research

What is the Most Complex Surgical Procedure?

Surgery…How would you define it? In an eloquent fashion, it can be described as the act of invasively treating a patient’s problem by dissecting into their body in order to access the source of concern and rectify the anatomy. As more simply described by my grandfather, a physician himself, “Surgery is nothing more than ‘cut and suture’.”   Having gone through the numerous years of rigorous training, from medical school to residency and fellowship, surgeons finally emerge equipped with the foundation needed to treat patients surgically. Whether it is vascular surgery or neurosurgery, surgeons perform highly intricate procedures everyday. Their level of skill is truly unmatched by any other, requiring them to maintain their focus and dedication for the preservation of human life. But how complex can surgery really be? As a prospective medical student myself, I wondered whether there was a procedure that could be labeled as the most complex of them all.   So I did some research. Only one out of the innumerable ones out there fit the bill: Pancreatoduodenectomy.   Falling in the area of expertise of a general surgeon, pancreatoduodenectomy is also commonly known as the “Whipple” (after one of its founders). It is a highly intricate surgical procedure involving great level of skill and experience. The operation is performed in order to resect pancreatic tumors commonly found on the head of the pancreas....

Do the Cannabinoids in Marijuana Have Anti-Tumor Properties?

Martin Lee, author of Smoke Signals, and director of Project CBD, discusses the enlightening research coming out of the California Pacific Medical Center about the antitumor and anticancer effects of cannabinoids. Cannabidiol, in particular, has been shown to potentiate first line chemotherapy...

Is Autism an Inflammatory Disease?

Michael Chez, MD, Director of Pediatric Neurology at Sutter Health, evaluates the role that the immune system and inflammation play in autism. Dr. Chez evaluates evidence from different studies, including elevated cytokine levels and mutations in the MET kinase beta gene. Read more about Michael Chez,...

What Happens When You Design a Living Organism?

For a few months back in 2013, Dubliners got a glimpse into the future of bio-design at the exhibition Grow Your Own: Life after Nature at the Science Gallery at Trinity College Dublin. Visitors witnessed a wealth of synthetic biology projects with everything from mice with the same DNA as Elvis (pretty cool!) to a whole wheel of cheese grown from human bacteria (sorry ew.) Check it out:...

A History of the Brain, In 3 Minutes

With Obama’s Brain Research through Advancing Innovative Neurotechnologies, or BRAIN project now underway, it’s hard to believe how little we actually know about the brain. It was only in the latter half of the 20th century, and particularly the 90s, that legitimate funding and efforts were made to learn about the brain. This short video gives you a look at how we’ve come to understand the 3 pound pile of mush sitting in your head.   Featured image is a screenshot from video...

Study on Fist Bumping Could Literally Save Lives

“A short, sweet fist bump will transmit the least bacteria,” says British biochemist David Whitworth, a professor at Aberstwyth University-Ceredigion in the UK. A new study shows that handshakes transmit almost ten times the amount of bacteria than the short, sweet fist bump. The study looked at high fives too, which ranked in the middle, transmitting half the amount of bacteria as a handshake. Despite the study’s findings, most people aren’t as quick as we might hope to swap hand shaking for fist bumping. It seems to be catching on though… ABC News Dr. Whitworth suggests that the fist bump is more hygienic because of the limited skin contact and the tendency of its length to be much shorter than that of a handshake. Though Sheldon might not get it yet… Warner Bros.  Even Shawn and Corey knew what was up… Touchstone Television Featured Image: Flickr | Davis...

This 15-Year-Old Can Diagnose Pancreatic Cancer

Jack Andraka, recipient of the 2012 Gordon E. Moore Award, explains the process of developing a cheap, fast, and 100% accurate diagnostic test for pancreatic cancer. Drawing from lessons on antibodies from his high school biology class and research on carbon nanotubes, Jack developed a diagnostic strip that tests for mesothelin levels to determine whether a patient has early-stage pancreatic cancer. Read more about Jack Andraka. Filmed at FutureMed, in February 2013, at Singularity...