Saturday, September 13, 2008

Stories of note this week

[Thank you to Lisa von Biela, JD candidate, 2009, UMN, for compiling this for ABAnet Biotech]
1. Malaysia:  Genetic fingerprinting bill under flak.  Yes, “fingerprinting” in the sense of use by police.

2. Coalition for Genetic Fairness unveils Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (GINA) resource.

3. Federal appeals court rules that employers must compensate employees for travel expense and non-work time spent receiving treatment for blood-borne diseases while on the job. Seems fair to me, and perhaps an incentive to work to minimize the potential for such exposures.

3. Court reinstates investor suit against Merck. Yep, more Vioxx woes for Merck.

4. AHA pushes for standardized patient wristband colors (allergies, fall risk, and “do not resuscitate” orders). Especially interesting for those of us who reviewed the “POLST” resolution this summer. And interesting in light of the story last week about attempts to standardize these colors within a state.

5. 70,000 may suffer post-9/11 stress disorder.

6. Virus for roseola passed from parent to child in DNA, not via blood. Great, a new way to acquire a congenital infection.

7. Special dyes and lighting kill MRSA. Something about this headline conjures up images of 60s discos, but whatever works, I say.

8. Combined stem cell bank, research center to open in U.K.

9. Bacteria glue points to superbug vaccine. Nasty mental image, but again, whatever works.

10. Cancer Genome Atlas reports first results of comprehensive study of brain tumors.

11. 23andMe slashes price on personal genetics test. For a mere $399 . . .

12. Blood-boosting drug used by athletic cheats helps increase memory. Well, every cloud has its silver lining, doesn’t it?

13. Report from the Center for Progressive Reform proposes 9 reforms of the legal system to help eliminate special interest interference with the work of researchers.

14. Sen. Grassley urges NIH to revoke grants awarded to universities that don’t disclose financial ties to drug makers. Pharma fingers are everywhere.

15. Landmark study reports breakdown in biotech patent system.

16. FDA fast-tracks eye implants to fight progressive blindness.

17. FDA panel endorses Pfizer’s Fablyn (or the treatment of osteoporosis in women at increased risk of fractures), with reservations.

18. Walking is good for the brain, not just the muscles . . .wow, so all this sitting and studying is not only wrecking my muscle condition, but my very brain? Eeek.

19. Medical training mannequins do it all: breathe, blink, have a pulse, bleed, excrete and vomit. Well, they sound kinda messy to me.

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