viernes, 14 de febrero de 2014

Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Healthcare News Update - REVISION


Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) Healthcare News Update - REVISION

Healthcare News

A Weekly Compilation of Clinical Laboratory and Related Information 
from The Division Of Laboratory Programs, Standards And Services

February 13, 2014

News Highlights  

  • Many U.S. Adults Not Getting Key Vaccines: CDC
  • Proposed New and Revised Laboratory Accreditation Standards
  • A New Chapter in FDA Regulation
  • Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee (CLIAC) Meeting
  • Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Organizations Address Future Workforce Issues
  • Putting the Patient First – Using the Expertise of Laboratory Professionals to Produce Rapid and Accurate Diagnoses
  • The Path to Reading a Newborn’s DNA Map
  • Dartmouth Researchers Develop New Tool to Identify Genetic Risk Factors
  • Breath Test may Detect Lung Cancer
  • Probe Detects Staph Infection Faster, More Cheaply
  • Recommendations for Testing, Managing, and Treating Hepatitis C
  • A Catalog of Cancer Genes That’s Done, or Just a Start
  • Promising Class of Antibiotics Discovered for Treatment of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis
  • The Rise of Medical Identity Theft in Healthcare

Healthcare News

A Weekly Compilation of Clinical Laboratory and Related Information 
from The Division Of Laboratory Programs, Standards And Services


February 13, 2014


View Previous Issues - Healthcare News Archive

Many U.S. Adults Not Getting Key Vaccines: CDC

Many U.S. adults are skipping recommended vaccinations that could protect them from serious or life-threatening diseases, according to figures released by federal health officials. Modest increases were seen for Tdap vaccinations, which prevent whooping cough, from 2011 to 2012, according to the report from the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. More seniors also got vaccinated against shingles, while HPV vaccinations picked up slightly among young women hoping to avoid cervical cancer. However, Americans aren't taking full advantage of other routinely recommended vaccines, including those for pneumonia and hepatitis, the CDC said in its Feb. 7 issue of the Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report.


Proposed New and Revised Laboratory Accreditation Standards

The Joint Commission recently reviewed the Laboratory accreditation requirements to identify disparities between current accreditation standards, the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 (CLIA ‘88), and contemporary clinical best practice guidelines. As a result, numerous requirements were clarified and revised. In addition, new requirements were created to address existing and emerging issues, and redundant requirements were deleted. The majority of these changes occurred in cytology, human resources, quality control, and transfusion medicine. The Joint Commission is seeking input from the field on the proposed changes to the Laboratory accreditation requirements.


CLIA and HIPAA Amendments Would Increase Patient Rights and Administrative Burden for Labs

CMS has announced the publication of a proposed rule that will require HIPAA-covered laboratories to make test results available to patients no later than 180 days after the rule’s effective date, which will be 60 days after publication in Federal Register.  In other words, laboratories, many of which interface with patients directly only when billing issues arise or when collecting specimens, will have a mere 240 days to implement this significant operational change. According to CMS, nearly 23,000 laboratories located in 39 states and territories will need to develop procedures for providing patients access to their test results.  Such processes will have to comply with the new HITECH requirements for access to health information in the electronic form and format requested by the patient.   Although CMS downplayed the administrative and financial burden of the proposed rule, it is likely to present a variety of operational challenges for laboratories.


A New Chapter in FDA Regulation

How Will the Final Research Use Only Guidance Affect Labs?
In November, FDA finalized a guidance on how companies can market research use only (RUO) and investigational use only (IUO) diagnostic products. These tests do not require FDA review, but many clinical labs use them for lab-developed tests (LDTs), a practice FDA has long condemned. That same month, FDA also signaled that it’s ready to tackle new technology, with a first-ever clearance of a next-generation sequencing (NGS) instrument and universal reagents. In the final RUO guidance, FDA does not threaten to punish companies merely for selling RUO products to clinical labs, as the agency had suggested in 2011 draft guidance. Nevertheless, FDA has drawn a line in the sand, stating clearly it believes RUO tests are not appropriate for clinical labs and opening the way for enforcement in this area when the agency feels a company crosses the line. Now, 2014 will be critical as the IVD industry watches closely to see how FDA will leverage the final guidance and potentially step up enforcement, according to Mya Thomae, chief executive officer of the IVD consulting firm Myraqa. “FDA has been trying to put out a guidance document on RUO for nearly 20 years, so this is a significant step for them,” she said. 


