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Home   About   Scholarships   Meetings   Publications   Resources   Apr. 23, 2013

 



Cancer centers racing to map patients' genes
The New York Times
Major academic medical centers in New York and around the country are spending and recruiting heavily in what has become an arms race within the war on cancer. The investments are based on the belief that the medical establishment is moving toward the routine sequencing of every patient's genome in the quest for "precision medicine," a course for prevention and treatment based on the special, even unique characteristics of the patient's genes.
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CDC seeks $40 million to modernize infectious disease tracking tools
iHealthBeat
As part of its fiscal year 2014 budget request, CDC is asking Congress for $40 million to build advanced electronic systems to monitor infectious diseases, Government Health IT reports. Although the agency's full FY 2014 budget request of $6.6 billion is a $270 million decrease from FY 2012, the agency said it is prioritizing efforts to modernize its disease tracking systems.
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Bird flu outbreak is spreading fear in China
Los Angeles Times
The fowl phobia gripping China is the result of a new strain of avian flu that has led to 18 deaths and 95 diagnosed illnesses over the last month. Health authorities are concerned because of the unpredictable nature of the virus, known as H7N9. Unlike in previous incarnations of avian flu, infected birds are showing no signs of being sick, making it harder to stem the disease at its source.
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Grand jury to investigate Michigan meningitis outbreak
MLive
The Michigan Court of Appeals has granted a request by Attorney General Bill Schuette to empanel a multi-county grand jury that will investigate a meningitis outbreak linked to at least 16 deaths and 259 infections across the state. Schuette filed his request last month, arguing that a grand jury would be able compel testimony in order to determine whether the New England Compound Center, based in Massachusetts, broke any Michigan statutes when it allegedly distributed tainted steroid injections at health care facilities in four counties in the state.
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4 decades of cancer research in space: How we've benefited
Medical Daily
Low-gravity cancer research in space is allowing scientists to solve problems that would be impossible on Earth. Many of the discoveries are coming of age and will result in treatments in the next few years.
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Nanodiamonds could improve effectiveness of breast cancer treatment
University of California, Los Angeles via R&D Magazine
Recently, doctors have begun to categorize breast cancers into four main groups according to the genetic makeup of the cancer cells. Which category a cancer falls into generally determines the best method of treatment. But cancers in one of the four groups — called "basal-like" or "triple-negative" breast cancer — have been particularly tricky to treat because they usually don't respond to the "receptor-targeted" treatments that are often effective in treating other types of breast cancer.
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More promise with immunotherapy in pediatric leukemia
Medscape Medical News
T-cells, one of the centerpieces of the immune system, can be genetically engineered to attack leukemia in children, according to research presented at the American Association for Cancer Research annual meeting. The immunotherapy, known as anti-CD19 chimeric antigen receptor T-cell therapy, puts a patient's own immune cells through a laboratory process that results in the number of T-cells being greatly expanded, "fully activated," and then reinfused, explained Daniel W. Lee, M.D., from the Pediatric Oncology Branch of the National Cancer Institute.
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Light at end of the tunnel: A potential biomarker for a rare form of kidney cancer
By Dr. Kim Blenman
Renal medullary carcinoma is a rare kidney cancer found primarily in individuals with sickle cell disease or the sickle cell trait. It is a highly aggressive cancer predominately presenting in young males with an average age of onset in the mid-20s. Our current medical and scientific understanding of the disease is still quite limited, which results in ineffective therapeutic options. However, recent research may have shed some light on the pathogenesis of the disease.
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Industry Pulse: Do you think the SMARCB1 protein will be the key to treating renal medullary carcinoma?
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Lyme disease rate increasing in the northern US
Medscape Medical News
Lyme disease incidence increased about 80 percent in the United States between 1993 and 2007, and the increase correlated with latitude and with population density, Ashleigh R. Tuite, MPH, from the Dalla Lana School of Public Health, Toronto, Ontario, Canada, and colleagues report in an article published in the Canadian Medical Association Journal. Lyme disease incidence increased in the northern-most states while remaining stable or declining in the southern states.
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Study: Uterine cancer ties to later colon cancer
Reuters
Depending on their age, women diagnosed with uterine cancer may have a higher risk of developing colon cancer later on, according to a new study from Canada. "As the survival has increased among cancer survivors, it's important to know what the other problems they're facing," said Dr. Harminder Singh, the study's lead author from the University of Manitoba in Winnipeg.
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Nanosponge mops up MRSA toxin in bloodstream
Medical News Today
Scientists in the U.S. have developed tiny sponges made from nanoparticles disguised as red blood cells that can soak up a broad range of dangerous toxins in the blood, such as from bacteria like MRSA and E. coli, and even snake and bee venom. They suggest their technology, which so far has been shown to work in mice, offers a new way to remove toxins caused by a wide range of pathogens.
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Bird flu outbreak is spreading fear in China
Los Angeles Times
Health authorities in China are concerned because of the unpredictable nature of the avian flu virus, known as H7N9. Unlike in previous incarnations of avian flu, infected birds are showing no signs of being sick, making it harder to stem the disease at its source.

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New tool developed to identify air travelers with infectious disease
St. Michael's Hospital via The Medical News
Researchers have developed a simple new tool to help governments worldwide decide whether to screen airplane passengers leaving or arriving from areas of infectious disease outbreaks.

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UCLA study suggests potential therapy for HIV
Infection Control Today
UCLA scientists have shown that temporarily blocking a protein critical to immune response actually helps the body clear itself of chronic infection.

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UNC study shows promise for uncovering mechanisms of stem cell biology
The Medical News
For the first time, researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill have isolated adult stem cells from human intestinal tissue. The accomplishment provides a much-needed resource for scientists eager to uncover the true mechanisms of human stem cell biology. It also enables them to explore new tactics to treat inflammatory bowel disease or to ameliorate the side effects of chemotherapy and radiation, which often damage the gut.
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TRENDING ARTICLES
Missed last week's issue? See which articles your colleagues read most.

    New tool developed to identify air travelers with infectious disease (St. Michael's Hospital via The Medical News)
Can human genes be patented? High court weighs genetic test (NBC News)
Moderate drinking may increase breast cancer survival rates (CBS News)
Rat kidneys made in lab point to aid for humans (The New York Times)

Don't be left behind. Click here to see what else you missed.


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What does this $14 billion deal mean for the future of DNA sequencing?
Forbes
In a deal that could have a big impact on the future of DNA sequencing technology, lab equipment Thermo Fisher Scientific is buying rival Life Technologies for $13.6 billion in cash and the assumption of $2.2 billion in debt. The big question, though, is what the new ownership will mean for the tiny Ion Torrent subsidiary.
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