Category Archives: Education

Are We Getting Closer To A Myalgic Encephalomyelitis Biomarker?

 

In #MEAction‘s latest announcement, we’ve learned that the National Institute of Allergy and Infection Diseases (NIAID) of NIH recently funded Dr. Derya Unutmaz’s latest grant application.  Dr. Unutmaz is the renowned immunologist at the Jackson Laboratory for Genomic Medicine.

[Dr. Unutmaz’s] research focuses on defining the optimal immune response and what happens during infection and chronic disease.

A few years ago Suzanne D. Vernon, PhD was introduced to Dr. Unutmaz, and knew his research focus was a very good fit for ME/CFS.  Dr. Unutmaz became intrigued with ME and the ongoing research to uncover its mysteries.  He decided to apply to the NIH for funding to expand the numbers of patient samples and types of quantitative analyses on the blood.

The National Institute of Allergy and Infection Diseases (NIAID) of NIH recently funded Dr. Unutmaz’s grant application. He will receive five years of funding – totaling $3,281,515 from the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases — to find better ways to diagnose and treat ME/CFS. Dr. Lucinda Bateman and Suzanne D. Vernon, PhD are Co-Investigators on this project and the Bateman Horne Center will provide the required blood samples and correlating clinical information for the participating samples.

alien

We need Myalgic Encephalomyelitis information taught in medical schools and information disseminated to all doctors.

For too long, research in ME/CFS has been lean and under-funded for several reasons, including the shortage of accurately diagnosed patients available for research studies. The Bateman Horne Center – a clinic specializing in ME/CFS/FM and with a large number of patients who have been carefully and accurately diagnosed, and continue to be treated effectively – will partner with Dr. Unutmaz so that a Research Ready Army of well qualified patients can participate in this exciting research.

Source:  $3.28 million awarded for ME/cfs biomarker study.

See also:  Bateman Horne Center

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[Alien image from bingdotcom]

 

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Study: Students With Disabilities More Often Suspended At Charter Schools

Continuing the discoveries of discrimination suffered by children, students, and adults with disabilities:

In a first-of-its-kind report, authored by Shaun Heasley, in “DisabilityScoop,” a study shows students in charter schools, who are suffering some disability, are being suspended at a rate higher than typical children in public schools.

When discipline records in nearly 5,000 schools were studied at the University of California, it was found that there are great disparities in all grades, according to a report from the Center for Civil Rights Remedies at the Civil Rights Project.

“It’s disturbing to see so many of these schools still reporting such high suspension rates because that indicates charter leaders continue to pursue ‘broken windows,’ ‘no excuses’ and other forms of ‘zero tolerance’ discipline,” said Daniel Losen, the study’s lead author. “And we know from decades of research that frequently suspending children from school is counterproductive.”

“The high-suspending charters need not look very far to find much lower suspending charter schools,” Losen said. “So these findings elevate the need for oversight of charter schools and a continuing review for possible civil rights violations. There should be no excuses for charter schools that fail to comply with civil rights laws.”

It is a sad commentary on our educational system and indeed, our social structure, when children and adults have to be faced with, and suffer, the prejudice and ignorance of citizens who should know better.

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The Physically Disabled in the US Are Overlooked by Colleges

dis clip art

Psychology students in U.S. colleges are educated about the minority group of the disabled, the least.  Oh yes, the mental illnesses are the main focus, but according to a study published by the “Society of the Teaching of Psychology,” and authored by Kathleen Bogart, an assistant professor of psychology at Oregon State University:

“We are not properly preparing students to interact with this group.”

“Overall, the study found that all of the colleges in the analysis offered classes on psychiatric disabilities, but just eight had courses focusing on physical disabilities though such issues are more common.”

“Courses tended to take a medical approach, focusing on diagnosis, treatment and cures rather than looking at social issues like coping, acceptance, prejudice and policy implications.”

