‘Your Medical Mind’ explored

first_imgTake this scenario: A patient has discovered a lump on her thyroid but three biopsies have failed to determine if it is cancerous or not. Trying to sort out the confusing choices, she, as many patients do, asks her physician, “What would you do?”The answer may seem to add to the confusion, but it reflects a new paradigm proposed by Harvard doctors and best-selling authors Jerome Groopman and Pamela Hartzband, a couple who believes that understanding your medical mindset — and that of your doctor — will help guide your decisions.“If it were me, I would watch and wait. If it were my husband, he would have had surgery yesterday,” said Hartzband.That’s because Hartzband and Groopman, while both distinguished doctors, have different “medical minds,” or different approaches for wading through the myriad of conflicting advice from medical experts and drug and insurance companies.The pair expounded on that concept, the subject of their 2011 book, to a packed audience at the main branch of the Boston Public Library on Monday, for the third event in the John Harvard Book Celebration series. The series, which is part of Harvard’s 375th anniversary, is bringing Harvard faculty speakers and programs to all 34 branches of Boston and Cambridge public libraries from January through May.Groopman and Hartzband, who both teach at Harvard Medical School, discussed both their research and their personal approaches in the talk, titled “Your Medical Mind: How to Decide When Experts Disagree.” The rapt audience was led through a provocative “thought experiment” as the pair explained with simple yet compelling examples how patients can approach tough decisions.First, it’s OK to be confused, even the experts are, Hartzband noted. She showed conflicting recommendations about everything from mammograms, to PSA testing, to vitamin D doses. Groopman explained the various formulas that have been taken from game theory and applied in the past to medical decisions. But, he contends, such formulas are flawed; medical conditions are rarely static, and people adapt to limitations.After interviewing a large sample of patients, the pair developed the concept  of the “medical mind.” Believers, for example, tend to trust doctors. Doubters exercise skepticism. Maximalists opt for aggressive action in health; minimalists prefer to do the least possible.Take the case of “Susan,” a healthy woman in her 40s diagnosed with a high cholesterol level. She is told she needs medication; this decreases her risk of a heart attack by 30 percent. But she is a minimalist and a doubter and explored the question, “What is my risk of a certain outcome without any treatment?”  Turns out because she is active, a nonsmoker, eats a healthy diet, and has neither diabetes nor high blood pressure, she has a 1 in 100 chance of a heart attack in 10 years, or 1 percent. Thus, her risk was actually 30 percent of 1 percent, “which is clearly much different in its impact on her thinking than what she had originally heard,” Groopman said.Susan also had a friend who had a major side effect from the medication and found that the possibility of this effect ranges from 1 percent to 20 percent. But framing the information in the opposite way, 80 to 99 of people will not have the side effect, Hartzband said. “This sounds a lot better although the information is exactly the same.”So, “It’s important to ‘flip’ the frame,” that is, look at the statistics from the positive and the negative, she said.Patients should also understand the medical mind of their doctors and how it affects their advice. Said Groopman, “My medical mind was formed to be that of a believer and a maximalist with a technical orientation.” Said Hartzband, “I’m a minimalist and a doubter.” They have maintained these mindsets even through advanced medical training.Thus, the goal is “shared medical decision making” as patients determine their own mindset and that of their physician.  “This helps each person on different sides of table explain their thinking to each other,” Groopman said.The pair had stern words about the impact of massive amounts of direct-to-consumer drug advertising, noting that studies find that as a result viewers tend to believe a drug is 10 times more powerful than it really is. Take those happy, vibrant images played out at the ad’s end. “This is a deliberate attempt to distract you while the voiceover gives you the side effects,” Hartzband said. Groopman singled out insurance company ads that claim they crunch the numbers to give you the best outcome. “This is a false promise. It is impossible that any surgery or medication can be guaranteed to work 100 percent of the time with no risk of side effect or complications,” he said.It didn’t take long for a difficult question to emerge during the Q-and-A period. Larry C. Kerpelman, an author and editor based in Acton, spoke of how he was faced to make decisions “overnight” about his wife’s brain injury. (He has written a book about his experience.) Groopman and Hartzband immediately noted that Kerpelman raised two challenges: What to do when decisions have to be made quickly and when they involve another person.  If possible, decisions should be “in concert with the values” of the other person, but, Groopman added, “There is never a pure answer. It is always gray.What was clear was how much the public longs for medical information, asking the pair where, for example, they could find good information on the Web (sites from the government and medical centers like the Mayo Clinic are reliable sources, Hartzband said) and could the pair’s books be translated into Spanish. Said social worker Caroline Osterman, “The more people who are educated, the better it will be for all of us.”Christine Schonhart, the BPL director of branch libraries, voiced a similar sentiment, saying, “We’re dedicated to the advancement of learning here at the Boston Public Library. This partnership with Harvard University and the associated lectures bring learning to life for library users.”After the lecture, Leigh Curtin-Wilding, a Boston health and wellness consultant, called the event valuable, saying, “It was actually comforting to know that the experts themselves are confused.”The next John Harvard Book Celebration series event will be held at 6 p.m. March 12 at the East Boston Branch of the Boston Public Library, 276 Meridian St., East Boston.  John McDonough, professor of the practice of the public health and the director of the Center for Public Health Leadership at the Harvard School of Public Health, will speak on “The Future of National Health Reform.”last_img read more

