Stanford Med is doing an amazing series on “surgeons at work”. There are stories of people’s journey to becoming a surgeon, exciting new frontiers in surgery, and people’s thoughts regarding the future of medicine. 

This specific set of photos are by Dr. Max Aguilera-Hellweg. The emotion of the OR that this image captures is amazing right?

Tricking Obamacare
This article is very troublesome.. The Government Accountability Office released a statement saying how 11 out of their 12 fictitious applicants were approved for obamacare. 
Of course with a new program, new issues and fraud are bound to happen. But if it is as simple as lying to a document on the computer, it can mean disasterous results. With this sort of statistic out, how can we trust the numbers that have been released by the government so far? How are we supposed to be comfortable putting our trust in this new system?
I am looking forward to what this will mean and how things will be fixed. Do you have any ideas?

Tricking Obamacare

This article is very troublesome.. The Government Accountability Office released a statement saying how 11 out of their 12 fictitious applicants were approved for obamacare. 

Of course with a new program, new issues and fraud are bound to happen. But if it is as simple as lying to a document on the computer, it can mean disasterous results. With this sort of statistic out, how can we trust the numbers that have been released by the government so far? How are we supposed to be comfortable putting our trust in this new system?

I am looking forward to what this will mean and how things will be fixed. Do you have any ideas?

Afrezza
Sorry guys, I’ve really dropped the ball on updating the blog more often! I will try to get on more often and mix in news with personal experiences so that I can share more often.
Anyhow… here is an awesome application of nanoparticles! Inhalable insulin is not a new idea, but this shows promising future results. The past models had to be large, and bulky due to the drug delivery system. Because inhaling drugs often results in a very diluted amount with a lot of it not being absorbed correctly, in order to have the correct dosage of insulin it was difficult. Also it was very difficult to clean, got messy and eventually was taken off the market within a few years. 
Here, by using nanoparticle insulin they were able to compact the device (increased delivery transfection). I really look forward to seeing this new Afrezza in action as it leaves the FDA and clinical trial stages (the graveyard of inventions) to do great things!

Afrezza

Sorry guys, I’ve really dropped the ball on updating the blog more often! I will try to get on more often and mix in news with personal experiences so that I can share more often.

Anyhow… here is an awesome application of nanoparticles! Inhalable insulin is not a new idea, but this shows promising future results. The past models had to be large, and bulky due to the drug delivery system. Because inhaling drugs often results in a very diluted amount with a lot of it not being absorbed correctly, in order to have the correct dosage of insulin it was difficult. Also it was very difficult to clean, got messy and eventually was taken off the market within a few years. 

Here, by using nanoparticle insulin they were able to compact the device (increased delivery transfection). I really look forward to seeing this new Afrezza in action as it leaves the FDA and clinical trial stages (the graveyard of inventions) to do great things!

Here are some amazing SEM images of some of the nanoparticles that are being worked on right now. Many of these are polymer dendrimers. Dendrimers just refer to the branching out of the chains, and is a very generic terms (we see them in “dendrites” too). But the amazing thing is that by having dendrimers we can substitute the different branches with functional groups, hormones and other molecules to change the physical property of the molecule. This doesn’t limit us to change the hydrophobic/hydrophilic nature of the particle, but also allows us to activate different pathways, or make them biodegradable. 
Sorry I have been missing the past few weeks, but I have been so busy learning! I will post some awesome uses for these nano particles in the next few weeks!

Here are some amazing SEM images of some of the nanoparticles that are being worked on right now. Many of these are polymer dendrimers. Dendrimers just refer to the branching out of the chains, and is a very generic terms (we see them in “dendrites” too). But the amazing thing is that by having dendrimers we can substitute the different branches with functional groups, hormones and other molecules to change the physical property of the molecule. This doesn’t limit us to change the hydrophobic/hydrophilic nature of the particle, but also allows us to activate different pathways, or make them biodegradable. 

Sorry I have been missing the past few weeks, but I have been so busy learning! I will post some awesome uses for these nano particles in the next few weeks!

Metal Colloids.
One method of delivering drugs is with the use of metal colloids. Often done by using silver and gold ions, this method is favored because of its long history and relative stability. Note here that when I talk about stability in nanoparticles, it doesn’t always mean a positive characteristic, because more stability can mean more toxicity without the body breaking down the particle. 
These colloidal gold particles are made by first separating the ions and then supersaturating it, allowing for precipitation to form. Finally it is broken down to uniform particle size for delivery. Of course the steps are not as simple as I described, but it is the general schematic. 
One thing that makes using metal ions like this stand out is the simple characteristics of metal. First it allows for conduction of electricity, which many other nanoparticles can’t do… and also it allows for scattering of light, allowing us to take beautiful pictures like the one above without having to use fluorescent tags.

Metal Colloids.

One method of delivering drugs is with the use of metal colloids. Often done by using silver and gold ions, this method is favored because of its long history and relative stability. Note here that when I talk about stability in nanoparticles, it doesn’t always mean a positive characteristic, because more stability can mean more toxicity without the body breaking down the particle. 

