Genomics Biotechnology & Emerging Medical Technologies Institute e-News
Mar. 20, 2014

New gene-scanning approach finds link to heart attack risk 'hiding in plain sight'
Medical News Today
As scanning genomes for disease-related gene variations becomes more commonplace, scientists are pinpointing gene variations that change the way proteins function. Using this approach, a new study found a previously unknown gene variation that appears to make blood lipid levels healthier in humans and reduce risk of heart attacks.More

Scientists home in on the real 'fat gene'
Los Angeles Times
If you're a student of fat — and who isn't these days? — you know that the FTO gene is the gene thought to be most responsible for some people's inherited propensity to become obese. Well, forget that. A multinational group of geneticists has discovered that, more likely, the real obesity gene is named IRX3, and it is very far from the FTO gene — or would be, if DNA were to be stretched out in linear fashion instead of coiled up like a skein of yarn.More

2 new genes for bipolar disorder discovered
In a genome-wide association study, an international team of researchers has discovered two new risk loci for bipolar disorder and confirmed the presence of three other genes considered to be involved in the illness. The results, from the largest GWAS in bipolar disorder to date, show that 1 of the 2 new regions contains the gene that encodes adenylate cyclase 2, a protein that is involved in signal transmission within nerve cells and is located on chromosome five.More

Semiconductor based diagnostic technologies could revolutionize personalized medicine
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News
The final cost of the Human Genome Project has been estimated at approximately $2.7 billion. At the time, researchers predicted costs would need to fall significantly to enable routine genome sequencing and usher in a new era of personalized and predictive medicine. In late 2001, at a scientific retreat convened by the National Human Genome Research Institute, the threshold cost of $1,000 per genome was conceived.More

101 liver cancer drug candidates pave the way to personalized medicine
Science Codex
The heart disease drug perhexiline is one of 101 compounds predicted to prevent cancer growth in most patients suffering from our most common liver cancer, HCC. This is an outcome from a novel simulation-based approach using personal sets of proteins of six HCC patients. "This is the first time personalized models have been used to find and evaluate new potential drugs," says Professor Jens Nielsen at Chalmers University of Technology.More

Systemic stem cell therapy reduces malignant mesothelioma growth
medwireNews via
Systemic delivery of stem cells expressing an apoptosis-inducing protein can successfully incorporate into malignant pleural mesothelioma cells and subsequently induce their death, according to preclinical study findings. While further validation is needed, the research opens up the possibility of using stem cell therapy to decrease tumor burden in this rare and largely untreatable type of lung cancer.More

Could stem cells breathe new life into the field of blood substitution?
Scientific American
More than a century after scientists embarked on the quest to find an alternative to the blood coursing through our veins, the dream still will not die. Not after a major study dealt a seemingly fatal blow to the field — determining that the top synthetic blood candidates at the time were all more likely to kill you than to save your life. More

Wearable technology will see growth in the medical field
USA Today
The top venture capitalists at the digital SXSW conference in Austin, Texas believe wearable technology will see most of its growth in the medical field. While fitness wearables have taken off and thousands have been sold, the medical field is moving in the same direction.More

'Nana Tech': Smart shoes and handheld EKGs could keep seniors safe
Imagine this scenario: It's a cold night in Iowa, or Georgia, or Maine. Your elderly father, who has Alzheimer's disease, is supposed to be in bed. But when you check on him, he's gone. It's a nightmare that anyone who cares for a person with dementia fears: that their loved one will wander and not be found until it's too late.More

New gene-scanning approach finds link to heart attack risk 'hiding in plain sight'
Medical News Today
As scanning genomes for disease-related gene variations becomes more commonplace, scientists are pinpointing gene variations that change the way proteins function.More

Are you musical or tone deaf? Genes may be key
HealthDay News
Inheriting certain inner-ear genes may make for top-notch musical chops. A study by Finnish scientists suggests that the genes that influence the structure of auditory pathways — the structures that form the inner ear — may play a significant role in musical ability.More

Newly discovered gene may shed light on certain brain disorders
HealthDay News via
Scientists who discovered a gene that links the thickness of the brain's gray matter to intelligence say their finding might help improve understanding of brain disorders such as autism and schizophrenia.More

Report: Many Americans intend to stay without health insurance
CBS MoneyWatch
A third of Americans without health insurance intend to stay that way, according to a new report. Although the most common reason for doing without coverage is the expense, 70 percent of those planning to stay uninsured did not know about the subsidies afforded under Obamacare that reduce the cost. More

Majority of Americans are satisfied with the healthcare system
Business Insider
A new Gallup survey of 1,542 Americans released March 17, says 66 percent of those in the U.S. are satisfied with their current healthcare. The poll asked if the participants had health insurance and asked: "Are you satisfied or dissatisfied with how the healthcare system is working for you?" More

Zohydro ER: Who are we really here for?
By Jason Poquette
Healthcare is supposed to be about helping sick people, but sometimes I think we have forgotten who we really serve. For example, there has been no shortage of criticism over the FDA decision to approve Zohydro ER back in October. The chief criticisms of this Schedule II extended-release hydrocodone capsule, marketed by Zogenix, are its potency and lack of abuse-deterrent properties. The responses of the media and public health groups like this make me think that we are missing the point. When did our first priority in the development of medications become the manner in which certain persons will intentionally misuse and abuse it?More

Drug company will give ailing 7-year-old medicine that could save him
After days of pleading with drug company executives, Josh Hardy's parents got what they'd been praying for: a chance to get medicine that could help their son survive. The Chimerix pharmaceutical company said that the ailing 7-year-old will receive medicine that doctors hope will help him when he becomes the first patient in a new trial.More