Mehmet Oz and the Founding of HealthCorps

Mehmet Oz and the Founding of HealthCorps

Mehmet Oz: About five years ago, I got called to the Emergency Room to see a patient who had blocked his all major arteries of the heart. Not an unusual event, unfortunately in this country, we do a couple hundred thousand of this coronary artery bypass grafting operations a year. But when I went down to the room, I opened the curtain and I was looking at a 25-year-old Latina woman. And I was shocked and I realized that this whole time that I thought we’re improving healthcare in America by bringing up better ways doing bypass surgery on people, we’re missing the boat, because if a 25 year old is having a disease of a 60 year old, we’re [abdicating] our responsibility to make a difference in the health of the youth of America. And so, I created HealthCorps, which is an organization just like the PeaceCorps. In fact, thanks to the PeaceCorps, we have found many of the same tricks they used this for success. For example, we take young college graduates who’ve got all that vital energy and enthusiasm, and we put them, instead of Sub-Sahara Africa and [IB], we put them in high schools around the country to teach kids only a few years younger than them about their bodies. They make it edgy. They make it hip and it’s cool to learn about your body from someone only a couple years older than you. And by… with these kinds of mentorship programs, we can take volunteers, put them in schools and teach a lot of kids and we make them into activists, because at the end of the day, it’s not just about what you eat and how you exercise, it’s about [make to resilience], how to get tough enough to deal with the modern world and HealthCorps seeks to get these kids tough enough to go out and change, the foods that are available in their environments. They get them to go home and audit their refrigerator, they get them to make a difference, and that’s I hope my legacy, that we train a generation of folks who will [appreciate] how special the most valuable thing they’ve ever given their bodies really are.

How Mehmet Oz is solving the problem of healthcare education.

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If you want to know what makes a Canadian lynx a Canadian lynx a team of DNA sequencers has figured that out.

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  • A team at UMass Amherst recently sequenced the genome of the Canadian lynx.
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If you want to know what makes a Canadian lynx a Canadian lynx, I can now—as of this month—point you directly to the DNA of a Canadian lynx, and say, "That's what makes a lynx a lynx." The genome was sequenced by a team at UMass Amherst, and it's one of 15 animals whose genomes have been sequenced by the Vertebrate Genomes Project, whose stated goal is to sequence the genome of all 66,000 vertebrate species in the world.

Sequencing the genome of a particular species of an animal is important in terms of preserving genetic diversity. Future generations don't necessarily have to worry about our memory of the Canadian Lynx warping the way hearsay warped perception a long time ago.

elephant by Guillaume le Clerc

Artwork: Guillaume le Clerc / Wikimedia Commons

13th-century fantastical depiction of an elephant.

It is easy to see how one can look at 66,000 genomic sequences stored away as being the analogous equivalent of the Svalbard Global Seed Vault. It is a potential tool for future conservationists.

But what are the practicalities of sequencing the genome of a lynx beyond engaging with broad bioethical questions? As the animal's habitat shrinks and Earth warms, the Canadian lynx is demonstrating less genetic diversity. Cross-breeding with bobcats in some portions of the lynx's habitat also represents a challenge to the lynx's genetic makeup. The two themselves are also linked: warming climates could drive Canadian lynxes to cross-breed with bobcats.

John Organ, chief of the U.S. Geological Survey's Cooperative Fish and Wildlife units, said to MassLive that the results of the sequencing "can help us look at land conservation strategies to help maintain lynx on the landscape."

What does DNA have to do with land conservation strategies? Consider the fact that the food found in a landscape, the toxins found in a landscape, or the exposure to drugs can have an impact on genetic activity. That potential change can be transmitted down the generative line. If you know exactly how a lynx's DNA is impacted by something, then the environment they occupy can be fine-tuned to meet the needs of the lynx and any other creature that happens to inhabit that particular portion of the earth.

Given that the Trump administration is considering withdrawing protection for the Canadian lynx, a move that caught scientists by surprise, it is worth having as much information on hand as possible for those who have an interest in preserving the health of this creature—all the way down to the building blocks of a lynx's life.

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The exploding popularity of the keto diet puts a less used veggie into the spotlight.

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