DiscoverFinding Genius Podcast
Finding Genius Podcast

Finding Genius Podcast

Author: Richard Jacobs

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Podcast interviews with genius-level (top .1%) practitioners, scientists, researchers, clinicians and professionals in Cancer, 3D Bio Printing, CRISPR-CAS9, Ketogenic Diets, the Microbiome, Extracellular Vesicles, and more.

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2103 Episodes
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Jessica Young, PhD is a biostatistician in the Department of Population Medicine at Harvard Medical School who joins the show to discuss the ins and outs of her interesting and important work. Tune in to learn the following: How confounding factors in a study can influence the findings of the study, and how/why the gold standard of randomized trials can address this What is meant by the “fundamental challenge of causal inference” and how this explains why assumptions are always necessary in order to claim that a statistical analysis is unbiased Why large subject numbers or data points can’t overwhelm biases; why bias is a function of the thing being studied Dr. Young’s job is two-fold: she works on both the applications of statistical methods for public health and clinical medicine, and also on the development of methods in these areas. She focuses on causal inference, which is the formal process of understanding how to estimate causal effect from data collected in real-world studies. Through examples including a longitudinal study on nurses starting in the 1970s to present day studies revolving around the coronavirus pandemic, Dr. Young discusses confounding factors in studies and the effect they have on interpretations of findings, the importance of randomization, the presence of bias regardless of how statistically significant a finding is, meta-analyses, where she sees the field of biostatistics heading in the near future, and more.   To learn about the basics of causal inference, Dr. Young recommends reading The Book of Why: The New Science of Cause and Effect. Visit https://www.populationmedicine.org/JYoung to learn more about her work and publications.
Michael Betts and his lab have focused on recoverable viruses like influenza and those that never leave human bodies like HIV. He explains different mechanisms of responses as well as what’s been unusual about our immune system and COVID-19. He describes How initial human immune system responses are similar across viruses, How our bodies are able to clear some viruses and not others and examples of each, and What unusual and specific immune cell activities they’ve observed thus far with COVID-19. Michael Betts is a professor of microbiology at the Penn Institute for Immunology. His lab studies human-specific responses to viruses. He begins by explaining the immune system in general from a microbiologist perspective. He comments that our initial response to most viruses of lethargy and fever is pretty similar. This is an active phase to eliminate the virus if possible. He adds that with viruses like HIV, your body is not able to eliminate the virus. He explains in what ways the virus replication is always a step ahead and how its high replication rate is an advantage for the virus. He provides other examples, like the ability of CMV to encode an MHC complex decoy to evade detection by the CD8+ T cells. He also describes what the field of immunology has observed with COVID-19 and describes his lab work specifically. He says that the initial response is not different from other infections, but the continuing outcomes and manifestations of those outcomes run the gamut. They’ve focused on reactions of T-cells and the innate immune system, which is mediated by several types of cells like monocytes. They are noticing that severe COVID-19 has an impact on the innate lymphocyte population. They are seeing very dramatic changes in cell surface protein expression and in the population of cells called neutrophils, namely an extreme elevation of these in the blood. The cell surface protein effect is most pronounced in people with severe disease, not mild or moderate, which means it may help gauge reactions and treatments.  To learn more, see his lab’s website, bettslab.org, or look him up and contact him. His Twitter account is @BettsLab.
Dr. John H. Rex, MD, has worked in the antimicrobial resistance (AMR) field his entire career. In this podcast, he explains key elements in antimicrobial drug development. He describes The developmental challenges for antibacterial, antifungal, and antiviral drugs; How we need to reframe antibacterial drugs as akin to fire extinguishers and why; and What a fungus and a human have in common and what that means when trying to develop fungal infection treatments. Dr. Rex has several roles, including Chief Medical Officer of F2G, Ltd, which is an antifungal biotech company; Operating Partner for Advent Life Sciences; and Adjunct Professor of Medicine at McGovern Medical School. He began his career as an academic medic focusing on new drugs for fungal infections. He then became head of Anti-Infection Development at AstraZeneca for several years before leaving to take on freelance roles and his work at F2G, Ltd.  He explains the difficulty of drug development for fighting bacteria by describing the three challenges of antibiotic development: antibiotics are hard to discover, hard to develop, and nobody pays for them. He offers an analogy to explain these challenges: antibiotics are the fire extinguishers of medicine. We need to be willing to pay for their very existence though we may not use them. He describes the push and pull maneuvers in the drug development industry and what must happen for both efforts. He also tells listeners about the nature of bacteria, fungi, and viruses, and how their different functions mean different efficacies and ease of drug developments to treat resulting infections. A fungus and bacterium, for example, though challenging, don’t equal what developers face when trying to fight a virus. Therefore, while the development of drugs for a fungal infection are difficult as are the outlooks for new antibiotics, viral infections present the greatest challenge. Yet, he says, the path forward is not bleak, just tough. For more, sign up for his newsletter and see his blog at his website: https://amr.solutions/
