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The National Institutes of Health has awarded eight grants as part of the Genotype-Tissue Expression (GTEx) project to explore how human genes are expressed and regulated in different tissues, and the role that genomic variation plays in modulating that expression. The GTEx awards will contribute to a resource database and tissue bank that researchers can use to study how inherited genomic variants – inherited spelling changes in the DNA code – may influence gene activity and lead to disease. The grants will add data from analyses of tissue samples whose collection began in 2010, as well as expand the resource database and tissue bank.

An easy-to-use diagnostic test would let doctors clearly differentiate prion diseases from other brain diseases. A nasal brush test can rapidly and accurately diagnose Creutzfeldt-Jakob disease (CJD), an incurable and ultimately fatal neurodegenerative disorder, according to a study by National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists and their Italian colleagues.

The Purple Heart is one of the most recognized and respected medals awarded to members of the U.S. armed forces. Introduced as the “Badge of Military Merit” by General George Washington in 1782, the Purple Heart is also the nation’s oldest military award. In military terms, the award had “broken service,” as it was ignored for nearly 150 years until it was re-introduced on February 22, 1932, on the 200th anniversary of George Washington’s birth. The medal’s plain inscription “FOR MILITARY MERIT” barely expresses its significance.

From medieval times to the present, the symbol above has been used to direct attention to important passages of text. This mark is called a manicule (from the Latin root ‘manus’, meaining ‘hand’). This manicule was drawn by George Washington while he was annotating the first draft of the US Constitution on August 6, 1787. National Archives Identifier: 1501555

Flash floods occur in all 50 states, including Alaska and Hawaii. And unfortunately, many homeowners do not find out until it’s too late that their policies do not cover flooding. Because of this, it’s important to take proper precautions to protect yourself, family, and home should flooding occur.

  • Almost half of flash flood fatalities occur in vehicles. It doesn’t take much water (about 2 feet) to wash cars and SUVs off the road. When you approach a flooded road, TURN AROUND.
  • Flash floods are increasingly likely around streams. When hunting, boating, fishing or camping be aware of your proximity to the water. During a storm a 6-inch deep creek can become a 10-foot deep river in less than an hour. Immediately head to higher ground when the weather shows signs of a storm.
  • High risk locations include: low water crossings, recent burn areas, and urban areas (where pavement collects run off). Be aware of your surroundings, and their risk.
  • Listen to NOAA radio, or check  their website for warnings and advisories for flooding. Use their AHPS map to see where flooded spots are, and avoid traveling in those places.
  • Develop a family evacuation plan, so everyone knows where they should go should your home be in danger of flooding. Determine a meeting spot and communication system to be used if not all family members are together.

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Tissue model could change the way scientists study the brain in vitro-NIH study.  Bioengineers have created three-dimensional brain-like tissue that functions like and has structural features similar to tissue in the rat brain and that can be kept alive in the lab for more than two months.

The National Suicide Prevention Lifeline exit disclaimer icon – 1-800-273-TALK (8255) – a free, 24-hour hotline available to anyone in suicidal crisis or emotional distress.

Suicide Prevention Resource Center:  Provides prevention support, training, and resources to assist organizations and individuals to develop suicide prevention programs, interventions and policies. Also, provides SAMHSA suicide grant and grantee meeting information.

HIV patients in developing countries facing new health risks must be a high priority, say experts.  Health care systems that keep HIV patients from dying early in low- and middle-income nations need urgently to be re-purposed to treat the chronic diseases that many of these patients now have, experts say.

Amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS), sometimes called Lou Gehrig’s disease, is a rapidly progressive, invariably fatal neurological disease that attacks the nerve cells (neurons) responsible for controlling voluntary muscles (muscle action we are able to control, such as those in the arms, legs, and face). The disease belongs to a group of disorders known as motor neuron diseases, which are characterized by the gradual degeneration and death of motor neurons.

An experimental vaccine to prevent the mosquito-borne viral illness chikungunya elicited neutralizing antibodies in all 25 adult volunteers who participated in a recent early-stage clinical trial conducted by researchers at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health. The results are reported in the current issue of The Lancet.

One of the best tools for planning a secure retirement is waiting for you at a my Social Security account. When you create your personal my Social Security online account, you will be able to get your online Social Security Statement, review your lifetime earnings history (and catch any errors while it is easier to fix them), see estimates of your future benefits, and more—important information that can help you plan and save for greater peace of mind.

Opening a my Social Security account online is quick, safe, free, and easy. It takes only minutes. Go to the Social Security website at and click on my Social Security. Then follow the instructions for creating your secure, online account. You must be at least 18 years of age and have: Read the rest of this post »

The Adjuvant Lung Cancer Enrichment Marker Identification and Sequencing Trials, or ALCHEMIST, was launched today to identify early-stage lung cancer patients with tumors that harbor certain uncommon genetic changes and evaluate whether drug treatments targeted against those changes can lead to improved survival.

Researchers have long suspected that major mental disorders are genetically-rooted diseases of synapses – the connections between neurons. Now, investigators supported in part by the National Institutes of Health have demonstrated in patients’ cells how a rare mutation in a suspect gene disrupts the turning on and off of dozens of other genes underlying these connections.

Spending 15 minutes a day listening and talking with your child can help build the foundation for a strong relationship and provide reassurance that he/she can come to you with a problem. It can also help your child recognize and respond to bullying.

KnowBullying, a new mobile app by the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration (SAMHSA), can help get the conversation started among parents and their children. The app provides tips on talking about school, work, relationships, life, and bullying. Learn more.

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Bed bugs are becoming prevalent throughout the country. Recently, three subway trains were taken out of service in New York City, because they were infested. What can you do to prevent bed bugs from coming into your home?

Bed bugs tend to be “hitchhikers,” so be sure to check your luggage and clothes before bringing them into your home after you have traveled. Change and wash your bedding often. Also, don’t bring in any second-hand furniture until it’s been thoroughly inspected.

When traveling, inspect your hotel room’s mattress and bedding upon arrival. Don’t put any luggage on the bed — place suitcases on a luggage rack. When you return home, unpack clothing directly into the washing machine for cleaning. If you can’t do wash immediately, seal your belongings in plastic bags until they can be cleaned.

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NIH-funded study provides hope for children with disease-related brain damage.  Regular blood transfusions prevent recurrent blockage of brain blood vessels, a serious neurological side effect that occurs in one third of children with sickle cell anemia, according to a study funded by the National Institutes of Health. The findings appear in the August 21 issue of the New England Journal of Medicine.

Identity theft occurs when someone steals your name and other personal information, such as your Social Security or driver’s license numbers, and uses it without your permission.

What to do if Someone Steals Your Identity

* Contact the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to report what happened. You can call the FTC’s ID Theft Hotline at 1-877-IDTHEFT (1-877-438-4338) or use their Online Complaint Assistant.

* Contact the fraud departments of any one of the credit reporting agencies to place a fraud alert on your credit report. The fraud alert tells creditors to contact you before opening any new accounts or making any changes to your existing accounts. You only need to contact one of the agencies to place an alert.

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