Gorgeous photos of this incredible planet and its numerous satellites.  

Ebola Fighters

Listening to NPR this morning, emergency health care aid workers were training for Ebola treatment.  They embark on Sunday to Liberia to join the fight of the horrible disease.  Hearing about their training, their fears, their incredible courage…I was blown away.  A young girl stated “I have been trained to take care of people no matter where they are in the world.”  Inspiring.  

There have been hundreds of health care workers who have lost their lives in this fight.  I want to honor each and every one of them.  

Fun pictures of the duet Sean choreographed for Trinidad’s COCO Festival.  

Yikes…

npr:

The Ebola virus had been circulating in Guinea for roughly three months before doctors and international aid organizations finally detected it.
It was hiccups that eventually gave it away, journalist Jeffrey Stern wrote in Vanity Fair this weekend.
Hiccups Were The Clue That Led Researchers To Ebola
Photo Credit: Cellou Binani/AFP/Getty Images

As we finally respond to the crisis, I hope health care workers go into West African countries with an understanding of the cultural nuances that make the disease difficult to treat.  

npr:

The Ebola virus had been circulating in Guinea for roughly three months before doctors and international aid organizations finally detected it.

It was hiccups that eventually gave it away, journalist Jeffrey Stern wrote in Vanity Fair this weekend.

Hiccups Were The Clue That Led Researchers To Ebola

Photo Credit: Cellou Binani/AFP/Getty Images

As we finally respond to the crisis, I hope health care workers go into West African countries with an understanding of the cultural nuances that make the disease difficult to treat.  

Suddenly my apartment is very very cold…even my winter duvet isn’t keeping me warm; and the heat is still a month away.  Good thing shivering burns calories.  I have got some summer indulgence to lose.  

Suddenly my apartment is very very cold…even my winter duvet isn’t keeping me warm; and the heat is still a month away.  Good thing shivering burns calories.  I have got some summer indulgence to lose.  

Sigh, this thought is often floating in my head in New York.  Is it just me or has everyone raised the decibels of interaction three fold in the last decade.  

Sigh, this thought is often floating in my head in New York.  Is it just me or has everyone raised the decibels of interaction three fold in the last decade.  

houseofmind:

The Curious Case of the Woman with No Cerebellum
Not sure how many of you have read about this by now, but it is such an amazing finding I decided to write about it (even though I retweeted this yesterday). 
This study is a clinical case report of a living patient with cerebellar   agenesis, an extremely rare condition characterized by the absence of the cerebellum. The cause is currently unknown, there are limited reported cases of complete cerebellar  agenesis, and most of what we know about the condition comes from autopsy reports instead of living patients. Moreover, the condition is difficult to study because most individuals with complete primary cerebellar agenesis are infants or children with severe mental impairment, epilepsy, hydrocephaly and other gross lesions of the CNS. The fact that this woman is alive and has a somewhat “normal” life is ground-breaking and presents a unique opportunity to study the condition.
The patient described in the study is 24 years old. She has mild mental impairment and moderate motor deficits. For example, she is unable to walk steadily and commonly experiences dizziness/nausea. She also has speech problems and cannot run or jump. However, she has no history of neurological disorders and even gave birth without any complications. 
Importantly, as shown above, CT  and MRI scans revealed no presence of recognizable cerebellar structures. Just look at that dark sport towards the back of the brain! In addition to these findings, magnetic resonance angiography also demonstrated vascular characteristics of this patient consistent with complete cerebellar agenesis- meaning that the arteries that normally supply this area were also absent bilaterally. How crazy is that? Futhermore, diffusion tensor imaging  indicated a complete lack of the efferent and afferent limbs of the cerebellum. 
Given that the cerebellum is responsible for both motor and non-motor functions, these results are pretty amazing. How can the brain compensate for such a heavy blow to its architecture and connectivity? According to the authors of the study: 

This surprising phenomenon supports the concept of extracerebellar motor system plasticity, especially cerebellum loss, occurring early in life. We conclude that the cerebellum is necessary for normal motor, language functional and mental development even in the presence of the functional compensation phenomenon.

