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New Stem Cell Cancer Treatment on the Horizon?

Stem Cell Research is an amazing field right now, and promises to be a powerful and potent tool to help us live longer and healthier lives. Just last month, for example, Stem Cell Therapy was used to restore sight in patients with severe retinal deterioration, allowing them to see clearer than they had in years, or even decades.

Stem Cell Therapy is the Future

Now, there is another form of Stem Cell Treatment on the horizon—this one of a very different form. Stem Cells have now been used as a mechanism to deliver medical treatment designed to eliminate cancer cells, even in hard to reach places. One issue with current cancer treatments is that, treatments that are effective at treating tumors on the surface of the brain cannot be performed safely when the tumor is deeper within the brain’s tissues.

Stem Cell Science

Stem Cells have the fantastic ability to transform into any other kind of cell within the human body, given the appropriate stimulation. As of today, most of these cells come from Embryonic Lines, but researchers are learning how to backwards engineer cells in the human body, reverting them back to their embryonic state. These cells are known as Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells.

How Does This Stem Cell Cancer Treatment Work?

Using genetic engineering, it is possible to create stem cells that are designed to release a chemical known as Pseudomonas Exotoxin, which has the ability to destroy certain tumor cells in the human brain.

What is Pseudomonas Exotoxin?

Pseudomonas Exotoxin is a compound that is naturally released by a form of bacteria known as Pseudomonas Aeruginosa. This chemical is toxic to brain tumor cells because it prevents polypeptides from growing longer, essentially preventing the polypeptides from growing and reproducing. When used in a specific manner, this toxin has the ability to destroy cancerous and malignant tissue without negatively impacting healthy tissue. In addition to its potential as a cancer treatment, there is also evidence that the therapy could be used for the treatment of Hepatitis B.

PE and Similar Toxins Have been Used Therapeutically in the Past

As of now, this chemical, which we will refer to for the rest of the article as PE, has been used as a cancer treatment before, but there are major limitations regarding the use of PE for particular cancers, not because of the risks of the treatment, but because of the lack of an effective method to deliver the medication to where it is needed.

For example, similar chemicals have been highly effective in the treatment of a large number of blood cancers, but haven’t been nearly as effective in larger, more inaccessible tumors. The chemicals break down or become metabolized before they can fully do their job.

How do Stem Cells Increase the Effectiveness of PE Cancer Treatment

Right now, PE has to be created in a laboratory before it is administered, which is not very effective for these embedded cancers. By using Stem Cells as an intermediary, it is possible to deliver the medication to deeper areas of the brain more effectively, theoretically highly increasing the efficacy of the treatment.

The leader of this Stem Cell Research is Harvard researcher Dr. Khalis Shah. His goal was to find an effective means to treat these deep brain tumors which are not easily treated by methods available today. In utilizing Stem Cells, Dr. Shah has potentially found a means by which the stem cells can constantly deliver this Cancer Toxin to the tumor area. The cells remain active and are fed by the body, which allows them to provide a steady stream of treatment that is impossible to provide via any other known method.

This research is still in its early stages, and has not yet reached human trials, but in mice, the PE Toxin worked exactly as hypothesized and was able to starve out tumors by preventing them from replicating effectively.

Perhaps this might seem a bit less complicated than it actually is. One of the major hurdles that had to be overcome was that this Toxin would normally be strong enough to kill the cell that hosted it. In order for the Stem Cells to release the cancer, they had to be able to withstand the effects of PE, themselves. Using genetic engineering, Dr. Shah and his associates were able to create a cell that is capable of both producing and withstanding the effects of the toxin.

Stem Cell delivered medical therapy is a 21st century form of medical treatment that researchers are just beginning to learn how to effectively utilize. Essentially, this treatment takes a stem cell and converts it into a unique symbiotic tool capable of feeding off of the host for energy in order to perform a potentially life-saving function. It’s really quite fascinating.

How Does PE Not Damage or Kill Brain Cells Indiscriminately?

You might be concerned about the idea of a patient having a toxin injected into the brain to cure a disease. It sounds almost like a dangerous, tribal, homeopathic remedy. In reality, the researchers have been able to harness the destructive power of the toxin and re-engineer it so that it directly targets cancer cells while having limited negative effects on healthy, non-cancerous tissue.

The toxin does its damage after it has been absorbed by a cell. By retooling the toxin so that it does not readily absorb into healthy cells, the dangers associated with having such a potentially dangerous toxin in the brain are seriously and significantly mitigated.

Beyond that, Dr. Shah and his associates have been able to take steps to effectively “turn off” PE while it is inside the host stem cell, and only activates when it has entered the cancerous tissue. Dr. Shah explains that, although this research has only been conducted in animal subjects, there is no known reason why the effectiveness and safety of the treatment would not be applicable to human patients.

