Scientists have created a second successful human-animal hybrid embryo comprising 99.99% sheep cells and 0.01% human cells by count, moving scientists one step closer to being able to grow human organs in animals for transplant. Only about 2,000 people in the US get heart transplants each year out of more than 100,000 Americans who need them, and 22 people on the US organ transplant list die each day.
Cloning had become somewhat normalized in the two decades since Dolly the sheep was cloned from an adult sheep's mammary gland cell, but news that scientists in China had cloned two monkeys renewed debate on the ethics of cloning. The scientists in China say that cloned nonhuman primates can advance research, but cloning is most likely to be used in the future to produce better livestock, says cloning expert Robin Lovell-Badge.
UK researchers found that a predictive algorithm, based on blood and urine samples of 69 youths with and without autism spectrum disorder, yielded 90% accuracy in diagnosing those with ASD ages 5 to 12, who had elevated levels of oxidation marker dityrosine and advanced glycation endproducts in their plasma protein, and 87% accuracy in identifying controls without ASD. The findings in the journal Molecular Autism may prompt earlier pediatric ASD diagnosis and treatment, researchers said.
Three studies in the journal Science detailed how CRISPR gene-editing technology can be used to advance disease detection and treatment. DNA Endonuclease Targeted CRISPR Trans Reporter, or DETECTR, is being developed to identify human papillomavirus strains; SHERLOCK version 2.0 can detect and distinguish Zika or dengue viruses in blood samples; and the CRISPR-mediated analog multi-event recording apparatus, or CAMERA, is being developed to make cells record exposure to pollutants.
Over 88% of companies were targeted by email phishing scams in 2017, up from 75% in 2016, per a Proofpoint report. Spoofed identities were on the rise in 2017, and social media-themed attacks also were significant, the report shows.
Black Book Research surveyed 7,459 health care professionals, administrators and technology managers in ambulatory and inpatient settings in 23 countries and found that 72% of respondents cited application programming interfaces, web services and clinical portals as their preferred method for connecting disparate systems. Ninety percent of respondents outside the US reported being confused about what defines a highly interoperable EHR system, while 7% indicated their regional health IT system had "meaningful connectivity" with other providers.
HHS, along with 15 other federal agencies and departments, released an interim final rule for the Common Rule governing medical research processes after a one-year delay. The interim final rule includes provisions for the use of patient information, including EHR data, for research programs and implements new steps for the protection of human subjects involved in research while facilitating research for investigators.
There were 551 data breaches at organizations in the US in 2017, with more than 1.9 billion files leaked and 819 million files exposed, according to an analysis from Citrix ShareFile, in partnership with IBM Security. Health care, which reported 328 leaks at an estimated cost of nearly $1.2 billion, was the most targeted and susceptible industry, with 46% of the incidents caused by malware or hacking, 33% due to unintended disclosure, 18% from physical loss and a combined 4% from portable devices and insider leaks.
Researchers found that at least 500 people were affected in each of 215 data breaches reported by 185 nonfederal acute care hospitals from 2009 to 2016, and 30 hospitals experienced multiple breaches during the study period. The findings in the American Journal of Managed Care showed that while network servers were the most infrequent site of data breaches, the most patients were affected by these incidents overall.
FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb said a national e-prescribing system is needed for controlled substances. Legislation -- the Every Prescription Conveyed Securely Act -- introduced by Rep. Katherine Clark, D-Mass., could help reduce prescription drug abuse and improve efforts to reduce the risk of certain prescription drugs, Gottlieb said.