Discoveries in genetics, cell biology and virology are clarifying the roles of heredity and environment in health and the defenses of cells against disease and infection. Innovations in bio-engineering suggest very hopeful developments for prostheses and regeneration. But scientists are also warning about pollutants, climate change, food production practices, certain medications, and stress. This collection addresses the great advances in medical research.
SftP Videos: Medical Research
03/22/21 Designing a wearable device to study brain function and dysfunction, with a goal of precise therapeutic interventions to treat neurodegenerative diseases Shawn Kelly
10-17-23 WGBH Forum Network webinar PFAS, a group of chemicals added to many everyday products, became a concern years ago among medical researchers, but governmental agencies were slow to impose regulations. Philippe Grandjean
06/12/12 ew understanding of the complex relationship between genes and the epigenome. Mary Gehring
06/21/11 In this extraordinary era almost any limb, organ or tissue can be replaced. Shawn Kelly
04/09/13 The awesome brain work necessary for picking up a pencil. Tamar Flash
03/24/15 An ingenious solution to the crisis of ineffective antibiotics is making headlines. Kim Lewis
09/27/16 Advances in nanotechnology are revolutionizing medicine. A leader in the field describes recent developments and his commitment to making them available to a wide public. Sameer Sonkusale
11/11/20 Because of climate change, many regions are experiencing diseases introduced by unfamiliar insects, microbes, and other sources. This situation requires a new approach to training medical students. Gaurab Basu, M.D., MPH
06/12/14 Many nations prohibit GMO foods, but the US doesn't even require labeling. What can science tell us about GMOs? Sheldon Krimsky
01/27/12 vThe Neural Prosthesis Lab at Boston University demonstrates the Brain-Computer-Interface: a communication device for the severely impaired. Frank Guenther
02/15/21 The amazing mechanisms by which viruses infect cells and the challenge of developing effective vaccines. Forian Douam
07/23/13 Determining the relationship between environmental contaminants and the global increase in autism. Marc Weisskopf
10/2014 Many common toxins in the environment significantly harm the fetal brain. Philippe Grandjean
09/23/14 The scientist who led the sequencing of the Y chromosome explains its evolution, its survival, and possible relationship to conditions and diseases that affect mostly males. David Page
07/15/14 What causes cancer, and how do the current different theories influence the research? A internationally prominent research team provides a unique view. Ana Soto and Carlos Sonnenschein
10/07/14 A distinguished leader in genetic research discusses his dual commitment to science and ethics. Jon Beckwith
10/08/21 The typical American diet, heavy on processed food and excess sugar, is associated with high levels of diabetes 2, heart disease and other conditions. What is a genuinely good diet and how does it promote health? Walter Willett
02/21/12 Can bioelectric signals in cells be exploited for regeneration of limbs and tissue? This is an important area of medical research. Michael Levin
09/10/19 From ancient traditions to modern pharmaceutical labs, certain plants have been valued for their therapeutic qualities. The Weng Lab analyzes the unique chemistry --and evolution-- of such plants. Jing-Ke Weng
08/21/18 Producers of perfluorinated alkylate substances (PFAS) withheld for decades the facts about the health and environmental threats of these ubiquitous toxins. Philippe Grandjean
04/08/14 A world authority on how environmental toxins affect brain development brings the evidence to the general public. Philippe Grandjean
01/21/20 The unique features of the nano-scale are revolutionizing medical research and medical care. Here is the why and the how of that revolution. Sameer Sonkusale
12/10/13 TB cells do not all respond to antibiotics. Discovering why is the key to effective treatment. Bree Aldridge
03/26/19 New approaches and technologies offer fresh insights to antibiotic resistance, and real solutions. Gautam Dantas
08/21/12 Endocrine disruptors such as BPA cause developmental problems and disease. How does this damage occur? Ana Soto and Carlos Sonnenschein
03/20/13 The potential danger of long-term use of ADHD drugs. Robert Whitaker
05/08/18 Truly innovative research: nano-tech devices for medicine and environment. Sameer Sonkusale
04/20/17 A tour of some innovative medical nano-devices at the Tufts University Nano Lab. Sameer Sonkusale
12/10/20 How neuroscientists probe the neural mechanisms behind disorders such as Parkinson's disease and other motor dysfunctions.. Jill Crittenden.
08/16/18 A visit to the Alan Jasanoff Lab at MIT to learn how brain scientists are developing new techniques and devices to improve brain imaging.
