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Week In Review — Aug. 15

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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CDC Releases New Ebola Guidance for Laboratorians

CDC released interim guidance for laboratorians and other healthcare personnel collecting or handling specimens in the United States on appropriate specimen collection, transport and testing of specimens from patients who are suspected to be infected with Ebola virus. Via CDC.

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New Melanomas Likely to Recur at Same Rate

A diagnosis of in situ or invasive melanoma conferred a similar long-term risk of invasive melanoma recurrence, a 40-year retrospective review showed. For the first 2 years after initial diagnosis, invasive melanoma had a greater risk of invasive recurrence, as compared with an initial diagnosis of in situ disease. Thereafter, the risk of invasive recurrence remains the same, regardless of the initial diagnosis, Hyemin Pomerantz, MD, of Brown University in Providence, R.I., reported here at the American Academy of Dermatology summer meeting. Via MedPage Today.

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Tactic in Alzheimer’s Fight May Be Safe, Study Finds

Dr. Malloy, who co-directs the Adult Lipid Clinic at the University of California, San Francisco, and her colleagues saw an opportunity to answer an important neurological riddle: Does the absence of the gene — named apolipoprotein E, or APOE, after the protein it encodes — hurt the brain? If a person with this rare condition were found to be functioning normally, that would suggest support for a new direction in Alzheimer’s treatment. It would mean that efforts — already being explored by dementia experts — to prevent Alzheimer’s by reducing, eliminating or neutralizing the effects of the most dangerous version of APOE might succeed without causing other problems in the brain. The researchers, who reported their findings on Monday in the journal JAMA Neurology, discovered exactly that. Via NY Times.

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Buzz Over Bee Venom in Cancer Research 

Bee, snake or scorpion venom may sound more like a health nightmare than a cure, but they could in fact be used in cancer-fighting drugs, a new study suggests. Injecting someone with pure venom could have disastrous health consequences, but researchers say they have found a way to avoid such issues. They separated the “useful” venom proteins and peptides, making them specifically target malignant cells while evading healthy ones, therefore eliminating harmful effects that the toxins would normally have on a person’s health. Via CBS News.

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The Challenges After Surviving a Childhood Disease

Some novel programs are addressing a growing gap in health care: helping the millions of survivors of serious childhood diseases find treatment when they grow up. Thanks to medical advances, there are a growing number of survivors of childhood cancers as well as patients living longer with diseases like cystic fibrosis and spina bifida. More children have diseases like diabetes and asthma that will follow them into adulthood. Nearly 25% of children have at least one of a list of 18 chronic conditions, according to federal survey data. Switching to adult care from children’s hospitals and pediatricians’ offices, which typically happens between the ages of 18 and 21, raises a range of issues, beyond medical care. Via Wall Street Journal.

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Will Kidney Stones Recur? New Test Might Tell

A new tool appears to accurately predict whether someone who’s had a kidney stone will have another one in the future, researchers report. They said the tool could help patients and their doctors decide whether preventive steps are needed. … The questionnaire, described in an article published Aug. 7 in the Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, was created by Dr. Andrew Rule, of the Mayo Clinic, and colleagues. Via HealthDay.

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Mayo-Backed Colon Screening Test Gets FDA Approval

The Food and Drug Administration on Monday announced approval for Cologuard, a new test kit developed in part at the Mayo Clinic for screening patients to assess their risk for colorectal cancer. Via Pioneer Press.

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Testing High School Athletes for Doping Uncommon

One of the largest school districts in the U.S. is making a bold move to combat doping in high school sports. Florida’s Miami-Dade County Public Schools announced last week a pilot program to test student-athletes for steroids and other performance-enhancing drugs. The district is the fourth largest in the U.S., serving more than 340,000 students, according to data from the National Center for Education Statistics. Via Yahoo! News.

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Mayo Clinic Florida Names New CEO

Dr. Gianrico Farrugia, 50, will take over as CEO of Mayo Clinic’s Jacksonville, Fla., campus on Jan. 1, 2015. Farrugia, a gastroenterologist, has been with Rochester, Minn.-based Mayo Clinic for 26 years. He serves as a professor of medicine, physiology and biomedical engineering, and he also directs the Mayo Clinic Center for Individualized Medicine. Via Modern Healthcare.

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Kids at Mayo Clinic Meet the World’s Greatest Superheroes

Pediatric patients at Mayo Clinic’s Children’s Center took a break from their daily check-ups to watch some of their favorite superheroes in action…”I never knew they had superheroes that come to a hospital but it was pretty special for them to come here today for me,” said patient Carter Simonson. Via KAAL.

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