The iHT2 Health IT Summit in Denver, will bring together C-level, physician, practice management, and IT decision-makers from North America’s leading provider organizations and physician practices. For two full days, executives interact with a national audience of peers, national leaders and solutions providers featuring the latest solutions for practice management, mobility, telemedicine, outsourcing, IT infrastructure, next-generation electronic medical records, disease management, and more.
The Summit will feature keynote presentations from Peter Fine, FACHE, President & CEO, Banner Health, and Bernard Harris, Jr., MD, MBA, President & CEO, Vesalius Ventures, and President, American Telemedicine Association.
Featured Speakers include: Dana Moore, SVP & CIO, Centura Health; Gregory Veltri, CIO, Denver Health; Russell Leftwich, MD, CMIO, Tennessee Office of eHealth Initiatives; Neal Ganguly, VP & CIO, CentraState Healthcare System; Andrew Steele, MD, MPH, Director, Medical Informatics, Denver Health; Jonathan Gold, MD, MHA, MSc, Regional CMIO, Catholic Health Initiatives; Charles Doarn, MBA, Research Professor and Director, Telemedicine & e-Health Program, University of Cincinnati; Mark Caron, SVP & CIO, Capital BlueCross, and many more.
Panel Discussions for the Health IT Summit in Denver include: Accountable Care Organizations: Taking on Risk & Identifying Critical Tools, Leveraging Data to Improve Outcomes & Safety, Preparing for 2013: Organizational Strategies for the Transition to ICD-10, Breach Avoidance: Strategies to Protect Patient Data, HIE Performance: Defining Your Objectives & Measuring Progress, Meaningful Use Stage 2: Reaching the Next Stages of Quality & Care, and Mobile Health: Leveraging Data at the Point of Care.
The full agenda can be viewed by visiting: http://ihealthtran.com/2012denveragenda.html
Sponsors and Partners include: ICA, Quantix, Extract Systems, SLI Global Solutions, Nuance, Comcast, Altus, Rubbermaid Healthcare, VMware, Healthcare IT News, CMIO, FierceHealthIT, ADVANCE, NASCIO, AMDIS, eHealth SmartBrief, Frost & Sullivan, IDC Health Insights, Mobile Healthcare Today, SearchHealthIT.com, and more.
The Institute for Health Technology Transformation (iHT²) announced ten new members to their Advisory Board this week. These members represent some of the brightest minds in healthcare information technology, and they will work to provide thought leadership and valuable industry connections to expand and improve the quality of the Institute’s initiatives throughout the year.
The Institute’s Advisory Board is a group of health care thought leaders representing the diverse stakeholders involved in the integration of health information technology. This esteemed group provides iHT² with insight and guidance throughout the year on how it can better serve the health care industry in their goal of fostering the adoption and implementation of health IT.
“Members of the iHT² Advisory Board greatly enhance our ability to offer health IT leaders superior educational and collaborative opportunities,” said Barry P. Chaiken, MD, MPH, Senior Fellow & Health IT Chair, Institute for Health Technology Transformation, CMO, DocsNetwork & former HIMSS Chair. “The insight provided by these distinguished professionals allows iHT² to keep pace with developing trends in healthcare, and offer conferences, webinars and publications that satisfy the needs of a wide range of industry professionals.”
The new members join a board of over twenty health IT leaders representing organizations throughout the country including: Kaiser Permanente, Catholic Health Initiatives, Capital BlueCross, Visiting Nurse Service of New York, Delaware Health Information Network, and more.
The newly appointed members are:
- Samantha Burch, VP, Quality & Health IT, Federation of American Hospitals
- Mary Carroll Ford, MBA, VP & CIO, Lakeland Regional Medical Center
- Dick Gibson, MD, Chief Health Intelligence Officer, Providence Health & Services
- Fred Galusha. CIO & COO, Inland Northwest Health Services
- Chris Jaeger, MD, VP, Medical Informatics, Sutter Health
- Elizabeth Johnson, SVP, Applied Clinical Informatics, Tenet Healthcare
- Bill Phillips, CIO, University Healthcare System
- Justin Graham, CMIO, NorthBay Healthcare
- Andy Steele, MD, Medical Director, Informatics, Denver Health
- Doris Crain, CIO, Broward Health
- John Santangelo, Director of IT, Cleveland Clinic Florida
“The Advisory Board contributes invaluable industry insight that results in some of the most comprehensive, intimate, and informative programs taking place year after year,” said Waco Hoover, CEO, Institute for Health Technology Transformation. “The accomplishments and dedication of the Advisory Board is what truly separates the Institute apart from other organizations.”
