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New Test For Cancer Detection Under Development

Researchers say they may have developed a test that can detect cancer long before the first symptoms show up. The test scans blood for tumor-specific DNA found in the early stages of cancer. Previous research has shown that dying tumor cells release small pieces of their DNA into the bloodstream. Researchers say that the test identified early-stage cancer in more than half of the 138 patients tested. The study was done by Johns Hopkins researchers. Dr. Victor Velculescu, professor of oncology at Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center, said, “To... 
 

California Adds Glyphosate to List of Known Carcinogens

Glyphosate is an herbicide and is the active ingredient in the popular Monsanto brand weed killer, Roundup.  While the chemical has earned a reputation for its efficacy in the field, literally, it has also garnered much concern, lately, as a potential carcinogen.  And, as a matter of face, the State of California has just decided to list the chemical of known cancer-causing agents, according to the California State Office of Environmental Health Hazard Assessment. The new designation falls under the blanket of Proposition 65. This is also known... 
 

Ohio’s Obamacare Market Losing Anthem

Health insurer Anthem (NYSE:ANTM) will exit its Obamacare individual plan business in Ohio in 2018. Anthem was the only Obamacare insurer to cover the whole state this year, selling individual health plans in all 88 counties. The company also left open the possibility of dropping out of other states next year. Anthem will continue selling small-group and large-group health plans in Ohio, which currently cover about 3.4 million people. There were 17 companies selling Obamacare plans in the state through the federal marketplace HealthCare.gov in 2016,... 
 

Perdue Foods Recalls Chicken Sausage Product Over Reports of Plastic Contamination

Perdue Foods LLC has just issued a recall of roughly 2,148 pounds of chicken sausage products which they report might be contaminated with additional, synthetic materials. The United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service announced this recall on May 6, 2017. The Gainesville, GA-based company reports a discovery of plastic in some of these products. So far, three customers have complained of blue plastic material; and that is all, thankfully. The recalled product in question is the Perdue Harvestland Italian-Style Organic... 
 

Amgen’s New Cholesterol Drug Comes With High Price

Amgen’s (NASDAQ:AMGN) new cholesterol treatment, called Repatha, can cut patients’ stubbornly high cholesterol, but comes at a high price. Repatha is approved to lower LDL, or “bad,” cholesterol by blocking a bodily protein called PCSK9. A new study shows that the cholesterol-cutting drug succeeded in lowering patients’ risk of cardiovascular issues in a clinical trial. In a two-year trial on more than 27,000 patients with heart disease, Amgen’s drug cut the risks of a bad outcome by 15 percent. A bad outcome was defined as heart attack,... 
 

Ariad Pharmaceuticals Under Fire For Leukemia Drug Price Hikes

Ariad Pharmaceuticals (NASDAQ:ARIA) is coming under fire for boosting the price of one of its drugs by more than $80,000 for a year’s supply. Iclusig, a drug used to treat leukemia patients, had a list price for a year’s supply of $114,960 when it was approved in 2012. The medication now has a $200,000 price tag. The company raised the cost of the drug four times in 2016 alone. Lawmakers are demanding to know the justification for the price increase. Sen. Bernie Sanders, I-Vt., and Rep. Elijah Cummings, D-Md., sent a letter to Ariad... 
 

Biogen’s New Alzheimer’s Research Could Boost Business

Alzheimer’s Disease research—and treatment—is big business these days. And research is showing that the condition could start as young as a person’s 20s but, more importantly, that the condition is the result of the development of plaques in the brain. As such, most new treatments are aimed at stopping the development of plaque once doctors are able to find it, to slow the onset of the disease through the reduction of these plaques. And now Cambridge-based pharmaceutical manufacturer Biogen is working to speed this treatment along. “By... 
 

Will Gonorrhea Soon Become Untreatable?

The World Health Organization announced today that gonorrhea may soon become untreatable. If this sounds familiar that is because the WHO was originally concerned that this might become the reality but now it appears that this is definitely true. According to new guidelines recently released from the United Nations health agency it is necessary to reexamine the present treatments for three common sexually transmitted infections: syphilis, gonorrhea, and chlamydia. Furthermore, they detail this effort is crucial as antibiotic resistance becomes more... 
 

Can Omega-3 Fatty Acids Improve Recovery After Heart Attack?

Scientists have long been studying the effects of natural food supplements to determine how well they can help people, particularly those living with certain conditions. It turns out that Omega-3 fatty acids might actually benefit those who have already had a heart attack. In a new study, 360 heart attack patients were observed for six months. Half were given 4 gms of omega-3 fatty acid supplements a day while the other half took a placebo. Using MRIs of the heart, the researchers found that those who took the 4 grams of omega-3 fatty acid supplements... 
 