Clinical Laboratory Improvement Advisory Committee (CLIAC) Meeting

March 5-6, 2014 
CLIAC is the federal advisory committee charged with providing guidance to HHS related to the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 and laboratory quality. General scheduled topics for this two-day meeting will include
  • Agency Updates: CDC, FDA, CMS
  • CDC’s Strategic Priority: Strengthening Public Health-Health Care Collaboration
  • Quality Improvment Tools for Managing Laboratory Testing in Ambulatory Settings
Time and Place: 
Centers for Disease Control and Prevention 
Tom Harkin Global Communications Center, Auditorium B 1600 Clifton Road, Atlanta, GA 30333
Meeting Registration: 
All CLIAC participants and attendees must register online at one of the following links:
  • U.S. Citizen Registration - Must be completed at least 5 business days before the meeting date.
  • Non-U.S. Citizen Registration - Must be completed at least 10 business days before the meeting date. Note: Per CDC policy, registrations for non-U.S. citizens cannot be accommodated on-site on the day of the meeting.


Rare Diseases: Newborn Screening Saves Lives Reauthorization Act

On January 29th, the U.S. States Senate unanimously passes the Newborn Screening Saves Lives Reauthorization Act of 2013 (S.1417). The bipartisan bill is introduced by Senators Kay Hagan (D-N.C.) and Orrin Hatch (R-Utah). The bill reauthorizes funding for newborn screening programs for the next 5 years. The next step is for the U.S. House of Representatives to pass it.


Pathology and Laboratory Medicine Organizations Address Future Workforce Issues

Leading organizations representing pathology and laboratory medicine have released a joint statement “Workforce Issues Affecting Pathology and Laboratory Medicine,” illustrating key issues facing pathology and laboratory medicine under today’s healthcare system and outlining recommendations to help pathologists best meet patient needs in the future. The report is the outcome of the December 2013 Pathology Workforce Summit, which convened representatives from 24 professional pathology and laboratory medicine organizations and was sponsored by the College of American Pathologists (CAP), the American Society for Clinical Pathology (ASCP), the Association of Pathology Chairs (APC), and the United States & Canadian Academy of Pathology (USCAP).


Digital Pathology: A Regulatory Overview

Medical device manufacturers are regulated by the FDA. They can promote (and talk about) only FDA-cleared/approved test systems in the clinical market. Clinical laboratories fall under the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments (CLIA). 
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS) regulate all clinical laboratory testing in the United States through CLIA (, established in 1988. Clinical laboratories need to meet CLIA standards to become licensed to operate. No specific CLIA regulations exist for digital pathology yet; in most cases digital pathology is just a different way of doing pathology. Therefore, the same regulatory requirements apply.
The establishment and verification of performance specifications for new digital pathology applications is probably the most critical part that clinical laboratories struggle with today. A good approach is to extrapolate from existing experience and apply the same regulatory requirements.


Putting the Patient First – Using the Expertise of Laboratory Professionals to Produce Rapid and Accurate Diagnoses

The test menu in the clinical laboratory continues to increase dramatically in size, complexity, and cost. There is a growing recognition that errors in test selection and results interpretation can have significant adverse clinical consequences to patients and painful financial consequences to healthcare institutions. Since 2008, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) has sponsored the work of the Clinical Laboratory Improvement in Healthcare Collaborative (CLIHC) to address the patient safety issues associated with incorrect test selection and misinterpretation of test results. A survey by the committee is now in progress of all U.S. medical schools to understand how our newly graduating physicians are learning the appropriate use of the clinical laboratory. Preliminary results from nearly three-quarters of American medical schools indicate some startling facts (personal communication, Brian Smith, MD, PhD).