Intermountain Healthcare, Partners Healthcare System, and Kaiser Permanente to Deliver Keynote Presentations at the Health IT Summit in San Francisco
The Institute for Health Technology Transformation announced the keynote presenters for the Health IT Summit in San Francisco, which will take place March 27-28th at the Hyatt Regency San Francisco Airport. The keynote presenters at the annual program will be Mark Probst, CIO, Intermountain Healthcare, Blackford Middleton, MD, Corporate Director of Clinical Informatics Research & Development, Partners Healthcare System, and Hal Wolf, SVP & COO, The Permanente Federation, Kaiser Permanente.
The iHT2 Health IT Summit, will bring together C-level, physician, practice management, and IT decision-makers from North America’s leading provider organizations and physician practices. For two full days, executives interact with a national audience of peers, national leaders and solutions providers featuring the latest solutions for practice management, mobility, telemedicine, outsourcing, IT infrastructure, next-generation electronic medical records, disease management, and more.
“We are dedicated to continuous improvement that enhances patient care. I look forward to learning from health care leaders and sharing our experience in improving outcomes by putting advanced health IT in the hands of clinicians, care teams, and patients,” said Hal Wolf, Senior Vice President and Chief Operating Officer of The Permanente Federation, Kaiser Permanente.
Panel discussions for the Health IT Summit in San Francisco include: Accounting for Assumptions: Taking a deeper look at reforming our healthcare delivery system, HIE & HIX: The convergence of healthcare information, Securing Electronic Personal Health Information (ePHI): From the Data Warehouse to the Point of Care, Analytics in Healthcare: Improving Outcomes Through Data Management, The Cloud in Healthcare, Stage 2 Meaningful Use: Leveraging Technology to Improve Outcomes & Efficiency, Patient Management Without Walls: Enabling mHealth and Telemedicine, and more.
“Healthcare I.S. leadership is consumed with the demands of ARRA HITECH (meaningful use), ICD-10 (maybe we are going to get some relief) and a barrage of requests to meet the demands of a changing healthcare landscape,” said Mark Probst. “I believe that even though the demands are great – as I.S. leaders, we must not simply follow and adopt aging solutions, rather we have the responsibility to innovate.”
Sponsors and Partners include: ICA, InnerWireless, CloudPrime, Accellion, ICW, SLI Global Solutions, VMware, athenahealth, Comcast, InterSystems, LANDesk Software, Pano Logic, Aventura, Key Info, AUXILIO, Somansa Technologies, Inc., Salesforce.com, EMC2, AMDIS, The California Association of Healthcare Leaders (CAHL), California Association of Public Hospitals and Health Systems (CAPH), CMIO, DOTmed, eHealth SmartBrief, Executive Insight, Frost & Sullivan, Healthcare IT News, IDC Health Insights, MarketsandMarkets, NASCIO, ReportsandReports, SearchHealthIT.com, and more.
Health Care Thought Leaders Release Research Report Finding Automation Is Key to Population Health Management
The Institute for Health Technology Transformationtoday released findings from an Automating Population Health Research Project, which seeks to educate the healthcare industry on how best to apply technology in meeting the challenges of population health management.
Prepared in consultation with a broad range of industry experts, the Population Health Management: A Roadmap for Provider-Based Automation in a New Era of Healthcare report finds that population health management requires healthcare providers to develop new skill sets and new infrastructures for delivering care. To make the transition from fee-for-service reimbursement to accountable care, which depends on the ability to improve population health, providers will need to automate many routine tasks, ranging from identification of care gaps and risk stratification to patient engagement, care management, and outcomes measurement.