In this treatment, surgeons remove as much of the tumor as possible from the brain, and insert the engineered Stem Cells submerged in a sterile gel in the area where the tumor was removed or partially still exists. Researchers found that, when they used this treatment on laboratory rats, they could tell through imaging and analysis that the modified PE toxin effectively killed the cancer cells, and that this cancer treatment effectively lengthened the life of the rat, as compared to control subjects.

What’s the Next Step?

What's Next in Healthcare?

Of course, cancer treatment is far more complex than a single treatment, no matter how effective that treatment may be. Because human cancer treatment is a comprehensive therapy approach, the end goal of this research is to create a form of therapy in which the method used in animal subjects is combined with other existing approaches, increasing and maximizing the effectiveness of the comprehensive treatment.

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New Advancement in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Research

A recent change in how well we understand stem cells may make it easier for scientists and researchers to gather stem cells for use in scientific research as well as medical application. A new study was released in the research publication, Cell, which was performed by representatives from the University of California San Francisco.

One of the issues which hinder the use of stem cells as a more widespread treatment or field of research is that researchers and patients have a bottleneck of available healthy stem cell lines which can be used for research. Researchers hope that this new discovery will allow future scientific discoveries and applications in the areas of creating new and healthy tissue for patients with kidney failure or any other form of organ tissue failure. The future of medical therapy lies with Stem Cell Research, but many other forms of treatment, including Hormone Replacement Therapy, are already in practice today.

Researchers have discovered that it is possible to essentially “flip a switch” in an adult cell, reverting it back to the preliminary state at which cells existed in one of the earliest stages of development—the embryonic stem cell. Medical researchers hypothesize that Stem Cell treatments could be used for a variety of medical health issues which plague the world today, including kidney failure, liver disease, and Type-1 and Type-2 Diabetes.

Use of Embryonic Stem Cells Contentious

There is an ethical issue in Stem Cell Research today. Many Pro-Life Advocates are vociferously against the use of Embryonic Stem Cells harvested from procedures such as fertility treatments designed for conception. They believe that the use of embryonic stem cells harvested from donors and couples looking to conceive is unethical.

Using current research, it may be possible to bypass this ethical quandary completely by using adult cells and converting them into embryonic stem cells. Furthermore, because these stem cells are genetic derivatives of the patient from which the adult cells were harvested, this potentially paves the way for patient-specific medical treatments using stem cells.

After adult cells have been converted back into Embryonic Stem Cells, it will be possible to convert them into any possible cell that the patient needs or would benefit from.

Hijacking the Blueprint of the Cell Allows Scientists to Revert Adult Cells to their Earliest State

Researchers have increased the capacity to produce Embryonic Stem Cells by identifying previously unrecognized biochemical processes which tell human cells how to develop. In essence, researchers have discovered how the body blueprints cells, and can change the blueprints so that a new cell is made.

By utilizing these newly recognized pathways, it is possible to create new stem cells more quickly than ever before. One of the researchers explains the implications of this research. Dr. Miguel Ramalho-Santos is an associate professor of obstetrics, medicine, and cancer research at the University of California San Francisco. Dr. Ramalho-Santos is also a member of the Broad Center of Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research.

He explains that these stem cell discoveries have the ability to alter the way that the medical sciences can take advantage of stem cells with regard to both cancer research and regenerative medicine. Dr. Ramalho-Santos was the lead researcher for this study, and the research was largely funded by the Director of the National Institutes of Health New Innovator Award, granted to promising young researchers which are leading highly innovative and promising medical research studies.

Dr. Ramalho-Santos’ research builds off of earlier research which discovered that it was possible to take adult cells and turn them back into embryonic stem cells. These stem cells don’t have any inherent aging processes, and they can be turned into any other kind of tissue. In the process of this conversion, the adult cells lose all of their unique characteristics, leaving them in an ultimately immature and malleable state.

This earlier research was conducted by researchers from UC San Francisco in partnership with Dr. Shinya Yamanaka from Kyoto University and Gladstone Institutes. These entities all gained a piece of the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine from their part in the study.

Pluripotent Stem Cells vs. Embryonic Stem Cells

Thus far, we’ve described these cells as Embryonic Stem Cells, but in fact, the more accurate term for these cells are Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (IPS). These cells are biologically and functionally similar to Embryonic Stem Cells, but have a different name because they are sourced from adult cells. The difference between Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells and Embryonic Stem Cells is that Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells do seem to retain some of the characteristics of their previous state, which appears to limit their ability to convert into any other type of cell. This new research identifies new pathways by which it may be possible to increase the number of cells that an individual IPS Cell can turn into, perhaps allowing them to convert into any other kind of human cell.

Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells are not explicitly considered an alternative to Embryonic Stem Cells, but are considered a different approach to produce similar cells. If researchers fully uncover the mechanisms of how to reprogram these cells, it will lower many barriers to stem cell research and the availability of stem cell treatments.

As of today, researchers have figured out how to make these Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells, but the percentage of adult cells which are reverted successfully is quite low, and frequently, these cells still show some aspects of specialization, which limits their use.

How Do Scientists Make Stem Cells From Adult Cells?

There are genes within every cell which have the ability to induce pluripotency, reverting the cell to an earlier stage of specialization. The initial stage of this process is the result of activating Yamanaka Factors, specific genes that initiate this reversion process.

As of today, this process of de-maturation is not completely understood, and researchers realized from the start that the cells they created were not truly identical to Embryonic Stem Cells, because they still showed signs of their former lives, which often prevented them from being successfully reprogrammed.

The new research conducted by Dr. Ramalho-Santos appears to increase our knowledge regarding how these cells work, and how to program them more effectively. Dr. Ramalho-Santos and his team discovered more genes associated with these programming/reprogramming processes, and by manipulating them, they have increased the viability and range of particular stem cells.

It appears that these genetic impulses are constantly at play to maintain the structure and function of a cell, and that by systematically removing these safeguards, it is possible to increase the ability to alter these cells.

This research increases researchers’ ability to produce these stem cells, by increasing the ability of medical scientists to produce adequate numbers of stem cells, while also increasing the range of potential treatment options by more effectively inducing the total pluripotency which is available in Embryonic Stem Cells. This research may also help scientists treat certain forms of cancer which are the result of malfunctions of these genes.

Transhumanist Values – Nick Bostrom

1. What is Transhumanism?

Transhumanism is a loosely defined movement that has developed gradually over the past two decades.[1] It promotes an interdisciplinary approach to understanding and evaluating the opportunities for enhancing the human condition and the human organism opened up by the advancement of technology. Attention is given to both present technologies, like genetic engineering and information technology, and anticipated future ones, such as molecular nanotechnology and artificial intelligence.

The enhancement options being discussed include radical extension of human health-span, eradication of disease, elimination of unnecessary suffering, and augmentation of human intellectual, physical, and emotional capacities. Other transhumanist themes include space colonization and the possibility of creating superintelligent machines, along with other potential developments that could profoundly alter the human condition. The ambit is not limited to gadgets and medicine, but encompasses also economic, social, institutional designs, cultural development, and psychological skills and techniques.

Transhumanists view human nature as a work-in-progress, a half-baked beginning that we can learn to remold in desirable ways. Current humanity need not be the endpoint of evolution. Transhumanists hope that by responsible use of science, technology, and other rational means we shall eventually manage to become posthuman, beings with vastly greater capacities than present human beings have.

Some transhumanists take active steps to increase the probability that they personally will survive long enough to become posthuman, for example by choosing a healthy lifestyle or by making provisions for having themselves cryonically suspended in case of de-animation.[2] In contrast to many other ethical outlooks, which in practice often reflect a reactionary attitude to new technologies, the transhumanist view is guided by an evolving vision to take a more proactive approach to technology policy. This vision, in broad strokes, is to create the opportunity to live much longer and healthier lives, to enhance our memory and other intellectual faculties, to refine our emotional experiences and increase our subjective sense of well-being, and generally to achieve a greater degree of control over our own lives. This affirmation of human potential is offered as an alternative to customary injunctions against playing God, messing with nature, tampering with our human essence, or displaying punishable hubris.

Transhumanism does not entail technological optimism. While future technological capabilities carry immense potential for beneficial deployments, they also could be misused to cause enormous harm, ranging all the way to the extreme possibility of intelligent life becoming extinct. Other potential negative outcomes include widening social inequalities or a gradual erosion of the hard-to-quantify assets that we care deeply about but tend to neglect in our daily struggle for material gain, such as meaningful human relationships and ecological diversity. Such risks must be taken very seriously, as thoughtful transhumanists fully acknowledge.[3]

Transhumanism has roots in secular humanist thinking, yet is more radical in that it promotes not only traditional means of improving human nature, such as education and cultural refinement, but also direct application of medicine and technology to overcome some of our basic biological limits.

The range of thoughts, feelings, experiences, and activities accessible to human organisms presumably constitute only a tiny part of what is possible. There is no reason to think that the human mode of being is any more free of limitations imposed by our biological nature than are those of other animals. In much the same way as Chimpanzees lack the cognitive wherewithal to understand what it is like to be human the ambitions we humans have, our philosophies, the complexities of human society, or the subtleties of our relationships with one another, so we humans may lack the capacity to form a realistic intuitive understanding of what it would be like to be a radically enhanced human (a posthuman) and of the thoughts, concerns, aspirations, and social relations that such humans may have.