Rick DeLano Bio: Rick DeLano has worked as an executive producer, and financial consultant in the music and film industries for more than 20 years. A writer and filmmaker, DeLano is best known for producing the controversial movie, THE PRINCIPLE, an endeavor that has rocked the scientific establishment by using its own discoveries to prove that the Earth is centrally located in the universe and sits in a favored position. His newest production is the film, THE END OF QUANTUM REALITY, a work based on the discoveries of former MIT mathematics professor, Dr. Wolfgang Smith. The movie details how it is that Dr. Smith has solved the legendary “quantum enigma” - the paradox whereby Schrodinger's cat is both alive and dead or one particle can be at two places at once, something that Albert Einstein futilely spent the last 30 years of his life trying to understand. THE END OF QUANTUM REALITY, releases to theaters on January 10, 2020. Writer and producer of the film The End of Quantum Reality, Rick DeLano, discusses a number of fascinating topics, including the following: The fundamental difference between Newtonian mechanics and quantum mechanics, and why it’s so important What the many-worlds interpretation is and what quantum mechanics has to say about it   How an Aristotelian theory may have answered a critical question in quantum mechanics   When Rick DeLano set out to write the independent film The Principle, which deals with matters in cosmology, he didn’t know that it would ultimately be the key to not only a great friendship with Wolfgang Smith, but also all of the intriguing and compelling information required for what would become his second film, The End of Quantum Reality, in which the genius Wolfgang Smith—who entered Cornell University at age 14 and was teaching mathematics at MIT by age 25—examines quantum theory.    DeLano discusses what he says is perhaps the most widespread belief among humanity today, which is that the world is composed of fundamental particles—what many people call atoms. However, it might not be that simple. How so? DeLano tackles this question by exploring the inconsistencies between Newtonian mechanics and quantum mechanics, the clouds of probability associated with atoms which disallow us from identifying where or how fast or what direction a particle is moving at any particular time...that is, until the very moment that particle is measured, Wolfgang's criticism of Heisenberg’s equation, and the profound and fundamental difference between the pre-measured and post-measured system of a particle. He also explains the many-worlds interpretation (MWI), the Boltzmann constant, what Wolfgang means when he refers to the “physical universe” and in what ways it is a very different place than the world we live in, Heisenberg’s take on Aristotle’s notion of potentia and how it might help solve the problem of wave-particle duality, what he sees in the near future of particle physics, and so much more. To watch The End Of Quantum Reality, visit www.theendofquantumreality.com.
Dr. Corry's Bio: David B. Corry is Professor of Pathology & Immunology and Medicine; Vice Chair for Immunology, Department of Pathology & Immunology at Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas.  Dr. Corry further holds the Fulbright Endowed Chair in Pathology.  He received his M.D. degree from the University of Texas Southwestern Medical School and after residency training in Internal Medicine at Duke University Medical Center, he completed his clinical training in Pulmonary and Critical Care Medicine at the University of California at San Francisco.  In 1992, he joined the immunology laboratory of Dr. Richard Locksley to study mechanisms of T cell differentiation and immune injury.  He then joined the faculty at San Francisco General Hospital as Adjunct Assistant Professor and in 1999 joined the faculty at Baylor College of Medicine.  The primary objectives of Dr. Corry’s research are to discover the fundamental immune and environmental causes of chronic human inflammatory diseases to improve the diagnosis, prognosis, and therapy of these often profoundly disabling conditions.  Dr. Corry’s laboratory discovered the seminal importance of the of the IL-4/IL-13 signaling pathway in asthma; the fundamental role that environmental and endogenous proteinases play in the pathogenesis of TH2-dependent allergic inflammation; the fibrinogen-Toll like receptor 4 interaction in the control of antifungal immunity and allergic inflammation; and the fungal infectious basis of allergic airway disease of humans, including chronic rhinosinusitis and asthma.  In collaboration with Dr. Farrah Kheradmand, the Corry laboratory discovered the critical role that matrix metalloproteinases play in orchestrating allergic inflammation; first demonstrated the autoimmune TH1/TH17 basis of human emphysema; the critical roles that peroxisome proliferator activated receptor gamma (PPAR-g) and osteopontin play in emphysema; and that the primary disease-causing factor in tobacco smoke-related emphysema is nanoparticulate carbon black.  Dr. Corry’s laboratory further pioneered the study of microRNAs (miRs) in pulmonary disease and discovered the pro-inflammatory role of let-7 miRs in experimental asthma and the critical role that miR-22 and histone deacetylase 4 (HDAC4) play in organizing pathologic TH17 responses in experimental emphysema.  Most recently, Dr. Corry’s laboratory has discovered that low-grade fungal sepsis due to the yeast Candida albicans produces a durable cerebritis with features resembling Alzheimer’s Disease.  