“In the era of healthcare reform, provider organizations must change their traditional approach and embrace new ways of thinking about their mission,” said Waco Hoover, CEO of the Institute for Health Technology Transformation. “They must not only care for the sick, but also strive to keep their patient populations healthy. Information technology is the key to doing this cost efficiently, and automation can enable care teams to identify and work with the patients who truly need their help.”
Report coauthor Paul Grundy, MD, Global Director of Healthcare Transformation for IBM, and President of Patient-Centered Primary Care Collaborative, commented, “Patient-centered medical homes based on primary care are the building blocks of accountable care, and information technology is the key to successful medical homes. With the help of registries, electronic health records, health information exchanges, and other tools for care coordination and automation, healthcare providers can manage their populations effectively and keep their patients as healthy as possible.”
Andy Steele, MD, MPH, Director of Medical Informatics at Denver Health, and another of the report’s contributing authors, said, “Given potential health care reform and efforts to increase quality and efficiency of care in the setting of persistent fiscal limitations, the importance of leveraging information technology and focusing on population health management has become a top priority for many health care institutions. Our goal for the project is to provide resources that health care providers can utilize as they are considering and implementing population health management initiatives.”
Richard Hodach, MD, MPH, PhD, Chief Medical Officer of Phytel and chair of the report’s research committee, commented, “This important new report underscores the message that Phytel has been spreading among physician groups for the past several years. By using technology to identify subpopulations and patients who are at risk, to reach out to those patients, and to automate care management, healthcare providers can provide optimal preventive and chronic care to their patient populations. Providers can also use technology to engage patients in their own care, which is the real key to lowering costs and improving population health. We are proud of our participation in this project, and we hope that the report will be helpful to providers who plan to move in this direction.”
Among the healthcare thought leaders who contributed to the Automating Population Health Research Project are Alide Chase, MS, Senior Vice President for Quality and Service, Kaiser Permanente; Robert Fortini, Vice President and Chief Clinical Officer, Bon Secours Health System; Connie White Delaney, PhD, RN, School of Nursing Professor & Dean, Academic Health Center Director, Associate Director of Biomedical Health Informatics, and Acting Director of the Institute for Health Informatics, University of Minnesota; Richard Hodach, MD, MPH, PhD, Chief Medical Officer, Phytel; Paul Grundy, MD, MPH, Global Director of Healthcare Transformation, IBM; Margaret O’Kane, President, National Committee for Quality Assurance; Andy Steele, MD, MPH, Director of Medical Informatics, Denver Health; and Dan Fetterolf, Principal, Fetterolf Healthcare Consulting.
The Institute for Health Technology Transformation announced today that Jay Srini, Chief Strategist at SCS Ventures has been appointed Senior Fellow & Innovation Chair for the Institute’s 2012 series of educational programs and meetings.
Jay Srini is an internationally recognized thought leader on national and international trends that are changing the face of healthcare. In her current role at SCS Ventures, Jay works with startup companies internationally to help them with their business development, technology strategy, and expansion. She also advises established companies on their strategies to enter and grow their healthcare vertical.
“We’re thrilled to work with Jay in a concerted effort to move our health system forward with programs that foster the more innovative use of information technology,” said Waco Hoover, the Institute’s CEO. “Jay has a wealth of industry expertise that will make a meaningful and lasting impact on programs and initiatives developed at the Institute.”
In Jay Srini’s role as Senior Fellow and Innovation Chair she will work with the Institute’s Advisory Board and other industry leaders to program and develop leading educational programs and collaboration opportunities for health care leaders. In tandem with the Institute’s mission to promote the effective use of technology across the U.S. health system, Mrs. Srini will engage leaders from the community to ensure the Institute continually provides timely and relevant resources.
“We are in the midst of tectonic shifts in healthcare on all fronts ranging from new discoveries to new payment models and new stakeholders entering the healthcare sector,” said Jay Srini. “Finding innovative ways to deliver cost effective patient centered health care has never been as important as now. Innovation is virtually impossible without collaboration! I am honored and excited to take on this new role at iHT2 to develop new programs and platforms to drive innovation in healthcare through collaboration knowledge acquisition and knowledge dissemination.”