Our own current mode of being, therefore, spans but a minute subspace of what is possible or permitted by the physical constraints of the universe (see Figure 1). It is not farfetched to suppose that there are parts of this larger space that represent extremely valuable ways of living, relating, feeling, and thinking.

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Transhumanist Values – Nick Bostrom

Transhumanism – RationalWiki

You know what they say the modern version of Pascal’s Wager is? Sucking up to as many Transhumanists as possible, just in case one of them turns into God. Julie from Crystal Nights by Greg Egan

Transhumanism (or H+), broadly speaking, is a futurist movement with a set of beliefs with a common theme of anticipating an evolutionary plateau beyond the current Homo sapiens. The term was coined and movement founded by the biologist Julian Huxley in 1957.

The general expectation is that in the near future greater manipulation of human nature will be possible because of the adoption of techniques apparent on the technological frontier: machine intelligence greater than that of contemporary humans, direct mind-computer interface, genetic engineering and nanotechnology. Transhumanists tend to believe that respect for human agency, even when practiced by humans in their current form, is valuable, however.

How plausible is transhumanism? In the 1930’s, many sensible people were sure human beings would never get to the moon and that was just one of many predictions that turned out incorrect.[1] Early 21st century people do not know one way or the other what will be possible in the future.

While frequently dismissed as mere speculation at best by most rationalists (especially in light of the many failures of artificial intelligence), transhumanism is a strongly-held belief among many computer geeks, notably synthesizer and accessible computing guru Ray Kurzweil (a believer in the “technological singularity,” where technology evolves beyond humanity’s current capacity to understand or anticipate it) and Sun Microsystems founder and Unix demigod Bill Joy (who believes the inevitable result of AI research is the obsolescence of humanity).

Certain recent technological advances are making the possibility of the realization of transhumanism appear more plausible: Scientists funded by the military developed an implant that can translate motor neuron signals into a form that a computer can use, thus opening the door for advanced prosthetics capable of being manipulated like biological limbs and producing sensory information.[2] This is on top of the earlier development of cochlear implants, which translate sound waves into nerve signals; they are often called “bionic ears.”[3]

Even DIY transhumanism is becoming an option, with people installing magnetic implants, allowing them to feel magnetic and electric fields.[4] Others have taken to wearing belts of magnets, in order to always be able to find magnetic north.

Sadly, a lot of the underpinnings of transhumanism are based on a sort of blind-men-at-the-elephant thinking people assuming that because it can be imagined, it must be possible. Transhumanism is particularly associated with figures in computer science, which is a field that is in some ways more math and art than a true experimental science; as a result, a great many transhumanists tend to conflate technological advancement with scientific advancement; though these two things are intimately related, they are separate things. In fact, though transhumanists strenuously deny it, a great number of their arguments are strongly faith-based they assume because there are no known barriers to their pet development, that it’s inevitably going to happen. Seldom is the issue of unknowns known or otherwise factored into the predictions.

The example of the singularity is instructive; for a great many people, at least part of the singularity hinges on being able to create a true artificial intelligence. While it’s reasonable to contend that the complexity inherent in the human brain is entirely the result of mundane physics, and therefore can be reproduced in principle, singularitarians tend to assume that the emulation of human intelligence not being impossible means having the ability to in the near future. However, singularitarians hit the wall when confronted with the realities of brain development research though a true AI may in fact be possible, there simply is not enough known about the brain to understand its functions to the degree necessary to create a workable emulation, meaning a prediction of such a creation is meaningless at best, dishonest at worst.

“Whole brain emulation” (WBE) is a term used by transhumanists to refer to, quite obviously, the emulation of a brain on a computer. While this is no doubt a possibility, it encounters two problems that keep it from being a certainty anytime in the near future.

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Transhumanism – RationalWiki

