ALS/MND Research and Care Community Blog

An independent one-stop-shop for all professional news and views from conferences and workshops around the world


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Can you be a babel fish?


As fellow fans of Douglas Adams’ ‘The Hitchhikers Guide to the Galaxy’ will know, the Guide says that if you stick a babel fish in your ear then you can immediately understand any of the languages spoken to you.

Putting a fish in your ear is not be recommended, but perhaps you can use your science writing skills and translate an exciting research paper into language and explanations that people without a scientific background can understand? If you fancy having a go, then Europe PubMed Central’s science writing competition ‘Access to Understanding’ might be just up your street. The competition opened on 11 November and closes for entries on Monday 9 December (it closes at 4pm, so no burning of the late night oil!).

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MND Australia Research Meeting for 2014


The annual MND Australia Research Meeting for 2014 was held at The Florey Institute, University of Melbourne 27th November. There was an air of excitement at the meeting due to the recent world wide phenomenon that was ice bucket challenge, which has not only raised vital funds to allow much needed research in to the causes of MND but has also significantly raised the profile of MND in the Australian community. Fittingly, on this particular Monday morning Melbourne decided to open its skies and hold its own version of the ice bucket challenge with huge thunderstorms crashing across the city resulting in train and tram line failure and more than a few meeting attendees arriving soaking wet.  Continue reading


MND Researcher’s Blog a Day 2014


June was MND Awareness Month, and this year the MND Association decided to engage with their MND research community and host a ‘blog a day’ on their MND Research blog. Two months later, I’ve finished analysing the data and I thought I’d update our ReCCoB subscribers on the ‘blog a day’ initiative and some of my personal highlights.

ReCCoB reporter, Dr Jakub Scaber, also wrote a guest blog for our 'blog a day'

ReCCoB reporter, Dr Jakub Scaber, also wrote a guest blog for our ‘blog a day’

The Aim

Unlike ReCCoB, our MND Research blog is a lay blog aimed at people living with MND and everyone who cares for them. The aim of the ‘blog a day’ project was to raise awareness of MND research during the month of June, highlighting the diverse range of research being conducted around the world and how various people and organisations work together towards a world free from MND.

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Conference report – A focus on astrocytes in MND research


Wendy Noble (King’s College London) who helped organise the Biochemical Society and British Neuroscience Association focused meeting “Astrocytes in Health and Neurodegenerative Disease”, Institute of Child Health, London, 28 – 29 April 2014, blogs about the event.

Researchers from King’s College London, the University of Manchester and the University of California at Los Angeles organized a conference to discuss recent findings about the roles of astrocytes in health and different neurodegenerative diseases, including MND. This event was sponsored by the Biochemical Society and British Neuroscience Association, and conference funds from the MND Association helped to support the meeting. Continue reading


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Astrocytes in Health and Disease


Astrocytes are star-shaped cells in the brain and spinal cord, cells that helps neurones to function properly. I attended a Biochemical Society meeting “Astrocytes in Health and Disease” held in late April at the Institute of Child Health in London. The meeting brought together some of the top world scientists in this area as well as a lot of early-career scientists and scientists who are planning to begin research with astrocytes.

I was pleased to be in good company: Janine Kirby and Fiona Menzies, both on the MND Association Biomedical Research Advisory Panel (BRAP) were there, showing that many Motor Neurone Disease researchers consider astrocytes to be relevant to the development and progression of the disease, and that better understanding the role of astrocytes may help us get closer to discovery of better medicines.

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The ‘MND Researcher’s Bake-off!’


Calling all MND PhD students, post-docs and researchers!

Are you a budding baker? The MND Association’s Research Development team ‘challenge you’ to bake a science cake during MND Awareness month in June in our MND researcher’s Bake off!

For ideas and inspiration see #sciencecakes on Twitter

So, aprons and oven gloves at the ready! If you’re up for the challenge, take part in the ‘MND researchers bake off’ by signing up here.

Director of Research Development at the Association, Dr Brian Dickie, will be judging the photo entries based on their appearance, originality and relation to MND research. The winning researcher (or research team) will receive an apron and a special ‘MND researcher’s bake off’ trophy.

Once you’ve signed up you will need to send us a photo of the finished cake by 1 July 2014! (we’ll be competing too!)

Good luck.. Let’s get baking!

 


Depression: asking the right questions


A new national survey about depression has just launched. The MND Association is supporting this new priority setting partnership as we would like to know what questions people living with MND, their families, friends, clinicians and healthcare professionals have about depression.depression psp Depression affects 1 in 10 adults in any year, and can have debilitating consequences. The Depression: asking the right questions partnership is looking for people living with MND, their families, friends, clinicians and healthcare professionals who have experienced depression to take part. Continue reading

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