Clinical Pediatrics (vol. 55, no. 5, 2016) is available online by subscription only.
- “The Importance of the Nursing Role in Parental Vaccine Decision Making” by Shelley Hoekstra and Lewis Margolis
- “A Critical Review of the Marketing Claims of Infant Formula Products in the United States” by Peter F. Belamarich, Risa E. Bochner, and Andrew D. Racine
- “Prolonged Activity Restriction after Concussion: Are We Worsening Outcomes?” by Marc DiFazio, Noah D. Silverberg, Michael W. Kirkwood, Raquel Bernier, and Grant L. Iverson
- “Breastfeeding, Bed-Sharing, and Maternal Cortisol” by Clarissa D. Simon, Emma K. Adam, Chelsea O. McKinney, Julie B. Krohn, and Madeleine U. Shalowitz
(Scientific American) – More than 40 percent of retired NFL players tested with advanced scanning technology showed signs of traumatic brain injury, a much higher rate than in the general population, according to a new study of the long-term risks of playing American football. The research, presented at an American Academy of Neurology meeting that began in Vancouver on Monday, is one of the first to provide “objective evidence” of traumatic brain injury in a large sample of National Football League veterans while they are living, said Dr. Francis X. Conidi, one of the study’s authors.
(Los Angeles Times) – 2014 saw the birth of more babies than ever who got their start in the petri dish of a fertility clinic in the United States. In its yearly review, the Society for Assisted Reproductive Technology reported a total of 65,175 live births resulting from a variety of procedures — up from 63,286 in 2013. Amidst growing concern about the numbers of twins and triplets born to women who undergo infertility treatments, the assisted reproduction industry also detailed its progress in driving down the rate of multiple births, and for the first time reported pre-term births among its patients.
(UPI) – Use of the word “breakthrough” in the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s expedited approval process could mislead doctors about the new drugs’ actual benefits, researchers warn. The U.S. Congress in 2012 gave FDA the power to designate a drug as a “breakthrough therapy” if preliminary clinical evidence suggests an advantage over existing medications. But a survey of nearly 700 doctors revealed that many tended to misinterpret “breakthrough.”
(MIT Technology Review) – The way drugs are made is dangerously outdated. While many industries have gotten much more efficient at manufacturing, pharmaceutical companies rely on an old-fashioned approach that is slow, inflexible, and prone to breakdowns. A new refrigerator-sized apparatus that can take in a set of ingredients and quickly produce four common pharmaceuticals is the most advanced demonstration yet of a potential new strategy for drug making that is more flexible, efficient, and reliable. Portable drug-making technology like it could be used to more rapidly respond to local drug shortages or spikes in demand, such as in an outbreak.
(Fox News) – After countries such as India and Thailand restricted the “rent-a-womb” option for foreigners, Mexico is emerging as the next niche for this mode of reproduction and Congress is taking steps to prevent it. Currently, only the states of Tabasco and Sinaloa have laws recognizing surrogate maternity, and there are legal loopholes in the legislation. The Senate has passed a bill to amend the Health Act with the intention of regulating surrogate maternity.
(The Globe and Mail) – Canada has a massive and spreading problem of fentanyl addiction. As a Globe and Mail investigation has revealed, it happened quickly, little noticed by the wider public, and left largely unaddressed by those government officials who could see what was happening.Canada is now believed to be the world’s largest per-capita consumer of therapeutic opioids. Until the mid-1990s, these powerful painkillers were rarely used by doctors, reserved for cases such as cancer patients suffering debilitating pain. But in 1996, Health Canada approved OxyContin, and physicians began widely prescribing the new painkiller. Stories of its power, its dangers and its addictive quality were soon widespread.
(The Washington Post) – In one of the first studies that sheds light on exactly how Zika attacks, researcher Patricia Garcez of the Federal University of Rio de Janeiro took human neural stem cells and infected them with virus taken from a Brazilian patient. Neural stem cells — which are able to turn into three major cell types that make up our central nervous system — are the key players in embryonic brain formation. Garcez and her colleagues used two models for their experiments. The first involved looking at what are known as neurospheres, which are clusters of neural stem cells. The second used brain organoids, which are often referred to as miniature brains growing in petri dishes, but are actually just bundles of human tissue that have some features of the early human brain in the first trimester.
(Eurekalert) – Researchers led by Martin Fussenegger, Professor of Biotechnology and Bioengineering at ETH Zurich’s Department of Biosystems Science and Engineering in Basel, have performed a feat that many specialists had until now held to be impossible: they have extracted stem cells from a 50-year-old test subject’s fatty tissue and applied genetic reprogramming to make them mature into functional beta cells.
(Canadian Broadcasting Co) – Life insurance providers have told the federal government its members are willing to lift the standard two-year exemption for suicides and pay out policies on people who end their lives through physician-assisted death, says the head of the industry’s professional association. Frank Zinatelli of the Canadian Life and Health Insurance Association said if someone follows the legislated process, which is expected to be announced as early as next week, then providers would pay out on policies that are less than two years old.
