Genomics Biotechnology & Emerging Medical Technologies Institute e-News
Jan. 30, 2014

Study: Jet lag, late nights and naps disrupt gene function
Business travelers, shift workers, college students and overworked tech workers, beware. Unusual sleep patterns, particularly sleeping during the day and staying up late at night, wreak havoc with the activity of your genes, new research shows. Researchers at the Sleep Research Center at the University of Surrey in the U.K. interrupted study participants' sleep at regular intervals over three days, taking blood samples to monitor gene function. More

DNA study: Light skin genes evolved more recently than previously thought
The Huffington Post
An ancient European hunter-gatherer man had dark skin and blue eyes, a new genetic analysis has revealed. The analysis of the man, who lived in modern-day Spain only about 7,000 years ago, shows light-skin genes in Europeans evolved much more recently than previously thought.More

De novo gene mutations linked to schizophrenia
De novo genetic mutations in individuals with schizophrenia cluster in specific proteins that play a key role in brain function and overlap with mutations seen in autism, an international team of scientists report. Although inherited genetic mutations account for most of the genetic risk for schizophrenia, emerging evidence shows that uninherited (de novo) mutations also are involved.More

Sony forms genome analysis company in move towards personalized medicine
The Verge
Sony is forming a new company to focus on genome research with a view towards realizing personalized medicine and healthcare. The venture, currently called P5 Inc., is a collaboration with M3, a medical company in which Sony is the majority stakeholder, and Illumina, a U.S.-based manufacturer of genome-sequencing equipment. News of the tie-up between Sony and Illumina, which will be a minority investor, was first reported by Jiji Press last year.More

Personalized medicine slogs toward reality
Discover Magazine
For years, medical researchers have been talking about the day when babies will have their whole genomes sequenced at birth, the day when genomic analysis will allow every patient to be treated not just based on her condition but on which treatment is the best match for her genetic quirks. There will be a day, they say, when we will all carry our genomes around on a thumb drive. But the hurdles, fiscal and otherwise, have proven difficult to overcome.More

Scientists make pure precursor liver and pancreas cells from stem cells
Medical News Today
A new study published in the journal Cell Stem Cell, describes how scientists have developed a way of producing highly sought populations of a pure tissue-specific cell from human pluripotent stem cells. Human pluripotent stem cells are precursor cells than can produce over 200 distinct cell types in the human body. More

Study says new method could be a quicker source of stem cells
The New York Times
A surprising study has found that a simple acid bath might turn cells in the body into stem cells that could one day be used for tissue repair and other medical treatments. The technique, performed only with cells from mice, might turn out to be a quicker and easier source of multipurpose stem cells than methods now in use.More

Google Glass now framed for prescriptions
The top-requested Google Glass improvement is now a reality, as Google unveils its plan for prescription Google Glass frames. Available at the Google Glass website, prescription frames for the Internet-enabled headset cost $225, in addition to the $1,500 entry fee to the Explorer program. Google is adding four titanium frame styles — Bold, Curve, Thin, and Split — and two new tinted shade styles &mdahs; Classic and Edge — to the mix.More

Apple hires medical tech experts to work on iWatch
Apple has hired two experts in the medical tech field in order to ramp up its wearable technology plans that would include a patch to measure blood as well as biosensors. 9to5Mac reports that Nancy Dougherty from startup Sano Intelligence and Ravi Narasimhan of Vital Connect have joined to work with the team that is putting together the hardware behind the long anticipated iWatch. More

Study: Jet lag, late nights and naps disrupt gene function
Business travelers, shift workers, college students and overworked tech workers, beware. Unusual sleep patterns, particularly sleeping during the day and staying up late at night, wreak havoc with the activity of your genes, new research shows.More

Searching genes to avoid medical side effects
The Wall Street Journal
Scientists searching for a way to avoid prescribing medications to patients that may cause dangerous physical or behavioral responses are turning increasingly to those patients' DNA.More

Sleep during the day may throw genes into disarray
HealthDay News via WebMD
Sleeping during the day — a necessity for jet-lagged travelers and those who work overnight shifts — disrupts the rhythms of about one-third of your genes, a new study suggests.More

Stage 2 meaningful use readiness a growing concern
By Pamela Lewis Dolan
A survey recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention found there has been tremendous growth in electronic health record use in the U.S. over the past several years, thanks in part to the meaningful use incentive program. But there may be a speed bump in the road to a connected healthcare system as the meaningful use program enters its second stage. The survey found the number of office-based physicians with some type of EHR system grew from 18 percent in 2001 to 78 percent in 2013. But just 13 percent had systems capable of meeting at least 14 of the 17 core objectives required for Stage 2 of the three-stage program. More

Know the health insurance deadline? Most don't
The Atlantic
In a survey out this morning, only 45 percent of Americans correctly identified March 31 as the deadline to purchase health insurance as required under the Affordable Care Act. The rate of correct responses was lowest among the 18 to 29 age group, those who make less than $30,000, and those without college degrees. Sixty-two percent said they assumed that the deadline would be pushed back.More

The impact of FDA's social media guidance for pharmaceutical companies
By Pamela Lewis Dolan
The Food and Drug Administration took a significant step forward in clarifying the responsibilities pharmaceutical companies have concerning social media activity in the recent release of a draft guidance document. As uncertainties still remain, the impact this guidance will have on pharmaceutical companies embracing this new venue of communication is unclear. The guidance gives pharmaceutical companies reassurance that they would not be held responsible for comments left by third parties on social media sites. But, as one expert points out, this should not be considered a reason to ignore the opportunities social media presents to engage with patients.More

Study: Clinical evidence in FDA drug approvals varies widely
Modern Healthcare
Not every new drug approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration has undergone the rigorous clinical testing that physicians and their patients might expect, according to new research. A study published in the Journal of the American Medical Association finds that the FDA has "flexible standards" for approving of new therapies. More