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Hackensack Meridian Health Invests $25M in Tech Incubator

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New Jersey-based Hackensack Meridian Health has teamed up with the New Jersey Innovation Institute (NJIT) to open a health incubator with a design similar to the reality show ”Shark Tank,” in which companies pitch healthcare innovation ideas to a panel of experts. The incubator, Agile Strategies Lab, is the first of its kind for healthcare advances in New Jersey, according to officials. The lab, located on the New Jersey Institute of Technology (NJIT) campus in Newark, is designed to help create and launch the next wave of problem-solving in healthcare through better devices, improved technology and more efficient services to provide a higher quality of care, lower costs, and an enhanced patient experience, officials said in an announcement.

Hackensack Meridian Health has committed $25 million, a new revenue stream to help companies develop trailblazing products and services. This seed money will help launch ideas to the point where they can become viable and receive financing through venture capitalists. And the organization’s vast network—13 hospitals in seven counties, and more than 100 outpatient centers and 6,000 physicians—will look to serve as a vehicle to test some of the innovations once they are advanced enough as determined by a panel of experts from multiple disciplines.

FDA Cracks Down On Doctor Who Created Three Parent Baby

In a technique called spindle nuclear transfer, the nucleus of a donor egg is removed and the DNA of another woman’s egg is injected.

The FDA is taking a hard stance on a controversial fertility technique that involves genetically modifying embryos.

The New York-based doctor who helped a couple have a child using DNA from three people has been told by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration to stop the clinical trials meant to test the technique.

Last year, John Zhang, the founder of New Hope Fertility Center, pioneered a new type of in-vitro fertilization that involves transferring DNA from the mother’s egg into a hollowed-out egg donated by a younger woman. But the work violates federal legislation that forbids implanting genetically modified embryos, so after fertilizing the egg with the father’s sperm, Zhang went to Mexico, where he inserted the embryo into the mother’s womb. A healthy baby boy was born in April 2016.

FDA sends Zhang a letter

Zhang then requested a meeting with the agency to ask permission to carry out a clinical trial using the technique in the U.S. The agency subsequently denied the meeting. Zhang has since been marketing his fertility procedure to women with certain genetic diseases and older women having trouble conceiving through a new company called Darwin Life. Modifying embryos in a lab is not illegal under U.S. law as long as federal funds are not used to carry out the work. But implanting one in a woman’s womb so that a baby can develop is prohibited.

They Say Not To Worry About Superhuman Babies But Fear Who Will Be Doing The Genetic Engineering

Sir Venki Ramakrishnan says risks and benefits of germline therapy, which is banned in Britain, should be debated

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Sir Venki Ramakrishnan, president of the Royal Society. Photograph: Andy Hall for the Observer

An international team of scientists, led by researchers at the Oregon Health and Science University, has used genetic engineering on human sperm and a pre-embryo. The group says is doing basic research to figure out if new forms of genetic engineering might be able to prevent or repair terrible hereditary diseases. Congress has banned federal funding for genetic engineering of sperm, eggs, pre-embryos or embryos. That means everything goes on in the private or philanthropic world here or overseas, without much guidance. It should be determined who should own the techniques for genetic engineering. Important patent fights are underway among the technology’s inventors. Which means lots of money. is at stake. And that means it is time to talk about who gets to own what and charge what. Finally, human genetic engineering needs to be monitored closely: all experiments registered, all data reported on a public database and all outcomes — good and bad — made available to all scientists and anyone else tracking this area of research. Secrecy is the worst enemy that human genetic engineering could possibly have. Today we need to focus on who will own genetic engineering technology, how we can oversee what is being done with it and how safe it needs to be before it is used to try to prevent or fix a disease. Plenty to worry about.

LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robot Can Eliminated Hospital Germs

 

Hospitals around the world are constantly for new and innovative ways to battle deadly pathogens and kill multidrug resistant organisms that can cause hospital-acquired infections (HAI).

Saint Peter’s University Hospital has implemented a LightStrike Germ-Zapping Robot that emits waves of ultraviolet (UV) light to destroy hard-to-kill bugs in hard-to-clean places.

Their goal is to prevent infection & provide a clean, safe environment for their patients,  families and employees. The latest technology provides an added level of protection in combating HAI’s caused by pathogens such as Clostridium difficile and Staphylococcus aureus.

The Xenex robot is a new technology that uses pulsed xenon, a high-intensity UV light that penetrates the cell walls of microorganisms, including bacteria, viruses, mold, fungus and spores. Their DNA is fused, rendering them unable to reproduce or mutate, effectively killing them on surfaces without contact or chemicals.

The system is effective against even the most dangerous pathogens, including Clostridium difficile (C. diff), norovirus, influenza, Ebola and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus, better known as MRSA. Over 400 hospitals, Veterans Affairs and Department of Defense facilities in the U.S., Canada, Africa, Japan and Europe are using Xenex robots, which are also in use in skilled nursing facilities, ambulatory surgery centers, and long-term acute-care facilities.

Firefighters & Cancer

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Increasing cancer rates among firefighters has become a major issue facing all departments and municipalities. The NFPA and the IAFF are both conducting ongoing research and analysis into this serious problem. Incidents of throat, thyroid and even testicular cancer among firefighters are increasing at an alarming rate. For example in Miami Dade cancer is affecting one out of every 2 firefighters and this video from Boston’s FD shows what a serious issue this has become.

A major reason for the increase in cancer instances are the chemicals firefighters encounter during structure fires. Products used commonly today including modern furniture finishes, plastics and other chemicals are creating a deadly mixture. Once worn in a fire situation where toxins are present, the fire gear  worn becomes contaminated. When a firefighter sweats, toxins enter the system through open pores where the gear comes in contact with the skin. This is particularly common in the neck and head region.

Contaminated gear is then worn for all calls, 95% of which aren’t fires. Firefighters naturally sweat when they work increasing opportunities for toxins to enter the system.

There is much research currently being done to develop products and other solutions to this. Examples include the H41 Hood from Fire-Dex featuring a Nano filter to catch particles up to .2 microns and these CeBeR Equipment Wipes designed to remove contaminants from equipment after use. Filtered hoods and other cancer preventing equipment will most likely become NFPA requirements in the future.

 

Australian Researchers Have Developed “Solar Paint”

 

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Imagine a house paint that not only makes a home look pleasing to the eye, but also supplies all of your home’s energy needs. Researchers in Australia have come up with a “solar paint” capable of absorbing moisture from the air and turning it into hydrogen fuel for clean energy.

Based at RMIT University in Melbourne, southern Australia, the research team has developed “solar paint”, containing a newly developed compound that acts like silica gel — that’s the stuff used in those little sachets that absorb moisture to keep things like food, medicines, and electronics in good shape.  Besides damp climates, the solar paint will also be effective in, for example, hot and dry climates near oceans, with the absorbed vapor coming from the nearby sea water as it evaporates in the heat.

The report

More Here

A Wearable To Detect Germs & Viruses?

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Rutgers engineers have invented biosensor technology – aka lab on a chip – that could be used in hand-held or wearable devices to monitor your health and exposure to dangerous bacteria, viruses and pollutants.
Electronic detection of microparticles allows for ultra-compact instruments needed for wearable devices. The Rutgers researchers’ technique for barcoding particles is, for the first time, fully electronic. That allows biosensors to be shrunken to the size of a wearable band or a micro-chip, the study says.

The technology is over 95 percent accurate in identifying biomarkers and fine-tuning is underway to make it 100 percent accurate. The team is also working on portable detection of microrganisms, including disease-causing bacteria and viruses. Should be available in about two years.

 

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