If you do not expect pediatric research to have anything to do with improving the bottom line of a parcel delivery service or cable company, then the story of Diagnostic Driving may surprise you.
It is certainly not good news for children to get a double whammy of both cancer and autoimmune disease.
When the immune system inappropriately destroys blood cells, in a relatively rare group of diseases called autoimmune cytopenias, children may suffer for years with anemia, uncontrolled bleeding, and vulnerability to infections, while their parents struggle to find a diagnosis.
Inside the cells of a developing human embryo is a little piece of “Alice in Wonderland.” While most of our bodies’ genes are expressed from both our mothers’ and fathers’ chromosomes, there is a particular growth-regulating region of chromosome 11 where Dad’s genes make you grow bigger, and Mom’s genes make you small.
“How tired do you feel?” a doctor asks a child with a chronic disease. Or, “How well are you managing stress?”
The answers to questions like these are even more important, from many patients’ and families’ perspectives, than the particular numerical result of their lab test results.
Most of the time, we associate research with laboratories and test tubes, not courtrooms and gavels. Yet, studies that build scientific evidence can influence our legal system in important ways.