The Path to Reading a Newborn’s DNA Map

What if laboratories could run comprehensive DNA tests on infants at birth, spotting important variations in their genomes that might indicate future medical problems? Should parents be told of each variation, even if any risk is still unclear? Would they even want to know?  To begin dealing with the complexities of that new world, the National Institutes of Health have awarded $5 million in four pilot grants under a research program. “Many changes in the DNA sequence aren’t disease-causing,” said Dr. Robert Nussbaum, chief of the genomic medicine division at the School of Medicine of the University of California, San Francisco, and leader of one of the pilot grants. “We aren’t very good yet at distinguishing which are and which aren’t.” 
For this reason, Dr. Jeffrey Botkin, a professor of pediatrics and chief of medical ethics at the University of Utah, said it was far too soon to consider comprehensive genome sequencing as a primary screening tool for newborns. “You will get dozens of findings per child that you won’t be able to adequately interpret,” he said. “Imagine trying to explain dozens of these unknown variants to parents. Adults can decide which test information, if any, they want to receive about themselves. But children won’t usually have that option — their parents will decide. “We can’t presume that children would want or benefit from the information,” he said.


Public Split on Gene Tests

The US public is divided on its comfort level with and embrace of genetic tests for gauging cancer risk, according to a new survey that finds that roughly a third of people are wary of such predictive tests, while another third would be likely to take aggressive actions based on such test results. The poll, conducted by the University of Utah's Huntsman Cancer Institute, finds that 34 percent of respondents said they would not seek genetic testing to predict hereditary cancer risk, even if the test was free. But 35 percent of the poll's respondents say they would not only take the tests, but would be "extremely or very likely to seek aggressive prophylactic or preventive treatment, such as a mastectomy," if their test showed a high predisposition. Sandra Buys, a University of Utah professor and a research director at the Huntsman Cancer Institute, says the findings suggest that education about genetic testing and better access to them are needed.


Dartmouth Researchers Develop New Tool to Identify Genetic Risk Factors

Dartmouth researchers developed a new biological pathway-based computational model, called the Pathway-based Human Phenotype Network (PHPN), to identify underlying genetic connections between different diseases as reported in BioDataMining. The PHPN mines the data present in large publicly available disease datasets to find shared SNPs, genes, or pathways and expresses them in a visual form. "The PHPN offers a bird's eye view of the diseases and phenotype's relationships at the systems level," said Christian Darabos, PhD, post-doctoral fellow, Institute for Quantitative Biomedical Sciences (iQBS), Dartmouth College. The PHPN uses information in human disease networks in conjunction with network science tools to show clusters of related disorders sharing common genetic backgrounds. It does so without the typical clinical classification of disease, in which all heart disease or all cancers are grouped together, based on clinical presentation. 


Breath Test May Detect Lung Cancer

Lung cancer can be a silent killer, often showing no symptoms until it's too late. But University of Louisville scientists have discovered a simple test that may someday help diagnose the deadly disease earlier — by analyzing exhaled breath. The researchers made their findings while examining patients with suspicious lung lesions and testing their breath using a specially designed microchip. The probability of cancer was 95% for patients with elevated levels of three or four specific compounds. The chip captures specific compounds in the breath, which are then analyzed with a mass spectrometer, an instrument that measures the mass of a given molecule. Researchers matched their findings with pathology and clinical results from each patient. Two of the four compounds they found in lung-cancer patients were previously known to be associated with the disease, but Fu discovered that the two others were also linked to lung cancer.


