NIH Researchers Tackling the Problem on All Fronts
BY SARAH RHODES, NIMH
NIH has conducted and supported autism research for more than 20 years. Although the National Institute of Mental Health (NIMH) is the lead institute for autism research—and the largest single source of funding for autism research in the United States—other institutes are doing autism research as well. Here we highlight a few of the NIH intramural scientists who are helping to assemble the autism puzzle.
When it comes to interpreting the results of virtual colonoscopies, radiologists “have a hard time taking the advice of computer aids,” said senior investigator Ronald Summers, chief of the NIH Clinical Center’s Clinical Image Processing Service. Computer-aided-detection (CAD) technology is more effective than humans at finding tiny bumps on the scan that represent polyps, but it identifies mock polyps, too. Radiologists have a hard time telling the difference between the true and false findings. Summers suspected perceptual errors were to blame and that CAD systems needed to be improved. He used crowdsourcing to recruit participants for his study.
Hidden Treasures Discovered in Building 38: Proof That NLM is NIH’s Own Treasure Island
BY HEATHER DOLAN
Imagine a book that features a life-sized human anatomy manikin; an overview of palm reading in Renaissance Europe; a post–World War I silent film of schizophrenic patients; the first systematic study of human motion; health and hygiene puzzle blocks from Communist China; and Adolf Hitler’s medical records. Such a book exists, in the form of Hidden Treasure, which was published in honor of the NIH National Library of Medicine’s (NLM) 175th anniversary (celebrated in 2011) and highlights 80 of the library’s most mysterious and unusual items.
Anand Swaroop Seeks Therapies for Retinal Diseases
BY HEATHER DOLAN
“People over 40 are really scared of going blind,” National Eye Institute (NEI) Senior Investigator Anand Swaroop told the scientific directors at their meeting on March 7, 2012. “After cancer and heart disease, blindness is probably the most feared of all.”
NIH Postdoctoral Fellow Combines International Interests with Neurology
BY MONIKA DESHPANDE, NCI
Don’t let her ready smile and unassuming persona fool you. Postdoctoral fellow Tara Kimbason (née Kim) has a steely determination and an ambitious goal … to find a way to provide medical care to underserved people throughout the developing world.