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Submission + - Sherbrooke scientists have a new tool to target tumors. (

ericjones12398 writes: "Researchers have devised a new type of radiation treatment — one that promises the holy grail of zero entry dose radiotherapy — by using very short bursts of high energy laser light. In this case, “very short” is an understatement, with pulses lasting femtoseconds – i.e. one-thousand-million-millionths of a second."

Submission + - Moffitt Cancer Center researchers investigate a potential new tumor suppressor (

ericjones12398 writes: "A tumor suppressor gene acts as a molecular guardian against cancer by protecting the cell from various forms of damage. "p53" is a tumor-supressing protein that functions as an anti-cancer gene in several ways. Early this week researchers reported the identification of a transcription factor that regulates p53, an important step towards better cancer treatments."

Submission + - SPAM: NASA Space Technology Could Revolutionize Brain Surgeries

ericjones12398 writes: "Space age imaging equipment, up until now developed and used by NASA to study distant stars, will soon be a critical tool of the operating room. The infrared camera, developed in a partnership between the Center for Space Microelectronics Technology at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory and the technology company Amber, utilizes highly sensitive quantum-well infrared photodetectors (QWIPs) that constitute an array of infrared detectors that cover much longer wavelengths than currently exist and is 20 times longer in wavelength than visible light. At room temperature, objects exposed to these wavelengths glow with a red-hot luminescence."
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Submission + - A new silk road to replace the old cold chain (

ericjones12398 writes: "Dr. David Kaplan, Jeney Zhang and colleagues at Tufts University in Boston have just released a study showing months-long preservation of a vaccine, measles-mumps-rubella (MMR), and of the antibiotics penicillin and tetracycline. In standard solution over a few weeks, these compounds’ stability curves at various temperatures basically all look like terrifying downhill skiing. In silk, they resemble a mildly hilly cross-country course. The MMR vaccine, for example, is currently best stored dry and resuspended at the time of use. In dry form at tropical temperatures it has a half-life of nine and a half weeks. In silk film this extends to 22 weeks and in freeze-dried silk films it’s 94 weeks – an amazing ten-fold improvement in stability."

Submission + - Supramolecular nanoparticle for better chemotherapy (

ericjones12398 writes: "Since the dawn of nanotechnology, researchers have envisioned using nanoscale drug delivery devices for chemotherapy drugs designed to fight cancer more effectively than is possible with more traditional drug delivery methods. However, the cancer drugs haven’t always been compatible with the nanoparticles designed to transport them to the tumors.
Now, researchers at Brigham and Women’s Hospital have developed a new approach that doesn’t attempt to create nanoscale drug “delivery” vehicles; instead, the approach re-engineers the drugs themselves so that they become nanomedicines, according to lead author Shiladitya Sengupta, Ph.D., associate bioengineer at the hospital."


Submission + - IT healthcare: a Beacon in the night (

ericjones12398 writes: "If the constitutionality of the Affordable Care Act, passed by Congress in 2009, is upheld this summer by the Supreme Court, it is expected that 30 million currently uninsured Americans will be added to the nation’s already overburdened and crumbling health care system. Despite tremendous advances in science and technology within the medical field, the United States touts the most expensive health care system in the world per patient, despite 45 million people remaining uninsured and being ranked only 37th in the world for quality of care and life metrics. A key aspect of managing the onslaught of patients will be cutting cost inefficiencies and streamlining care beyond the emergency room, which the Mayo Clinic has already found success with. Another is digitizing the mountain of data and records that American patients generate, namely putting people’s health information in malleable databases that can move with a patient, and even be updated on mobile devices. The benefits? Everything from eliminating redundant boxes in drab workflow charts, reducing errors, cutting costs, and improving real-time diagnostics."

Submission + - The $34 Billion Idea: A New Healthcare Payment System (

ericjones12398 writes: "Rising healthcare costs is among the many hot button issues discussed in today’s media. With an election on the horizon, this issue could not be more pertinent to the survival of one candidate’s trek to the presidency. But innovations in healthcare to reduce costs do not need to come from the highest supervisory ranks. They can be everyday ideas from entry-level nurses with a fresh perspective on the working environment. Therefore, management should be open to new ideas to help sustain operations for years to come. The idea presented in this paper has the potential to save the United Sates healthcare sector $34.2 billion."

Submission + - Reduce Health Care Costs While Improving Access Using the Cloud (

ericjones12398 writes: "WellnessFX is starting to do for healthcare what Amazon has done for commerce and what E-readers have done for books. WellnessFX has created a way for practitioners and patients to interact outside of the classic office/appointment system through a novel telemedicine system. Through a well-designed internet-based platform, providers can order diagnostics remotely, and discuss these biomarkers and appropriate treatment plans from anywhere at any time. The platform is easily accessible from any internet-ready device, including mobile."