Faculty Council meeting held March 27

first_imgOn March 27, the Faculty Council met with the president to ask and answer questions as representatives of the faculty, discussed draft principles on outside activities, and heard a proposal about reading and examination periods.The council next meets on April 10. The faculty next meets on April 2. The preliminary deadline for the May 7 meeting of the faculty is April 16 at noon.last_img

Women with heart risk

first_img <a href=”https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=d3dkH1_8_Bs” rel=”nofollow” target=”_blank”> <img src=”https://img.youtube.com/vi/d3dkH1_8_Bs/0.jpg” alt=”0″ title=”How To Choose The Correct Channel Type For Your Video Content ” /> </a> Heart disease is the leading cause of death in women in the United States, deadlier than all forms of cancer combined. To make matters worse, in women the symptoms of cardiovascular disease may present differently than in men, and both treatments and risk factors may differ as well. The good news is that up to 90 percent of heart disease may be preventable, and that research into the unique risks and treatments faced by women has begun.Addressing the challenges that women face from this silent killer was the topic of the inaugural Dr. Lawrence H. and Roberta Cohn Forum, “Women and Heart Disease: What You Don’t Know May Kill You.” Presented in collaboration with the Huffington Post, the panel discussion was held Thursday at the Leadership Studio of the Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health (HSPH). It was streamed to the Web and is available for viewing.The first step, the panel agreed, is to raise awareness of gender differences. The panel included Paula Johnson, cardiologist and executive director of the Connors Center for Women’s Health and Gender Biology, Brigham and Women’s Hospital (BWH); JoAnn Manson, chief of the division of preventive medicine, and co-director of the Connors Center, BWH; Frank Sacks, professor of cardiovascular disease prevention, department of nutrition, HSPH; and, speaking online from Nashville, Tenn., Stephanie Mohl, senior government relations adviser, American Heart Association.Tightness in the chest. Pain running down the arm. These are considered classic symptoms of heart disease, and they are — in men. In women, however, symptoms may include gastrointestinal upset, shortness of breath, or “overwhelming fatigue,” said Johnson. While these symptoms may be easily dismissed, especially by busy multitaskers, they shouldn’t be, because awareness is the first line of defense against a disease that kills a woman each minute. Contact your doctor, advised Johnson, for example, for heartburn, “if you take a Tums, and it doesn’t go away.”Many of the risk factors are different for women, as well. Although obesity, high blood pressure, and smoking all increase the chances for heart disease in women and men, women are disproportionately affected by diseases such as diabetes and certain disorders in pregnancy, such as pre-eclampsia, said Johnson. In addition, hereditary factors may play out differently in women, whose risk also goes up following menopause.Treating these risk factors is a major first step. “Heredity is not destiny when it comes to cardiovascular disease,” said Manson. Instead, behavioral changes, including diet and even moderate exercise, can greatly reduce the risk of heart disease or stroke. Although the effects of poor diet or exercise habits increase as we age, the opposite is true as well, as small changes have even greater benefits.“Women in their 60s or 70s, when heart disease rates go up, can really make a lot of progress in preventing heart disease and stroke by diet and by healthy lifestyle,” said Sacks. (These changes may also help prevent dementia.)The options for a “heart-healthy” diet, he said, are many. Nor, he stressed, is this diet the same as a low-fat diet. Fried fish, for example, can be quite healthy, if fried in a polyunsaturated canola or corn oil. He recommended the DASH diet, first developed by the U.S. National Institutes of Health, which is high in fruits, vegetables, fish, and poultry, and calls for restricted intake of processed and red meat. (DASH stands for Dietary Approaches to Stop Hypertension.) And although research, he said, is still ongoing about the role of sodium, in general health professionals believe we consume too much.Mohl noted progress in educating women and in reducing mortality in women. Citing the American Heart Association’s Go Red for Women campaign, she called for increased awareness, both in personal and public choices. “We’re trying to make the healthy choice the easy choice,” she said. “As we’re building new roads, let’s make sure we have bike paths or crosswalks, so people can walk safely” to encourage walking and biking. “Provide calorie counts, so people can eat better.”More research into how heart disease manifests in women, the panelists agreed, is also necessary. Only recently have clinical trials included women and minorities, said Johnson. Even then, the results for these subgroups often are not broken out, which means that gender or population differences cannot be addressed.This research must not only look into the causes and treatment of heart disease, but also into prevention. “We need much more research on how do you effect behavior change,” said Manson. “So much can be prevented, but very few women are doing this. Having funding for that type of behavioral change research — what works and what doesn’t — couldn’t be more valuable.”last_img read more

