research

Can a Robotic Needle Safely Eliminate Blood Clots?

A new video from Scientific American introduces a new tool that may be able to treat patients with dangerous blood clot in the brain. Researchers at Vanderbilt University are perfecting a robotic needle that will suck blood clots free without harming healthy tissue around it. The technology will use steerable needles to penetrate the brain with minimal...

Calling All Nerds: We Are the Cool Kids Now

Remember those kids in middle/high school? The ones who wore belly shirts and rocked long beautiful hair? The ones who teased you for being a “nerd”? A new study shows, not only are they probably not amongst your med school classmates, they also may be suffering pretty long-term negative outcomes. NPR’s Shots blog reports that “kids who try to act cool in early adolescence are more likely to have problems with drugs and alcohol, and have trouble managing friendships as they grow older. And their popularity tends to fade by the time they’re 22.” In the study, published in Child Development, Researchers followed 180 individuals from age 13 to age 23. They administered questionnaires to the subjects themselves as well as to their parents and friends. At the end of the 10 year study, researchers found that subjects who were more “popular” during their youth were 45% more likely to report issues related to alcohol or substance abuse. In fact, “pseudomature behaviors,” behaviors reflecting a desire to achieve social maturity without a concomitant level of emotional and behavioral maturity,” during adolescence were “far and beyond” more predictive than adolescent deviant behavior in predicting deviant behavior later in life. Researchers call this “The High School Reunion Effect.” According to the experts, the effect may be caused because young children are increasingly being led to believe, by TV Shows, movies and music, that acting “older...

8 Women Who Beat the Medical Odds

Lizzie Velasquez Not only has Lizzie beat medical odds, but she’s overcome the unique cruelty of the internet: Google “World’s Ugliest Woman” and her picture pops up. But instead of firing back at internet trolls, Lizzie has taken the higher road and used the damnation to propel her into the inspiration stratosphere: she’s given a TED Talk, written a book and traveled far and wide as a motivational speaker. Not just in the hope to raise awareness around her unnamed disease, but as a defendant against bullying. Lizzie suffers from a disease that has no name, and only two people in the world are known to suffer from it. Lizzie’s body essentially stores no fat, so she has an emaciated appearance from lack of adipose tissue. Just to stay alive, she has to eat upwards of 5,000 calories a day. Though her condition is unknown, it’s similar to progeria, a disease of rapid cellular aging.   Jerri Nielsen Dr. Jerri Nielsen was a highly trained doctor who was hired to spend a year in Antarctica in 1998. She would serve as the only physician to the research scientists working at the Amundsen-Scott South Pole Station. At the time, Dr. Nielsen was 46 years old and had extensive medical training. Having the opportunity to participate in “adventure medicine” was thrilling, if not also remotely terrifying. A few months into her work,...

How Can Oxygen Be Delivered Without the Lungs?

We hear about amazing innovations in medicine all the time: miracle drugs, the artificial heart, bionic contact lens. These ideas don’t pop up out of nowhere; many of them come from pressing need, accidents, and in certain cases, a situation of huge emotional impact. John Kheir, MD, discusses his journey to find a way to oxygenate blood without the use of lungs. Using microparticles injected with oxygen, Kheir and his team were able to keep rabbits with blocked windpipes alive for up to 15 minutes without a single breath. The technique has the potential to prevent cardiac arrest and brain injuries induced by oxygen deprivation.   Featured image is screenshot from video...

4 Most Common Myths About Autism

Raun Kaufman, CEO & Founder, Autism Treatment Center of America, describes the 4 most common misconceptions about autism: Myth #1: Autism is a behavioral disorder Reality: Autism is a social relational disorder Myth #2: Treatment should focus on changing behavior Reality: Treatment should focus on creating a relationship Myth #3: Social limitations should be compensated for by teaching an autistic child different skills Reality: Helping an autistic child relate to other people is crucial Myth #4: Parents get in the way of treatment Reality: Parents should be at the center of treatment for their autistic...

The Best Treatment for Sickle Cell Anemia Might Be Inside You Right Now

Welcome to the strange and fascinating world of persistent fetal hemoglobin. stocksy Fetuses are resourceful little buggers. You probably don’t remember what a great job you did being a fetus, but if you’re reading this it means you managed to be born, which is no small feat. When you were conceived, you immediately began to produce embryonic hemoglobin. Hemoglobin, in case you need an AP Bio refresher, is the means by which your red blood cells are able to transport oxygen around your body. The needs of an embryo are very different than that of an adult (who is not in fetu). The biomolecule that forms embryonic hemoglobin is specifically designed to meet the needs of the developing embryo, the structure of which is very unlike it’s final human form. The developing circulatory system of the embryo consists of blood islands; basically hemoglobin reserves at various points in this developing network of blood vessels. Eventually, the embryo has developed into a fetus, the blood islands have released their reserves of hemoglobin and now the fetus no longer needs embryonic hemoglobin, it needs its very own style. In fact, if the fetus continues to develop but embryonic hemoglobin production doesn’t cease, it can cause structural abnormalities. Embryos need embryonic hemoglobin and fetuses need fetal hemoglobin; giving embryonic hemoglobin to a developing fetus would be akin to giving a grown-up breast...

Can Video Games Treat ADHD, Depression?

Adam Gazzaley, MD, PhD, the director of the Neuroscience Imaging Center at UCSF Medical Center, explains how the immersive nature of video games can be used to benefit medical disorders as a diagnostic, adaptive, and therapeutic tool. Read more about Adam Gazzaley, MD, PhD. Filmed at FutureMed, in February 2013, at Singularity University. Featured image from...