research

Are ‘Super-Enhancers’ the Future of Cancer Therapy?

Nancy Simonian, MD, CEO, Syros Pharmaceuticals details the research of Richard A. Young of the Whitehead Institute and his discovery of super-enhancers, large groups of transcriptional enhancers that drive expression of genes that define cell identity. The research, which has revealed many previously unknown oncogenic drivers, may be important for future cancer therapies....

The Latest Frontier in Medicine May Redefine Cancer Treatments

Jamey Marth, PhD, Director of the collaborative Center for Nanomedicine gives a talk on the pioneer research being done with nanomedicine. Dr. Marth is leading ground-breaking biomedical research that includes nano-sized “smart devices” which diagnose, target, treat and cure disease before it can cause symptoms and spread. The work being done at the Center for Nanomedicine will revolutionize medicine and how we treat the human...

Medical Mystery: Commotion of the Heart

This week The Huffington Post published a brief story on a young woman who died when she fell onto the sand while at the beach. She died from the impact of the fall, which caused a rare occurrence in her heart, commotio cordis (latin for “commotion or disruption of the heart”) killing her within minutes.  A study published in the Journal of Forensic and Legal Medicine on November 1st took a closer look at the case. Commotio cordis is extremely rare, killing only two to four people each year, and while it can happen to anyone, it seems to most often affect young people who, either as the result of age or weight, have less fat padding around their heart, leaving their heart vulnerable to impact. Even though some youth athletic associations have begun using chest pads, those shields are meant to protect from soft tissue damage and broken ribs, not the impact of the body hitting the ground, or say, with a baseball bat, which essentially makes the heart “jump” out of rhythm. This arrhythmia (called ventricular fibrillation) proves to be fatal; even in cases where the cardiac chain of survival is initiated immediately (like at sporting events, where an AED is present) sudden cardiac arrest is not always immediately recognized. Sudden deaths of young athletes on the field is nothing new, unfortunately. Local papers are often riddled...

What Every “Almost” Doc Should Know About Marijuana

The legalization of marijuana has been a hot topic of debate over the past few years. Some people further the support the use of marijuana for medicinal purposes. In this video, Martin Lee, writer and activist and author of the book “Smoke Signals,” discusses the implication of marijuana in the treatment of several diseases and disorders and calls for the future generation of doctors to become informed of the potential for both the psychoactive and non-psychoactive compounds in marijuana to provide an effective treatment for those suffering from such...

Is an MD/PhD Right for You?

So you are considering applying to an MD/PhD program. How do you really know that it’s the right choice for you? Take this quiz to help you decide whether or not the program is suited for you! 1.   When others ask me what I want to do with my life, my first thought is: a.   I want to practice medicine b.   I want to start my own lab c.   I want to be an academic or hospital administrator d.   I want to teach   2.   When I consider what branch of medicine I may go into, I am most leaning towards: a.   Family medicine/primary care b.   Surgery c.   Internal medicine specialty d.   Pathology   3.   When I think about spending 8 years in school, my thought is: a.   Great! I can delay entering the “real world” b.   I know it’s long, but it will be worth it in the end c.    I’m still not entirely sure how I feel about it d.   I won’t lie. It’s a major turn off.   4.   In the far future, I envision splitting my time: a.   80% medicine, 20% research b.   20% medicine, 80% research c.   50% medicine, 50% research d.   ~100% research with a sporadic encounter with patients every now and then   5.   In my mind, the major perk of pursuing a combined MD/PhD is: a.   Free tuition and an annual...

Monthly Update: Catch Up On the Top 5 Medical News Stories of November

5. Artificial Pancreas Provides Relief for Type 1 Diabetes Patients Bloomberg News reports that a promising new technique to treat Type 1 diabetes may help alleviate symptoms of low or high blood sugar, such as night-sweats. The treatment is an artificial pancreas, an important device for diabetes patients whose pancreases do not produce the proper amount of insulin to keep blood sugar levels at optimal levels for bodily energy expenditure. The artificial pancreas contains “a new computer algorithm that is able to link an insulin pump and glucose sensor in a delicate communication to mimic the work of a healthy pancreas.” Medical device analysts say that the device is the biggest diabetic research breakthrough since the discovery of insulin injections nearly 100 years ago, and that it could translate into a 15 billion dollar market. Read the article by Bloomberg News.   4. Orthopedists Discover New Knee Ligament ABC News reports that two Belgium orthopedic surgeons have discovered a new knee ligament. The discovery didn’t involve new technology but rather was based on an 1879 article about speculation of another ligament and the dissection of cadavers. The scientists report that their newly discovered ligament, the anterolateral ligament (ALL) is found in 97% of human knees and may play a role in anterior cruciate ligament (ACL) tears. They speculate that when the ACL gives way, the ALL does as well. Orthopedic specialists are hesitant to say that this is an entirely...

Chinese Researchers 3D Print Living Kidneys

Researchers at a university in eastern Zhejiang Province have used a 3D printer to create living kidneys, which are expected to be used for transplants in the...