functioning. There’s so much we don’t know!
Q: What research are you doing now?
A: My main research at CSUN focuses on people with Alzheimer’s disease and those with mild cognitive impairment. People with mild cognitive impairment do not meet clinical diagnosis for Alzheimer’s or other dementia, but they do have trouble thinking, remembering and planning. They may also struggle to perform some routine daily activities such as shopping, managing transportation needs and handling finances. And the condition gets worse for most people over time.
We hope that our studies will add to the knowledge needed to more accurately diagnose early stages of dementia. Early diagnosis would help healthcare providers plan treatment options and work with the patient and the family.
One question we’re trying to answer is whether performance on standardized memory tests can help with early diagnosis. I’m comparing different types of memory tests on people who have mild cognitive impairment. We’re trying to see whether any of these tests can predict how well these people perform the routine activities of daily life. More specifically, we want to learn if disruption to different memory systems in these people predicts their ability to perform activities.
I’m looking at two types of memory tests—one that evaluates accumulated knowledge (semantic memory) and one that measures information learned during a particular time period (episodic memory). So far, I have found that, for the most part, episodic and semantic memory deficits reflect similar impairment in activities of daily living. This link holds true for both Alzheimer’s patients and those with mild cognitive impairment.
This summer I’m also in the Summer Training Academy for Research Success Exit icon (STARS) program at the University of California, San Diego. The lab where I’m working focuses on bipolar disorder. People with bipolar disorder have unusual shifts in mood, energy levels and sleeping patterns. There’s some evidence that they are also at risk for premature and accelerated aging.
This lab is investigating whether factors such as inflammation, mood variability and sleep quality contribute to cognitive impairment in bipolar disease and possibly to accelerated aging. My specific project is investigating the relationship between inflammation and attentional performance, and whether altered sleep patterns play any role.
Q: You said you want to continue studying neuropsychology. Is there a particular topic you’d like to explore?
A: I want to take all the experiences I’ve had and apply them to my future research. Generally speaking, I would like to study the intersection of physical disability, neuropsychological disorders and mental health. I’m interested in Alzheimer’s disease, mild cognitive impairment and brain aging in general. More recently, I became interested in traumatic brain injury.
In the future, I’d like to explore the impact of these conditions on people with disabilities and compare it to the effect on people without physical disabilities. Do cognitive deficits have a greater impact on people with disabilities? Or is the impact less because such people already face restrictions in their daily activities? Or maybe there’s no difference. I’d like to find out.
Q: You’ve written openly about your own disability. Would you tell us a bit about it?
Marina Nakhla
Nakhla keeps fit in the gym, where she has been told by others that she is an inspiration to them. Credit: Marina Nakhla.
A: Sure. When I was born, each of my legs was missing its tibia bone. This is the larger of the two bones that runs between the knee and the ankle. Without this bone, my feet would never be able to support my weight.
Doctors told my parents there were only two options: I could get around in a wheelchair or on artificial legs. My parents chose surgery in order to give me the chance to walk. So, at the age of 14 months, both of my legs were amputated above the knee. I’ve been wearing prosthetic legs since then. Also, I have four fingers on my left hand and three on my right hand, but both hands function normally.
Q: How has this disability affected you?
Being an amputee has impacted all aspects of my life. School, especially the early years, was very difficult. When I was in preschool, I was placed in a special education class. Apparently, some people think physically disabled people are also intellectually disabled. I had to wait an entire year before my teachers realized their mistake and moved me into a regular class.
As I progressed in school, I faced other challenges. People would make fun of me, make indirect comments or be hostile because they assumed I was receiving special privileges. I also had to miss school sometimes for doctor’s appointments, leg fittings and physical therapy sessions.
Fortunately, my teachers and the school staff were very supportive of me, both in school and outside of it. The public school system hired a personal assistant who came with me to all my classes, carried my bags and helped with activities such as cutting and gluing that I struggled with. And my family has always been extremely supportive. They attended all my school-related events, comforted me when I was sad and defended me when people bullied me.
