Many of us have at times had trouble sleeping in the comfort of our own bedrooms, so it’s hard to fathom what it might be like to get sleep on a spacecraft. Those who attended last week’s Inland Northwest Research Symposium at WSU Spokane got a pretty good idea during the keynote lecture presented by scientist Dr. Erin Flynn-Evans.
Flynn-Evans—who leads the Fatigue Countermeasures Laboratory at NASA Ames Research Center—painted a vivid picture of the trials and tribulations of sleeping in space, along with solutions being tested as NASA prepares for manned missions to Mars.
A landmark study by scientists at WSU and elsewhere has brought focus to the search for genetic links to autism spectrum disorder, which affects an estimated 2 million Americans. Published in the Jan. 16 issue of Science Signaling, the study identifies more than 2,000 areas of DNA that are active when mice learn a new task and are strongly associated with autism. Taking a closer look at one of those areas, the researchers found a genetic mutation that is associated with increased risk of developing autism.
Finding a cure is an important goal of research on brain diseases. However, to patients and their loved ones, research that can help preserve or restore functional ability in their daily lives is just as crucial. This was one of the takeaways from the first annual WSU Translational Medicine Symposium held last week at the Providence Auditorium in Spokane.
The symposium brought together researchers, entrepreneurs, physicians, patients, and caregivers to share knowledge about treatment innovations and key issues related to brain diseases, the theme for this inaugural event.