JRSM (vol. 108, no.2, 2015) now available online by subscription only:
- “High-risk surgery: the courage to fail” by John R. Pepper and Aman S. Coonar
- “Global health and security in the age of counterterroism” by Leonard S. Rubenstein
- “Virtue ethics – an old answer to a new dilemma? Part 1, Problems with contemporary medical ethics” by David Misselbrook
Theology Today (Vol. 72, no. 1, 2015) is now available online by subscription only. Articles include:
- “Bodies, selves, and human identity: A conversation between Transhumanism and the Apostle Paul” by Steven John Kraftchick
(NPR) – In just two days, Liberia will celebrate what seemed an impossible dream last summer: the end of its Ebola outbreak. Saturday, May 9 will mark the 42nd day of no new Ebola cases in the country. A person with Ebola typically shows symptoms within 21 days of exposure. But the World Health Organization adds an extra 21 days for extra caution before declaring that an outbreak has ended. So on Saturday, WHO officials and President Ellen Johnson Sirleaf will announce that Liberia is Ebola-free.
(Science Daily) – In a study of nearly 26,000 beneficiaries of Tricare, the military health system, those taking statin drugs to control their cholesterol were 87 percent more likely to develop diabetes. The research confirms past findings on the link between the widely prescribed drugs and diabetes risk. But it is among the first to show the connection in a relatively healthy group of people. The study included only people who at baseline were free of heart disease, diabetes, and other severe chronic disease.
(Medical Xpress) – The United States makes up less than five percent of the world’s population but consumes 80 percent of the global opioid supply and approximately 99 percent of all hydrocodone—the most commonly prescribed opioid in the world. And, according to the authors of a new literature review in the May issue of The Journal of the American Academy of Orthopaedic Surgeons, orthopaedic surgeons are the third highest prescribers of opioid prescriptions among physicians in the United States—behind primary care physicians and internists.
(New York Times) – Researchers examined data on post-measles infections in the United States, England and Wales, and Denmark both before and after the measles vaccine became available in the 1960s. They found a correlation between the number of measles cases in a given period and the number of deaths from non-measles infectious diseases in children in the two to three years afterward.
(Genome Web) – News that law enforcement was able to access DNA data and identity information around the data has raised concerns about the privacy rights of consumers using services provided by firms such as genealogy firm Accestry[dot]com. According to Electronic Frontier Foundation, Ancestry[dot]com recently shared information from its vast database of DNA information with Idaho police without consent from its users, a development that the non-profit civil liberties organization said “details the very real threats to privacy and civil liberties posed by law enforcement access to private genetic databases and familial DNA searching.”
(Forbes) – Published in the Annals of Emergency Medicine, a journal for the American College of Emergency Physicians, a new report, titled “Opioid Prescribing in a Cross Section of US Emergency Departments,” found that only 17% of patients discharged from the emergency department were given prescriptions for opioid pain relievers. The study also concluded that almost all of these prescriptions were immediate-release formulations and an overwhelming majority of them were small pill counts.
(Physorg) – When you take a drug, it travels through your bloodstream, dissolving and dispersing, and eventually reaching its designated target area. But because the blood containing the drug travels all round your body only a small percentage of the initial dose actually reaches the desired location. For over-the-counter drugs like paracetamol or ibuprofen, with very few side-effects, this doesn’t matter too much.
(BBC) – Many companies big and small are now pursuing the holy grail of artificial intelligence – at its starkest, thinking machines. Most are shrouding their efforts in secrecy, IBM isn’t. Watson is now being marketed as a tool for people to explore and use. In New York, there’s an impressive building near the city’s so-called Silicon Alley devoted to demonstrating Watson, and finding uses for its apparent intelligence.
(BBC) – IBM’s supercomputer Watson will be used to make decisions about cancer care in 14 hospitals in the US and Canada, it has been announced. Using computers to trawl through vast amounts of medical data speeds up the diagnosis process. The system will help assess individual tumours and suggest which drug should be used to target them.
(Nature) – A newly discovered type of stem cell could help provide a model for early human development — and, eventually, allow human organs to be grown in large animals such as pigs or cows for research or therapeutic purposes. Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte, a developmental biologist at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies in La Jolla, California, and his colleagues stumbled across a previously unknown variety of pluripotent cell — which can give rise to any type of tissue — while attempting to graft human pluripotent stem cells into mouse embryos.
(ABC News) – Nurses spent a lot of time in the news in the last year, and to celebrate National Nurses’ Day, we’re highlighting hero nurses. The National Nurses’ Union’s executive director, RoseAnn DeMoro, described nursing as a “caring public service.” “Nurses Day is an opportunity to pay tribute to a profession that every year wins the polling for the most trusted profession in America,” DeMoro said.
(The Telegraph) – A “duplicitous and manipulative” mother who tricked a gay couple into an informal surrogacy arrangement so that she could get pregnant has been ordered to hand the toddler over to them. In the first ruling of its kind in England and Wales, Ms Justice Russell ruled that the girl is “more likely than not to suffer harm” if she were brought up by her obsessive mother rather than by her father and his partner.
(News-Medical) – Kallistem, which develops innovative cell culture technologies in reproductive biology, today announces a world first: human spermatogenesis in vitro. At the end of 2014 the company was able to produce fully formed human spermatozoa in the laboratory setting, using patient testicular biopsies containing only immature germ cells, or spermatogonia.
(The Lancet) – The rate-limiting step of IVF is implantation. It requires the proper interaction of a healthy embryo and a receptive endometrium. It often fails due to problems with the embryos. The genetic health of the embryo depends on both its inherited genetic material and on the errors and repairs during the cell divisions. A chromosomally abnormal embryo is unlikely to implant, and when it does it is likely to be lost early on.
(Reuters) – GlaxoSmithKline said on Tuesday it had submitted a gene therapy for approval in Europe, becoming the first big drugmaker to seek marketing authorization for the technology to fix faulty genes.
(New York Times) – James Watson and Francis Crick worked out the spiral structure of DNA in 1953, but they were not proved right until Dr. Alexander Rich used X-rays to produce a distinct image of the famous double helix in 1973. After he saw it, Dr. Watson phoned Dr. Rich to thank him; it was the first good night’s sleep Dr. Watson had enjoyed in 20 years.
(MIT Technology Review) – Apple is collaborating with U.S. researchers to launch apps that would offer some iPhone owners the chance to get their DNA tested, many of them for the first time, according to people familiar with the plans. The apps are based on ResearchKit, a software platform Apple introduced in March that helps hospitals or scientists run medical studies on iPhones by collecting data from the devices’ sensors or through surveys.