Genomics Biotechnology & Emerging Medical Technologies Institute e-News
Jun. 4, 2015

Fall Managed Care Forum: Register today!

Register today for the 2015 Fall Forum being held November 12-13, 2015 at The Bellagio in Las Vegas. Click here to visit the conference website.More

Quick to laugh or smile? It may be in your genes
Medical Xpress
Why do some people immediately burst into laughter after a humorous moment, while others can barely crack a smile? New research examining emotional reactivity suggests one of the answers may lie in a person's DNA. In a new study linking a gene to positive emotional expressions such as smiling and laughing, researchers demonstrated that people with a certain genetic variant — those with short alleles of the gene 5-HTTLPR — smiled or laughed more while watching cartoons or subtly amusing film clips than people with long alleles.More

Sex chromosomes: Why the Y genes matter
Science 2.0
Several genes have been lost from the Y chromosome in humans and other mammals but essential Y genes are rescued by relocating to other chromosomes, according to a new study. The Y chromosome is dramatically smaller than the X chromosome and has already lost nearly all of the 640 genes it once shared with the X chromosome. More

17 percent of our genetic knowledge is wrong
Your genes are not your fate. Nonetheless, genes can tell us a lot about our risk for disease, and sometimes they can tell us how to lead healthier lives. The landscape of the human genome is vast and mostly unexplored. There is far, far more that we don’t know than we do know. This is why it’s so important that as we test people for genetic mutations, we share information as much as possible.More

Precision medicine — personalized, problematic and promising
The New England Journal of Medicine
J. Larry Jameson, M.D., Ph.D., and Dan L. Long, M.D., of the Perelman School of Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, published a "Sounding Board" article in the New England Journal of Medicine, describing the promise and potential problems of precision, or personalized medicine. More

Personalized medicine could mean big business for DC-area companies
The Washington Post
The American healthcare industry’s pivot to personalized medicine has attracted the interest of an unlikely group of companies — government contractors. As healthcare providers explore this new model of treatment, which involves the study of the human genome to provide personalized care, they face a problem with which many in government are familiar: analyzing an overwhelming amount of data.More

Medicine shows growing potential to repair and regenerate body parts
The Wall Street Journal
The idea of the body healing itself may be close to making a huge leap forward. Much closer than we think. The rapidly evolving field of regenerative medicine — including stem cells, 3-D printing and bioengineering, among other technologies — is helping repair, and even regenerate, body parts and tissues damaged by disease, trauma or age.More

Gene controls stem cells during muscle regeneration
Medical Xpress
Unlike many other organs, skeletal muscles have a high potential for regeneration. When a muscle is injured, the muscle stem cells — also known as satellite cells — located between the individual muscle fibers rapidly begin to proliferate and subsequently replace the damaged muscles cells.More

2 new types of brain stem cells discovered
Researchers from The University of Queensland in Australia have discovered two new types of neural stem cells and, according to their newly-published report, these cell lines could provide a wealth of information on mood and memory. Published in The Journal of Neuroscience, the report said the newly discovered stem cells are found in the hippocampus, a part of the brain essential for learning and memory. More

Teenagers seek health information online, but don't always trust it
The New York Times
Four out of five teenagers turn to the Internet for health information, but they don’t always put much stock in what they find, according to a national survey released. The source they really trust with questions about health? Surprise: their parents.More

Flawed technology, flawed humans
Health IT News
Michelle Noteboom writes: Recently I borrowed my father's car and noticed that the dashboard's oil indicator light was illuminated. When I mentioned this to my dad, he said, "Don't worry. It doesn't mean anything. It's always on." Hmm. So I asked him, "If it's always on, how do you know when something is wrong? If there really is an oil leak don't you risk burning up the engine?"More

Obamacare's 'accountable care' experiment is all hype, no substance
Good news about Obamacare keeps coming out of the White House. In May, the Department of Health and Human Services announced that the law’s “Pioneer Accountable Care Organizations” have saved Medicare $385 million. HHS Secretary Sylvia Burwell proudly proclaimed that this “innovative payment model”has produced “substantial savings,” so she’s now calling for its expansion.More

Interest in Medicare ACOs could hinge on rule expected soon
Modern Healthcare
The CMS is expected to issue final regulations soon that could significantly affect whether hospitals and doctors remain willing to participate in Medicare's accountable care program. The Medicare Shared Savings Program for accountable care organizations provides incentives for hospitals and doctors to manage the medical cost and quality for a patient group. More

FDA: Cosmetic face 'fillers' can go wrong
NBC News
Cosmetic facial fillers, which can plump thin lips or erase wrinkles, can go badly and tragically wrong, the Food and Drug Administration warned. If the materials used to fill the skin get into a blood vessel, they can cause a stroke, blindness, or kill off big patches of skin, the FDA says in a new warning. "Unintentional injection can block blood vessels and restrict blood supply to tissues," the FDA says in its warning to consumers and doctors.More

'Viagra for women' gets push for FDA approval
The New York Times
Is sexual desire a human right? And are women entitled to a little pink pill to help them feel it? Those questions are being raised in a campaign that is pressing the Food and Drug Administration to approve a pill aimed at restoring lost libido in women. The campaign, backed by the drug’s developer and some women’s groups, accuses the FDA of gender bias for approving Viagra and 25 other drugs to help men have sex, but none for women.More

Experts see big price hikes for Obamacare
The cost of Obamacare could rise for millions of Americans next year, with one insurer proposing a 50 percent hike in premiums, fueling the controversy about just how “affordable” the Affordable Care Act really is. The eye-popping 50 percent hike by New Mexico insurer Blue Cross Blue Shield is an outlier, and state officials may not allow it to go through.More

What's going on with spending on health insurance overhead?
The Wall Street Journal
Even as federal regulators take steps to constrain administrative spending by private health insurers, government overhead on health coverage has soared. In a Health Affairs post, David Himmelstein and Steffie Woolhandler use actuarial estimates from the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services to project that between 2014 and 2022, national spending on private insurance overhead and government administration will rise by $273.6 billion related to the healthcare overhaul.More