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  • CWRU engineers find epileptic activity spreads in a new way | think:blog
    from transmitting signals between neurons by reducing the calcium ion concentration below the level typically involved in signaling They then blocked what are called gap junctions which electrically transmit signals across synapses by injecting the antimalarial drug mefloquine known to hamper the process Their tests showed that epileptic activity continued to spread at a speed of about 0 1 meter per second with or without synaptic transmission The propagation speed eliminated the third known route of epileptic propagation signaling by diffusion of sodium and potassium ions across brain cell membranes Diffusion is too slow to be the method of transmission The researchers were left with the fourth known way that neurons communicate electrical fields When a group of cells fire together they can generate currents and electric fields that can be large enough to excite their neighbors Computer simulations with a large set of neurons confirmed that a weak electrical field could by itself spread epileptic signals at the speed that matched their experimental results The computer model also predicted that signal transmission would change speeds depending on the distance between neurons The researchers verified the prediction by injecting drugs that would either expand or decrease the space between cells The closer the cells the faster the transmission The more distant the cells the slower the transmission until at a certain distance the signal failed to propagate For some time doctors have used diuretics to treat some types of epilepsy Diuretics are known to remove water from cells but their anticonvulsant properties are not known Durand said As water is removed from cells and enters the extracellular space it increases the space between cells and may be pushing them beyond the reach of the weak electrical field he said The researchers say that this finding does not diminish the importance

    Original URL path: http://blog.case.edu/think/2014/01/27/cwru_engineers_find_epileptic_activity_spreads_in_a_new_way (2015-11-11)
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  • CWRU study finds depression symptoms and emotional support impact PTSD treatment progress | think:blog
    therapy or an antidepressant Zoloft which is approved by the Food and Drug Administration to treat PTSD Specifically this study tracked sudden depression spikes or reductions in depression symptoms during PTSD treatment Also examined were how social support from family and friends impacted sudden depression changes and how those changes affected the overall treatment outcome Negative social support from family or friends for example blaming the victim was associated with experiencing a worsening in depression symptoms for individuals receiving medication or therapy for PTSD explained Stephanie Keller a Case Western Reserve doctoral student and the study s lead author Participants rated their depression symptoms such as sadness loss of interest in daily activities or hobbies concentration problems sleep or appetite issues and suicidal thoughts before starting each of the 10 treatment sessions and finally at the end of treatment These survey scores allowed researchers to systematically track and analyze any changes in the depression levels Researchers found that patients experience ups and downs in depression whether treated only with medication or only therapy Individuals who had rapid decreases in depression symptoms actually improved more during PTSD treatment than those who had gradual change Keller said However as transient depression symptoms worsened it did not negatively impact treatment outcome Overall this study suggests that therapists should help PTSD patients to improve the quality of their social relationships Keller said She also said for those patients who do have a temporary increase or worsening in their symptoms clinicians may want to provide encouragement to stick with therapy and remind patients that a temporary spike in depression does not necessarily mean that they will benefit less from treatment Norah Feeny from Case Western Reserve s Department of Psychological Sciences and Lori Zoellner from the University of Washington s Department of Psychology are principal

    Original URL path: http://blog.case.edu/think/2014/01/23/cwru_study_finds_depression_symptoms_and_emotional_support_impact_ptsd_treatment_progress (2015-11-11)
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  • Police Study Validates Officers as First Social Responders | think:blog
    partner follow up with individuals or families The agency responds by phone or letter usually within 72 hours Police also leave residents referral cards with their names and phone numbers for any follow up questions or concerns Results from the survey include 85 percent of the respondents indicated that the referral was helpful 95 percent reported that the officer was respectful 97 percent thought that all police should be able to issue these types of referrals Importantly only 3 percent of residents reported that their opinion of police was worse as a result of the referral with 97 percent indicating that their opinion was either the same or better 54 percent and 43 percent respectively We were pleased with how successfully the program built a positive relationship between residents and police said Jenni Bartholomew a doctoral candidate at the social work school and the study s lead author It s very rare to see this high percentage of citizens reporting such positive views of their interactions with police The interactions were also positive from the perspective of police officers Comments from police focus groups after PAR implementation include It s a big peace of mind for us to know that finally something was done about it so you don t sit there and wonder about it all the time and As long as I ve worked here 18 years this is the first time actually talking to another person and helping them out with a problem they have PAR is about effective collaboration and connecting families to the appropriate service said Chief Andres Gonzalez of the Cuyahoga County Metropolitan Housing Authority Police Department and a co author of the study Our officers have fully embraced PAR it is now an integral part of how we provide policing services The study

