Getting Chilly for Science

gt;gt; “5, 4, 3, 2, 1, submerge.â€� gt;gt; Maddie Burdick is getting cold and wet for science. She’s a healthy volunteer in a study of people who get hives when exposed to cold. gt;gt; “You’re doing great. You’re doing great.â€� gt;gt; The study is led by Hirsh Komarow at the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. Maddie is helping his team determine a normal, or control, response to cold. gt;gt; “We’re looking for people that don’t have any history of hives and 20 percent of.

The population probably have had hives at some point. We’re looking for people that don’t have allergies to, you know, pollen and food, and that’s also not so common. So our challenge is to find control patients.â€� gt;gt; Maddie has held her arm in a bucket of ice water for 5 minutes. After the test, the researchers look for signs of hives and ask her to describe what she is feeling. Case manager Mike Young collects a blood sample that will be important to understanding how a normal response to cold compares to an abnormal one.

gt;gt; “That’ll definitely wake you up in the morning.â€� gt;gt; This information helps researchers understand how hives develop, which could inform new methods of controlling the condition. gt;gt; “I actually work in research as well, and I know how important it is to get healthy volunteers, so I thought it would be nice to kind of give back.â€� gt;gt; Nurse practitioner Celeste Nelson records Maddie’s physical responses. Once the final blood samples are collected, they are prepped and sent to the lab for analysis. Komarow’s study team is indebted to volunteers like Maddie for contributing their.

Time. “We study very unusual diseases, and if we don’t have our normal volunteers to act as normal controls, you may lose sight of the big picture; to see what really happens with the average, ordinary person to use as a comparison.â€�.

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