Molecular Medicine | Beckman Institute of City of Hope …

Select a researcher… Aboody, Karen S., M.D. Al-Abdullah, Ismail, Ph.D. Ann, David K., Ph.D. Awasthi, Sanjay, M.D. Bailis, Adam, Ph.D. Barish, Michael, Ph.D. Berlin, Jacob, Ph.D. Boldin, Mark, M.D., Ph.D. Borneman, Tami, R.N., M.S.N., C.N.S., F.P.C.N. Cantin, Edouard, Ph.D. Chatterjee, Saswati, Ph.D. Chen, Ching-Cheng, Ph.D. Chen, Shiuan, Ph.D. Chen, WenYong, Ph.D. Chen, Yuan , Ph.D. Chow, Warren A., M.D., F.A.C.P. Chu, Fong Fong, Ph.D. Crocitto, Laura E., M.D. Diamond, Don, Ph.D. Ferrell, Betty, Ph.D., M.A.,F.A.A.N., F.P.C.N. Ferreri, Kevin, Ph.D. Forman, Stephen J., M.D., F.A.C.P. Glackin, Carlotta, Ph.D. Grant, Marcia, R.N., D.N.S.c., F.A.A.N. Hanson, Jo, R.N., M.S.N., C.N.S., O.C.N. Research Horne, David, Ph.D. Huang, Wendong, Ph.D. Huss, Janice, Ph.D. Research Ikeda, Kazuo, Ph.D. Research Itakura, Keiichi, Ph.D. Research Jandial, Rahul M.D., Ph.D. Jones, Jeremy Ph.D. Jovanovic-Talisman, Tijana Ph.D. Kalkum, Markus, Ph.D. Laboratory Kane, Susan, Ph.D. Laboratory Kong, Mei, Ph.D. Kortylewski, Marcin, Ph.D. Laboratory Ku, Hsun Teresa, Ph.D. Research Kuo, Ya-Huei, Ph.D. Research La Rosa, Corinna, Ph.D. Research Lee, Terry, Ph.D. Research Lin, Ren-Jang, Ph.D. Research Liu, Chih-Pin, Ph.D. Research Yilun Liu Qiang Lu, Ph.D. Research Malkas, Linda H., Ph.D. Miller, Marcia M., Ph.D. Research Mullen, Yoko, M.D. Ph.D. Research Natarajan, Rama, Ph.D, F.A.H.A, F.A.S.N. Research Neuhausen, Susan L., Ph.D. Research Newman, Edward, Ph.D. Research Ngo, Vu, Ph.D. OConnor, Timothy, Ph.D. Laboratory Otis-Green, Shirley, M.S.W., A.C.S.W., L.C.S.W, O.S.W-C Riggs, Arthur D., Ph.D. Research Rossi, John J., Ph.D. Research Salvaterra, Paul, Ph.D. Research Schones, Dustin E., Ph.D. Laboratory Shen, Binghui, Ph.D. Shi, Yanhong, Ph.D. Shively, John, Ph.D. Research Singer-Sam, Judith, Ph.D. Laboratory Smith, Steven, Ph.D. Laboratory Stark, Jeremy, Ph.D. Research Sun, Zuoming, Ph.D. Termini, John, Ph.D. Research Todorov, Ivan Ph.D. Research Tomoda, Toshifumi, M.D., Ph.D. Laboratory of Nagarajan Vaidehi, Ph.D. Wang, Emily, Ph.D. Wong, K.K., M.D. Yee, Jiing-Kuan, Ph.D. Yu, Hua, Ph.D. Laboratory Yuan, Yuan, M.D., Ph.D. Zaia, John A., M.D. Laboratory Zeng, Defu, M.D. Research

Develop new therapies, diagnostics and preventions in the fight against cancer and other life-threatening diseases.

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Molecular Medicine | Beckman Institute of City of Hope …

Director Molecular Genetics jobs in Rtp at LabCorp

Job Code: 41195

Location: Rtp, NC

Category: Lab Jobs

The position requires a Ph.D. in Genetics or a related field, ABMG certification or active candidate status in Clinical Molecular Genetics.

Job Description:

LabCorp is seeking a Clinical Molecular Geneticist (title dependent on experience) to join a team of directors in our Molecular Genetics Laboratory at the Center for Molecular Biology and Pathology (CMBP) located in Research Triangle Park, North Carolina. The laboratory is a state-of-the-art, high throughput molecular facility. The directors oversee a diverse menu of targeted mutation and sequencing analyses, including whole exome sequencing and non-invasive prenatal testing. The laboratory works in close concert with cytogenetics, molecular oncology, and biochemical genetics at CMBP and is supported by a team of genetic counselors. The position requires a Ph.D. in Genetics or a related field. ABMG (or equivalent) certification or active candidate status is required in Clinical Molecular Genetics.

About LabCorp

Laboratory Corporation of America Holdings, an S&P 500 company, is a pioneer in commercializing new diagnostic technologies and the first in its industry to embrace genomic testing. With annual revenues of $5.8 billion in 2013, over 34,000 employees worldwide, and more than 220,000 clients, LabCorp offers more than 4,000 tests ranging from routine blood analyses to reproductive genetics to companion diagnostics. LabCorp furthers its scientific expertise and innovative clinical testing technology through its LabCorp Specialty Testing Group: The Center for Molecular Biology and Pathology, National Genetics Institute, ViroMed Laboratories, Inc, The Center for Esoteric Testing, Litholink Corporation, Integrated Genetics, Integrated Oncology, Dianon Pathology, Monogram Biosciences, Inc, Colorado Coagulation, Cellmark Forensics, MedTox, and Endocrine Sciences. LabCorp conducts clinical trials testing through its LabCorp Clinical Trials division. LabCorp clients include physicians, government agencies, managed care organizations, hospitals, clinical labs, and pharmaceutical companies. To learn more about our organization, visit our website at: http://www.labcorp.com.

