(New York Times) – Now, a painstaking yearslong effort to reproduce 100 studies published in three leading psychology journals has found that more than half of the findings did not hold up when retested. The analysis was done by research psychologists, many of whom volunteered their time to double-check what they considered important work. Their conclusions, reported Thursday in the journal Science, have confirmed the worst fears of scientists who have long worried that the field needed a strong correction.
(Reuters) – Venezuelans with chronic medical conditions such as breast cancer, hemophilia and transplants protested in Caracas on Thursday, the latest demonstration to demand urgent medicines in a country beset with shortages. Around 13,000 people with chronic issues are at risk of severe harm if they do not find chemotherapy or medicines, including those that prevent organ transplants being rejected, according to organizer CodeVida, a non-profit umbrella health group.
(New York Times) – A prominent researcher in the field of regenerative medicine was cleared on Friday of charges of scientific misconduct by the Karolinska Institute, the Swedish medical university where he had done much of his pioneering work. In a report released in Stockholm, Anders Hamsten, vice chancellor of the institute, said that the researcher, Dr. Paolo Macchiarini, was not guilty of charges that had been brought by colleagues.
(Wired) – Telemedicine infrastructure is lagging on two fronts. First, many rural clinics have Internet access that is still too slow and unreliable. Second, telemedicine is increasingly moving from the clinic into the home, with at-home monitoring and mobile apps. Here, the facts on the ground are even worse: According to the FCC’s 2015 Broadband Progress Report, 55 million Americans still do not have access to broadband speed Internet access, which includes more than half of rural Americans.
(Sci Dev Net) – Indian companies provide cheap generic drugs to countries across the world and account for 80 per cent of donor-funded HIV treatment — a set-up now threatened by US pressure. But Big Pharma should work with Indian companies and could even benefit by doing so. India’s longstanding battle with Big Pharma over generic drugs dates from the 1970s, when it began only recognising patents for drug-making processes, rather than products. This allowed local companies to ‘reverse engineer’ expensive medications using different processes, and then offer drugs cheaply.
(Science Daily) – Parents go to great lengths to ensure the health and well-being of their developing offspring. The favor, however, may not always be returned. Dramatic research has shown that during pregnancy, cells of the fetus often migrate through the placenta, taking up residence in many areas of the mother’s body, where their influence may benefit or undermine maternal health.
(The New York Times) – His wife and children were talking about making his status “do not resuscitate/do not intubate,” but they hadn’t decided, and they were waiting for a son who lived far away to weigh in. And it was the weekend. Staffing was low in the I.C.U.; no attending physician was present; and things were on pause. Except of course they weren’t. The patient was living through these hours and days, mask on, mask off, a feeding tube in his nose, IVs in his arms, having his dry mouth sponged, his throat suctioned, defecating and being cleaned up. He was alive, and while he wasn’t in pain, he wasn’t passing the time pleasantly.
(Yahoo! News) – When Hurricane Katrina hit, Rebekah Crosby had little hope that her embryos remained safe at a New Orleans clinic during a storm that wiped out 80 percent of the city. When she called, the phone rang and rang, going straight to voice mail. Days later, she received a surprising call. Her embryos — her potential children — had been rescued.
(CMAJ) – The Canadian Medical Association (CMA) was given the greenlight to develop guidelines for assessing patients who request physician-assisted death by delegates to the association’s General Council on Aug. 26 in Halifax. Doctors are preparing for the prospect that there may be no legislation to guide them when criminal sanctions on physician-assisted dying are lifted next year.
(Eurekalert) – Rice University scientists have made a living circuit from multiple types of bacteria that prompts the bacteria to cooperate to change protein expression. The subject of a new paper in Science, the project represents the first time the Rice researchers have created a biological equivalent to a computer circuit that involves multiple organisms to influence a population.
(Reuters) – Investigations into foodborne illness are being radically transformed by whole genome sequencing, which federal officials say is enabling them to identify the source of an outbreak far more quickly and prevent additional cases. Previously, samples from sick patients were sent to state and federal labs, where disease detectives ran tests to see if the infections were caused by the same bug. When enough matches emerged, typically a dozen or so, epidemiologists interviewed sick people, looking for a common food that was causing the outbreak.
(MIT Technology Review) – A blood test that could quickly detect a brain injury and measure the damage it has done could help doctors provide better care for the millions of people suffering from such injuries, potentially improving their chances of avoiding long-term disabilities. The trick is identifying proteins that appear in the blood in elevated amounts only after a brain injury and then developing tests that can both detect those markers and determine medically relevant information from them.
(UPI) – A blood test that detects DNA mutations in the bloodstream can predict cancer relapses in patients before tumors are detectable in scans or symptoms are felt, according to a new study. This new method of “liquid biopsies” is one of several meant to more easily tailor treatment to patients and their cancer, rather than apply blanket treatments and hope it applies to the type of cancer they have.
(Medical Xpress) – Deaths from the MERS coronavirus have surged in Saudi Arabia ahead of the hajj pilgrimage, with 19 fatalities recorded in a week, according to health ministry statistics. A total of 502 people have died in the kingdom since the virus first appeared in 2012, according to updated figures posted on the ministry’s website, including 19, all Saudis, since last Thursday.
(ABC.net) – If you could save ten people, at little or no cost to you, would you do it? If someone is willing to be an organ donor, should they get preference in the event that they need an organ for themselves? Is there a moral obligation to donate your organs? Ethicist Julian Savulescu says the answer to all three of those question is yes, though it seems from the statistics and the debate about organ donation that the second and third questions still vex Australians deeply.
(Yahoo! News) – Nepal’s top court has ordered a halt to commercial surrogacy services in the Himalayan nation until it rules on the legality of the practice, an official said Wednesday. Nepal has become a destination for foreigners seeking to have children through surrogate mothers. The practice is controversial, with critics saying it exploits the poverty of women.
(Dallas Morning News) – A regular part of what I have to manage with patients and families are problems that we can’t fix or make better. The book was about finding that I was not helpful, that I was often in the corner doing things at the end of life that were making matters worse rather than better. And it was an exploration of how I might be able to turn that around in my own practice.
(Physorg) – A collaboration between biologists and engineers at Monash University has led to the development of a new non-invasive image processing technique to visualise embryo formation. Researchers were able to see, for the first time, the movement of all of the cells in living mammalian embryos as they develop under the microscope. This breakthrough has important implications for IVF (in vitro fertilisation) treatments and pre-implantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). In the future, this approach could help with embryo selection before the embryo is implanted back into the uterus to improve IVF success rates.
(Nanotechnology Now) – While the origin of Alzheimer’s Disease, one that robs the old of their memory, is still hotly debated, it is likely that a specific form of the Amyloid beta molecule, which is able to attack cell membranes, is a major player. Defeating this molecule would be easier if its shape and form were known better, but that has proven to be a difficult task until now.
(Science Daily) – UC San Francisco researchers have for the first time developed a method to precisely control embryonic stem cell differentiation with beams of light, enabling them to be transformed into neurons in response to a precise external cue. The technique also revealed an internal timer within stem cells that lets them tune out extraneous biological noise but transform rapidly into mature cells when they detect a consistent, appropriate molecular signal, the authors report in a study published online August 26 in Cell Systems.