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NIH Record  
Vol. LXVII, No. 8
  April 10, 2015
 Features
Resilience Can Make a Difference, Says Olympian St. John
Valantine To Give Roberts Lecture, Apr. 21
Clayton at UN: ‘Good Health Is Wealth for the World’
Summit Focuses on Strategies to Increase Diversity in Medicine, Research
Greenberg To Give NIAID Chanock Lecture, Apr. 28
Atkinson Honored as NIH
Distinguished Scholar, Educator
NEI Intern Makes Intel Science Finals
NIAMS Takes On ‘Language Access’
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Welcome to the Glymphatic System
Nedergaard Explores Why We Need Sleep

Dr. Maiken Nedergaard at NIH
Dr. Maiken Nedergaard at NIH

We all know why that guy over there needs sleep—phew, did you get a whiff of him?—but Dr. Maiken Nedergaard thinks she knows why the rest of mankind needs sleep, and why without it, we die.

In a recent Wednesday Afternoon Lecture titled “The Nightlife of the Brain”—who can resist that?—she showed painstaking scientific evidence that the brain has its own public works system. Yes, a subdural network of utilities—okay, a sewer system—much like what undergirds New York and Washington (but perhaps more aromatic).

And the odd thing about it is that it has what you might call the discretion to function mainly while a person is asleep. That’s right, it goes to work when you lay down for a bit of kip. It’s like the housekeeping staff that descends on a midtown office building after hours.


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Genomic Discoveries
Genetic Sequencing Paves Way Toward Preventing, Treating Disease

Dr. Richard Myers

Dr. Richard Myers

A mile-long park with intertwining sidewalks winds through the campus of the HudsonAlpha Institute for Biotechnology in Huntsville, Alabama. The double helix-shaped path is a fitting centerpiece for the research institute, flanked by biotech companies, which together strive to understand genomic pathways and make strides toward combating disease.

With the potential of precision medicine—an emerging, targeted approach to treating disease by taking an individual’s genes into account—research institutes such as Hudson Alpha are conducting important research with the help of NIH funding. Investigators are using new DNA sequencing technologies with the goal of treating patients with severe diseases caused by genetic variants.


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