Jay’s prior experience includes her role as Chief Innovation Officer for UPMC (University of Pittsburgh Medical Center) Insurance Services Division as well as her role as Vice President of Emerging Technologies for UPMC. Jay was Managing Director for e-Health Initiatives at Internet Venture Works where she led technology and industry assessments of opportunities presented by strategic partners, investors and external sources and served in executive management roles for its’ portfolio companies. She has served on several healthcare boards including HIMSS (himss.org), PRHI (prhi.org) and is a frequent speaker on International Healthcare forums. She serves on several HHS (Health and Human Services –hhs.gov) related advisory panels and serves in an advisory capacity to International healthcare Institutions and Venture capitalists.
Jay has a Master’s Degree in Computer Science from New York University and a Master’s Degree in Business Administration from Bucknell University and her executive education from the Kellogg School of Management at Northwestern University. She also serves as one of the commissioners at CCHIT (Certification Commission of HealthCare Information Technology) in addition to her role as adjunct faculty Assistant Professor at the University of Pittsburgh and advisory board of the School of Computer Science at Carnegie Mellon University.
The Institute for Health Technology Transformation is the leading organization committed to bringing together private and public sector leaders fostering the growth and effective use of technology across the healthcare industry. Through collaborative efforts the Institute provides programs that drive innovation, educate, and provide a critical understanding of how technology applications, solutions and devices can improve the quality, safety and efficiency of healthcare.
The Institute engages multiple stakeholders:
• Hospitals and other healthcare providers
• Clinical groups
• Academic and research institutions
• Healthcare information technology organizations
• Healthcare technology investors
• Health plans
• Consumer and patient groups
• Employers and purchasers
• Device manufacturers
• Private sector stakeholders
• Public sector stakeholders
Almost half of all counties in the U.S. now have established populations of ticks that can carry Lyme disease. The arthropods have dramatically increased their range over the past 20 years, putting many people under threat who historically had little risk of catching the disease.
The distribution map of the blacklegged tick and eastern blacklegged tick – both known to carry the bacterium that causes Lyme disease – had not been updated since 1998. To rectify this, researchers did a comprehensive analysis of papers with state and county tick surveillance data going back to 1996. The two species were classed as being established in a county if there had been six or more reportings of them in a year. The full study is published in the Journal of Medical Entomology.
What they found was that the number of counties in the United States with established populations of potentially Lyme disease-carrying ticks has doubled since 1998, when the last map was drawn up. This means that the ticks are now present in almost half of all...
A man from eastern India has recently undergone some rather eye-watering surgery after doctors found a live worm squiggling in his eyeball.
The patient, 25, went to the doctors after two weeks of pain in his left eye, along with redness and wavey "floaters" in his vision.
It transpired that there was a live worm living in the man’s vitreous cavity – the clear, jelly-like center of the eyeball. The doctors described it as a “fairly long live worm moving around in a haphazard and relentless manner” in a recent online case report published in BMJ Case Reports on January 8.
Doctors decided the only option was to remove the parasite through surgery, as antifilarial drugs could have resulted in a toxic reaction in the eye.
A microbiological examination of the removed worm proved it to be a species called Loa loa.
This parasitic nematode is transmitted to humans via bites from deer flies (also known as mango flies or mangrove flies). This led the doctors to the fairly straightforward conclusion that the man caught the parasite during his...
Warning: This article contains graphic content.
We have been promised a head transplant by next year, and the main brain behind the highly controversial procedure shows no signs of retracting his wild claim. Quite the opposite, in fact, as the pioneering surgeon has now announced the procedure has been successfully carried out on a monkey.
As revealed by Motherboard and New Scientist, Italian doctor Sergio Canavero has teased the press with some details on progress made so far by himself and collaborator Dr Xiaoping Ren of China’s Harbin Medical University, among others. Ren has invested a significant amount of time perfecting the technique in mice, having performed the transplant on more than 1,000 mice. The animals were able to breathe and drink after the 10-hour surgery, but only lived for a matter of minutes.
Now, according to Canavero, Ren’s team has carried out the transplant on a monkey. Although, even if this does turn out to be true, it doesn’t seem that any significant increments have been made since the ‘70s, when Dr Robert...
Doctors and health experts have strongly warned against using a “womb detox” product that has recently caught attention online.
