research

Bat Girl and The Milwaukee Protocol

Jeanna Giese was sitting in church one ordinary Sunday when suddenly, from above, a small bat flew in and interrupted the service. It was whacked aside by someone, and Jeanna went to the little bat’s aid. She was an animal lover, a devoted rescuer, and she thought the bat was pretty cute. As she cradled the stunned creature in her hand, she remembers that it suddenly bit her, sending a stinging pain through her finger and hand. She took it outside, where it detached from her and flew off into a nearby tree. Satisfied that she had returned the helpless creature back to nature, she rejoined the church service, having no idea that the nip of the cute little bat she saved was already starting to kill her; she was fifteen years old. Like many teenage girls of the early 2000s, Jeanna was involved in many social and athletic activities and enjoyed socializing with her peers. When she got sick several weeks later and had to sit out during a volleyball game, it occurred to her it might be more than a viral illness. When her mother asked why she hadn’t played any of the game, Jeanne told her she had double vision. After that, as she notes in her own account of the story on her personal website, she remembers very little about what happened. Meanwhile, at The...

Gut Microbe Gene Sequencing May Provide Future Therapies

Larry Smarr, Founding Director, CALIT2, examines the 90% of cells in the body that aren’t human, most of which reside in the large intestine. A recent study used metagenomic sequencing of DNA from stool samples to identify the myriad species of microbes in the gut. He advises doctors to view gut microbes not as an enemy, but as an ecological garden. Read more about Larry Smarr. Filmed at FutureMed, in February 2013, at Singularity...

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...