Tuesday, January 11, 2011

Parkinson's disease or not: a question of riding a bike

As is well known, Parkinson's disease is characterized by trembling hands, etc. Related to this is Parkisonism (a.k.a. Parkinson's Syndrome), a different kind of disease that should be treated differently.

Because the symptoms are quite similar, so far the correct diagnosis was difficult. But recent work by neurologists in Radboud hospital Nijmegen, has found a remarkable simple remedy, which works well maybe only for The Netherlands (or other countries where people are accustomed to use the bicycle for going around). Simply by asking the question if the patient has recently stopped riding a bike made a big difference; only some 5% of people with Parkinson's Disease did so, while of the patients with Parkinsonism some 50% did.

This simple not only saves thousands of euros of additional tests, but also in many cases can lead to a much faster diagnosis.

Monday, January 10, 2011

Spurious frequencies with ZORA/ADF solved

Just a quick note for those using ADF and ZORA, especially for optimizations
and transition state searches. There is small mismatch between the potential
and energy expressions, and always has been with ZORA.

In previous versions, this could lead to differences of 0.01 Å for bonds;
this is now improved in the 2010.01 version, where it is stated that it is
reduced to 0.0001 Å. In itself for chemical purposes this is irrelevant,
BUT it can become highly relevant when trying to calculate frequencies,
where because of this mismatch spurious imaginary frequencies may
occur, which were sometimes impossible to get rid of.

In the 2010.01 version, this seems to be solved; the problem is in the optimization,
not in the frequencies. So, simply redoing the frequency calculation does not help,
you should redo the optimization. I have noticed from a project where we had
one such annoying system with spurious imaginary frequency (of around -30 cm-1).
Using the 2010.01 version, and reoptimizing did the trick.

Saturday, January 1, 2011

Job opportunities in Girona

The next round of 3-year and 5-year fellowships from the Spanish Ministerio de Ciencias y Innovación (MICINN) will open on January 20, 2011. Deadlines are given below.

See this page for more information.

Juan de la Cierva, 3 year post-doc fellowship, deadline: 17 February.
Ramón y Cajal, 5 year post-doc fellowship, deadline: 10 February.
Note: these are the general deadlines!
The UdG deadlines are usually a few days before

Robin, Talent of the year?

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