Embrace Pangaea, a herbal and holistic product online company based in the United States, has been selling small bags of herbs, designed to be inserted into the vagina to “cleanse the womb and return it to a balance state.”
The bags contain a mix of perfumed herbs such as Mothersworth, Angelica, Borneol, Rhizoma and Cnidium monnieri.
One “pearl” costs $15 and is intended for once-a-day use. Alternatively, the company offers a “Monthly Womb Maintenance Package” for $75 to $180. It also has a scheme to encourage customers to distribute its products themselves.
Dr. Jen Gunter, a gynaecologist from the United States, wrote a blog post strongly condemning the products, the Independent reports.
"Your uterus isn’t tired or depressed or dirty and your vagina has not misplaced its chakra," she said.
"These herbs... could be damaging to your lactobacilli (the good bacteria) or be directly irritating to the vagina mucosa (the lining) and both of these outcomes will increase your risk of...
Workers of the world unite: You have nothing to lose but your hangover.
The North Korean state-owned newspaper, Pyongyang Times, has reported that scientists from Taedonggang Foodstuff Factory claim to have developed an alcoholic spirit that doesn't give you a hangover.
Boasting a punchy 30 to 40 percent alcohol by volume, the spirit is distilled from organic glutinous rice and Kaesong Koryo insam – a type of ginseng indigenous to the hermit kingdom.
The Pyongyang Times article, titled “Liquor Wins Quality Medal For Preserving National Smack,” explains:
“Koryo Liquor, which is made of six-year-old Kaesong Koryo insam, known as being highest in medicinal effect, and the scorched rice, is highly appreciated by experts and lovers as it is suave and causes no hangover.”
The article also said that the drink, which "exudes national flavour," has "already been registered as a national scientific and technological hit." If true, this would not in fact be the first supposed "hangover-free" alcohol developed – a group in Australia has also reportedly brewed up a beer that won't give you the nasty after-effects of...
As the emerging Zika virus continues to rapidly spread in the Pacific, so do fears of the potential consequences, especially in light of strong links between the growing epidemic and a brain disorder in newborns. There’s no available treatment or vaccine, and given the length of time it takes to develop such interventions, it will be years before we see any on the market. But there could be a solution: genetically modified mosquitoes.
Zika virus is spread by the same mosquito as dengue and another disease called Chikungunya, a species called Aedes aegypti. Scientists in the U.K. have developed and are implementing an effective way to curb their populations, which involves genetic manipulation and controlled insect release programs.
Created by biotech firm Oxitec, the so-called “friendly Aedes aegypti,” or OX513A, contains a gene that causes offspring to die before reaching reproductive age. So when males are released into mosquito-riddled areas, they successfully compete with those in the wild for females, ultimately leading to a reduction in numbers, but not eradication, without the need...
You might associate scurvy with sailors of times gone by, but while our knowledge of exactly what causes it and how to get rid of it has meant that it’s rare in today’s world, it’s still not a disease of the past. As evidence of this, an unusual case report has surfaced in which an infant developed scurvy after being given a vitamin C-devoid diet almost entirely based on almond milk.
Likely the result of healthy food trends combined with environmental concerns, plant-based drinks have boomed in popularity in recent years, in particular in the Western world. From soy milk to hazelnut and rice drinks, shelves see no shortage of dairy-free alternatives. And while that’s not exactly a bad thing, this latest report highlights the need for parents to take into consideration the nutritional content when choosing a diet for their infants, namely the lack of vitamin C.
Described in the journal Pediatrics, the case involves an infant who was presented to doctors in Spain at 11 months old with tiredness, irritability, and a failure to thrive....
A chemical produced by blue-green algae has been found to cause biological markers associated with Alzheimer's disease in vervet monkeys. The discovery strengthens a suspicion that the toxin β-N-methylamino-L-alanine (BMAA) is contributing to the dementia crisis. In better news, the same study added to evidence for the amino acid L-serine's protective potential.
In the 1950s, the Chamorro people of Guam suffered an outbreak of dementia, along with neurofibrillary tangles in their brains, that resemble those seen in Alzheimer's sufferers. Evidence has since emerged that these symptoms were triggered by exposure to the chemical BMAA found in cycad seeds.
