Genomics Biotechnology & Emerging Medical Technologies Institute e-News
Jul. 23, 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

Genetic variants associated with major depressive disorder have been identified
Medical Xpress
A very large team of researchers made up mostly of members in China and calling itself the CONVERGE consortium, has identified two genetic variants that appear to be associated with major depressive disorder. In their paper published in the journal Nature, the team explains how they conducted their research, the results they found, and what their findings might mean for treating people with the disorder.More

Genes affect person's perception of sweet taste
A new study from the Monell Center and collaborating institutions suggests that a single set of genes affects a person's perception of sweet taste, regardless of whether the sweetener is a natural sugar or a non-caloric sugar substitute. "Eating too much sugar is often seen as a personal weakness. However, our work suggests that part of what determines our perception of sweetness is inborn in our genetic makeup," said study author Danielle Reed, Ph.D., a behavioral geneticist at Monell.More

Ancestry moves further into consumer genetics
MIT Technology Review
With the launch of its AncestryHealth website, Ancestry continues to play Microsoft to 23andMe’s Apple. It may not be as innovative in the burgeoning field of consumer genetics, but it’s an able competitor nonetheless. Ancestry entered the field of consumer DNA analysis in 2012 with the launch of AncestryDNA, a $99 spit test that will analyze your DNA for details about your ethnic makeup and connect you with distant relatives. More

Meet Deep Genomics, a start-up bringing the power of deep learning to genomics
The Washington Post
Twelve years ago was a low point for Brendan Frey. His wife at the time was pregnant, but genetic counselors told the couple that something was wrong with the baby. “There was a problem, but they really couldn’t tell us how serious it was,” Frey recalled to me. “It was sort of a genetic problem that could be nothing or could be disastrous.”More

3 stocks to take advantage of the rise in personalized medicine
For centuries, medical advances focused on protecting large populations with one-size-fits-all treatments. But more recently, personalized medicine has become an increasingly important part of healthcare, with new technology helping to pave the way toward healthcare solutions tailor-made for your own particular needs. More

Stem cell therapy shows promise in small clinical trial for rare lung disease
Medical Xpress
Canadian researchers have published promising results of the first clinical trial in the world of a genetically-enhanced stem cell therapy for pulmonary arterial hypertension. This rare and deadly disease mainly affects young women, and is characterized by very high pressure in the arteries supplying blood to the lungs. In some cases, PAH is caused by a defective gene, but in many cases the cause is unknown. Currently available drugs can modestly improve symptoms and exercise capacity, but cannot repair the blood vessel damage to the lungs or cure the disease.More

New material forges the way for 'stem cell factories'
If you experience a major heart attack the damage could cost you around five billion heart cells. Future stem cell treatments will require this number and more to ensure those cells are replaced and improve your chances of survival. Experts at The University of Nottingham have discovered the first fully synthetic substrate with potential to grow billions of stem cells. More

The future of healthcare: Hacking, hospitals, technology and more
The Wall Street Journal
Think of all the trouble that computer hackers cause. Now imagine what DNA hackers could do. In the future, DNA hackers won’t sneak viruses into your laptop and crash websites. Instead, they’ll sneak viruses into your body and crash you, and maybe billions of other people, too. They’ll do this by designing DNA sequences that code for new, never-before-seen, living viruses that spread from person to person as easily as measles, and that kill as inevitably as rabies.More

ACOs mixed on Medicare Shared Savings Program final rule
Healthcare Finance News
Participating healthcare providers say a proposed final rule for accountable care organizations taking part in the Medicare Shared Savings Program shows officials are listening to concerns, but many say it doesn’t go far enough. On one hand, ACOs still getting their feet wet got some clarification. More

ACOs increasingly assuming population health management duties
Health IT Analytics
Accountable care organizations have exploded in popularity over the past three or four years as value-based reimbursement takes hold in the healthcare industry, and their work has rapidly built momentum towards bringing population health management to hundreds of communities. More

FDA to take another look at essure contraceptive device after health complaints
When Amanda Dykeman was certain she was done with having children, she had two options for permanent birth control: surgical sterilization, which typically involves general anesthesia and a laparoscopy, or Essure, the only nonsurgical permanent birth control option approved by the Food and Drug Administration. She chose Essure. And she says her life has never been the same.More

FDA turns to Google for help spotting adverse events
The FDA has approached Google for help identifying adverse drug events in search data. The regulator hooked up with Google to access the insights of Evgeniy Gabrilovich, an engineer at the tech behemoth who has published papers on the subject of mining search queries for adverse event reports.More

FDA approves 1st-of-kind leg prosthesis
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the first prosthesis for above-the-knee amputations that does not rely on a conventional, cup-like socket fitting over the stump of a patient's leg. With the new device, called Osseoanchored Prostheses for the Rehabilitation of Amputees, an external prosthetic limb attaches to a fixture implanted in the patient's remaining thigh bone.More

St. Jude Medical to buy thoratec for $3.4B
The New York Times
St. Jude Medical said that it had agreed to acquire a fellow medical device maker, the Thoratec Corporation, for about $3.4 billion in cash. The transaction would bolster St. Jude Medical’s business to treat heart failures by adding products and technologies, the company said. Under the terms of the deal, St. Jude Medical would pay $63.50 a share in cash, a 35.4 percent premium to Thoratec’s closing price on July 17.More

Undercover govt investigators re-enrolled fictitious persons for health benefits
The Associated Press via U.S. News & World Report
Phony applicants that investigators signed up last year under President Barack Obama's healthcare law got automatically re-enrolled for 2015. Some were rewarded with even bigger taxpayer subsidies for their insurance premiums, a congressional probe has found. The nonpartisan Government Accountability Office says 11 counterfeit characters that its investigators created last year were automatically re-enrolled by, even though most had unresolved documentation issues. In Obama's terms, they got to keep the coverage they had.More

What you can expect from Medicare on its 50th anniversary
America’s landmark government healthcare programs, Medicare and Medicaid, celebrate their 50th anniversaries July 30. Decades into operation, the future of these plans is still hotly debated in Washington, as policymakers wrangle over needed changes in their finances. Two major reforms are already underway.More