Bird flu shuffle probes viral compatibility

The good news is that packaging signals on the H5 and H7 viral RNA genomes are often incompatible with the H3N2 viruses. But mix and match still occurred at a low level, particularly with Read more

A life consumed by sleep

Nothing he tried had worked. For Sigurjon Jakobsson, the trip to Atlanta with his family was a last-ditch effort to wake up. He had struggled with sleeping excessively for several years before coming from Iceland to see a visionary neurologist, who might have answers. In high school, Sigurjon was a decathlete competing as part of Iceland’s national sports team. But at the age of 16, an increasing need for sleep began to encroach upon his life. Read more

Laughter may be best medicine for brain surgery

Emory neurosurgeons see the technique as a “potentially transformative” way to calm some patients during awake brain surgery, even those who are not especially Read more

Ophthalmology

Optic nerve reaching out

Congratulations to Ying Li, MD, PhD, 3rd place winner of the Best Image contest held as part of the Emory Postdoctoral Research Symposium, which takes place next week (Thursday, May 19). Li is in Eldon Geisert’s lab, and provided Lab Land this description:

“Like a benevolent overseer of the cosmos, the epicenter of the optic nerve appears to extend a axon reassuringly to the small, seemingly lowly single ganglion cell, reminding us that every cell matters.”i-6FBNVsV-X3

Posted on by Quinn Eastman in Neuro Leave a comment

Seeing leaves on trees

Was your mother right when she told you not to read in dim light? Is there a correlation between your love of reading as a child and the fact that you now need glasses for distant objects?

These questions and more are being addressed by researchers at Emory and the Veterans Administration.

In a lab at the Atlanta Veterans Affairs Medical Center near Emory, researcher Machelle Pardue, PhD, who has an appointment at Emory Eye Center, studies why some eyes seem to change over time, growing larger and longer, thereby making that eye what we call “nearsighted.” This dependence on glasses or contact lenses to see distant objects seems to be a growing phenomenon. Scientists and ophthalmologists call this nearsightedness myopia, and whether it’s environmental or genetic—or a likely combination of both—is fascinating to Pardue and her research colleagues.

Michelle Pardue, PhD

The unique collaborative nature of Pardue’s work draws on the talents of many specialists—clinical, engineering, molecular, and imaging. Her ongoing work and the work of others who serve both at the VA and Emory will no doubt lead to important findings and from that, possible clinical treatments.

For more information about Pardue’s work, read the feature article  “Closing in on myopia—and more” in Emory Eye magazine, summer 2010, page 8.

Posted on by Joy Bell in Uncategorized Leave a comment

Finding success in retinoblastoma treatment

The idea of your child having an eye removed is shocking, an extremely difficult thing for a parent to cope with, says Baker Hubbard, MD, Thomas M. Aaberg Professor of Ophthalmology, and a pediatric ocular oncologist. Actually, says Hubbard, most children who lose an eye adapt very well and enjoy essentially normal lives.

Baker Hubbard, MD

Retinoblastoma is cancer that forms in the tissues of the retina (the light-sensitive layers of nerve tissue at the back of the eye). Retinoblastoma usually occurs in children younger than age five. It may be hereditary or nonhereditary (sporadic), and is caused by mutations in genes.

To six-year-old Emilia McKibbin, having a prosthetic eye is no big deal. She knows to protect it—wearing her glasses for school and playtime, donning a scuba mask at the beach—but it doesn’t limit her choices.

Following her interests, Emilia has earned a gold belt in karate. She’s learning gymnastics. She swims. She loves to romp with Daisy, her black cocker spaniel. And while most people don’t even notice that one of this little girl’s shining dark-brown eyes is different from the other, Emilia shares her story with a few. “I tell my teachers and my friends that I have a special eye,” she says.

Read more

Posted on by Joy Bell in Uncategorized 3 Comments