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09/17/2018

‘Lots of lads I know wouldn’t give it a shot’: the men starting care careers

The Guardian

Wilding is one of the small – but slowly growing – number of male care workers in the UK; men make up just 18% of the social care workforce – an increase of two percentage points since 2015… A staggering 85% of men, and 76% of men aged 16-25, say they are unlikely to start a career in adult social care, while 35% of the public think working in a care home is a “woman’s career”.

09/14/2018

Drug executive: It’s a ‘moral requirement’ to charge patients the highest price

Los Angeles Times

In his interview with the Financial Times published Tuesday, Mulye defended Martin Shkreli, the former drug company CEO who became the face of the industry’s profiteering in 2015 when he jacked up the price of a generic anti-parasitic drug needed by HIV patients by more than 5,000%. “I agree with Martin Shkreli that when he raised the price of his drug he was within his rights because he had to reward his shareholders,” Mulye told the FT. (Shkreli is currently serving a prison term on fraud charges unrelated to the price hike.)

09/13/2018

A Deadly Virus Threatens Millions Of Pigs In China

NPR

In a little more than a month, some 897 pigs have died and nearly 20,000 have been culled to try and prevent the virus from spreading.

09/12/2018

Hospitals are fed up with drug companies, so they’re starting their own

The Washington Post

A group of major American hospitals, battered by price spikes on old drugs and long-lasting shortages of critical medicines, has launched a mission-driven, not-for-profit generic drug company, Civica Rx, to take some control over the drug supply.

09/11/2018

23andMe may offer costly premium DNA spit-test service

Mercury News

Mountain View spit-kit DNA testing firm 23andMe wants to know how deep you want to go into your genome, and how much you’re willing to pay. The company currently sells $100 ancestry tests and $200 tests that cover ancestry and health. But according to a new report, 23andMe has been market-testing a deeper dive into personal genetics.

09/10/2018

At $1,650 per month, the first digital pill will soon roll out to certain Medicaid patients with mental illness

STAT

The first digital pill will carry a price tag of $1,650 per month and soon be rolled out commercially to the first patients: people with mental illness covered by Medicaid, likely in regions including Florida and Virginia.

09/10/2018

Statement on Protecting the Integrity of U.S. Biomedical Research

NIH.gov

We have long understood, however, that the robustness of the biomedical research enterprise is under constant threat by risks to the security of intellectual property and the integrity of peer review.  This knowledge has shaped our existing policies and practices, but these risks are increasing.

09/07/2018

New gene-editing treatment might help treat a rare disorder, hints first human test

Science

The first test of a new gene-editing tool in people has yielded early clues that the strategy—an infusion that turns the liver into an enzyme factory—could help treat a rare, inherited metabolic disorder. Today, the biotech company Sangamo Therapeutics in Richmond, California, reported data suggesting that two patients with Hunter syndrome are now making small amounts of a crucial enzyme that their bodies previously could not produce. But the company is still a long way from providing evidence that the new method can improve Hunter patients’ health.

09/06/2018

Blood-Testing Firm Theranos to Dissolve

The Wall Street Journal

Theranos Inc., the blood-testing company accused of perpetrating Silicon Valley’s biggest fraud, will soon cease to exist.

09/06/2018

Insulin’s High Cost Leads To Lethal Rationing

NPR

Diabetic ketoacidosis is a terrible way to die. It’s what happens when you don’t have enough insulin. Your blood sugar gets so high that your blood becomes highly acidic, your cells dehydrate, and your body stops functioning. Diabetic ketoacidosis is how Nicole Smith-Holt lost her son. Three days before his payday. Because he couldn’t afford his insulin.

09/06/2018

Scientists Are Retooling Bacteria to Cure Disease

The New York Times

In a study carried out over the summer, a group of volunteers drank a white, peppermint-ish concoction laced with billions of bacteria. The microbes had been engineered to break down a naturally occurring toxin in the blood. The vast majority of us can do this without any help. But for those who cannot, these microbes may someday become a living medicine.

