26 January 2006

You Learn Something Every Day

One of the great things about being in school again, especially in
such an exceptionally focused environment like mine, is that you are
constantly learning something new in a field for which you have a real
passion. In order to share some of that I'm going to try and report
one thing each day that I'm learning. I'm not talking about a physics
equation (hey, did you know that force is equal to mass times
acceleration?) or something else so banal, but instead I'll try to
touch on some tidbit at the frontier of what constitutes the
scientific realm. Let me know what you think of these...

Today's interesting thought comes from my recent research in
schizophrenia for my biological basis of psych disorders class (we
call it BIBB: Biological Basis of Behavior). Christos Davatzikos and
team have been completing full brain MRIs of patients with
schizophrenia and have found that there is a significant difference in
the brain volume of afflicted people, especially in the frontotemporal
region. Researchers at UCLA have come to similar conclusions both in
afflicted people and in their relatives (schizophrenia has a strong
inherited genetic componant) and the optimistic implication of all
this is (in the future) would be the ability to diagnose based on
imaging and, assuming the correct anti-psychotic drugs can be
developed, treatment for people at risk before their first
psychotic break (ie, before they become symptomatic).

Davatzikos' paper can be found in the Archives of General
Psychiatry/Vol 62 Nov 2005
The work at UCLA can be found at

On a more personal, this-is-my-blog kind of note...
I had a real scare with my IPOD yesterday when I couldn't transfer
songs anymore. The same thing happened to Brad's and he couldn't fix
it, so he had to shell out for a new one. I took the radical step of
reformatting it (like wiping your hard drive and reinstalling the OS)
and it *seems* to be functioning now. Thank god.
I had my first chemistry quiz - on enthalpy and Hess's law - but the
grades aren't up yet. Fingers crossed. I also turned in my first
papers for BIBB - on schizophrenia, suicide, and neurogenesis (the
growth of new neurons, specifically in the adult brain). Again,
fingers crossed.

Two songs you should check out:
1. Jacques Lu Cont remix of A Pain that I'm Used to [Depeche Mode]
2. Struggle by Ringside

Life is good.

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