Ann Conkle
Apr 6, 2012

Medical Nova Weekly: Top five trends for 4/2-4/6

Here are the top medical headlines of the week!

Genetic risk testing may not be as valuable as previously thought.Gene sequencing may not actually be useful in determining health risks

Over the past several years the world of disease treatment and prevention has begun focusing its efforts on identifying the underlying genetic causes behind certain illnesses, with an eye to catch these maladies before they start.  Companies offer tests to predict susceptibility to a myriad of cancers and hereditary diseases.  Yet, a study performed on identical twins indicates that these preemptive tests may not be as useful as they are touted to be.


Controversial bird flu research will now be published in full.Research on altered H5N1 virus uncensored

The National Science Advisory Board for Biosecurity (NSABB) has reversed its decision on censoring research on the altered H5N1 avian flu virus. The NSABB spent over 200 hours reviewing the research and claims that it reversed their decision because (1) there is no information within the research that should be able to be misused for the development of biological weapons and (2) new evidence has emerged that suggests the research could aid in international efforts to prepare for a potential pandemic.


Autism rates, as well as research, are increasing.Unraveling autism

A slew of autism research has been making headlines recently. The most shocking and scariest news comes from the Center for Disease Control (CDC). This week, the CDC released a report that estimates that 1 in 88 children in the United States have some form of autism. But, several studies are shedding light causes and possible treatments for the disorder.



A promising new stem cell line has been developed.New stem cell line offers safe and prolific source for transplant studies

A new stem cell line generated by researchers at The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia can develop into numerous types of specialized cells, including functioning pancreatic beta cells that produce insulin. Called endodermal progenitor (EP) cells, these new cells, unlike embryonic and induced pluripotent stem cells, do not form tumors when transplanted into animals.


The BIND-014 nanoparticle has shown promise fighting cancer in a clinical trial.Targeted nanoparticles show success in first human clinical trials

Targeted therapeutic nanoparticles that accumulate in tumors while bypassing healthy cells have shown promising results in an ongoing clinical trial, according to a new paper. The nanoparticles feature a homing molecule that allows them to specifically attack cancer cells, and are the first such targeted particles to enter human clinical studies.