Tag Archives: Stanford

Tributes: Sleep Medicine Pioneer William Dement Dies At 91 – “Drowsiness Is Red Alert” (1928 – 2020)

Stanford Sleep Medicine logo
June 18, 2020

The Promise of Sleep - William C. Dement MDHis mission was to educate the world about the importance of sleep, which he believed was dangerously undervalued. His motto, “drowsiness is red alert,” is a message he tirelessly broadcast to his students, trainees, members of Congress and the world at large. 

William Dement, MD, PhD, known as the father of sleep medicine, died June 17 after a two-year battle with cardiovascular disease. He was 91.

William Dement MD (1928- 2020) - Father of Sleep MedicineWith a handful of other scientists, Dement, a longtime faculty member of the Stanford School of Medicine, created the fields of sleep research and sleep medicine, and his many books and lectures helped raise awareness of sleep disorders and the dangers of sleep deprivation.

Dement’s many other accomplishments and accolades range far and wide: Dement and Guilleminault were the founding editors of the journal Sleep, the first major international journal devoted to sleep, publishing the first issue in 1978. He was the author of books for lay readers, including The Promise of Sleep, Some Must Watch While Some Must Sleep and The Sleepwatchers. The 2012 comedy film Sleepwalk with Me featured The Promise of Sleep and Dement in a cameo.

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2020 Innovation: “Remote-Only Organizations”: Is This The Future Of Work?

From a Stanford Engineering article (April 8, 2020):

Stanford Engineering Remote-Only Organizations April 8 2020Companies that structure themselves as location-independent have developed norms and practices that bridge the emotional and logistical distances. The same is true for their workers. For such companies, remote-only work can reduce costs, expand the talent pool and boost productivity. By contrast, being forced by a crisis to work remotely is likely to be disruptive and frustrating. It may be better than shutting down, but it will likely lead to a big drop in productivity.

In the span of a single month, the COVID-19 pandemic has forced companies and organizations of all types to have almost all of their employees work remotely from home.

Has the future of work, the all-remote workforce and even the virtual organization, arrived in full force? Though online technologies have made remote work increasingly common, most companies and organizations are still run out of brick-and-mortar facilities. Now they are scrambling to stand up virtual workspaces overnight.

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Health: All Adults 18-79 Should Be Screened For Hepatitis C Virus (HCV)

From a Stanford University online article (March 2, 2020):

Health Policy Stanford“The opioid epidemic has added fuel to the HCV fire, substantially increasing transmission,” said Owens. “HCV is now an enormous public health problem, affecting a much broader age range of people than before. Fortunately, we have the tools to identify people and treatment is now successful in the vast majority of patients, so screening can prevent the mortality and morbidity from HCV.”

A task force of national health experts recommends clinicians screen all adults 18 to 79 for the hepatitis C virus (HCV), noting that the viral infection is now associated with more deaths in the United States than the top 60 reportable infectious diseases combined. Many people are unaware they are carrying the viral infection.

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“People with hepatitis C do not always feel sick and may not know they have it,” says chair of the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force Douglas K. Owens, M.D, M.S. “Screening is key to finding this infection early, when it’s easier to treat and cure, helping reduce illnesses and deaths.”

Owens, who is the director of Stanford Health Policy and the Henry J. Kaiser, Jr., Professor of Medicine, said the opioid epidemic now plays an important role in the prevalence of HCV. There are more than three times the number of acute HCV cases than a decade ago, particularly among young, white, injection drug users who live in rural areas. Women aged 15 to 44 have also been hit hard by the virus that is spread through contaminated blood.

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Health Talk: Stanford Dermatology Professor Eleni Linos On “Tanning Bed” Cancer Research

Eleni Linos MD PhD Stanford Medicine Dermatology“Studies with financial links to the indoor tanning industry were much more likely to discuss perceived benefits of indoor tanning and to downplay the harms,” said Eleni Linos, MD, DrPH, professor of dermatology, who sees patients at Stanford Health Care’s dermatology clinic at the Hoover Pavilion. “The association is quite striking. We need scientific data to be independent of industry influence. I am concerned that funding sources may influence the conclusions of these papers.”

The BMJ podcastIn 2012, Eleni Linos, professor of dermatology at Stanford university, published a systematic review and meta-analysis of the link between non-melanoma cancer and sun-beds. That bit of pretty standard research, and a particular rapid response to it, has kicked of years of work – and in this podcast I talk to Eleni and her colleagues Stanton…

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Health: New Stanford Hospital Features “Patient-Centric” Design (Video)

Precision Health puts the patient at the center of the health care paradigm, and at the newly-opened Stanford Hospital, the patient was the focus throughout the design process.

Learn more about how the building’s design combines with the latest medical and communications technology to put patient wellness first: http://stanmed.stanford.edu/2019fall/…

Research: Omega-3 Fatty Acids In Diet Promotes Health By Limiting Large Fat Cell Accumulation

From a Stanford Medicine online news release:

stanford-medicine.png“What you want is more, small fat cells rather than fewer, large fat cells,” Jackson said.  “A large fat cell is not a healthy fat cell. The center is farther away from an oxygen supply, it sends out bad signals and it can burst and release toxic contents.” Large fat cells are associated with insulin resistance, diabetes and inflammation, he added.

