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Autism genes linked to higher intelligence
Genetic variations associated with autism spectrum disorders have been linked to better cognitive ability in individuals who do not have the condition, new research suggests. A large population-based study showed that individuals in the general population who carry more of the genetic variations associated with ASD perform slightly better on cognitive function tests than those who carry fewer of the genetic variants, although the advantage conferred by ASD-associated genes appears to be small.
Scientists have created 'DNA scissors' that can alter your genes, but should they use them?
Biotechnology that can rewrite the genome heralds "a new era of human biology" and raises ethical questions for the medical community, experts in bioethics, and everybody else, according to a group of prominent researchers writing in Science.
The fuss is over "DNA scissors" discovered in microbes in 2012 that can be adapted to edit genetic material, potentially removing disease-enabling mutations and adding in "corrected" DNA strings.
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In an effort to enhance the overall content of Genomics Biotech and Emerging Medical Technologies Institute eBrief, we'd like to include peer-written articles in future editions. As a member of NAMCP, your knowledge of the industry lends itself to unprecedented expertise. And we're hoping you'll share this expertise with your peers through well-written commentary. Because of the digital format, there's no word or graphical limit. Our group of talented editors can help with final edits. If you're interested in participating, please contact Ronnie Richard to discuss logistics.
What Angelina Jolie's very personal medicine tells us about personalized medicine
Angelina Jolie told the story of her decision to have her ovaries and fallopian tubes surgically removed to reduce the risk of ovarian cancer due to the faulty BRCA1 gene she was born with. This follows a similar decision to undergo a double mastectomy in 2013 to reduce the even higher risk of breast cancer the mutant BRCA1 gene bestows.
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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FDA continues to lead in precision medicine
Everyone knows that different people don’t respond the same way to medications, and that “one size does not fit all.” FDA has been pushing for targeted drug therapies, sometimes called “personalized medicines” or “precision medicines,” for a long time. Targeted therapies make use of blood tests, images of the body, or other technologies to measure individual factors called “biomarkers.”
Stem cell therapy promising for Type 2 diabetes
Human embryonic stem cell therapy was recently shown to reverse Type 1 diabetes in mice, and now new mouse studies suggest a role for stem cells in the treatment of Type 2 diabetes. Obese, diabetic mice treated with a combination of transplanted stem cell-derived pancreatic progenitor cells and insulin-sensitizing drugs showed improved glucose metabolism and rapid weight loss.
Stem cells make similar decisions to humans
Scientists at the University of Copenhagen have captured thousands of progenitor cells of the pancreas on video as they made decisions to divide and expand the organ or to specialize into the endocrine cells that regulate our blood sugar levels. The study reveals that stem cells behave as people in a society, making individual choices but with enough interactions to bring them to their end-goal.
Biotech startup to fight diabetes on the cellular front
The Boston Globe
Anew Cambridge biotech will be working on a treatment using stem cells that could let children and adults with Type 1 diabetes do something their bodies currently cannot: produce their own insulin, the hormone that keeps blood sugar levels in balance.
Semma Therapeutics is already off to a strong start.
EMERGING MEDICAL TECHNOLOGIES
Why healthcare tech is still so bad
The New York Times
Robert Wachter writes: Last year, I saw an ad recruiting physicians to a Phoenix-area hospital. It promoted state-of-the-art operating rooms, dazzling radiology equipment and a lovely suburban location. But only one line was printed in bold: “No EMR”
In today’s digital era, a modern hospital deemed the absence of an electronic medical record system to be a premier selling point.
Maximizing your point-of-care technology
Healthcare IT News
Point-of-care technology is the key to providing patient care and efficient workflows. PC Connection, Inc. has the experts and services to ensure that you have the right devices and technology to provide excellent care.
ACCOUNTABLE CARE ORGANIZATIONS
Healthcare analytics key for trust, effectiveness of ACOs
Developing a workable healthcare analytics infrastructure is a critical part of achieving financial benefits when embracing accountable care, says a report by the RAND Corporation and the American Medical Association, which followed 34 physician practices during their year-long transition from traditional fee-for-service models to accountable care reimbursement structures.
ACOs could meet both payment reform, population health needs
Accountable care organizations represent a rare opportunity for states to meet both their population health and payment reform needs, according to a new study by the Milbank Memorial Fund. ACOs that serve Medicaid populations have an opportunity to address these issues due to Medicaid patients' relatively worse health compared to the rest of their population and complex needs on the socioeconomic level.
FDA: NEW TREATMENTS AND TECHNOLOGY
FDA removes the brakes on Pfizer and Lilly's pain drug
A once-halted pain candidate from partners Pfizer and Eli Lilly now has the green light to resume late-stage testing, as the FDA has lifted a clinical hold tied to some serious safety concerns for the whole class of drugs.
The treatment, tanezumab, works by targeting nerve growth factor, a protein that regulates how the body processes pain.
FDA approves 1st treatment for rare disorders in children, adults
The FDA approved Cholbam, a cholic acid, for children and adults with bile acid synthesis disorders and peroxisomal disorders, according to a press release from the FDA. After the manufacturer was granted a rare pediatric disease priority review voucher, the FDA announced the approval of Cholbam as an oral treatment for adults and children at least three weeks old, according to the release.
Providers plan to pursue Medicare's chronic care management program
By Scott E. Rupp
Kryptiq conducted a benchmark survey to gauge providers' pursuit of the newly available payments in light of the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services starting to reimburse providers last Jan. 1. Caregivers who actively manage care delivery for Medicare patients with two or more chronic conditions are able to receive payment for the services if they use a certified electronic health record, obtain and manage patient consent, deliver five core care management services and provide at least 20 minutes of follow-up outside of the office in conjunction with the chronic care management program.
Congress could jeopardize health insurance for millions of kids
The Huffington Post
The federal-state Children’s Health Insurance Program will run out of money on Sept. 30. Until recently, Congress showed little interest in paying for it. But this week, the House agreed on a bill that would continue the $13 billion program in its current form through 2017.
In late February, Republicans in both houses issued a “discussion draft” outlining modifications they claimed would make the program more flexible for states, even though most governors say they don’t want any changes to what they consider a near-perfect healthcare program.
Obama, Republicans mark 5th year of healthcare law
Five years later, the debate over President Barack Obama's healthcare law — aka Obamacare — remains as contentious as ever.
Obama and Republican critics are marking Monday's fifth anniversary of the law's passage with very contrasting views of its impact.
For Obama, it's about 16 million more Americans who now have health insurance, and an improving economy; for Republicans, it's about higher premiums and canceled policies.
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