15 Good Minutes: Jorge Vidal

Jorge Vidal was born and raised in Villahermosa, the capital of the Mexican state of Tabasco, where his father worked as a petroleum engineer. He found his calling, however, in his mother’s nearby hometown. “I spent a lot of time there with my grandmother,” Vidal recalls. “It was a small place in north Tabasco, near the beach, which was fun.” He also enjoyed hanging around a microbiology lab in the town where his aunt owned a clinical laboratory. “She would culture a blood sample in a petri dish one day and the next day, if the individual had an infection, Read More …

12 Days of “Invents”

The holiday season is upon us yet again! We’re ringing in the most wonderful time of the year by celebrating inventions of all types – even some of Emory’s. We polled members of our office for their favorite inventions of all time – and then had a week full of voting to narrow it down! It was a true team effort to decide on the final 12 inventions. Happy Holidays from all of us at the Office of Technology Transfer. We hope you enjoy our 12 Days of Invents! He knows if you’ve been bad or good… so be good Read More …

Split Spine: Spina Bifida Explained

What is the most common, permanently debilitating birth effect? Affecting approximately 166,000 individuals across the United States, spina bifida, which in Latin, literally translates to “split spine,” is a neural tube defect that causes damage to the spine. The condition can happen anywhere along the spine where neural tubes do not close all the way so that the backbone does not develop and protect the spinal cord. Spina bifida causes disabilities that can be intellectual and physical and range from mild to severe. Referred to as a “snowflake condition” because no two cases of the defect are the same, severity Read More …

An Overview of Parkinson’s Disease

Parkinson’s disease (PD), one of the most common neurological conditions, afflicts around 1.5 million people in the United States alone. More globally, it is estimated that that number grows to around 5 million people. Parkinson’s disease is a slowly progressing neurodegenerative disorder. It impacts the nervous system and can seriously influence one’s ability to walk and talk. Additionally, those with PD often exhibit behavioral and mental changes, sleeping problems, memory difficulties, and fatigue. The disease is usually seen in those aged 60 and older, and cases of PD are more commonly observed in men than women. The symptoms of PD Read More …

Spotting Skin Cancer

Skin cancer is the unmanageable growth of abnormal cells in the epidermis, the skins’ surface layer. Mutations in DNA lead skin cells to quickly multiply and form malignant groups of tissue, creating tumors within the skin. While skin cancer is a relatively common illness, it has the potential to be deadly, especially when left undetected. Overall, more people are diagnosed with skin cancer in the United States than all other cancers combined, yet nearly two people die of the disease every hour. The only way to detect skin cancer is through examination of the skin, so it is essential to Read More …

The Importance of Healthy Sleep

Most of us perceive sleep as the one period of our day where our bodies, as well as our minds, are completely still and unmoving. When we sleep, we assume our bodies are completely at rest. This is partially true, as healthy sleep is an essential aspect of our rest and restoration processes. However, our brains remain active throughout our sleeping state. This active state is equally essential for brain function, to allow it to carry out the restorative and important processes that promote our overall health and wellbeing. Sleep impacts our mental and physical functions, our metabolism, and even Read More …

The Cancer of Connection: Sarcoma

Haven’t heard of sarcoma? You’re not alone. Although there are more than seventy different types of sarcoma, it is a rare form of cancer. Sarcoma is the general term used to describe cancers that form in connective tissues, which are the cells that connect and support other kinds of tissue in your body. Sarcoma most commonly appears in muscles, fat, nerves, or the lining of your joints, though it can also appear in other parts of the body. Generally, sarcoma is separated into two main types: soft tissue sarcoma and primary bone sarcoma, with soft tissue being more common. Primary Read More …

Beware of Blindness! A Few Things to Know about Glaucoma

One of the leading causes of irreversible blindness, Glaucoma is a group of eye diseases that damage a nerve in the back of your eye called the optic nerve. Glaucoma can occur in both eyes or just one eye. Most people with glaucoma do not even know they have it because symptoms are slow to appear. However, if treated properly, most people with glaucoma are able to keep their vision. Glaucoma is caused by increased pressure inside the eye. Normally, the fluid inside your eye, aqueous humor, drains out of the eye through a spongy tissue called the trabecular meshwork. Read More …

Your Thyroid Called, it Wants its Hormones Checked

The thyroid gland is one of the most essential glands in our bodies. In fact, the thyroid was named after a Greek shield at the time of its discovery. This butterfly shaped gland is responsible for regulating the metabolic rate, which controls heart, muscle, and digestive function, as well as brain development and bone maintenance. The thyroid gland relies on a sufficient supply of iodine to function correctly. See Image 1. The thyroid gland releases three hormones: T3 (Triiodothyronine), T4 (Tetraiodothyronine), and Calcitonin. These hormones are essential for growth, neuronal development, reproduction, regulation of energy, and metabolism. In fact, our Read More …

Students: My Experience as a Writer for OTT

I joined Emory’s Office of Technology Transfer in the Fall of 2020. I was a junior in college, and it was my first semester of online classes during the pandemic. Before working with OTT, I did not know anything about the field of technology transfer. I wasn’t entirely sure how it would relate to my personal pursuits, but I was still interested in engaging with Emory OTT regardless. I found the field of technology transfer to be interesting, interdisciplinary, and far reaching. Through my four semesters with OTT, I learned a lot about the field, and I was able to Read More …