Every day I face different obstacles. But my struggles have taught me so much—time management skills, resilience and appreciation for little things that others might take for granted. Having a disability has also taught me to be strong, hard-working and persistent. In fact, I feel that being an amputee means that I have to work twice as hard as anyone else.
Q: Do you have any advice for someone who has a disability and is interested in a career in science?
A: Yes, and I’ve written about this in various places Exit icon. These lessons are valuable not only for people with disabilities, but also for people without disabilities who want to promote a culture of inclusion.
The most important take-away message is to pursue your passion. Do what you love. I really love what I do.
Second, never shy away from asking for help. You might need someone to carry something for you, or you might need a microscope or other research equipment that has been modified to make it accessible to you. More technologies and accommodations are available now than ever before. There is no shame in receiving them. They make it possible for people with disabilities to engage in work alongside their peers.
I drive a car that has been modified. I use a hand control for the accelerator and brake, and a spinner knob to make turns with one hand. I don’t have many accessibility issues in my lab because I don’t regularly use specialized research equipment. But I do struggle with reorganizing drawers and carrying heavy testing kits. When I test participants, I ask a lab partner to carry the kit. I also do my best to be a team player. When the lab needs to be organized, I make sure to do it with the others. My colleagues have made it easier for me to ask for help because they accept me as I am and don’t look down on me.
Third, choose your mentor wisely. It is extremely important to have a mentor who is willing to work with you and will support advocacy for inclusion. You will be working very closely with this person and you want to have a relationship built on mutual trust and respect. Try to get to know potential advisors before selecting a mentor. Ask about their mentorship style, their knowledge of disability services, their willingness to find and obtain accommodations, their understanding of disability culture, and anything else that will help you assess whether the advisor and his or her lab would be a good fit.
Fortunately, I have had amazing mentors who have provided me with endless support and kindness. They’ve informed me of research opportunities and scholarships available to me as an underrepresented person in science, and have advocated for my acceptance into these programs. I’d encourage students to take advantage of all the opportunities you are offered. One opportunity opens doors to others.
Finally, address discrimination head on. People with disabilities face negative stereotypes and attitudes that can limit their success. We must all work together to educate the public and conquer misconceptions about what scientists look like, how they learn and how they work. Disability, like race, gender or sexual orientation, is something that gives people a unique perspective. It shapes how people experience their lives and can play a significant role in a person’s values or career choice. Disability should be considered a part of the broader goal of diversity and inclusion that we are trying to encourage. All people should have an equal opportunity to chase their dream, even if they need assistive technology to do so.

Metals in Medicine | Biomedical Beat Blog - National Institute of General Medical Sciences

Metals in Medicine | Biomedical Beat Blog - National Institute of General Medical Sciences



Metals in Medicine

An exhibit called “Minerals in Medicine” opened at the NIH Clinical Center last month (see slideshow). The display features a fascinating overview of how dozens of minerals are used to create drugs and medical instruments useful in treating disease and maintaining health. The minerals ranged from commonplace ones like quartz, which is used to make medical instruments, to more exotic ones like huebnerite, a source of the metal tungsten, which is used in radiation shielding.
Inspired by this collection, which is co-sponsored by NIH and the Smithsonian Institution, we highlight here examples of “Metals in Medicine.”
Copper and Fat Metabolism
Fluorescent imaging of copper in white fat cells from mice.
Fluorescent imaging of copper in white fat cells from mice. The left panel shows fat cells with normal levels of copper, and the right panel shows fat cells deficient in copper. Credit: Lakshmi Krishnamoorthy and Joseph Cotruvo Jr., University of California, Berkeley.
What does a metal like copper have to do with our ability to breakdown fat? Researchers explored this question by observing mice with Wilson’s disease—a rare, inherited condition that causes copper to accumulate in the liver, brain and other vital organs. The mice with the condition usually have larger deposits of fat compared to healthy mice. To confirm that fat metabolism is somehow compromised in these mice, the researchers treated them with a drug that induces the breakdown of fat. And indeed they found that less fat was metabolized in mice with the disease.
