7 Things Everyone Should Know About Google Calico

1. It’s Google’s latest venture and it’s focus is unraveling the secrets of aging and longevity. Not immortality per se (though, it is Google after all, so I’m not going to rule it out) but a more broad spectrum approach to looking at all aspects of health, aging and what kills us.   2. Calico will have some pretty solid Google-resources moving forward. Since Google has some stake in 23andMe, you can be certain the genomics will be a major focus of Calico’s investigations. Genetics too are known to play a role in disease and factors that influence longevity.   3. Larry Page, Google’s CEO, doesn’t see Calico as Google’s “cancer cure”. In fact, in an interview with the New York Times, Page points out that even if we were to “solve cancer” we wouldn’t be tacking on that many years to the average life expectancy. Cancer’s tragic, sure, but in the grand scheme of things, it’s not as prevalent as other conditions that are just as likely to prevent us from, you know, living forever.   4. Remember the name: Arthur Levinson Although Page made the official announcement regarding Calico, the project is actually being spearheaded by the guy who replaced Steve Jobs as CEO of Apple. Apple and Google, the two technological megaliths, are teaming up to work on health care? Bazinga.   5. Calico isn’t going...

A Message On Addressing Mental Health in Students

I graduated in May from The University of Pennsylvania. I was pre-med, president of my a cappella group, vice president of marketing for my sorority, a tutor, a mentor…stress was not a stranger to me. Despite the pressure of preparing for, and applying to, medical school there was one thing I didn’t have to deal with – the daily practices, training sessions, games, meets and matches that being a college athlete means not only attending but performing in optimally. While I was not a varsity athlete myself, I dated one for a good part of college and was exposed to, if only vicariously, the stress that comes along with trying to perform your best academically and athletically –this, while still making time for people you care about, the hobbies you promised yourself you’d keep up with in college, and most importantly, your own mental health. As I’m sure many have seen through various social media outlets in the earlier half of this week, last weekend, University of Pennsylvania Track Team member, Madison Holleran, took her life by jumping off of a Center City, Philadelphia parking garage. She was said to have left a note for her parents as well as a gift for each member of her family. I am not claiming to be a reporter — I am only telling you what I read in various news stories....

Top 5 Eats under $25 for Superbowl Week- New York, NY

It’s Superbowl week here in New York City and for those visiting the Big Apple, David gives an insider’s tips for food, theater, and shopping for a truly “New York” experience. Food 1. Little Poland 2. Han Dynasty 3. Breads Bakery 4. Cafe Edison 5. Sapporo Restaurant Theater 1. The Night Alive 2. After Midnight Shopping 1. Shinola 2. Cadet 3. Fishs...

Top 10 Ways To Prevent Mistakes When Using Ultrasound

10.  Do not forget to plug in the machine and learn to power on the machine BEFORE you go into the patient’s room.  You don’t want to look like an idiot searching all over for the power button on the machine while the patient is waiting for you to start the scan. 9.  Make sure the probes are clean and the cords are untangled before you walk into the patient’s room.  You don’t want to waste time detangling cords or cleaning off blood and gel in front of the patient. 8.  Warm the gel bottle before you lather up the patient with it.  If you don’t have a gel warmer, you can place the bottle in a hot water bath (eg. Basin filled with hot tap water).  Just make sure you warn the patient that the gel will be cold.  Apologize profusely and help clean up the gel afterwards. 7.  Don’t push harder on the probe to try to improve your image.  Getting the probe closer to the target organ doesn’t give you a better image.  Add some extra gel, change your angle, and redirect your ultrasound beams to maximize image quality. 6.  Turning up the gain may make your picture brighter, but it will wash out some of the important detail.  You will want to see the difference in contrast between the various structures (e.g. liver and kidney...

12 Important Tips for Your Residency Applications and Interviews

As I wrap up residency interview season, in between the delayed flights and using spotty wi-fi at questionably clean hotels, I thought it’d be helpful to assemble a list of tips for future applicants. These are things that I wish I would have known or things that I underestimated the importance of. Hopefully, this will help others traveling the country in their freshly pressed suits in pursuit of a place to call home for the next few years of training. 1. Know answers to common canned questions What are your strengths? What are your weaknesses? Why do you want to come to our program? What are you looking for in a program? Tell me about yourself. Tell me about your research. Tell me about _____ volunteer experience.  These all came up repeatedly during my interviews. 2. Google yourself to see what comes up Now is the time to limit your Twitter candor and make those bachelorette party, body-shot doing Facebook albums private. According to some Google analytics results, multiple programs throughout the season searched me in the days leading up to my interviews. I even had someone Google me less than 5 minutes after leaving a program. It happens. Make sure nothing reputation-damaging shows up. Luckily, my life happens to be pretty boring and all you’ll find on my social media pages are photos of my dog, Instagram food shots,...

Intelligence Squared Debate: Is ObamaCare Beyond Rescue?

With the disastrous launch of the HealthCare.gov website, critics of the Affordable Care Act, or “Obamacare,” were given more fuel for the fire. Is this political hot potato’s inevitability once again at stake? And is the medical community really on board with the law, or resisting (rewriting?) it from the sidelines? Obamacare Is Now Beyond Rescue from Intelligence Squared U.S....

10 Things the NSA Would Find Out if They Asked for My Personal Records

Last week over at HuffPo, Peter van Buren wrote an article about *gasp* the NSA being able to request medical records (and I’m supposed to be shocked by this revelation?) To reduce any symptoms of mass hysteria this article, or any like it, might cause, here’s my RX: 10 Reasons The NSA Don’t Give A S*** About My Medical Records! #10: I’m a twenty-two year old caucasian female who is five feet six inches tall (I asked if they could round up from 5ft 5 and ¾ inches) and weighs 115lbs (I mean, that’s not a lie, I did weigh that much one time. . .for like a week. . .) NSA’s Interpretation: “A woman lying about her weight? Unheard of. This warrants further investigation.” #9: I currently work in the same hospital I was born in: and the first thing I did after I exited my mother’s womb was poop on the table (isn’t the mom-to-be the one worried about doing that?). NSA’s Interpretation: “Clearly this was a tactic used by the baby to distract the doctor so that the mother could hide national security secrets in her vagina.” #8: When I was like 3, I fell on to one of those plastic toy shopping carts (and was shirtless I guess?) Yeah so the plastic splintered and cut my boob so bad it bled for three days but...

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