(NPR) – ISIS is making gains near Syria’s border with Turkey, seizing a string of villages and trapping tens of thousands of civilians, according to Doctors Without Borders and a Syrian monitoring group. The offensive has forced Doctors Without Borders to evacuate a major hospital outside the strategically located town of Azaz. It’s the closest the Islamic State has come to Azaz since the militants were pushed out at the beginning of 2014, according to the Syrian Observatory for Human Rights. They say the push has cut off an important rebel supply route between Azaz and the town of Marea, an opposition stronghold to the south toward Syria’s embattled largest city, Aleppo.
(New York Times) – American military researchers have identified the first patient in the United States to be infected with bacteria that are resistant to an antibiotic that was the last resort against drug-resistant germs. The patient is well now, but the case raises the specter of superbugs that could cause untreatable infections, because the bacteria can easily transmit their resistance to other germs that are already resistant to additional antibiotics. The resistance can spread because it arises from loose genetic material that bacteria typically share with one another.
(Washington Post) – Burned by negative reviews, some health providers are casting their patients’ privacy aside and sharing intimate details online as they try to rebut criticism. In the course of these arguments — which have spilled out publicly on ratings sites like Yelp — doctors, dentists, chiropractors and massage therapists, among others, have divulged details of patients’ diagnoses, treatments and idiosyncrasies.
(Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News) – New findings from clinical studies lead by scientists at British Columbia Children’s Hospital, an agency of the Provincial Health Services Authority, and the University of British Columbia, show the life-altering benefits of genome-wide sequencing for children with certain kinds of intellectual disabilities. The results from this study were published recently in the New England Journal of Medicine through an article entitled “Exome Sequencing and the Management of Neurometabolic Disorders.”
(Mic) – (Editor’s note: Spoilers for the plot of Me Before You below). Though the film has not been released yet, Me Before You is already drawing criticism from disability activists for its portrayal of one of the films leads, Will Traynor (Sam Clafin). In the film — based off the novel by Jojo Moyes of the same name — Will is paralyzed after an accident before he falls in love with his caregiver, Louisa Clarke (Emilia Clarke). It isn’t the romance between the two leads that have drawn the ire of activists. Rather, it’s the film (and novel’s) narrative twist in the final act, in which Will decides to end his life at an assisted suicide facility, despite falling in love with Louisa.
(Bloomberg) – Theranos Inc. was accused in a lawsuit of misleading consumers about the accuracy of its blood test results and reliability of its technology. The suit is the latest setback for the startup since the Wall Street Journal last year raised questions about its test results. The U.S. Securities and Exchange Commission, federal prosecutors in San Francisco, and federal and state health regulators are investigating the company.
(Sci Dev Net) – The past few years have seen various attempts to reduce bureaucracy. As part of this, Brazilian human and social scientists have pushed for changes in the ethical and legal framework of all types of research involving human beings, an issue that has caused discontent among these researchers. The issue is not that they oppose the ethical principles, such as respect for human dignity and the protection of research subjects, which guide these regulations. Rather the point is that the rules, created primarily to regulate biomedical research, do not meet the specific needs of social science. The main concern is that the system imposes the same rules for two different kinds of research: research into human beings, for example to develop and test new drugs, and research with human beings, which uses ethnography, observation and interviews to understand social behaviour.
(India Today) – A botched terror test-run in New Delhi has left security agencies alarmed about a new ISI-backed module whose operatives were able to infiltrate the national Capital, posing as Afghan medical tourists, intelligence sources disclosed to India Today. The mastermind of the failed terror bid in December last was Maulana Abdul Rehman, better known as MAR in Jehadi circles, highly-placed sources revealed. He is believed to be a plotter of the 1999 hijacking of the Indian Airlines’ IC 814 flight from Nepal to Kandahar in Afghanistan. Rehman has now fallen out with Maulana Masood Azhar, the founder of the Jaish-e-Mohammad group and one of the three terrorists India freed to secure the release of the IC-814 passengers in 1999.