Genomics Biotechnology & Emerging Medical Technologies Institute e-News
Jul. 9, 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

Don't get your kids' genes sequenced just to keep up
You can now order genetic tests off the Internet and get your child's genome sequenced for less than the cost of a new car. The question is, should you? Almost certainly not, according to the American Society for Human Genetics, which released a position paper Thursday intended to give parents some help navigating the dizzying world of genetic tests.More

Sequencing the genome creates so much data we don't know what to do with it
The Washington Post
Get ready for some incomprehensibly big numbers. Scientists are predicting that genomics — the field of sequencing human DNA — will soon take the lead as the biggest data beast in the world, eventually creating more digital information than astronomy, particle physics and even popular Internet sites like YouTube.More

Why the BRCA gene resists cancer treatment
R&D Magazine
Yale University researchers have discovered why a key molecular assistant is crucial to the function of the BRCA2 gene, which in some mutant forms can lead to ovarian and breast cancer in as many as 6 in 10 women. The findings suggest how biochemists might be able to decrease drug resistance to existing therapies that target this form of cancer, the authors report in Molecular Cell.More

The treatment has to be personalized because patients are not a statistic
Health Canal
Jonathan C. Trent, M.D., Ph.D., was on his way to becoming a chemist when he was struck with the desire to pursue medical school. His passion for researching new cancer-fighting drugs in the lab inspired him to want to treat patients. Since his grandmother died of cancer, specializing in oncology was also personal. But Trent never abandoned his love for lab research, and his combined expertise has made him one of the most recognized sarcoma specialists and investigators in the U.S.More

Researchers use stem cell exosomes to induce hearts to self-repair
A team of researchers from the Temple University School of Medicine has conducted a study involving the use of communications modules secreted by stem cells to help limit the damage caused by a heart attack. The team performed tests on mice, with extremely promising results.More

Editing stem cell genes will 'revolutionize' biomedical research
Applying a dramatically improved method for "editing" genes to human stem cells, University of Wisconsin-Madison professor of neuroscience Su-Chun Zhang has shown a new way to silence genes in stem cells and their progeny at any stage of development. The advance has advantages in speed and efficiency, says Zhang, and is already being used for basic biological studies.More

A look at the latest gadgets throughout the medical world
By Rosemary Sparacio
Medical gadgets are in the news often, and manufacturers continue to bring exciting inventions to many areas of medicine. Let's take a look at some recent innovations in the medical world. We'll start in the realm of additive manufacturing. 3-D printers have made a significant impact not only in creating organs for transplantation, but also for prostheses. In Florida, a 10-year-old girl who was born without part of her right arm recently received a custom-made prosthetic limb. More

Beyond tech: The human side of remote monitoring and health call centers
By Karen R. Thomas
What comes to mind when you think about remote patient monitoring? The first thing most people think of are the various technologies that make this transfer of health data possible. They envision the remote monitoring devices that collect data such as weight, pulse, oxygen saturation, blood pressure, blood glucose readings and so on, and transmit that data back to a technology hub. What isn't often discussed, however, is the human element that is the real power behind this type of telehealth. More

Population health cuts Anthem ACO costs by nearly $8M
Health IT Outcomes
Anthem Blue Cross of California announced it has saved almost $8 million in one year by focusing on preventive care. Anthem said the savings came under its Enhanced Personal Health Care Program, which “targets PPO members with two or more chronic conditions to improve their overall health through enhanced care coordination,” by improving total population health.More

CMS investment model changes boost rural ACOs
Health Data Management
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services has announced two new changes to the design of the ACO Investment Model. As of June 25, the eligibility criteria for the model have changed to include Medicare Shared Savings Program ACOs that started on January 1, 2015 and to provide greater opportunities for rural ACOs to participate.More

Is the FDA's trans fat ban really the answer to our obesity epidemic?
By Natalie Rodriguez
The time has finally come for Americans to wave goodbye to their toxic friend trans fat — a veteran contributor to heart disease in the United States. Trans fat extends the shelf life of our favorite processed foods, along with assisting in taste and texture. In 2013, the Food and Drug Administration issued a preliminary finding indicating that partially hydrogenated oils were not "generally recognized as safe," and recently finalized the determination.More

FDA orders halt to unapproved prescription ear drops
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has demanded a halt to the manufacture and distribution of unapproved prescription ear drop products labeled to relieve ear pain, infection and inflammation. The products, which contain active ingredients such as benzocaine and hydrocortisone, have not been evaluated by the FDA for safety, effectiveness or quality. More

FDA clears Vertex's new treatment for cystic fibrosis
The Boston Globe
Vertex Pharmaceuticals Inc. won U.S. regulatory approval for a medicine that eventually could treat roughly half of the estimated 30,000 Americans who suffer from cystic fibrosis, the life-threatening lung disease. Pricing the two-drug therapy called Orkambi at $259,000 per patient annually, the company said it plans to begin shipping the treatment to specialty pharmacies within days.More

With merging of insurers, questions for patients about costs and innovation
The New York Times
The nation’s five largest health insurance companies are circling one another like hungry lions closing in on prey. Aetna said it would acquire its smaller rival Humana to create a company with combined revenues of $115 billion this year. Anthem is stalking Cigna. UnitedHealth Group, now the largest of the five, is looking at its options. At the end of the maneuverings, three national behemoths are likely to emerge.More

Science shows health coverage works
Legal and political experts will be discussing the ramifications of the Supreme Court's historic ruling in King v. Burwell for months to come, but the case's impact is purely personal for 6.4 million people in 34 states. Many of these individuals are currently battling chronic disease and will continue to receive the tax credits that help them afford the health plan they bought in the federal marketplace.More

Health insurance premiums are rising faster than income
In every budget, we can control what we pay for some items while others are out of our control. Health insurance premiums are one of those items over which the consumer has little or no control. In this article, we’ll look at the rise in health insurance premiums from 2005 to 2014 and compare it to personal income.More