Cycad seeds are not a big global food source, but the BMAA came from cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae in the cycads' roots. Cyanobacteria, ancient single-celled organisms, inhabit oceans and deserts, and many produce BMAA in large quantities. A survey of the supposed health food spirulina found BMAA in 14 of 39 samples.
A paper published today suggests chronic exposure to an environmental toxin may increase the risk of neurodegenerative illness.
For the first time, researchers have shown that feeding vervet monkeys a toxin produced by blue-green algae resulted in protein deposits in the brain, consistent with those seen in human Alzheimer’s.
Neurodegenerative disease is an umbrella term which includes Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and motor neurone disease (MND). The causes remain largely unknown, and the role of environmental factors is poorly understood.
Owing to its role in an unusual illness suffered by Chamorro villagers on the Pacific island of Guam, researchers have been investigating an algal toxin called BMAA for more than 40 years.
The Chamorros' diet was contaminated with BMAA and they suffered from dementia as well as a combination of symptoms typical of Alzheimer’s, Parkinson’s and MND.
In the study published today in the Royal Society Proceedings B, researchers fed vervets fruit: some with BMAA, some with a placebo and some with a known...
Throughout history, advancements in healthcare and technology have typically been accompanied by decreasing mortality rates, with this trend only halted by exceptional factors such as wars, natural disasters or disease epidemics. However, a recent investigation by the New York Times has revealed that the death rate for young white Americans is currently increasing, and suggests that opioid overdoses could be the main cause of this alarming shift.
Opioids are synthetic or natural compounds that bind to the brain’s opiate receptors in order to block pain. A number of opioids – such as hydrocodone, oxycodone and morphine – are used to manufacture prescription painkillers, while others are found in street drugs such as heroin. According to the New York Times report, a sharp increase in overdose deaths over the past 15 years has resulted in white adults aged 25 to 34 becoming the first generation since the Vietnam War to experience higher death rates in early adulthood than the generation...
Two years after the worst outbreak of Ebola in history, the epidemic that claimed the lives of more than 11,000 people in West Africa has been declared to be over by the World Health Organization (WHO). This marks the first time since the outbreak started that the three main countries to be wracked by the disease have simultaneously had zero reported cases for the required period of time. While this is clearly good news, the WHO has warned that this is unlikely to be the end of Ebola, as more flare-ups are expected.
The announcement has come after Liberia, the last country to have a reported case of Ebola, recently made it through the required 42 days without another diagnosis. This period of time is twice that of the disease's incubation period, the time between contracting the infection and showing symptoms. This is the third time the country has managed this, but subsequent infections occurred in the following weeks. Today, however, marks the first time that...
A rough and ready solution to the problem of inguinal hernias has been shown to be safe and effective, opening the way to treatment for tens of millions of people who can't afford surgical mesh. The finding is another reason why anti-malarial bed nets save lives.
Inguinal hernias occur in the abdominal wall around the groin. Fat, intestines, and sometimes other bodily organs can be pressed through weaknesses or holes. The result is painful, can prevent most forms of physical exertion, and complications cause tens of thousands of deaths each year.
In much of the world, hernia surgery is routine, with approximately 20 million operations occurring a year. On the other hand, almost 200 million people are estimated to have untreated hernias resulting from being unable to afford surgery. The cost of meshes produced to repair hernias can be as much as the surgeon's fees in Africa, taking operations out of the reach of many who need them most.
Hernia surgery being performed in...
It’s a question even the most brave and crude would struggle to type into Yahoo! Answers: Why is it our genitals and nipples are darker than the rest of our skin?
Speaking to the Daily Mail Online, Dr. Cameron Rokhsar and Dr. Lindsey Bordone – both dermatologists based in New York – answered this age-old question.
Turns out, it’s all to do with our sex hormones. The level of hormones present in our body, such as testosterone and estrogen, regulate the activity of our melanocyte cells. These are the cells in our skin and hair that release melanin, the protein pigment responsible for our skin color. Production of these ramp up when we hit puberty, hence why these dark areas only appear to emerge when we get older.
