It Might Be Too Good To Be True

Social Media Sites Can Facilitate the Spread of False Information– Image courtesy of NPR

We live in a time when the President of the United States can instantly deliver a message to almost 50 million viewers using Twitter, news agencies race each other to see who can break news faster, regardless of the validity, and false claims can go viral and wreak havoc in a matter of minutes. This haphazardness of news and information has led to an era in which it is some how not that strange for public leaders to be arguing about the subjectivity of facts.

This is why it was a relief to read about a team of astronomers from Arizona State University and MIT which spent two years double-checking data which would indicate a huge scientific discovery. It was shocking to me that the team’s immediate reaction was not excitement, but skepticism.

Skepticism, in my opinion, ought to be anyone’s first reaction to news, especially news which is surprising or currently breaking. Because of platforms like social media, where information is reproduced and spread at lightning-fast rates, a dangerous climate has formed of click-bait articles and misleading titles. It has even recently been discovered that on Twitter, false news spreads faster than true news.

Because of this, it is paramount to the success of the modern public relations professional to fact-check and research before relaying information to the public. Ironically, in this day and age, the back lash for being exposed for spreading false information tends to be extremely harsh.

As the team of researchers proved with its extensive fact-checking, true news can still be exciting. When thinking ahead to how I might ensure my client is informative as well as entertaining, there are a few strategies that come to mind. One of them is to lower the frequency of news, as conserving news releases may preserve the luster and excitement of the news itself. Furthermore, there are tactics that I can adopt such as using info graphics and social media tools to remain compelling.

While public relations professionals need to respond quickly, the truth is more important than a race for ‘shares’ and ‘likes’.

Transgenic Mice Over-Expressing RBP4 Have RBP4-Dependent and Light-Independent Retinal Degeneration

Transgenic Mice Over-Expressing RBP4 Have RBP4-Dependent and Light-Independent Retinal Degeneration

This article was originally published in Investigative Ophthalmology & Visual Science: Leading clinical and laboratory ophthalmic and vision research Vol. 58 Issue 10, an Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO) journal in August 2017.

Quantitative Histological Analyses of Retinal Thickness and Immunohistochemistry

A flamed needle was used to scorch the superior side of the cornea to demarcate the vertical meridian, and eyes were enucleated with part of the optic nerve still attached. Eyes were fixed in 4% paraformaldehyde for 24-hours, subsequently transferred into PBS, then dehydrated and paraffin-embedded for sectioning along the superior-inferior retinal axis. Sections were deparaffinized, stained with hematoxylin and eosin, and images were scanned at 403 magnification on a Ventana Coreo Au Slide Scanner (Tissue Sciences Facility, University of Nebraska Medical Center). Scanned images underwent quantitative analysis using Ventana image viewer software (Ventana Medical Systems, Inc., Tucson, AZ, USA). Beginning at the optic nerve head and extending into the retinal periphery in 250-lm increments, thickness of the total retina was measured.

Histological analysis of the differences in retinal thickness of mice with pharmacologically reduced serum RBP4 levels. Retinal degeneration was found to be prevented, but loss of retinal function remained.
Histological analysis of the differences in retinal thickness of mice reared in different light conditions. Retinal degeneration was found to be light-independent.