When a disabled person seeks to join the mainstream of life, he/she does so with the expectation of being accepted for what he/she can do, not for what they cannot.  Unfortunately, whether the disability is obvious or not (hidden – “you don’t look sick”), the majority of the “normal” population is sidelined and doesn’t know how to react to people who are considered “different.”

Not all disabled persons are outwardly disabled – they don’t wear a sign saying, “I am disabled.”  There are many diseases that humans suffer that cannot be discerned just by looking at the patients.

When the disability is found out, a series of circumstances or occurrences can begin to happen.  People will stare; they will be afraid to have conversation; they will ignore; they will assume the disabled person cannot behave or converse in a “normal” way; they lose trust and confidence in the person’s ability to perform the tasks.  The worst part is that the disabled person can be made to feel like a pariah; a person who is unworthy; a person who is not a person at all.

Many disabled persons seek the assistance of psychologists, or “counselors” or “therapists” in order to discover ways to deal with their disappointment, and the prejudice, the discrimination, and yes, the open hostility.

If psychologists are not taught how to counsel people with physical and medical disabilities, in addition to mental problems, when confronted with the above reactions to their disabilities, how can help be forthcoming?

There are many areas lacking attention in the U.S. universities’ educational programs, and more attention and a proactive approach by the psychology and medical advocacy communities should be given to this problem.

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[Disability clip art from:  bingdotcom]

 

 

Coral Crisis

It could be that a great many people are not aware of the fact that our world’s coral reefs are dying. They must be protected. Thank you for this post.

Walking with the Alligators

UnderwaterWorld
Many thousands of species call Coral Reefs home~
Picture credit: underwater universe

Yesterday on WUCF, our local PBS Channel, there was an excellent dual story about Coral Reefs and the depressing decline of them worldwide and also one about the alarming situation with Oysters.

Coral Reefs are one of the most threatened and most in perilof all the world’s ecosystems and the future does not look good, unless, we step in and do what is necessary to stop what may soon become complete decimation.

Renowned Australian Scientist, Marine Ecologist, Dr. Katharina Fabricius and her team have worked tirelessly for many years studying the negative impacts of various factors on Coral Reefs and Marine Life around the Globe and the program yesterday was dedicated to their work.

Living here in the Sunshine State, we are blessed with the ability to take a short drive down to the Keys and see our very own Coral Reefs in the Florida Keys…

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One Man’s War On Women, Among Other Things

 

Wisconsin’s Republican Governor Scott Walker has proposed his state’s new budget.

A good-looking man; however, "don't judge a book by its cover."

A good-looking man; however, “don’t judge a book by its cover.”

“Walker’s agenda takes direct aim at how the citizens of Wisconsin can participate in key programs and levels of participation, whether it’s property rights with environmental controls, parental participation with school boards, making passing referendums nearly impossible, making it harder to vote, defunding seniors’ support programs, rejecting infrastructure improvement programs, making taxpayers pay millions for not expanding Medicaid expansion as well as attacking women’s legal reproductive health rights.” (Bold is added.)

~Scott Walker Watch

“Tucked away in Republican Governor Scott Walker’s proposed budget, is a clause that has nothing to do with campus funding. Yes, the proposed budget cuts 30 million dollars from the public university system. But beyond the Governor’s war on education, he is also intensifying the war on women, by proposing the elimination of rape reporting requirements on campus.”  (Bold is added.)

~PoliticusUSA

A clause in his proposed budget deletes language relating to sexual assault information and reporting so that no report is required:  to the State Legislature; to newly entering students; to the Department of Justice regarding statistics of assault and rape at the university; and “would also end the requirement that university employees who witness a sexual assault on campus, must report it to the Dean of Students.”  Just “sweep it under the rug,” guys.

This man’s actions have the approval of the Tea Party ultra conservatives of the Republican party and the Koch Brothers.  He is single-handedly bringing the state of Wisconsin to its knees.  I wonder if the state’s average, tax-paying citizens are aware of this man’s gross negligence, discriminatory actions and incompetence, IMHO.  His website, which asks for contributions to his campaign, states in the header:  “Scott Walker – Moving Wisconsin Forward.”

