Organ Failure and Replacement

Why do organs fail and what therapies are available for organ replacement?

This new series from UCSF focuses on the causes of organ failure, how to prevent loss of organ function and how we can replace organs when they do fail.

Hear from a variety of experts, including kidney and liver specialists, that are part of the UCSF Abdominal Transplant team, as well as transplant surgeons who perform liver, kidney and pancreas transplants.

This comprehensive review will give you a better understanding as to why our organs fail, and the incredible outcomes achieved with organ transplantation when organs need to be replaced. Several speakers also address the important role of living donors.

Browse more programs in Organ Failure and Replacement: Why Organs Fail and What Therapies are Available for Organ Replacement.

Transcending Turmoil

Béla Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra is the great composer’s most frequently performed and recorded work, one that often elicits complex responses in listeners. Some commentators see the Concerto as Bartók’s reflection on the turmoil that enveloped the world and his own life, while others see it as nothing less than the summation of a singular career. Whatever the interpretation, there is no doubt that the circumstances of its composition make the Concerto all the more remarkable.

Bartók and his wife reluctantly fled their native Hungary in 1940 to escape the ravages of World War II, settling in New York City. Fiercely nationalistic, Bartók was never entirely comfortable in America and found it difficult to compose. For their part Americans showed little interest in his music, and the Bartóks lived in near-poverty. To make matters worse, by 1942 Bartok was exhibiting symptoms of a debilitating illness. By the time leukemia was diagnosed in 1944 his failing health had necessitated hospitalization.

Just when a despondent Bartók was convinced his musical career had ended, conductor Serge Koussevitzky commissioned an orchestral work. A newly-energized Bartók completed the commission in eight weeks, and the Concerto for Orchestra premiered in Boston on December 1, 1944. The premiere was a success and the Concerto went on to become Bartók’s most popular piece, though he did not live to see its full impact. Béla Bartók died aged 64 in September 1945.

In terms of sonata form, the Concerto for Orchestra is an unusual work, starting with its title. A “concerto” normally denotes a large-scale composition for a solo instrument or instruments accompanied by an orchestra. An example is Schumann’s Concerto for Violin and Orchestra in D Minor. In Bartók’s piece there is no single soloist or ensemble of soloists. As he explained:

    The title of this symphony-like orchestral work is explained by its tendency to treat the single orchestral instruments in a concertant or soloistic manner. The ‘virtuoso’ treatment appears, for instance, in the fugato section of the development of the first movement (brass instruments), or in the perpetuum-mobile-like passage of the principal theme of the last movement (strings), and especially in the second movement, in which pairs of instruments consecutively appear with brilliant passages.

The five-movement Concerto has a symmetrical “arch” structure in which the outer movements frame the two even-numbered movements. The third, slow movement is the center of the arch and marks a turning point in the musical progression, which starts with the somber and introspective and evolves into the high-spirited, or what Bartók termed a “life-assertion.” There is also a surprising amount of sharp humor, as the composer transcended his trials and travails to create spirited music of great warmth and optimism that continues to resonate with audiences.

Watch Bartók’s Concerto for Orchestra – La Jolla Symphony & Chorus.

Privacy, Practicality, and Potential: The Use of Technology for Healthy Aging

That wearable fitness device on your wrist is measuring so much more than your exercise levels. Digital tools offer unprecedented opportunities in health research and healthcare but it can come at the cost of privacy. Six days of step counts are enough to identify you among a million other people – and the type of inferences that can be made from other everyday behaviors is growing rapidly.

Camille Nebeker, EdD, MS is Associate Professor of Behavioral Medicine in the Department of Family Medicine & Public Health at the UC San Diego School of Medicine. She discusses the ethical considerations of informed consent and potential harms and benefits of these technologies. She also shares ideas on how we can work together to create systems that define and encourage safe digital health research and practice.

Watch — The Digital Revolution: Ethical Implications for Research on Healthy Aging

Our Impact on the Earth

“Mother Nature is not happy right now and she’s trying to tell us, in many ways,” says Kimberly Prather, Professor of Climate, Atmospheric Science, and Physical Oceanography at UC San Diego.

New weather patterns and events are causing concern but how do we know these changes are caused by human activity? Climate scientists are looking at trends over time to determine our impact on the planet.

Prather discusses recent CAICE studies aimed at advancing our understanding of how the oceans influence human and planetary health including novel experiments being conducted in a unique ocean-atmosphere simulator.

Watch — How Do We Know Humans are Impacting the Health of Our Planet? – Exploring Ethics

UCSD Pascal

Starting in 1974, Kenneth Bowles – who at the time directed UC San Diego’s Computing Center – began to adapt the computer language Pascal for use on so-called “microcomputers,” precursors of today’s PCs. His primary interest at the time was a programming language that would allow students to work individually on projects without waiting their turn to do batch processing on the mainframe. But Bowles also foresaw the value of portable software that would allow programmers to write something once and run it anywhere. His solution was pseudo-code – p-code for short – an intermediate language to run on each machine and serve as a uniform translator.

Since most of his fellow computer-science faculty members were involved in more theoretical research, Bowles turned instead to students to fulfill his dream. He recruited one graduate student, Mark Overgaard, and a handful of undergraduates. At one point or another, more than 70 students were involved in the UCSD Pascal project, doing everything from writing code to shipping floppy disks to research centers around the world (for a token $15 royalty fee). In the early 1980s, the University of California sold rights to the technology to SofTech Systems, which tried but failed to convince IBM to adopt UCSD Pascal as the core operating system of its first personal computers. (Bill Gates’ MS-DOS won the IBM contract.)

Bowles gained world renown for initiating and leading this project that culminated in UCSD Pascal influencing many aspects of computing that are now ubiquitous, including modern PCs and Macs as well as Sun Microsystem’s Java language, which incorporates p-code.

Mark Overgaard and other alumni who worked on the ground-breaking language for what would later be called the personal computer gathered in recently to mark the 30th anniversary of the computer language and reminisce about the influence and legacy that Kenneth Bowles had on computing, teaching, and their lives and careers.

Watch — UCSD Pascal: Celebrating the Life and Work of Kenneth Bowles