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Vote for Shelley

Have you heard about Shelley Batts? She is a a neuroscience Ph. D. candidate at the University of Michigan. The conservative blogosphere—for reasons I do not really understand, but accept at face value because of my soulless partisanship—the conservative blogs are s’pposed to support Shelley in this contest. She’s trying to win a $5,000 scholarship to support her research. Anyone can vote. You can read Shelley’s blog here. Then vote here. Polls close at midnight, and then the losers turn into pumpkins.

What does Shelley investigate? Important things. Read her synopsis:

My thesis is focused on the regeneration of the sensory cells in the inner ear, which are required for the perception of sound (hearing) as well as balance (the vestibular system). Over time, we all lose these cells due to noise and environmental damage which causes hearing loss and deafness. In addition, many people are born without these cells and are therefore deaf or have balance problems. My research has contributed to the development of several therapies that, when administered to the inner ear, can regenerate these cells and restore hearing and balance.

This is accomplished by introducing several genes to the inner ear which are important during its early development, which encourages exisiting cells to become sensory cells. This therapy is extremely promising, but requires much more testing and perfecting before it can be applied to humans. This scholarship would help fund my research, which I believe will one day be of significant impact to health of humans.


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