Genomics Biotechnology & Emerging Medical Technologies Institute e-News
Aug. 23, 2012

Genetic sleuthing solves solve superbug outbreak that kills 6
The Associated Press via The Washington Post
In 2011, a deadly superbug spread through the nation's leading research hospital, killing six patients before it could be stopped. Scientists at the National Institutes of Health hospital in Bethesda, Md., scrubbed with bleach, locked down patients and even ripped out plumbing. In the end, it took gene detectives analyzing the germ's DNA to trace it to its source.More

Secrets to oldest living family's longevity: Genetics, quality of life
ABC News
Researchers searching for clues to the elixir of long-life have studied the ancient island communities of the Ogliastra region for years now, and most conclude the secret lies in a mix of factors: genetic make-up, diet and environment and a sense of belonging to a community.More

Study: Children of older men have more gene abnormalities
Medical Xpress
Do older fathers doom their children to genetic disease? This is the question raised by a new study that says older men produce more gene mutations in the children they sire, boosting their risk of schizophrenia and autism and possibly other diseases.More

Sore throat treatment should be individually tailored
The Medical News
Throat discomfort may have a variety of causes and a range of symptoms, all of which should be considered before decisions about treatment are made, report researchers. Most cases of sore throat can be managed with over-the-counter treatments and other remedies, according to the researchers. However, to date there is limited information available regarding consumers' perceptions of throat discomfort or their treatment needs.More

Personalized medicine — Medicine for the privileged?
Cancer Network (commentary)
At a time of intense scrutiny of the costs and benefits of medical treatments, "personalized medicine" holds its promise only at the substantial cost of widespread use of the awesome tools of molecular science. Can we really afford personalized medicine or, more specifically, are the benefits of personalized approaches to therapy worth the costs?More

Autism stem-cell therapy to be tested in children in trials
Families with autistic children must navigate a condition where questions outnumber the answers, and therapies remain sparse and largely ineffective. A clinical trial being conducted by the Sutter Neuroscience Institute in Sacramento, Calif., to address this situation began recruiting participants today for a highly experimental stem cell therapy for autism.More

Blind mice given sight after device cracks retinal code
Blind mice had their vision restored with a device that helped diseased retinas send signals to the brain, according to a study that may lead to new prosthetic technology for millions of sight-impaired people. Current devices are limited in the aid they provide to people with degenerative diseases of the retina, the part of the eye that converts light into electrical impulses to the brain. In research described in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, scientists cracked the code the retina uses to communicate with the brain.More

'NanoJacket' shows potential for cancer treatment
Researchers at Penn State College of Medicine are working on a new nanotechnology drug delivery system to treat breast cancer. The "NanoJacket" particle targets a gene mutation that causes overexpression of an oncogenic protein in breast cancer patients with poor outcomes and delivers an RNA segment that kills cancer cells.More

Researchers developing emergency treatment for internal bleeding
Researchers from Case Western University reported on progress towards a portable treatment for stopping internal bleeding. In the military, it is the leading cause of battlefield deaths. Yet, no effective portable treatment currently exists to stop internal bleeding, and even at a hospital, a treatment with a coagulation factor VIIa on a compassionate use basis puts the patient at risk of forming dangerous blood clots elsewhere in the body.More

Health insurers see gains in serving poor and elderly
Giant health insurers have been gobbling up smaller ones, partly to strike gold with a new government experiment allowing them to manage care for millions of the nation's sickest, poorest and oldest patients. More

Clinics go mobile to take healthcare to the street
Mobile clinics have become common across the U.S. in the last two decades. The clinics aim to bring care to communities that are short on insurance and healthcare providers. But the clinics' focus on the uninsured has led some to question whether the mobile model will be rendered moot by expansions of insurance coverage under the Affordable Care Act.More

FDA warns of dangerous dietary supplements
The Food and Drug Administration has received dozens of reports about harmful side effects — including stroke and death — linked to two dietary supplements currently on the market, Reumofan Plus and Reumofan Plus Premium.More

FDA extends review for Pfizer arthritis drug by 3 months
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration extended by three months its review of Pfizer's experimental rheumatoid arthritis treatment tofacitinib, one of the most promising new drugs in the company's pipeline.More