Brain Biomarker Shows Promise in Heart

A biomarker widely used to diagnose brain injury has shown early promise for assessing the severity of heart inflammation, or myocarditis, find researchers at Columbia University’s Mailman School of Public Health, Johns Hopkins, and the Mayo Clinic. The study is published online in the January issue of the Journal of Cardiovascular Translational Research. At present, there is no noninvasive method to confirm diagnosis of myocarditis, which can progress to heart failure and death. The current standard of biopsy is risky and often misses the disease. For this reason, there may be many people who aren’t aware they have the condition. To address these deficiencies, the researchers looked at whether a biomarker for inflammation in the brain can be used in the heart. When scientists want a clear picture of the extent of damage from a brain injury, they use a PET scan to look for elevated levels of translocator protein 18 kDa, or TSPO. While levels of TSPO were much greater in males with myocarditis, the biomarker has potential for women too. “We should be able to detect the acute stage of inflammation in women and determine if they are at a risk to progress to heart failure,” says Dr. Fairweather.


Probe Detects Staph Infection Faster, More Cheaply

Now, researchers from the University of Iowa have developed an ingenious noninvasive chemical probe that can detect the presence of a common species of staph in less than an hour. Speaking about their study, published in the journal Nature Medicine, first author and post-doctoral researcher Frank Hernandez says: "Every year in the US half a million people become infected by S. aureus bacteria, and 20,000 of those who become infected die. We believe that we are significantly improving the actual methods for detecting bacteria with a simple approach, which we expect to be cheap, fast and reliable." The idea of the chemical probe is not new, but what is new is that this team has produced one that lasts longer and identifies staph quickly, as Dr. Hernandez explains: "We designed a tracking system that specifically identifies bacterial body localization in less than one hour."


Diagnosis Just a Breath Away With New Laser

University of Adelaide physics researchers have developed a new type of laser that will enable exciting new advances in areas as diverse as breath analysis for disease diagnosis and remote sensing of critical greenhouse gases. Published in the journal Optics Letters, the researchers from the University's Institute for Photonics and Advanced Sensing and the School of Chemistry and Physics describe how they have been able to produce 25 times more light emission than other lasers operating at a similar wavelength - opening the way for detection of very low concentrations of gases. Research has shown that with various diseases, minute amounts of gases not normally exhaled can be detected in the breath; for example, acetone can be detected in the breath when someone has diabetes. The new laser uses an optical fibre which is easier to work with, less bulky and more portable, and much more cost effective to produce than other types of laser.


False-Positive Prenatal Screens May Augur Problem Pregnancy

A false-positive result on sequential integrated prenatal screening may still be a signal of higher risk for adverse pregnancy outcomes, investigators have found. A review of outcomes among nearly 40,000 women with singleton pregnancies who underwent first- and second-trimester serum analysis and nuchal translucency ultrasound measurements showed that women with positive screen results who were negative for fetal chromosomal or neural-tube defects on amniocentesis or chorionic villi sampling (CVS) were still at increased risk for a host of adverse perinatal outcomes or structural birth defects.


NIST Cell Membrane Model Studied as Future Diagnostic Tool

Researchers at the National Institute of Standards and Technology (NIST) and in Lithuania have used a NIST-developed laboratory model of a simplified cell membrane to accurately detect and measure a protein associated with a serious gynecological disease, bacterial vaginosis (BV), at extraordinarily low concentrations. The work illustrates how the artificial membrane could be used to improve disease diagnosis. In a recent paper in the journal PLoS One,* researchers at NIST and Vilnius University (Vilnius, Lithuania) reported that they were able to reveal the presence of G. vaginalis by rapidly detecting and quantifying vaginolysin (VLY), a protein toxin produced exclusively by the bacteria, using the NIST model of cell membranes known as a tethered bilayer lipid membrane (tBLM). 


Recommendations for Testing, Managing, and Treating Hepatitis C

American Association for the Study of Liver Diseases (AASLD) and the Infectious Diseases Society of America (IDSA), in collaboration with the International Antiviral Society-USA (IAS-USA), announced the launch of a new website,, that will offer up-to-date guidance for the treatment of hepatitis C virus (HCV) infection. “Recent changes in HCV testing guidelines have led to the diagnosis of increasing numbers of patients who were previously unaware of their infection. The guidance provided through comes at a critical time as more and more of these patients seek treatment that has the potential to effectively ‘cure’ them,” said Adrian Di Bisceglie, MD, FACP, president of AASLD.


