For centuries, medical students have learned anatomy and surgical techniques on cadavers. This is fine, aside from one tiny problem: They’re dead.
“Cadavers are perfect for gross anatomy training, and it’s very common for physicians to learn how to do things on cadaver parts,” explains Dr. Christopher Sakezles, founder of SynDaver, a synthetic cadaver company selling models that pump blood and breathe. But operating on a cadaver differs from the reality of operating on someone who reacts to the incisions or treatment. That’s why Sakezles’s SynDavers provide a different kind of training altogether.
“The endgame of all this is actually to replace a live patient,” he says.
"Big data is going to make us all healthier. What kind of diet should certain people be on? Are there things people are doing that make them really high-risk for cancer? There’s a whole group of people who are 100-plus and have no disease. Why?”
—Anne Wojcicki, founder and CEO of genetic-testing startup 23andMe, has two goals: bringing the power of genetic testing to everyday consumers so they can better manage their own health care, and using the aggregated data from those tests to help doctors, scientists, hospitals, and researchers discover new cures for diseases that emanate from troublesome genetic mutations. We spoke to Wojcicki about her plans to revolutionize DNA testing
“If the profession hasn’t agreed upon it to the point where it’s not in the book yet, how can you go about treating it in an in-patient setting? It’s ridiculous. If you find the right marketing methods, you’re going to appeal to people’s fears and find patients for your program.”
After decades languishing in jars in the closet of an animal lab at the University of Texas, approximately 90 brains removed from mental patients are finally being documented—by a photographer and by college freshmen.
“Some of them are huge, some of them are really tiny. There was one that had no wrinkles at all,” says photographer Adam Voorhes. “I don’t even know how to explain it.”
An experimental gene therapy program in Pennsylvania has helped numerous patients fight leukemia by using a disabled form of HIV to reprogram their bodies.
What I love about this story is that he took a tilt-and-zoom camera that was already being sold by Sony, attached it to a stand (built the prototype in his cubicle) and then took it to a hospital.
Traditionally we rely on Japan to build our products. I’m always looking for ways to improve workflow in the operating room. If you improve workflow, you improve patient care. It’s not a traditional role. Nobody said, “Why don’t you go do this?” I just went and did it because I thought it was a great idea, and I got support from the upper management to go for it. I created a PowerPoint presentation incorporating the feedback I had on the device from the field, and everyone understood this was an important device for Sony to move forward with.
How A Sony Marketing Manager Helped Build A Breakthrough Product
Jack Andraka (center), a 15-year-old student from Maryland, came up with a paper sensor that detects pancreatic cancer 168 times faster than current tests. It’s also 90% accurate, 400 times more sensitive, and 26,000 times less expensive than today’s methods. In short: It’s a lot better.
Andraka was inspired to focus on pancreatic cancer because a friend’s brother was killed by the disease. “I became interested in early detection, did a ton of research, and came up with this idea,” he says.
While we’re all dimly aware that we take a lot of pills, we have no intuition for how big the problem is. And when you lay out the stats, the figures are nothing short of terrifying, as this infographic shows.
Brain Freeze: Beginning next year, a team at the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center will put some patients who end up in the trauma center with gunshot or stab wounds in a deep chill, a process called Emergency Preservation and Resuscitation. Cooling the body slows down the metabolic processes of the brain and other organs. The Pittsburgh team hopes that will give surgeons more time to work before blood loss causes massive brain damage.