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| Carl Sagan's COSMOS is one of the most influential science programs ever made.
Q. Does the moon have a dark side?
A. The moon does have a far side which is impossible to see from the earth, but it doesn't mean that it's always dark. Each side of the moon is dark for no longer than 15 days at a time.
Q. Where does sound come from?
A. The air is always filled with sound waves. All things give off vibrations, but some have a low frequency which most cannot hear. The reason: it may take 3 minutes to make a single vibration. They may be caused by earthquakes and storms.
Did You Know?
The microwave was invented after a researcher walked by a radar tube and a chocolate bar melted in his pocket.
Coke-a-Cola was originally green.
Rubberbands last longer when refrigerated.
Johns Hopkins Researchers Study Heart Defect that Kills Athletes - Patients Sought for International Registry
by Karen Blum of Johns Hopkins
Physicians at Johns Hopkins, with colleagues around the globe, are seeking families to help them learn more about a rare heart condition that kills
athletes and seems to run in families.
ARVD, or arrhythmogenic right ventricular dysplasia, occurs when the healthy heart muscle tissue of the right ventricle is replaced by fat and scar tissue. In a healthy person, electrical
activation of the right ventricle proceeds in a rapid and organized fashion. But in the ARVD patient, the presence of abnormal tissue makes it possible for a potentially life-threatening
"short-circuit" arrhythmia to occur.
The disorder, which affects one in 5,000 people, accounts for up to one-fifth of all cases of sudden cardiac death in people younger than 35. It is usually associated with vigorous exercise.
"The heart rapidly speeds up and patients die, a significant portion of them before they've ever been diagnosed,"says Hugh Calkins, M.D., Johns Hopkins' director of electrophysiology and a
professor of medicine and pediatrics. "Getting the right diagnosis, through cardiac tests such as cardiac MRI, echocardiogram and a biopsy of heart tissue, is key."
Researchers throughout the world are collaborating with Johns Hopkins to determine the best approach to diagnose this potentially deadly condition and also to determine the genetic abnormalities
that are responsible for it. At Johns Hopkins and the University of Arizona, researchers are actively recruiting patients with possible ARVD for entry into the United States Multicenter ARVD
The cause of ARVD is not yet known, though increasing evidence points to a genetic cause, Calkins says. There is no cure, but many patients are treated with an implantable defibrillator, a
pacemaker-like device that monitors the heart beat and automatically delivers a shock to the heart if a dangerous arrhythmia occurs. Others are managed with medications. Patients are generally
advised to avoid strenuous competitive athletics.
For more information or to schedule an appointment for testing at Johns Hopkins, contact Crystal Tichnell, genetic counselor for the program.
For more information on ARVD and Hopkins' program, visit the
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