A Faster Way to Flag Bacteria-Tainted Food — and Prevent Illness

On the horizon is a new approach for pathogen screening that is far faster than current commercial methods. Scientists are reporting the technique in the ACS journal Analytical Chemistry. Sibani Lisa Biswal and colleagues note that Salmonella is one of the pathogens most commonly associated with foodborne illness, which can cause fever, diarrhea and abdominal cramps. They used an array of tiny “nanomechanical cantilevers,” anchored at one end, kind of like little diving boards. The cantilevers have peptides attached to them that bind to Salmonella. When the bacteria bind to the peptides, the cantilever arm bends, creating a signal. The screening system rapidly distinguished Salmonella from other types of bacteria in a sample. One of the peptides was even more specific than an antibody, which is considered the gold standard.


Molecular and Clinical Genetics Panel of the Medical Devices Advisory Committee Meeting

On March 26, 2014, the committee will discuss, make recommendations and vote on information related to the premarket approval application sponsored by Epigenomics, Inc. for the Epi proColon. The Epi proColon test is a qualitative in vitro diagnostic method for the detection of methylated Septin 9 DNA in plasma derived from patient whole blood specimens. Methylation of the target Septin 9 DNA sequence has been associated with the occurrence of colorectal cancer (CRC). The test is indicated to screen patients for CRC who are defined as average risk for CRC by current screening guidelines. On March 27, 2014, the committee will discuss, make recommendations and vote on information related to the premarket approval application for the Cologuard device, sponsored by Exact Sciences. Cologuard is an in vitro diagnostic device designed to analyze patients' stool for detection of hemoglobin, multiple DNA methylation and mutational markers, and the total amount of human DNA. 


Decision on Stem Cell Therapeutic

The US District Court of Appeals for the DC Circuit ruled that the Food and Drug Administration can regulate stem cells as drugs, reports Regulatory Focus. The ruling upholds a lower court decision from 2012.
The case stems from FDA's 2008 warning letter to Regenerative Sciences, in which the agency contended that the company was in violation of federal regulations. Regenerative Sciences was using patients' mesenchymal stem cells as part of its Regenexx procedure to treat arthritis and related injuries, The Scientist notes.


OIG to More Heavily Scrutinize Med Devices

Medical devices now will be subject to scrutiny from the Office of the Inspector General, according to OIG's 2014 work plan. The plan, published at the end of January, lays out all of OIG's hospital-related policies and practices, including billing and payments, quality of care, emergency preparedness and more--namely, policies related to medical device security, safety and efficacy. "We will review Medicare claims to identify the costs resulting from additional utilization of medical services associated with defective medical devices and determine the impact of the cost on the Medicare Trust Fund," the plan states.  "[The context is that] CMS has previously expressed concerns about the impact of the cost of replacement devices, including ancillary cost, on Medicare payments for inpatient and outpatient services."


Feds Put $20M Behind Anti-bioterrorism Drug

The Department of Health and Human Services announced financial backing for the development of a drug to protect the public from bioterrorism attacks. The agency will spend nearly $20 million through its Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority (BARDA) to support the drug Carbavance, which is designed to safeguard against two separate bioterrorism threats and treat antibiotic-resistant infections. The commitment is part of a five-year cost-sharing agreement with San Diego-based Rempex Pharmaceuticals Inc. An initial $19.8 million commitment can be extended to provide up to $90 million over the course of the partnership. “By partnering with industry to develop novel antimicrobial drugs against biothreats that also treat drug-resistant bacteria, we can address health security and public health needs efficiently,” said Robin Robinson, director of the BARDA program.