Harvard case study exposes Facebook’s slow response to privacy vulnerability in messaging app

first_imgA new case study released today in the inaugural edition of Technology Science published by Harvard University examines Facebook’s response to the discovery of a glaring privacy vulnerability in its popular messenger app.The case study comes from Harvard University senior Aran Khanna, who lost an internship with Facebook after discovering a vulnerability in the platform’s Android-based messenger app – a glaring gap which tracked, with unprecedented specificity, the geolocation of users as they sent messages. Khanna drew attention to the privacy gap with his Marauder’s Map, a tool that allows users to plot the actual locations of friends with whom they’re chatting. Over the long-term, this type of data would make it easy for anyone to predict an individual’s specific location on any given day and time.News of this tool, which mapped out the locational data of others within a meter, spread rapidly. About 85,000 people downloaded it, much to Facebook’s annoyance. The company demanded that the tool be taken out of distribution, which Aran did, and within days Facebook made geolocational data an opt-in feature.Sharing the geolocational tool prompted Facebook to remove its employment offer to Aran, saying the author fell short of the “high ethical standards” expected of interns. Aran’s experience raises the question of whether one can reasonably expect Facebook or others with an interest in collecting and sharing personal data to be responsible guardians of privacy. Read Full Storylast_img read more

David Simon and Pam Grier among 2016 W.E.B. Du Bois Medalists

first_imgPam Grier and Jessye Norman are among those who will be honored at the fourth annual Hutchins Center Honors. They, along with the 1966 Texas Western Miners Men’s Basketball Team, the first all-black starting lineup to win an NCAA national championship, and others will be honored with the W.E.B. Du Bois Medal. The Hutchins Center Honors, presented by the Hutchins Center for African & African American Research at Harvard University, will take place on Oct. 6 at 4 p.m. in Sanders Theatre, Memorial Hall, 45 Quincy St., Cambridge, Mass.The medal honors those who have made significant contributions to African and African American history and culture, and more broadly individuals who advocate for intercultural understanding and human rights in an increasingly global and interconnected world.Henry Louis Gates Jr., Alphonse Fletcher University Professor and director of the Hutchins Center, said, “The Hutchins Center is driven by the guiding spirit of W.E.B. Du Bois, Harvard’s first black Ph.D., who gave us so many gifts, but chief among them were his spirit of inquiry and his illumination of hidden histories and achievements, both of individuals and groups. This year’s medalists exemplify the Du Boisian sense of curiosity and revelation.”Glenn H. Hutchins, co-founder and managing director of the private equity firm Silver Lake and the chairman of the National Advisory Board of the Hutchins Center, said, “The study of the history of people of color—as well as their inclusion today—is central, not peripheral, to Harvard’s mission. No place engages in this pursuit more broadly, deeply, or rigorously than the Hutchins Center. This year’s Hutchins Center Honors recognizes and celebrates transcendent contributions to this endeavor across disciplines, arenas, purposes and decades.”The 2016 W.E.B. Du Bois Medal recipients are:Ursula M. Burns, chairman and chief executive officer of Xerox Corporation.David L. Evans, Senior Admissions Officer, Harvard University.Pam Grier, actor and activist.Lana “MC Lyte” Moorer, hiphop artist and activist.The 1966 Texas Western Miners Men’s Basketball Team, represented by players David Lattin and Willie Worsley.Jessye Norman, opera soprano and recitalist.David Simon, writer and producer.The Hutchins Center includes the W.E.B. Du Bois Research Institute; the Ethelbert Cooper Gallery of African & African American Art; the Hiphop Archive & Research Institute; the Afro-Latin American Research Institute; the Project on Race & Cumulative Adversity; the Project on Race & Gender in Science & Medicine; the History Design Studio; the Image of the Black Archive & Library; the Jazz Research Initiative; and two publications, Transition and the Du Bois Review.last_img read more

