Genomics Biotechnology & Emerging Medical Technologies Institute e-News
Mar. 27, 2014

Breast cancer gene may also be linked to high-risk uterine cancer
The Associated Press via Fox News
Women with a faulty breast cancer gene might face a greater chance of rare but deadly uterine tumors despite having their ovaries removed to lower their main cancer risks, doctors are reporting. A study of nearly 300 women with bad BRCA1 genes found four cases of aggressive uterine cancers years after they had preventive surgery to remove their ovaries.More

How your genes help you become a good parent
Or a bad one, for that matter. A new study suggests both genetic and environmental factors determine how a parent is likely to raise a child, both positively and negatively. Scared expectant parents are always told that knowing how to take care of their offspring just comes naturally. Turns out a new study by Michigan State University psychologists backs up that theory with cold, hard facts.More

Want to get published?
In an effort to enhance the overall content of Genomics Biotech and Emerging Medical Technologies Institute eBrief, we'd like to include peer-written articles in future editions. As a member, your knowledge of the industry lends itself to unprecedented expertise. And we're hoping you'll share this expertise with your peers through well-written commentary. Because of the digital format, there's no word or graphical limit and our group of talented editors can help with final edits. If you're interested in participating, please contact Ronnie Richard to discuss logistics.More

Scientists tweak genes to give bacteria electrical superpowers
The sticky bacterial mats called biofilms — the stuff that coats your teeth with plaque and help give Yellowstone's hot springs their crazy colors — are pretty impressive. Cells in the conglomerate can talk to one another and coordinate switching genes on and off, and the biofilm as a whole can quickly react to shifting environmental conditions.More

Breast cancer genes and patient protection in an era of personalized medicine
The Huffington Post
Genetic testing is often heralded as a cornerstone in an imminent and exciting new age of personalized medicine, in which our healthcare is customized based on our individual genetic profiles. But let's not get carried away by the fantasy and promise; progress has lagged while persistent medical, ethical and scientific issues associated with genetic testing abound.More

Building the Google of blood, 1 tube at a time
The New Yorker
The first shipment arrives at 4 am. The boxes are opened by laser — in case a hand should slip and plunge a knife into the tightly packed dry ice. Here, suspended in the thousands of test tubes that arrive each day, is an endless stream of blood. If one of the tubes is yours, you have probably run out of options &mdahs; except for the last gamble of a clinical trial.More

Scientists develop unique cells to repair patient's defective and diseased bladder
For the first time, scientists have succeeded in coaxing laboratory cultures of human stem cells to develop into the specialized, unique cells needed to repair a patient's defective or diseased bladder. The breakthrough, developed at the UC Davis Institute for Regenerative Cures and published in the scientific journal Stem Cells Translational Medicine, is significant because it provides a pathway to regenerate replacement bladder tissue for patients whose bladders are too small or do not function properly, such as children with spina bifida and adults with spinal cord injuries or bladder cancer.More

1st stem cell study of bipolar disorder offers hope for better treatments
Fox News
When it comes to understanding bipolar disorder, many questions remain unanswered &mdahs; such as what truly causes the condition and why finding proper treatments is so difficult. But now, researchers have taken a huge step towards solving some of the disorder's complex mysteries. More

Replacing insulin through stem cell-derived pancreatic cells under the skin
Medical Xpress
Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute and UC San Diego School of Medicine scientists have shown that by encapsulating immature pancreatic cells derived from human embryonic stem cells, and implanting them under the skin in animal models of diabetes, sufficient insulin is produced to maintain glucose levels without unwanted potential trade-offs of the technology. More

3-D printing is revolutionizing surgery
Crain's Chicago Business via Modern Healthcare
Reaching into a beat-up, red-and-white cooler lined with a white terry-cloth towel, Dr. Matthew Bramlet pulls out a replica of an infant's heart. The size of a small pear and chalky to the touch, the model was made in a 3-D printer. Last spring, Dr. Bramlet, 38, a pediatric cardiologist at Children's Hospital of Illinois in Peoria, commissioned it from the hospital's new innovation lab while planning surgery for a girl with a congenital heart defect. More

Can aspirin prevent heart attacks? This device may know the answer
Today, if researchers want to know how well a drug like aspirin works at preventing heart attacks, the traditional approach is to test that drug on as many people as possible and try to consider a variety of contributing factors, such as age, gender, race and heart health. But a prototype microfluidic device being tested at Georgia Tech could enable researchers to instead run a sample of a patient's blood through artificial arteries and, instead of estimating how well the drug should work in most patients, determine exactly how well it works in that very patient's body.More

Scientists home in on the real 'fat gene'
Los Angeles Times
If you're a student of fat — and who isn't these days? — you know that the FTO gene is the gene thought to be most responsible for some people's inherited propensity to become obese. More

New gene-scanning approach finds link to heart attack risk 'hiding in plain sight'
Medical News Today
As scanning genomes for disease-related gene variations becomes more commonplace, scientists are pinpointing gene variations that change the way proteins function.More

Breast cancer gene may also be linked to high-risk uterine cancer
The Associated Press via Fox News
Women with a faulty breast cancer gene might face a greater chance of rare but deadly uterine tumors despite having their ovaries removed to lower their main cancer risks, doctors are reporting.More

Affordable Care Act may actually lead to fewer clinical visits
By Pamela Lewis Dolan
With an estimated 30 million people expected to gain insurance coverage through the Affordable Care Act, there has been much speculation about where those patients will go for care. Many physician offices are already filled to capacity, and a looming shortage of primary care physicians has been well-documented. While it may seem counterintuitive, a number of providers fear the ACA will actually lead to fewer visits in some cases, despite the growing patient population.More

Survey: Health insurance basics stump many Obamacare shoppers
Los Angeles Times
Amid the final frenzy for Obamacare enrollment, a new survey shows that many consumers may be ill-equipped to shop for health insurance. A study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences found that 42 percent of people surveyed could not describe a deductible and 39 percent didn't understand the relationship between a premium and deductible. More

For some who are married but filing taxes separately, another hurdle
The Associated Press via The Washington Post
In May 2012, when the Internal Revenue Service proposed its rules for Americans to get government subsidies for health insurance, officials acknowledged that a legal quirk needed to be fixed: The Affordable Care Act was written in a way that inadvertently denied such help to some people who live apart from spouses who abuse them, are in prison or are on the cusp of a divorce.More

FDA reviewers recommend against approval for Novartis heart failure drug
Ahead of an important advisory panel FDA reviewers have recommended against approval of a novel drug for acute heart failure from Novartis. The once highly-promising drug, which received a "breakthrough therapy" designation from the FDA last year, was turned down for approval in Europe earlier this year.More

FDA approves Celgene drug for psoriatic arthritis
Reuters via Yahoo News
U.S. health regulators approved a Celgene Corp drug to treat psoriatic arthritis, a type of arthritis associated with the skin disease psoriasis that causes joint pain, stiffness and swelling. The drug, known chemically as apremilast, will be sold under the brand name Otezla. It is also being studied by the U.S. biotechnology company as a treatment for psoriasis and ankylosing spondylitis.More