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Nutrition, Pediatrics, Stanford News, Videos

Where is the love? A discussion of nutrition, health and repairing our relationship with food

Where is the love? A discussion of nutrition, health and repairing our relationship with food

Maya Adam, MD, a lecturer on child health and nutrition in Stanford’s Program in Human Biology, associates food with love. “Through food, we learn about where we come from, who we are, and in many ways who we want to be,” she said in a recent TEDxStanford talk. But, as in human relationships involving love, our encounters with food may involve fighting – and even tragedy and betrayal, she noted. She pointed to an antacid commercial’s presentation of a “food fight” between foods we consume to taste but that cause us indigestion and larger health problems over time.

Early in her medical training, Adam said, she learned that “pain is a protective sensation; it helps us to avoid things that could cause damage to our bodies.” Ignoring pain or masking it with antacids, as the ad suggests, sends the message that “we should medicate that sensation away and continue consuming the foods that are hurting us.” What’s more, she said, a cultural “war on food” is depleting our time, energy and joy around eating, all in the midst of an obesity epidemic.

In her talk, Adam, who teaches a massive open online course called “Child Nutrition and Cooking,” recommends examining our modern-day relationship with food, which has grown distant. Regaining a healthy relationship involves learning where food comes from and what’s inside it, and taking care to prepare and cook real food for yourself and loved ones, she said: “May the foods you eat be worthy of you, and may they be made with love.”

Previously: A spotlight on TEDxStanford’s “awe-inspiring” and “deeply moving” talks and Free Stanford online course on child nutrition & cooking

Chronic Disease, Stanford News, Videos

Gracefully saying goodbye: Isabel Stenzel Byrnes shares lessons to help cope with losing loved ones

Gracefully saying goodbye: Isabel Stenzel Byrnes shares lessons to help cope with losing loved ones

Isabel Stenzel Byrnes and her identical twin sister Anabel were diagnosed with cystic fibrosis when they were only three days old. At the time, physicians told their parents it would be unlikely that they would survive to see their 10th birthday. Working together, the sisters completed rigorous daily respiratory and digestive treatment to maintain their health, and in their 20s, they received double lung transplants at Stanford Hospital & Clinics. The dynamic duo become forceful organ donor advocates and authored a memoir, titled The Power of Two, that inspired an award-winning documentary.

In this powerful and moving TEDxStanford talk, Byrnes shares her lifelong experience of practicing the art of saying goodbye. Over the past 30 years, she has said goodbye to 123 friends, including her sister, who died of cancer last October. To help others cope with loss, she discusses the lessons about bereavement that she’s learned along the way and outlines the choices we have in saying goodbye.

Previously: A spotlight on TEDxStanford’s “awe-inspiring” and “deeply moving” talks, Film about twin sisters’ double lung transplants and battle against cystic fibrosis available online, Meet the filmmakers behind “The Power of Two” and Living- and thriving- with cystic fibrosis

Applied Biotechnology, Stanford News, Videos

Drew Endy discusses the potential to program life and future of genetic engineering at TEDxStanford

Drew Endy discusses the potential to program life and future of genetic engineering at TEDxStanford

In 2013, Drew Endy, PhD, assistant professor of bioengineering, was honored as a Champion of Change by the White House. A leader in the field of synthetic biology, Endy founded BioBricks Foundation, which has underwritten an open technical-standards-setting process for synthetic biology and developed a legal contract for making genetic materials free to share and use. He spoke at TEDxStanford about his work with designers, social scientists and others to transcend the industrialization of nature. Watch the above video to learn more about the potential for making life programmable and the future of genetic engineering.

Previously: Programming cells for chemical production and disease detection, The “new frontier” of synthetic biology, Drew Endy discusses developing rewritable digital data storage in DNA and Researchers create rewritable digital storage in DNA

Big data, Cancer, Research, Science, Stanford News, Videos

Will hypothesis or data-driven research advance science? A Stanford biochemist weighs in

Will hypothesis or data-driven research advance science? A Stanford biochemist weighs in

The 2014 Big Data in Biomedicine conference was held here last month, and keynote speakers, panelists, moderators and attendees are now available on the Stanford Medicine YouTube channel. To continue the discussion of how big data can be harnessed to benefit human health, we’ll be featuring a selection of the videos this month on Scope.

