Ed Young – I Contain Multitudes

Tuesday, 28 March, 2017

Watching YouTube videos of Ed Young @edyong209, author of I Contain Multitudes: The Microbes Within Us and a Grander View of Life, over lunch. [HT Bill Gates]

Some of the many ideas/keywords: Dysbiosis

 


Black Mirror – Best 2016 speculative fiction on Netflix

Monday, 31 October, 2016

Black Mirror season 3 created by Charlie Brooker is now on Netflix and it is a must see speculative fiction (or if you wish, Sci-Fi) show! Two of my favourite S3 episodes are “San Junipero” and “Hated in the Nation” (WARNING: those linked pages have spoilers).

Black Mirror | Official Trailer – Season 3 [HD] | Netflix

Charlie Brooker on Black Mirror, satire and politicians – BBC Newsnight

Charlie Brooker at the Black Mirror Q&A: “We wanted to not always fling you into a pit of despair”


Neuroplasticity

Thursday, 27 October, 2016

CBC radio – How ‘plastic’ brain can heal from traumatic injuries

CBC “The Brain’s Way of Healing” – The Nature of Things (1 hour documentary)

//Seven years ago Dr. Norman Doidge introduced neuroplasticity to the world – the idea that our brains aren’t rigidly hardwired as was once believed, but that they can change, and can be rewired.  Indeed, what is unique about the brain is that its circuits can, through mental experience and activity, form, unform, and reform in new ways.

Now he’s back with a new film, The Brain’s Way of Healing, that will show that not only can the brain change, but that we can use our knowledge of how the brain forms new connections to help it heal in ways we never dreamed possible.

The Brain’s Way of Healing is about neuroplasticity’s next step — healing the brain using totally non-invasive methods, including patterns of energy to resynchronize the brain’s neurons when illness or injury causes them to fire improperly. It’s revolutionary and in some instances shocking — we’ll see people’s lifelong afflictions improved, or, in some cases cured almost miraculously. But these are not miracles, and Dr. Doidge explains the science behind these improvements. […]//

Ref: 1) Moshé Feldenkrais

2) Feldenkrais Method


University of Calgary research leads to brain cancer clinical trial (with video)

Tuesday, 14 October, 2014
Interview pix with lead researcher Artee Luchman, PhD, and oncologist Dr. Greg Cairncross.

Interview pix with lead researcher Artee Luchman, PhD, and oncologist Dr. Greg Cairncross.

Please see embedded my in-depth video interviews with lead researcher Artee Luchman, PhD, and oncologist Dr. Greg Cairncross (director of SACRI) in the following press release from the University of Calgary’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI) and Southern Alberta Cancer Research Institute (SACRI).

note: The researchers’ Clinical Cancer Research paper can be found at this link, “Dual mTORC1/2 Blockade Inhibits Glioblastoma Brain Tumor Initiating Cells In Vitro and In Vivo and Synergizes with Temozolomide to Increase Orthotopic Xenograft Survival“.

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October 14, 2014

University of Calgary research leads to brain cancer clinical trial

Researchers at the University of Calgary’s Hotchkiss Brain Institute (HBI) and Southern Alberta Cancer Research Institute (SACRI) have made a discovery that could prolong the life of people living with glioblastoma – the most aggressive type of brain cancer. Samuel Weiss, PhD, Professor and Director of the HBI, and Research Assistant Professor Artee Luchman, PhD, and colleagues, published their work today in Clinical Cancer Research, which is leading researchers to start a human phase I/II clinical trial as early as Spring 2015.

Researchers used tumour cells derived from 100 different glioblastoma patients to test drugs that could target the disease. When these human brain tumour-initiating cells were inserted into an animal model, researchers discovered that when using a drug, AZD8055, combined with Temozolomide (TMZ) – a drug already taken by most glioblastoma patients – the life of the animals was extended by 30 per cent.

“Shutting off vital tumour growth processes can lead to the death of human brain tumour-initiating cells. Our research has identified a key process in brain tumour growth that we were able to target with AZD8055,” says Luchman from the university’s Cumming School of Medicine and a member of the HBI.

Interview w Artee Luchman, PhD, Lead Researcher – UC research leads to brain cancer clinical trial 

Researchers used the new therapy to inhibit a pathway in the cancer cells known as mTOR signaling – putting the brakes on this pathway, combined with the current standard therapy, caused more of the cancer cells to die. Scientists are now working with investigators at the NCIC Clinical Trials Group (NCIC-CTG) to start a Canadian clinical trial that may eventually include glioblastoma patients across the country.

“Discovering new pathways and therapies that can be tested in the clinic provides the greatest hope for brain cancer patients and their families,” says Weiss, leader of the university’s Brain and Mental Health strategic research priority.

Interview w Dr. Greg Cairncross, oncologist – UC research leads to brain cancer clinical trial 

Glioblastoma is the most common and deadly form of brain cancer among adults. The progression and complexity of the tumours are often difficult to treat. The median survival for patients is 15 months, with less than five per cent of patients surviving beyond five years.

