Genomics Biotechnology & Emerging Medical Technologies Institute e-News
Feb. 2, 2012

DNA sequencing moves from the research lab to the clinic
The Atlantic
DNA sequencing is slowly making the anticipated move from the research lab into clinical use. After a few isolated reports where it was used to diagnose individual patients, now we see one of the first reports of it being used successfully on a larger scale, in 42 infants suspected of mitochondrial disease.More

Prostate cancer in ancient mummy tied to genetics
The Associated Press via The Huffington Post
VideoBriefA professor from American University in Cairo says discovery of prostate cancer in a 2,200-year-old mummy indicates the disease was caused by genetics, not environment. The genetics-environment question is key to understanding cancer.More

Genome cure for ill twins paves way to doctor's office
Bloomberg News
By the time their twins were 12 years old, Joe and Retta Beery had spent a decade trying to figure out what made their children so ill. Then a California company that makes DNA sequencers revealed the twins had been misdiagnosed and incompletely treated for more than a decade.More

Gene test may aid early-stage lung cancer patients
San Francisco Chronicle
In a finding that could improve the survival odds for early-stage lung cancer patients, researchers have determined a new molecular test can predict more accurately than current diagnostic methods which tumors are more likely to be aggressive and turn deadly. The study results come from the two largest clinical trials ever conducted on the molecular genetics of lung cancer and included early-stage patients.More

Study: Pneumonia bug evolves to evade vaccine
AFP via Google News
Bugs that cause childhood pneumonia and meningitis have evolved to evade vaccines by swapping bits of their genome with other bacteria, according to a new study. The findings, published in Nature Genetics, show how quickly these life-threatening pathogens can disguise themselves with borrowed genetic decoys, and how hard it is for medicine to keep up.More

Skin transformed into brain cells
BBC News
Skin cells have been converted directly into cells which develop into the main components of the brain, by California researchers. The experiment skipped the middle "stem cell" stage in the process. The researchers said they were "thrilled" at the potential medical uses. Far more tests are needed before the technique could be used on human skin.More

Military masks could 'give injured soldiers their faces back'
This is how the military might treat burned faces in 2017: A mask, worn for several months, that's layered with sensors, actuators and a regenerative elixir — including stem cells — to regrow missing facial tissue. An estimated 85 percent of recent wartime injuries caused damage to the extremities or face. Already, the Pentagon's made swift progress in using regenerative medicine to more effectively heal those wounds.More

'Electronic tattoo' moving out of sci-fi realm
CNET via CBS News
VideoBriefResearchers are making progress bridging the soft, wet world of the human body and electronics. The National Science Foundation released a video with the latest news from researchers trying to develop flexible electronics that can be placed on the skin or embedded in the body. The hope is these devices can be used to diagnose or provide care to patients.More

Hip-hop basslines could power implantable medical devices
Popular Science
Your favorite hip-hop artist could save a life someday — or at least control a person's bladder — through the power of heavy bass beats, according to new research. Acoustic waves from rap music shudder through your body with ease, and can readily power a new implantable medical device. Researchers at Purdue University developed a small pressure sensor that can be implanted to monitor pressure.More

When health plans go high deductible
The Washington Post
As health costs rise, employers are increasingly turning to high-deductible health plans: Insurance coverage that usually pairs catastrophic coverage with a health savings account, leaving consumers to decide what to spend that account on. A new study from a team of Harvard researchers explores how health insurance plans with high deductibles affect the care that families do, and don't, seek.More

Lack of data regarding doctors leaving Medicare
Healthcare Finance News
Anecdotally, it is believed within the healthcare community that doctors are leaving Medicare in greater and greater numbers. A new report by the Office of Inspector General has found that there is not enough data available to make any determinations about this trend.More

FDA approves cystic fibrosis drug
The New York Times
The first drug that treats an underlying cause of cystic fibrosis, rather than just the symptoms, has been approved by the Food and Drug Administration, more than 22 years after the gene responsible for the disease was first identified. The drug counters the effect of a specific mutation in the gene that accounts for 4 percent — or about 1,200 — cystic fibrosis cases in the United States.More

Pfizer to seek menopause drug approval
The Wall Street Journal
Pfizer is preparing to seek U.S. regulatory approval to sell a new menopause drug that could pose an alternative to the company's older hormone-replacement therapies, which have been tied to safety risks. However, repeated delays in developing the new drug, Aprela, have raised questions about its potential.More

FDA approves skin cancer drug
The Associated Press via USA Today
Federal regulators approved a pill that treats the most common type of skin cancer, basal cell carcinoma. The pill is called Erivedge and is made by a unit of Swiss drugmaker Roche. Erivedge is intended to treat locally advanced cancer for patients who are not candidates for surgery or radiation, and for patients whose cancer has spread to other parts of the body. The capsule is taken once per day.More