Genomics Biotechnology & Emerging Medical Technologies Institute e-News
Feb. 7, 2013

Genomic 'dark matter' yields major melanoma discovery
Researchers recently revealed two new mutations that occur in more than 70 percent of melanomas. The finding, published online in Science Express, represents the most common mutations identified in melanoma to date, and may point to an essential biological mechanism that allows cancer cells to divide indefinitely. Beyond what this discovery reveals about the biology of this deadly disease, these mutations may prove equally significant because of where they were found.More

Fountain of youth? Scientists find genetic clue to aging reversal
HealthDay News
A discovery about the aging process in mice might one day help efforts to develop treatments for age-related diseases in humans, researchers report. The biologists say they turned back the "molecular clock" in old mice by placing a "longevity" gene into their blood stem cells.More

Nurses at forefront of genomics in healthcare
Science Codex
A special Genomics Issue of the Journal of Nursing Scholarship, including an evidence review by researchers from the National Institutes of Health, addresses genetic applications that are essential to advancing nursing knowledge and patient care. "With nurses at the forefront of clinical care, their understanding of genomics and genetic applications is important to enhancing healthcare and improving patient outcomes," said Editor-in-Chief of the Journal of Nursing Scholarship, Susan Gennaro RN, DSN, FAAN, Dean and Professor at the William F. Connell School of Nursing at Boston College in Chestnut Hill, Mass. More

Study finds potential to match tumors with known cancer drugs
Medical Xpress
When it comes to gene sequencing and personalized medicine for cancer, spotting an aberrant kinase is a home run. The proteins are relatively easy to target with drugs and plenty of kinase inhibitors already exist. In a new study, University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center researchers assess the complete landscape of a cancer's "kinome" expression and determine which kinases are acting up in a particular tumor. They go on to show that those particular kinases can be targeted with drugs — potentially combining multiple drugs to target multiple kinases.More

Personalized medicine eliminates need for drug in 2 children
Bioscience Technology
Using genome-wide analysis, investigators have potentially eliminated a lifetime drug prescription that two children with a previously unknown type of adrenal insufficiency had been receiving for 14 years. Over a lifespan, the adjustment in treatment represents an approximate saving of $10,000 in drug and test costs per patient. Moreover, the less invasive treatment regime can potentially reduce the lifetime risk of hypertension in the patients.More

We can almost print new organs using 3-D stem cells
File this under unexpectedly cool: organs you don't harvest, but instead print using an honest-to-goodness printer, just as you might words on paper, except in this case, the "words" are actual stem cells that could save someone's life. Let's talk about 3-D printers for a moment: high-tech contraptions that let you craft 3-D objects with a computer aided design program, then render them in the real world as instantly usable objects with, say, a little powder and some binding material.More

Scientists identify elusive taste stem cells
Scientists at the Monell Center in Philadelphia have identified the location and certain genetic characteristics of taste stem cells on the tongue. The findings will facilitate techniques to grow and manipulate new functional taste cells for both clinical and research purposes.More

Brothers developer device to halt allergy attacks
The New York Times
Twin brothers Eric and Evan Edwards grew up with serious food allergies and were under doctor's orders to carry their medicine everywhere they went. Recently, the brothers' invention — a slimmer device shaped like a smartphone — hit pharmacy shelves nationwide, the culmination of a single-minded quest that began 15 years ago and ended in a $230 million licensing deal with the French pharmaceutical giant Sanofi.More

Walgreens releases drug refill API for app developers
Walgreens has been automating and digitizing its pharmacies to improve medication adherence and make it easier for people to refill their prescriptions. In the meantime there are untold number of mobile apps for smartphones and tablets that try to help people manage their medications and other aspects of health. To help integrate their pharmacy into the mobile space, Walgreens released an application programming interface that allows developers to use the company's prescription refill system right in the apps.More

US proposes scrapping some obsolete Medicare regulations
The Obama administration has proposed eliminating certain obsolete Medicare regulations, a move it said would save hospitals and other healthcare providers an estimated $676 million a year, or $3.4 billion over five years.More

Links found between poor health, seniors switching out of private Medicare
Kaiser Health News
New research finds that many seniors who switch from their HMO-style Medicare Advantage plan to traditional Medicare have higher levels of significant health problems, fueling concerns that the private plans cater to more profitable, healthy beneficiaries but don't provide the most attractive care for the very ill.More

US proposes scrapping some obsolete Medicare regulations
The Obama administration has proposed eliminating certain obsolete Medicare regulations, a move it said would save hospitals and other healthcare providers an estimated $676 million a year, or $3.4 billion over five years.More

FDA fast-tracks generic form of cancer drug
HealthDay News
Seeking to ease potentially dangerous shortages of a key cancer drug, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration announced it had fast-tracked the approval of the first generic form of one such medication, Doxil.More

FDA turns down chronic fatigue drug
MedPage Today
The FDA will require a new clinical trial of rintatolimod as well as additional types of data before it will approve the drug for chronic fatigue syndrome, its manufacturer said. Hemispherx Inc. said it had received a "complete response letter" from the FDA, indicating that the company "should conduct at least one additional clinical trial, complete various nonclinical studies and perform a number of data analyses."More