[Image from bingdotcom]

Education is Under Attack in the USA

If many more states follow the path of cutting education funding as those mentioned in this blog post have done, our next generations of “educated” students are going to be the most poorly-educated ones in the world. Third world countries only wish they had the educational opportunities that Americans have had in the past. At the rate stipulated in the post, many states won’t have to put their children’s education on high priority and won’t have to do anything to increase the caliber of their educational curricula; their state education departments will receive kudos for their “excellent educational institutions” by default.

The Progressive Cynic

© Josh Sager – February 2015

An educated population is a vital resource to any developed nation (if not a requirement for a nation to become developed).

public-education-540px (1)

On the individual level, there are numerous benefits that come from educational achievement. More educated individuals tend to make more money, live longer, and have greater career achievements than those who have less education. These individual benefits translate to societal benefits, as more educated societies tend to be healthier, more productive, less violent, and more likely to produce technological progress.

Unfortunately, the modern American right wing has become stuck in a mindset where education is derided and, where possible, defunded or privatized. The meme of the “ivory tower liberal elite” competing with the “common sense conservative” has created a justification for large portions of our nation to see education as something that is not only unnecessary, but a threat to their established ways…

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Did You Know Your Relationships Affect Your Health?

I came across an article about a class that was given at Stanford University.  It is about the relationships between husband and wife and between women, with the emphasis on the positives that come out of relationships among women friends, and how the relationships affect their health.  I believe it bears sharing, so here it is:

In an evening class at Stanford, the lecture was on the mind-body connection – the relationship between stress, disease and health.  The speaker (head of psychiatry at Stanford) said, among other things, that one of the best things that a man could do for his health is to be married to a woman with whom he is happy; whereas, for a woman, one of the best things she could do for her health was to nurture her relationships with her girlfriends.

women talk

At first everyone laughed, but he was serious.

Women connect with each other differently.  They provide support systems that help each other to deal with stress and difficult life experiences.  Physically this quality “girlfriend time” helps women to create more serotonin – a neurotransmitter – that helps combat depression and can create a general feeling of well being.

Women share feelings; whereas, men often form relationships around activities.  They rarely sit down with a buddy and talk about how they feel about certain things or how their personal lives are going.  Jobs?  Yes.  Sports?  Yes.  Cars?  Yes.  Fishing, hunting, golf?  Yes.  But their feelings?  Rarely.

men playing golf

Women do it all of the time.  They share from their souls with their sisters, mothers, close friends and evidently that is very good for their health.

The lecturer said that when women spend time with a friend, it is just as important to their general health as jogging or working out at a gym.

There’s a tendency to think that when people are “exercising,” they are doing something good for their bodies, and when we are hanging out with friends, we are wasting our time and should be more productively engaged.  This is not true.  In fact, he said that failure to create and maintain quality personal relationships with other humans is as dangerous to our physical health as smoking!

So every time you hang out to schmooze with a gal pal, just pat yourself on the back and congratulate yourself for doing something good for your health!  Women are indeed very, very lucky.

Sooooo… let’s toast to our friendship with our girlfriends.  Evidently it’s very good for our health.

 

[images from bingdotcom]

 

 

The Teen Video Competition

This is a forward-thinking post, focused on our future generations.  Happy to reblog.

Life in the Boomer Lane

While we are all citizens of the world, few of us take our citizenship seriously.  Beyond reading newspapers or listening to the news, beyond voting, beyond recycling, beyond attending a civic association meeting every once in a while, we limit our participation to complaining about what is happening out there.  And there is a lot to complain about, so we are kept pretty busy doing that part of it.