These colloidal gold particles are made by first separating the ions and then supersaturating it, allowing for precipitation to form. Finally it is broken down to uniform particle size for delivery. Of course the steps are not as simple as I described, but it is the general schematic. 

One thing that makes using metal ions like this stand out is the simple characteristics of metal. First it allows for conduction of electricity, which many other nanoparticles can’t do… and also it allows for scattering of light, allowing us to take beautiful pictures like the one above without having to use fluorescent tags.

Good Luck and Stay Healthy!

For everyone that is starting medical school, graduate school, new phases of their lives…

Linus Pauling’s Transition State Theory might have been wrong. Because there seems to be nothing stable or energetically favorable about this transition. 

So today’s post is a slightly different post. I have been feeling pretty tired and burnt out from the work I have been doing lately, but then I read this post from a blog I follow. She talked about “being a badass”

I recognize that society doesn’t tend to appreciate people who congratulate themselves, especially women who congratulate themselves, but today I’m going to do just that. Because, dammit, I deserve it.

The entire post was very good (like always) but this idea resonated with me. It’s important to recognize for yourself what you are doing right. So take the time today and reward yourself with a compliment from someone who knows you best, you!
For my compliment… I am proud that I am not afraid of work.
P.S. this is also on the sources, but here is the link for easier access to the original post:http://thehungrygypsy.com/journal/2014/7/1/on-being-a-badass

So today’s post is a slightly different post. I have been feeling pretty tired and burnt out from the work I have been doing lately, but then I read this post from a blog I follow. She talked about “being a badass”

I recognize that society doesn’t tend to appreciate people who congratulate themselves, especially women who congratulate themselves, but today I’m going to do just that. Because, dammit, I deserve it.

The entire post was very good (like always) but this idea resonated with me. It’s important to recognize for yourself what you are doing right. So take the time today and reward yourself with a compliment from someone who knows you best, you!

For my compliment… I am proud that I am not afraid of work.

P.S. this is also on the sources, but here is the link for easier access to the original post:
http://thehungrygypsy.com/journal/2014/7/1/on-being-a-badass

Sorry I haven’t been updating more often! I have been fairly busy learning a ton of new things to share with all of you. 
Well here is a beautiful picture of what a micelle would look like. A Micelle is one of the very first ideas that people have had for a drug delivery system. The thing that makes it so perfect is the combination of its self forming properties due to hydrophobic effects and its ability to get through the lipid bilayer. By doing this, we can delivery drugs with poor solubility. 
That’s a short blurb about micelles, but this is just the beginning! I have so much more to share with you all both about drug delivery and just my experiences. 

Sorry I haven’t been updating more often! I have been fairly busy learning a ton of new things to share with all of you. 

Well here is a beautiful picture of what a micelle would look like. A Micelle is one of the very first ideas that people have had for a drug delivery system. The thing that makes it so perfect is the combination of its self forming properties due to hydrophobic effects and its ability to get through the lipid bilayer. By doing this, we can delivery drugs with poor solubility. 

That’s a short blurb about micelles, but this is just the beginning! I have so much more to share with you all both about drug delivery and just my experiences. 

Sorry I haven’t had the opportunity to write up my nano particle things yet! I will definitely be talking about them soon, but until then.. here is an awesome invention you might be interested in.

Elizabeth Holmes started a company called Theranos which is revolutionizing the world of phlebotomy. By creating new assays, she has created cheaper, more accurate, and less blood (just a drop)! 

She has even regulated the process by removing steps that may cause human error, like cell cultures. 

Check out her beautiful website http://www.theranos.com/the-experience for more information!

The Basics of Nanoparticles
Of course there is the idea that smaller particles can be delivered better to our cells. But nanoparticles are much more than that. 
Creating a nanoparticle is all about making something that can withstand the environment, and can increase cellular uptake (passing plasma membrane) and transfection (getting into the nucleus, ie siRNA/Plasmids). 
The interesting thing is that our body already has several mechanisms that serve as a great model for nanoparticle designing. These include lysosomes, micelles, and golgi apparatus. Learning about thermodynamic relationships and understanding the spontaneity of these processes helps us create particles that can do great things. I will be talking about drug/gene therapy delivery via micelles, colloidal metals, dendrites, and effects of PEG in creating these particles. Stay tuned.

The Basics of Nanoparticles

Of course there is the idea that smaller particles can be delivered better to our cells. But nanoparticles are much more than that. 

Creating a nanoparticle is all about making something that can withstand the environment, and can increase cellular uptake (passing plasma membrane) and transfection (getting into the nucleus, ie siRNA/Plasmids). 

The interesting thing is that our body already has several mechanisms that serve as a great model for nanoparticle designing. These include lysosomes, micelles, and golgi apparatus. Learning about thermodynamic relationships and understanding the spontaneity of these processes helps us create particles that can do great things. 

I will be talking about drug/gene therapy delivery via micelles, colloidal metals, dendrites, and effects of PEG in creating these particles. 

Stay tuned.