Life Sciences
Top stories summarized by our editors
2/16/2018

Genetic Technologies, a molecular diagnostics company in Australia, announced plans to launch a private placement of up to 324.7 million newly issued shares in hopes of obtaining up to approximately $3.56 million. The company added that is in talks with Blockchain Global to create a strategic alliance on the development of medical and biotechnology applications integrating their technologies.

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Genetic Technologies
2/16/2018

A round of Series B financing brought in $8 million for Israeli gastrointestinal endoscopy devices maker Smart Medical Systems. The money will be used for commercializing the company's G-EYE, an add-on balloon device designed for facilitating colon visualization during adenoma screening.

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FinSMEs
2/16/2018

A Market Research Future report predicts the worldwide artificial disc replacement market will see a compound annual growth rate of 15% through 2023. Key players of the market, which is led by North America, followed by Europe, include Medtronic, Stryker, DePuy Synthes, Smith & Nephew and Zimmer Biomet.

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Becker's Spine Review
2/16/2018

When Kenyan entomologist Esther Ngumbi did research to find out why there are so few African female scientists, she discovered that there are many, but they are underrepresented and there is no central resource where their accomplishments are touted. The African continent needs women's skills and perspectives to develop and implement science-based solutions to serious issues, and organizations devoted to closing the STEM gender gap on the continent should work more closely together, Ngumbi writes.

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National Public Radio
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Esther Ngumbi
2/16/2018

Neuroscientist Liz McCullagh, ecologist Jane Zelikova and conservation scientist Katarzyna Nowak co-founded 500 Women Scientists -- a database of women interested in serving as speakers, panelists, experts, course leaders and advocates for diversity in science, technology, engineering and mathematics -- to help other professionals, journalists, conference organizers and the public find female professionals in STEM. Science writer Maryam Zaringhalam has since joined the trio, helping manage the list of 3,500 women from 93 countries involved in a wide variety of scientific endeavors.

2/16/2018

Infectious-disease specialist Erica Shenoy and computer scientist Jenna Wiens are developing a machine-learning algorithm to predict individual patients' risk of developing a Clostridium difficile infection, based on 4,000 variables in a data set from 374,000 inpatient records at two health care systems. Although predictive algorithms based on machine learning are widely used in commerce and finance, the technology is nascent in medicine due in part to the slow pace of transition to EMRs, and physicians and patients might hesitate to trust it.

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Kaiser Health News
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Erica Shenoy, Jenna Wiens
2/16/2018

Small interfering RNAs damage the brains of people with Huntington's disease, but they also induce apoptosis in ovarian, prostate, lung, breast, colon, brain, liver and skin cancer cells and present a novel approach to treatment, according to a study published in EMBO Reports. Andrea Murmann discovered siRNAs' cancer-killing potential by searching for a cellular "kill switch" in models of other diseases associated with low cancer comorbidity rates, and Huntington's is one of those diseases.

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Huntington, EMBO
2/15/2018

Johnson & Johnson unit Janssen Pharmaceuticals' Erleada, or apalutamide, was approved by the FDA under a priority review status as a treatment for patients with nonmetastatic castration-resistant prostate cancer.

2/15/2018

Banyan Biomarkers' Brain Trauma Indicator is the first blood test to receive FDA approval to screen for a certain type of brain damage that is usually only detectable with CT scans. The test assesses levels of two proteins, UCH-L1 and GFAP, and it could reduce the need for unnecessary neuroimaging tests and radiation exposure.

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FDA
2/15/2018

AstraZeneca's neurofibromatosis type 1 drug candidate selumetinib received orphan status from the FDA. The company has ongoing Phase I and II trials of the drug in pediatric patients with NF1, with results from the Phase II study anticipated later this year.

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MarketWatch
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FDA, AstraZeneca, selumetinib