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Washington, DC
Biomedical and Science Policy Reporter, Nature Magazine
As seen in:  New Scientist, Slate

Biomedical research and policy reporter for @NatureNews covering brains, bugs, and @NIH. Recovering molecular biologist, nature lover, music snob. Opinions mine

Chronic-Fatigue Syndrome Gets Controversial Redefinition

scientificamerican.com — An HHS panel recommends changing the condition's name to "systemic exertion intolerance disease" The mysterious disease known as chronic-fatigue syndrome has long defied classification, as the millions of people who suffer from it show a wide variety of symptoms. Now a panel commissioned by the US Department of Health and Human Services (HHS) has produced what is sure to be an influential report on how the disease should be diagnosed.

Obama's Budget Seeks Big Boost for Science

scientificamerican.com — When US President Barack Obama released his budget proposal on February 2, he gave scientists and engineers a ray of hope-albeit one that is almost certain to be dimmed, if not extinguished. Obama's US$4-trillion plan for fiscal year 2016 includes $146 billion for scientific research and development, a healthy 6% increase for a portfolio split roughly evenly between defence and civilian programmes.

NIH Modifies but Still Defends Experiments on Monkeys

scientificamerican.com — Changes have been made to controversial experiments at a lab receiving NIH funding, but the agency says that the work causes only slight pain or distress The US National Institutes of Health (NIH) has modified the way a controversial lab studies stress in monkeys in response to criticism by animal-rights activists and members of Congress who say that the research is inhumane.

Anthropologist Seeks the Roots of Terrorism

scientificamerican.com — In the wake of terrorist attacks last week on the French satirical magazine Charlie Hebdo and a Paris supermarket, the world has struggled to understand the combination of religion, European culture and influence from terrorist organizations that drove the gunmen.

Rave Drug "Special K" Holds Promise for Treating Depression Fast

scientificamerican.com — Ketamine, a psychoactive 'party drug' better known as Special K, has pharma¬≠ceutical companies riding high. Used clinically as an anaesthetic in animals and humans, it has proved an extremely effective treatment for depression, bipolar disorder and suicidal behaviour. It also works incredibly fast.

US regulators move on thought-controlled prosthetics

nature.com — UPMC For the first time since accidents severed the neural connection between their brains and limbs, a small number of patients are reaching out and feeling the world with prosthetic devices wired directly to their brains.

Clinical-trial rules to improve access to results

nature.com — David McNew/Reuters/Corbis The US website ClinicalTrials.gov is the world's largest repository of clinical-trial information, containing the results of more than 179,000 studies conducted in 187 countries. Yet the database represents only a fraction of the trials that are run.

Deceptive Practices in Drugs Research Could Become Harder

nature.com — Alex Wong/Getty Hiding negative results and harmful side effects that occur in clinical trials would become harder in the United States under regulations proposed on 19 November by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

US government cracks down on clinical-trials reporting

nature.com — Alex Wong/Getty Hiding negative results and harmful side effects that occur in clinical trials would become harder in the United States under regulations proposed on 19 November by the US National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the Food and Drug Administration (FDA).

Transparent Brains Reveal Effects of Cocaine and Fear [Video]

nature.com — A technique that makes mouse brains transparent shows how the entire brain responds to cocaine addiction and fear. The findings could uncover new brain circuits involved in drug response. In the technique, known as CLARITY, brains are infused with acrylamide, which forms a matrix in the cells and preserves their structure along with the DNA and proteins inside them.
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Feb 27, 2015

@MikeySlezak Not trying to criticize ur story, btw, just think phenomenon would be most interesting if it teaches us something entirely new.

Feb 27, 2015

@MikeySlezak I mean, it's a different perception based on a unique biological phenomenon. Just wondering if dress could be too.

Feb 27, 2015

@MikeySlezak @ihearttheroad @newscientist Maybe I'm thinking about definition of "illusion" in a different way. Is colorblind illusion?

Feb 27, 2015

@MikeySlezak @ihearttheroad @newscientist Your examples, like ballerina or gray, make sense once u see them. W/ dress, context doesn't help

Feb 27, 2015

@MikeySlezak @ihearttheroad @newscientist Or in how brains process color. Most illusions, like in ur story, work on most people the same way

Feb 27, 2015

@MikeySlezak @ihearttheroad @newscientist Individual differences in how light travels through the eye, how cones are laid out, etc. (1/2)



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