Shaping Our Dynamic Microbiomes for Lifelong Health

Our life-spans are ever-increasing, but our health-spans are not, leading to long periods of unpleasant and expensive suffering with chronic conditions. Many of these conditions have recently been linked to the microbiome. We are constantly shaping our microbiomes through the foods we eat, the environments we experience, even the people we live and work with.

Through the American Gut Project, the largest crowdsourced and crowdfunded citizen-science project yet conducted, we now know about the microbiomes of many types of people, from the healthiest to the sickest. Potentially real-time analysis of our microbiomes could guide our daily decisions in a way that optimizes our microbiomes for extending our health-span. Although the potential benefits of such research are clear, what are the risks (e.g., privacy concerns) that need to be identified and addressed?

Rob Knight is Professor of Pediatrics, Bioengineering and Computer Science & Engineering and is Director of the Center for Microbiome Innovation at UC San Diego. He authored “Follow Your Gut: The Enormous Impact of Tiny Microbes” and co-authored “Dirt is Good: The Advantage of Germs for Your Child’s Developing Immune System.” His work combines microbiology, DNA sequencing, ecology and computer science to understand the vast numbers of microbes that inhabit our bodies and our planet. He was recently honored with the 2017 Massry Prize for his microbiome research.

Watch Shaping Our Dynamic Microbiomes For Lifelong Health – Exploring Ethics

Foundations for Future Health Care Providers: Pharmacology

Have you always dreamed about being a doctor? Maybe you find the way the body works really fascinating or you feel compelled to help others.

Well, we’ve got a series for you! Take a look at the new series, Foundations for Future Health Care Providers.

Medical school can be tough, but you can get ahead of the curve with these programs designed to teach you the fundamental concepts of medicine.

UCSD-TV gives you a sneak peek of your first year at medical school with these videos from faculty at UCSF. Learn the basics of Anatomy, Physiology, and Pathology in the Foundations for Future Health Care Providers series.

Check out this program from the series all about pharmacology.

Antibiotics are a common type of prescription drug used to combat bacterial infections in the body. However, the effectiveness of these drugs is diminishing as more and more of these infectious bacteria are becoming resistant to antibiotics.

In “Pharmacology: Bugs and Drugs, Part 1,” Marieke Kruidering Hall, Associate Professor in the Department of Cellular & Molecular Pharmacology at UCSF, explains that this can be related to incidents when people are prescribed antibiotics, but don’t finish taking all of the prescribed drug.

People will feel better and think they don’t need to keep taking the antibiotic. Although the symptoms of the infection are gone, some bacteria remain and by not completing that antibiotic, people allow those remaining bacteria to survive the antibiotic. Those remaining bacteria multiply, therefore creating a strain of bacteria that is able to survive the treatment of antibiotics.

See what else Kruidering Hall has to say about the way antiviral, antimicrobial, and antifungal drugs work differently within the body, in “Pharmacology: Bugs and Drugs, Part 1.”

Explore other videos in the Foundations for Future Health Care Providers series!

An Update on Osteoporosis

Our skeleton is not a fixed structure. We are building bone and breaking down bone throughout our entire life. When and how does normal musculoskeletal aging become a medical issue?

Gina Woods, MD, a board-certified endocrinologist, explains the ways bone density changes over time and what internal and external factors can influence bone density. She shares how you can evaluate your fracture risk as well as new approaches to prevention and treatment.

Watch Osteoporosis 2018: Approaches to Prevention and Treatment – Research on Aging

Beyond Food and Exercise: the Other Factors in the Obesity Epidemic

Everything you come in contact with, every second of every day, makes an impact on your health. It’s known as the exposome. It’s a relatively new concept, first defined in 2005. The exposome includes the food you eat, the beauty products you use, the air you breathe, your friends and family, and everything in between. Studying it, could be the key to understanding the obesity epidemic.

That was the focus of the 12th Annual Sugar, Stress, Environment & Weight Symposium put on by The Consortium for Obesity Assessment, Study, and Treatment at UCSF. Popular opinion would have you believe that obesity is a simple equation of too much food and not enough exercise. But, researchers say the problem is far more complex. In this eye-opening lecture series, you will hear how polluted air has been linked to obesity in children living in California’s Central Valley. You will learn about obesogens – chemicals that disrupt the endocrine system. And, you will understand how stress can create a vicious cycle of weight gain.

The final talk focuses on how you can remove toxins from your personal exposome and the progress being made around the world. New labeling in the food and beauty industries allows you to make smarter decisions. LEED buildings are becoming more common in the United States. And, monitoring systems for exposome pollutants are getting better. There is plenty being done, and plenty you can do, to make an impact.

Browse more programs in UCSF Consortium for Obesity Assessment, Study and Treatment

Genetics and Alzheimer’s Disease

Every 65 seconds, someone in the United States develops Alzheimer’s disease. What can be done to stem the tide of this devastating disease? Researchers are looking to our genes. “One of the goals of genetics is to try and come up with as strong a set of predictors as is possible. This has influenced the way in which more recent genetic research has been done,” says Douglas R. Galasko, MD. On this episode of “On Our Mind,” Dr. Galasko shares the different types of genetic influences on people’s risk of developing Alzheimer’s disease. He explains how these genes are being studied and what being a carrier of Alzheimer’s associated genes means.

For more information on Alzheimer’s disease, visit our archive.
https://www.uctv.tv/brain/alzheimers/

Watch What Role Do Genetics Play in Alzheimer’s? – On Our Mind