11/08/22. Can corrective nutrition prevent or reverse cognitive decline among older adults with bad diets? Here's a forthcoming study. Susan Roberts
02/22/21 The dual role of socioeconomic background and a family of (BET) proteins in the disproportionate occurrence of certain cancers. Gerald V. Denis
02/10/19 A visit to the Weng Lab at Whitehead Institute to learn how researchers exploit the mechanisms and molecules of plants contributing to medical innovations. Jing-Ke Weng
04/23/19 More than one in five Americans now takes a psychiatric medication. But long-term results are poor. Robert Whitaker, author of several books on this subject, discusses the problems of these meds and describes more effective initiatives.
06/15/10 The real dangers of psychotropic drugs that are routinely prescribed for children. Robert Whitaker
04/18/17 An explanation of how environment, community, class, and other factors must be included in public health. Sandro Galea
11/15/11 Important insights into the brain from research on anesthesia, coma and sleep. Emery N. Brown
08/03/20 An important update on the impact of common toxins in the environment that permanently affect the brain -starting in the womb. The evidence of damage is far ahead of the regulation of these chemicals. Thomas Zoeller
12/11/12 Visual representation is essential for the communication of science concepts and data. Bang Wong
02/21/23 There is increasing concern about the impact of social media on mental health, especially among young people. What causes this problem and how should it be addressed? Jacqueline Sperling
07/14/21 Many viruses, including coronaviruses such as covid-19, originate in wild animals. Understanding the transfer and infection process is a major concern in medical science today. Jonathan Runstadler
10/03/23 WGBH Forum Network webinar 12 Noon EDT A distinguished pioneer in stem cell research for oral conditions, wound healing and diabetes explains the issues and the advances in this field, and the importance of science communication for the public. Jonathan Garlick
05/24/12 Genomic medicine will revolutionize health care, but it also introduces a challenge for data management. John Quackenbush
10/26/10 A major breakthrough in the restoration of vision. Shawn Kelly
12/12/19 Jonathan Levy of Boston University School of Public Health describes how urban air pollutants such as vehicle exhaust affect our health.
05/04/10 Medications that are effective initially can cause very serious problems later. Robert Whitaker
05/30/23 The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) has aptly described the opioid crisis as the “worst drug overdose epidemic in [US] history.” How did that happen? Andrew Kolodny, M.D.
07/05/22 Scientists struggled for decades to get an EPA ban on Chlorpyrifos, a widely used pesticide known to impair brain development. As autism, ADHD and other developmental conditions increased, vested interests blocked efforts to regulate Chlorpyrifos and other agricultural toxins. Philip Landrigan
08/13/13 Exploring the "antibiotic paradox" and the decades-long efforts of Dr. Stuart Levy to avert the danger we have created
09/08/20 A distinguished physician-researcher explains the many threats to children's health all over the world, and how millions of young lives are saved by the W.H.O. Davidson Hamer, M.D.
09/10/10 What are the possibilities of extending human life and good health? David Stipp
02/03/20 Despite great medical accomplishments in ancient civilizations, then medical advances from the 17th century on, the connection between germs and disease was unknown.
09/27/10 The effects of vehicle pollutants on the developing brain. Shakira Franco Suglia
07/2014 The Connor Lab at Boston University is a leader in the effort to understand how viruses infect and how cells learn how to block infection. John Connor
05/17/11 Why are viruses so successful, and can we manage the bad ones? John Connor
05/30/23 Language acquisition despite the absence of a critical brain region for language demonstrates the remarkable adaptability of the human brain. Evelina Fedorenko
02/14/23 Viruses must appropriate the DNA/RNA of living cells in order to survive. The battle between viruses and cell defenses is a classic example of the epic struggles that characterize Nature. John Connor
11/06/14 Viral infections that were once obscure are potentially global threats in a highly linked world. New tools are being deployed to identify and block these diseases. John Connor
09/13/22 The increasing rate of obesity is a public health issue. Nutritionists analyze the cause and the solution. Susan Roberts
08/30/22 The U.S. healthcare system ranks last among 11 high-income countries. We spend more than other nations on medical care, but the service is seriously inadequate. What can be done? Melissa Gariddo
01/30/18 A comprehensive approach to public health: the body, the environment, the culture, the conditions. Sandro Galea
04/11/11 The public should be more familiar with the broad implications of forensic DNA. Sheldon Krimsky.
06/07/22 An increasing percentage of the Food and Drug Agency's funding comes from the pharmaceutical industry. How does this arrangement affect the agency in general and the approval of new medications in particular? Aaron Kesselheim