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November 30, 2011

China’s vaccine makers gear up for overseas markets; product safety image still a concern

The world should get ready for a new Made in China product — vaccines. (Washington Post)

Medicare to Pay for Obesity Counseling

Medicare will pick up the tab for obesity screening and intensive behavioral counseling, the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid announced late Tuesday. (ABC News)

Turn on, tune in and get better?

Janeen Delany describes herself as an “old hippie” who’s smoked plenty of marijuana. But she never really dabbled in hallucinogens — until two years ago, at the age of 59. (LA Times)

Generics Genesis: Patent Expires for Cholesterol-Lowering Drug Lipitor

With sales of more than $100 billion since it was introduced in 1997, the cholesterol-lowering drug Lipitor (atorvastatin) is an unparalleled pharmaceutical superstar. But as its patent expires on November 30 and its first generic competitor takes the stage, Lipitor is also a painful reminder of the challenge that such `patent cliffs’ pose for the big drug companies, including Lipitor’s developer Pfizer, based in New York. (Scientific American)

Illegal Human Study Left Three Patients Dead – Four Defendants Get Prison Sentences

Four former executives of Synthes Inc. have been sentenced to prison for carrying out human medical trials illegally in which three participants lost their lives. (Medical News Today)

Event: Anti-Aging Science in an Aging Culture: Scientific and Religious Perspectives on Life Extension

Urbana Seminary
The Forum at Carle in Urbana, Illinois
December 10, 2011

A one-day conference exploring the meaning of human aging and biomedical attempts to overcome it from medical and religious perspectives.  This conference is ideal for those in the  health care industry, pastors, philosophers, students, and anyone wrestling with issues concerning aging.

For more information and registration

New Issue of Stem Cells is Now Available

Stem Cells (November 2011) is now available by subscription only.

Articles include:

  • “Cord Blood Banking, Transplantation and iPSC: Success and Opportunities” by Mahendra Rao, Lars Ahrlund-Richter and Dan S. Kaufman.

New Issue of Archives of Neurology is Now Available

Archives of Neurology (Volume 68, Issue 11, November 1, 2011) is now available by subscription only.

Articles include:

  • “Coping With Death and Dying on a Neurology Inpatient Service: Death Rounds as an Educational Initiative for Residents” by Sandeep Khot; Martha Billings; Darrell Owens; W. T. Longstreth Jr, 1395-1397.

New Issue of Trends in Biotechnology is Now Available

Trends in Biotechnology (Volume 29, Issue 12, December 2011) is now available by subscription only.

Articles include:

  • “Organ Printing: The Future of Bone Regeneration?” by Natalja E. Fedorovich, Jacqueline Alblas, Wim E. Hennink, F. Cumhur Öner, and Wouter J.A. Dhert, 601-606.

November 29, 2011

Face transplant patient beginning to look himself again

Strangers would stare at him in the street and children would say the monster was coming and run away, but earlier this year Mitch Hunter underwent a face transplant that promises to transform his life. (BBC News)

HEALTHBEAT: As more people donate a kidney, a push to better track how donors fare long-term

More and more people are donating one of their kidneys to a loved one, a friend, even a stranger, and now a move is on to make sure those donors really fare as well as they’re promised. (Washington Post)

Heart patients prefer longevity over quality of life

When an elderly person’s chronic disease is impossible to cure, many doctors might assume that patient would chose to improve the quality of his or her remaining life rather than to extend it as is. Those doctors would be mistaken most of the time, according to a new study. (MSNBC)

Aiming for clinical excellence

From tissue scaffolds for artificial organs to better diagnostics and drug delivery, health and medicine offer some of the most visible opportunities for nanotechnology. Yet the first nanomedicine was approved for use back in 1995. (Guardian)

Study: Low-Risk Births Don’t Need Hospital

A new study in England shows little difference in complications among the babies of women with low-risk pregnancies who delivered in hospitals versus those who gave birth with midwives at home or in birthing centers. (Fox News)

November 28, 2011

Common Drugs the Culprit in Most ER Visits by Seniors, Study Finds

Commonly used diabetes pills and blood thinners—not high-risk medications like painkillers—are behind most visits by seniors to emergency rooms for drug reactions and unintentional overdoses, according to a study to be published Thursday in The New England Journal of Medicine. (Wall Street Journal)

AP IMPACT: More kids skip school shots in 8 states

More parents are opting out of school shots for their kids. In eight states now, more than 1 in 20 public school kindergartners aren’t getting all the vaccines required for attendance, an Associated Press analysis found. (AP)

Artificial pancreas could be ‘holy grail’ for Type 1 diabetics

Kerry Morgan was just 3 years old when she participated in her first clinical trial for type 1 diabetes prevention. She didn’t have the disease, but her 7-year old sister did and there was concern that she might develop it, too. (CNN)

Taking healthcare to students

As soon as the school day ended, the rush at the health clinic began. Two high school seniors asked for sports physicals. (LA Times)

The Doctor Will See Your Genome Now

Just over 10 years ago, the sequencing of the first human genome was announced at a White House press conference. In the decade since, the practical application of genomic information has been disappointingly slow. (Slate)

November 23, 2011

Gov’t says Merck will pay $950M to settle Vioxx probe, will plead guilty to marketing charge

The Department of Justice said Tuesday that drugmaker Merck will pay $950 million to resolve investigations into its marketing of the painkiller Vioxx. (Washington Post)

Drugmakers Mine Data for Trial Patients

Pharmaceutical companies can easily spend years—and more than $1 billion—bringing a new drug to market, in part because they can’t find enough patients to do the required testing of the compound. (Businessweek)


The Bioethics Poll
Should individuals and/or institutions be allowed to patent human genes?
Yes, with some qualifications

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Which area of research should more money be invested in:
Animal-Human Hybrids
Gene Therapy
Reproductive Technology
Stem Cell Research
"Therapeutic" Cloning
None of the above

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