Current research in the Corry laboratory is directed at translating these discoveries into improved diagnostic and therapeutic strategies for human allergic, smoking-related, and degenerative central nervous system diseases. Dr. David Corry is a physician and professor at Baylor College of Medicine who joins the show to discuss allergies, fungal infections, immunology, and so much more. In this episode, you will discover: What the most common reason is for death in people who suffer from asthma How a fungal infection could actually be the underlying cause of your allergic reaction to allergens in the environment Where in the body mycobiomes can be found, and what type of conditions they have been linked to Ever since the early days of his training as a physician, Dr. David Corry gravitated toward a strong clinical interest in diseases of the lungs, and discovered one of the major problems facing pulmonologists today: textbook and even the most advanced treatments don’t always work on some of the most common illnesses, including chronic sinusitis and asthma. Further, the more severe the disease, the less likely it is that treatment will work. This sparked Dr. Corry’s interest and compelled him to examine what is really going on with these conditions and how diagnoses and treatments for them might be improved. Dr. Corry’s clinic focuses on treating advanced, potentially life-threatening inflammatory airway diseases, as well as chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) or emphysema that are complicated by sensitization to pollens or molds, which in turn leads to a particular pattern of inflammation called eosinophilic bronchitis. By using techniques that have been developed over the course of ten years’ worth of research using mouse models, Dr. Corry and his team have been targeting the core problem that underlies these different conditions.  What might that problem be? This question leads him to explain one of the most important discoveries uncovered through his research, which is that in addition to continual exposure to an allergen such as pollen or cedar or mold, there is a factor that drives these allergies: airway mycosis, or the growth of mold in the airway. Dr. Corry explains what is really meant by the broad term “allergies” and the many different forms it can take in different people, how airway mycosis not only worsens but can also cause the symptoms of allergies, and how he treats his patients having been equipped with this knowledge. He also discusses the difficulty in prescribing antifungal medication, the presence of mycobiomes in the human body, and some of the most common sources of mold growth that you might not think of (and what to do about them).  He shares the specifics of the research he and his team are currently conducting, which aims to determine why only a small percentage of people develop serious disorders related to airway mycosis. He explains his two-fold hypothesis and when they expect to have sufficient data on the matter.  Tune in for all the details and visit https://www.bcm.edu/people-search/david-corry-19841 to learn more.
Integrative medical doctor Dana Cohen talks about the importance of hydration as well as some surprising nuances as discussed in her book Quench, which she coauthored with Gina Bria. She describes for listeners Why the ubiquitous eight-glasses-a-day is not an effective guideline and why; The ties between energy levels, brain sharpness, and hydration; and Some basic daily steps toward better hydration. Dr. Dana Cohan is a nationally-renowned integrative medical doctor with a multidisciplinary approach to her practice. She trained under Dr. Atkins and has been practicing for more than twenty years. She begins the podcast by recounting how few of her patients come in to her office feeling as if they hydrate enough.  She feels that proper hydration is the single most important thing one can do to treat and prevent chronic illness. This along with Dr. Gerald Pollock's findings of a "fourth phase of water," were the impetus behind writing the book.  She describes some of the ways just focusing on drinking lots of water leaves an individual behind in hydration, and believes many of us function in a place of low-grade dehydration. She says that one of first signs to look for is fatigue because hydration is a source of energy in the body. Hydration provides electrical energy and helps us store our energy better. But if we only focus on water, we can dilute our electrolytes and minerals. She explains ways to avoid this, including a daily regime that includes front-loading our water intake first thing as well as filling ourselves with water from foods like vegetables and fruit. She gets into more detail about what this looks like and other handy ways to hydrate, including certain movements. For more, her book Quench is available from multiple retailers.
Dr. Shepherd has worked in key areas like Botswana to address infectious diseases. He shares with listeners How HIV and TB are still tremendous problems in many parts of the world, Why the covid-19 shutdown has frozen many global treatment centers for infectious diseases like HIV and tuberculosis, and How tuberculosis stands as the top infectious disease killer in the world. Dr. James Shepherd is an infectious disease physician at Yale, New Haven hospital. For the past 20 years, he has advised and worked in TB and HIV global treatment programs. For example, he worked in Nigeria to roll out HIV treatment programs through the US-funded President's Emergency Plan for AIDS Relief. He also ran the CDC's TB and HIV research program in Botswana to address HIV symptoms and curtail TB spread, which has one of the most severe TB and HIV co-epidemics in the world, and worked with the CDC WHO contingent in India, advising on their national TB program. He describes his work with governments and health issues in smaller countries, which have a lot more challenges. He comments that one has to get creative, adapt, and work around issues and prioritize because there isn't the luxury of picking and choosing. He adds that there's a lot of pragmatism: these parts of the world are limited by funds so they have to make very hard choices for their people.  