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Genes tell only part of the story
The New York Times
Abigail Zuger writes: I had intended to discuss President Barack Obama’s plans for personalized precision medicine with my patient Barbara last week, but she missed her appointment. Or, more accurately, she arrived two hours late, made the usual giant fuss at the reception desk and had to be rescheduled.
Scientists find 7 new genes that can cause X-linked intellectual disability
X-linked intellectual disability is a disorder that predominantly affects men and can have highly variable clinical manifestations. Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Molecular Genetics in Berlin have found seven new genes that can cause this genetic disease: Mutations of these genes on the X chromosome lead to various forms of intellectual disability.
Researchers reveal link between powerful gene regulatory elements and autoimmune diseases
Investigators with the National Institutes of Health have discovered the genomic switches of a blood cell key to regulating the human immune system. The findings, published in Nature, open the door to new research and development in drugs and personalized medicine to help those with autoimmune disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease or rheumatoid arthritis.
Facts about precision medicine
President Barack Obama is requesting an increase of $215 million in the 2016 federal budget to launch the Precision Medicine Initiative. This boost in funding for research will give genetic causes of cancer a national focus specifically around precision or "personalized" treatments for cancer in the future.
BioFeedback for immunoglobulin is a health outcomes reporting program that provides clinical feedback on the use of immunoglobulin in autoimmune-related disorders. Physicians and medical directors can now deploy clinical interventions when they have the greatest impact on healthcare quality and costs.
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A promising personalized medicine initiative, but little funding
Yale Daily News
The National Institutes of Health is slated to receive $215 million with the hope of individualizing medical treatments by using patients’ genetic information.
In his State of the Union address on Jan. 20, President Barack Obama announced the Precision Medical Initiative, a program with the goal of enabling doctors to better understand diseases through genetic sequencing of patients and ultimately choose better treatments.
US research: Stem cells offer promising key to new malaria drugs
Human stem cells engineered to produce renewable sources of mature, liver-like cells can be grown and infected with malaria to test potentially life-saving new drugs, according to researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology.
The advance comes at a time when the parasitic mosquito-borne disease, which kills nearly 600,000 people every year, is showing increased resistance to current treatment, especially in Southeast Asia, according to the World Health Organization.
Scientists learn to monitor neural stem cells that might help repair neurological damage
A labeling compound identified at A*STAR that specifically marks neuronal stem cells is not only a useful research tool, but could also assist clinical efforts to repair neurological damage in patients.
Even as adults, we retain reservoirs of neural stem cells that can develop into mature replacements for dead or damaged neurons.
Stem cell breakthrough revolutionizes surgery
Millions of Americans suffer from crippling wounds that won't heal — including burn victims, cancer patients, and military veterans, injured in Iraq and Afghanistan. But one South Florida doctor is out to change that reality with a revolutionary new stem cell procedure that is revolutionizing modern-day surgery.
EMERGING MEDICAL TECHNOLOGIES
Telehealth is changing the landscape of diabetes management
By Karen R. Thomas
Diabetes is an epidemic that affects both individuals who suffer from the disease and the overall economy. As with many chronic conditions, the toll is not only financial but also emotional. Coping with the rigors of routine monitoring, blood tests and medical visits can leave many patients feeling defeated and even depressed. Luckily, telehealth can change — and is changing — the landscape of diabetes management while reducing costs and increasing access and affordability in the process.
New products, companies and innovation in healthcare
By Rosemary Sparacio
Theranos, Karyopharm Therapeutics, Organovo. These companies are at the forefront of leading-edge technology and new products in the healthcare industry. And the new advances in technology and manufacturing have made many of their products not only possible, but also viable and available. Lab data is usually the first and earliest way to figure out what is causing a disease and what clinical approach can be taken. Theranos has developed a new procedure to change the way in which diagnosis and therapy takes place.
ACCOUNTABLE CARE ORGANIZATIONS
Value-based payments hurting specialists
Health IT Outcomes
Specialists may be forced to close or merge as a result of Medicare’s value-based approach.
A survey conducted by the Physicians Foundation has found specialists may find themselves forced to close their practices or merge with large providers when Medicare’s value-based approach to reimbursement takes effect.
ACOs not capitalizing on savings opportunities
Health Data Management
Researchers from Dartmouth College and the University of Michigan have discovered that the implementation of pilot accountable care organizations at 10 large health systems did not limit spending on discretionary or non-discretionary cardiovascular treatment for patients.
FDA: NEW TREATMENTS AND TECHNOLOGY
FDA Oks new drug for hard-to-treat thyroid cancer
The Associated Press via FoxBusiness
The Food and Drug Administration approved a new drug for hard-to-treat thyroid cancer, two months ahead of schedule.
The drug, Lenvima, from Japanese drugmaker Eisai is intended for patients with differentiated thyroid cancer that has spread despite radiation treatment.
Finding a job in healthcare: Terminations
By Catherine Iste
Once a year, I have the pleasure of being a guest lecturer for an ethics and social leadership class at a local university. The class participants include master's students in nursing and healthcare informatics. My topic is always the same: I am asked to demystify human resources. This year, the students' questions focused on the following: negotiating an offer, dealing with bureaucracy, performance reviews and terminations. Let's talk about terminations.
Targeting young people, hispanics for health insurance sign-ups
The Wall Street Journal
Supporters of the Affordable Care Act are conducting a late push to persuade so-called “young invincibles” — youthful Americans who consider themselves immune to illness — and other key groups to sign up for health insurance in advance of Sunday night’s deadline.
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