Genomics Biotechnology & Emerging Medical Technologies Institute e-News
Aug. 16, 2012

Despite fears of Alzheimer's, many would like to know their risk
The Washington Post
Alzheimer's disease can't be prevented or cured, and it ranks second only to cancer among diseases that people fear. Still, in an international study last year from the Harvard School of Public Health, about two-thirds of respondents from the United States said they would want to know if they were destined to get the disease.More

From dozens of genomes, clues to rare diseases
Stanford University via Futurity
Researchers are trying to identify genes underlying rare, recessive diseases that mainly crop up in populations with a high number of marriages among close relatives by examining genomes from dozens of world populations.More

Gene tied to emergency of chemotherapy resistance
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News
Researchers say analyzing a particular gene in high-grade serous cancer could help predict whether a patient's tumor is likely to become resistant to chemotherapy over time. Researchers have found that the emergence of treatment resistance in HGSC is associated with a loss or downregulation of the lipid transporter LRPB1 in the tumor.More

Nanoplexes deliver personalized medicine in cancer
Researchers are combining diagnostics, therapeutics and drug delivery in a "nanoplex" to kill cancer cells without damaging healthy tissue and causing the side effects associated with many cancer therapies. The approach, which the researchers describe as "theranostic imaging," targets drugs specifically to tumor cells, and the research is published in American Chemical Society Nano. Theranostics, using a diagnostic to tailor choice of therapeutics, are a key part of personalized medicine.More

Blood type might be clue to heart disease risk
The Associated Press via USA Today
Here's another reason to know your blood type — it might be a clue to your risk of heart disease. People who have blood types A, B, or AB have a slightly higher risk of heart disease compared to those with type O, the most common kind, according to new research.More

Clinic taps patients' own stem cells to ease their pain
Star Tribune
A Sartell, Minn., doctor offers the treatment instead of surgery, but critics say it's too soon. The trend has triggered a simmering debate in medicine and at least one federal court over who should decide when a treatment that basically uses a patient's own cells is ready for prime time.More

Effort aims to land returning veterans in medical device jobs
The Boston Globe
AdvaMed 2012, the national medical device industry convention, will launch a program designed to increase the hiring of U.S. veterans returning to civilian life. The initiative, called MedTech Veterans Program Boot Camp for Returning Heroes, was recently previewed. Noting that returning veterans face unemployment rates more than 50 percent higher than the U.S. population at large, Marine Corps veteran Kevin Blanchard told medical technology executives, "You guys are taking the first step in providing some solutions to returning veterans. Let's get these guys hired."More

FDA OKs 'talking' injector
MedPage Today
The FDA has approved the first voice-guided epinephrine injection device for treatment of severe allergic reactions. The device, which gives verbal step-by-step instructions, can be used by children weighing at least 33 pounds who are at risk for, or have a history of, anaphylaxis.More

A giant hospital chain is blazing a profit trail
The News York Times
During the Great Recession, when many hospitals across the country were nearly brought to their knees by growing numbers of uninsured patients, one hospital system not only survived — it thrived. In fact, profits at the healthcare industry giant HCA, which controls 163 hospitals from New Hampshire to California, have soared, far outpacing those of most of its competitors. The financial performance has been so impressive that HCA has become a model for the industry.More

Regulators urged to move swiftly to prevent 'rate shocks'
Kaiser Health News
Consumer groups said state and federal regulators should move quickly to set rules to protect Americans from health insurance premium "rate shocks" and to prevent insurers from charging far higher rates in low income areas, when major provisions of the federal health law take effect in 2014.More

FDA warns of death risk from codeine in some post-surgery children
U.S. Food and Drug Administration
The Food and Drug Administration has issued a Drug Safety Communication concerning three children who died and one child who experienced a non-fatal but life-threatening case of respiratory depression after taking the pain reliever codeine following surgery to remove tonsils and/or adenoids. The surgeries were performed to treat obstructive sleep apnea syndrome, a condition that results in repeated episodes of complete or partial blockage of the upper airway during sleep. The children received doses of codeine that were within the typical dose range.More

FDA approves new flu vaccine for 2012-2013 season
The Associated Press via CBS News
The new flu vaccine for the upcoming 2012-2013 influenza season has been approved by The Food and Drug Administration. Each year the FDA works with the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the World Health Organization to design a vaccine to protect against the three viral strains most likely to cause the flu in the upcoming year. The newest vaccine has one strain in common with 2011's vaccine, plus two new viral strains it's targeting.More

FDA warns Hershey over chocolate syrup labeling
Hershey Co made nutritional claims for its chocolate syrups that do not meet regulatory guidelines, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration said. In a warning letter to the company, the FDA said the labels on Hershey's Syrup+Calcium and its Syrup Sugar Free with Vitamin & Mineral Fortification violate federal law.More