Diet restricting sulfur amino acid triggers blood vessel formation in mice

first_imgPutting mice on a diet containing low amounts of the essential amino acid methionine triggered the formation of new blood vessels in skeletal muscle, according to a new study from Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health. The finding adds insight to previous research showing that a methionine-restricted diet extends lifespan and healthspan, suggesting that improved vascular function may contribute to these benefits.“The benefits of methionine restriction in rodents are fascinating because they resemble those of calorie restriction, but without enforced restriction of food intake,” said senior author James Mitchell, associate professor of genetics and complex diseases.The study was published online March 22, 2018 in Cell.Previous work by Mitchell and colleagues has shown that a methionine-restricted diet increases production of the gas, hydrogen sulfide. This smelly molecule gives rotten eggs their characteristic odor, but is also made in our cells where it functions in myriad beneficial ways. One of these is to promote the growth of new blood vessels from endothelial cells—a process known as angiogenesis. So the researchers decided to test whether there was a direct connection between a methionine-restricted diet and angiogenesis.They fed mice a synthetic diet containing limited methionine and lacking the only other sulfur-containing amino acid, cysteine. These two amino acids are found in high amounts in protein-rich foods such as meats, dairy, nuts, and soy. After two months, the diet-restricted mice had increased the number of small blood vessels, or capillaries, in skeletal muscles compared to mice fed a control diet.These findings may provide important new targets for modulating angiogenesis in the future. Depending on the clinical context, this could include promoting angiogenesis, for example in the context of aging or vascular disease in which improved blood flow to ischemic tissues is required, or inhibiting angiogenesis where blocking new blood vessel formation could prevent tumor growth.In an accompanying paper from David Sinclair’s group at Harvard Medical School published in the same issue of Cell, the authors found that treatment with NMN — a small molecule activator of the longevity-associated protein SIRT1 — either alone or in combination with hydrogen sulfide (in the form of NaHS), increased vascular density in the skeletal muscle of elderly mice and boosted the aging animals’ exercise capacity.“We believe our findings help set the stage for therapies for a spectrum of diseases that arise from blood vessel demise,” said Sinclair, professor of genetics at Harvard Medical School and co-director of the Paul F. Glenn Center for the Biology of Aging there.Taken together, these studies point to new dietary and pharmacological approaches to improving vascular health in rodents by promoting blood vessel formation in skeletal muscle. Future studies will be required to test whether such approaches can be translated to humans.Other Harvard Chan authors include Alban Longchamp, Alessandro Arduini, Michael MacArthur, J. Humberto Trevino-Villarreal, Christopher Hine, Issam Ben-Sahra, Nelson Knudsen, Lear Brace, Justin Reynolds, Pedro Mejia, Chih-Hao Lee, and Brendan Manning. Longchamp, Arduini, and Teodelinda Mirabella from Boston University shared co-first authorship. Read Full Storylast_img read more

