Clinical trials are scheduled to begin in Japan next year on an experimental whole-virus Ebola vaccine that has proven effective in monkeys. The vaccine is based on a form of the virus, developed at the University of Wisconsin School of Veterinary Medicine, that provokes an immune response but cannot replicate or infect other cells because the VP30 gene has been deleted.
Renowned physicist Stephen Hawking, who died early today, supported the use of animals in medical research. "The fuss over the use of animals in medical research is ridiculous," Hawking said in 1998. "Why is it worse to use animal experiments to save lives than to eat them, which the majority of the population are happy to do?"
A low dose of romidepsin, a drug already approved to treat cancer, restored social deficits in mouse models of autism with abnormally high levels of histone deacetylase 2, researchers reported in Nature Neuroscience. Autism spectrum disorders and cancers share genetic traits, and other cancer drugs might also affect ASD, the researchers said.
Officials at New York-based St. Peter's Surgery and Endoscopy Center reported that a malware attack on Jan. 8 may have exposed the records of 134,512 patients, who were notified of the incident on Feb. 28. The affected server contained patient names, diagnoses, insurance information, service dates, addresses and dates of birth, plus Medicare data and Social Security numbers for some patients.
A Spyglass Consulting Group survey found that extending EHR capabilities, customizing algorithms to hospital-based protocols, providing real-time access to data, and using data analytics to detect deteriorating conditions in patients are among the clinical surveillance technology tools hospitals and health systems are using to monitor high-risk patients. Hospital leaders cited the importance of these tools but reported being skeptical of technology vendors' claims related to predictive warnings and early detection for high-risk patients.
The President's Cancer Panel said in a report that stakeholders must work together to ensure cancer treatments are affordable and innovation is encouraged. The panel recommends pricing cancer drugs based on benefits, promoting the use of high-value drugs, discussing costs with patients, stimulating competition in the generic- and biosimilar-drug markets by reducing regulatory barriers, ensuring the FDA is equipped to do its job, and ensuring a stable, adequate NIH budget.
Researchers at the Conference on Retroviruses and Opportunistic Infections reported that they identified 234 genes whose expression may explain why a promising SIV vaccine works in some monkeys but not in others. In a separate study presented at the conference, researchers found that an HIV antibody combined with a drug that binds to toll-like receptor 7 suppressed a hybrid simian-human immunodeficiency virus better than either treatment alone, even after therapy was discontinued.
Foam extracted from cows' lungs at the slaughterhouse helps human infants with hyaline membrane disease survive, in an example of so-called farm to pharma technology. Efforts to develop synthetic surfactant to help premature babies breathe have largely fallen short, although one product is undergoing human testing, meanwhile the purified extraction from a single set of bovine lungs is adequate to get two infants breathing.
Accenture polled 2,301 US adults and found that 36% accessed their EHR to stay informed, 19% wanted EHR access out of curiosity and 18% wanted to check the accuracy of their records. Sixty-seven percent of respondents cited lab work and blood test results as the most helpful EHR information, while physician notes and prescription medication history were cited as most helpful by 55% and 41% of respondents, respectively.
Researchers found that 75.7% of health care organizations said they experienced a "significant security incident" in the previous 12 months, according to the 2018 HIMSS Cybersecurity Survey of 239 health information security professionals. Respondents attributed online scam artists to 37.6% of recent cybersecurity incidents, while negligent insiders and hackers accounted for 20.8% and 20.1% of incidents, respectively.