Genomics Biotechnology & Emerging Medical Technologies Institute e-News
Jan. 8, 2015

Save the date: 2015 Spring Managed Care Forum

Register today for the 2015 Spring Forum being held April 23-24, 2015 at Disney's Yacht & Beach Club. Click here to visit the conference website.More

Study: Gene linked to obesity hasn't always been a problem
The New York Times
Among scientists who study how our DNA affects our weight, a gene called FTO stands out. “It’s the poster child for the genetics of obesity,” said Struan F. Grant, an associate professor of pediatrics at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine. In 2007, researchers discovered that people with a common variant of FTO tend to be heavier than those without it.More

Are your political views in your genes?
Most of us would like to think that we arrive at our political views by careful reasoning and unbiased examination of the evidence. But in a classic study, John Alford, a political scientist at Rice University, showed that identical twins, who share all the same genes, are more likely to share political views than fraternal twins, who share only about 50 percent of their genes.More

Whale genes offer hints to longer lifespans
Live Science
In a search for genes that fight off aging, researchers have now charted the bowhead whale genome. Bowheads are filter feeders found only in the Arctic, and are some of the largest mammals on Earth. Old harpoon points found in bowheads suggest the whales live for some 200 years.More

The top health buzzword of 2015: Personalized medicine
Yahoo Health
Last year was all about simplifying your health and life. “Clean eating” is no longer a fringe fad, but an everyday term you can toss around with your relatives. And we saw crazy-intense workouts die out in favor of fun fitness and a focus on moderation.More

Personalized medicine 2014: LDT guidance, more PGx drugs, changing business models, lawsuits galore
Genome Web
Whatever happened in the field of personalized medicine over the last 12 months, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration-issued plan for regulating laboratory developed tests has stolen the spotlight. The FDA's long-stated intent to regulate LDTs has been and continues to be a divisive, hot-button topic.More

Scientists explain how stem cells and 'bad luck' cause cancer
Los Angeles Times
Why are some types of cancer so much more common than others? Sometimes it’s due to faulty genes inherited from one’s parents and sometimes to behaviors like smoking a pack of cigarettes every day. But in most cases, it comes down to something else — stem cells.More

Scientists develop pioneering method to define stages of stem cell reprogramming
In a groundbreaking study that provides scientists with a critical new understanding of stem cell development and its role in disease, UCLA researchers at the Eli and Edythe Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research led by Dr. Kathrin Plath, professor of biological chemistry, have established a first-of-its-kind methodology that defines the unique stages by which specialized cells are reprogrammed into stem cells that resemble those found in the embryo.More

The most exciting health tech at CES? Adhesive bandages
PC Magazine
Health tech is rarely as eye-catching or jaw-dropping as the latest toy drones, 3-D printers, and 4K TV sets. But health tech products have to be uniquely useful, accurate, and convenient to use. Adhesive bandages, as a mechanism for health and wellness technology, are turning out to be incredibly exciting for those very reasons.More

Self-tracking gadgets that play doctor abound at CES
North County Public Radio
When your kid's ear is throbbing at 2 a.m., you might want to grab the car keys and head to the emergency room. But now you can pick up your iPhone instead. A startup called CellScope has built a little ear probe that you clip on top of your iPhone camera. The footage streams into an app where you can view the inside the ear.More

FDA approves Saxenda injection therapy for weight management
The FDA granted approval to liraglutide 3-mg injection as the first once-daily human glucagon-like peptide-1 analogue to help manage obese or overweight patients, according to a press release from the agency.More

FDA allows testing of Aethlon device in Ebola patients
Aethlon Medical Inc. said the U.S. Food and Drug Administration had approved the testing in Ebola patients of its bio-filtration device, which was used against the deadly virus in a critically ill patient in Germany who later recovered. The device, being developed as a broad-spectrum countermeasure against pandemic threats, filters viruses and toxins from the blood.More

FDA approves Namzaric to treat Alzheimer's disease
Pharmacy Times
The FDA has approved Namzaric, a fixed-dose combination of memantine hydrochloride extended-release, an N-methyl D-aspartate receptor antagonist, and donepezil hydrochloride, an acetylcholinesterase inhibitor.More

What is holding back ACO telehealth use, reimbursement?
EHR Intelligence
Telehealth continues to show its ability to improve healthcare costs, quality, and access, but regulatory restrictions still hinder the use of this health information technology among accountable care organizations whose goal is to achieve those improvements, according to the author of an article published in the American Journal of Accountable Care.More

Telemedicine can enhance care at lower cost, but providers and payers alike are hesitant
Telemedicine has the potential to enhance healthcare, improve convenience and reduce costs, but both payers and providers likely won't add it as a reimbursed service due to lower payments or possible overuse, according to a recent peer-reviewed article in The American Journal of Managed Care.More

No health insurance? Penalties to rise in 2015
Chicago Daily Herald
The cost of being uninsured in America is going up significantly next year for millions of people. It's the first year all taxpayers have to report to the Internal Revenue Service whether they had health insurance for the previous year, as required under President Barack Obama's law. More

Health insurance enrollment strongest in federal marketplace
The New York Times
The Obama administration reported a big increase in new customers signing up for health insurance in Florida, Texas and other states using the federal insurance marketplace. But in states running their own insurance exchanges, the numbers were more modest.More