He also tells listeners about the covid-19 shutdown's effects on some of these programs, how the lack of PPE, resources, and the "cold chain" supply of vaccines and medicines are no longer reaching places like Botswana. He adds how they handled the covid-19 precautions very well from the start and have very limited cases, but are suffering from this lack of other needs met. Therefore, Dr. Shepherd expresses his concern for the near future of TB and HIV symptoms relief, prevention, and treatments as well as the lack of vaccines like measles. For more information on infectious diseases from a global perspective, he suggests seeing web pages from philanthropic organizations like the global health section of the Gates Foundation and the UK's Wellcome Foundation.
Dr. Mya Breitbart, Professor of Biological Oceanography at the University of South Florida, College of Marine Science, discusses marine microbes—microbes in the ocean, wastewater treatment, viruses, and her lab’s current and past work. Breitbart earned her PhD in Cellular and Molecular Biology at San Diego State University and a BS in Biological Sciences from Florida Institute of Technology. Podcast Points: An overview of bacteria and viruses How oceanographers take water samples for their research Methods for analyzing DNA viruses Dr. Breitbart discusses her lab’s focus and objectives. As she explains, they use sequencing techniques to explore the diversity of viruses and bacteria. Specifically, Dr. Breitbart’s lab’s molecular techniques can be utilized to study the distribution, and ecological roles, of viruses and bacteria in a diverse range of varied environments. Her studies cover seawater, plants, animals, insects, coral reefs, zooplankton, stromatolites, reclaimed water, and more. While there is certainly a lot of interest in the larger species, etc. that inhabit our oceans, Dr. Breitbart and her team are keenly interested in the smaller things. As she explains, in every milliliter of sea water there are about one million bacteria and ten million viruses, so there’s a lot to examine and study. She discusses bacteria and viruses’ important roles in the carbon and nutrient cycles in the oceans, and explains that there is so much more to learn still, on top of what they already know.  Dr. Breitbart discusses how bacteria adapt to different habitats. And she provides an overview of sampling procedures that oceanographers utilize, discussing the processes in detail. She explains how they can get specific with depths, capturing water samples at precisely the depth they want to study. She explains why viruses are harder to look at, one reason being is that they have such different types of genomes. And she expands upon how they can look at viruses in regard to pollution in the marine environment.  Continuing, Dr. Breitbart discusses how their studies can provide insight into diseases that affect sea animals as well. And in regard to sequencing, she talks about single-stranded DNA viruses versus double-stranded, and the methods they’ve used to discover similarities and differences.
John M. Newsam, author, and CEO of Tioga Research, discusses skin in general, care for skin, and his work at Tioga Research. Podcast Points: An overview of transdermal drug delivery Active versus inactive ingredients Do enzymes break down proteins? — a focus on skin and products for the skin Newsam has provided his expertise in scientific and strategic consulting to multiple US Fortune500 companies, as well as early-phase biotech and materials companies around the globe, including the US, UK, and Korea. He has worked with notable government institutions such as IFP Energies Nouvelles, and he has been a respected member of many academic advisory committees.  Newsam provides an overview of Tioga Research, their objectives in research, and overall mission. As he states, they are heavily involved in research and early development of formulations applied to the skin, including pharmaceutical (primary) as well as the beauty/skin care area as well. Newsam explains how ‘active’ ingredients are diffused into the skin in order to achieve the desired therapeutic benefit, and he talks about transdermal delivery of drugs, and why this method can be particularly useful.  The research CEO provides an overview of active and inactive ingredients, and FDA-approved products. As he states, cocktails of molecules tend to work best for delivering the benefits to users. Newsam explains how they have worked to assemble a long list of safe compounds and mixtures, and databases of useful excipients (inactive substances). Continuing, Newsam delivers an overview of what manufacturers can claim regarding their products and the benefits they may provide. As he states, in theory, any claim of benefit should be supported by a scientific study, but the cosmetic industry is so large, with so many products on the market, it can be difficult to police every product that exists.  Additionally, Newsam talks about other drugs, permeability, and how enzymes can degrade proteins. Newsam is a materials chemist by training, and he has authored in excess of 170 scientific publications. Visit these links to find out more about John M. Newsam: https://www.linkedin.com/in/jnewsam/ https://www.researchgate.net/profile/John_Newsam https://scholar.google.com/citations?user=1fk9pdIAAAAJ&hl=en https://profiles.ucsd.edu/john.newsam https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/John_M._Newsam  
