Genomics Biotechnology & Emerging Medical Technologies Institute e-News
May. 1, 2014

Y chromosome discovery strikes men off the endangered species list
Feminists and biologists alike have been predicting the end of men for decades. But it appears the hairier sex may have a little while longer left on this planet if a new piece of genetic research is anything to go by. Supporters of the so-called "rotting Y" theory believe that men's days are numbered due to the Y chromosome, which has shed hundreds of genes during the last 300 million years of evolution.More

Controlling fear by modifying DNA
Medical Xpress
For many people, fear of flying or of spiders skittering across the lounge room floor is more than just a momentary increase in heart rate and a pair of sweaty palms. It's a hard-core phobia that can lead to crippling anxiety, but an international team of researchers, including neuroscientists from The University of Queensland's Queensland Brain Institute, may have found a way to silence the gene that feeds this fear.More

Can you turn off your fat genes?
Prevention via Fox News
You can't change your genes, but you just might be able to change how they work in your body. And in the case of those that play a role in fat loss, pumping iron could be key. In addition to affecting the genes in your muscles, resistance training also influences the genes in your fat, says a new study published in the European Journal of Applied Physiology.More

Nature and nurture: Baby's development is affected by genes and conditions in the womb
Medical Xpress
A recent study led by A*STAR's Singapore Institute for Clinical Sciences found that genetics as well as the environment in the womb play important roles in the development of the baby. The effort by the international team of scientists and clinicians is the world's first attempt to discover how genetic and environmental factors affect the human epigenome. More

Researchers create personalized, disease-specific stem cells
Researchers reported the creation of the first disease-specific line of embryonic stem cells made with a patient's own DNA, a major breakthrough in the field of regenerative medicine. The achievement marks the first time cloning technologies have been used to generate stem cells that are genetically matched to adult patients.More

Genealogy and biogeography meet personalized medicine
Science Codex
Biogeographical data is useful in screening for disease risk and drug sensitivity associated with certain ethnic groups. A team of researchers, including an investigator from Children's Hospital Los Angeles, has developed a tool to accurately identify the biogeography of worldwide individuals. Previous tools were accurate in identifying place of origin within homogeneous European populations but highly inaccurate for places with significant immigration, such as the U.S.More

Stem cell therapy to fix the heart: A house of cards about to fall?
For more than a decade cardiac stem cell therapy has attracted an enormous amount of attention, promise and research dollars. Now an original and important new study published in BMJ finds that many of the most promising results in the field are illusory and that the potential benefits of stem cells to treat heart disease are probably far more modest than we've been led to believe. More

Cloning used to make stem cells from adult humans
For the first time, cloning technologies have been used to generate stem cells that are genetically matched to adult patients. Fear not: No legitimate scientist is in the business of cloning humans. But cloned embryos can be used as a source for stem cells that match a patient and can produce any cell type in that person.More

Could Google Glass help doctors save lives?
CBS News
In a few years, you can expect to see doctors wearing Google Glass, just as readily as you might see them wearing a stethoscope, said a group of medical professionals and Glass explorers gathered at Google's Cambridge office recently. Among the Glass explorers, who were gathered to discuss potential Glass uses in healthcare, was Dr. Rafael Grossmann, the first general surgeon to use this device in the operating room.More

Newly approved telehealth guideline causes a stir
Modern Healthcare
The Federation of State Medical Boards approved a model telehealth policy that's made some providers of these services happy and others, well, not so much, because of its emphasis on using video rather than audio technology for a first patient visit.More

Y chromosome discovery strikes men off the endangered species list
Feminists and biologists alike have been predicting the end of men for decades. But it appears the hairier sex may have a little while longer left on this planet if a new piece of genetic research is anything to go by.More

Identical twins, one case of Down syndrome: A genetic mystery
Los Angeles Times
A rare occurrence in the earliest days of a pregnancy produces an unusual and mystifying outcome: Identical twin fetuses are conceived of the same meeting of egg and sperm. More

New research: Chronic pain may be genetic
Medical News Today
Ever wonder why some people seem to have a higher tolerance for pain than others? New research — due to be presented at the American Academy of Neurology's 66th Annual Meeting in Philadelphia — suggests the answer is genetic.More

Impressive new smartphone apps in health and medicine
By Rosemary Sparacio
Smartphones are just about everywhere. In the U.S. alone, more than 91 million Americans now use a smartphone. Of course, these devices are much more than just a phone. The fact that there are apps for many areas in personal health and medicine is a logical step to help individuals take better care of themselves and for researchers to find ways for individuals and physicians to do just that. Clearly, the ongoing research, development and availability of health apps is on the forefront of medicine and shows no signs of slowing down. More

Who really pays for healthcare? It might surprise you
USA Today
Eight million people have signed up for subsidized private health insurance under the Affordable Care Act, President Barack Obama said this month. Millions more obtained new coverage through the Medicaid program for the poor. Full implementation of the health law and its wider coverage, new taxes and shifting subsidies have renewed discussions of winners and losers, makers and moochers.More

New research showing promise in contraceptives for women
By Dr. Afsaneh Motamed-Khorasani
Many contraceptive methods are available in the market. However, they are associated with the risk of side effects and with chances of drug failure. The cost of the contraceptives is also important, but many of the new contraceptives are not affordable for millions of women. There is an urgent need to develop effective and affordable contraceptives for women with different needs and different age groups. Here is a look at some of the different methods, along with new research being developed. More

FDA warning on pain injections comes too late for some
Bloomberg Businessweek
One of the most popular treatments for neck and back pain — steroid shots — can be dangerous, and in rare cases can cause paralysis and death, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration warned. The FDA is late to the game when it comes to concern about the safety of the shots when they're injected into the epidural space of the spine.More

FDA warns against bogus autism treatments
HealthDay News via U.S. News & World Report
Companies that make false or misleading claims that their products and therapies can treat or even cure autism face possible legal action if they continue, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has warned them. As part of National Autism Awareness Month in April, the FDA wanted to inform consumers about bogus autism therapies.More

FDA approves 1st targeted drug for advanced stomach cancer
Health Canal
Based on results of a clinical trial led by Dana-Farber Cancer Institute scientists, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a molecularly targeted drug as second-line treatment in advanced stomach cancer that has progressed after standard chemotherapy has failed.More