Tuesday, December 2, 2008

Round round baby round round, like a record baby...

Hi all, Well, I am sorry for the long delay. I have been having technical difficulties...everytime I try and upload pictures to the blog, it sort of quits working. So meanless to say, it has been a tad frustrating and discouraging....I mean really, who wants to read my blog without pictures? I wouldn't. I had this whole blog out about how Kendall is on the verge of being a fashionista, based on some recent clothing choices she has made....but the blog isn't any good without the pictures. So I just have this wierd belief in circles. Karma is one of the biggest, in that what comes around, goes around. (I won't even get into the political implications of that kind of thinking..) But I also have these wierd instances in my life that things I have said or done, have come back around years later. Many many years ago, I wrote something about wanting to be an HIV researcher. I had no idea or memory of writing it, but a couple of years ago my mom found it. Well, yes, I did do HIV research. Well, the same thing happened the other day. I was checking out one of my favorite mags, The Scientist and there was an article about Niemann-Pick Type C. (SIDE NOTE--I would link the article but now it says you have to be registered to look at it...damn technology).... NPC is a disease where your cells cannot regulate the amount of fat going in and out of the cells. It is more complex then that...but neurologically it is very devastating. ANYWAYS, the article was discussing how NPC is being looked at because it shares very similiar characteristics to Alzheimers. So the wierd thing is that I worked on NPC when I was in college. I was a volunteer in Dr. Erickson's lab and we were trying to find the gene for NPC1. Ara Paraseghian the famous Notre Dame football coach, had three grandchildren with the illness and that eventually passed it away because of it. They lived in Tucson when I was in college. So the article was about two little girls (sisters), that have NPC1 and how they are using the data from them to look at NPC1 and Alzheimers. What is so inspiring is how much their mother(Chris Hempel) has done to get researchers to focus on this disease. She threw a fundraiser that raised over $500,000. She got together with other parents to start a collaborative study looking for NPC biomarkers--which could be done because they were able to provide samples from the children that have the illness. The other cool thing in this is article is who the NPC research is being helped by a new company called Collabrx. Collabrx is a "virtual biotech" company (as quoted from the article)...they help connect researchers with funding sources, as well illness populations that might normally be left out of the NIH big money funding. This allows for research to move quicker, and the hope is to find therapies faster. It helps to cut away all the extra crap that gets in the way. How cool is that....... It's just interesting how things come back around because the other part of this circle is that I have had relatives that have had Alzheimers. Let's all hope that something works out in favor of both illnesses. I will try and post some pictures soon. Sorry!

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