Category Archives: Health and Medicine

A Molecular Roadmap to Global Health

8232Immunologist Erica Ollman Saphire, an expert who has worked on the front lines in west Africa battling viral hemorrhagic fevers, gives a fascinating and sometimes frightening on-the-ground account of how something called the VIC global consortium developed the only effective strategy to fight the Ebola virus.

The VIC or Viral Hemorrhagic Fever Immunotherapeutic Consortium, was established in 2014 to develop life-saving antibody therapeutics against some of the world’s deadliest viruses. The VIC represents a field-wide collaboration in which all of the leading laboratories, from over 15 institutions, have united to develop the most efficacious antibody cocktail possible against Ebola virus.

In her presentation, Erica takes you inside the workings of how this collaborative effort allows each laboratory to contribute their strengths in analytical techniques towards the identification, characterization, and validation of antibodies against viruses like Ebola.

From isolating novel antibodies and testing them in vivo, to analyzing the structure of the molecular mechanism for Ebola neutralization, Erica shows how the VIC scientists each contribute unique insights towards the overall characterization of each antibody, and have ultimately established a method which could be used to defend against new diseases emerging in our world of global change.

Watch A Molecular Roadmap to Global Health presented by Saturday Science at The Scripps Research Institute.

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Medical Care: More is Not Always Better

8232If some medical care is good, more must be better. Right?

Unfortunately, this is often not the case. In fact, the opposite can be true—some measures of health are worse in areas where people receive more health services.

Join leaders in research and health policy at UCSF who highlight situations in which the overuse of medical care may result in harm and in which less care is likely to result in better health. It’s time to challenge the implicit belief, on the part of both clinicians and patients, that more is better.

See what you should know about risks and benefits of cancer screening, “routine” examinations, alternative medicine, drug prescriptions, cardiac testing and end-of-life care.

Bottom line for consumers – choose wisely, change the question from Why don’t you do that test? to Why did you do that test?, and challenge the belief that more is better.

Check out all the latest programs in High Value Medical Care: Why Sometimes Less is More:

High Value Medical Care: Why Sometimes Less is More

We Don’t Always Get High Value Medical Care: Examples from Cataract Surgery and Telemedicine

Cardiac Screening – Why Sometimes Less is More

Too Many Tests and Treatments: Why More is Not Always Better For Seniors

Radiation Safety and Medical Imaging

Antibiotics – When Less is More

Vitamins and Supplements: Less is More

Cancer Screening: When Less is More

Periodic Health Examination – Why Sometimes Less is More

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New Brain Channel Series on Movement Disorders

8232Moving is something we do without thinking but it’s not as simple as it may seem. Movement is an incredibly complex process that requires different parts of the brain working with muscles and nerves throughout the body. Signals move between the brain and the rest of the body controlling the coordination needed — but sometimes that system breaks down.

When that communication isn’t functioning properly it is referred to as a movement disorder. These neurological syndromes often begin slowly and progress over time. Many have genetics as the common cause. Parkinson’s is perhaps the best known as it affects approximately one million Americans and in most cases is caused by genetic predisposition or exposure to certain drugs and toxins.

The Brain Channel recently completed an eight part series on movement disorders and the amazing research that is happening at UC San Diego to better understand, treat and cope with these often devastating diseases. Join Dr. Bill Mobley, Distinguished Professor and Chair of the Department of Neurosciences at UC San Diego School of Medicine, as he welcomes physicians, researchers and clinicians to discuss their work and passion for seeking discoveries to alleviate the suffering associated with these disorders.

Take a few moments to learn what these dedicated researchers are doing by clicking on the videos below.

Parkinson’s Disease: New Developments and Therapies

Parkinson’s and Cognition

Parkinson’s Disease: Environmental Factors and Epidemiology

Huntington’s Disease

Progressive Supranuclear Palsy (PSP)

Brain Imaging and Understanding Movement Disorders

Advancing Research on Neurodegenerative Disease

Tracing the Molecular Roots of Neurodegenerative Diseases

Visit The Brain Channel to watch more programs that explore the brain.

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“White Dots” in the Brain Predict Walking Problem

8232Fatta Nahab, MD, is a board-certified neurologist and director of the neuroimaging program at UC San Diego Health’s Movement Disorder Center. Find out how he is using innovative brain imaging techniques to reveal clues in understanding and developing new therapies to treat movement disorders.

He explains about “white dots” in the brain and how they are good predictors for walking problems, and not only in Parkinson’s patients. Walking is one of the most complex systems the brain controls. Many people assume as they get older they will have problems with walking due to arthritis and other factors associated with aging, but that’s not exactly what he found. The brain plays a significant role in walking problems, more so than sore knees.

Medicine is at an exciting time and Dr. Nahab is inspired by his patients to translate research into the clinic, the clinic into research and to bridge the technology gap between medicine and the tech industry

Watch Brain Imaging and Understanding the Pathogenesis of Movement Disorders with Fatta Nahab.

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Decoding the Microbiome

8232There are on average about 110 trillion cells in the human body… and 100 trillion of those aren’t human. That’s the human microbiome, a mix of interdependent organisms living in a variety of ecosystems as diverse as guest Rob Knight puts it, “between a prairie in Kansas and a coral reef in Florida.” And that’s just the difference between the microbial life on your hand compared to the microbes in your mouth…

As amazing as this reality is, what’s more amazing is that our human existence is wholly dependent on the activities and products of this microbiome – we couldn’t survive without our body’s microbial partners.

This realization has led people like Rob Knight, professor of Pediatrics and Computer Science, and Larry Smarr, renowned authority in high-performance computing, to wield the tools of Big Data and bioinformatics to search for a deep understanding of what lives within and on us and how it works to sustain us, and to find ways to maintain and improve that symbiotic relation for better health and treatments for maladies from autism to Krohn’s disease.

Watch Decoding the Microbiome and browse more programs from Computing Primetime.

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