Week In Review — Jan. 31

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.

State of the Union 2014: How far will Obama go?

It’s been the main White House talking point all year: If Congress can’t get its act together and pass legislation, President Barack Obama will do what he can on his own. The State of the Union address Tuesday night will reveal whether Obama is serious about testing the limits of his executive powers or content with using them as a threat. Via Politico. 

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New method makes stem cells in about 30 minutes, scientists report

In a feat that experts say is a significant advance for regenerative medicine, scientists have discovered a surprisingly simple method for creating personalized stem cells that doesn’t involve human embryos or tinkering with DNA. Two studies published Wednesday in the journal Nature describe a novel procedure for “reprogramming” the blood cells of newborn mice by soaking the cells in a mildly acidic solution for 30 minutes. Via LA Times.

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Hopkins forms health care company in Saudi Arabia

Johns Hopkins Medicine is joining with a company in Saudi Arabia to form a health care company. The Baltimore medical institution said it and Saudi Aramco, an energy and chemical company with a health care arm, will open the Johns Hopkins Saudi Aramco Healthcare Company Feb. 1. Saudi Aramco and Johns Hopkins Medicine each have an indirect ownership interest in the Saudi-registered company. Saudi Aramco health care division serves about 350,000 people. Via Baltimore Sun.

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Researchers turn adult cells back into stem cells

In a step that has implications for stem cell research, human biology and the treatment of disease, researchers in Japan and at Harvard University have managed to turn adult cells back into flexible stem cells without changing their DNA. The researchers discovered that they could put cells in various challenging circumstances – including in acidic solutions and under physical pressure – and turn mature blood cells into cells that were capable of turning into virtually any cell in the body. Via USA Today.

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Making music videos 'helps young cancer patients cope'

Music therapy can help teenagers and young people cope better when faced with treatment for cancer, a study in Cancer journal suggests. American researchers followed the experiences of a group of patients aged 11-24 as they produced a music video over three weeks. They found the patients gained resilience and improved relationships with family and friends…Lead study author Dr Joan Haase, of Indiana University School of Nursing, said: "These protective factors influence the ways adolescents and young adults cope, gain hope and find meaning in the midst of their cancer journey. Via BBC.

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Focus shifts to gray matter in search for the cause of multiple sclerosis

It has taken a century so far for scientists to not figure out the cause of multiple sclerosis (MS)… Most recently, scientists have placed their bets on two major ideas: The first (and far more popular) hypothesis suggests MS begins in white matter… The second hypothesis suggests that MS begins in the gray matter …“Scientists need to figure out what’s happening in the gray matter, but we don’t know how to go about looking at those neurons and for the problems with those neurons,” Mayo Clinic neurologist and immunologist Moses Rodriquez says. “Moving the findings forward requires either a chance observation or a completely novel idea about what’s going on in the neurons.” Via Scientific American.

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Cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma: Who needs SLNB?

For the first time, researchers have identified which patients with cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma (cSCC) should be considered for a sentinel lymph node (SLN) biopsy… "Clinicians may use this information to help identify patients with high-risk cutaneous squamous cell carcinoma for whom sentinel lymph node biopsy may be considered as a tool to help identify microscopic nodal metastases," study author Christian L. Baum, MD, from the Department of Dermatology at the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, told Medscape Medical News. Via Medscape Medical News.

Symptoms, diagnosis and a prescription: How we can modernize healthcare in America

It is a tough time in many ways for our country—and for patients. The slow economy, the rapid growth in our aging population, the rising cost of healthcare and the new healthcare law have come together to make this a time of great change in how healthcare is delivered and paid for in the U.S. Via Modern Healthcare.

Mayo Clinic celebrates 150th year anniversary

The Mayo Clinic is celebrating 150 years. In that time the clinic has brought the world dozens of medical breakthroughs like cortisone and the heart-lung machine. But some of the most important medical breakthroughs could be yet to come…Doctors like Anthony Windebank are researching to see if stem cells can be used to regenerate vital organs in patients who have heart disease, kidney disease and Lou Gehrig's Disease. Via KSTP News.

Breast cancer risk in cases of abnormal biopsy: New study challenges current notions, could change patient care

Now a new study finds two types of breast tissue abnormalities have the same potential to progress to breast cancer, which is contrary to the existing understanding..."We work in the area of atypical hyperplasia because it is the most important pre malignant lesion in the breast,"  Dr. Lynn C. Hartmann, professor of oncology at the Mayo Clinic, told Medical Daily in an email. Via Medical Daily.

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Dr. Juan Pablo Brito Campana & Dr. Michael Grover: Wise healthcare consumer month

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Kelley Schreiber

Kelley Schreiber is a Marketing Channel Manager at Mayo Medical Laboratories. She is the principle editor and writer of Insights and leads social media and direct marketing strategy. Kelley has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2013. Outside of work, you can find Kelley running, traveling, playing with her new kitten, and exploring new foods.