Dr. Bility works with humanized mouse models to investigate infectious viruses like HIV. He explains his microbiology work by sharing with listeners The inspirational background for recapitulating human disease study with a new paradigm, How these humanized mouse models with human organ systems and immune systems are developed, and Their recent ability to control HIV in these mouse models that may enable vaccine development. Moses T. Bility, Ph.D., is Assistant Professor of Infectious Diseases and Microbiology at the School of Public Health and the University of Pittsburgh. In this conversation he explains how Stephen Hawking's theory of model-dependent realism inspired his approach to studying infectious viruses. In an effort to rethink the paradigm that can explain and predict human disease in a more effective way, he works with rodent models that are humanized. He explains the technique for introducing human organ systems in mice, including the liver, hypothalamus, kidney capsule, skin, and the whole immune system. This realigns how a microbiology lab can analyze infectious viruses, from HIV to Covid-19. Dr. Bility describes his current investigation, namely in HIV interaction with macrophages and iron. Macrophages are multifunctional cells that play a role in maintaining tissue integrity and initiating an immune response. He describes how they developed a humanized mouse model with a human spleen and studied the model to see what allows the HIV virus to persist and how they could affect the virus. They had an exciting outcome, namely that they were able to control HIV in their mouse model. They now will do some machine learning and other studies to see how they can design a vaccine around their findings in terms of controlling the virus.  For more, see his faculty page at https://publichealth.pitt.edu/home/directory/moses-bility.
Professor Bushman has been studying microbes since the early 80s and was involved in researching HIV pathogenesis, developing in vitro HIV integration that led to integration inhibitors for treatment. He shares interesting details about viruses with readers, such as Different types of retroviruses and which type are part of the human genome, The pathogenesis of some viruses and the variety of phages, and His recent study involving the development of a baby’s microbiome and virome. Frederic Bushman, Ph.D., is the William Maul Measey Professor and Chair of Microbiology at the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania.  He shares with listeners how his own interest in the field developed and then begins by addressing ways we understand viruses as scientists consider efforts like gene therapy. For example, he explains that HIV integrates into the host cell, which is why it is so difficult to get rid of it. However, it does not act on the scale of endogenous retroviruses, which infect germ cells and expand into every bodily cell as we grow. He says that the human genome is composed of 8% viral genes from these viruses.  The conversation then turns to the microbiome, virome, and bacteria phages and he reminds listeners of the vast number of viruses in the world. In fact, he talks of a “dark matter” existence level of viruses that researchers are just beginning to try and investigate. While the public may mainly hear about viruses in terms of pathogenesis and gene therapy, their involvement in our world and evolution is complex and far beyond these issues.  He also talks about his findings about to be published in Nature. He and his team studied the development of a baby’s microbiome and found that at birth, a baby is without bacterial colonists. He explains how the microbiome develops alongside integrative prophages. For prospective students wanting to enter the field, he suggests trying to formulate a question that’s interesting, important, and answerable. To find out more, he suggests searching his name and the term “virome.” In addition, his faculty page has links to some of his publications: https://www.med.upenn.edu/apps/faculty/index.php/g20001500/p2236488
Pooja Khandelwal, MD, Assistant Professor, UC Department of Pediatrics and Member, Division of Bone Marrow Transplantation and Immune Deficiency, discusses bone marrow, gut health, and their work at Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center.   Podcast Points: What conditions require a bone marrow transplant? What is bone marrow? How does the intestinal microbiome develop? As a principal investigator at Cincinnati Children’s Hospital, Dr. Khandelwal has a keen interest in acute graft versus host disease biology, the treatment of steroid refractory acute graft versus host disease, and management of refractory autoimmune cytopenias in the post-transplant setting. Her work is often focused on pediatric bone marrow transplantation and blood diseases. Dr. Khandelwal discusses acute graft versus host disease that can occur after a transplant. She provides some data on the number of bone marrow transplants, stating that approximately 10,000 patients annually go through the procedure in the United States alone. She explains how it can be a curative modality for diseases that are either hard to treat or that have returned after remission. Dr. Khandelwal provides some detailed information on bone marrow, explaining how it is a fascinating organ. As she states, bone marrow is a living organ in our bones that produces all the cells that make up our blood—white blood cells, red blood cells, and platelets. From carrying oxygen to the core of our immune system, to other crucial functions, our bone marrow is responsible for originating many important elements that are critical to our body’s health.  Dr. Khandelwal discusses matching immune systems, and the factors. She discusses proteins and the matches between recipients and donors. Further, Dr. Khandelwal explains the actual process of how bone marrow transplants work from a technical perspective. She discusses how sophisticated the bone marrow is, and how it knows where it needs to go after transplanting it. The research doctor explains how chemotherapy is often used to eradicate a recipient’s current bone marrow to make room for the new, healthy bone marrow.  Continuing, Dr. Khandelwal explains the changes within intestinal microbiome over time, in transplantation. She discusses where disruption happens, and how they can restore the beneficial bacteria to patients’ bodies. Additionally, she provides information on how the intestinal microbiome is formed, and how human milk allows for the initial growth of an intestinal microbiome that can allow healthy systems to flourish.  Wrapping up, Dr. Khandelwal discusses the future of transplants, and some of her perspectives on personalized medicine. 