 Life in the Boomer Lane has a neighbor/friend who takes her world citizenship seriously, and she manages to manifest her responsibility in addition to raising two children, training for triathlons, and being an advocate for the improvement of educational services in the county.  In her job, she created the first ever project in which scientists from around the world traveled to North Korea to collaborate with North Korean scientists on non-military scientific issues. If you think that’s an easy…

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One Answer For Two Problems

Every year, many of us complain about the increasing cost of auto insurance, and about the inconsiderate, careless, and dangerous drivers on the roads.  Well, this class I attended today and religiously every three years is designed to help with both of these problems for only $12.00 and six hours out of a day!

Now, what kind of a class is that?  It’s called “Coaching the Mature Driver.”  Of course, there’s a catch.  You need to have passed the magic number of 55!

This wonderful course is taught by special people who have had to pass a strenuous, rigorous course of classes of their own.  They have to know the laws of the State of Florida pertaining to all wheeled vehicles that use our roads!  Not only that, they have to be well versed in all the situations and ways with which drivers may be possibly presented; also, what a driver can do to avert possible problems while traveling our roads and highways.

The most emphasized thrust of today’s course was “distractions.”  Thousands die needlessly each year because people continue to divert their attention from the primary task of driving.  All distractions endanger driver, passenger, pedestrian and bystander safety.  But, texting is by far the most alarming distraction because text messaging requires visual, manual, and cognitive attention from the driver; thereby, taking attention away from the road.

Every time I have to call AT&T about my phone, internet or wireless service, one of the messages, besides what specials they are offering, is, “Don’t text and drive.”  An offshoot of the once (still) popular, “Don’t drink and drive.”  Actually, it was brought to our attention today, that the distraction of texting (and dialing and/or talking on the phone) was as distracting as being intoxicated (even after one drink – depending on a person’s alcohol threshold) by alcohol or some drug (addicting or prescribed medication).  Multi-tasking is an extreme distraction that occurs more times than you might have thought.

Multi-tasking - lipstick and phone.

Multi-tasking – lipstick and phone.

 

Multi-talking - phone and coffee.

Multi-talking – phone and coffee.

A distraction could also be listening to the radio, CD (or changing CD), or carrying on a conversation with someone in the vehicle.  It could be shouting at the children in the back seat, and reaching into the back for something, or to help a child who is fidgety –  things that many of us do or have done while driving, without thinking of the possible danger.

Much food for thought.

In addition to the above, we, of course, were briefed on many of the “rules of the road.”  All in all, along with a well-informed and astute instructor and the input of the attendees, and with the aid of several short, professional videos, it was a valuable time spent, in more ways than one.  (1) We refreshed our memories and learned some new ways to be responsible, safe drivers; and (2) We get a discount on our auto insurance each year for the next three years!!  Yaayy!

 

[Images from bingdotcom]

 

Another WordPress Feature Learned

Inserting Sub-Headings Into My Blog

I subscribe to the “Daily Post” blog here on WordPress.

One day last week, I perused a section about changing “the default font size (and color) in a post.”  It stated, “you can use HTML in the Text Editor to adjust size and color.  One way of changing the size of font is by using the Heading tags like <h2>, and is best used to insert headings and sub-headings in your posts and pages, using the Text Editor.  (See above.)  I archived this particular Daily Post blog for future reference.

The main thrust of this section in the Daily Post was how to emphasize some text, without using bold for a whole paragraph.  It suggested instead, to use blockquotes to emphasize a passage only.  It was the mention about headings in that section, which caught my eye.

I clicked on the link relating to the headings and sub-headings and printed it out.  I followed the instructions when blogging on my Pussycats3 blog today, and was very satisfied with how it looked.  When I was in the Text Editor, on that blog, it was very easy and there were no other apparent coding inserts.  However, in the Text Editor on this blog, there were coding inserts referring to the placement (left, center, or right) of the sub-heading I wished to insert (see above sub-header).  It was easy enough to see where to place the header codes.  I’m assuming that the WordPress themes I use is the reason for the differences when Text Editor coding is used.

So, I have a feeling of accomplishment.  Having never used coding, I found it easy enough, if I have the printed codes right in front of me.

I am looking forward to experimenting with a change of color (if my theme allows) code the next time I feel like exploring.