University of Calgary researchers including Luchman, Weiss and Dr. Greg Cairncross – director of SACRI, and leader of the Terry Fox Research Institute (TFRI) ‘Therapeutic Targeting of Glioblastoma research program at the university – are now working with cancer researchers Dr. Warren Mason (Princess Margaret Cancer Centre in Toronto) and Dr. Lesley Seymour (Director of the NCIC Clinical Trials Group’s Investigational New Drug Program), and drug manufacturer AstraZeneca, to plan a clinical trial testing a similar, but newer, drug related to AZD8055 (called AZD2014), in combination with TMZ, in patients with glioblastoma.

“This is an important initiative – to test new drugs, being developed for other types of cancers in the laboratory to identify which are most promising for testing in patients with glioblastoma. NCIC CTG is excited to partner in the development of this clinical trial, which will be funded by a grant from the TFRI as well as grants from Canadian Cancer Society Research Institute to NCIC CTG,” says Seymour.

The study was funded by the Alberta Cancer Foundation, Alberta Innovates-Health Solutions and the Canadian Stem Cell Network.


TED & TEDx talk videos – My baker’s dozen of favourite videos

Saturday, 24 November, 2012

Inspired by all the TEDxHongKong chatters I had last night with some attendees, I’ve finally done my version of top nth TED videos that inspired me. So here is my baker’s dozen (12+1) of TED and TEDx talk videos that I love and enjoy over the years. Some are popular and some are not.

May be we share a few common ones and we can chat about them in the comments. And if you see a few new ones that you haven’t watched, thats cool too and we can chat in the comments. And may be most important of all, please do share some of your fav! I love to check them out and hear why you love them!

In no particular order, the following are my baker’s dozen (12+1) tweets of my favourite TED & TEDx videos (with links added):

#1 tweet) In no specific order: #TED Malcolm Gladwell, UT alum & best selling author’s Choice, happiness & spaghetti sauce is great

#2 tweet) #TED Malcolm Gladwell‘s “The strange tale of the Norden bombsight” talk is better but unloved because of the harsh message

#3 tweet) A great #TEDxCaltech talk on Richard Feynman by Leonard Susskind. If u never heard of Nobel Prize winning funny man physicist Feynman, try this, you may start to love him.

#4 tweet) #TED Susan Cain is so cool & insightful. Here “The power of introverts” is a must watch for fellow introverts (me INTJ) Read the rest of this entry »


Investigating the truth behind sports drinks

Wednesday, 1 August, 2012

Just in time for London Olympics 2012. Great investigative work to find out “the truth behind sports drinks” by Rhodes Scholarship recipient Braden O’Neill (a third-year MD student at the University of Calgary currently on a leave of absence to study at the University of Oxford’s Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine in the Department of Primary Care Health Sciences). Excerpt from “Investigating the truth behind sports drinks”,

“Whether it’s ‘faster, stronger, for longer’, ‘enhances recovery’, or ‘gives you that extra boost’, sports product marketing is everywhere. Even the official drink of the Olympics this year is Powerade, whose ads claim that ‘Water is Not Enough’.

One of the research groups I work with here – the Centre for Evidence-Based Medicine – recently completed a study on sports performance products which I had the great privilege of being a part of. What we found didn’t quite support all those bold claims.”


‪Suzanne Somers‬ discusses regrowing her breast (FDA-trial) after lumpectomy

Tuesday, 22 May, 2012

Suzanne Somers - pix 01

Suzanne Somers‬ is best know as Chrissy Snow in Three’s Company, sex symbol, and in recent years an advocate for alternative medical treatments. This reporter has the pleasure of chatting with Somers‬ in a Fox LA Google+ Hangout few days ago. Somers‬ talked about having breast cancer, had a lumpectomy, and then earlier this year underwent a new (and controversial) procedure of regrowing her breast using her own stem cell.

Suzanne Somers‬ Fox LA Google+ Hangout

During the Fox LA G+ Hangout, this reporter asked and Somers‬ confirmed that she is the first woman in United States to undergo the procedure to regrow breast, performed by an American doctor, and most importantly, in an FDA-approved clinical trial. Upon further research, this reporter found that Somers‬ also talked to CNN Anderson Cooper about the new procedure as seen in this video.

Anderson Cooper‘s show segment Suzanne Somers on New Procedure for Breast Cancer Patients

In this MSNBC Today show report Somers said (emphasis and link added),

“Well, I lost my breast to — most of my breast to cancer 11 years ago. It was called a lumpectomy, but when they took the bandages off it was rather shocking. And I heard that Dr. Kotaro Yoshimura in the University of Tokyo had successfully regrown the breasts of 400 Japanese women. So I brought him over, put him together with a doctor in Los Angeles . We applied for an IRB , which is an institutional revue board, which qualifies me for a clinical trial.”

Note: – In 2007, BBC reported, “Kotaro Yoshimura, a surgeon at the Tokyo University medical school, said more than 40 patients had been treated.

– Here is a Wikipedia page for institutional review board.

See also this People Magazine report.

Cautions & Warnings

This reporter wants to make it clear that this report and Somers‬‘ personal experience should NOT be taken blindly as advice, or worst, as medical advice. It is extremely important to seek proper medical advice from licensed medical doctors/surgeons to help you understand the full risks vs. benefits of any new medical procedures.

Deep down, this reporter wants to be optimistic and hope that new procedure can help survivers of breast cancer. At the same time, this reporter is obliged to suggest and interested readers to read this serious cautioning NYT article by Barron H. Lerner, M.D., professor of medicine and public health at Columbia University Medical Center.

Note: This article is cross-posted on Examiner.com.


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