Hands-on Evolution

This truly represents a fully possible, but ethically complicated innovation from biology. Check it out!

http://www.ted.com/talks/hadyn_parry_re_engineering_mosquitos_to_fight_disease.html

This is where ethics in science gets really sticky for me. It is far too easy to get caught up in the incredible implications some technologies can have for human health, and pass over the overshadowed ethical consequences. This is a simple, and most likely effective idea, and the technology is accessible. But with this aside, there are many who hold strong objections to the heavy-handed manipulation of an organism, whether they are a pathogen or not. I find it difficult to make up my mind about this stuff, so let me know what you all think!

Always entertaining, Dr. Rosenberg once again infused organic chemistry, political history, and his characteristic dry wit into a captivating lecture. Without going into each experiment in detail, I was most interested in the trend of coincidence. Some of these scientists began their world-famous experiments with ignorant, and sometimes completely unfounded hypotheses. But thanks to the curious workings of Lady Luck, they stumbled upon some of the most influential pieces of knowledge in history. Very neat to think about!

The Barstable-Brown Conference was my first research conference, and it was quite interesting. Although the majority of the presentations were safely over my head, it was a great experience to see the attitude and culture that existed among a group of researchers in the same field. Questions that sometimes seemed highly critical or even accusatory, were not just accepted, but encouraged. It perfectly matched the spirit of the scientific community as a whole and fostered growth through discussion and open accountability. Similarly, the poster presentations were extremely intriguing. First, there are a hole new set of social cues to follow as one walks through a poster session,throwing my already-awkward self into a tizzy. But once I stumbled through over my walls of gracelessness and into a conversation about a study, I thoroughly enjoyed seeing how excited the researchers were about their work. One poster that particularly stood out to me was aimed at the clinical application of a psychological principles to increase the effectiveness of self-improvement programs, namely a weight loss program. I greatly enjoyed the discussion I had with her, and I hope that I provided her with a few things to think about!

http://www.popsci.com/technology/article/2013-02/worlds-first-bionic-eye-receives-fda-approval

Every day, the stuff of science fiction becomes more and more of a reality. These types of technology are amazing, and probably would have earned you a burning for suggesting a few centuries ago. It is astounding to me that we have reached the point where we can approximate the intense complexity of biological structures, let alone human sensory organs!

Keeping up with the Literature

As medical professionals, it is absolutely vital that our healthcare providers and clinicians stay up-to-date with the most recent medical advances in order to make the best decision for the patient. However, with the astounding rate at which it advances, technology and innovation make it completely impossible to cover everything. So why not use the power of technology to battle “problems” created by technology?

Alright, I promise I am going to try to post something other than TEDtalks, I just love them so much. But I just had to share this one. It was one of the more influential talks I have seen in that it completely changed my mind. I used to think that any charitable organization that earned significant profits for its employees was one not worth supporting. If you have a similar opinion, I completely understand, but watch this and see what you think!