Julia Salzman, PhD, a Stanford assistant professor of biochemistry, is concerned that significant amount of data is being thrown in the trash “because the data don’t fit our sense of what they should look like.” At Big Data in Biomedicine 2014, she explained how giving her computers a long leash led her down an unexpected path and the discovery of a new, and probably noteworthy, biological entity. My colleague Bruce Goldman highlighted her findings in a news release:

Using computational pattern-recognition software, her team discovered numerous instances in which pieces of RNA that normally are stitched together in a particular linear sequence were, instead, assembled in the “wrong” order (with what’s normally the final piece in the sequence preceding what’s normally the first piece, for example). The anomaly was resolved with the realization that what Salzman and her group were seeing were breakdown products of circular RNA — a novel conformation of the molecule.

In its circular form, she noted, an RNA molecule is much more impervious to degradation by ubiquitous RNA-snipping enzymes, so it is more likely than its linear RNA counterparts to persist in a person’s blood. Every cell in the body produces circular RNA, she said, but it seems to be produced at greater levels in many human cancer cells. While its detailed functions remain to be revealed, these features of circular RNA may position it as an excellent target for a blood test, she said.

In the above Behind the Scenes at Big Data video, Salzman discusses her work and addresses a question asked during the Single Cells to Exacycles panel: In this next era of science, will science advance mainly through hypothesis or data driven research? She comments, “I think that’s a fundamental question moving forward, whether the scientific method is dead or whether it’s still alive and kicking. I think that’s a really important question for us as to answer and deal with as scientists.” Watch the interview to find out the rest of Salzman’s thoughts on the issue.

Previously: Rising to the challenge of harnessing big data to benefit patients, Discussing access and transparency of big data in government and U.S. Chief Technology Officer kicks off Big Data in Biomedicine

Cancer, NIH, Public Health, Research, Stanford News, Videos

NIH associate director for data science on the importance of “data to the biomedicine enterprise”

NIH associate director for data science on the importance of "data to the biomedicine enterprise"

The 2014 Big Data in Biomedicine conference was held here last month, and interviews with keynote speakers, panelists, moderators and attendees are now available on the Stanford Medicine YouTube channel. To continue the discussion of how big data can be harnessed to benefit human health, we’ll be featuring a selection of the videos this month on Scope.

During his keynote speech at Big Data in Biomedicine 2014, Philip Bourne, PhD, the first permanent associate director for data science at the National Institutes of Health, shared how the federal agency hopes to capitalize on big data to accelerate biomedicine discovery, address scientific questions with potential societal benefit and promote open science.

In the above video, he talks about how data “is becoming increasingly important to the biomedical enterprise” and the NIH’s effort to coordinate strategies related to computation and informatics in biomedicine across its 27 institutes and centers, which effectively form the basis of improvements in health care across every major medical condition. “Our goal is to create interoperability between these entities,” he says in the interview. “We see data as the catalyst to create this cross talk across these respective institutes.”

Previously: Rising to the challenge of harnessing big data to benefit patients, Discussing access and transparency of big data in government and U.S. Chief Technology Officer kicks off Big Data in Biomedicine

Big data, Global Health, Infectious Disease, Videos

Discussing the importance of harnessing big data for global-health solutions

Discussing the importance of harnessing big data for global-health solutions

The 2014 Big Data in Biomedicine conference was held here last month, and interviews with keynote speakers, panelists, moderators and attendees are now available on the Stanford Medicine YouTube channel. To continue the discussion of how big data can be harnessed to benefit human health, we’ll be featuring a selection of the videos this month on Scope.

At this year’s Big Data in Biomedicine conference, Michele Barry, MD, FACP, senior associate dean and director of the Center for Innovation in Global Health at Stanford, moderated a panel on infectious diseases. During the discussion, she raised the point that the lines between infectious disease and non-communicable disease are becoming increasingly blurred.

In the above video, Barry expands on this point and offers her point of view on the role big data can play in advancing global health solutions. “Big Data is clearly important these days to get a larger picture of population health,” say says. “What I’m concerned about, and would love to see happen, is for big data surveillance to happen in developing countries and under-served areas, particularly in Sub-Saharan Africa.” Watch Barry’s interview to understand how harnessing big data to improve preventative care for large populations could benefit all of us.

Previously: Stanford statistician Chiara Sabatti on teaching students to “ride the big data wave”, Using Google Glass to help individuals with autism better understand social cues, Rising to the challenge of harnessing big data to benefit patients and U.S. Chief Technology Officer kicks off Big Data in Biomedicine

Aging, Neuroscience, Sleep, Videos

Examining how sleep quality and duration affect cognitive function as we age

Examining how sleep quality and duration affect cognitive function as we age

We all feel better, and can think more clearly, after a good night’s rest. But new research underscores the importance of sleep quality and duration during middle age to stave off cognitive decline.

