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GENOMICS

Is the placebo effect in some people's genes?
Reuters
Some people may be genetically programmed to feel better after taking placebo pills, while others may only heal with real drugs, suggests a new review of existing research. The study team looked at evidence that some people’s genes may make them more prone to experience the placebo effect. If true, and a genetic profile of such “placebo responders” could be identified, it might change the way medications are prescribed and the way clinical trials are designed, the authors say.
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10 super-genes that scientists could someday program into your body
Business Insider
One of the leading genetics researchers in the world, George Church, thinks we're not far from being able to use a new gene editing technology — called the "biggest biotech discovery of the century" by the MIT Tech Review — to give ourselves powerful versions of genes that will keep us healthy and strong well into old age.
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Cancer gene unintentionally ends the life of cancer cells, turns off life supporting genes
Medical Xpress
Myc cancer gene empowers tumor cells to relentlessly divide but simultaneously, provokes a cell suicide process called apoptosis. Myc controls cells by commanding the expression of every tenth of the genes in the nucleus of a tumor cell. However, in spite of more than two decades of intense research, no Myc motivated killer genes have been found.
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BIOTECH/DIAGNOSTICS/PERSONALIZED MEDICINE


IBM's Watson promises breakthroughs in personalized medicine
Genetic Literary Project
A new IBM business unit launched to help physicians, researchers, insurers and patients use big data, analytics and mobile technology to achieve better health outcomes is being described by the company’s chief executive officer as their “moonshot” in healthcare.
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REGENERATIVE MEDICINE


New transitional stem cells discovered
Phys.org
Pre-eclampsia is a disease that affects 5 to 8 percent of pregnancies in America. Complications from this disease can lead to emergency cesarean sections early in pregnancies to save the lives of the infants and mothers. Scientists believe pre-eclampsia is caused by a number of factors, including shallow placentas that are insufficiently associated with maternal blood vessels.
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Stem cell scientists develop more effective way to create motor neurons
Medical Xpress
Often described as the final frontier of biology, the nervous system is a complex network comprised of the brain, spinal cord and the nerves that run through the body. Published by scientists led by Bennett Novitch, Ph.D. at the Eli & Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at UCLA, new research using embryonic stem cells enhances the study of this intricate and perplexing system.
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Stem cell therapy shows promise in orthopedic treatment
The Associated Press via Washington Times
Three San Antonio doctors are bringing the science of stem cell therapy treatments to orthopedic injuries, a burgeoning field that caters to patients seeking to have joints or tendons rebuilt without undergoing surgery.
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EMERGING MEDICAL TECHNOLOGIES


George W. Bush on health IT: 'Logical solutions become inevitable'
Healthcare IT News
Former President George W. Bush took the stage at HIMSS15 on for a conversation with HIMSS President and CEO H. Stephen Lieber. The tone was informal, and while it touched on Bush’s early role in creating a national policy on digital health, it was for the most part an entertaining series of observations about everything from Bush’s newfound passion for art to his 28 meetings with Russian President Vladimir Putin.
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ACCOUNTABLE CARE ORGANIZATIONS


Do data exchange roadblocks affect ACO development?
EHR Intelligence
Health information exchange or medical data sharing among providers, payers, public health agencies and the federal government remains a major goal for the healthcare industry as a whole. Medical data exchange roadblocks are impeding progress in the healthcare sector necessary to improve patient care, lower costs, and boost population health outcomes.
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ACOs show modest cuts in Medicare spending after 1 year
Medscape
One year after 32 organizations entered into the Pioneer accountable care organization, under which providers share savings with Medicare if spending falls below a set benchmark or incur losses if spending exceeds the benchmark, results showed modest reductions in Medicare spending.
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FDA: NEW TREATMENTS AND TECHNOLOGY


Merck's Keytruda shrinks lung cancer tumors, FDA approval sought
Reuters via Fox News
Merck & Co Inc's Keytruda, approved for treating melanoma, was shown in a trial to shrink tumors in nearly half of advanced lung cancer patients with high levels of a protein used by tumors to evade the body's own disease-fighting cells. The company said it has filed for U.S. Food and Drug Administration approval of the drug as a treatment for patients with non-small cell lung cancer whose disease has worsened despite previous treatment.
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1st generic drug for multiple sclerosis approved
The Boston Globe
Federal regulators approved the first generic multiple sclerosis therapy, a development that could drop the price of the drug for consumers and boost the business of Momenta Pharmaceuticals Inc., which produced the injectable treatment. The generic version of the MS drug Copaxone will be sold under the brand name Glatopa by the Sandoz division of Switzerland’s Novartis AG, which signed an agreement with Cambridge-based Momenta to market the generic.
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MANAGED HEALTHCARE NEWS


Many unaware of required tax-time insurance reporting
USA Today
The special health insurance enrollment period set up for people surprised by their tax penalties hasn't appeared to increase either awareness or enrollment by much, new research shows. People who live in the 34 states that use HealthCare.gov and didn't know about the requirement to have health insurance can sign up through April 30 for 2015 coverage.
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Health insurance shoppers look to limited networks to save money
The New York Times
In all the turmoil in healthcare, one surprising truth is emerging: Consumers seem increasingly comfortable trading a greater choice of hospitals or doctors for a health plan that costs significantly less money. “Are they willing to trade choice and access for price? There’s no question about that,” said Mark Newton, the chief executive of Swedish Covenant Hospital, a Chicago hospital that recently teamed with an Illinois insurer, Land of Lincoln Health, to offer a health plan.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    Study sparks debate on accuracy of genome tests for cancer patients (The Wall Street Journal)
Fecal transplant, stem cells may help Crohn's disease (HealthDay News via CBS News)
FDA accused of dragging heels on dietary supplement dangers (Forbes)
3 technology trends transforming healthcare (Forbes)
Study: Genes may make 'placebo effect' stronger for some (HealthDay News)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.
 

Genomics Biotech and Emerging Medical Technologies Institute eBrief
Colby Horton, Vice President of Publishing, 469.420.2635
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Natalie Rodriguez, Senior Content Editor, 469.420.2635   
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