Your Tax Dollars at Work….Sigh

This is just stupid. I don’t doubt it’s true, but it is still stupid.

Recently my youngest has been very concerned about IQ and what that means. I’ve stressed to her that it indicates only the capacity to learn, and doesn’t make one more intelligent or less intelligent than another. I may have to equivocate on that statement and state that there may be variance if one is employed by the government and approves grants for idiotic studies.

Sigh…And no, I am not aroused.

Feds Spending $53,282 to Study Sighs
‘Sighs also play an important role in triggering arousal’

BY: Elizabeth Harrington
March 26, 2014 11:50 am

The National Institutes of Health (NIH) is paying a researcher over $53,000 to study sighs.

The new study, which began in January, will focus on the role that brain cells play in “sigh generation.”

“Periodic sigh generation is required to maintain normal blood gas levels, and the inability to generate sighs is related to serious respiratory conditions such as lung atelectasis,” the project’s grant said. “Sighs also play an important role in triggering arousal, and the loss of sighs has been related to an increased risk of SIDS [Sudden Infant Death Syndrome].”

Tatiana Dashevskiy, a senior researcher at Seattle Children’s Hospital, is leading the study, which is scheduled to last until 2016. The grant said the project is important because the origination of sighs is unknown.

“The role of sighs in maintaining blood gas levels and triggering arousal during hypoxia suggests that sighs may be produced when metabolic activity is altered with the purpose of coordinating and resetting the sparsely connected central respiratory networks,” the grant said. “Unfortunately, the mechanisms underlying sigh generation and periodicity remain unclear.”

“Specifically, we propose to examine neuron-glia interactions for novel signaling pathways that underlie sigh generation and periodicity,” it said. Glia are brain cells that support neurons, and are believed to play a pivotal role in breathing.

“The central respiratory network controls breathing and produces three distinct patterns of activity: eupnea [quiet breathing], gasping, and sighs,” the grant said.

The researchers said figuring out how sighs are produced will lead to a better understanding of the respiratory system.

“By creating a new model of the respiratory network, which incorporates the collected data, we will be able to mimic different neuromodulatory and metabolic states of the system and thus use this model to investigate new testable hypothesis,” it said.

The cost for the first year of the study is $53,282.


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