S econd Circuit has a judicial openingThe Second Circuit Judicial Nominating Commission is now accepting applications to fill a circuit vacancy, resulting from the resignation of Judge N. Sanders Sauls.Applicants must have been members of The Florida Bar for the past five years, registered voters, and must reside within the Second Judicial Circuit.Application forms are available on The Florida Bar website at www.floridabar.org. An original and nine copies of the completed application must be delivered to Donald Hinkle, JNC Chair, Hinkle and Foran, 3500 Financial Plaza, Suite 350, Tallahassee 32312, no later than 5 p.m., September 12. September 1, 2011 Regular News Second Circuit has a judicial opening
Share on Facebook LinkedIn Pinterest Email Share Share on Twitter Researchers at University of California San Diego School of Medicine have found a genetic signature for delay discounting — the tendency to undervalue future rewards — that overlaps with attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder (ADHD), smoking and weight.In a study published December 11 in Nature Neuroscience, the team used data of 23andme customers who consented to participate in research and answered survey questions to assess delay discounting. In all, the study included the data of more than 23,000 people to show that approximately 12 percent of a person’s variation in delay discounting can be attributed to genetics — not a single gene, but numerous genetic variants that also influence several other psychiatric and behavioral traits.“Studying the genetic basis of delay discounting is something I’ve wanted to do for the entirety of my 20 years of research, but it takes a huge number of people for a genetics study to be meaningful,” said senior author Abraham Palmer, PhD, professor of psychiatry and vice chair for basic research at UC San Diego School of Medicine. “By collaborating with a company that already has the genotypes for millions of people, all we needed was for them to answer a few questions. It would have been difficult to enroll and genotype this many research participants on our own in academia — it would’ve taken years and been cost prohibitive. This is a new model for science.” According to Palmer, every complicated nervous system needs a way of assessing the value of current versus delayed rewards. Most people think of the “marshmallow experiment,” he said, referring to the classic experiment where children were tested for their ability to delay gratification by giving them the choice between one marshmallow now or two marshmallows a few minutes later.“A person’s ability to delay gratification is not just a curiosity, it’s integrally important to physical and mental health,” Palmer said. “In addition, a person’s economic success is tied to delay discounting. Take seeking higher education and saving for retirement as examples — these future rewards are valuable in today’s economy, but we’re finding that not everyone has the same inclination to achieve them.”For the study, the team looked at data from 23andMe research participants who answered survey questions that could be used to assess delay discounting. For example, customers were asked to choose between two options: “Would you rather have $55 today or $75 in 61 Days?”“In less than four months, we had responses from more than 23,000 research participants,” said Pierre Fontanillas, PhD, a senior statistical geneticist at 23andMe. “This shows the power of our research model to quickly gather large amounts of phenotypic and genotypic data for scientific discovery.”By comparing participants’ survey responses to their corresponding genotypes and complementary data from other studies, Palmer’s team found a number of genetic correlations.“We discovered, for the first time, a genetic correlation between ADHD and delay discounting,” said first author Sandra Sanchez-Roige, PhD, a postdoctoral researcher in Palmer’s lab. “People with ADHD place less value in delayed rewards. That doesn’t mean that everyone with ADHD will undervalue future rewards or vice versa, just that the two factors have a common underlying genetic cause.”The researchers also found that delay discounting is genetically correlated with smoking initiation. In other words, people who undervalue future rewards may be more likely to start smoking and less likely to quit if they did.Body weight, as determined by body mass index (BMI), was also strongly correlated with delay discounting, suggesting that people who don’t place a high value on future rewards tend to have a higher BMI.The team determined that delay discounting negatively correlated with three cognitive measures: college attainment, years of education and childhood IQ. In other words, the genetic factors that predict delay discounting also predict these outcomes.In many studies that rely on surveys, particularly for those in which the participants are paid to fill out the survey, there’s always a chance that some answered randomly or carelessly. Palmer’s survey included three questions to assess how carefully the research participants were answering the questions. For example, one asked “Would you rather have $60 today or $20 today?” There’s only one correct answer and the team saw only 2.1 percent of participants get even one of those three questions wrong, assuring them that the vast majority were answering the questions carefully.“We are very thankful to the 23andMe research participants who took the time to complete our survey — they weren’t paid to do it, they are citizen-scientists volunteering their help,” Palmer said. “It’s quite a feeling to think that so many people were willing to help out in this interest of ours.”Palmer hopes to expand the study to a larger and more diverse population to strengthen their findings.“An even larger study would help start identifying specific genes with a higher level of confidence,” he said. “Then we can do hypothesis-driven studies of this trait with animal or cellular models.”While most research studies begin in test tubes, cells grown in the laboratory and animal models before moving to humans, the opposite is true here. After starting with these human observations, Palmer’s team is now studying the same delay discounting-related genetic traits in rodent models. They want to determine if changing those genes experimentally changes rodent behavior as expected. If it does, they will be able to use the animals to study how those delay discounting-related genes lead to those behaviors, at a molecular level.
