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Exercise: I will set aside a minimum of seven hours a week for exercise. This includes hiking, swimming, running, weightlifting, yoga, stretching, biking, etc.

You must set a minimum time aside for exercise every week and stick to it. Using seven hours a week allows you to exercise an hour a day. This exercise needs to be as vigorous as possible, given your health considerations at the time. For some people, this might mean some simple walking and stretching, for others this may be a long run or intense weightlifting session. …


Sleep: Sleep is the cornerstone of my health. I will set aside seven hours a day for sleep, every day, even if I don’t sleep the entire time.

The first holistic habit on my list is sleep and getting enough of it. Through much experimentation, I have found that seven hours a night is my optimal amount of sleep. I need to be in bed that many hours to feel rested the next day. Obviously, I am not asleep that whole time, but this is the amount of rest that I have found to lead to the most productive days.


Stickman’s encampment on The Embarcadero

The creation of “Safe Sleeping” areas in San Francisco is not a progressive solution to the city’s homeless crisis. It does nothing to deal with the root causes of homelessness, and without the proper tools in place to deal with those root causes, the homeless “districts” will turn into internment camps. It is more comforting for the average citizen in San Francisco allow the homeless population to be hidden behind gated barriers then actually confront and deal with the crisis in a justifiable, humane manner. History is judged through a moral lens. Those of us living in San Francisco in…


Abstract

The idea of electrical stimulation to treat medical disorders has been around since 1889. The first major device that was implemented successfully on a large scale was the pacemaker. It the past twenty years, there has been increased interest in the use of electrical stimulation of specific nerves as a method of treating various conditions. As the understanding of the way electrical pathways in the body effect the body’s function increase, researchers are able to explore new methods of treating common problems using electroceutical devices that are much less invasive than their predecessors such as deep brain stimulation and…


By Tyler Shewbert

Abstract

Magnetoencephalography (MEG) has been shown to be an effective method to study the effects of deep brain stimulation in patients with chronic pain, Parkinson’s disease (PD), and Essential tremor (ET). The advantages that MEG provides over other neural imaging methods, functional magnetic resonance imaging (fMRI) and positron emission tomography (PET), are that MEG has less intense magnetic fields than fMRI, so the DBS equipment is not harmed, and the ability for temporal resolution in the millisecond range which neither PET or MRI scans can provide [1, 2]. The main disadvantage of MEG is that is does…


By Tyler Shewbert

Abstract

The study of neural activity can be performed with implanted electrodes. One of the major drawbacks that researchers face when using typical flat, metal electrodes is that the impedance caused by the growth of scar tissue around the implant renders the collection of data impossible within weeks [1–4]. A proposed solution is to develop electrodes that have been organically enhanced using polymers and peptides that would allow the electrode and neurons to have a more intimate connection that would last longer. The polymer polypyrrole (Ppy) and various peptides were added to metallic conductors of gold and…


Alan L. Hodgkin and Andrew F. Huxley wrote a series of five papers in 1952 in which they developed an electrical model for the action potential within the membrane of the squid axon. This model was the first quantitative model describing the electrical workings in nerve cells [1]. The experimental technique that they used was the voltage clamp method, which was improved by Hodgkin by eliminating the differences in membrane potential, allowing for the measurement of the ion current flowing in and out of the cell [1, 2]. The success of the H-H model led to the development of the…


In Defense of Radioisotope Powered Pacemakers

A Medtronic Pu-238 powered pacemaker

Starting in 1970 radioisotope powered pacemakers were implanted in over 3000 patients worldwide. These devices had longer lifetime power supplies than battery powered pacemakers therefore eliminating the need for battery replacement surgeries [1, 2]. A thirty-one year study performed by the Newark Beth Israel Medical Center of 139 patients showed that nuclear-powered pacemakers required less surgeries than a control group of lithium battery-powered devices [2]. This same study showed that cancer rates for patients with nuclear-powered pacemakers were similar to a control group with battery-powered devices [2]. The feared increased cancer rates did not…


Lessons from Galvani’s and Volta’s Competitive Spirit

Luigi Galvani’s experiments testing frog legs to see whether electricity was responsible for muscle contractions was easily reproduced by scientists for decades after his initial experiments. This reliable reproducibility allowed other scientists including Allesandro Volta to derive their own hypotheses behind what was causing the muscle contractions. While the theoretical framework to explain the contractions had not been developed, the results of the experiments sparked the development of electrophysiology and contributed to the development of the battery by Volta. In recent decades within the biomedical field there is a solid theoretical framework for…


ITER: the world’s largest Tokamak (courtesy ITER)

I have been a proponent of nuclear power, both fission and fusion, since I was very young. I became fascinated with nuclear energy’s potential around age nine when I began to read about physics. Science fiction was the medium that peaked my interest in these subjects. My parents came of age in the 1950s and 60s, and therefore had a mixed view of nuclear energy. They had their concerns as many people did, and still do, about its potential. However, they always allowed me to explore topics independently and develop my own opinions. Within a few years, after reading many…

Tyler Shewbert

I am electrical engineer specializing in healthcare and infrastructure design, located in San Francisco.

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