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Scientists identify specific gene mutations associated with peanut allergies
An estimated 2 to 10 percent of U.S. children affected by peanut allergies will not grow out of the potentially life-threatening allergy, and they have no known treatment at their disposal. But a team of researchers at Johns Hopkins University have identified specific gene markers associated with the condition, and say their findings may offer a basis for future detection and medication.
Researchers identify genes responsible for lung tumors
The lung transcription factor Nkx2-1 is an important gene regulating lung formation and normal respiratory functions after birth. Alterations in the expression of this transcription factor can lead to diseases such as lung interstitial disease, post-natal respiratory distress and lung cancer.
'Big brain' gene found in humans, but not in chimps
A single gene may have helped pave the way for the rise of human intelligence by dramatically increasing the number of neurons found in a key brain region.
This gene seems to be uniquely human: It is found in modern-day humans, Neanderthals and another branch of extinct humans called Denisovans, but not in chimpanzees.
UCLA life scientists develop new method to find genetic markers for many diseases
UCLA life scientists have created an accurate new method to identify genetic markers for many diseases — a significant step toward a new era of personalized medicine, tailored to each person's DNA and RNA.
BioFeedback for immunoglobulin is a health outcomes reporting program that provides clinical feedback on the use of immunoglobulin in autoimmune-related disorders. Physicians and medical directors can now deploy clinical interventions when they have the greatest impact on healthcare quality and costs.
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Why we should all be thrilled about the FDA starting to embrace innovation
The Huffington Post
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration took a huge step toward patient-centric medicine when it approved the marketing of genetics-testing company 23andMe's carrier test for Bloom syndrome. This was a startling — and good — development because it affirmed the rights of consumers to drive their own healthcare decisions and procedures.
Ability to repair cartilage with stem cells steps closer
Medical News Today
The day that patients with osteoarthritis can ease their painful joints by using stem cell therapy to regenerate damaged cartilage took a step closer recently when researchers reported successfully producing cartilage in rats using embryonic stem cells.
Neurons controlling appetite made from skin cells
Researchers have, for the first time, successfully converted adult human skin cells into neurons of the type that regulate appetite, providing a patient-specific model for studying the neurophysiology of weight control and testing new therapies for obesity. The study, led by researchers at Columbia University Medical Center and at the New York Stem Cell Foundation, was published online in the Journal of Clinical Investigation.
'Stem cell' test could identify most aggressive breast cancers
Testing breast cancer cells for how closely they resemble stem cells could identify women with the most aggressive disease, a new study suggests. Researchers found that breast cancers with a similar pattern of gene activity to that of adult stem cells had a high chance of spreading to other parts of the body.
EMERGING MEDICAL TECHNOLOGIES
Infographic: How does Google plan to transform healthcare?
Here are seven places where Google is dabbling to make serious delivery on its promises for healthcare.
Healthcare outcomes improve when technology imitates nature
Computers are increasingly integrated into almost every aspect of our health and well-being. But computers usually just do what you tell them to do. Their programming dictates exactly how they behave, and if you want to have a computer act in an intelligent way, you have to anticipate and design every contingency into their programming.
ACCOUNTABLE CARE ORGANIZATIONS
Lessons learned from an ACO's successes, struggles
Given the Department of Health and Human Services' recent announcement that it plans to speed up its plans to shift to value-based payment models, it's more important than ever for providers to shift their priorities from volume to value. To that end, the CEO of one of the first accountable care organizations to form has advice for health leaders to map a way forward.
FDA: NEW TREATMENTS AND TECHNOLOGY
FDA rejects Pacira's application for expanded use of pain drug
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration rejected Pacira Pharmaceuticals Inc. application to expand the use of its post-surgery pain drug, Exparel, sending the company's stock down more than 16 percent.
Actavis wins FDA approval for a new 'superbug' antibiotic
Actavis won the FDA's blessing for a new combination antibiotic treatment targeting drug-resistant infections, setting the stage for a showdown with Merck and its $9.5 billion splash into the field.
The drug, Avycaz, is a combination of the approved cephalosporin agent ceftazidime and avibactam, a new beta-lactamase inhibitor designed to help the former ingredient escape the defenses of dangerous pathogens.
If you don't have health insurance, you may have to pay a penalty
The Washington Post
A “teachable moment” is one way to describe the consternation that people may feel when they file their taxes this spring and realize they may owe a penalty for not having health insurance.
According to a new survey, the number of people who may need to be schooled is substantial: 44 percent of uninsured people who may be subject to the penalty say they know nothing or only a little about the penalty they may face.
Beware of ICD-10 shortcuts: The case against crosswalking
By Charlotte Bohnett
ICD-10 is inherently more sophisticated and specific than ICD-9, but that doesn't necessarily mean it's more complicated. So, why are healthcare professionals pulling their hair out over the mandatory transition to these new codes? Because learning ICD-10 is like learning a new language. If we were going into this with a clean slate — like a newborn babe — perhaps it wouldn't be so tough to learn the language. Unfortunately, the U.S. healthcare industry has relied on ICD-9 codes for more than 30 years.
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