(Medical Xpress) – Last year, 52,860 U.S. and international medical graduates applied for residency positions in the U.S., yet only 26,252 actually matched into a program. The painful irony is that the U.S. now faces a substantial shortage of physicians, which is on track to worsen in the decades to come. Increased demand for physicians is driven by advances in medical science and technology, population growth and an aging population that uses more medical care. A study by the Association of American Medical College predicts that by 2025, the U.S. will face a shortfall of between 46,000 and 90,000 physicians.
(Scientific American) – The revolutionary gene-editing technology poised to reshape how researchers attack and prevent disease yesterday received a lukewarm reception from patient groups. Representatives from several patient advocacy organizations gathered in Washington, D.C., at a public meeting on gene editing to discuss if they would want researchers to one day tap this technology—first in the laboratory but eventually in the clinic—in an effort to prevent or treat serious inherited maladies including muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis and sickle-cell disease.
(UPI) – Buprenorphine is already approved by the FDA for use treating opioid addiction, while samidorphan is a drug under development by Alkermes. Both have similar effects on the endogenous opioid system — natural opioids released by the central nervous system — by blocking specific receptors. Previous research has shown reducing natural opioids in the central nervous system can help ease depression.
(Medical Xpress) – Their discussion will focus on interim results of a study published in The Lancet in July. The study examined an experimental Ebola vaccine as well as a way of deploying the vaccine. The strategy includes vaccinating people who had contact with people who contracted Ebola and also the close contacts of people who had that contact—an approach known as ring vaccination.
(New York Times) – Like Mr. Pean, patients seeking help at hospitals across the country have instead been injured or killed by those guarding the institutions. Medical centers are not required to report such encounters, so little data is available and health experts suspect that some cases go unnoticed. Police blotters, court documents and government health reports have identified more than a dozen in recent years.
(STAT News) – Most Americans oppose using powerful new technology to alter the genes of unborn babies, according to a new poll — even to prevent serious inherited diseases. They expressed the strongest disapproval for editing genes to create “designer babies” with enhanced intelligence or looks. But the poll, conducted by STAT and Harvard T.H. Chan School of Public Health, found that people have mixed, and apparently not firm, views on emerging genetic techniques. US adults are almost evenly split on whether the federal government should fund research on editing genes before birth to keep children from developing diseases such as cystic fibrosis or Huntington’s disease.
(The Telegraph) – Samaritans put pressure on the ?BBC to make last minute changes to documentary showing a man taking his own life. How to Die: Simon’s Choice, which aired on BBC Two last night, followed the final months of Simon Binner, a Cambridge graduate who suffered from motor neurone disease, and his eventual decision to kill himself, on October 19 last year.
(ABC News) – Abortion opponents in Mississippi, West Virginia and several other states are filing bills to ban an abortion procedure commonly used in the second trimester that opponents describe as dismembering a fetus. Courts have already blocked similar laws that Kansas and Oklahoma enacted in 2015. The New York-based Center for Reproductive Rights, which represents abortion providers in legal fights, says banning the dilation and evacuation method of abortion — commonly called “D&E” — is unconstitutional because it interferes with private medical decisions.
(SciCasts) – Scientists at Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore) have developed a small smart chip that can be paired with neural implants for efficient wireless transmission of brain signals. Neural implants when embedded in the brain can alleviate the debilitating symptoms of Parkinson’s disease or give paraplegic people the ability to move their prosthetic limbs.
(Medical Daily) – Four American states, Canada, and four European nations legally permit assisted death, where a physician prescribes or directly administers life-ending drugs. Assisted suicide of psychiatric patients remains controversial: An investigation of such cases in the Netherlands finds 70 percent were women, while more than a quarter received the procedure from physicians new to them, generally doctors working at a mobile euthanasia clinic.