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New York Eye And Ear Infirmary Of Mount Sinai Hosts Unveiling Of New Superhero Dedicated To Children With Hearing Loss

On Saturday, October 18, 2014, the Ear Institute at the New York Eye and Ear Infirmary of Mount Sinai (NYEE) will host an unveiling event by the Children’s Hearing Institute (CHI) and Marvel Custom Solutions to reveal the identity of a new girl super hero with cochlear implants. The new superhero “Sapheara” was created by Marvel and CHI to help educate children and parents about cochlear implants and other hearing assist devices, as well as spread the message that it is not acceptable to bully anyone who wears a hearing aid or cochlear implant.

In the United States alone, roughly 58,000 adults and 38,000 children have received a cochlear implant to help improve their hearing. The small, complex device helps provide a sense of sound to persons who are deaf or hard of hearing. At NYEE, over 150 cochlear implant surgeries are performed each year, making it one of the highest volume centers in the region.

Students Sharpen Research Skills With The FDA

Biology. Chemistry. Bioinformatics. Toxicology.

Practical, hands-on laboratory work is important for all college students who want to become scientists — but, for many of them, such experiences are out of reach.

That’s one of the reasons why every summer, our National Center for Toxicological Research (NCTR) — FDA’s internationally acclaimed toxicological research center in Jefferson, Arkansas — hosts aspecial internship program for science students interested in toxicology research.

The 2014 program was exceptionally successful for both the students and the Center.

New Test Scans All Genes Simultaneously To Identify Single Mutation Causing Child’s Rare Genetic Disease

Audrey Lapidus adored her baby’s sunny smile and irresistible dimples, but grew worried when Calvin did not roll over or crawl by 10 months and suffered chronic digestive problems. Four neurologists dismissed his symptoms and a battery of tests proved inconclusive. Desperate for answers, Audrey and her husband agreed to have their son become UCLA’s first patient to undergo a powerful new test called exome sequencing.

Using DNA collected from Calvin’s and his parents’ blood, a sophisticated sequencing machine rapidly scanned the boy’s genome, compared it to his parents’ and flagged a variant on his 18th chromosome. Calvin was diagnosed with Pitt-Hopkins Syndrome, a rare genetic disorder affecting only 250 children worldwide. At last Audrey and her husband had a concrete diagnosis and clear direction for seeking the best treatment for their son.

Now a landmark UCLA study makes a persuasive argument for the routine clinical use of exome sequencing as a valuable tool for diagnosing children like Calvin with rare genetic disorders. Published in the online edition of the Journal of the American Medical Association, the findings show that exome sequencing produced a definitive diagnosis in 40

% of UCLA’s most complex cases — a quantum leap from the field’s 5-percent success rate two decades ago.

Brain Activity Provides Evidence For Internal ‘Calorie Counter’

As you glance over a menu or peruse the shelves in a supermarket, you may be thinking about how each food will taste and whether it’s nutritious, or you may be trying to decide what you’re in the mood for. A new neuroimaging study suggests that while you’re thinking all these things, an internal calorie counter of sorts is also evaluating each food based on its caloric density.

The findings are published in Psychological Science, a journal of the Association for Psychological Science.

“Earlier studies found that children and adults tend to choose high-calorie food,” says study author Alain Dagher, neurologist at the Montreal Neurological Institute and Hospital. “The easy availability and low cost of high-calorie food has been blamed for the rise in obesity. Their consumption is largely governed by the anticipated effects of these foods, which are likely learned through experience.

New Antidepressant: Rapid Agent Restores Pleasure-Seeking Ahead Of Other Antidepressant Action

A drug being studied as a fast-acting mood-lifter restored pleasure-seeking behavior independent of — and ahead of — its other antidepressant effects, in a National Institutes of Health trial. Within 40 minutes after a single infusion of ketamine, treatment-resistant depressed bipolar disorder patients experienced a reversal of a key symptom — loss of interest in pleasurable activities — which lasted up to 14 days. Brain scans traced the agent’s action to boosted activity in areas at the front and deep in the right hemisphere of the brain.

“Our findings help to deconstruct what has traditionally been lumped together as depression,” explained Carlos Zarate, MD, of the NIH’s National Institute of Mental Health. “We break out a component that responds uniquely to a treatment that works through different brain systems than conventional antidepressants — and link that response to different circuitry than other depression symptoms.”

This approach is consistent with the NIMH’s Research Domain Criteria project, which calls for the study of functions — such as the ability to seek out and experience rewards — and their related brain systems that may identify subgroups of patients in one or multiple disorder categories.

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