As healthcare technology advances, medical research, at both the diagnostic and treatment levels, is progressing at an accelerated pace.
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This week on Full Frame, we explore innovations in medical research and how they are changing the future of healthcare globally.
George Whitesides: Simple solutions
Professor George Whitesides is a world-renowned researcher and chemist. He’s a pioneer known and respected for leading innovative research in diverse disciplines of science — ranging from biochemistry to soft robotics. He’s written nearly a thousand research papers and holds more than 50 patents. Whitesides currently serves as a professor at Harvard University and heads up the Whitesides Research Group.
Recently, his lab designed a revolutionary diagnostic test, one that’s as small as a postage stamp and costs mere pennies. This new paper test has the potential to save thousands of lives, and dollars, by providing a streamlined and inexpensive solution to diagnostics in the developing world.
George Whitesides joins Mike Walter in our New York City studio to discuss how simplicity in science can save lives.
Ibrahim Ozbolat: Printing health solutions
The United States Department of Health and Human Services estimates that approximately 120,000 Americans are currently on the waiting list to receive organ donations. Hopefully, someday soon, the groundbreaking research of Turkish-American scientist Ibrahim Ozbolat may help shorten this wait time and lower death rates among these chronically-ill patients.
At the Ozbolat Lab at Pennsylvania State University, Professor Ozbolat and his team are innovating in the cutting-edge field of bio-printing science and leaving their mark on regenerative medicine. Their current research includes feats that until now were only the stuff of science-fiction films: tissue engineering and bio-printing a pancreatic organ. Success in this area of research could eventually help increase the availability of organs around the world.
Ibrahim Ozbolat joins Mike Walter in our New York City studio to share more about his innovative research.
Dr. Pardis Sabeti: Sharing for the common good
How do infectious, deadly viruses like malaria, Zika and Ebola spread? Using innovative medical and genetics research, Harvard computational biologist, Dr. Pardis Sabeti is trying to find out.
Sabeti and her lab team have invented algorithms to better understand how infectious diseases mutate and spread – ultimately working to determine how they can be stopped once and for all. In 2014, when the Ebola epidemic began in West Africa, Dr. Sabeti and her team were able to quickly determine the virus was spreading from person to person and not from mosquito bites as first suspected. Their research saved countless lives. But Dr. Sabeti is also a staunch advocate for the importance of “open source” medical research – the sharing of proprietary data in real-time that can be used by the entire science community to innovate for the good of humanity rather than focusing on professional notoriety.
Dr. Sabeti is hailed as one of the world’s greatest scientists. She was named Person of the Year (The Scientists) by Time Magazine in 2014 and recognized as “Rock Star Scientist of Harvard” for her groundbreaking Ebola research. But, as if all of her professional achievements were not enough, she is also the lead singer of the rock band Thousand Days and recently fought her way back to health from a devastating motor vehicle accident that left her stranded on a mountainside with a shattered pelvis and knees. She is, to say the least, an inspirational individual committed to revolutionizing the global health community.
From Boston, Dr. Sabeti joins Mike Walter in our New York studio to tell us more about her groundbreaking research.
Blenko Glass: Keeping fragile traditions alive
Hand-blown glass is a time-honored tradition, but one that is struggling to survive.
Nestled in rural West Virginia, Blenko Glass Company is trying to keep this fragile tradition alive. Its colorful, creative, artistic hand-blown pieces are sought by collectors all over the world.
But when it filed for bankruptcy in 2011, the mighty furnaces in Milton, West Virginia came close to shutting down forever.
But like a Phoenix rising from the flames –the furnaces burn brightly again.
This week, Full Frame contributor Sean Callebs discovers that Blenko may look like an art studio, but the artisans of this ancient craft are learning how to succeed in a modern business world.
Connect with Blenko Glass Company on Facebook.