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The “simply amazing” work of Nobel Prize winner W.E. Moerner

The "simply amazing" work of Nobel Prize winner W.E. Moerner

Yesterday Stanford chemistry professor W.E. Moerner, PhD, was named a co-winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for his work in super-resolution microscopy. In the video above, his colleagues – including Stanford Medicine’s own Lucy Shapiro, PhD, – share their thoughts on his work and the win. “The ability to now look at… mechanisms in a living cell is simply amazing,” Shapiro concluded.

Previously: Breaking the light barrier in medical microscopy: More on today’s Nobel-winning work and For third year in row, a Stanford faculty member wins the Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Science, Stanford News

For third year in row, a Stanford faculty member wins the Nobel Prize in Chemistry

For third year in row, a Stanford faculty member wins the Nobel Prize in Chemistry

Moerner

Stanford chemistry professor W.E. Moerner, PhD, has been named a co-winner of the 2014 Nobel Prize in Chemistry. An announcement was made earlier this morning by the Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences, which said the award was for “having bypassed a presumed scientific limitation stipulating that an optical microscope can never yield a resolution better than 0.2 micrometers.”

This is the third year in a row that a Stanford faculty member has received the chemistry award: Michael Levitt, PhD, and Brian Kobilka, MD, both from the medical school, won the prize in 2013 and 2012, respectively.

You can get updates on this news by following the hashtag #StanfordNobel.

Congratulations, Professor Moerner!

Previously: Say Cheese: A photo shoot with Stanford Medicine’s seven Nobel laureates, Stanford winners Michael Levitt and Thomas Südhof celebrate Nobel Week, Stanford’s Michael Levitt wins 2013 Nobel Prize in Chemistry, Stanford’s Thomas Südhof wins 2013 Nobel Prize in Medicine and Stanford’s Brian Kobilka wins 2012 Nobel Prize in Chemistry
Photo L.A. Cicero/Stanford News Service

Grand Roundup

Grand Roundup: Top posts for the week of Sept. 28

The five most-read stories this week on Scope were:

Stanford experts offer more information about enterovirus-D68: In this Q&A, Yvonne Maldonado, MD, service chief of pediatric infectious disease at Lucile Packard Children’s Hospital Stanford, and Keith Van Haren, MD, a pediatric neurologist, discuss the enterovirus-D68 respiratory illness and neurologic symptoms that might be associated with it.

Study: Pregnancy causes surprising changes in how the immune system responds to the flu: New Stanford research shows that immune cells from pregnant women are strongly activated by influenza, which may explain the increased risk of flu complications in pregnancy.

The importance of human connection as part of the patient experience: In a new video, Tim Engberg, vice president of ambulatory care at Stanford Health Care, talks about his experience as a patient at Stanford.

Stanford physicians and engineers showcase innovative health-care solutions: More than 40 inventions and clinical solutions were recently presented at the first annual Spectrum Innovation Research Symposium. The event demonstrated the power of bringing together teams of physicians, bioinformaticists and engineers to apply new technologies and ideas to challenging medical problems.

Examining the potential of big data to transform health care: A KQED segment from earlier this week focused on big data and highlighted a case in which Stanford clinicians used aggregate patient data from electronic medical records to make a difficult and quick decision in the care of a 13-year-old girl with a rare disease.

And still going strong – the most popular post from the past:

The mystery surrounding lung-transplant survival rates: A 2012 article in the San Francisco Chronicle offered a look at the challenges facing lung transplant patients and explored why a significant number don’t live beyond the five-year mark, despite improvements in survival rates.

CDC, Ebola, Events, Global Health, Stanford News, Videos

Video of Stanford Ebola panel now available

Video of Stanford Ebola panel now available

Last week, a group of Stanford and CDC experts came together to address the health, governance, security and ethical dimensions of Ebola, the virus that is spreading rapidly in West Africa. Video of the lengthy and timely talk, courtesy of the Freeman Spogli Institute, is now available.

Previously: Ebola panel says 1.4 million cases possible, building trust key to containmentInterdisciplinary campus panel to examine Ebola outbreak from all angles, Expert panel discusses challenges of controlling Ebola in West Africa, Should we worry? Stanford’s global health chief weighs in on Ebola and Biosecurity experts discuss Ebola and related public health concerns and policy implications

Grand Roundup

Grand Roundup: Top posts for the week of Sept. 21

The five most-read stories this week on Scope were:

Study: Pregnancy causes surprising changes in how the immune system responds to the flu: New Stanford research shows that immune cells from pregnant women are strongly activated by influenza, which may explain the increased risk of flu complications in pregnancy.