The study (subscription required) examines data compiled as part of the long-term Study on global AGEing and adult health (SAGE), which is funded by a joint agreement of the National Institutes of Health and the World Health Organization. The project began in 2007 and involves more than 30,000 individuals aged 50 and older across China, Ghana, India, Mexico, the Russian Federation and South Africa.

Among the key findings is that middle-aged or older people who get six to nine hours of sleep a night think better than those sleeping fewer or more hours, and that excessive sleep is equally damaging as too little sleep. In the above video, researchers discuss how despite cultural, environmental and economical differences, study results showed strong patterns relating to gender, sleep quality and cognitive function.

Via PsychCentral
Previously: What are the consequences of sleep deprivation? and Experts discuss possible link between sleep disorder and dementia

Big data, Public Health, Research, Stanford News, Videos

Videos of Big Data in Biomedicine keynotes and panel discussions now available online

Videos of Big Data in Biomedicine keynotes and panel discussions now available online

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Computational processing power and interconnectedness are causing massive, ongoing advances in biomedical research and health care. But, as discussed at the Big Data in Biomedicine conference, large-scale data analysis also holds the potential to be even more disruptive and transform how we diagnose, treat and prevent disease.

Those who weren’t able to attend the event or watch the webcast, as well as others who may want to review the presentations a second time, can now watch videos of a selection of the keynote speeches and panel discussions on the conference website.

Among the videos available is a talk by David Glazer, director of engineering at Google, about how the company is working to foster collaboration among biomedical researchers that need to analyze vast amounts of data and those with the technological tools to do so. In another talk, Taha Kass-Hout, MD, chief health informatics officer at the Food and Drug Administration, outlined the importance of big data to the federal agency’s mission “to protect and promote the public health” and in promoting information-sharing with transparency and protection of privacy. The video above – the final keynote from Vinod Khosla, MBA, founder of Khosla Ventures and a co-founder of Sun Microsystems – is a must watch. The legendary venture capitalist sparked debate when he shared his perspective that “technology will replace 80 to 90 percent of doctors’ role in the decision-making process.”

Previously: Stanford statistician Chiara Sabatti on teaching students to “ride the big data wave”, Using Google Glass to help individuals with autism better understand social cues, Rising to the challenge of harnessing big data to benefit patients and Discussing access and transparency of big data in government.

Big data, Genetics, Stanford News, Technology, Videos

Ann Wojcicki discusses personalized medicine: “In the next 10 years everyone will have their genome”

Ann Wojcicki discusses personalized medicine: "In the next 10 years everyone will have their genome"

The 2014 Big Data in Biomedicine conference was held here last month, and keynote speakers, panelists, moderators and attendees are now available on the Stanford Medicine YouTube channel. To continue the discussion of how big data can be harnessed to benefit human health, we’ll be featuring a selection of the videos this month on Scope.

Ann Wojcicki, CEO and co-founder of personal-genetics company 23andMe, delivered a keynote speech at Big Data in Biomedicine in 2013 about empowering patients and the importance of owning one’s genetic data. Returning this year to the conference as an attendee, Wojcicki spoke in a Behind the Scenes at Big Data interview about, among other things, her early interest in genes, her belief that genetics are an important part of preventative care, and her desire for a framework where patient communities can easily participate, and potentially direct, medical research. She also discussed the status of 23andMe in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration authorization process and sounded a hopeful note about patients’ future access to their genetic information. “I believe that in the next 10 years everyone will have their genome,” she said.

Previously: When it comes to your genetic data, 23andMe’s Anne Wojcicki says: Just own it

Stanford News, Videos

Say Cheese: A photo shoot with Stanford Medicine’s seven Nobel laureates

What happens when you gather together seven Nobel laureates for a photo shoot? This may sound like the start of a good joke, but it’s actually just an introduction to the video above, shot at the medical school earlier this spring. In it, we get a quick, behind-the-scenes look at the school’s past winners – including our most recent Nobelists, Thomas Südhof, MD, and Michael Levitt, PhD – as they chat and wait patiently for their photo to be taken. (The resulting photograph appears on Stanford Medicine’s new website.)

Previously: 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

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