August 22, 2011
9:33 pm cdt
been a very long time since I posted anything, but I'm thrilled beyond words to post this:
Feinberg School of Medicine researchers, led by Dr. Teepu Siddique, have made a major breakthrough in ALS research which
was published in the journal Nature today. You can find more of the details about this amazing news
at the following link (story and video):
A Major Breakthrough in ALS Research
What Does this Mean?
As we've been seeing the buzz about this news over the weekend,
Zack picked up on some of the talk and asked whether there was a cure for ALS. I explained that while the researchers have
made a big discovery that will help in finding a treatment ("medicine") or a cure, this doesn't mean ALS can be
stopped or cured yet. He looked a bit puzzled, so I searched for an analogy.
"You know how you love baseball?"
I asked. He nodded vigorously. "And you like to pitch, right?"
More nodding. "But I like to catch
more," he said.
"Okay, well what if I put you outside in the middle of the yard, covered your eyes with
a blindfold, and then asked you to throw strikes over the plate. Could you do it?"
He looked doubtful.
"Yeah, I don't think you could either! It would be really hard to even know which direction to face, right?"
"Yeah, I probably would hit the house!" he grinned.
"Exactly! You could probably
throw hundreds of pitches and not be able to throw a strike because you don't have any idea where the target is. But if I
took the blindfold off, all of a sudden you'd be able to see right where to throw, right?"
"Well, I can't
always throw strikes..." Zack confessed.
"No, of course not. But you'd at least know which direction
to face and how far the plate is. Would that make throwing a strike easier than when you were wearing a blindfold?"
"Yeah, LOTS easier!" he said, catching on.
"Well, that's kind of what this new discovery
is like. So far, the researchers were trying their best to find a cure, but they didn't really know what causes ALS, so they
didn't know exactly where to aim. Now, with this new discovery, it's like the blindfold is off--they have a target which will
help them focus their research. They know what's going wrong, so they have a better chance of figuring out how to fix
it. Does that make sense?"
"Yep! It's not as good as a cure, but it's still pretty good news!"
Yep, he gets it!
Welcome to Aimee's Blah, Blah, Blog...
With great trepidation, we introduce the latest feature on askaboutaimee.com:
We acknowledge the pathetically long gaps between new entries to the website, and we appreciate the gentle
prodding from visitors who would like to see more frequent updates about what's keeping us busy.
So, in an attempt to dispel the notion that Aimee lounges at home all day in her World Series Champions gear (okay, that
part is true) with her feet up (never!), eating bon-bons (often) and catching up on the latest trade rumors and
spring-training reports—while Jim is out
saving the world in his S-emblazoned red cape, of course—we
are experimenting with a blog to provide (weekly? biweekly? monthly?) updates on our activities.
However, come Opening Day,
we're not promising anything...
[Note: Aimee is the author of the blog. All first-person accounts are hers
unless otherwise noted. Any pro-Cubs entries are obviously the unauthorized work of Jim and should be reported to the proper