Trey Grainger, Chief Algorithms Officer at Lucidworks, author, and speaker, discusses search engines, artificial intelligence, and AI-powered searches. Podcast Points: What can AI-powered searches do for me or my company? An overview of the technology behind AI-powered search engines. How employees can benefit from better search engines. Grainger is an experienced engineering and data science executive with specific expertise in search and information retrieval, as well as recommendation systems, and data analytics spaces. Grainger discusses his background and his work at Lucidworks, the successful San Francisco, California-based enterprise search technology company. As Grainger explains, Lucidworks provides its expertise in the area of AI-powered search technology to hundreds of Fortune 1000 clients. Accessing data and finding relevant results is the name of the game, and Lucidworks is exceptional in this critical area of business development. He discusses chatbots and analytics use cases, and how companies can benefit. Lucidworks assists their broad base of clients by helping them build intelligent search applications that will allow them to fully expose their products to customers and/or provide internal knowledge to all their existing employees. Grainger goes on to explain how search engines are utilized by nearly every website, but many simply don’t get the job done. Lucidworks powers search engine technology that digs deeper and provides relevant results that are useful.  Grainger talks about the importance of ‘bringing back’ results that best match the intent of the user/searcher. Intelligent search technology must be specific, focusing on the content dimension, and user-understanding dimension, etc. For example, sophisticated search engines should be able to pick up on signals, learning what people want to ‘see’ in their content, based upon their clicks and behaviors, so the engine can ‘tune’ itself to find better answers for future user/searchers. He delves into the subject of domain understanding, and discusses how it drills down to what the content is really about. For the engine to understand the nuanced meaning of searches and search words is important. The context of the user is important, for example, if a user searches for the word ‘driver’ while at the airport, the search engine should be able to discern that they’re probably looking for an Uber or taxi driver, and probably not a device driver for their computer’s OS. Context is crucial in order to provide the appropriate results. Continuing, Grainger discusses the specifics of queries, and different experiences that searches can provide. He talks about the direct correlation between improving relevance in searches to increased bottom lines. He talks about commerce use cases versus enterprise use cases, their similarities, and the benefits. Wrapping up, Grainger talks about natural language processing and the future of searches. Click here to get Trey Grainger's book "AI-Powered Search" There is a permanent 40% discount code (good for all products in all formats): podftech19 Here are also 5 free eBook codes (each good for one sample of AI-Powered Search): aipftp-4E89 aipftp-2D0A aipftp-77C3 aipftp-3428 aipftp-BE23  
Chief Clinical Officer of SyncThink, Scott Anderson, discusses a novel technology capable of identifying eye movements that indicate the presence of certain neurological conditions. In this episode, you’ll discover: How common neurological conditions are diagnosed (it might not be how you think) What types of eye movements are associated with neurological impairments What the future of eye tracking looks like Most neurological conditions lack objective diagnostic tools, which means diagnoses are made only by the exclusion of others, and heavily reliant upon the patient’s reported experiences or answers on standardized questionnaires. This includes developmental conditions often labeled as learning disabilities in children, and degenerative conditions in late life, such as dementia. Until now, there has been no method for functionally measuring the brain to determine what is actually going on with patients who present with certain signs or symptoms. For the past 15 years, Stanford neurosurgeon Dr. Ghajar has been capturing, studying, identifying, and classifying eye movements and correlating them with various neurological conditions in partnership with the US Department of Defense.  With the help of today’s guest, Scott Anderson, the data gathered from this extensive research has been commercialized, and is now available as an unprecedented tool for objectively measuring evidence of neurological impairments and conditions.    The technology utilizes FDA-approved, high-fidelity, research-grade eye tracking infrared cameras and emitters built into virtual reality goggles, and conducts a series of 60-second assessments to capture eye movements. Anderson explains the specifics of the treatments and exercises used in this field, how to improve the standard and quality care for concussions, the future of eye tracking, and more. Tune in and visit https://syncthink.com/.
