Week In Review — Jan. 9

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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Flu Widespread in 43 U.S. States: CDC Report

Flu is widespread in 43 U.S. states, up from 36 states in the prior week, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported on Monday. Six children died from the flu during the last full week in December, bringing the total flu deaths to 21 this season, the report showed. Via Reuters.

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Scientists Explain How Stem Cells and 'Bad Luck' Cause Cancer

Why are some types of cancer so much more common than others? Sometimes it’s due to faulty genes inherited from one’s parents and sometimes to behaviors like smoking a pack of cigarettes every day. But in most cases, it comes down to something else – stem cells. Via LA Times. 

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WebMD Makes Video Push With New Robin Roberts Series 

In an effort to court advertisers outside its usual terrain, health information publisher WebMD Health Corp. will launch a new video series hosted by a familiar name in health news: “Good Morning America” co-anchor Robin Roberts. The series, called “WebMD’s Future of Health with Robin Roberts,” will debut in the first quarter and will cover a range of health science breakthroughs, from transplantation to 3-D printing. Via Wall Street Journal.

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A Class of Expensive Drugs is Getting Cheaper Competition For the First Time

A government panel Wednesday took a major step toward approving a copycat version of a blockbuster cancer drug, paving the way for a new class of cheaper medicines that could save consumers billions of dollars. An expert Food and Drug Administration panel unanimously recommended that the government approve the drug known as EP2006, a lower-cost imitator of a popular medicine called Neupogen, used to help cancer patients fight off infection while undergoing chemotherapy. Via Washington Post.

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Harvard Ideas on Health Care Hit Home, Hard 

For years, Harvard’s experts on health economics and policy have advised presidents and Congress on how to provide health benefits to the nation at a reasonable cost. But those remedies will now be applied to the Harvard faculty, and the professors are in an uproar. Members of the Faculty of Arts and Sciences, the heart of the 378-year-old university, voted overwhelmingly in November to oppose changes that would require them and thousands of other Harvard employees to pay more for health care. The university says the increases are in part a result of the Obama administration’s Affordable Care Act, which many Harvard professors championed. Via NY Times.

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Frostbite: How to Identify Symptoms and How to Treat It 

Mayo Clinic doctors say a prickling feeling or numbness can be an indication that your skin has been affected by the cold. Mayo Clinic emergency medicine specialist Dr. David Nestler compares frostbite to burns. Via Star Tribune.

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Predictive Analytics, A Potent Prescription for Health Care 

That’s one reason this is a major early focus for IBM’s  IBM -1.57%  WatsonAnalytics service. So much so that the company is customizing its technology for the Mayo Clinic to speed up cancer research, and encourage higher patient participation. “With shorter times from initiation to completion of trials, our research teams will have the capacity for deeper more complete investigations,” said Nicholas LaRusso, the Mayo Clinic doctor leading the project. “Coupled with increased accuracy, we will be able to develop, refine, and improve new and better techniques in medicine at a higher level.” Via Fortune.

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Medicine Is About to Get Personal

According to Colin West, a co-director of the Mayo Clinic’s program on physician well-being, the U.S. faces a shortage of tens of thousands of primary-care doctors–at a moment when we need them more than ever. In a definitive survey of third-year med students published in the Journal of the American Medical Association, he found that only about 20% were headed into primary care. Via TIME.

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Study Rules Out Spiders as Common Cause of Bacterial Infections in Humans

Can spiders be carriers of human pathogens? Can they provoke an infection through a break in the skin? A team of scientists, led by an entomologist at the University of California, Riverside, has data-mined the history of publications on spider envenomations to conclude that the evidence for spider-vectored infection is scanty…Vetter was joined in the study by David L. Swanson, Mayo Clinic, Scottsdale, Ariz. Via Infection Control Today.

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Slipping, Sliding and Snow Shoveling Season

Shoveling snow can provide good exercise when done correctly but can prove harmful if people try to take on more than they can handle or use faulty techniques. Via Mayo Clinic News Network.

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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.