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I am Intramural Blog

IRP Staff Blogger

Hello! Thank you for visiting the I Am Intramural Blog. Our goal is to bring you thoughts and experiences from scientists and clinicians of the NIH Intramural Research Program. If you have questions about the blog, please email IRPinfo@mail.nih.gov.

Posts by this author:

Little Fish in a Big Pond Reveal New Answers to Old Questions

Thursday, April 27, 2017

Dr. Eric Horstick in the lab

Studying the neural control of behavior is a challenge. Researchers must consider an animal’s environment, past experiences, and motivations. Work in relatively simple organisms, for example the invertebrate C. elegans, has teased apart the neural circuitry of highly stereotyped behaviors, like foraging. But in mammals, very little is known, “and that’s surprising given just how important behaviors like this are,” said Dr. Eric Horstick, who studies the molecular mechanisms underlying animal behavior.

Studying ADHD from Genes to the Brain Connectome

Tuesday, April 18, 2017
Contributed by an NIH clinical trial participant.

My 8-year-old nephew Luke has a sixth-grade reading level, while still in the third grade. Yet, he often struggles to finish his chores. He carries a timer in his backpack to keep himself on task. His school provides Luke with special assistance, including extra time for tests and repeated, detailed instruction. The challenges arise because Luke, like his mother Rebecca, has attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD).

Isaac Fights to Inspire Others

Monday, April 10, 2017

Isaac was born to fight. Arriving more than five weeks early by emergency C-section, it wasn’t just his way of coming into the world that made him different from his three brothers. While he initially looked healthy, his parents soon realized Isaac’s health was something he and the entire family would need to be fighting for every single day.

Cool Videos: Looking Inside Living Cells

Monday, February 27, 2017

Roberto Weigert is a cell biologist who specializes in intravital microscopy (IVM), an extremely high-resolution imaging tool that traces its origins to the 19th century. What’s unique about IVM is its phenomenal resolution can be used in living animals, allowing researchers to watch biological processes unfold in organs under real physiological conditions and in real time.

Find and Replace: DNA Editing Tool Shows Gene Therapy Promise

Thursday, January 26, 2017

This image represents an infection-fighting cell called a neutrophil. In this artist’s rendering, the DNA of a cell is being “edited” with a pen-like tool to help restore its ability to fight bacterial invaders.

For gene therapy research, the perennial challenge has been devising a reliable way to insert safely a working copy of a gene into relevant cells that can take over for a faulty one. But with the recent discovery of powerful gene editing tools, the landscape of opportunity is starting to change. Instead of threading the needle through the cell membrane with a bulky gene, researchers are starting to design ways to apply these tools in the nucleus—to edit out the disease-causing error in a gene and allow it to work correctly.

NIH researchers identify heritable brain connections linked to ADHD

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Illustration of the brain connectome in ADHD

In a new study of families affected by Attention Deficit Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD), National Institutes of Health (NIH) Intramural researchers have identified different connections in the brain that children may inherit from their parents and are linked to the disorder.

Simplifying HIV Treatment: A Surprising New Lead

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The surprising results of an animal study are raising hopes for a far simpler treatment regimen for people infected with the AIDS-causing human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Currently, HIV-infected individuals can live a near normal life span if, every day, they take a complex combination of drugs called antiretroviral therapy (ART). The bad news is if they stop ART, the small amounts of HIV that still lurk in their bodies can bounce back and infect key immune cells, called CD4 T cells, resulting in life-threatening suppression of their immune systems.

Four NIH IRP Researchers Elected to National Academy of Medicine

Monday, October 24, 2016

This year, members of the National Academy of Medicine elected four NIH Intramural researchers to their ranks, one of the highest honors in science. Learn a bit about each of their research and follow the links to their IRP profiles for more information.

Mitochondrial DNA Replication and Inheritance

Thursday, October 13, 2016

Dr. Hong Xu's team’s expertise in mitochondrial DNA genetics, along with a strong mitochondrial biology research group in the IRP, allowed them to solve the fundamental biological question of how organisms are able to stop the accumulation of mitochondrial DNA mutations from being passed on to future generations.

Morning Sickness Associated with Lower Miscarriage Risk

Wednesday, October 5, 2016

Stock photo of a woman resting on her bed in her bedroom while appearing nauseous.

During the first trimester of pregnancy, many women experience what’s commonly known as “morning sickness.” As distressing as this nausea and vomiting can be, a team of NIH researchers has gathered some of the most convincing evidence to date that such symptoms may actually be a sign of something very positive: a lower risk of miscarriage.

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