Genomics Biotechnology & Emerging Medical Technologies Institute e-News
Jul. 5, 2012

Finding clues to Alzheimer's in DNA
In what's being described as the largest, most complete genetic mapping project for a single disease, scientists announced a plan to obtain the genetic makeup of more than 800 individuals enrolled in an Alzheimer's research study. The research will determine all 6 billion letters in each individual's DNA. The new data may explain how genes cause changes in the body that lead people to develop Alzheimer's disease.More

Method improves genome sequencing accuracy
Laboratory Equipment
Researchers have published results of experiments that demonstrate the power of so-called single-molecule sequencing, which was recently introduced but whose use has so far been limited by technical issues. The team has developed a software package that corrects a serious problem inherent in the newest sequencing technology: the fact that every fifth or sixth DNA "letter" it generates is incorrect. More

Skin lotion modifies your genes
Popular Science
Future genetic therapy could be as simple as applying a topical lotion, with nanoscale compounds soaking through your epidermis to tweak your DNA. This new class of nucleic acid structures could guard against some types of skin cancer, according to researchers at Northwestern University.More

Scientists develop gene therapy alternative, simpler HIV treatment
Medical Xpress
Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute have discovered a surprisingly simple and safe method to disrupt specific genes within cells. The scientists highlighted the medical potential of the new technique by demonstrating its use as a safer alternative to an experimental gene therapy against HIV infection.More

Personalized cancer care promising for young Hodgkin's patients
University of Alabama at Birmingham
More long-term research on personalized cancer care for children with low-risk Hodgkin's lymphoma is needed, according to University of Alabama at Birmingham scientists who commented in the Journal of the American Medical Association on a study that examined the consequences of adjusted radiation and chemotherapy for the disease.More

1 in 4 couples share HPV strains
MyHealthNewsDaily via Fox News
The human papillomavirus spreads surprisingly quickly between two people in a new relationship, a new study finds. In fact, couples in the study were actually more likely to be infected with the same strain or strains of HPV if they had been together less than one year, as opposed to a longer period, the researchers said.More

Court allows payment for bone marrow; Should people sell parts?
How much would it take for you to consider selling your bone marrow? An appeals court puts the price at about $3,000 in a ruling that now makes it legal to pay donors for their bone marrow tissue. The court's decision may well help thousands of sick patients who need bone marrow transplants to survive, but it also begs the question, what other body parts might next be up for sale?More

Family: Stem cell therapy helped blind boy with cerebral palsy
The Detroit News
A year ago, 9-year-old Kaden Strek, of St. Clair Shores, Mich., couldn't see most colors. Born several months premature, he suffered a severe brain bleed as an infant and was later diagnosed with spastic diplegic cerebral palsy and blindness. Now, a year after receiving eight cord blood stem cell infusions in China, Kaden can see not only primary colors but pastels. More

Court ruling benefits most healthcare firms, could hurt device makers
The Associated Pres via Fox News
Hospitals, drugmakers and biotech companies are expected to be flush with new customers because of the healthcare law's requirement most Americans have insurance by 2014 or pay a fine. It's unclear if medical device makers will get the same jump in business, and they'll be paying new taxes. For medical device makers, the bad news is they'll have to start paying a 2.3 percent tax beginning in January on sales of devices such as pacemakers and CT scan machines.More

A life vest for cardiac arrest
Post-cardiac arrest brain damage is a problem that seems to be at least somewhat effectively ameliorated by cooling the body of the patient as soon as possible to around 91 degrees. Researchers at Germany's Hohenstein Institute have developed a vest that, once put on a patient, can deliver rapid cooling.More

After healthcare ruling come doubts some states can meet deadlines
The Washington Post
With the Supreme Court upholding President Obama's landmark healthcare law, debate has shifted to whether deadlines key to the law's goal of expanding coverage to tens of millions of Americans will be pushed back. Some say states and the federal government are facing such complex technical and political realities that some deadlines need to be relaxed.More

California patients struggle to transition to managed care system
Los Angeles Times
One year ago, California began moving certain Medi-Cal patients into a managed healthcare system with the goal of saving money while better coordinating treatment. But for some of these low-income seniors and disabled patients, the transition has been anything but smooth, forcing severely ill patients to give up their doctors, delay treatment and travel long distances for specialty care.More

Congress OKs plan to combat drug shortages
American Medical News
As part of what probably will be the only major piece of healthcare legislation to get through Congress in a heated election year, House and Senate lawmakers have approved a plan to mandate early warnings from drugmakers about possible shortages of crucial medications.More

GlaxoSmithKline settles healthcare fraud case for $3 billion
GlaxoSmithKline Plc agreed to plead guilty to misdemeanor criminal charges and pay $3 billion to settle what government officials described as the largest case of healthcare fraud in U.S. history. The agreement, which still needs court approval, would resolve allegations that the British drugmaker broke U.S. laws in the marketing and development of pharmaceuticals.More