To the Edge of the Sky: the Fight to Save Children’s Lives and End Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy

New drugs are being developed to treat Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy — and many other rare diseases — but the treatments are stalled at the FDA. A new Kickstarter campaign is raising funds to complete a documentary about parents fighting to stop Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy and gain access to potentially life-saving drugs before the disease kills their children.

To the Edge of the Sky

Genetic Mutation May Explain Increase in U.S. Whooping Cough Cases

An old disease is making a comeback, possibly due to a bacterial mutation. Seventeen states and Washington D.C. are reporting an increase in whooping cough this year. It’s an epidemic in Texas, on pace to be the worst in half a century [1]. The very young are most at risk.

Whooping cough

Need For Less Sleep Associated with Gene Mutation

ResearchBlogging.org

Researchers at the University of California, San Francisco, have discovered the first gene involved in regulating the length of human sleep. The study, published recently in the journal Science, identified a genetic mutation that is associated with a short human sleep phenotype [1]. The finding may help scientists better understand the regulatory mechanisms of sleep and lead to treatments for a variety of sleep disorders.

Encephalon #58 – Decision Making

Welcome to the 58th edition of Encephalon, where we highlight some of the best neuroscience and psychology blog posts from around the blogosphere. This edition includes 20 articles on a variety of interesting topics, including intelligence, belief, neurodegeneration, multi-tasking, memory, grief and consciousness.

There’s a revolution occurring on the Web: those “authoritative” articles written on traditional, static websites are being replaced with blogs, wikis and online social networks. In the sphere of health, medicine and information technology, this “real-time Web” consists of many who are professionals in the field; their posts are listed below.
In the digital age, these are the characteristics of new media: recent, relevant, reachable and reliable.

This edition of Encephalon coincides with the historic 44th U.S. Presidential election. As with every election, voters had to decide which candidate for whom to cast their ballot. Although a recent brain-imaging study found that voting decisions are more associated with the brain’s response to negative aspects of a politician’s appearance than to positive ones [1], many other sources of information come into play when we make important and complex decisions. Indeed, studies have shown that decision making is largely an unconscious process [2], in which a set of attributes, including needs, preferences, values and emotions, shape our response to sensory input.

Will there be engaging and thought-provoking articles below? Will each of us learn something new as we read through the posts? Will this edition of Encephalon be successful?

Let’s move through each of the attributes and shape our response to these questions.