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Week In Review — Feb. 21

The Week In Review provides an overview of the past week’s top healthcare content, including industry news and trends, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Medical Laboratories news and upcoming events.

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Human lung made in lab for first time

For the first time, scientists have created human lungs in a lab — an exciting step forward in regenerative medicine, but an advance that likely won’t help patients for many years. “It’s so darn cool,” said Joan Nichols, a researcher at the University of Texas Medical Branch. “It’s been science fiction and we’re moving into science fact.” Via CNN. 

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Football helmets and concussion: A new study opens new questions 

A study to be presented at a meeting of the American Academy of Neurology attempts to do exactly that, comparing 10 of the most widely used football helmets in drop tests designed to measure the kinds of forces that are most likely to result in concussion. The latest research finds that football helmets, which have been designed largely to prevent skull fractures and brain contusions, aren’t all that effective against concussion, which happens when the brain bounces and twists around inside the skull. Via LA Times.

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Most people say rating sites ‘important’ when picking doctors 

When picking a new doctor, most people factor the reviews left on rating websites into their decision, according to a new study. Researchers found 59 percent of people said those physician-rating sites were at least “somewhat important” when choosing a doctor. “The numbers were actually substantially higher than just a few years ago,” Dr. David Hanauer said. Via Reuters.

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Revving up immune system helps fight leukemia 

Researchers have had early success with a new therapy for leukemia that trains the body’s own immune system to fight cancer, a small study shows. Doctors at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center in New York focused on a fast-growing blood cancer called B-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia, which affects a type of white blood cell that makes antibodies. All of the patients in the study had relapsed after being treated with chemotherapy, according to the study, published today in Science Translational Medicine. Via USA Today.

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Hello baby! IVF procedures in 2012 led to record number of births 

More than 1.5% of babies born in the U.S. in 2012 were conceived in a laboratory dish thanks to in vitro fertilization — an all-time high, according to a report released Monday by the Society of Assisted Reproductive Technology. The 379 fertility clinics that are members of SART performed a total of 165,172 procedures in 2012, resulting in the births of 61,740 babies. Both figures are new records as well, SART says. Via LA Times.

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Mayo Clinic updates its model for the modern age

Milestone anniversaries can be useful things. Take this season’s 150th anniversary of the cold January 1864 day when Dr. W.W. Mayo placed an ad in area newspapers announcing that his medical practice was open for business in downtown Rochester and the Mayo Clinic was born. A burst of high-risk, high-opportunity change is hard upon the health care industry in general and Mayo Clinic in particular. That makes this a fine time for Mayo folk to reflect on how their mammoth enterprise became famous for the best in medical care, and how that story might guide what comes next.  Via Star Tribune.

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Mayo Clinic Medical Edge: Thyroid nodules may develop for a variety of reasons, but usually aren’t cancer

DEAR MAYO CLINIC: What causes thyroid nodules? Does having them mean I’m at risk for thyroid cancer? Via Chicago Tribune.

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Top Ten Tech Trends: Putting genetic data in clinicians’ hands 

For the last several years, Healthcare Informatics has made personalized medicine one of its top technology trends, and we are doing it again this year because the stakes are so high. As Christopher Chute, M.D., a Mayo Clinic bioinformatics researcher, told us in 2012: “Many of us believe that genomic information will inevitably transform healthcare beyond recognition. It will be a bigger breakthrough than antibiotics—not immediately, but in the next decade or two.” Via Healthcare Informatics.

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ABC 6 exclusive interview with Mayo Clinic CEO Dr. Noseworthy

In an exclusive interview ABC 6 News Anchor Ellery McCardle sits down with Mayo Clinic President & CEO Dr. John Noseworthy. In a three part conversation, they talked about the changes Mayo will experience, including the possibility of layoffs, the organizations future expansion in new cities and countries, and concerns of people who may be worried about such a large expansion. Via ABC.

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David Letterman Small Town News

Oh, I’ve been to Rochester. You’ve been to Rochester. We’ve all been to Rochester. The Mayo Clinic. Paul: it’s a great place. Dave: you drive down the main street of Rochester and it’s like Las Vegas, it’s one giant hotel after another. There must be two dozen giant hotels in Rochester, Minnesota. Paul: these are all people staying there so they can go to the Mayo Clinic? Dave: it’s like an outpatient deal. All they need is casino gambling. Via CBS Late Show.

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