Tuesday 5/8 at the MGH museum: Influenza — Then (1918) and Now (2018)”

russell-med-brand-canvas-340x255_1The Paul S. Russell, MD Museum of Medical History and Innovation at Mass General Hospital invites you to attend its next evening lecture. “Influenza — Then (1918) and Now (2018)” will be presented by Martin S. Hirsch, MD, of the Ragon Institute of MGH, MIT and Harvard on Tuesday, May 8, 2018 from 6 to 8 pm in the museum’s Putnam Gallery. 

Free but registrations suggested. required.



Make your own #pharmaceuticals Thursday at the #CambSciFest

Probably not, but you never know. Maybe someone will get lucky.

Also know that today’s (Thursday) cancer mini-golf tournament is rescheduled

2012 File photo

to Friday.

Be a Medicine Hunter

April 19 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Novartis22 Windsor St. Cambridge USA 

Novartis scientists are hunting for new medicines that will change the practice of medicine and improve patients’ lives.

Meet our scientists on a self-guided journey where you will explore authentic laboratory tools and innovative scientific methods on your quest to discover new medicines. Collect stamps in your passport for each location visited along your discovery path and receive a completion badge at the end of your journey.

Making Medicines with Amgen

April 19 @ 1:00 pm – 4:00 pm
Amgen360 Binney Street
Cambridge, MA 02141 United States 
+ Google Map

Have you ever wondered how medicines are actually made? Come visit Amgen and make a batch yourself! Walk through a mock version of Amgen’s biologics manufacturing process, as you thaw and culture “cells”, purify and test them, and lastly, walk away with your final product—a “medicine” that can change the life of a patient in need. To ensure you have the best experience making medicines with Amgen, please pre-register for a time between 1:00 – 3:30 PM 

Neurodegenerative Diseases & Nanocapsules at Biogen Community Lab

April 19 @ 4:00 pm – 6:30 pm
Biogen Community Lab225 Binney St. Cambridge USA + Google Map

Biogen’s Community Lab will be hosting teens (and their parent or guardian) to adventure with us on two awesome rotating events. Event 1: Understanding Multiple Sclerosis, a devistating neurodegenerative diseases and how it affects patients all over the world, and how Biogen combats this diseases. Event 2: Ever wonder how nanocapsules are made, and how medicine delivery happens in your body. Well come join us here in the Community Lab and maybe we’ll answer some of those lingering questions about medicines and the drug…

Covering health care — from DNA to ACA — is a challenge. Three reporters share insights and tips at Harvard Law #healthintheheadlines


Center for Health Law and Policy Innovation website. 




Boston events, week of 3/19/18: Will climate change kill us? Find out this week.

Ms. Marsa won’t be here this week, but there will be a lot of talk on climate change.


Noon.  “Methane: A Uniquely Difficult Greenhouse Gas Mitigation Problem.”   Robert Kleinberg.   HKS:  Bell Hall, Belfer Building.   Details.


1p.  “Climate Change, Air Quality, and Human Health.”   Patrick Kinney.   Harvard Global Health Institute, 42 Church St., Cambridge.   Details, RSVP.


6p.  “Protecting Human Health in a World Above Two Degrees: Smart Pathways toward Climate-Smart Health Systems in the Philippines.”   Renzo Guinto.   HSPH:  Kresge 439, 677 Huntington Ave.   Details.*

Not speaking, but on topic.

7p.  “Preventing a Mad Max Future: How Green Electricity Could Fix Our Water Pollution Problem.”   Ljiljana Rajic.   WGBH’s Boston Public Library Studio, 700 Boylston St.   Details, Abstract, Registration.


1p.  “Data Science and Our Environment.”   Francesca Dominici.   Harvard:  TBA.   Details, Abstract.

*Persons interested in events in the Harvard medical area that are not explicitly public  might want to check with person cited in the details page.

2/26 : Big chickens, big data and more. #Health and #medicined #events in #Boston this week

Pick of the week. 

Tuesday  at 7: “Big Chicken.”   Maryn McKenna.   Harvard Book Store, 1256 Massachusetts Ave.  Details. Mckenna is a clear, lively writer who owns this topic.

Still time to get there

Monday 2/26 11am“The Road to the Future is Paved with Data.”   John Quackenbush.   Tufts:  Ballou Hall, Coolidge Room.   Details.

Genomics has transformed biological science not by producing genome sequences and gene catalogs for a range of species, but rather through the development of technologies that allow us to survey, on a global scale, organisms and their gene, protein, and metabolic patterns of expression

Tuesday 2/27

6pm.  “Convergence in Biomedicine.”   Phillip Sharp.   MIT:  E51-335.   Details, Abstract.