(Reuters) – Two little-known training programs say they have expanded rapidly in recent years, fueled by robust private funding and strong demand. Launched nearly a quarter century ago amid protest and violence, the programs now train more than 1,000 doctors and medical students annually in reproductive services, from contraception to all types of abortion, according to interviews with Reuters.
Hastings Center Report (vol. 46, no. 2, 2016) is available online by subscription only.
- “Why Bioethics Has a Race Problem” by John Hoberman
- “Emergence of a Discipline? Growth in U.S. Postsecondary Bioethics Degrees”
- “Keep It Complicated” by Gregory E. Kaebnick
- “Reframing Conscientious Care: Providing Abortion Care When Law and Conscience Collide” by Mara Buchbinder, Dragana Lassiter, Rebecca Mercier, Amy Bryant, and Anne Drapkin Lyerly
- “When and Why Is Research without Consent Permissible?” by Luke Gelinas, Alan Wertheimer, and Franklin G. Miller
JAMA Internal Medicine (vol. 176, no. 4, 2016) is available online by subscription only.
- “What Other Industries Can Learn from Health Care” by W. Joost Wiersinga and Marcel Levi
- “The Challenge of New Legislation on Physician-Assisted Death” by Linda Ganzini and Anthony L. Back
- “Health Information Exchange—Obvious Choice or Pipe Dream?” by Anish P. Mahajan
- “Screening for Depression—A Tale of Two Questions” by Mary A. Whooley
The New England Journal of Medicine (vol. 374, no. 13, 2016) is available online by subscription only.
- “The Zika Challenge” by C.J. Haug, M.P. Kieny, and B. Murgue
- “Immersion Day—Transforming Governance and Policy by Putting on Scrubs” by R.W. Bock and R.A. Paulus
- “The Science of Choosing Wisely—Overcoming the Therapeutic Illusion” by D. Casarett
- “Federal Research Regulations for the 21st Century” by B. Lo and M. Barnes
- “Opioid Abuse in Chronic Pain—Misconceptions and Mitigation Strategies” by N.D. Volkow and A.T. McLellan
- “The Neglected Dimension of Global Security—A Framework for Countering Infections-Disease Crises” by P. Sands, C. Mundaca-Shah, and V.J. Dzau
(Nature) – In the paper, Fan, who works at Guangzhou Medical University in China, and his team say that they collected a total of 213 fertilized human eggs between April and September 2014. The fertilized eggs, donated by 87 patients, were unsuitable for implantation as part of in vitro fertility therapy, because they contained an extra set of chromosomes. Fan’s team used CRISPR–Cas9 genome editing to introduce into some of the embryos a mutation that cripples an immune-cell gene called CCR5. Some humans naturally carry this mutation and they are resistant to HIV, because the mutation alters the CCR5 protein in a way that prevents the virus from entering the T cells it tries to infect.
‘A Kind of Creeping Euthanasia’: Needless Early Deaths Among Mentally Ill Cost the Economy $15 Billion a Year
(Sydney Morning Herald) – The average Australian woman dies at 84. But the 61-year-old figures she’s a good chance instead to be one of the 9000 Australians a year with mental illness whose lives are cut short, on average 30 per cent, by avoidable physical illness. That’s three times the number who die from suicide. And Ms Tullgren is “bloody angry” about it. She says the lack of adequate healthcare and rising health costs sometimes makes her think there is “a kind of creeping euthanasia” against people with mental illness.
(Daily Mail) – A similar situation exists in Belgium where doctor-assisted deaths were legalised at much the same time. Last year, the number of people to die via euthanasia in that country went past 2,000 for the first time, meaning the total has more than doubled in five years. But largely unnoticed, what has happened in parallel with this spiralling death toll is the growing number of organs then removed for transplant from those who have chosen to die.
(NPR) – In an emergency, hospitals, by law, must treat any patient in the U.S. until he or she is stabilized, regardless of the patient’s immigration status or ability to pay. Yet, when it comes time for the hospitals to discharge these patients, the same standard doesn’t apply. Though hospitals are legally obligated to find suitable places to discharge patients (for example, to their homes, rehabilitation facilities or nursing homes), their insurance status makes all the difference.
(Wired) – Gregory Pence is a leading expert on bioethics, and back in 2000 he was the only bioethicist to testify before Congress against a bill that would have outlawed human cloning. Pence rolls his eyes at most science fiction, which tends to depict clones that are unrealistically similar to each other, but one show that’s really grabbed his interest is Orphan Black.
(U.S. News & World Report) – A common fungus caused the complication that forced Cleveland Clinic doctors to remove a transplanted uterus from a 26-year-old woman just two weeks after the groundbreaking procedure was performed, hospital officials said Friday. “Preliminary results suggest that the complication was due to an infection caused by an organism that is commonly found in a woman’s reproductive system,” Cleveland Clinic doctors said in a statement. “The infection appears to have compromised the blood supply to the uterus, causing the need for its removal.”