Genomics Biotechnology & Emerging Medical Technologies Institute e-News
Mar. 21, 2013

Super protein that can cut DNA, revolutionize genetic engineering
When scientists Phillipe Horvath and Rodolphe Barrangou set out to find a better way to make yogurt, they didn't expect to stumble across one of the future's most promising discoveries: a super protein that can accurately cut DNA — and could perhaps revolutionize genetic engineering.More

Genetics may be tied to breast cancer risk in unexpected ways
HealthDay News
Genetic testing may help identify women at risk for certain types of breast cancer, according to a new study. Researchers found that over-expression or under-expression of certain genes may help doctors pinpoint women with estrogen receptor-positive or estrogen receptor-negative breast cancer. More

When timing is everything: Research says beneficial mutations need specific circumstances to win out
Medical Xpress
When it comes to the sort of beneficial mutations that drive natural selection, there's new evidence that, evolutionarily speaking, timing is everything. In paper published in an issue of Genetics, researchers say that beneficial mutations may occur more often than first thought, but many never emerge as "winners," because they don't fall within the narrow set of circumstances required for them to dominate a population.More

Personalized brain transplants: Skin cells to brain cells achieved in primates
In many ways the Holy Grail in transplantation is to convert a body’s own cells into stem cells, turn those into neural cells, and then integrate them into functional circuitry within the brain. Until now, only pieces of that puzzle have been possible. Su-Chun Zhang, who was the first to convert embryonic stem cells, and later induced pluripotent stem cells into neurons, has now demonstrated that these iPSCs can be successfully introduced into the brain — in other words, he has achieved autologous, tumorless, indefinite and functional neuro-transplantation.More

Personalized medicine at Penn State Hershey gives patients focused care
Penn State University
Members of the Penn State Board of Trustees heard about Penn State Hershey’s investment in personalized medicine research, a rapidly evolving approach to medicine that allows doctors to tailor treatments to each individual rather than using a one-size-fits-all approach.More

Mom of girls in need of transplants wins fight to compensate bone marrow donors
NBC News
VideoBriefDoreen Flynn recently waged a high-profile, legal battle to make it possible for bone marrow donors to be compensated. Flynn thinks compensation will help her girls and the 16,000 people searching for bone marrow matches. Doreen and her lawyer, Jeff Rowes of the Institute for Justice, won their court battle. It is now legal for bone marrow donors to receive compensation — not in the form of cash, but rather coupons and goods for as much as $3,000.More

College student's healing gel could potentially eliminate use of bandages
Medical Daily
A New York University student created a gel that could stop heavy bleeding, potentially eliminating the use of bandages. Joe Landolina, a 20-year-old junior at New York University, concocted the gel, called Veti-Gel, with Isaac Miller, an NYU alum who graduated with a bachelor’s degree in finance and management. Landolina said that Veti-Gel could heal and clot severe wounds, even organs and major arteries. More

Biocompatible plastics and their importance in the medical device industry
By Archita Datta Majumdar
Plastics have paved their way into every aspect of human life due to their unique properties of malleability, easily changeable shapes and forms and low cost of production. Significant developments in plastics technology have coincided with the advent of innovative medical devices — pacemakers, stents and hip-replacement devices — which have enabled medical solutions for all kinds of ailments and impairments. Despite their ease of use, plastics can bring the risk of health and environmental hazards that can undermine all medical efforts unless treated minutely at first. Hence, the need for biocompatibility which can reduce these risks and enable us to fully derive the benefits.More

Device keeps liver 'alive' outside body in medical first
A donated human liver has been kept alive, warm and functioning outside a human being on a newly-developed machine and then successfully transplanted into patients in a medical world first. A British team of doctors, engineers and surgeons announcing the achievement said it could be common practice in hospitals across the developed world within a few years, up to doubling the number of livers available for transplant.More

Researchers develop real-time, electronic tool to enhance pneumonia diagnosis
Medical Xpress
Researchers at Intermountain Medical Center in Salt Lake City have developed and implemented the first real-time electronic screening tool to identify patients with pneumonia to speed up diagnosis and treatment and improve outcomes. The new tool works seamlessly with the hospital's computerized medical screening and diagnosis technology that physicians are already using at Intermountain Healthcare.More

Some states balk at enforcing health law's insurance protections
Kaiser Health News
Florida regulators won't penalize insurance companies that violate new health law consumer protections that take effect in January but will report them to the federal government, according to an agreement between the state and federal officials. At least three others — Missouri, Oklahoma and Wyoming — have informed the Obama administration that they can't or won't enforce the law. Some officials say they have not received the authority they need to do so from their state legislatures.More

Doctors may lose potent legal tactic against insurers
American Medical News
A possible Supreme Court ruling for a health insurance company in a dispute over class arbitration could hamstring physicians in their battles over payments.More

FDA probes new pancreas risks with diabetes drugs
The Associated Press via USA Today
The Food and Drug Administration is looking into new evidence that a group of recently approved diabetes drugs can increase the risk of pancreatitis and other problems. The agency said samples of pancreas tissue taken from a small number of patients showed inflammation and cellular changes that often precede cancer. Academic researchers took the samples from diabetes patients who were taking the new medications, after they died from various causes.More