Researcher Gopike Nair and her colleagues have produced in vitro cells that make insulin and have successfully implanted them in mice, curing them of type 1 diabetes. She shares her research with listeners, explaining The difference between type 1 and 2 diabetes and how her research is applicable to both, Some of the challenges in creating these cells and ones they face when entering a patient, and The next milestone to overcome and an estimate of the timing before this therapy will be clinically available. Dr. Gopkia Nair is a stem cell biologist working as a post-doctoral fellow at the University of California, San Francisco. She has been working on stem cell research and diabetes in order to reintroduce insulin-producing cells into patients who've lost these cells and suffer from diabetes type 1. She begins by explaining the physiology in different types of diabetic conditions and how these generated cells act like beta cells in the pancreas that produce insulin. While her focus is on type 1, she says the therapy will be applicable to both types.  In order to explain how this therapy works, she explores the cause in more detail, reviewing the immune system's overdrive that attacks insulin-producing cells after some sort of trigger. Researchers have found that the disease starts at the beta cell level, exposing a certain protein on the surface that the immune system recognizes and attacks. Scientists are still not sure what the trigger is, but this helps them know they must address this in the cells they've created from the stem cells. She addresses different ways they are protecting the cells from the immune system and how they will introduce the cells into the body of the patient, most likely through a patch in a vascularized area. Finally, she expects this therapy to be available to patients in 5 to 10 years at the latest. For more, see her LinkedIn page and personal research web page. cwV3jwflKxO27ijDlaMV
Seqster Founder and CEO Ardy Arianpour explains how the company integrates multiple data sources regarding health care into one system. He discusses How they integrate human genetic information, medical records, and wearable devises, How this becomes a longitudinal record sharable across institutions, and  Why this improves our health care treatment and experience. Ardy Arianpour is a genomics executive and serial entrepreneur in the biotechnology industry and has launched several clinical and consumer-based genetic tests in past companies. He co-founded Seqster in January of 2016. He describes the company as a SaaS healthcare platform used by enterprises in health care fields. It enables organizations to drive efficient healthcare via a comprehensive collection of medical records and electronic health record (EHR) data. It also includes a patient's genomic profile and human genetic information along with any wearable device data and puts this all in one place, allowing individuals to share that data and create a longitudinal health record. He addresses issues of privacy as well, emphasizing the patient-centric mode of this information and the empowering nature of the data alongside protective technology. He provides examples of the usefulness of this platform such as a caregiver's handling of a relative's cancer treatments, having to deal with six different health systems. Rather than lugging binders and CDs of information, all data can be shared across institutions with Seqster. Finally, he shares some recent additions to the system such as a covid-19 compass symptom checker module that is built into the platform for research subjects who may have been exposed. He adds that they are assessing the growth in telehealth, and says that a weakness in telehealth is sharing data, a weakness that Seqster can address.  For best ways to learn more, see seqster.com, follow them on twitter through @Seqster, and find them on LinkedIn.  
Amar Vutha is the Canada Research Chair in Precision Atomic & Molecular Physics at the University of Toronto, and he joins the show to discuss the nature of his fascinating work. In this episode, you’ll discover: What the difference is between dark matter and dark energy, why Vutha believes it’s important to figure out what each is comprised of, and how scientists are researching these topics What makes a molecule stable or unstable, and what happens when you remove some or all of the electrons from an atom How atomic clocks work, and how they are related to highly-charged ions How antimatter is made in the lab Everything we see around is—including every galaxy identified telescopically—comprises only 5% of the universe. The consensus among scientists is that this 5% of the universe is understood fairly well, but Vutha second guesses that position. Rather than the questions that can be answered in physics, Vutha is interested in the questions that cannot be answered…or at least haven’t been answered yet. By studying and conducting precision measurements of the properties of atoms and molecules, Vutha aims to understand more about how the universe and the laws of physics work. He discusses what he believes to be three of the most important unsolved problems in physics, emergent properties and energetically-favored states of molecules, how highly-charged ions are able to resist perturbation by external stimuli (and why this is useful in making atomic clocks), the absence of identifiable natural antimatter in the universe (and why scientists reason that we should be able to identify it), and so much more. Visit https://www.physics.utoronto.ca/~vutha/  to learn more about Vutha’s research.
Associate professor at UNC Department of Epidemiology, Dr. James Thomas, joins the show to discuss his line of work in health care ethics, and how it has changed in response to the recent COVID-19 outbreak. Tune in to learn the following: How medical ethics and public health ethics differ, and why the distinction is so important to understand What the Siracusa principles are and how they apply to the COVID-19 pandemic How politics are muddying the waters of communication about COVID-19, and why this is problematic How the government-led War on Drugs campaign caused the US to lead the world in incarceration rates, and how this disproportionately affected African American communities For much of his career, Dr. James Thomas has studied the social determinants of infectious diseases, focusing particularly on the effects of mass incarceration on the communities left behind. Over the last decade, he has done a lot of work involving health information systems in developing countries. Just as he was moving toward a study of digital data and how they are used in public health, COVID-19 hit. Dr. Thomas discusses the social determinants of this virus, which includes a look at how incarcerated individuals are being affected by the virus, the level of constraint being placed on the general public in this country and across the globe, the unprecedented implementation of digital surveillance in China and the US, why COVID-19 presents unique challenges to health care ethics and decision-making, what he sees as the primary ethical mishap of this pandemic, what he thinks will happen as states begin to reopen across the country, and so much more. To learn more about the current pandemic, Dr. Thomas suggests visiting the CDC website.
