|Newsletter Archive Online|
The San Francisco Tesla Society
presents a free presentation featuring
"Medical Applications of Light"
Sunday, April 13, 2008 1 - 5 p.m. atSan Francisco Public Library
Park Branch - Lower Right Entrance
1833 Page Street @ Cole
San Francisco, CA 94117Sunlight is required for our bodies to manufacture vitamin D. In the 1980's researchers at the National Institutes of Health realized that winter depression caused by over production of melatonin could be cured by exposure to light. Ultraviolet light also causes melanogenesis, a process that quenches free radicals produced in our skin. Recent research has demonstrated that red light near 630 nm can transfer energy to mitochondria in cells producing a cascade of events that leads to calcium release, DNA and RNA synthesis, ATP production and cell proliferation. Infrared radiation alters membrane porosity.
Creating medical devices to take advantage of these phenomena has been problematic because of the expense of conducting controlled studies for FDA approval and the probability that resulting devices would not warrant patent protection. The exception is a method called photo dynamic therapy, a procedure that involves injecting the patient with a patented drug that, when exposed to light, creates a toxic product that halts unwanted cellular proliferation.
Bill Levinson earned a B.A. in biophysics from U.C. Berkeley in 1969 and a Ph.D. in biophysics from the University of Michigan in 1979. He did postdoctoral research at the Michigan Cancer Foundation developing optical and fluorescence methods to localize specific sequences of DNA in cells. At Michigan State University, he studied how UV light and chemical carcinogens damage cellular DNA and how cells repair the damage. His films have been broadcast nationally and have won awards at the San Francisco International Film Festival, National Educational Film Festival, International Wildlife Film Festival, and dozens of others. Dr. Levinson has also produced films for CNN, the State of California, Port of Oakland, and other universities and governmental agencies. His recent "In the Company of Wild Butterflies" is distributed by Bullfrog Films.