“Hormones regulate the way melanocytes produce their pigment," said Dr. Rokhsar. "Those can have an effect on the way the skin in that area pigments, so generally that area is darker."
“When girls are young, their nipples are light,” Dr. Bordone added. “And as they get older, hormones have an effect and the nipples darken.
“It’s very similar for boys.”
This is also the reason why so many kids...
Your thoughts, moods and behaviours are the product of your brain – an exquisite spider’s web of neuronal connections and witch’s brew of neurochemicals.
It is this brew that is prone to change, and when “unbalanced” can cause dramatically altered behaviour. And your diet may have more to do with how you think than you would first suspect.
How Your Mood Is Made Up
Your mood is the product of chemicals in the brain called “neurochemicals”. This includes “neurotransmitters”, which are small molecules nerve cells (neurons) use to communicate with each other. One important neurotransmitter involved in mood is serotonin.
Many drugs that target the brain’s systems are designed to increase or decrease the levels of neurotransmitters. For example, many antidepressant medications such as fluoxetine or escitalopram are designed to block the disposal of serotonin and consequently increase its levels in the brain.
What Is Serotonin?
Serotonin is popularly known as one of the happy hormones. It is produced...
The genetic modification of human embryos remains a controversial issue, but a British scientist is hoping to become the first in the U.K. to gain approval to perform the process. It could be used to reduce miscarriages and increase the success rate of IVF.
Dr. Kathy Niakan, from the Francis Crick Institute, is currently awaiting a decision from the Human Fertilisation and Embryology Authority (HFEA) to find out if she is able to go ahead with the technique, first proposed last year. The decision is expected next week and, if approved, gene editing is expected to begin by the summer.
"We would really like to understand the genes needed for a human embryo to develop successfully into a healthy baby,” Dr. Niakan told the BBC. "The reason why it is so important is because miscarriages and infertility are extremely common, but they're not very well understood."
Yesterday, on January 14, Liberia was declared Ebola-free by the World Health Organization (WHO), an announcement that would mean the West African outbreak, the worst in history, is finally over. If you have déjà vu, that’s because this was the third time that the country has been declared free of Ebola virus transmission. Once again demonstrating that these declarations are by no means the end, a case has just been confirmed in neighboring Sierra Leone.
As reported by BBC News, the patient was a man who unfortunately died of the disease earlier this week in the Tonkolili district, northern Sierra Leone, which he had traveled to from near the Guinean border, the third major country to be ravaged by the outbreak. Following a positive diagnosis, officials from Sierra Leone made the announcement just hours after that made by the WHO yesterday. This comes just over two months after the country was declared free of disease transmission.
Efforts are now being made to track down anyone who has been in contact with the man. Those identified will likely be...
A drug trial in France has gone wrong, according to reports, as six people are reported to be in “critical condition,” with at least one in a coma. As yet, there are few details as to what the drug trial was investigating, or which European laboratory was responsible, the health minister for France has said.
“This test was carried out at a private establishment specialized in carrying out clinical trials,” is all the ministry has said so far, Reuters reports, adding that the six participants, who were believed to be taking oral medication, were in apparent good health until very recently. All drugs trials taking place at a drug clinic in Rennes, Brittany have, however, been halted for the time being.
Details at the moment are very thin on the ground, and until more information is released, it is unknown exactly what situation the participants are in, or what drug they were trialing. We'll keep you updated as more is known about the situation.
Update 14:48 GMT: Despite earlier reports from the French media that the drug involved was a “cannabis-based...
A team of scientists from the Institute for Integrative Nanosciences in Dresden has developed what it is calling a "spermbot," which it claims could provide a more effective treatment for male infertility than other available options. Artificial insemination, for instance, involves inserting sperm directly into a woman’s womb, yet yields success rates of only 30 percent, while in vitro fertilization (IVF), whereby eggs are removed from the ovaries and injected with sperm in a laboratory, can be more effective but also considerably more expensive.
Moreover, neither of these techniques address one of the major causes of male infertility: immotile sperm – in other words, sperm that are unable to swim well. Often, these gametes are in fact fertile, and just as capable of reproduction as those that do swim well, yet their immobility prevents them from ever reaching the egg.
