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Expanding the brain: Research identifies more than 40 new imprinted genes
It's among the cornerstones of biology: All mammals inherit two copies ― one from their mother, the other from their father — of every gene, in part to act as a backstop against genetic problems. If a gene is damaged or malfunctions, its double can pick up the slack. When it comes to inheritance, however, not all genes are created equal.
Bully or bystander? It could be in the genes
Often, the traditional image of the schoolyard bully is of a troubled child lashing out at others because they don’t know how else to handle their emotions. But a controversial new study challenges the idea that bullying is behavior that can be learned or unlearned: In fact, it may have roots in the bully’s genes.
Scientists resurrect millennia-old viruses for use in gene therapy
Scientists have successfully reconstructed a virus thousands of years after it became extinct, a development they believe could herald a new step in treating genetic diseases such as cystic fibrosis and muscular dystrophy.
By creating an evolutionary history of adeno-associated viruses, which infect humans and primates but do not cause disease, researchers from Harvard Medical School were able to construct Anc80, an ancestral virus which they believe to be between 2,000 and 200,000 years old.
Onward, personalized medicine
July has been an active month at the U.S. Food and Drug Administration when it comes to personalized medicine.
The agency approved four molecularly targeted drugs. The agency kicked off July by greenlighting the cystic fibrosis drug Orkambi for patients with the F508 del mutation, which is the most common cause for the disease.
A quest for personalized medicine in cancer care
If we’re to win the war on cancer, leading researchers say, then delivering personalized care to each and every cancer patient is crucial. That’s easier said than done; there are over 14 million new cancer diagnoses each year, according to the World Health Organization; and each case is unique. Looked at in this way, curing cancer is not just one of the world’s greatest public health challenges, it’s become a daunting big data challenge, says Norman Sharpless, M.D., and director of the UNC Lineberger Comprehensive Cancer Center.
Stem cell tactic shows promise for heart failure
HealthDay News via WebMD
A new method for delivering stem cells to damaged heart muscle has shown early promise in treating severe heart failure, researchers report.
In a preliminary study, they found the tactic was safe and feasible for the 48 heart failure patients they treated. And after a year, the patients showed a modest improvement in the heart's pumping ability, on average.
Through the application of state-of-the-art genomic technologies, CGI provides clinical knowledge that we believe will allow both clinicians and healthcare providers to tailor treatments to individuals.
CGI is committed to enhancing the lives of oncology patients, increasing quality of care, and lowering overall healthcare costs through innovation in cancer diagnostics. Learn more
Lab-grown muscle fibers may help people with muscular dystrophy
Producing large quantities of muscle fibers has proven to be difficult inside a lab. Until now, researchers have been able to create contracting muscles as well as muscle that is 10 times stronger than our own, albeit in small quantities. Researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital have just changed all that.
EMERGING MEDICAL TECHNOLOGIES
Why healthcare needs to rethink technology strategies
Health IT Outcomes
The traditional healthcare model is based on face-to-face encounters between patients and care providers in care facilities where dated or aging collection tools are used to diagnose and treat illnesses. That model, driven by the explosion of new healthcare technologies, is about to be radically changed.
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Can cloud technology fix the healthcare system?
It’s no secret that the U.S. healthcare system is broken. It’s plagued with splintered information, wasteful duplication and a severe lack of insight into the health of a patient, or population of patients. If you’ve ever sat in a hospital waiting room, filling out a paper form on a clipboard, you’ve experienced the crux of the problem: Data exchange in healthcare — getting providers the information they need to deliver care — is woefully behind that of virtually every other industry.
ACCOUNTABLE CARE ORGANIZATIONS
GIS mashups can help ACOs, HIEs
Health Data Management
Pioneering public health departments across the country are exploring using non-clinical datasets such as census data to better plan their services, but a group of researchers at Indiana University and the Regenstrief Institute also believe combining such data with clinical data could be valuable for health delivery systems and accountable care organizations, as well as supply a value-add service for health information exchanges.
ACOs appear unable to incentivize physicians to limit costs
Practices in affordable care organizations provide a slightly higher compensation for quality when compared with practices at large. Both ACO and non-ACO practices are similar, however, in regard to compensation based on productivity and salary. This suggests that the incentives for ACOs may not be strong enough to encourage practices to change physician compensation policies.
FDA: NEW TREATMENTS AND TECHNOLOGY
FDA says investigating latest cyclosporiasis outbreak
Reuters via Fox News
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said it is investigating the latest outbreak of cyclosporiasis in the United States.
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has been notified of about 358 confirmed cases of the infection, the FDA said in a statement on its website.
FDA clears 1st 3-D printed prescription drug
The Associated Press via ABC News
The Food and Drug Administration has approved the first prescription drug made through 3-D printing: a dissolvable tablet that treats seizures.
Aprecia Pharmaceuticals said Monday the FDA approved its drug Spritam for adults and children who suffer from certain types of seizures caused by epilepsy. The tablet is manufactured in a layered process via 3-D printing and dissolves when taken with liquid.
FDA approves new rosacea treatment
HealthDay News via WebMD
A new prescription treatment for the common skin condition rosacea was approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration.
Rosacea is a chronic disease that causes redness and pimples on the skin. In most cases, it affects only the face. Rosacea is most common in women and people with fair complexions, according to the U.S. National Library of Medicine.
Bigger may be better for health insurers, but doubts remain for consumers
The New York Times
Deals among the nation’s largest health insurers in recent weeks have been almost head-spinning. But whatever the details, if the combinations are finalized, the result will be an industry dominated by three colossal insurers.
Consumer advocates, policy experts and former regulators say that what may be good for the insurers may not be good for consumers, especially in the wake of a similar frenzy of deal-making among hospitals and doctors’ groups.
The connection between health coverage and income security
The Wall Street Journal
Discussions of expanding health coverage and improving economic security for working Americans don’t overlap much — but they are connected. As the chart above shows, when lower- and moderate-income people gain health coverage, the burden of paying healthcare bills is eased and they are able to focus on other pocketbook issues.
Obamacare exchange customers: Healthcare still costs too much
U.S. News & World Report
Many Americans who bought health insurance through exchanges operated by states or the federal government have a good understanding of how their plan works, but also are afraid they can't afford medical services, according to research published by the Deloitte Center for Health Solutions.
Health insurance exchanges, or "marketplaces," were created as part of President Barack Obama's healthcare law, the Affordable Care Act.
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