Study suggests serotonin plays a role in SIDS

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Mice who overproduced the brain chemical showed symptoms similar to those of the infant syndrome before they died. Mice genetically engineered to overproduce the brain chemical serotonin died at an early age after developing symptoms similar to those of sudden infant death syndrome, suggesting improper regulation of serotonin may cause SIDS in humans.
The majority of the mice died after being unable to regulate their heart rate and body temperature, scientists reported Friday in the journal Science.
Dr. Cornelius Gross, a study author and head of the project at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory in Monterotondo, Italy, said the work might prompt clinical research “to devise diagnostic tests to try to identify those kids most likely to … die of SIDS.”
SIDS is a condition in which seemingly healthy babies between 1 month and 1 year old die without warning or explanation. It kills approximately 2,700 infants in the U.S. each year.
The mice were part of a study on serotonin’s role in aggression and anxiety, but after they began dying, a scientist suggested the deaths might be related to SIDS.
“This was a chance discovery,” Gross said.
Serotonin, in addition to affecting mood, regulates bodily functions such as temperature, respiration and heart rate.
The findings support autopsy-based results reported from 2006 in which researchers from Children’s Hospital Boston, led by Dr. Hannah Kinney, found that infants who died of SIDS had abnormal serotonin-producing cells in their brain stems.
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Verizon and AT&T Provided Cell Towers for McCain Ranch

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Senator’s Wife Did Not Receive Favors, Campaign Says
By James V. Grimaldi
Washington Post Staff Writer
Thursday, October 16, 2008; A06
Early in 2007, just as her husband launched his presidential bid, Cindy McCain sought to resolve an old problem — the lack of cellphone coverage on her remote 15-acre ranch near Sedona, Ariz., nestled deep in a tree-lined canyon called Hidden Valley.
Over the past year, she offered land for a permanent cell tower, and Verizon Wireless embarked on an expensive public process to meet her needs, hiring contractors and seeking county land-use permits.
Verizon ultimately abandoned its effort to install a permanent tower in August. Company spokesman Jeffrey Nelson said the project would be “an inappropriate way” to build its network. “It doesn’t make business sense for us to do that,” he added.
Instead, Verizon delivered a portable tower known as a “cell site on wheels” — free of charge — to the McCain property in June, after the Secret Service began inquiring about improving coverage in the area. Such devices are used for providing temporary capacity where coverage is lacking or has been knocked out, in circumstances ranging from the Super Bowl to hurricanes.
In July, AT&T followed suit, wheeling in a portable tower for free to match Verizon’s offer. “This is an unusual situation,” AT&T spokeswoman Claudia B. Jones said. “You can’t have a presidential nominee in an area where there is not cell coverage.”
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