Jackson and his colleagues found that when omega-3 fatty acids bind to a receptor called FFAR4 on the cilia of fat stem cells, it prompts the fat stem cells to divide, leading to the creation of more fat cells. This provides the body with more fat cells with which to store energy, something that is healthier than storing too much fat in existing fat cells. 

For years, researchers have known that defects in an ancient cellular antenna called the primary cilium are linked with obesity and insulin resistance. Now, researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have discovered that the strange little cellular appendage is sensing omega-3 fatty acids in the diet, and that this signal is directly affecting how stem cells in fat tissue divide and turn into fat cells.

To read more: http://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2019/11/omega-3-fatty-acids-health-benefit-linked-to-stem-cell-control.html

Profiles: Stanford Physicist Robert Byer, 77, Helped Develop “Most Stable Laser In The World”

From a Stanford University News article:

Robert Byer uses an infrared viewing device to check the alignment of a near-IR laser through a linear crystal. Image credit Misha BrukByer also helped develop the quietest, most stable laser in the world, called the diode-pumped YAG laser. YAG lasers are today found in everything from communications satellites to green handheld laser pointers, which Byer co-developed with two of his graduate students and cites as one of his favorite inventions (he had joined Stanford in 1969). YAG lasers also form the main beams of the gravitational wave-detecting instrument, LIGO, which in 2015 achieved the most precise measurement ever made by humans when its antenna detected the tenuous spacetime fluctuations generated by two colliding black holes 1.3 billion light-years away.

Robert Byer was 22 years old when he first saw the light that changed his life.

Stanford NewsOne summer morning in 1964, Byer drove the hour from Berkeley down to Mountain View for a job interview at a California company called Spectra Physics. He walked in to find an empty lobby but could hear clapping and cheering in the back of the building. After politely waiting for several minutes, he followed the commotion to a darkened room filled with men whose jubilant faces were illuminated by a rod of red-orange light that seemed to float above an instrument-strewn table

To read more: https://news.stanford.edu/2019/11/19/life-changing-first-glimpse-laser/

Heart Disease: Stents, Bypass Surgery Provide No Benefits To Stable Patients In Large Funded Trial

From a Stanford Medicine online release:

Stent in Coronary Artery“For patients with severe but stable heart disease who don’t want to undergo these invasive procedures, these results are very reassuring,” said David Maron, MD, clinical professor of medicine and director of preventive cardiology at the Stanford School of Medicine, and co-chair of the trial, called ISCHEMIA, for International Study of Comparative Health Effectiveness with Medical and Invasive Approaches. 

“The results don’t suggest they should undergo procedures in order to prevent cardiac events,” added Maron, who is also chief of the Stanford Prevention Research Center.

Patients with severe but stable heart disease who are treated with medications and lifestyle advice alone are no more at risk of a heart attack or death than those who undergo invasive surgical procedures, according to a large, federally-funded clinical trial led by researchers at the Stanford School of Medicine and New York University’s medical school.

The trial did show, however, that among patients with coronary artery disease who also had symptoms of angina — chest pain caused by restricted blood flow to the heart — treatment with invasive procedures, such as stents or bypass surgery, was more effective at relieving symptoms and improving quality of life.

To read more: http://med.stanford.edu/news/all-news/2019/11/invasive-heart-treatments-not-always-needed.html

Medical Podcasts: New Stanford Hospital Uses Technology To Stay “Future-Proofed”

From a Stanford Medicine online article:

Stanford Medicine“A simple example would be copper and fiber wires. When you’re putting wires in a new facility, it’s easier to put in many more than you need that moment because putting them in 5 years from now or 10 years from now is quite hard. Something like 85 percent of our copper wires and fiber optic cables are dark right now because we know we’re going to need them in the future.”

When you consider the fast pace of technological advances today, you wonder how do you go about building a new hospital and keep the technology relevant for 10, 20 or even 50 years?  I put that question to Stanford Health Care’s technology wiz Gary Fritz. He told me:

“We try to do something we call future-proof the hospital. We tried to make design decisions and technology decisions that allow us to move to the current or the next generation technology as easily as possible.”

 

Science & Civilization: The Genetic History Of Roman Empire Revealed (Phys.Org)

From a Phys.org online article:

Roman EmpireThere was a massive shift in Roman residents’ ancestry, the researchers found, but that ancestry came primarily from the Eastern Mediterranean and Near East, possibly because of denser populations there relative to the Roman Empire’s western reaches in Europe and Africa.

The next several centuries were full of turmoil: the empire split in two, diseases decimated Rome’s population and a series of invasions befell the city. Those events left a mark on the city’s population, which shifted toward western European ancestry. Later, the rise and reign of the Holy Roman Empire brought an influx of central and northern European ancestry.

Scholars have been studying Rome for hundreds of years, but it still holds some secrets—for instance, relatively little is known about the ancestral origins of the city’s denizens. Now, an international team led by researchers from Stanford University, the University of Vienna and Sapienza University of Rome is filling in the gaps with a genetic history that shows just how much the Eternal City’s populace mirrored its sometimes tumultuous history.

To read more: https://phys.org/news/2019-11-genetic-history-rome.html