09/05/2018

CRISPR HALTED MUSCULAR DYSTROPHY IN DOGS. ARE HUMANS NEXT?

Wired

In a study published Thursday in Science, a team led by Eric Olson at the University of Texas Southwestern Medical Center used Crispr to successfully modify the DNA of four young dogs, reversing the molecular defect responsible for their muscle wasting disease. DMD isn’t an obvious candidate for Crispr’s find-and-replace function; the dystrophin gene is the largest in the human genome, and there are thousands of different mutations that can all result in the disease. But Olson found a way to target an error-prone hot spot on exon 51, which he figured could, with a single slice, benefit approximately 13 percent of DMD patients.

09/04/2018

China Has Withheld Samples of a Dangerous Flu Virus

The New York Times

Despite an international agreement, U.S. health authorities still have not received H7N9 avian flu specimens from their Chinese counterparts.

09/03/2018

John McCain did not ‘lose’ his battle with glioblastoma — because cancer is not a war

NBC News

A little more than one year has passed since John McCain was diagnosed with glioblastoma, an aggressive form of brain cancer that carries a grim prognosis. On Saturday, only one day after it was announced that the Arizona senator had decided to “discontinue medical treatment,” he passed away.

08/31/2018

Massive £30-million grant will be awarded to one cardiovascular research team

Nature

A lucky group of researchers will soon walk away with £30 million (US$39 million) to study the heart and circulatory system — one of the largest single grants for medical research in the world. The British Heart Foundation (BHF) launched the award on 25 August, and it is open to international applicants.

08/30/2018

Open Medical Records Can Spur Frank Talk Between Doctors And Patients

NPR

Theoretically, American patients have been able to see what doctors write about them for years. The Health Information Portability and Accountability Act, a 1996 law known as HIPAA, protects a patient’s right to see and get a copy of personal health records. In practice, though, formal records requests can take weeks to process and few patients take advantage of the option.A growing movement is using technology to try to change that. What started as an academic experiment has now become the norm at an increasing number of health care systems across the country: When doctors sign their notes, a copy is automatically visible to patients online.

08/29/2018

How 30 days with an in-home robot could help children with autism

Science

For many children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD), recognizing and responding to eye contact, body language, and tone of voice is a major challenge. Improving those social skills can take lots of work—putting a strain on caregivers with limited time, resources, and money for therapy. Now, a study shows that just 30 days with an in-home robot that provides social feedback can dramatically improve a child’s interactions with others.

08/28/2018

Officials remove special rules for gene therapy experiments

SF Gate

U.S. health officials are eliminating special regulations for gene therapy experiments, saying that what was once exotic science is quickly becoming an established form of medical care with no extraordinary risks. A special National Institutes of Health oversight panel will no longer review all gene therapy applications and will instead take on a broader advisory role…

08/27/2018

Physician-Assisted Dying is Now Legal in Multiple Places, But the Taboo Persists

LeapsMag

Taboo topics occupy a difficult place in the history of medicine. Society has long been reticent about confronting stigmatized conditions, forcing many patients to suffer in silence and isolation, often with poorer care… The most recent issue to face such scrutiny is physician-assisted dying (PAD).

08/26/2018

FDA Stirs Contraception Debate With OK For ‘Natural’ Birth Control App

NPR

The Food and Drug Administration took a big-tent approach earlier this month when it approved two new forms of birth control that seek to prevent pregnancy in very different ways. Women’s health advocates applauded the availability of a new vaginal ring that could be used for up to a year. But some questioned the OK’ing of a mobile phone app that helps women avoid pregnancy by tracking their body temperature and menstrual cycle, a type of contraception called “fertility awareness.”

08/24/2018

What does Trump’s pick for science adviser think about climate science? A 2014 talk offers clues

Science

The meteorology professor picked to advise President Donald Trump on science-related matters has urged climate scientists to be more humble when they talk about the conclusions of their research—and said Earth might be more resilient to human-caused environmental assaults than many believe.