The 7,000-acre Research Triangle Park is the largest research park in the United States, and is home to over 140 organizations (Biotechnology, Pharmaceuticals, Healthcare, and Information Technology / Telecommunications) and has around 45,000 full time employees entering the Park each day. The Research Triangle itself is named for the Triangle formed by the three universities: Duke University at Durham, the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and North Carolina State University in Raleigh.

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Director Molecular Genetics jobs in Rtp at LabCorp

Top 5 Medical Technology Innovations – ASME

Against the backdrop of health care reform and a controversial medical device tax, medical technology companies are focusing more than ever on products that deliver cheaper, faster, more efficient patient care. They are also making inroads with U.S. Food & Drug Administration regulators to re-engineer the complex review and approval process for new medical devices.

Many in the industry have long felt overly burdened by what they consider to be an unnecessarily complex approval process. Critics claim it impedes innovation and delays the availability of better health care. To change that perception, the FDA last year announced a new Medical Device Innovation Consortium (MDIC) charged with simplifying the process of designing and testing new technologies. With input from industry, government, and other nonprofit organizations, public-private MDIC will prioritize the regulatory science needs of the medical device community and fund projects to streamline the process.

“By sharing and leveraging resources, MDIC may help industry to be better equipped to bring safe and effective medical devices to market more quickly and at a lower cost,” says Jeffrey Shuren, M.D., J.D., director of the FDA’s Center for Devices and Radiological Health.

As the regulators, politicians, and corporate executives hash out these details, industry engineers and scientists continue to push through new ideas for improving and managing human health. Every year, industry observers like the Cleveland Clinic and the medical device trade press single out their favorite technology trends. These thought leaders agree that today’s best technologies strike a balance between reducing the overall cost of medical care and increasing safety and survival ratesand isn’t that what health care reform is all about?

Here are five emerging technologies to watch in the year ahead.

The MelaFind optical scanner from MELA Sciences. Image: MelaFind.com

With the most deadly form of skin cancer, melanoma, a huge number of dangerous-looking moles are actually harmless, but has always been impossible to know for sure without an invasive surgical biopsy. Today dermatologists have new help in making the right call a handheld tool approved by the FDA for multispectral analysis of tissue morphology. The MelaFind optical scanner is not for definitive diagnosis but rather to provide additional information a doctor can use in determining whether or not to order a biopsy. The goal is to reduce the number of patients left with unnecessary biopsy scars, with the added benefit of eliminating the cost of unnecessary procedures. The MelaFind technology (MELA Sciences, Irvington, NY) uses missile navigation technologies originally paid for the Department of Defense to optically scan the surface of a suspicious lesion at 10 electromagnetic wavelengths. The collected signals are processed using heavy-duty algorithms and matched against a registry of 10,000 digital images of melanoma and skin disease.

The ATI Neurostimulator from Autonomic Technologies. Image: ATI-SPG.com

For people who suffer from migraines, cluster headaches, and other causes of chronic, excruciating head or facial pain, the “take two aspirins and call me in the morning” method is useless. Doctors have long associated the most severe, chronic forms of headache with the sphenopalatine ganglion (SPG), a facial nerve bundle, but haven’t yet found a treatment that works on the SPG long-term. A technology under clinical investigation at Autonomic Technologies, Inc., (Redwood City, CA) is a patient-powered tool for blocking SPG signals at the first sign of a headache. The system involves the permanent implant of a small nerve stimulating device in the upper gum on the side of the head normally affected by headache. The lead tip of the implant connects with the SPG bundle, and when a patient senses the onset of a headache, he or she places a handheld remote controller on the cheek nearest the implant. The resulting signals stimulate the SPG nerves and block the pain-causing neurotransmitters.

The Symphony tCGM biosensor from Echo Therapeutics. Image: EchoTX.com

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Top 5 Medical Technology Innovations – ASME

T Cell Therapy (CTL019) | The Children’s Hospital of …

CTL019 is a clinical trial of T cell therapyfor patients with B cell cancers such as acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL), B cell non-Hodgkin lymphoma (NHL), and the adult disease chronic lymphocytic leukemia (CLL). At this time, The Children’s Hospital of Philadelphia is the only hospital enrolling pediatric patientson this trial.

In July 2014, CTL019 was awarded Breakthrough Therapy designation by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration for the treatment of relapsed and refractory adult and pediatric acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL). The investigational therapy is the first personalized cellular therapy for the treatment of cancer to receive this important classification.

