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Science Watch Wednesdays
Spring Semester 2014
*All Descriptions are taken from TED TALKS

Are zombie doctors taking over America?
Zubin Damania, M.D. is the Director of Healthcare Development for Downtown Project Las Vegas, an ambitious urban revitalization movement spearheaded by CEO Tony Hsieh. During his 10-year hospitalist career at Stanford, Zubin received the Russell Lee Award for Clinical Teaching while maintaining a shadow career performing stand-up comedy for medical audiences worldwide. His videos, created under the pseudonym ZDoggMD, have amassed nearly a million views while educating patients and providers and mercilessly satirizing our dysfunctional healthcare system.

Freeman Hrabowski: 4 pillars of college success in science
At age 12, Freeman Hrabowski marched with Martin Luther King. Now he's president of the University of Maryland, Baltimore County (UMBC), where he works to create an environment that helps under-represented students—specifically African-American, Latino and low-income learners—get degrees in math and science. He shares the four pillars of UMBC's approach.

William Li: Can we eat to starve cancer?
William Li presents a new way to think about treating cancer and other diseases: anti-angiogenesis, preventing the growth of blood vessels that feed a tumor. The crucial first (and best) step: eating cancer-fighting foods that cut off the supply lines and beat cancer at its own game.

Roger Stein: A bold new way to fund drug research
Believe it or not, about 20 years' worth of potentially life-saving drugs are sitting in labs right now, untested. Why? Because they can't get the funding to go to trials; the financial risk is too high. Roger Stein is a finance guy, and he thinks deeply about mitigating risk. He and some colleagues at MIT came up with a promising new financial model that could move hundreds of drugs into the testing pipeline. (Filmed at TED@StateStreet.)

Russell Foster: Why do we sleep?
Russell Foster is a circadian neuroscientist: He studies the sleep cycles of the brain. And he asks: What do we know about sleep? Not a lot, it turns out, for something we do with one-third of our lives. In this talk, Foster shares three popular theories about why we sleep, busts some myths about how much sleep we need at different ages -- and hints at some bold new uses of sleep as a predictor of mental health.

David Agus: A new strategy in the war on cancer
Too often, says David Agus cancer treatments have a short-sighted focus on individual cells. He suggests a new, cross-disciplinary approach, using atypical drugs, computer modeling and protein analysis to diagnose and treat the whole body.

Tyler DeWitt: Hey science teachers -- make it fun
High school science teacher Tyler DeWitt was ecstatic about a lesson plan on bacteria (how cool!) -- and devastated when his students hated it. The problem was the textbook: it was impossible to understand. He delivers a rousing call for science teachers to ditch the jargon and extreme precision, and instead make science sing through stories and demonstrations. (Filmed at TEDxBeaconStreet.)

Quyen Nguyen: Color-coded surgery
Surgeons are taught from textbooks which conveniently color-code the types of tissues, but that's not what it looks like in real life -- until now. At TEDMED Quyen Nguyen demonstrates how a molecular marker can make tumors light up in neon green, showing surgeons exactly where to cut.

Grégoire Courtine: The paralyzed rat that walked
A spinal cord injury can sever the communication between your brain and your body, leading to paralysis. Fresh from his lab, Grégoire Courtine shows a new method -- combining drugs, electrical stimulation and a robot -- that could re-awaken the neural pathways and help the body learn again to move on its own. See how it works, as a paralyzed rat becomes able to run and navigate stairs.

Yoav Medan: Ultrasound surgery -- healing without cuts
Imagine having a surgery with no knives involved. At TEDMED, Yoav Medan shares a technique that uses MRI to find trouble spots and focused ultrasound to treat such issues as brain lesions, uterine fibroids and several kinds of cancerous growths.

Deborah Rhodes: A test that finds 3x more breast tumors, and why it's not available to you
Working with a team of physicists, Dr. Deborah Rhodes developed a new tool for tumor detection that's 3 times as effective as traditional mammograms for women with dense breast tissue. The life-saving implications are stunning. So why haven't we heard of it? Rhodes shares the story behind the tools.

Michael Dickinson: How a fly flies
An insect's ability to fly is perhaps one of the greatest feats of evolution. Michael Dickinson looks at how a fruit fly takes flight with such delicate wings, thanks to a clever flapping motion and flight muscles that are both powerful and nimble. But the secret ingredient: the incredible fly brain. (Filmed at TEDxCaltech.)

How can every clinical visit be used to advance medical science?
Isaac Kohane, MD, PhD, co-directs the Center for Biomedical Informatics at Harvard Medical School. He applies computational techniques, whole genome analysis, and functional genomics to study human diseases through the developmental lens, and particularly through the use of animal model systems. Kohane has led the use of whole healthcare systems, notably in the i2b2 project, as “living laboratories” to drive discovery research in disease genomics (with a focus on autism) and pharmacovigilance (including providing evidence for the cardiovascular risk of hypoglycemic agents which ultimately contributed to “black box”ing by the FDA) and comparative effectiveness with software and methods adopted in over 84 academic health centers internationally.

Mark Kendall: Demo: A needle-free vaccine patch that's safer and way cheaper
One hundred sixty years after the invention of the needle and syringe, we’re still using them to deliver vaccines; it’s time to evolve. Biomedical engineer Mark Kendall demos the Nanopatch, a one-centimeter-by-one-centimeter square vaccine that can be applied painlessly to the skin. He shows how this tiny piece of silicon can overcome four major shortcomings of the modern needle and syringe, at a fraction of the cost.

Could a citizen scientist win a Nobel Prize?
Jessica Richman started and sold her first company after high school. At Stanford University she earned degrees in Economics and Science, Technology and Society (with a computer science focus). Along the way, she worked for Google, McKinsey, Lehman Brothers, the Grameen Bank, and top-tier Silicon Valley venture firms. Jessica arrived at Oxford University as a Clarendon Scholar and completed an MSc at the Oxford Internet Institute. She is currently a DPhil student at Oxford with a focus on innovation, social networks, and collective intelligence.

Join live April 9-11 pm TEDMED 2014