Great thought piece on the challenges of reporting biomedical research stories to the public, featuring Harry W. Orf, PhD, the senior vice president for research at Massachusetts General Hospital.
“[Dr. Orf] says it’s important for health stories to note that most discoveries don’t go immediately, or even quickly, from an academic journal to a hospital, pharmacy, or dietitian’s office.
“When a discovery is newsworthy, it’s important for the story to relate the realistic timeframe by which that discovery could potentially impact medicine,” Orf says. “That often is not emphasized enough or early enough in an article.”’
The Center for Cancer Immunology at Massachusetts General Hospital is focused on four major approaches to immunotherapy—checkpoint inhibitors, CAR T-cell therapy, vaccine therapy and early cancer immunotherapy.
This month’s research roundup features a study that seeks to determine why our minds wander, a clinical trial that demonstrated that the brains of marijuana users react differently to social exclusion than non-users, and a study of oxytocin spray as a method for weight loss.
Thought-provoking article from science writer Carl Zimmer on the importance of introducing kids to science at a young age, and how difficult it can be for some children gain access to the scientific community unless they are fortunate to have connections. Visit http://www.massgeneral.org/research/education/ to learn more about science education programs for students at Massachusetts General Hospital.
Check out this great video showcasing the Ether Dome at Massachusetts General Hospital, home to the first public demonstration of surgery using ether as an anesthetic in 1846. The Ether Dome has played a central role in our hospital’s storied past, and still serves as a center for sharing innovative new medical ideas today.
A team of researchers led by Dr. Harald Ott of the Massachusetts General Hospital Center for Regenerative Medicine have grown functional heart tissue using donated hearts stripped of their cells. This breakthrough could allow tissue patches grown from a patient’s own cells to replace cardiac tissue damaged during a heart attack.
Most breakthroughs in health and medicine are the products of academic research labs or biomedical corporations. But plenty of useful, inventive and therapeutic ideas come from outside those walls, from patients and their clinicians, often when they’re wrestling with a pressing lifestyle problem that has no other solution. See how researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital and other institutions are exploring the new world of ground-up innovation.