In this clinical trial, immune cells called T cells are taken from a patient’s own blood. These cells are genetically modified to express a protein which will recognize and bind to a target called CD19, which is found on cancerous B cells. This is how T cell therapy works:

30 patients with acute lymphoblastic leukemia (25 children and 5 adults) have been treatedusing T cell therapy.Of those patients:

The most recent results were published in The New England Journal of Medicine in October 2014. Scientists at The Childrens Hospital of Philadelphia and the University of Pennsylvania are very hopeful that CTL019 could in the future be an effective therapy for patients with B cell cancers. However, because so few patients have been treated, and because those patients have been followed for a relatively shorttime,it is critical that more adult and pediatric patients are enrolled in the study to determine whether a larger group of patients with B cell cancers will have the same response, and maintain that response.

At this point CHOP’s capability to enroll patients is limited because of the need to manufacture the T cell product used in this therapy. Our goal is to boost enrollment soon, by increasing our manufacturing capabilities and by broadening this study to other pediatric hospitals.

T cell therapy is a treatment for children and adolescents with fairly advanced B cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia (ALL) and B cell lymphomas, but not other leukemias or pediatric cancers. It is an option for those patients who have very resistant ALL.

Roughly 85 percent of ALL cases are treated very successfully with standard chemotherapy. For the remaining 15 percent of cases, representing a substantial number of children in the United States, chemotherapy only works temporarily or not at all. This is not a treatment for newly diagnosed leukemia, only for patients whose leukemia is not responding to chemotherapy,and whose disease has come back after a bone marrow transplant.

It is important to note that while results of this study are encouraging, it is still very early in testing and that not all children who qualify for the trial will have the same result.

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T Cell Therapy (CTL019) | The Children’s Hospital of …

Cardiology.org

What is Cardiology.org

Cardiology.org is a web site maintained by the Clinical Exercise Physiology Consortium for educational purposes and to let people known about us. The consortium is led by Dr. Ashley, Dr. Myers and Dr. Froelicher. Non-funded research and educational opportunities for pre-medical, medical, and post-medical US and International graduates are available through Stanford. The Stanford requirements for visiting scholars must be met including verification of external funding.

The Heart Failure Cardiopulmonary Exercise Testing Consortium – The Heart Failure CPX Consortium is a collaborative group including Stanford, Virginia Commonwealth University, the LeBauer Cardiovascular Research Foundation, Greensboro, the Palo Alto VA Hospital, the University of Milano and others. read more…

Exercise and Health This lecture provides a comprehensive review of the risk and benefits of exercise.

Preventing Cardiovascular Athletic deaths This lecture focuses on the causes of athletic deaths and strategies to prevent them.

View and download all slides

NEW: Video of Electrode Placement for performing a ECG

Then watch the musical version

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Cardiology.org

What is a Cardiologist? – Welcome to CardioSmart

A cardiologist is a doctor with special training and skill in finding, treating and preventing diseases of the heart and blood vessels.

What is an F.A.C.C.?

An F.A.C.C. is a Fellow of the American College of Cardiology. Based on their outstanding credentials, achievements, and community contribution to cardiovascular medicine, physicians who are elected to fellowship can use F.A.C.C., Fellow of the American College of Cardiology, as a professional designation.

The strongest evidence of achievement for those who earn the F.A.C.C insignia comes from their peers. Letters of sponsorship from other F.A.C.C.s and medical school faculty attest to professional competence and commitment to excellence, and are necessary for election to Fellowship in the College.

When accepting election to Fellowship in ACC, each physician pledges, “cooperation and loyalty to the attainment of the ideals” of the College, the most important of which is to promote excellence in cardiovascular care.

Each year at ACC’s Annual Scientific Session, newly appointed Fellows take part in the convocation ceremony honoring their new rank as F.A.C.C. and reaffirming the commitment to furthering optimal cardiovascular care. New Fellows receive their certificate of Fellowship and are officially recognized as Fellows of the College at the convocation ceremony.

How are Cardiologists Trained?

Cardiologists receive extensive education, including four years of medical school and three years of training in general internal medicine. After this, a cardiologist spends three or more years in specialized training. Thats ten or more years of training!

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What is a Cardiologist? – Welcome to CardioSmart

What is bioinformatics | BioPlanet

Bioinformatics is the application of computer technology to the management of biological information. Computers are used to gather, store, analyze and integrate biological and genetic information which can then be applied to gene-based drug discovery and development. The need for Bioinformatics capabilities has been precipitated by the explosion of publicly available genomic information resulting from the Human Genome Project.

The goal of this project determination of the sequence of the entire human genome (approximately three billion base pairs) will be reached by the year 2002. The science of Bioinformatics, which is the melding of molecular biology with computer science, is essential to the use of genomic information in understanding human diseases and in the identification of new molecular targets for drug discovery.

In recognition of this, many universities, government institutions and pharmaceutical firms have formed bioinformatics groups, consisting of computational biologists and bioinformatics computer scientists. Such groups will be key to unraveling the mass of information generated by large scale sequencing efforts underway in laboratories around the world.