08/23/2018

For Cervical Cancer Screening, Women Over 30 Can Now Choose The HPV Test Only

NPR

Federal health advisors say women can now consider three options when it’s time for their cervical cancer screening tests. The influential group, the U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF), has expanded its recommendations for this potentially life-saving exam. The new recommendations are published in the latest issue of JAMA.

08/22/2018

Congo’s new Ebola outbreak is hitting health care workers hard

Science

Health care workers have been especially hard hit by the current outbreak of Ebola in the northeastern part of the Democratic Republic of the Congo (DRC). To date, nine of the 51 confirmed cases of Ebola have been in people caring for the ill, says Peter Salama, an epidemiologist based in Geneva, Switzerland, who heads the response to the outbreak for the World Health Organization (WHO).

08/21/2018

Salk Institute asks judge to narrow scope of gender-discrimination suit

Nature

Lawyers for the Salk Institute for Biological Sciences went to court on 16 August in San Diego, California, asking a judge to narrow the scope of a gender-discrimination lawsuit filed by molecular biologist Beverly Emerson.

08/20/2018

Researcher at the center of an epic fraud remains an enigma to those who exposed him

Science

The first thing that went through Alison Avenell’s head when she heard Yoshihiro Sato had died was that it might be a trick. It was March 2017, and in the previous years, Avenell, a clinical nutritionist at the University of Aberdeen in the United Kingdom, had spent thousands of hours combing through Sato’s papers, together with three colleagues in New Zealand. They had discovered that Sato, a bone researcher at a hospital in southern Japan, had fabricated data for dozens of clinical trials published in international journals. “With so much going on, so much fabrication, you just wonder if it’s convenient for the person to go and hide,” Avenell says.

08/17/2018

Treating Teen Depression Might Improve Mental Health Of Parents Too

NPR

An estimated 12.8 percent of adolescents in the U.S. experience at least one episode of major depression, according to the National Institute of Mental Health. According to previous studies, many of those teens’ mental health is linked to depression in their parents. But new research suggests there’s a flipside to that parental effect: When teens are treated for depression, their parents’ mental health improves, too.

08/17/2018

The Next Phase of Human Gene-Therapy Oversight

The New England Journal of Medicine

The NIH envisions using the RAC as an advisory board on to- day’s emerging biotechnologies, such as gene editing, synthetic bi- ology, and neurotechnology, while harnessing the attributes that have long ensured its transparency. We at the NIH and the FDA look for- ward to working together with all our stakeholders to implement thesechanges.Wesharecommon goals: advancing science and hu- man health and accelerating the availability of safe and effective gene therapy, along with the many promising new products that fu- ture biotechnologies may bring.

08/16/2018

Why the Vatican continues to struggle with sex abuse scandals

The Washington Post

With revelation after revelation, a new wave of sexual abuse scandals is rocking the Roman Catholic Church and presenting Pope Francis with the greatest crisis of his papacy. In Chile, prosecutors have raided church offices, seized documents and accused leaders of a coverup. In Australia, top church figures are facing detention and trials. And in the United States, after the resignation of a cardinal, questions are swirling about a hierarchy that looked the other way and protected him for years.

08/16/2018

Fentanyl use drove drug overdose deaths to a record high in 2017, CDC estimates

The Washington Post

Drug overdose deaths surpassed 72,000 in 2017, according to provisional estimates recently released by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. That represents an increase of more than 6,000 deaths, or 9.5 percent, over the estimate for the previous 12-month period. That staggering sum works out to about 200 drug overdose deaths every single day, or one every eight minutes.

08/15/2018

Bayer shares slide after Monsanto’s Roundup cancer trial

Reuters

Shares in Bayer (BAYGn.DE) plunged more than 10 percent to their lowest in almost two years after a California jury ordered the German company’s subsidiary Monsanto to pay $289 million in damages last week.