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Music physically activates genes for learning and memory
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News
A Finnish research group recently reported the effect of music performance on the gene expression profiles of professional musicians from Tapiola Sinfonietta, a professional orchestra, and Sibelius-Academy, a music university.
Playing music enhanced the activity of genes involved in dopaminergic neurotransmission, motor function, learning and memory, according to the researchers.
Genes crucial for vision multiplied in early stages of vertebrate evolution
A new study from SciLifeLab at Uppsala University published in PLOS ONE shows that genes crucial for vision were multiplied in the early stages of vertebrate evolution and acquired distinct functions leading to the sophisticated mechanisms of vertebrate eyes.
One striking feature of vertebrates is the prominent role that vision plays in almost all major animal groups.
In Iceland's DNA, new clues to disease-causing genes
The New York Times
Scientists in Iceland have produced an unprecedented snapshot of a nation’s genetic makeup, discovering a host of previously unknown gene mutations that may play roles in ailments as diverse as Alzheimer’s disease, heart disease and gallstones.
“This is amazing work, there’s no question about it,” said Daniel G. MacArthur, a geneticist at Massachusetts General Hospital who was not involved in the research.
The role of artificial intelligence in personalized medicine
Scientists at Carnegie Mellon University and the University of Pittsburgh are using artificial intelligence in their quest to provide individualized treatments, according to a Computerworld article.
As part of the Pittsburgh Health Data Alliance, the University of Pittsburgh Medical Center has agreed to fund the project for six years at between $10 million and $20 million per year.
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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NIH-led team to help guide path of precision medicine initiative
NIH announced a team of experts who will gather public input on topics, such as electronic health records and privacy, to help set the path for President Barack Obama's precision medicine initiative, Health Data Management reports.
Premature aging of stem cell telomeres, not inflammation, linked to emphysema
Lung diseases like emphysema and pulmonary fibrosis are common among people with malfunctioning telomeres, the "caps" or ends of chromosomes. Now, researchers from Johns Hopkins say they have discovered what goes wrong and why.
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Stem cells augment rotator cuff repairs
The implantation of mesenchymal stem cells from iliac crest bone marrow improves the long-term durability of rotator cuff repairs, a new study shows.
"You increase the healing process, the quantity of fibrous tissue, and the rate of healing," Philippe Hernigou, M.D., from the University of Paris, told Medscape Medical News.
Blood test uses human stem cells to predict severe drug reactions
Scientists have developed a blood test using human stem cells that predicts whether new drugs will cause severe side effects. The test, which only requires blood from a single donor, could help prevent catastrophic inflammatory reactions known as a cytokine storm in people participating in drug trials.
EMERGING MEDICAL TECHNOLOGIES
FDA 'taking a very light touch' on regulating the Apple Watch
With Apple Inc. and fellow Silicon Valley companies edging further into healthcare, the U.S. agency in charge of oversight says it will give the technology industry leeway to develop new products without aggressive regulation.
Bakul Patel, who oversees the new wave of consumer-focused health products at the Food and Drug Administration, said most wearable gadgets such as the soon-to-be-released Apple Watch and health-focused applications for smartphones have a way to go before warranting close scrutiny from the agency.
How 3 providers benefit from telemedicine
With stronger network connectivity and enhanced technologies, telemedicine is paving the way for a new approach to care — and many providers already are seeing the benefits.
Forbes Insights, in partnership with Comcast Business, recently released a report looking at how providers are using telemedicine to improve care.
ACCOUNTABLE CARE ORGANIZATIONS
ACOs showing payment reform possible
“The healthcare system must transform and payment reform represents one pathway that is rapidly diffusing,” according to Michael Chernew, Ph.D., of the Harvard Medical School, Department of Health Care Policy, Boston, who spoke about payment reform at the ACC meeting during a session.
2 ways to make ACOs work better
New payment models adopted by Medicare and many health plans have clearly led to better care for patients. They also might be helping to slow the overall growth of healthcare spending.
Whether these gains can be sustained, however, is far from certain. And because many providers are still sitting on the sidelines, uncertainty is a serious threat to progress.
FDA: NEW TREATMENTS AND TECHNOLOGY
FDA approves Emergent BioSolutions' inhaled anthrax treatment
Emergent BioSolutions Inc. said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved its treatment for inhaled anthrax, triggering a $7 million milestone payment from the Department of Health and Human Services.
The company developed the treatment, Anthrasil, as part of a $160 million contract it signed in 2005 with the Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority, a part of the HHS.
Amgen receives FDA priority review designation for Kyprolis to treat relapsed multiple myeloma
Amgen announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has accepted the supplemental New Drug Application of Kyprolis for injection for the treatment of patients with relapsed multiple myeloma who have received at least one prior therapy.
Senate passes 2 health insurance amendments, files 3rd
Senators voted 52-46 to cut the employer contribution on their own health insurance, reported The Hill. Additionally, the Senate voted 56-44 to approve an amendment aimed at improving health insurance price transparency. Sen. David Vitter, R-Louisiana, who proposed the first amendment, has pushed the issue for years.
With 16M in Obamacare, is the repeal debate over?
The Republicans are facing a 16 million person problem.
With the Obama administration announcing this month that some 16 million people have obtained health insurance since the passage of the Affordable Care Act, the Republicans' intense focus on completely repealing the law is increasingly looking unrealistic.
Experts: 2015 is the year of the healthcare breach
By Scott E. Rupp
Breaches, breaches everywhere. It seems there's no shortage of news about security breaches and their effect on healthcare. In an effort to better paint the picture of breaches in healthcare, Software Advice recently published research focusing on how recent HIPAA breaches, like the cyberattacks at Anthem and Premera Blue Cross, have impacted U.S. patients' trust, treatment and retention. According to the organization, security experts warn that we're in the year of the healthcare hack.
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