Convergence arises when multi-disciplinary teams are supported, collaborations rewarded, and environments made available for training.

Wednesday 2/28

7p.  “Biosafety in a World without Walls.”   Todd Kuiken.   BosLab:  339R Summer St, Somerville.   Details, Abstract.

Join us for a presentation and discussion with special guest Dr. Todd Kuiken on a look back at the DIYbio community and envisioning the future of this group.

Friday  3/2

9-5p.  “Translational Neuroscience: Bridging the Gap.”   A conference.   The Broad Institute, 415 Main Street, Cambridge.   Details, Abstract, Registration.

Building on the strengths of the local Boston community in academic research, pharma, biotech, and clinical medicine, the aim of this LabLinks is to bring together researchers from across the translational neuroscience community to discuss the current state of the field.

Thanks to bostonsciencelectures.com. Some events have limited access or fees.

Coming up next week

March 5-6.  “VR and Healthcare.”   A symposium.   HMS:  Martin Conference Center.  Details. Abstract, Registration. $999 registration fee with one day and student discounts.  

*Thanks to bostonsciencelectures.com. Some events have limited access or fees.

Events this week: #Healthcare, #diversity and #selfdrivingcars

In Somerville tonight 

The Scientists of The Fenway Institute
On Diversity and Doctors: The Science of Inclusive Healthcare

Monday, January 29th, 6:30-8:00pm at The Burren (247 Elm St, Somerville MA 02144) (directions)

People are diverse; healthcare should reflect that diversity. Founded in 1971 on the belief that “healthcare is a right, not a privilege”, Fenway Health is a federally-qualified community health center that specializes in providing the best quality care for Lesbian, Gay, Bisexual, and Transgender (LGBT) individuals and people living with HIV/AIDS. The Fenway Institute (TFI) is the research, education, policy, and advocacy division of Fenway Health, and is a world leader in innovative HIV and LGBT population health research. Members of various TFI research teams will be presenting an overview of the active research being conducted at TFI, including HIV vaccine trials, HIV prevention studies focused on Pre-Exposure Prophylaxis (PrEP), and research with transgender and gender diverse populations.

Thursday: 6:30p.  “Does Mindfulness Alter the Brain? The Impact Meditation has on Our Brains.”  Sara Lazar.   Aeronaut, 14 Tyler St, Somerville.   Details.

More from SITN here.

Also Thursday:

Self-Driving Cars: Presented jointly with NBC News Digital

Thanks to Boston Science and Engineering Lectures website. 


Two babies, two rattles, one heart. The complicated decision to separate conjoined twins when only one will survive

by Nora Valdez. Used by Permission.

Oscar J. Benavidez, MD, the MGH pediatric cardiologist  involved in a difficult separation of conjoined twin girls, remembers a painful moment on the day of surgery. When the joined babies were rolled into the OR, each was holding a rattle.

He and the others knew: only one of them would leave the operating room alive. And even that wasn’t certain.

Benavidez and two others recalled the case at a Tuesday gathering of members of the Association of Health Care Journalists. It was a case the described rather clinically in an article behind the paywall in  The New England Journal of Medicine  and more conversationally in STAT. The Globe’s sister health site hosted the event in their new downtown offices.

The twins had separate brains, lung and hearts, but only one heart was functioning.


Ethicist Brian M. Cummings, MD,  was also at the event  along with pediatric surgeon Allan M. Goldstein. In Cummings’ contribution to the NEJM article, he noted  “In this case, to do nothing would most likely result in the death of both girls but to intervene could save only one child. Can observation of both of their deaths be defended? Can an interventional killing be rationalized?”

The decision was left to the parents, a couple from rural Africa.  Their voices, in English, come in at the  end of the NEJM article. Life for them had been “very unpleasant. Conjoined twins are not seen frequently, and because of the stigma associated with this condition, it was very difficult to seek treatment or even just to go out in public.”

They agreed to the surgery and, as expected, one twin survived.

Writing in Stat — The Boston Globe’s sister health news site  — Cummings described how he felt after the surgery.

“…Twin B arrived in the intensive care unit. I felt a profound mixture of relief and sadness, suddenly feeling the burden of facilitating this emotional process. Even though it had become clear what we needed to do, it had been harder than I thought. I had only a few moments to say my own goodbye to Twin A and I could not hold back my tears. I wasn’t alone.”