• By Caitlin Doran

Science Saturday: 10 scientific conversation starters for New Year’s Eve

December 28, 2019

Never know what to say at New Year’s Eve parties? The Advancing the Science blog is here to help with this top-10 recap of our most popular medical research stories from 2019.

Everyone loves talking about their health. So keep this list queued up on your phone for quick reference and you’ll never run out of interesting scientific anecdotes. 

#1 Buh-bye, breast cancer

Keith Knutson, Ph.D.

Can breast cancer be prevented with a vaccine? Mayo Clinic immunology researcher Keith Knutson, Ph.D, thinks so. And he thinks it will happen during his lifetime. He also thinks it will be possible to prevent breast cancer from recurring by stimulating the immune system.

Read more.


#2 Zooming in on colon polyps

colonoscopy scope camera view

Gastroenterologists agree that removing a colorectal polyp is an important step in preventing colon cancer. But removing them can be tricky if they’re large and flat. A new minimally invasive approach, called endoscopic mucosal resection, makes it possible to remove large polyps without surgery.

Read more.


#3 The sky’s the limit

Jared Ausnehmer

In the first-ever clinical trial of its kind, Jared Ausnehmer had stem cells from his own bone marrow injected into his heart to treat hypoplastic left heart syndrome. The therapy surpassed all expectations. Two months later, he was cleared to return to normal life and his favorite sport, basketball. 

Read more.


#4 Hospice research aims to understand process of dying, help loved ones with end-of-life care

Man sits with his elderly father's head on his shoulder

Death, ultimately, is inevitable. But for patients at Mayo Clinic Health System in Mankato’s Hospice Program, the process of dying is becoming more bearable for themselves and their families as a result of research studies aimed at understanding more.

"Even though it's the end of life, it's incredibly important for patients to have closure and resolution, and feel good about their life's story and what they're leaving with other people," says Greg Kutcher, M.D. "We need to better understand how to do that."

Read about the rest of the research stories on Advancing the Science.

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