Genomics Biotechnology & Emerging Medical Technologies Institute e-News
Mar. 14, 2013

Racial genes tied to ovarian cancer outcomes
MedPage Today
Disease progression and hazard for recurrence of endometrial cancer were significantly worse in patients with highest degree of African genetic ancestry, researchers reported here. For every 10 percent increase in a patient's African racial genetic admixture, risk of disease progression increased by a hazard ratio of 1.27, according to researchers.More

DNA tool kit goes live online
The latest shopping website is open for business, offering unusual wares: DNA tools to help biologists to engineer life. The DNA sequences — which allow precise control of gene activity in the bacterium Escherichia coli — are the first output of BIOFAB, which calls itself "the world's first biological design-build facility." Launched in 2009 with a $1.4-million grant from the National Science Foundation, BIOFAB aims to advance synthetic biology by creating standard biological "parts" in the form of DNA sequences that control gene expression. More

Young leukemia patient pinning hopes on gene therapy
The Inquirer
Medical science has been trying for 40 years to harness the immune system to cure cancer, or at least turn it into a docile chronic disease. But after 30 months of testing in more than a dozen adults and children worldwide, excitement over the T cell therapy's unprecedented power continues to build. The treatment, developed at the University of Pennsylvania, has eradicated advanced blood cancers in mere weeks, and is being adapted to attack solid tumors including prostate, pancreatic, ovarian and breast cancer.More

Human metabolism map aims to advance personalized medicine
An international team of researchers has created a "Google map" of human metabolism — an important step in understanding the underlying causes of disease. One of its most promising uses will be in helping to develop personalized treatments, the researchers say. More

New cell, gene therapies pushing truly personalized medicine closer
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News
No aspect of biopharma better epitomizes the goals and promise of delivering personalized medicine to treat and perhaps even cure intractable and disabling diseases than the emerging fields of cell and gene therapy.More

Research shows promising treatment for diabetic wounds using stem cells
Medical Xpress
Pre-clinical research has generated some very promising findings using adult stem cells for the treatment of diabetic wounds. The work showed that a particular type of stem cell, known as the mesenchymal stem cell, could increase wound healing when applied together with a biomaterial made from collagen.More

Patient's own fat cells may help fight deadly brain cancer
Medical News Today
There is a form of stem cell in the human body that can chase cancer cells. Now a new study from the US suggests brain cancer patients' own fat may provide the best source of these mesenchymal stem cells for delivering treatments directly into the brain after the surgical removal of glioblastoma, the most common and deadliest type of brain tumor.More

Synthetic speech gets an upgrade
VideoBriefIf you don't have a voice, who speaks for you? Today there are more than 60 different options for people who need to use synthetic voices to communicate, but for the majority of people who use them, there is a single answer to that question: "Perfect Paul."More

Robot combines sensors with adaptive mechanics for smarter stroke rehab
Strokes often cause serious disabilities in those afflicted, and rehab requires stamina from the therapists as well as patients. Relearning the skill of walking means therapists end up resembling soldiers rescuing war wounded, often in pairs holding up a patient and prodding the movement of the legs with various means. This is a hard job that a collaborative effort in Europe hopes to overcome with a new robot that has a bunch of features to improve stroke therapy.More

Physicians brace for 2 percent sequester pay cut
American Medical News
Physicians caring for Medicare patients said their practices will find keeping up with government mandates and the increasing demand for services more difficult once a 2 percent rate cut hits starting April 1.More

Healthcare cuts from vaccinations to research
Kaiser Health News
Sequestration spares Medicaid and almost all of Medicare, but automatic cuts to other federal healthcare programs will make it more difficult for low-income Americans to get maternal and infant care, vaccinate their children and receive treatment for mental illness.More

New heart warning for popular Z-Pak antibiotics
ABC News
VideoBriefAn antibiotic used to treat common infections may carry serious heart risks, according to a new warning from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration. The drug, called azithromycin but sold under the brand names Zithromax and Zmax as Z-Pak capsules, is prescribed for infections of the ears, lungs, sinuses, skin, throat and reproductive organs, according to the FDA. But the antibiotic can interfere with the heart's electrical activity, disturbing its rhythm with potentially fatal consequences.More