Free online Stanford course examines medical education in the new millennium: At this year’s Stanford Medicine X, executive director Larry Chu, MD, announced the launch of the Medicine X Academy. As part of the academy, a massive open online course (MOOC) course titled “Medical Education in the New Millennium” began this week.

Exercise and your brain: Stanford research highlighted on NIH Director’s blog: In a blog entry, Francis Collins, MD, director of the National Institutes of Health, discussed research by Thomas Rando, MD, PhD, who studies stem cells in muscle and longevity, and Tony Wyss-Coray, PhD, who studies the immune system’s impact on the brain.

Treating an infection to prevent a cancer: H. pylori and stomach cancer: In a Viewpoint piece in the Journal of the American Medical Association, Stanford infectious disease specialist Julie Parsonnet, MD, and her co-authors discuss the link between gastric cancer and chronic infections of Helicobacter pylori.

Discovery may help predict how many days it will take for individual surgery patients to bounce back: Researchers here found that they could predict how well a patient would recover from surgery, based on the activity of a specific set of immune cells. Their work was published in Science Translational Medicine.

And still going strong – the most popular post from the past:

The mystery surrounding lung-transplant survival rates: A 2012 article in the San Francisco Chronicle offered a look at the challenges facing lung transplant patients and explored why a significant number don’t live beyond the five-year mark, despite improvements in survival rates.

Events, Medicine and Society, Stanford News, Videos

How Stanford Medicine celebrated TEDMED

How Stanford Medicine celebrated TEDMED

Earlier this month, TEDMED, an annual global event dedicated to exploring the promise of technology and potential of human achievement in health and medicine, was held simultaneously in San Francisco and Washington D.C. Stanford Medicine served as a medical research institution partner for the event and hosted a reception to cap off Day Two of the three-day conference; the video above captures the evening’s activities and offers a taste of the future of biomedicine.

Previously: Abraham Verghese discusses stealing metaphors and the language of medicine at TEDMED and Stanford Medicine partners with TEDMED on “first-ever gathering on the West Coast”

Grand Roundup

Grand Roundup: Top posts for the week of Sept. 14

The five most-read stories this week on Scope were:

So my life will be shorter than I’d hoped – what should I do differently?: In the latest installment of our Inspire patient series, a patient with “stage 4” Pancreatic Neuroendocrine Tumor discusses how his diagnosis has changed how he’s living his life.

Lloyd B. Minor, Stanford medical school’s dean, shares five principles of leadership: One of the highlights of the recent Medicine X conference was a course – “Navigating Complexity and Change: Principles of Leadership” – taught by our own leader, Lloyd B. Minor, MD.

Should we worry? Stanford’s global health chief weighs in on Ebola: In this piece, Michele Barry, MD, professor of medicine and director of Stanford’s Center for Innovation in Global Health, discusses the possibility of the Ebola epidemic spreading to the United States.

Stanford bioengineer develops a 50-cent paper microscopeManu Prakash, PhD, assistant professor of bioengineering, has developed an ultra-low-cost paper microscope to aid disease diagnosis in developing regions. The device is further described in a technical paper.

In a human brain, knowing a face and naming it are separate worries: Josef Parvizi, MD, PhD, associate professor of neurology, and Kalanit Grill-Spector, PhD, associate professor of psychology, have published new research on how our brains process face perception.

And still going strong – the most popular post from the past:

The mystery surrounding lung-transplant survival rates: A 2012 article in the San Francisco Chronicle offered a look at the challenges facing lung transplant patients and explored why a significant number don’t live beyond the five-year mark, despite improvements in survival rates.

Grand Roundup

Grand Roundup: Top posts for the week of Sept. 7

The five most-read stories this week on Scope were:

Skin cancer linked to UV-caused mutation in new oncogene, say Stanford researchers: Researchers here have identified a previously unknown oncogene that drives the development of a common human skin cancer in response to exposure to sunlight.

Proteins from pond scum revolutionize neuroscience: This entry focuses on the work of Stanford bioengineering professor Karl Deisseroth, MD, PhD, who just won the Keio Prize in Medicine,

What makes a good doctor – and can data help us find one?: At Medicine X last Saturday, ProPublica reporter Charles Ornstein posed to conference attendees an important question: How do you find a doctor? “This is trickier than you think,” he said and proceeded to discuss how data can yield helpful information for those looking for (or assessing their current) physician.