GHP Assists Defense Department in Mission to Detect Emerging Infectious Disease Threats

The CLSI Global Health Partnerships (GHP) program is partnering with the Global Emerging Infections Surveillance and Response System (GEIS) Division of the Armed Forces Health Surveillance Center to improve the quality of its laboratory network, and the efficiency and accuracy of its testing results. This is the first time CLSI is working with GEIS, which performs surveillance for emerging infectious diseases that could affect the US military.


Program Initiated to Offer Whole-Exome Sequencing to Rare Disease Patients for Free

Patient advocacy groups Global Genes and Swan USA announced a program to provide whole-exome sequencing to patients with rare diseases who cannot afford such services. Beginning March 1, Global Genes and Swan USA will provide funding for the whole-exome sequencing of about 30 undiagnosed patients in order to identify the genetic bases of their ailments. Parabase Genomics and the UCLA Clinical Genomics Center were selected as the first clinical genomic sequencing providers for the pilot project.


A Catalog of Cancer Genes That’s Done, or Just a Start

The National Institutes of Health, hoping to speed up the identification of cancer genes, started an ambitious project in 2005 called the Cancer Genome Atlas. They analyzed 500 samples from each of over 20 types of cancer and found a wealth of new genes. The data have helped scientists discover more of the tricks cancer cells use to thrive at our expense. “The Cancer Genome Atlas has been a spectacular success, there’s no doubt about that,” said Bruce Stillman, the president of Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory. But now, as the Atlas project is coming to an end, researchers at the Broad Institute of M.I.T. and Harvard have published a study in the journal Nature that has scientists debating where cancer research should go next. They estimated that scientists would need to examine about 100,000 cancer samples —10 times as many as the $375 million Cancer Genome Atlas has gathered — to find most of the genes involved in 50 cancer types. “We now know what it would take to get a complete catalog,” said Eric S. Lander, the founding director of the Broad Institute and a co-author of the new study. “And we now know we’re not close to done. We have a lot left to learn.”


Researchers Identify Therapeutic Target for Cervix Cancer

A group of researchers from Mexico's General Hospital, Health Secretariat, Medicine Faculty and the Institute of Cellular Physiology of the National Autonomous University of Mexico (UNAM) identified a therapeutic target for cervix cancer: gene CDKN3. The researched performed at the lab indicates that when this gene is blocked in cultured cancerous cells, the neoplastic proliferation greatly diminishes. Jaime Berumen Campos, who coordinates the research, said that this gene is blocked by a "siRNA" (small interference RNA), molecular technique applied to several strands of cervix cancer cells making them incapable of proliferating, and confirmed that tumors in mice stopped growing.


NIH Study Finds Regular Aspirin Use May Reduce Ovarian Cancer Risk

Women who take aspirin daily may reduce their risk of ovarian cancer by 20 percent, according to a study by scientists at the National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health. However, further research is needed before clinical recommendations can be made. The study was published Feb. 6, 2014, in the Journal of the National Cancer Institute.


Stem Cell Lines Not Fit for Clinic

Most stem cell lines registered with the NIH don’t comply with the FDA’s guidelines for human use, according to a new report. Many of the stem cell lines used by academics and registered with the U.S. National Institutes of Health (NIH) would not be eligible for commercialization because they don’t pass muster with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA), according to a report published inCell Stem Cell. The lack of harmonization between the agencies’ standards throws up a potential roadblack on the path from the laboratory to the clinic. “The main concern is: How do we move this technology [to the clinic]? How do we translate it?” said Erica Jonlin, the author of the report and the regulatory manager at the University of Washington Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine.


Promising Class of Antibiotics Discovered for Treatment of Drug-Resistant Tuberculosis

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital scientists have discovered a promising new class of antibiotics that could aid efforts to overcome drug-resistance in tuberculosis (TB), a global killer. The drugs increased survival of mice infected with TB and were effective against drug-resistant strains of TB. St. Jude led the international research effort, results of which appear in the current issue of the journal Nature Medicine. The antibiotics, called spectinamides, were created by changing the chemical structure of an existing antibiotic, spectinomycin, which does not work against TB. In multiple trials of mice with both active and chronic TB infections, researchers report that one version of the new drug—an analog known as 1599—was as good as or better than current TB drugs at reducing levels of the bacteria in the lungs of mice. In addition, 1599 caused no serious side effects.


