Dr. William Fahl has a long history at the University of Wisconsin-Madison. He completed his B.S in zoology and chemistry in 1972 and went on to complete his Ph.D in physiology and oncology here in 1975. He is now a Professor of Oncology at the University of Wisconsin-Madison and runs a research lab in the McArdle Laboratory for Cancer Research. His lab's main interests involve finding a way to enable cells to protect their genomes against natural, environmental, or chemotherapy induced toxins. In this podcast, Dr. Fahl discusses the modern day approach to combating cancer as well as his lab's recent discoveries. One of these, which is a focus of this podcast, is the development of a protective drug molecule to prevent hair follicles from deteriorating during chemotherapy. This molecule is applied via a topical lotion which is absorbed into the scalp which then acts as a vasoconstrictor on hair cells and prevents them from receiving the toxic chemotherapy drugs which cause hair loss. This discovery is currently in clinical trials. If successful, this revolutionary discovery by Dr. Fahl and his lab has the potential to completely eliminate the adverse side effect of hair loss due to chemotherapy.
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Recent technological advancements such as high-throughput genome sequencing and functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) have allowed researchers to discover more about the human body and its inner biological secrets than ever before. Scientists are now able to uncover the sequences of entire genomes for almost any organism on the planet.
The United States has been one of the world’s leading countries in terms of scientific innovation throughout the past few decades. This would not be possible without the over $400 billion our government invested in research and development grants. It is no surprise that the University of Wisconsin-Madison is a major contender for this money as it is one of the nation’s top research universities with an over $2 billion endowment in the year of 2013.
Just as Madison makes its annual seasonal transition from fall to winter it also enters a season of a different type; the flu season. Every year starting in early October and lasting until the end of May, the contagious seasonal influenza virus spreads across the United States causing widespread illness and sometimes severe, life-threatening complications. While regular hand washing, not sharing food and avoiding touching your hands to your face have been shown to decrease the likelihood of getting infected with the virus, the single most effective way to prevent getting the virus is to get the seasonal flu shot at the start of the flu season each year.
Stem cells were first discovered at the University of Toronto in the 1960s and have since become one of the most promising fields in biological research. Stem cells are undifferentiated cells that have the ability to differentiate into a variety of specialized cells under the right conditions.
Modern advancements in medicine have allowed the human population to live longer than ever before. There are currently more elderly citizens on our planet than there have ever been. By definition, a person is referred to as elderly or older if they are at least 65 years old. In 2009, the elderly population in the U.S. consisted of 39.6 million people, or about 13 percent of our nation’s population. This number is expected to almost double by 2030 due to a larger younger population that is expected to live longer.
Have you ever had a concussion or any other head-related injury resulting in a permanent or temporary change in cognition? Concussions and other Traumatic Brain Injuries are one of the most serious public health problems in the United States. TBIs occur when a force to the head causes the brain to strike the inside of the skull resulting in swelling and sometimes even bleeding in the brain. These injuries are extremely common in falls, car accidents and many sports-related injuries.
Sen. Lena Taylor, D-Milwaukee, one of the 14 Democratic state senators who have fled Wisconsin to delay the proposed budget repair bill, spoke out against the bill and Gov. Scott Walker Wednesday, saying she hopes he will eventually be recalled.
At last year's annual Mifflin Street Block Party, many may recall the clever protest of numerous students dressed as zombies, roaming the streets with signs and outstretched arms. Their message was simple: The event had shifted from its original purpose in 1969 as a Vietnam protest and become a desensitized and meaningless drinkfest.