US Department of Education Releases New ADHD Student Civil Rights Guidelines

The United States Department of Education Office for Civil Rights (OCR) has just issued a new guidance to clarify the rights of those students living with Attention Deficit/ Hyperactivity Disorder (ADHD) within the United States. The OCR says they are distributing this guidance as a response to nationwide allegations that students who have been diagnosed with the condition are not receiving the necessary services they need in order to succeed in school (and, to a further extent) in life. The newly issued guidance reads: “Over the last five... 
 

St. Jude Medical Increases Outlook Beats Expectations

On Wednesday, St. Jude Medical increased its forecast for profit for the 2016 full year and released an upbeat view on its quarter, as the business reported that both revenue and earnings that beat expectations. The medical device company based in St. Paul, Minnesota increased its forecast for adjusted earnings for the full year to between $4.01 and $4.11 per share from its range previously released of between $3.95 and $4.05. For the current three-month period, St. Jude said it is expecting earnings to be between $1.05 and $.107 per share, which... 
 

Initiative Backed by Pharma Delivers Treatments at Low Cost

A new program that academia and foundations run with support from the pharmaceutical industry is looking at curing 25,000 patients with Hepatitis C in Southeast Asia and Africa by giving them better and easier access to new treatments. The ministries of Health in Indonesia, Myanmar, Vietnam, Ethiopia, Nigeria and Rwanda have signed up for the easier access to hepatitis C testing followed by treatment with the help of the Quick-Start program that has the goal of curing 25,000 people with the virus over the next two years. This Quick Start plan is... 
 

Mars Food Says To Go Easy on Pasta Sauce

Food company Mars Food is planning to label some of its pasta sauces from Dolmio, macaroni and cheese and other products as being fit for consumption just once per week because of their high levels of fat, salt or sugar. The plan is part of the company’s larger initiative to encourage habits that are healthier. Mars is a privately held food company based in the U.S. The plan comes when large food companies or Big Food, have come under greater pressure from advocates for public health as well as regulators struggling in their battle against the... 
 

Texas Hospitals Have Developed First Zika Virus Rapid Detection Test

With the spreading of the Zika virus now throughout Latin America, medical researchers ratcheted up their efforts to find a better way of testing for possible infections and as well as a vaccine that could effectively protect people from this dreaded disease. Researchers at Houston Methodist and Texas Children’s hospitals announced they have created the first rapid detection test in the U.S. meant for diagnosing people who are suspected of having the Zika virus. The new procedure for diagnosis is designed to scan the urine, blood, amniotic and... 
 

Could Weight Loss Indicate Alzheimer’s Disease?

More recent Alzheimer’s Disease studies have revealed some astounding new information about brain degeneration and dementia to shed some light on the foundations for this tragic, old-age condition. For example, we now know that, while Alzheimer’s Disease is a condition which affects those of advanced ages, signs of cognitive decline related to dementia—and Alzheimer’s Disease, in particular—can begin as early as a person’s 20’s. A new study also indicates that significant weight loss, later in life, might be a sign... 
 

Dogs Are, In Fact, Capable of Human Emotion..Sort Of

The canine has long been Man’s greatest animal companion, a la “Man’s Best Friend.” But while their loyalty is without question we have not always, necessarily, understood the somewhat mystical bond we have with dogs. A new study from the combined efforts of research out of the University of Sao Paulo, in Brazil, and the University of Lincoln, in the United Kingdom examined 17 domesticated dogs to determine that these remarkable animals are actually capable of recognizing human emotions by combining information they gather from their different... 
 

US Senate Investigation Over Duodenoscope Risk Concludes

Wrapping up a U.S. Senate investigation, authorities have concluded that dozens of medical patients were, unfortunately, infected with potentially deadly bacteria from exposure to tainted to medical scopes. More important, outbreaks of this bacteria persisted because device manufacturers, hospitals, and state regulators failed to report related outbreaks. Through the investigation, authorities said they found at least 25 outbreaks associated with the medical device known as the duodenoscope. This is several incidences more than they expected to... 
 

The Perrigo Company Recalls Children’s Cough Syrup

Children’s cough syrup is among the most commonly purchased medicine in any family household. These medications are formulated with the same drugs as adult cough medicines but in dosage amounts better suited for children. Of course, that is the hope: unfortunately, The Perrigo Company has distributed some children’s cough syrup products which include incorrect dosage amounts on the dosage cups. These improper markings could lead to improper dosages, which health officials, of course, are concerned could lead to overdose. Thus, The Perrigo Company... 
 

AbbVie, Genentech Partnership Could Get FDA Approval for New Leukemia Drug

Cancer has long been one of the most important medical topics but only in the last few years have we seen the medical industry achieve large advances in research, development, and technology in terms of treating this disease. Of course, cancer is tough to treat because while we understand its characteristics, its behavior can be unpredictable and it is not always easy to diagnose; even then, it is even more difficult to treat. These days, we are beginning to understand cancer at not only the cellular level but at a genetic level as well. Still,... 
 
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