narcolepsy in H1N1

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Narcolepsy is a serious disorder in which people may randomly fall into a deep sleep, right into the REM stage of sleep in fact. This sleep may last a few minutes or a couple of hours and, often, vivid hallucinations occur. It is usually brought on by strong emotions and orexin plays a strong role in narcolepsy. Victims of narcolepsy usually experience cataplexy, or the loss of muscle tone, before they fall into their deep sleeps.
Recent studies have shown a tie between the H1N1 vaccines that carry pandemrix and increased chance of narcolepsy, especially in Finland. Children between 4 and 12 who have received the vaccine are 13 times more likely to develop narcolepsy. Pandemrix is used primarily to prevent swine flu and, for the most part, its positive side effects out weigh the negative ones. The exact effects of pandemrix on narcolepsy are not completely understood, currently. Right now, we know that pandemrix is an immunologic adjuvant, meaning that it increases the immune systems response to vaccines.
Tests are currently being done to see how pandemrix effects narcolepsy but they are hard to recreate since people will not be involved in them, so past patients is the most effective way to study this. However, this data will probably not produce an accurate cause and effect relationship. Whether or not pandemrix causes an increase in narcolepsy is unclear as well. Other parts of the H1N1 vaccine might be the causes but only tests and scientific thinking will tell. In summary, we do not know if we can rule out other possible hypothesis, how replicable this experiment would be and if pandemrix actually causes narcolepsy directly or if it triggers something that brings on narcolepsy. Only time will tell what effect pandemrix has on narcolepsy but it is currently unclear and intriguing.

http://www.thl.fi/en_US/web/en/pressrelease?id=26352

http://www.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-northern-ireland-15130951

Ames Illusion

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I found the Ames Illusion fascinating so I decided to look into it more. The Ames Illusion is an optical illusion in which a room has a diagonal wall opposite of a peephole. This make it seems as though one person is a lot taller than the other, assuming they are standing on opposite ends of the back wall, when looking through the peephole. This trick is used a lot by moviemakers to make one person seem like they are a giant even though they are not. The Lord of the Rings used this tactic to make Frodo and Sam appear to be very short, for example. It is a pretty cool illusion. I found the Oatmeal commercial interesting because of how actors change sizes as the move and it really shows how the Ames Illusion works. It is entirely possible that this is completely unreal but I doubt that. It is interesting that the ceiling and floor seem to get closer together as the people get bigger. I wonder if the floor is slanted? It could be slanted or the floor and ceiling could be the same distance away from each other and it just seems like the floor is slanted. It is hard to rule our rival hypotheses because I have never conducted the experiment. In other videos I have seen of the Ames Room Illusion, the floor also seems to be slanted. However, from research on how to build an Ames Room, I found out that the floor and ceiling are not slanted. Based on the replicability of the illusion; my guess is that floor seems slanted because the back wall is diagonal. Most importantly, the floor seeming slanted because of the diagonal is bested represented by Occam's Razor because it seems too complicated for the floor to be slanted itself.

http://www.moillusions.com/2007/03/ames-room-video-illusion.html
http://www.youtube.com/watch?NR=1&v=Q45diWsVbHY

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