Genetics in Medicine (vol. 17, no. 7, 2015) is available by subscription only.
- “Clinical utility of gene-expression profilling in women with early breast cancer: An overview of systematic reviews” by Michael Marrone, Alison Stewart and W. David Dotson
- “Can targeted genetic testing offer useful health information to adoptees?” Thomas May, et al.
(Pro Publica) – American Red Cross CEO Gail McGovern has long portrayed her organization as a beacon of openness, once declaring “we made a commitment that we want to lead the effort in transparency.” But when the Government Accountability Office, the investigative arm of Congress, opened an inquiry last year into the Red Cross’ disaster work, McGovern tried to get it killed behind the scenes.
(Medical Xpress) – Women giving birth after undergoing fertility treatment face an increased risk of depression compared to women ending up not having a child following fertility treatment, according to new research from the University of Copenhagen. According to the researchers, this has key implications for fertility treatment in future. Danish researchers are among the first worldwide to study the risk of developing a clinical depression for women undergoing fertility treatment.
(Annals of Internal Medicine) – One day in January, I was facilitating a fourth-year elective course with eight medical students. It was a medical humanities class, and the topic that afternoon was the virtue of forgiveness. A student named David led the discussion, and I listened as they exchanged ideas. When their energy waned, I asked, “Do any of you have someone to forgive from your clinical experiences? Did anything ever happen that you need to forgive or perhaps still can’t forgive?”
(Wired) – In the last 24 hours, Saudi Arabia’s Ministry of Health has reported ten new cases of MERS in the capital city of Riyadh, and one death from the virus. Those numbers follow reports of nine new cases yesterday, along with two deaths. According to Helen Branswell, one of WIRED’s favorite infectious disease reporters, the state hasn’t seen that many new infections in a day since the height of the MERS outbreak last year.
(World Health Organization) – People who delay or refuse vaccines for themselves or their children are presenting a growing challenge for countries seeking to close the immunization gap. Globally, 1 in 5 children still do not receive routine life-saving immunizations, and an estimated 1.5 million children still die each year of diseases that could be prevented by vaccines that already exist, according to WHO.
(Medical Xpress) – Worldwide, 185 million people have chronic hepatitis C. Since the late 1980s, when scientists discovered the virus that causes the infection, they have struggled to find ways to grow it in human cells in the lab—an essential part of learning how the virus works and developing new effective treatments. In a study published in Nature on August 12, scientists led by The Rockefeller University’s Charles M. Rice, Maurice R. and Corinne P. Greenberg Professor in Virology and head of the Laboratory of Virology and Infectious Disease, report that when they overexpressed a particular gene in human liver cancer cell lines, the virus could easily replicate.
(The Telegraph) – According to new figures from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) this week, there has been a 22 per cent hike in the number of women choosing to go through IVF alone in just one year, marking a 226 per cent increase since 2006. These new Solo Mums (and occasionally dads) are more than just a statistical quirk; in 2013, the year for which figures are most recently available, 952 single mothers-to-be registered at IVF clinics, says the HFEA.
(Pittsburgh Post Gazette) – As heroin overdoses and deaths soar in many parts of the nation, the White House plans to announce today an initiative that will for the first time pair public health and law enforcement in an effort to shift the emphasis from punishment to the treatment of addicts.
Public Health Ethics (vol. 8, no. 2, 2015) is available online by subscription only.
- “Health of migrants: Approaches from a public health ethics perspective” by Verina Wild, Deborah Zion, and Richard Ashcroft
- “Global justice, cosmopolitan duties, and duties to compatriots: The case of healthcare” by Gillian Brock
- “Health equity in Public Health: Clarifying our commitment” by Maxwell J. Smtih
(Times of India) – Surgical conferences in India seem to have an abundance of live surgery demos promoted as the highlight or lead event. Even as the recent death of a patient during a live surgery demo led organizers of a national surgical conference to cancel the scheduled live surgery, about 20 such demonstrations have been listed as the highlight of surgery conferences in India in the coming months.
(The Wall Street Journal) – Women who want to select their baby’s sex undergo the costly and cumbersome process of in vitro fertilization (IVF) to create embryos that are also genetically tested before being implanted. Although the testing, broadly referred to as preimplantation genetic diagnosis, or PGD, is often used to test for genetic diseases, it can also identify the sex of the embryos. The IVF/PGD process can cost as much as $15,000 to $20,000 a cycle and isn’t covered by many insurance plans.
(The Conversation) – In relation to AI, regulation and liability are two sides of the same safety/public welfare coin. Regulation is about ensuring that AI systems are as safe as possible; liability is about establishing who we can blame – or, more accurately, get legal redress from – when something goes wrong.
(Med Page Today) – All this comes from my participation in the Personal Genome Project Canada (PGPC), which is part of an international endeavor — started at Harvard University several years back — to obtain the complete genetic sequences of hundreds of thousands of people. That data would be available to researchers and paired with information about the person’s physical attributes, family history, and medical records with the goal of being able to understand how genes interact with environment to produce … well, you or me.
(Arab News) – Iranian interference in the domestic affairs of Arab countries has destroyed the economic condition of the Iranian people as some of them have resorted to selling their organs to make ends meet. The Iranian central bank announced that the number of poor Iranians increased to 14 million. This figure comes as a result of Tehran’s high expenditures to support foreign militias to destabilize Arab countries, according to a report in Makkah newspaper.
(MSN) – In a first of its kind lawsuit, Greenville, S.C., residents Pam and Mark Crawford are suing the doctors who gave their adopted son sex assignment surgery while in foster care. MC, who had been deemed a female by doctors, had surgery at 16 months to “correct” his status as intersex (having both male and female genitalia), but is struggling with this assigned identity now at 10 years old. His parents are grieving that such a decision was made for him before he was able to make it himself.
(CBS) – A San Francisco Superior Court judge Friday upheld the enforcement of California laws dating back 141 years barring physician-assisted suicide after hearing arguments in a lawsuit filed by several terminally ill patients. Several plaintiffs including Christy O’Donnell and her Bay Area doctor, Robert Brody, brought the San Francisco lawsuit asking that doctors be allowed to provide such treatment to patients who are mentally competent without fear of prosecution.
(The Boston Globe) – It calls itself the Center for Medical Progress, and its name has been in the news in the past few weeks after it began releasing hidden-camera videos that set off an uproar about the use of tissue from aborted fetuses in medical research. But a review of the group and the small number of people associated with it in public filings suggests there is little to support the lofty sound of its title. The addresses it lists are postal drops in Sacramento and Irvine, and it employs no scientists or physicians engaged in advancing medical treatments.
(U.S. News and World Report) – Hospitalized and shackled, Palestinian Mohammed Allan was 60 days into a hunger strike to protest his detention without charge in an Israeli jail when he slipped into unconsciousness Friday. Whether or not the suspected militant becomes the first Palestinian prisoner to be force-fed to stay alive under a controversial new law is an issue that has caused cleavages between doctors and the state over medical ethics and Israel’s detention policies.
(Medical Xpress) – Meanwhile, here is another story: xenotransplantation research. Advances suggest that in the future people who need organ transplants could look forward to more encouraging numbers for those placed on waiting lists. Such activity is being carried out by a regenerative-medicine division of a biotech company. The division is Revivicor and the company is United Therapeutics.