research

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...

Can Suspended Animation Be the Next Great Advance in Surgery?

We’ve all heard of those miracle cases of people surviving extreme colds: Wim Hof, nicknamed “The Iceman” who broke his previous world record by staying immersed in ice for 1 hour, 13 minutes and 48 second; The stowaway who survived a 5 1/2 hour flight to Hawaii; and Anna Bågenholm, a Swedish radiologist, who survived after a skiing accident in 1999 left her trapped under a layer of ice for 80 minutes in freezing water. But more than just the latest news flash, can the natural effects of hibernation and bodily preservation be used in the operating room? A new article from Mosaic puts this question to the test as it delves into the plethora of research on hibernation and the possible clinical applications of suspended animation: In frenetic hospital emergency wards, it’s often not possible for doctors to identify the problem, fix it and keep the patient alive all at the same time. Patients suffering uncontrolled blood loss, for example, may go into cardiac arrest. When this happens, surgeons must fight the clock to stop the bleeding before they can start resuscitation efforts. “Somebody rolls in and they’re basically dying,” says Tisherman. “We’re quickly trying to resuscitate them, and figure out what’s wrong with them, and repair injuries all at the same time.” This is the fundamental underpinning of trauma medicine: you are always against the clock. An in-depth look at hibernating animals...

Yes, the Neuralyzer Could Be Real in the Not So Distant Future

A new article in The New York Times discusses the journey of Dr. Karl Deisseroth, the world’s leading researcher on optogenetics, a field which continues to push the boundaries of neurology and psychiatry: Neuroscientists have long been frustrated by their inability to study how the brain works in sufficiently precise detail. Unexpectedly, a solution has emerged from basic, genetic research on microorganisms that rely on light-responsive “opsin” proteins to survive. By inserting opsin genes into the cells of the brain, scientists can now use flashes of light to trigger firing by specific neurons on command. This technology, optogenetics, permits researchers to conduct extremely precise, cell type-targeted experiments in the brains of living, freely moving animals–which electrodes and other traditional methods do not allow. Although optogenetics is still in its infancy, it is already yielding potentially useful insights into the neuroscience underlying some psychiatric conditions. Read a more in-depth report from Scientific...

A Whole New Meaning to Having a Beer Belly

Getting drunk has truly become an art form – that is, people are getting very (and frighteningly) creative. ABC News even decided to warn our parents about these innovative techniques in their story, “5 Shocking Ways Your Kids Try to Get Drunk” (seriously, ABC, why do you always have to be such a buzz kill…literally.) But one 61-year-old man didn’t have to try very hard to raise his blood alcohol level to a whopping 0.37,and instead could do so without drinking a single alcoholic drink. Being “almost” docs, we have to jump into the science… According to a case study published in Scientific Research the cause of the man’s inebriation was Gut Fermentation Syndrome, also known, befittingly, as Auto Brewery Syndrome, where patients become intoxicated without drinking any alcohol. Sounds a little bit awesome…but maybe not when you think about the cause. When the 61 year old, who, ironically, had a home brewery himself, was admitted to the hospital, doctors observed the following: 1. History of hypertension and hyperlipidemia, where blood pressure was being treated but was not well controlled. 2. The patient denied taking any type of yeast as nutritional supplementation such as probiotics and denied previous gastrointestinal disorders or treatments. 3. Routine breath tests were conducted for lactose and fructose intolerance as well as hydrogen and all were negative. 4. A glucose tolerance was performed and was also negative. 5. An...

Unraveling the Great Lie About Chameleons

That’s right folks, you have been deceived about chameleons your entire life. Totally duped. Utterly bamboozled. Turns out that these clownish reptiles do not just “blend into” their environment as so many cartoons led us to believe when we were kids. In fact, the actual change of skin color depends on a complex pigmentation pattern controlled by chromatophore cells and signaling pathways that detect temperature and mood. As expected, some of you will blame the government on a mass conspiracy meant to rob us of our basic human right to understand our reptile brethren. Others will blame the fat cats of corporate America and the “education-military complex.” Still others will restart their subscription to National Geographic. We’re not really sure what you’re going to do once this confusing reality sets in, so all we can suggest is that you check out some of the pretty cool scientific literature on chameleons listed below. Extra reading: Stuart-Fox, D., & Moussalli, A. (2008). Selection for social signaling drives the evolution of chameleon color change. Public Library of Science Biology, 6, e25. Anderson, C.V. & Deban, S.M. (2010): Ballistic tongue projection in chameleons maintains high performance at low temperature. Proceedings of the National Academy of Science of the United States of America 107 (12): 5495–5499.  Anderson, C.V., Sheridan, T. & Deban, S.M. (2012): Scaling of the ballistic tongue apparatus in chameleons. Journal of Morphology 273: 1214–1226.       Featured image is a screenshot...

5 Medical Breakthroughs That Will Change The World by 2020

Salim Ismail, the founding executive director of Singularity University, gives you the top 5 medical breakthroughs that will revolutionize the healthcare sector by 2020. Read more about Salim Ismail. Filmed at FutureMed, in February 2013, at Singularity...

App Reveals Scientific Breakthrough Lurking Under Your Skin

Scientists at Massachusetts Institute of Technology’s Computer Science and Artificial Intelligence Laboratory have developed a program that can amplify standard videos to detect miniscule changes in motion by temporal filtering of the video frames. The technology reveals things imperceptible to the naked eye, such as a person’s pulse, which is measured by amplifying the frames showing the flow of blood as it fills the...