Saturday, November 01, 2008

The Week in Review

- Does your heart good: Don’t forget to “fall back” this weekend. Apparently, according to a study in the New England Journal of Medicine, turning clocks back in the fall lowers incidence of heart attacks on the Monday after the change! The opposite effect is seen on the Monday after we “spring ahead.”

- “Hallway medicine” is seen as way to unclutter ERs. Instead of stackin’ ‘em in the ER, stack ‘em in the halls elsewhere. Hmm. Kind of like how I clean off the top of my desk. Shift a pile here, shift one there. Looks better, but is anything really solved?

- Irish university approves use of human embryonic stem cells in research.

- A cancer drug which could prolong the lives of thousands of patients is ruled not cost effective by the NHS drugs watchdog in the UK.

- Erectile dysfunction—best predictor of heart attack in men. How about a stress test and EKG with that Viagra?

- New minimally invasive technique zaps fibroids using MRI-guided ultrasound. Zip. Zap. Gone.

- A sad silver lining: Alzheimer’s sufferers might have lower blood pressure thanks to decline in memory. Less anxiety, less worries. (What, me worry?)

- Scientists restore movement to monkeys’ anesthetized arms through artificial brain-muscle connections. Possible hope for stroke victims.

- Purple GM tomatoes may ward off cancer. Loaded with gorgeous purple antioxidants! But will people eat them?

- Artificial antibodies—could be used in cheap, field-ready toxin sensors. But what tells them to stop once they’re let loose inside the body?

- Fully implantable, totally artificial heart could be available in 2011.

- Split the FDA into separate food and drug agencies? Opinion piece discusses the possibility in light of recent regulatory snafus.

[Thank you to Lisa von Biela, JD candidate, 2009, UMN, Editor of the BioBlurb, from which this content is taken and edited. BioBlurb is a weekly electronic publication of the American Bar Association's Committee on Biotechnology, Section of Science & Technology Law. Archived issues of the BioBlurb, as well as further information about the Committee on Biotechnology, are available here.]

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