Submission + - New graphene MRI contrast agent a groundbreaking medical advance (

ericjones12398 writes: "New research out of Stony Brook University holds significant potential to revolutionize magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology, especially for medical applications. In a paper published in PloS One, Assistant Professor Balaji Sitharaman and his team describe the development of a new, highly efficacious nanoparticle-based contrast agent that will improve disease diagnosis and detection in both a more cost effective and safe manner.
MRI technology, invented by Stony Brook University Professor Paul Lauterbur, is a powerful diagnostic tool that uses a magnetic field and radio wave pulses to provide detailed information about different structures within the body, including vasculature, bones, and internal organs. MRI contrast agents are used to improve visibility of internal body structures by altering relaxation times of atoms in the body tissues where they are distributed. The most common contrast agent currently used in medicine uses the rare earth element gadolinium. Unfortunately, recent studies have revealed deleterious side effects, such as nephrogenic systemic fibrosis. The FDA has placed recent restrictions on what patients can receive gadolinium contrast agents, as well as warnings that must be placed on labels. Additional limitations of most current MRI contrast agents include a lack of suitability for molecular, extended blood pool and tissue-specific imaging."


Submission + - Artificial heart makers hoping to expand technology towards permanent implants ( 1

ericjones12398 writes: "Italian doctors at Rome’s Bambino Gesu hospital saved the life of a 16-month-old boy this week by implanting the world’s smallest heart to keep him alive until a permanent donor could be found. The baby suffered from dilated myocardiopathy, a heart muscle disease in which fibers of the heart are enlarged and eventually stop the heart’s ability to pump blood effectively. The device, which had previously only been used in animals, weighs only 11 grams (adult devices typically weigh 900) and pumps blood at 1.5 liters per minute.
Italian surgeons called the feat a “milestone,” and hope that it represents a significant stepping-stone in the eventual goal of developing a permanent implant for heart transplant patients.
The first-ever artificial heart to be implanted in a human being was the Jarvik 7, in 1982 in patient Barney Clark, who lived 112 days after his surgery. The prototype for the Jarvik 7 was conceived as early as 1949 at the Yale School of Medicine, utilizing an Erector Set, and successfully kept a dog’s heart beating for 90 minutes. Other animals to receive various improvements to this model included a calf and a bull, until the National Institutes of Health started an Artificial Heart Program in 1964, with the goal of human transplantation. Although Robert Jarvik, then of the University of Utah, was the project manager for the prototyping and design of the Jarvik 7, its engineering, development and refinement needed the efforts of over 200 physicians, engineers, students and faculty."


Submission + - Restructuring aneurysms (

ericjones12398 writes: "An estimated six million Americans harbor an aneurysm. Aneurysms occur when artery walls are weakened, causing a saclike bulge in the blood vessel. People can live symptom free with aneurysms, but if one grows big enough and ruptures, it will be fatal 40 percent of the time. Even if someone survives a ruptured aneurysm, the patient will most likely suffer permanent neurological damage and/or disabilities.
Current treatment protocols for aneurysms focus on preventing the rupture of the aneurysm via blocking blood flow to the bulge. The first treatment option was surgical clipping, which was introduced in 1937 by Walter Dandy. Surgical clipping required the opening of the brain and placing a clip at the base of the aneurysm. This clip prevents blood from entering the aneurysm. Although this procedure is quite invasive, the benefit is that there is a low reoccurrence rate with this technique.
The other popular option for aneurysm treatment is endovascular coiling. This less invasive procedure involves insertion of a catheter through the groin to place platinum coils at the aneurysm. These coils block blood flow into the area, thus, preventing rupture. While coiling is less invasive than surgical clipping, reoccurrence in the first year occurs in 28.6 percent of patients and increases over subsequent years."


Submission + - The race to $1,000 human genome sequencing (

ericjones12398 writes: "Just one decade ago, sequencing an entire human genome cost upwards of $10 million and took about three years to complete. Now, several companies are racing to provide technology that can sequence a complete human genome in one day for less than $1,000.
A genome sequence for $1,000 was a pipe dream, just a few years ago,” said Dr. Richard Gibbs, director of the Human Genome Sequencing Center at Baylor College of Medicine, in a statement provided by Life Technologies Corp., one of the companies developing gene sequencing technology. “A $1,000 genome in less than one day was not even on the radar, but will transform the clinical applications of sequencing."

"Summit meetings tend to be like panda matings. The expectations are always high, and the results usually disappointing." -- Robert Orben