At Medicine X, four innovators talk teaching digital literacy and professionalism in medical school: One of the highlights of last weekend’s Medicine X was “Fostering Digital Citizenship in Medical School,” where four esteemed panelists talked about the innovative programs they’ve put in place at their institutions. The physician-speakers all believe that things like understanding social media and knowing how to build one’s digital footprint are crucial skills for doctors-to-be.

Stanford bioengineer develops a 50-cent paper microscopeManu Prakash, PhD, assistant professor of bioengineering, has developed an ultra-low-cost paper microscope to aid disease diagnosis in developing regions. The device is further described in a technical paper.

And still going strong – the most popular post from the past:

What are the consequences of sleep deprivation?: Brandon Peters, MD, an adjunct clinical faculty member at the Stanford Center for Sleep Sciences and Medicine, explains how lack of sleep can negatively affect a person’s well-being in this Huffington Post piece.

Biomed Bites, Research, Science, Stanford News, Videos

Studying the drivers of metastasis to combat cancer

Studying the drivers of metastasis to combat cancer

Today we’re launching Biomed Bites, a weekly series created to highlight some of Stanford Medicine’s most compelling research and introduce readers to promising scientists from across the basic and clinical sciences.

One might not think there’s much of a connection between grapes and cancer cells, but Amato Giaccia, PhD, has found some similarities. “The tumor microenvironment is very analogous to the microenvironment you would have in Napa Valley, where different types of grapes grow in different areas depending on the richness of the soil and the different climate and weather that exist,” explains the Stanford radiation oncologist and cancer biologist in the video above. “In a similar matter, tumors require different environments for them to be able to grow and… metastasize.”

Giaccia and his colleagues study the genetic and epigenetic regulators of metastasis, and their work could lead to the development of therapeutics that inhibit or eradicate the process, which contributes to 90 percent of cancer-related deaths. “Understanding the drivers of metastasis and how to best target them is going to have a major impact on cancer survival and mortality in the future,” Giaccia says.

Learn more about Stanford Medicine’s Biomedical Innovation Initiative and about other faculty leaders who are driving forward biomedical innovation here.

Previously: Cellular culprit identified for invasive bladder cancer, according to Stanford study, Potential anti-cancer therapy starves cancer cells of glucose and Nomadic cells may hold clues to cancer’s spread
Photo in featured entry box by Lee Coursey/Flickr

Mental Health, Research, Stanford News

Study shows benefits of breathing meditation among veterans with PTSD

Study shows benefits of breathing meditation among veterans with PTSD

man meditating - smallEarlier this year, Emma Seppala, PhD, associate director of Stanford’s Center for Compassion and Altruism Research and Education and a research psychologist at the the medical school, wrote on Scope about her work using breathing meditation to help veterans with PTSD. One of her studies, involving 21 male veterans of the Afghanistan and Iraq wars who were taught a set of breathing techniques from the Sudarshan Kriya Yoga practice, has now been published.

A recent Stanford Report article provides more details on the research, which found that the breathing techniques “resulted in reduced PTSD symptoms, anxiety and respiration rate” among study participants. The piece also highlights Seppala’s surprise that the meditation appeared to have a lasting effect:

“It is unusual to find the benefits of a very short intervention – one-week, 21 hours total – lasting one year later,” she said. One year after the study, the participants’ PTSD scores still remained low, suggesting that there had been long-lasting improvement.

When the scientists asked the veterans whether they had continued practicing at home, a few had but most had not. The data showed that whether or not they had practiced at home, it did not hinder meditation’s long-term benefits.

One reason, Seppala suggested, is that Sudarshan Kriya yoga retrained the veterans’ memories.

Before the breathing meditation training, participants reported re-experiencing traumatic memories frequently and intensely, Seppala said. Afterward, they reported that the traumatic memories no longer affected them as strongly or frequently.

The study appears in the in the Journal of Traumatic Stress.

Previously: The remarkable impact of yoga breathing for trauma, The promise of yoga-based treatments to help veterans with PTSD, Using mindfulness therapies to treat veterans’ PTSD, As soldiers return home, demand for psychologists with military experience grows, Stanford and other medical schools to increase training and research for PTSD, combat injuries and Can training soldiers to meditate combat PTSD?
Photo by Sebastien Wiertz

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