Genomics Biotechnology & Emerging Medical Technologies Institute e-News
Oct. 18, 2012

New DNA test shows promise for spotting colon cancer
HealthDay News via U.S. News & World Report
Scientists have developed a new DNA test for colorectal cancer and for cancer precursors that seems to be not only accurate, but also noninvasive. If approved by the Food and Drug Administration, experts say, the test could be a welcome alternative to colonoscopies, which require a lengthy and uncomfortable preparation.More

Genome privacy laws need stronger, consistent base
Human genome sequencing holds the potential to move science forward and advance clinical care by leaps and bounds, but the United States needs to protect citizens from potential misuse of their DNA and personal information, say presidential advisers.More

3 genes that cause cancer also 'paint' fruit fly spots
Science Daily
Researchers have discovered that three genes that cause cancer and disease in humans also "paint" the spots on a fruit fly's body. This discovery could enable researchers to study how those genes work in fruit flies and apply that knowledge to treating cancer in people.More

The $1,000 genome is almost here: Are we ready?
Scientific American
The era of the $1,000 genome, which is all but upon us already, is a new era of predictive and personalized medicine during which the cost of full genome sequencing for an individual or patient drops to roughly $1,000. Think about what personalized medicine can do: having access to your own genome information will open the doors to dozens of men and women wishing to find out if they have gene variants associated with Alzheimer's, diabetes, heart disease or cancer.More

Personalized genomic medicine: How much can it really empower patients?
Medical Xpress
Personalized genomic medicine is hailed as a revolution that will empower patients to take control of their own healthcare, but it could take control away from patients and limiting their treatment choices, concludes an article in the Hastings Center Report. More

Research: Stem cells can be derived from dead bodies
The Huffington Post
Death will come for us all one day, but life will not fade from our bodies all at once. Now scientists have harvested such cells from the scalps and brain linings of human corpses and reprogrammed them into stem cells. In other words, dead people can yield living cells that can be converted into any cell or tissue in the body.More

Neural stem cells successfully implanted into the brains of 4 boys
Los Angeles Times
Scientists have performed the first successful neural stem cell transplant into the brains of four boys with Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease. The disorder is a rare but tragic condition that impacts motor abilities, coordination and cognitive function. Pelizaeus-Merzbacher disease does its damage by stripping away the fatty substance called myelin that surrounds brain cells. More

Device data can identify heart failure patients at readmission risk
Medical Xpress
The use of device diagnostics to risk stratify patients during the first seven days after discharge can help identify patients at greatest risk of readmission for heart failure, according to research published online in The American Journal of Cardiology.More

Brain implant detects, responds to epilepsy
Technology Review
In 2013, medical researchers will test in patients a one-of-a-kind brain implant that can sense electrical activity in the brain while simultaneously emitting electric pulses, says device developer Medtronic. More

Retirees turn to specialized insurance exchanges
Kaiser Health News
In the past 20 years, the number of companies that provide retiree health coverage has dropped dramatically, leaving seniors with the difficult task of choosing among a variety of plans to supplement Medicare. But a move by some employers is softening the blow. They are contracting with companies that operate insurance marketplaces where Medicare-eligible retirees can enroll in plans to replace what they used to get from the employer. More

US ties hospital payments to making patients happy
The Wall Street Journal
At Atlanta's Grady Memorial Hospital, doctors are being taught to stop interrupting patients while they are speaking. Nurses recently got hand-held phones so patients can reach them instantly. New bedside comforts include cable sports channel ESPN and a menu featuring wild salmon. Grady is making these changes in response to a shift in how the federal government pays hospitals for treating people on Medicare, the federal healthcare program for seniors.More

FDA: More drugs under investigation in meningitis outbreak
The Associated Press via TIME
Two more drugs from a specialty pharmacy linked to a meningitis outbreak are now being investigated, U.S. health officials said, as they urged doctors to contact patients who got any kind of injection from the company.More

FDA clears Hologic's HPV drug
Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News
FDA approved Hologic's Aptima HPV 16 18/45 Genotype Assay for use on the firm's Tigris system. Hologic says the assay is the first cleared in the United States for genotyping human papilloma virus types 16, 18 and/or 45, which are associated with about 80 percent of all invasive cervical cancers.More