Tiny tweezers

first_img As quantum science and engineering come into their own, co-directors of new initiative say anything is possible Related Electrons, up really close Team makes most precise measure ever of their charge For most people, tweezers are a thing you’d find in a medicine cabinet or beauty salon, useful for getting rid of ingrown hairs or sculpting eyebrows.Those designed by John Doyle and Kang-Kuen Ni have more exotic applications.Using precisely focused lasers that act as “optical tweezers,” the pair have been able to capture and control individual, ultracold molecules — the eventual building-blocks of a quantum computer — and study the collisions between molecules in more detail than ever before. The work is described in a paper published in Science on Sept. 13.“We’re interested in doing two things,” said Doyle, the Henry B. Silsbee Professor of Physics and co-director of the Quantum Science and Engineering Initiative. “One is building up complex quantum systems, which are interesting because it turns out that if you can put together certain kinds of quantum systems they can solve problems that can’t be solved using a classical computer, including understanding advanced materials and perhaps designing new materials, or even looking at problems we haven’t thought of yet, because we haven’t had the tools.“The other is to actually hold these molecules so we can study the molecules themselves to get insight into their structure and the interactions between molecules,” he continued. “We can also use them to look for new particles beyond the Standard Model, perhaps explaining key cosmological questions.”Ni, the Morris Kahn Associate Professor of Chemistry and Chemical Biology, explained that the work began with a cloud of molecules — in this case calcium monofluoride molecules — trapped in a small chamber. Using lasers, the team cooled the molecules to just above absolute zero, then used optical tweezers to capture them.,“Because the molecules are very cold, they have very low kinetic energy,” Ni said. “An optical tweezer is a very tightly focused laser beam, but the molecules see it as a well, and as they move into the tweezer, they continue to be cooled and lose energy to fall to the bottom of the tweezer trap.”Using five beams, Ni, Doyle, and colleagues were able to hold five separate molecules in the tweezers, and demonstrate exacting control over them.“The challenge for molecules, and the reason we haven’t done it before, is because they have a number of degrees of freedom — they have electronic and spin states, they have vibration, they have rotation, with each molecule having its own features,” she said. “In principle, one could choose the perfect molecule for a particular use — you can say I want to use this property for one thing, and another property for something else. But the molecules, whatever they are, have to be controlled in the first place. The novelty of this work is in being able to have that individual control.”While capturing individual molecules in optical tweezers is a key part of potentially building what Doyle called a “quantum simulator,” the work also allowed researchers to closely observe a process that has remained largely mysterious: the collision between molecules.“Simple physics questions deserve answers,” Doyle said. “And a simple physics question here is, what happens when two molecules hit each other? Do they form a reaction? Do they bounce off each other? In this ultracold, quantum region … we don’t know much.“There are a number of very good theorists who are working hard to understand if quantum mechanics can predict what we’re going to see,” he continued. “But, of course, nothing motivates new theory like new experiments, and now we have some very nice experimental data.”In subsequent experiments, Ni said the team is using the optical tweezers to “steer” molecules together and study the resulting collisions.In separate experiments, researchers from her lab explore reactions of ultracold molecules. “We are studying these reactions at ultracold temperatures, which haven’t been achieved previously,” she said. “And we’re seeing new things.” Harvard’s quantum leapcenter_img Two atoms combined in dipolar molecule Achievement could lead to more-efficient quantum computing Ni was also the author of a 2018 study that theorized how captured molecules, if brought close enough together, might interact, potentially enabling researchers to use them to perform quantum calculations.“The idea of Kang-Kuen’s paper is that we can bring these single molecules together and couple them, which is equivalent to a quantum gate, and do some processing,” Doyle said. “So that coupling could be used to perform quantum processing.”The current study is also noteworthy for its collaborative nature, Doyle said.“We talk a lot about collaboration in the Harvard Quantum Initiative and the Center for Ultracold Atoms (CUA), and the bottom line is this collaboration was driven by scientific interest, and included Wolfgang Ketterle at MIT, one of our CUA colleagues” he said. “We all have strong scientific interest in molecules, and the fact that Kang-Kuen’s lab is in chemistry and my lab is here in physics has not been a significant barrier.“It has been absolutely fabulous working together to solve these problems. And one of the big reasons why is when you have two faculty members from two different departments, they’re not only bringing their personal scientific perspective, they’re bringing to some degree, all the knowledge from their groups together.”This research was supported with funding from the National Science Foundation. The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news.last_img read more