    Original URL path: http://blog.case.edu/think/2014/01/22/police_study_validates_officers_as_first_social_responders (2015-11-11)
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  • Case Western Reserve University Law Professor Paul Giannelli Selected to New National Commission on Forensic Science | think:blog
    in prosecuting the guilty and exonerating the innocent said Giannelli the Albert J Weatherhead III and Richard W Weatherhead Professor of Law at Case Western Reserve This is the first such commission There had been a national report in 2009 that recommended that a federal entity be appointed to oversee forensic science and this is a result of that recommendation The 2009 report Forensic Science in the United States A Path Forward was prepared by The National Research Council of The National Academies which advises the nation on issues in science engineering and medicine A former prosecutor and defense counsel in the military Giannelli has written extensively about evidence and criminal procedure especially on scientific evidence He s written or co authored 10 books including several editions of Scientific Evidence He has written over 200 articles book chapters reports book reviews and columns including articles in law reviews at Columbia Virginia Cornell Vanderbilt Illinois Fordham North Carolina Wisconsin Ohio State and Hastings He has also published work in the Journal of Criminal Law Criminology and the American Criminal Law Review and is co author of a chapter on forensic science in Federal Judicial Center National Academy of Sciences Reference Manual on Scientific Evidence 3d ed 2011 He helped the American Bar Association determine criminal justice standards on DNA evidence What a great honor and so well deserved said Michael Scharf who serves with Jessica Berg as acting dean of the law school This appointment acknowledges what we already know what a valuable resource we have in Paul as one of the nation s leading experts in forensic science and how evidence relates to the legal system Deputy Attorney General James M Cole and Under Secretary of Commerce for Standards and Technology and NIST Director Patrick D Gallagher will co chair

    Original URL path: http://blog.case.edu/think/2014/01/15/case_western_reserve_university_law_professor_paul_giannelli_selected_to_new_national_commission_on_forensic_science (2015-11-11)
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  • Case Western Reserve University School of Law Assistant Professor Timothy Webster Testifies in Washington about U.S.-China Trade Relations | think:blog
    the president and Congress The CECC consists of nine senators nine members of the House of Representatives and five senior administration officials appointed by the president Ohio Sen Sherrod Brown chaired the hearing Throughout the U S but particularly here is Washington as we ve heard from the panel this morning there s a pervasive belief that China is an international trade scofflaw by manipulating its currency subsidizing its domestic industries and dumping goods in the U S and China is seen a scourge whose baleful influence harms us all Webster said My recent research which will appear later this year in the Michigan Journal of International Law attempts to temper this view through empirical observation Webster told the commission he has examined China s record of implementing 10 decisions that have been rendered by the WTO s DSB over the past few years I find a strong but increasingly imperfect record of implementing DSB decisions he said I conclude that China is at base a system maintainer not a system challenger He further explained Part of using any system whether the rules of civil procedure or the rules of international trade or the rules of football is tactical manipulation A smart lawyer coach or WTO member will strategically deploy procedural rules to benefit his client or to benefit his side to the greatest extent he can Of course sometimes a member will break the rules and that I think is where China is moving and has moved in the past few years In WTO trade cases before 2007 China was quick to settle WTO decisions and change its laws in accordance with those rulings Webster said But after gaining familiarity with the DSB procedures China has become an increasingly sophisticated WTO litigant and now more willing to use DSB

