Genomics Biotechnology & Emerging Medical Technologies Institute e-News
Oct. 24, 2013

'Pain genes' identified by DNA sequencing
Medical News Today
Researchers have identified hundreds of variants in a patient's genetic code that predict which people are more susceptible to persistent chronic pain following amputation. Dr. Andrew D. Shaw, associate professor of anesthesiology and critical care medicine at Duke University Medical Center in Durham, N.C., and colleagues conducted the study on 49 military service members who had amputations and persistent pain.More

Environmental factors 'turn on and off' cancer related genes
Medical Xpress
Research performed at the Center of Research and Advanced Studies has identified that certain food and lifestyle habits can turn on or off the expression of cancer related genes. If this changes in the activity of genes are detected during the first stages of the disease, is possible to detain its appearance.More

New collaborative project aims to discover genes underlying rare genetic diseases
University of Cambridge, Genomics England Ltd., and Illumina, Inc. announced the start of a three-year project that will sequence 10,000 whole genomes of children and adults with rare genetic diseases. The project represents a pilot for Genomics England Ltd., which will provide 2,000 samples, and marks the beginning of the national endeavor to sequence 100,000 genomes in the U.K. National Health Service, announced recently by the Prime Minister, David Cameron.More

Personalized medicine advancing rheumatology
Rheumatology has lagged behind oncology when it comes to the clinical application of personalized medicine, including biomarkers, genomics and mutational analysis, but that is about to change, say organizers of the American College of Rheumatology 2013 Annual Meeting, which will be held October 26-30. Program chair Chester Oddis, M.D., noted that several keynote lectures, oral sessions, and posters will focus on bringing the molecular understanding of rheumatic diseases forward from the bench to the bedside.More

5 ways technology is changing personalized medicine
In today's doctor's office, when a physician diagnoses a patient, a number of tests are consulted and the best possible course of treatment is prescribed. Unfortunately there is often limited data that allows the doctor to tailor and customize treatment specifically to a patient's biology and lifestyle. But there are five ways technology will change that over the next decade, bringing personalized medicine to fruition.More

Predicting the fate of stem cells
University of Toronto researchers have developed a method that can rapidly screen human stem cells and better control what they will turn into. The technology could have potential use in regenerative medicine and drug development. Findings are published in the journal Nature Methods. More

Physical cues help mature cells revert into embryonic-like stem cells
Bioengineers at the University of California, Berkeley, have shown that physical cues can replace certain chemicals when nudging mature cells back to a pluripotent stage, capable of becoming any cell type in the body. The researchers grew fibroblasts cells taken from human skin and mouse ears on surfaces with parallel grooves measuring 10 micrometers wide and 3 micrometers high. More

5-year follow-up of world's 1st regenerated trachea transplant published in The Lancet
Globe Newswire via The Wall Street Journal
Harvard Bioscience, Inc. and Harvard Apparatus Regenerative Technology jointly announce that five years after a 30-year-old woman was implanted with the world's first tissue-engineered trachea grown in a bioreactor she lives complication-free, according to an article published in The Lancet. According to the article, titled "The first tissue-engineered airway transplantation: 5-year follow-up results," the patient, Claudia Castillo, is living normally without any complications or rejection of the implanted airway. More

Body hacking: Do implantable medical devices make humans susceptible to cyber-attacks?
Medical Daily
Although some see invasive technology as a rough spot in the evolution of medicine, scientific prognosticators worry about the expanding array of implantable devices — nano and bio — entering the human body. In the era of Jules Verne's fantastical stories about submarines and trips to the moon, J. A. McWilliam first reported experiments in 1899 on the application of electrical pulses to the human heart, finding that an external stimulus could evoke steady, clocklike contractions of the pulmonary muscle. More

New 3-D vessel reconstruction technology to aid physicians in stent placement launches in the US
Business Wire via The Wall Street Journal
St. Jude Medical, Inc., a global medical device company, announced U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval and launch of its ILUMIEN OPTIS PCI Optimization System, a new technology designed to provide physicians with a comprehensive disease assessment tool for treating patients with coronary artery disease. The system will be on display for the first time in the U.S. during the 2013 Transcatheter Cardiovascular Therapeutics scientific symposium.More

'Pain genes' identified by DNA sequencing
Medical News Today
Researchers have identified hundreds of variants in a patient's genetic code that predict which people are more susceptible to persistent chronic pain following amputation.More

Genes often get shuffled in our DNA deck
The Wall Street Journal
Once born, we typically share some part of our environment with at least one of our biological parents. But we receive all of our genes from them. The fertilized egg that eventually became you had the unique genome made from the two of them combining.More

The Affordable Care Act: They gave it the wrong name
By Dr. Jonathan Kaplan
Most Americans are thinking this major new piece of healthcare legislation, the Affordable Care Act, is going to make health insurance more affordable. Why?More

Medicare recipients, review your coverage to save money
Los Angeles Times
With all the publicity about enrolling people in ACA, it's easy to forget that enrollment is also underway for an entirely separate governmental health program: Medicare. Every year, the nation's 50 million Medicare beneficiaries have a chance to change their coverage during an enrollment period. It started last week and runs through Dec. 7.More

Thousands of consumers get insurance cancellation notices due to health law changes
Kaiser Health News
Health plans are sending hundreds of thousands of cancellation letters to people who buy their own coverage, frustrating some consumers who want to keep what they have and forcing others to buy more costly policies. The main reason insurers offer is that the policies fall short of what the Affordable Care Act requires starting Jan. 1. Most are ending policies sold after the law passed in March 2010. At least a few are cancelling plans sold to people with pre-existing medical conditions. More

FDA issues positive review for Gilead's hepatitis C drug
The Associated Press via ABC News
The Food and Drug Administration has issued a positive review for a highly anticipated hepatitis C drug from Gilead Sciences, saying the pill cures more patients in less time than currently available treatments. The agency posted its review of Gilead's sofosbuvir online ahead of a meeting where government experts will vote on whether to recommend the drug's approval.More

FDA panel endorses miltefosine for leishmaniasis
A U.S. Food and Drug Administration advisory panel has endorsed miltefosine capsules for the treatment of visceral, cutaneous and mucosal leishmaniasis. The FDA's Anti-Infective Drugs Advisory Committee took three separate votes on the efficacy and safety profile of Paladin Labs Inc's alkyllysophospholipid analogue miltefosine.More

Actelion wins crucial FDA approval for next-gen lung disease drug Opsumit
The FDA came through with an approval for Actelion's pulmonary arterial hypertension drug Opsumit, its next-gen successor to the franchise drug Tracleer. And the Swiss company's shares shot up 7 percent on the news. The approval comes as no great surprise. The company had been steadily doing the rounds with regulators, armed with positive late-stage data. More