To address this, the team behind the invention created a miniature polymer helix, which they then coated in nickel...
To most, “man flu” is thought of as a pejorative, a way of teasing men who are complaining perhaps a little too much about the cold or influenza virus they’ve picked up. However, a new piece of research suggests that man flu may be an actual condition that men suffer from. As revealed in a study in the American Journal of Physiology – Lung Cellular and Molecular Physiology, it has everything to do with estrogen – specifically, men’s lack of it.
For this study, the influenza A virus was used. The amount of replication a virus undergoes in a host is roughly analogous to how severe the infection is. In order to see if influenza A infected men and women differently, the team of researchers from Johns Hopkins University intentionally infected nasal cells – those that are primarily targeted by the virus – from a range of male and female donors.
Man flu is real, then, but there’s nothing you can do about it. bikeriderlondon/Shutterstock
For this particular study, the researchers wished to know if estrogen had any effect on the...
According to a new study, published in the Journal of Happiness Studies, people who rate themselves as the happiest are more likely to share a certain gene. Researchers claim that this holds true for countries as far apart as Ghana and Colombia, yet to boil a nation's emotional state down to a single section of our DNA seems highly simplistic, to say the least.
For the study, researchers used data from the World Values Survey (WVS) gathered between 2000 and 2014. The WVS is a global research project itself, looking into peoples’ values and beliefs, and how they change over time and in response to what. From this, they figured out the average percentage of people who reported to be “very happy” from countries around the world, and then looked at climatic data, prevalence of disease, World Bank economic data, and population genetics. According to the researchers, they found a “strong correlation” between the happiness of a nation and the prevalence of a particular variant of the fatty acid amide hydrolase, or “FAAH,”...
CEO of Turing Pharmaceuticals and “the Internet’s most hated man,” Martin Shkreli, has been arrested by the FBI on charges of securities fraud.
Shkreli gained notoriety in September after a 5,000 percent price hike of Daraprim – a drug used by sufferers of HIV to treat toxoplasmosis infections. The move was nearly universally condemned by politicians and healthcare groups, and quickly saw Shkreli rise as an online hate-figure.
But in the latest twist to the ongoing saga, the startup drug tycoon was escorted out of the Murray Hill Tower Apartments in New York by FBI agents and law enforcement officers on Thursday, December 17.
The federal investigation does not involve Shkreli’s infamous drug-price row, but relates to activities from his time leading the biotechnology firm Retrophin and his tenure as a manager of the hedge fund at MSMB Capital Management.
According to Reuters, the allegations claim that in 2011 Shkreli fabricated numerous profit reports for the pharmaceutical company Retrophin and misled investors. Over the course of months, this helped draw in over $3 million in investment, the...
Mammals are pretty complex things, made up of a huge number of perfectly specialized cells that perform a massive range of vital functions. What’s even more amazing is that all start out as just a single zygote – or fertilized egg – that then divides in order to form an embryo. The moment at which the dividing cells first become differentiated from one another has now been caught on film, enabling scientists to identify the precise point in early mammalian development at which this occurs.
Previously, researchers had not been able to capture this initial stage of cell division on camera, since the cells involved in this process are extremely light-sensitive. However, scientists at the European Molecular Biology Laboratory have finally managed to achieve the feat, using a technique called light-sheet microscopy, which illuminates only a tiny strip of a sample in order to minimize exposure.
Above is the video of the specialization. Credit: European Molecular Biology Laboratory
Publishing their findings...
The World Health Organization (WHO) last week convened a meeting of scientists from a range of fields including virology, microbiology and clinical medicine, with the aim of identifying five to ten emerging pathogens likely to cause serious outbreaks in the near future. As a result of the convention, which was held in Geneva, the group has now compiled a list of eight diseases that it suggests should be prioritised by those conducting research and development into the prevention of major outbreaks.
According to Science Insider, the initiative was launched in response to widespread criticism of WHO’s initial response to the Ebola outbreak in West Africa, with one independent panel claiming that the organization was too slow to put measures in place to halt the spread of the disease. To prevent a repetition of the destruction caused by the Ebola crisis, WHO is now recommending that more be done to develop treatment programs before outbreaks occur, rather than waiting...
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