    Original URL path: http://blog.case.edu/think/2014/01/15/case_western_reserve_university_school_of_law_assistant_professor_timothy_webster_testifies_in_washington_about_uschina_trade_relations (2015-11-11)
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  • CWRU to precisely build complex polymer nanostructures on plant virus scaffolds | think:blog
    are used to make films supercrystals and drug delivery devices But there are always imperfections in the assembly By using a template the virus we can produce an evenly dispersed polymer coating that yields more consistent and efficient properties Pokorski said And this is very modular it can be applied to lots of uses By controlling the size and surface features they hope to reduce or eliminate the toxic side effects that can be caused by those two properties during drug delivery he said Steinmetz an appointee of the Case Western Reserve School of Medicine will build the templates using tobacco mosaic virus Instead of making spheres the goal is to make materials that are considerably longer than they are wide called high aspect materials The physical property makes them more useful for nanowires and electronics and applications in the body she said The tobacco virus particles are about 300 nanometers by 18 nanometers but Steinmetz will control sizes using genetic engineering which gives us more control than we could have using purely chemical production methods she said Pokorski will add polymers The rod shape allows a polymer with one function such as carrying medicine to be tied to one end and another with a different function such as carrying an imaging dye to the other Or he explained we can grow one polymer on the exterior and a different polymer on the interior because the plant virus is a hollow tube In addition to using nanoparticles as vehicles to carry medicines to specific targets they could be used as electrical connectors replacing carbon nanotubes used to link nanoelectronics Pokorski did his foundational work for the grant in the Center for Layered Polymeric Systems in the case School of Engineering Steinmetz at the Case Center for Imaging Research print e

    Original URL path: http://blog.case.edu/think/2014/01/13/cwru_to_precisely_build_complex_polymer_nanostructures_on_plant_virus_scaffolds (2015-11-11)
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  • Imaging technology to improve survival of ischemic heart disease patients | think:blog
    of blood to the heart Stents are small mesh tubes that when inserted hold open vessels to restore blood flow Stents can also be treated with medicines that released over time prevent excessive formation of fibrous tissue and recurrent narrowing of the vessels While the treatment has improved over time about 5 percent of stents fail in the first year following implant and additional 1 every additional year due to recurrent narrowing of the artery or the formation of blood clots at the site said Dr Bezerra an intravascular Optical Coherence Tomography OCT expert Such failure can be catastrophic causing heart attack or sudden death he said The OCT will take as many as 500 images of each stent Wilson is developing software to quantitatively analyze every detail captured within minutes Currently such analysis takes a trained doctor eight to 15 hours The computer analysis will also eliminate the variability of manual analysis Wilson said The images produced by OCT are actually reflections of an infrared laser in the artery measured at various depths to produce a three dimensional image The technology has 10 times the resolution of the analogous ultrasound based technology called intravascular ultrasound or IVUS Rollins an expert in OCT has been tailoring OCT for multiple applications His understanding of the OCT imaging process helps the team tailor software to recognize plaques in the heart s arteries and identify those likely to rupture the most common cause of heart attacks and the areas targeted for stents The rapid return of information would allow cardiologists implanting stents to determine if more stents are needed to seal off plaques likely to rupture or to optimize the stent deployment for example making the devices wider to improve blood flow during the procedure If a stented patient complains of problems or

    Original URL path: http://blog.case.edu/think/2014/01/09/imaging_technology_to_improve_survival_of_ischemic_heart_disease_patients (2015-11-11)
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  • New Program Designed to Help Women Succeed, Remain in STEM Professions | think:blog
    Advisors on Science and Technology predicts a deficit of 1 million STEM workers nationally by 2022 because improvement is needed in student recruitment and retention in those fields The report calls for increasing the number of women graduating with STEM degrees A U S Department of Commerce report in 2011 determined that several factors contribute to the discrepancy of women and men in STEM jobs including a lack of female role models gender stereotyping and less family friendly flexibility in STEM fields Weatherhead s KeyBank Professor Diana Bilimoria chair of the Organizational Behavior Department explained that the Leadership Lab recognizes complex multi level organizational factors that affect women s ability to achieve and succeed in the STEM professions In fact previous research has shown that women leave these professions at twice the rate of their male colleagues said Bilimoria who studies leadership governance and gender diversity in organizations Bilimoria Kathleen Buse and Ellen Van Oosten are the Leadership Lab s faculty members Buse and Van Oosten have academic and industry backgrounds in engineering Buse and Bilimoria in their research article Women Who Persist published in the fall 2013 Edition of SWE Magazine the publication of the Society of Women Engineers analyzed why women in engineering either stay in the field or seek other careers They note that the number of women with undergraduate engineering degrees increased from 5 percent in 1980 to more than 20 percent today but that women represent only 10 5 percent of employed engineers nationally a share that s remained relatively unchanged since the mid 1990s Women often leave the profession because of workplace hostility non supportive managers demanding schedules or lack of flexibility for family needs they reported Buse and Bilimoria sought to determine why women engineers choose to stay in the profession They found

    Original URL path: http://blog.case.edu/think/2014/01/09/new_program_designed_to_help_women_succeed_remain_in_stem_professions (2015-11-11)
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