U.S. Geological Survey’s National Wildlife Health Center Director Jonathan Sleeman explains the process for observing and reporting issues with wildlife. This podcast explores The mission and main activities of the center, The potential for spillover of viral diseases including covid-19 from humans to North American bats, and Current findings and projects of the center, such as bird flu, chronic wasting disease in deer and elk, and white nose syndrome in bats. The U.S. Geological Survey's National Wildlife Health Center has been in action since 1975 and has a mission to advance wildlife health science for the benefit of animals and the environment. Jonathan Sleeman has been the director since 2009 and explains to listeners some of the vital work of his team. This includes general surveillance of wildlife diseases including investigations into viral diseases and other pathogens when die offs of wildlife are observed.  He discusses the effect of the current coronavirus pandemic on their work. He says that one concern is that it could do a reverse spillover to our bats. Therefore the center is doing risk assessments to see the probability of this by analyzing human and bat wildlife interaction among other things. Bats, felines, mink, and deer are some animals that potentially could be affected. After the risk assessment is complete, they'll design a system to monitor these animals He covers some of the other wildlife pathogens the center monitors and tells the history behind discovering white nose syndrome in bats in North America and the continued monitoring of bird flu and chronic wasting disease. For more information, see their web page at https://www.usgs.gov/centers/nwhc and the email contact is asknwhc@usgs.gov. Mr. Sleeman urges listeners to enjoy wildlife from a distance; however, if you see sick or dead animals that seem out of the norm, contact your state wildlife management group.
Recanati Family Associate Professor of Microbiology at the Skirball Institute of Biomolecular Medicine, Ken Cadwell, discusses the virome and how it relates to infectious and inflammatory diseases. In this episode, you will learn the following: What exactly is a virome, where it is found, and what it is comprised of What a bacteriophage is, and the ways in which it can interact with bacteria to ultimately cause the production of certain toxins What the inherent drawbacks are of “shotgun” sequencing for metagenomics, and how to overcome them Understanding the role of the virome in health is an emerging field of research. In fact, many people aren’t even familiar with the term ‘virome,’ which refers to the collection of viruses that inhabit living things, which of course includes humans. Dr. Caldwell’s lab is focused on understanding the functional consequences of viral infections primarily through the use of mouse models and cultured human cells. Through a collaborative network, Dr. Cadwell’s team is also trying to make correlations with humans directly in order to examine how viral exposure changes in individuals with certain diseases, such as irritable bowel disease (IBD). Dr. Cadwell explains the approach they take in determining what viruses are present in a particle sample, whether it be in a mouse model or the human gut. The approach involves sequencing everything that’s there…which means sequencing a lot of bacteria and bacteriophages, which are viruses that infect and replicate within bacteria. Dr. Cadwell says that about 90 to 95 percent of the viruses they sequence are identified as bacteriophage.  So, what comprises the remaining five to 10 percent of viruses? Although it’s a small percentage relatively, Dr. Cadwell explains that identifying these other viruses is of high interest because these are the viruses that infect animal cells directly, rather than bacterial cells. The team at Cadwell’s lab is interested in seeing what viruses are present in healthy people, and why. Dr. Cadwell also shares some exciting new research findings that show the human immune system is capable of reacting to certain bacteriophages that are supposedly only inside bacteria, suggesting that researchers need to be paying a lot more attention to bacteriophages that don’t seem to directly infect animal cells. Dr. Cadwell discusses a number of fascinating topics, including the norovirus (in mice and humans), symbiotic relationships between viruses and hosts and how they are similar to symbioses between humans and the human gut microbiome, why it’s difficult to define what constitutes a healthy microbiome, and so much more. Tune in and check out www.cadwelllab.nyu.edu to learn more. 
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Comments (6)

Austin Peek

Insightful episode. Learned a lot, thanks!

Jan 30th
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Richard Jacobs

Thank you for all you do, Dinesh!

Jan 17th
Reply

Chris Hartigan

can you provide a link to the article he mentions in the interview please

Nov 5th
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Jorge Luna

Theme music volume is too high. Host and guest volume too low. Difficult to listen while driving.

Jul 22nd
Reply (1)

Gonzalo Garcia Luna

This is teally interesting

Mar 7th
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