Pittsburgh Steelers running back Le’Veon Bell (26) is hit by Cincinnati Bengals free safety Reggie Nelson (20) during the second quarter of an NFL football game, Sunday, Dec. 28, 2014, in Pittsburgh. Bell was injured on the play. (AP Photo/Don Wright)They did it, somehow, some way, the Steelers found a way and won the AFC North. They came out on Sunday night and got the job done against a very solid Bengals team who led the division nearly all season long. But the Steelers, who never seem to play well against the lesser opponents, stepped up and played well against a good one, something they did most of the season.The win was enormous for many reasons, it vaulted them from a potential 5th seed wild card team to the 3rd seed division winner, providing them with a home game and the opportunity to avoid the number one seed Patriots until the AFC championship, should they get there.The killer B’s are more than capable of getting the job done but that trio may have taken a big hit on Sunday night as LeVeon Bell, the team MVP, went down with a knee injury. The good news is the injury doesn’t contain any structural damage but the bad news is he may not be ready for Saturday night’s show down against the Baltimore Ravens.Should Bell not be able to play, the team will be tested and the decision to release LeGarret Blount last month may come back to haunt them. They have a skeleton backfield without Bell, rookies Dri Archer and Josh Harris are all they have and neither man can do what Bell does. Harris would most likely get the bulk of the carries while Archer would be the back catching passes out of the backfield. Bell does both better than anyone in the league and while these two rookies may be able to team up for a few plays, it’s unlikely they will be dynamic enough to provide the team with what they need out of the running back position.This all leads to more pressure on the offensive line, Big Ben, the wideouts and of course the defense. Bell is a big reason why the offense is so balanced and has the ability to score 30 points in a game against anyone. Take him away and the expectation to score 20 may be unrealistic. The Steelers will certainly throw the ball more often and while Big Ben did toss six TD’s the last time these two met, he was provided the ability to do so because the Ravens were concentrating on stopping Bell. This time the O line will need to ensure they stop the blitz, keep Ben upright and allow him time, as they did against the Bengals.The defense will need to play at a top level, knowing the team can’t afford to give up 24 to 30 points. The secondary has played pretty well in the last few weeks in the absence of Troy Polamalu and Ike Taylor and they’ll need to continue to do so. William Gay, Brice McCain and Antwon Blake have manned the corners and Mike Mitchell and Will Allen seem to have it working at safety. I actually believe the team may be better off proceeding with these guys vs. worrying about playing Polamalu and Taylor.However, at the end of the day, no matter who plays, it’s going to be an epic Ravens vs. Steelers battle and one where everyone is going to need to deliver their best, winner moves on, loser goes home.Mike Pelaia hosts the website Steel Nation Association www.steelnationassociation.com- Covering the Steelers and helping Children’s Hospital All Day Everyday. You can e-mail him at [email protected] Steelers fans hold a giant Terrible Towel in the stands before the NFL football game against the Baltimore Ravens, Sunday, Nov. 2, 2014, in Pittsburgh. (AP Photo/Don Wright)