Deck the halls and set the table

first_img Looking forward to a break, and what’s ahead Nick DiGiovanni ’19“MasterChef” finalist My family always followed a somewhat traditional setup for the holidays. We had a huge feast filled with friends and family, but I always got especially excited about one treat in particular — jumbo Jonah crab claws. The claws themselves were, of course, delicious. Reminiscent of the crisp, clean waters they come from, they’re extremely sweet and juicy. I also love that you have to work a bit to eat them … they require a precise bite close to the shell itself, forcing you to then slide your way up with your teeth to tear the meat away.But the crab wasn’t the star of this dish. It was always the sauce — somewhat similar to the way shrimp would be nothing without cocktail sauce, in my humble opinion. We had some family friends who ran a large seafood warehouse who taught us about this combination. It’s so simple, but I can confidently tell you that if you get some of these claws and make this sauce for your next party, they’ll be an incredible hit. I’ve added the recipe below:1 cup mayonnaise2 tbsp Dijon mustard2 tsp hot sauceJuice from ½ lemonPinch of saltPinch of paprikaThe sweetness of the crab will combine with the buttery flavor of the mayo, the acidity of the lemon, and a small bite from the hot sauce for an all-around perfect bite. Enjoy!Joanne Chang ’91Alumna, owner of Flour BakeryI love pear cranberry crostata. I learned how to make this when I was a beginning baker many years ago, and we have had it on our menu at Flour every holiday season since we’ve opened.We roast pears with ginger and butter, and then we layer them with fresh cranberries and almond cream in a flaky buttery crust. It’s amazing. Embracing the beauty of the season at the Arnold Arboretum The Daily Gazette Sign up for daily emails to get the latest Harvard news. Merry and bright? Related Pia SörensenSenior Preceptor in Chemical Engineering and Applied Materials,Harvard John A. Paulson School of Engineering and Applied SciencesRis al a Malta is a sweet rice pudding flavored with vanilla and cinnamon, served cold with a warm berry sauce. It is made from short-grained, polished rice which is boiled at low heat for close to an hour and then set aside at room temp for an additional few hours. Starch swells and leaks polymers when heated — this is why we use it to thicken sauces. The effect is extreme with this very long preparation time: The rice kernels swell up to several times their size and the polymers make them stick together. The result is a thick, smooth, and creamy pudding. The last step before serving is to fold in a good amount of whipped cream, making it even fluffier.The dish reminds me of Jul — the Swedish celebration of Christmas — at my grandparent’s house in Sweden, which was always filled with warmth, light, and the rich smells and flavors of this special time of year. The key ingredient to the dish is the single blanched almond that is snuck in just before serving. Whoever gets the almond gets good luck. You’re only supposed to have one almond, but my