You Are as Old as You Eat

In new research published in Cell Metabolism, USC scientists Sean Curran and Shanshan Pang identified a collection of genes that allow an organism to adapt to different diets and showed that without the genes, even minor tweaks to diets can cause premature aging and death. Finding a genetic basis for an organism’s dietary needs suggests that different individuals may be genetically predisposed to thrive on different diets and that now, in the age of commercial gene sequencing, people might be able to identify which diet would work best for them through a simple blood test. In this study, Curran and Pang identified a gene called alh-6, which delayed the effects of aging depending on what type of diet the worm was fed by protecting it against diet-induced mitochondrial defects.


Syphilis: Then and Now

There continues to be disagreement about where syphilis originated. Much evidence seems to point the finger at Christopher Columbus and his crew, who may have picked up the pathogen on their legendary first visit to the New World. Some have claimed that the disease existed in Europe before Columbus’s time, however, with environmental or social changes during the Renaissance causing it to erupt with a vengeance. Historians have long questioned whether or not vague passages in famous texts describe syphilis, and arguments over the dates of pertinent historical documents are common. Recently, many researchers, our group included, have taken a new approach to the study of the origin and evolution of syphilis and its cousins, and the breadth of these diseases’ reach today. Leveraging techniques from genetics, biological anthropology, and wildlife disease ecology, syphilis researchers are now beginning to answer questions that have been pondered for hundreds of years. The skeletal, genetic, and ecological information scientists are now uncovering could inform our understanding of how T. pallidum has evolved and how we can best control it today.


Bionic Hand Allows Patient to 'Feel'

Scientists have created a bionic hand which allows the amputee to feel lifelike sensations from their fingers. A Danish man received the hand, which was connected to nerves in his upper arm, following surgery in Italy. Dennis Aabo, who lost his left hand in a firework accident nearly a decade ago, said the hand was "amazing". In laboratory tests he was able to tell the shape and stiffness of objects he picked up, even when blindfolded.


Cat Bites May Lead to Serious Infections, Hospitalizations

Cat bites may look less serious than dog bites, but beware: They can cause dangerous infections, particularly when they involve the hand, new research indicates. Although cats have no more germs in their mouths than dogs or people, researchers at the Mayo Clinic found that when cats bite, their sharp teeth can inject hard-to-treat bacteria deeply into the skin and joints, increasing the risk for serious infection.


One in Four Diagnostic Catheterizations Inappropriate: NY Study

One in four patients who underwent recent diagnostic catheterizations in 18 New York state hospitals to detect suspected CAD [Coronary Artery Disease] were not appropriate candidates for this procedure, based on new criteria, a study reports. Among the patients who had undergone inappropriate diagnostic catheterization, 57% had no chest pain, no previous stress test, and a low to intermediate Framingham global CAD risk score.


CVS Ban on Cigarettes Could Cut Smoking Rates

The decision by CVS to stop selling cigarettes could help to cut smoking rates substantially, especially because the move comes at a time of increased pressure on the tobacco industry from a number of fronts, health experts say. "It is a big deal — one of those death knell events the tobacco industry has feared for some time," says Thomas Glynn, director of cancer science and trends at the American Cancer Society. Research shows that making cigarettes even slightly less accessible has a measurable effect on smoking, especially for kids, who have fewer ways to get tobacco, says Otis Brawley, the Cancer Society's chief medical officer.


Scientists May be Reaching a Peak in Reading Habits

A 35-year trend of researchers reading ever more scholarly papers seems to be levelling off. In 2012, US scientists and social scientists estimated that they read, on average, 22 scholarly articles per month (or 264 per year). That is, statistically, not different from what they reported in an identical survey last conducted in 2005. It is the first time since the reading-habit questionnaire began in 1977 that manuscript consumption has not increased. “People have probably hit the limit of the time they have available to read articles,” says information scientist Carol Tenopir, who led the study.


