Genomics Biotechnology & Emerging Medical Technologies Institute e-News
Oct. 17, 2013

Genes often get shuffled in our DNA deck
The Wall Street Journal
Once born, we typically share some part of our environment with at least one of our biological parents. But we receive all of our genes from them. The fertilized egg that eventually became you had the unique genome made from the two of them combining. Heritability is remarkable — every cell generated in your body is commanded by the DNA sequence that you inherited, your personal code of codes. More

The role of 'master regulators' in gene mutations and disease
Researchers at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have developed a new way to parse and understand how special proteins called "master regulators" read the genome, and consequently turn genes on and off. More

Happy marriage may depend on your genes
CBS News
Are some couples destined to be happier in their relationships than others? A new study says our genes may play a role in marital bliss. A UC Berkley and Northwestern University study found that people who have a certain gene variant, known as the HTTLPR allele, were more likely either to be extremely happy or extremely miserable in their relationships. More

Study: Blood test can differentiate between benign lung nodules and early stage lung cancer
Medical Xpress
Integrated Diagnostics, an emerging leader in molecular diagnostics, announced the results of a major study which suggests that quantifying a combination of blood proteins can distinguish between benign lung nodules and early-stage lung cancer with high probability. More

Scientists with docs to develop new treatment that kills cancer cells but spares healthy cells
Researchers from the University of Minnesota, Mayo Clinic, and University of Toronto have successfully shown that a new method for targeting mutated cells could create a major breakthrough in a personalized medicine approach to treat cancer. The team's findings are published in the Oct. 15 issue of Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association of Cancer Research.More

Neural stem cells look promising in ALS
Neural stem cell transplant shows early promise as a treatment for amyotrophic lateral sclerosis, according to preliminary results in a small patient population. "Our approach is simple: to graft stem cells into the diseased area," said Eva Feldman, M.D., Ph.D., principal investigator of the phase 2 trial testing a proprietary line of human spinal cord–derived neural stem cells developed by Neuralstem of Rockville, Md.More

Stomach cells naturally revert to stem cells
Health Canal
New research has shown that the stomach naturally produces more stem cells than previously realized, likely for repair of injuries from infections, digestive fluids and the foods we eat.More

Maintenance mechanism prevents stem cells from aging
A team of researchers at the Molecular Neurobiology Unit of the University of Valencia, led by Professor of Cell Biology Isabel Fariñas, just published in the journal Nature Neuroscience, the results of a research that may shed light on the maintenance of stem cells in the adult brain, and their activity to produce new neurons throughout life.More

Medical device industry facing tough road ahead
By Rosemary Sparacio
The business climate in 2013 and beyond will prove to be a challenging one for medical device manufacturers. And with the current government shutdown centering around the Affordable Care Act, one of the sticking points for passage of the funding bill is removing the steep excise tax on medical devices from the equation by delaying funding for the ACA for at least a year. The industry faces several changes, but the excise tax will have the biggest impact. More

Surveying the druggable genome to pinpoint drug-gene interactions
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News
A drug-gene interaction database has been developed that integrates existing resources to create a vast, comprehensive repository that amounts to a search engine for disease genes. The database matches thousands of genes linked to cancer and other diseases with drugs that target those genes. Intended for researchers, the database does not recommend treatments.More

How the right technology enhances medical education
Technology can play a greater role in educating medical students, but the technical tools need to align with educational objectives, according to Terrence P. Ma, Ph.D., assistant dean for educational informatics at Albert Einstein College of Medicine. The investment in tools like tablet computers or lecture-capture technology is wasted if they're not used in the right way, Ma wrote earlier this month in the college's blog, The Doctor's Tablet. More

Genes often get shuffled in our DNA deck
The Wall Street Journal
Once born, we typically share some part of our environment with at least one of our biological parents. But we receive all of our genes from them.More

Food for thought: How are you perceived professionally?
By Karen Childress
How you are perceived as a physician makes a difference. Fair or not, we’re all judged based on how we present ourselves.More

Ethical issues as scientists peek into baby genes
The Associated Press via Today
Little Amelia Sloan is a pioneer: Shortly after her birth, scientists took drops of the healthy baby's blood to map her genetic code. More

The Affordable Care Act: They gave it the wrong name
By Dr. Jonathan Kaplan
Most Americans are thinking this major new piece of healthcare legislation, the Affordable Care Act, is going to make health insurance more affordable. Why? Picture me with my hands cupped on both sides of my mouth screaming, "because it's got the word 'affordable' in it!" And the word affordable suggests that current health insurance premiums will be less expensive, but this is not the case. Clearly, unarguably, they will be more expensive. More

Just how much does cost?
Fox News
Government officials deny the price tag on the troubled Obamacare website is as big as $634 million, as widely reported. Nonetheless, a close look at the cost of and the overall architecture of this giant federal program reveals no real bargain for the American taxpayer. "What a train wreck. How can we tax people for not buying a product from a website that doesn't work?" Speaker of the House John Boehner demanded, as report after report indicated that the software problems experienced by the online portal were nowhere near being resolved. More

Hospitals play with Medicare patients' status
A growing number of senior citizens are ensnared in a Medicare crackdown on hospitals over costly inpatient admissions. Hospitals nationwide are responding by classifying more overnight visitors as outpatients held for observation. Caught in the middle are senior citizens, who aren't warned about the consequences of observation and can't appeal, patient advocates say. More

Blood clots in trial prompt FDA alert on Iclusig
MedPage Today
Higher-than-expected rates of arterial thromboses in newly analyzed trial data on ponatinib (Iclusig) have led the FDA to alert healthcare professionals to the potential risk in patients being treated for approved indications. An FDA Drug Safety Communication issued said the agency "is investigating an increasing frequency of reports of serious and life-threatening blood clots and severe narrowing of blood vessels" in patients taking the drug, and that clinicians "should consider for each patient whether the benefits of Iclusig treatment are likely to exceed the risks of treatment."More

FDA approves riociguat for PAH and CTEPH
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration has approved riociguat for the treatment of pulmonary arterial hypertension and the treatment of chronic thromboembolic pulmonary hypertension, the manufacturer announced.More