Source:
Yu, F., Jiang, Q., Sun, X., and Zhang, R. (2014). A new case of complete primary cerebellar a genesis: clinical and imaging findings in a living patient. doi: 10.1093/brain/awu239

houseofmind:

The Curious Case of the Woman with No Cerebellum

Not sure how many of you have read about this by now, but it is such an amazing finding I decided to write about it (even though I retweeted this yesterday). 

This study is a clinical case report of a living patient with cerebellar   agenesis, an extremely rare condition characterized by the absence of the cerebellum. The cause is currently unknown, there are limited reported cases of complete cerebellar  agenesis, and most of what we know about the condition comes from autopsy reports instead of living patients. Moreover, the condition is difficult to study because most individuals with complete primary cerebellar agenesis are infants or children with severe mental impairment, epilepsy, hydrocephaly and other gross lesions of the CNS. The fact that this woman is alive and has a somewhat “normal” life is ground-breaking and presents a unique opportunity to study the condition.

The patient described in the study is 24 years old. She has mild mental impairment and moderate motor deficits. For example, she is unable to walk steadily and commonly experiences dizziness/nausea. She also has speech problems and cannot run or jump. However, she has no history of neurological disorders and even gave birth without any complications. 

Importantly, as shown above, CT  and MRI scans revealed no presence of recognizable cerebellar structures. Just look at that dark sport towards the back of the brain! In addition to these findings, magnetic resonance angiography also demonstrated vascular characteristics of this patient consistent with complete cerebellar agenesis- meaning that the arteries that normally supply this area were also absent bilaterally. How crazy is that? Futhermore, diffusion tensor imaging  indicated a complete lack of the efferent and afferent limbs of the cerebellum. 

Given that the cerebellum is responsible for both motor and non-motor functions, these results are pretty amazing. How can the brain compensate for such a heavy blow to its architecture and connectivity? According to the authors of the study: 

This surprising phenomenon supports the concept of extracerebellar motor system plasticity, especially cerebellum loss, occurring early in life. We conclude that the cerebellum is necessary for normal motor, language functional and mental development even in the presence of the functional compensation phenomenon.

Source:

Yu, F., Jiang, Q., Sun, X., and Zhang, R. (2014). A new case of complete primary cerebellar a genesis: clinical and imaging findings in a living patient. doi: 10.1093/brain/awu239

(via fuckyeahneuroscience)

Hourglass Sands

What do you do when all your friends are pregnant or just had babies?  

I thought it was hard when I watched everyone get married…

There are few things I have wanted more than anything—for a very long time.  One such thing is marriage, a life partner or soulmate; motherhood is another.  

After so many years of celebrating with others, I find it hard to share the joy.  Instead I am reminded of the voids in my life.  The voids that seem to involve unconditional love.  Not only do I feel an overwhelming sadness wash over me, I feel the stress of hiding my sadness in a time when I should feel happiness and the guilt at the happiness that I should be feeling and sharing but can’t seem to muster.  

Oh, I fear I am not such a good friend these days while dreams of motherhood slip through my grasping fingers like sand.   

Another incredible artist has passed.  Thank you for being a pioneer for women and a crusader for laughter.  Love you Ms. Rivers. 

Another incredible artist has passed.  Thank you for being a pioneer for women and a crusader for laughter.  Love you Ms. Rivers. 

Life teaches patience when….

People ten years my junior who know absolutely nothing about my life give me unsolicited advice.

Sigh, I wonder if they notice my face twitching in annoyance.

 

Wish List

Iceland

Australia / New Zealand

Peru

Channel Islands

Croatia

Turkey

Argentina

Bolivia

Cambodia

Vietnam

Egypt

Sweden

Nepal

Morocco

Madagascar

Wallpaper

Sometimes you feel like….