In an effort to investigate what role copper may be playing in fat metabolism, the researchers examined adipose tissue, or fat, cells under a microscope to track the metal’s interactions with various proteins in the cell. They discovered that copper inhibits an enzyme called PDE3. This enzyme usually prevents another enzyme called cAMP from helping to break down fat. The researchers concluded that copper actually promotes fat metabolism. This work shows that transition metal nutrients can play signaling roles, which has been previously thought to be restricted to alkali and alkaline earth metals like sodium, potassium and calcium.
Iron and Protection Against Pathogens
Transferrin molecules (light gray), each bound by two iron atoms (red), are captured by TbpA proteins (light blue) on the surface of a pathogenic bacterium (left). Illustration of an “iron pirate” map, with transferrin (top) binding to TbpA (right). Credit: Janet Iwasa, University of Utah.
Infectious bacteria can’t live without iron. To keep this essential nutrient away from pathogens, a human protein called transferrin tucks the metal away. This game of keep-away is one of many similar strategies referred to as “nutritional immunity,” in which the body protects itself by safeguarding its nutrients from foreign invaders. Some bacteria, such as those that cause meningitis, gonorrhea and sepsis, have evolved a counterattack. These pathogens produce a protein abbreviated TbpA that latches onto human transferrin to poach its iron.
Researchers have studied the DNA of transferrin from 21 primate species and the DNA of TbpA in dozens of bacterial strains. They found evidence that, over time, subtle changes in the structure of transferrin in primates, including humans, have mirrored changes in the structure of TbpA in pathogens, reflecting a primate-pathogen arms race over the control of iron stretching back more than 40 million years.
Zinc and Cancer Detection
Microscope images of live cancer cells reflect low levels of zinc (top left), cells loaded with zinc (top right), the location of mitochondria (bottom left). An overlay of the zinc and mitochondrial locations shows zinc accumulating in mitochondria (bottom right). Credit: National Cancer Institute.
Zinc is found in every tissue of the body. The majority of the metal ion is tightly bound to proteins, helping them perform important biological functions. Tiny amounts of “mobile” zinc atoms not bound to proteins may be critical to the normal physiology of the brain, prostate and other organs. A new optical sensor that can track mobile zinc in the body has helped scientists demonstrate that zinc concentrations, normally high in the prostate, drop off dramatically in cancerous prostate cells. The researchers who developed the sensor think it could be used as an early diagnostic tool for prostate cancer.
As for zinc’s role in cancer, the metal ion is known to inhibit aconitase, an important enzyme in the normal metabolic pathway of cells. By restricting the concentration of zinc, the researchers speculate that cancerous cells are better able to catalyze the chemistry needed to meet the energy demands of the rapidly dividing cells.
Manganese and Brain Disease
Neuron
Excessive amounts of manganese in neurons can be toxic, leading to a variety of neurological diseases. Credit: Stock image.
Manganese is an essential partner for the proper function of a variety of enzymes. However, when not properly regulated, the metal ion contributes to numerous motor and psychiatric disorders, including neurodevelopmental toxicity, parkinsonism and Huntington’s disease. Compared to other metals in the body, little is known about how manganese levels are controlled.
Scientists recently screened more than 40,000 molecules to find those that could alter how much manganese would accumulate inside cells. Specifically, they wanted to know which molecules would change the levels of manganese in mouse striatal cells. These cells share similarities with neurons of the basal ganglia, a brain region that controls motor activity. The result of the screen was a collection of 41 molecules that scientists can now use as a starting point for discovering therapeutic agents.
NIH Clinical Center “Minerals in Medicine” Exhibit
  • Prehnite
  • Hematite
  • Calcite
  • Calcite
  • Calcite
  • Sulphur
  • Gypsum with Sand
  • Calcite
  • Calcite
  • Calcite
  • Quartz
  • Muscovite
  • Halite
  • Malachite
  • Sphalerite with Quartz
  • Huebnerite with Quartz
  • Calcite
  • Rulite
  • Rhodonite
  • Fluorapatite with Calcite
  • Talc
  • Silver with Calcite
  • Hematite
  • Stilbite  on Quartz
  • Scolecite
  • Barite
  • Colemanite
  • Smithsonite