Sustainable Growth Rate (SGR) Repeal Deal Reached

A bipartisan team of U.S. House and Senate negotiators has reached a deal to repeal the unpopular sustainable growth rate (SGR) formula, according to MedPageToday. Under the arrangement, physicians will see a yearly pay raise of 0.5 percent for the next five years according to the article. 


Medical Errors Draw $770,000 in Fines in CA

California has issued its latest round of administrative penalties to 13 hospitals where patients have been subject to serious injury or death as a result of regulatory noncompliance. Five patients died, a sixth sustained severe neurological damage, a seventh coded but was resuscitated, and an eighth endured a second surgery because of a retained surgical sponge, according to state documents detailing dangerous errors in eight California hospitals.


Report: U.S. Failing to Protect Kids From HPV

The USA is failing to protect children from preventable cancers that afflict 22,000 Americans a year by not vaccinating enough of them against HPV, a new report says. Although a safe and effective HPV vaccine has been available for eight years, only one-third of girls have been fully immunized with all three recommended doses, according to a report from the President's Cancer Panel, which has advised the White House on cancer since 1971. HPV, or human papillomavirus, is a family of viruses that causes cancer throughout the body, including cancers that predominantly affect men, such as a type of throat cancer. Only 7% of boys are fully vaccinated, although the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has recommended the shots for them since 2011. Raising vaccination rates to at least 80% of teen girls could prevent 53,000 future cases of cervical cancer in girls alive today, according to the CDC.


The Rise of Medical Identity Theft in Healthcare

If modern technology has ushered in a plague of identity theft, one particular strain of the disease has emerged as most virulent: medical identity theft. Last month, the Identity Theft Resource Centerproduced a surveyshowing that medical-related identity theft accounted for 43 percent of all identity thefts reported in the United States in 2013. That is a far greater chunk than identity thefts involving banking and finance, the government and the military, or education. The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services says that since it started keeping records in 2009, the medical records of between 27.8 million and 67.7 million people have been breached.


Survey: Less Than 10% of Physician Practices Ready for ICD-10

Less than 10 percent of practices responding to a survey issued by the Medical Group Management Association are ready for the transition to ICD-10, the group announced. While the number is up from 4.7 percent who indicated readiness last summer, it adds to a growing chorus of providers and payers who indicate they aren't ready to switch from using ICD-9 coding. For instance, in a similar survey published by Medical claims clearinghouse last month, 74 percent of physician practice respondents said they had yet to begin implementation of their ICD-10 transition plan. The deadline to switch to ICD-10 is Oct. 1.


A Digital Test for Toxic Genes

Allon Wagner, Uri Gophna, and Eytan Ruppin of Tel Aviv University's Blavatnik School of Computer Science and Department of Molecular Microbiology and Biotechnology, along with researchers at the Weizmann Institute of Science, have developed a computer algorithm that predicts which metabolic genes are lethal to cells when overexpressed. The findings, published in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, could help guide metabolic engineering to produce new chemicals in more cost-effective ways.


Measles Deaths Plunge 78% Since 2000 as Elimination Target Nears

Deaths from measles have dropped 78 percent since 2000 as global vaccination campaigns curb outbreaks of the pneumonia-causing disease, the World Health Organization said.  About 122,000 people died globally from measles in 2012, down from 562,000 in 2000, the Geneva-based WHO said in a statement today. Reported cases fell by a similar proportion. The decline is a result of a program supported by the WHO, the American Red Cross, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and others to cut deaths from the illness by 95 percent by 2015 and eliminate it from three of the WHO’s six regions by 2020.
Source: Web Site Icon

Disclaimer- The information provided in this news digest is intended only to be general summary information. It does not represent the official position of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and is not intended to take the place of applicable laws or regulations.

External Web Site Policy This symbol means you are leaving the Web site. For more information, please see CDC's Exit Notification and Disclaimer policy.

No hay comentarios: