Week In Review — Aug. 29

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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Remedy Bets That Google Glass Will Find Its Sweet Spot In The Medical Industry

While Google Glass has generated a healthy debate over privacy, etiquette and whether the device will ever gain broader acceptance in society, there are some obvious specialty use cases for Glass…They’ve done a pilot with three Harvard-affiliated hospitals in the Boston area to test out a Google Glass app with some paired desktop software that lets physician assistants quickly collect and share visuals of patients to surgeons on call. Normally, these assistants just call the surgeons over the phone and verbally describe the status of the patient. But through Google Glass, they can efficiently send over videos and photos describing a patient’s pallor or gait. Via TechCrunch.

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Japan Confirms First Dengue Fever Infections In 70 Years

Japanese health officials said Thursday that three young people have contracted dengue fever, the first such infections in the country in nearly 70 years…Dengue fever is not transmitted directly from person-to-person and symptoms range from mild fever, to incapacitating high temperatures, according to the World Health Organization. Via AFP.

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Know Where Your Anthrax Is? U.S. to Ask Labs to Pause and Inventory Dangerous Agents

In the wake of several high-profile laboratory safety incidents involving smallpox, anthrax, and dangerous flu strains, the U.S. government is planning to ask federally funded laboratories to pause all work involving “high-consequence” pathogens for 24 hours in order to inventory stocks, according to groups that represent research universities. “Essentially, what the government will request is a short term on the order of 24 hours suspension of research involving high-consequence pathogens in order to allow institutional lab personnel to take stock of what pathogens they have stored in freezers, cold rooms, etc.,” reads a memo distributed to universities today and signed by Carol Blum of the Council on Governmental Relations (COGR) in Washington, D.C. Via Science.

World Health Organization Urges Stronger Regulation of Electronic Cigarettes

Governments should ban the use of electronic cigarettes in public places and outlaw tactics to lure young users, the World Health Organization said in a report released on Tuesday that calls for some of the toughest measures yet proposed for the increasingly popular devices… “We’re disappointed,” said David Abrams, executive director of the Schroeder Institute for Tobacco Research and Policy Studies in Washington. “They are overregulating by equating e-cigarettes with regular cigarettes. We have to find a balance between protecting youth and helping smokers quit. This document doesn’t do that.” Via NY Times.

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Using Light Technique, Scientists Find Dimmer Switch for Memories in Mice

Memories and the feelings associated with them are not set in stone. You may have happy memories about your family’s annual ski vacation, but if you see a tragic accident on the slopes, those feelings may change. You might even be afraid to ski that mountain again. Now, using a technique in which light is used to switch neurons on and off, neuroscientists at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology appear to have unlocked some secrets about how the brain attaches emotions to memories and how those emotions can be adjusted. Via NY Times.

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UCLA's DNA Detectives in Action

UCLA is one of a number of institutions – Harvard-affiliated Partners HealthCare, Baylor College of Medicine and the Mayo Clinic among them – now regularly charting patients' exomes, the protein-coding portions of genes that account for only about 1 percent of DNA but close to 85 percent of known disease-causing DNA errors, and putting that information to clinical use.  Via U.S. News & World Report.

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Mayo Offers At-Home Colon Cancer Test; Stool Sample Goes in the Mail  

Patients often plead they’ll do anything to avoid a colonoscopy for cancer screening. Now doctors at the Mayo Clinic have an alternative that will put that sentiment to the test. Mayo officials announced Monday they will be the first in the United States to offer patients the Cologuard test, by which patients collect their stool samples and mail them in sealed containers for DNA analysis of their colon cancer risks. Via Star Tribune.

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Three MN Leaders Among ‘Most Influential People In Health Care’ 

Three Minnesotans this week made a publication’s annual “100 Most Influential People in Health Care” list, led by UnitedHealth Group CEO Stephen Hemsley ranking in the top five…The health care publication also ranked Mayo Clinic President and CEO Dr. John Noseworthy 16th while Rulon Stacey, president and CEO of Minneapolis-based Fairview Health Services, came in at 87th. Via Twin Cities Business.

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Apple Hints At A Push Into Healthcare — Let's All Hope That Happens

The United States’ health care system is extremely complex, but many doctors and experts believe it’s also inherently broken… But HealthKit isn't just for Apple devices; Apple announced an application programming interface (API) for HealthKit earlier this summer, which means medical companies that build equipment like heart rate or blood pressure monitors can hook their tools into this all-inclusive platform as well. The Mayo Clinic, which serves over 1.1 million patients each year, has already signed on to be an early partner in Apple's fledgling health initiative, among others (pictured below). Via Business Insider.

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Good Medicine: Discovery Zone

Researchers at the Mayo Clinic have uncovered the molecular arrangement of biphenotypic sinonasal sarcoma, a rare new form of cancer, according to a recent study published in Nature Genetics. The malignant growth, which primarily affects women, starts in the nose and can spread to other parts of the face if not detected in time. Via Ebony.

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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.