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What is bioinformatics | BioPlanet

Periodic Table – About.com Chemistry

This is an online interactive periodic table of the elements. Click on an element symbol in the periodic table to get facts for that element. Printable periodic tables and a list of elements by increasing atomic number are also available. 1 IA 1A 18 VIIIA 8A 1 H 1.008 2 IIA 2A 13 IIIA 3A 14 IVA 4A 15 VA 5A 16 VIA 6A 17 VIIA 7A 2 He 4.003 3 Li 6.941 4 Be 9.012 5 B 10.81 6 C 12.01 7 N 14.01 8 O 16.00 9 F 19.00 10 Ne 20.18 11 Na 22.99 12 Mg 24.31 3 IIIB 3B 4 IVB 4B 5 VB 5B 6 VIB 6B 7 VIIB 7B 8 9 VIII 8 10 11 IB 1B 12 IIB 2B 13 Al 26.98 14 Si 28.09 15 P 30.97 16 S 32.07 17 Cl 35.45 18 Ar 39.95 19 K 39.10 20 Ca 40.08 21 Sc 44.96 22 Ti 47.88 23 V 50.94 24 Cr 52.00 25 Mn 54.94 26 Fe 55.85 27 Co 58.47 28 Ni 58.69 29 Cu 63.55 30 Zn 65.39 31 Ga 69.72 32 Ge 72.59 33 As 74.92 34 Se 78.96 35 Br 79.90 36 Kr 83.80 37 Rb 85.47 38 Sr 87.62 39 Y 88.91 40 Zr 91.22 41 Nb 92.91 42 Mo 95.94 43 Tc (98) 44 Ru 101.1 45 Rh 102.9 46 Pd 106.4 47 Ag 107.9 48 Cd 112.4 49 In 114.8 50 Sn 118.7 51 Sb 121.8 52 Te 127.6 53 I 126.9 54 Xe 131.3 55 Cs 132.9 56 Ba 137.3 * 72 Hf 178.5 73 Ta 180.9 74 W 183.9 75 Re 186.2 76 Os 190.2 77 Ir 190.2 78 Pt 195.1 79 Au 197.0 80 Hg 200.5 81 Tl 204.4 82 Pb 207.2 83 Bi 209.0 84 Po (210) 85 At (210) 86 Rn (222) 87 Fr (223) 88 Ra (226) ** 104 Rf (257) 105 Db (260) 106 Sg (263) 107 Bh (265) 108 Hs (265) 109 Mt (266) 110 Ds (271) 111 Rg (272) 112Cn (277) 113 Uut — 114 Fl (296) 115 Uup — 116 Lv (298) 117 Uus — 118 Uuo — * Lanthanide Series 57 La 138.9 58 Ce 140.1 59 Pr 140.9 60 Nd 144.2 61 Pm (147) 62 Sm 150.4 63 Eu 152.0 64 Gd 157.3 65 Tb 158.9 66 Dy 162.5 67 Ho 164.9 68 Er 167.3 69 Tm 168.9 70 Yb 173.0 71 Lu 175.0 ** Actinide Series 89 Ac (227) 90 Th 232.0 91 Pa (231) 92 U (238) 93 Np (237) 94 Pu (242) 95 Am (243) 96 Cm (247) 97 Bk (247) 98 Cf (249) 99 Es (254) 100 Fm (253) 101 Md (256) 102 No (254) 103 Lr (257)

Introduction to the Periodic Table

People have known about elements like carbon and gold since ancient time. The elements couldn’t be changed using any chemical method. If you examine samples of iron and silver, you can’t tell how many protons the atoms have. However, you can tell the elements apart because they have different properties. You might notice there are more similarities between iron and silver than between iron and oxygen. This is where the periodic table becomes useful. It organizes elements according to trends so that you can see the relationships between them.

What is the Periodic Table?

Dmitri Mendeleev was the first scientist to create a periodic table of the elements similar to the one we use today. You can see Mendeleev’s original table (1869). This table showed that when the elements were ordered by increasing atomic weight, a pattern appeared where properties of the elements repeated periodically. This periodic table is a chart that groups the elements according to their similar properties. Mendeleev’s table didn’t have many elements. He had question marks and spaces between elements where he predicted undiscovered elements would fit.

Why was the Periodic Table Created?

Many elements remained to be discovered in Mendeleev’s time. The periodic table helped predict the properties of new elements. The modern periodic table is used to predict properties and reactions of the elements.

Discovering Elements

The number of protons determines the atomic number of an element, which is its number on the periodic table. There aren’t any skipped atomicnumbers on the modern periodic table because new elements are synthesized rather than discovered. The placement of these new elements on the periodic table can be used to help predict the element’s properties.

Element Properties and Trends

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Periodic Table – About.com Chemistry



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