Genomics Biotechnology & Emerging Medical Technologies Institute e-News
Sep. 13, 2012

Scientists develop genetic test to predict autism
Australian scientists have developed a genetic test to predict autism spectrum disorder in children, which could provide a long-sought way for early detection and intervention, according to a new study. About 1 in 150 children has autism, with symptoms ranging from social awkwardness and narrow interests to severe communication and intellectual disabilities, said researchers led by the University of Melbourne.More

'Bubble babies' get new immune system through novel gene therapy
Fox News
For small children with severe combined immunodeficiency — more famously known as "bubble boy syndrome" — disease and infection are a constant source of worry due to a weakened, or almost non-existent immune system. If left untreated, the condition is fatal in just one to two years. Researchers have spent 11 years creating and testing a novel gene therapy, which is capable of restoring immune systems in children with ADA-deficient SCID. More

Stealth techniques being developed to delay cancer tumor growth
Medical Xpress
The way in which cancer can spread silently and unnoticed in the body — with symptoms in some cases remaining latent for months, years, or even decades — is often noted as its most deadly feature. Researchers around the world have been devising ever more sophisticated strategies to fight cancer — including "stealth" techniques designed to outwit the body's immune system so as to deliver therapeutic drugs, genes, proteins and viruses to carefully targeted disease sites.More

Study shows importance of gene-gene interactions
Health Canal
Gaining more insight into predicting how genes affect physical or behavioral traits by charting the genotype-phenotype map holds promise to speed discoveries in personalized medicine. But figuring out exactly how genes interact has left parts of the map invisible.More

Even with personalized assessments, many underestimate disease risks
Medical Xpress
People with a family history of certain diseases, including heart disease and diabetes, often underestimate their risk for developing them, even after completing a risk assessment and receiving personalized prevention messages, finds a new study in the American Journal of Preventive Medicine.More

Deaf gerbils hear again with human stem cells
Scientists have restored hearing to deaf gerbils using human embryonic stem cells in an advance that could eventually help people with an intractable form of deafness caused by nerve damage. The procedure needs further animal research to assess safety and long-term effectiveness but researchers said the experiment was an important proof of concept, marking a further advance in the growing field of regenerative medicine.More

FDA clear Mayo technology-powered mobile health, remote monitoring
MedCity News
Preventice, a Minneapolis mobile health and remote monitoring company announced that its BodyGuardian Remote Monitoring System has been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration. The miniature device, worn underneath the clothes next to the chest is able to monitor heart rate, ECG, respiratory rate and physical activity.More

Preliminary findings released for robotic exoskeleton in spinal injury
Medical Xpress
Kessler Foundation has released preliminary research findings from its clinical study of the wearable robotic exoskeletal device, Ekso. The research focuses on new ways to improve function and restore mobility for people with disabilities and reduce their long-term risks for complications.More

Healthcare reform law to usher in new age of consumerism
Los Angeles Times
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act is changing the way insurers do business. A few years from now, you may see your health plan in a different light. You might even decide you like it — even if it's not that much more affordable. But it's not all good news: Future employers are also expected to shift more costs to employees, and consumers will generally take on more of their healthcare expenses.More

Medicare pilot program shows cost savings for treating dual eligibles
Kaiser Health News
Researchers released a deeper look at the Physician Group Practice Demonstration, one of the federal government's first pay-for-performance experiments to improve healthcare and reduce costs for the Medicare population. They found that it created significant savings — especially for dual eligibles, which is the population who receives health coverage through both Medicare and Medicaid and who are often the health system's sickest and costliest patients.More

FDA unveils device that detects counterfeit drugs
The Food and Drug Administration has a new cutting-edge tool in its counterfeit drug detection toolbox. The agency unveiled the Counterfeit Detection Device #3 or CD3, a hand-held device developed by FDA scientists that can be used in the field to detect counterfeit products and packaging.More

Studies: Failed Alzheimer's drug showed signs of working
New data on Pfizer and Johnson & Johnson's Alzheimer's drug, bapineuzumab, show the treatment reduced underlying markers of the disease in some patients, suggesting the failed medication might work at an earlier stage.More