grandfather would always keep a few extras in his pocket to be snuck in when nobody was looking. In defense of wintercenter_img The holidays are about fellowship, but they’re also about food. Members of the Harvard community shared what they cook — and eat — during these days of merriment, and what makes their favorite dishes so special. Departing Harvard students take a moment to reflect on achievements, holidays, dreams Katherine O’DairDean of Students, Harvard CollegeOn Christmas Eve, my mother, who is an excellent cook, makes a wild rice and sausage casserole, which is a family favorite. The recipe was passed down from my Great-Aunt Louise, and it is one of those staple family dishes that you don’t know what you are missing until it is not there.I remember one year when my mom mixed it up a bit and made something else, probably just as good but not the dish we love. Suffice to say it did not go over well with my four siblings and me, so to this day (whoever is lucky enough to be at my mom’s house during Christmas Eve) we proactively ask for this. It can be made vegetarian or even vegan, but I suspect not quite as good. Claudine GayEdgerley Family Dean of the Faculty of Arts and SciencesMy husband likes to make his grandmother’s dressing recipe. He loves that it is a decades-old family tradition. One year, there were four members of the family, scattered across four different states (us, his mom, an aunt, and an uncle), who each prepared the dressing for their respective Thanksgiving celebrations.His maternal grandmother emigrated from Greece, but it tastes like a very American dish to us. His mom makes it with beef, but he makes it with a mix of pork and beef. It has lots of nuts (chestnuts, pine nuts, walnuts, pistachios). There are apples and raisins that give it sweetness, plus cinnamon and nutmeg. He usually makes too much, and finishes the leftovers himself. We usually don’t travel for Thanksgiving, so it’s a way for him to have a taste of home. Adele Fleet BacowPresident, Community Partners ConsultantsSince we celebrate Hanukkah, the holiday food I can offer is latkes, or potato pancakes. I used to make them with the tried and true (and very fattening) ingredients of shredded potatoes, onions, a little flour, and eggs fried in a big pan with vegetable oil. Then there would be the inevitable debate of whether to top them with applesauce or sour cream.I do have a vivid memory of the smell of fried onions and potatoes taking up the kitchen and having a big job cleaning up the grease that unavoidably splattered everywhere. Now, to be honest, I do the wiser choice of buying them at Whole Foods, and we try to only eat them one of the eight nights of Hanukkah. When we had a Sabbatical year in Israel, we learned that Israelis typically eat soufganiot, which are basically doughnuts fried in oil with a jelly filling. I must say I prefer latkes.Here is a recipe for potato latkes that is similar to the one I used to use, from my hometown Jacksonville Jewish Center cookbook. Psychologist discusses strategies that can help you handcuff the holiday blueslast_img read more

Dell Quick Resource Locator’s New Look and Features

first_imgNo one wants to spend more time on finding solutions for whatever problems or challenges come their way, and at Dell, we are no exception. We created the Dell Quick Resource Locator (QRL) to help our customers find answers quickly, and we just gave it a major overhaul.You might already know what QRL is, but if you don’t – it is a tool for all those enterprise DIYers out there that hosts a select list of videos and documents to show you how to setup, service, or upgrade your systems. You can find bunch of other various bits of info that we believe you will find immediately useful, such as product diagrams, support matrixes, product overviews.Also, this handy tool just got a makeover. We’ve redone the UI to make it easier to navigate, made searching easier, added some personal customizations options, and a favorite page to track the systems, videos, documents, and service tags you need on a regular basis.First, the main page is now your page, so put your face and name on it! When you view a system, video, document, or enter a service tag, you can now save that as a favorite, where it shows up on your home page.Also, the search now covers all products, videos, documents, and can even look up your service tag so that you can see your warranty status and original factory configuration.Additionally, we’re working on further improving QRL in the coming months to save you time when you need answers, or just some information about your Dell EMC enterprise systems. So try out the new Quick Resource Locator on your iOS or Android phone, and check back here to see future announcements about features and additions as we bring them to you.last_img read more

New Marketing Tools to Help Partners Drive Customer Transformation

first_imgThis year, we are accelerating our incredible momentum from 2017 by focusing on the four critical transformations impacting our customers: IT, Digital, Security, and Workforce. To further enable this acceleration, at the recent Global Partner Summit in Las Vegas, we launched powerful new marketing tools, trainings and materials, created with you—our partners—in mind and based entirely on your feedback. I encourage you to leverage these exciting new resources to enhance and invigorate your marketing and sales efforts:Elevate Your Consultative Skills with the New IT Transformation CampaignIn today’s fast-changing world, your customers know they need to embrace Digital Transformation and evolve to stay competitive—it’s not a question of if, but when. IT Transformation is a key enabler of wider Digital Transformation, and as Dell EMC partners with access to solutions across the Dell Technologies family, you are uniquely positioned to guide your customers through this transformation and become their “go-to” technology consultant. We listened to your feedback and leveraged our own campaign—as well as a $1.5 investment in third-party industry research—to develop a comprehensive partner IT Transformation campaign to help you drive engagement and make IT Transformation real for your customers.The campaign tells a complete, captivating story which positions the strategic value of our ISG portfolio and connects all of our ISG demand generation campaigns. Further, the IT Transformation Campaign enables your sales team to elevate the conversation to business outcomes, versus products or solutions, to drive consultative-led selling. Developed from the perspective of the buyer’s journey, the campaign delivers connected content at each step of the journey, and supports your customer nurture objectives while engaging potential prospects through digital interaction. Within the campaign, you can map technology to actual use cases and provide tangible, evidence-based assessments to further strategic conversations specific to each customer.Within this campaign, you can also align your infrastructure services with your business services as the application experts in your customer proposals. And, of course, the option is available to sell Dell EMC Services.To make this content easy to access and launch, we have created a new campaign within the Digital Marketing Platform, and your sales teams can access a wealth of content and supporting activation components in the Knowledge Center, all of which is available on the Partner Portal. You can also view the campaign video for additional details.Tell the Dell Technologies Advantage & Transformation StoriesWe have created a compelling story to help sales teams understand the full power of our Strategically Aligned Businesses – and now they are available to all of our partners. These videos position the value of IT, Digital, Security, and Workforce Transformation to your customers, including how to realize business outcomes by leveraging the end-to-end portfolio of Dell Technologies:New, on-demand webinar outlining how Dell Technologies provides the essential infrastructure for organizations to build their digital future, transform IT, and protect their information.Videos explaining The 4 Transformations – the same ones used to train our internal sales teams.MyRewards Incentive PlatformTo incentivize your teams, we launched MyRewards, a new, points-based reward program for Sales Representatives and Systems Engineers at Dell EMC Solution Providers globally* with exciting features including:Intuitive, easy-to-use platform with simple navigation and personalized, engaging contentSimple express sales claiming to save time and earn points fasterBigger, better promotions with additional benefits as partners advance from Level 1 to Top AchieversThousands of rewards including virtual prepaid cards, merchandise, events and travel experiencesLearn more about MyRewards and review the enticing Q2 promotions on the Dell EMC Partner Portal Incentives Page, and you can register here.New Solutions CompetenciesWe continue to introduce new Solutions Competencies within the Dell EMC Partner Program to educate your sales teams on the new emerging trends in technology. At GPS, we announced the new Internet of Things (IoT) Solutions Competency, which joins our previously launched Competencies in Software Defined Infrastructure, Hybrid Cloud, and Connected Workforce.Additional Solutions Competencies will launch soon, to further align our education programs with our marketing platforms and resources.Continual ImprovementWe have done all these improvements with your success in mind and will continue to enhance our marketing tools, including the Digital Marketing Platform, Marketing Institute and Product Syndication.As always, we welcome your feedback and look forward to sharing another incredible year.*The MyRewards platform excludes Greater China, Russia, and Poland, and Authorized partners in EMEA. US Federal, OEM, GSI, and Distribution partners are not eligible for the MyRewards program.last_img read more