mercredi 30 avril 2014

HSJ Live 01.05.2014: HMRC backtracks on VAT recovery changes

HSJ Live 01.05.2014: HMRC backtracks on VAT recovery changes

The NHS has been given a reprieve from an estimated £500m tax bill after HM Revenue and Customs backtracked on its attempt to standardise VAT rules on contracted out services across all government departments, plus the rest of today’s news and comment

Research could improve pharmaceuticals testing

An effort to develop a new technique for measuring moisture in pharmaceuticals is underway, which could be 100 times more sensitive than a popular current method. "The analysis for water in many consumer products, including drugs, is one of the most required tests done in the world," said the lead investigator. "Current methods have many shortcomings, including poor sensitivity and reproducibility; they cannot be used for all products and they can be time consuming. I believe our new 'ionic liquid' method offers improvements in all these areas." Research could improve pharmaceuticals testing

Novel regulator of key gene expression in cancer identified

A key genetic switch linked to the development, progression and outcome of cancer has been discovered by scientists, a finding that may lead to new targets for cancer therapies. The switch, a string of nucleotides dubbed a long non-coding RNA (lncRNA), does not code for proteins like regular RNA. Instead, the scientists found, this particular lncRNA acts as an on/off switch for a key gene whose excessive activity is tied to inflammation and cancer, COX-2. Novel regulator of key gene expression in cancer identified

Cutting cancer to pieces: New research on bleomycin

Bleomycin's ability to cut through double-stranded DNA in cancerous cells, like a pair of scissors, has been described in a new article. Such DNA cleavage often leads to cell death in particular types of cancer cells. Bleomycin is part of a family of structurally related antibiotics produced by the bacterium, Streptomyces verticillus. Three potent versions of the drug, labeled A2 , A5 and B2 are the primary forms in clinical use against cancer. Cutting cancer to pieces: New research on bleomycin

Dispatcher-assisted CPR increases survival among children

Children who suffer cardiac arrest outside the hospital are more likely to survive with good brain function if emergency dispatchers give bystanders CPR instruction. CPR with chest compressions and breaths led to more favorable neurological outcomes in kids. Many causes may be responsible for a child's heartbeat and breathing to stop: choking, drowning, electrical shock, excessive bleeding, head trauma or serious injury, lung disease, poisoning and suffocation. Children under age 1 are at high risk of cardiac arrest from respiratory problems. Older children are at higher risk due to cardiac causes. In children under 10, risk may be due to respiratory failure or to trauma or external causes, researchers said. Dispatcher-assisted CPR increases survival among children

Stem cells from teeth can make brain-like cells

University of Adelaide researchers have discovered that stem cells taken from teeth can grow to resemble brain cells, suggesting they could one day be used in the brain as a therapy for stroke. Stem cells from teeth can make brain-like cells

Fast-acting antidepressant appears within reach

In mice, a drug produces evidence of a mood lift within 24 hours and then continues working for sustained depression relief. A fast-acting antidepressant would be a welcome development for patients who must wait weeks for current drugs to take effect. Fast-acting antidepressant appears within reach

Brain, cognitive reserve protect long-term against cognitive decline, MS researchers find

MS researchers have found brain reserve and cognitive reserve confer long-term protective effect against cognitive decline. In this study, memory, cognitive efficiency, vocabulary (a measure of intellectual enrichment/cognitive reserve), brain volume (a measure of brain reserve), and disease progression on MRI, were evaluated in 40 patients with MS at baseline and at 4.5-year followup. After controlling for disease progression, scientists looked at the impact of brain volume and intellectual enrichment on cognitive decline. Brain, cognitive reserve protect long-term against cognitive decline, MS researchers find

Whey beneficially affects diabetes and cardiovascular disease risk factors in obese adults

New evidence shores up findings that whey protein, which is found in milk and cheese, could have health benefits for people who are obese and do not yet have diabetes. The study examined how different protein sources affect metabolism. Whey beneficially affects diabetes and cardiovascular disease risk factors in obese adults

Wintebourne View scheme an "abject failure", minister admits

Wintebourne View scheme an "abject failure", minister admits

The combined health and local government effort to move people with learning disabilities out of hospitals has been an “abject failure”, Norman Lamb has said in a scathing assessment.

HMRC backtracks on VAT recovery changes

HMRC backtracks on VAT recovery changes

The NHS has been given a reprieve from an estimated £500m tax bill after HM Revenue and Customs backtracked on its attempt to standardise VAT rules on contracted out services across all government departments.

Special measures for ‘merger’ trust

Special measures for ‘merger’ trust

A troubled foundation trust is to be placed into special measures after inspectors reported a catalogue of repeated failings, including unsafe staffing levels and missed accident and emergency targets.

Identifying factors responsible for altered drug dosing for pregnant women

Pregnancy affects how drugs are metabolized, which makes it difficult for physicians to prescribe appropriate dosing. Medical researchers have revealed new details about one particular enzyme that’s responsible for the metabolism of one-fifth of drugs on the market. Identifying factors responsible for altered drug dosing for pregnant women

MRI-guided biopsy for brain cancer improves diagnosis

Neurosurgeons have, for the first time, combined real-time magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) technology with novel non-invasive cellular mapping techniques to develop a new biopsy approach that increases the accuracy of diagnosis for patients with brain cancer. As many as one third of brain tumor biopsies performed in the traditional manner can result in misdiagnosis. MRI-guided biopsy for brain cancer improves diagnosis

Engineers grow functional human cartilage in lab

Engineers have successfully grown -- for the first time -- fully functional human cartilage in vitro from human stem cells derived from bone marrow tissue. Their study demonstrates new ways to better mimic the enormous complexity of tissue development, regeneration, and disease. Engineers grow functional human cartilage in lab

In pitching injuries, the elbow is connected to the hip

A pitcher’s elbow injury could be linked to movement in the hips, research finds. When the pitcher performs a pitch, much of the stress is focused on a single ligament: the ulnar collateral ligament of the elbow joint. About 1,000 pounds of pressure per square inch can be placed upon that ligament, researchers say. Coaches and athletic trainers could easily help athletes by improving the flexibility in their hips. In pitching injuries, the elbow is connected to the hip

Fattening gene discovered by researchers

The long-term consumption of too much high-energy and high-fat food leads to overweight. Behind this trivial statement lies the extremely complex regulation of lipid metabolism. Now, a gene that controls fat metabolism has been discovered by researchers who hope that their study will provide the basis for new therapeutic approaches. Fattening gene discovered by researchers

Stem cell therapy regenerates heart muscle damaged from heart attacks in primates

Heart cells created from human embryonic stem cells successfully restored damaged heart muscles in monkeys, researchers report. Stem-cell derived heart muscle cells infiltrated into damaged heart tissue, assembled muscle fibers and began to beat in synchrony with macaque heart cells. Scientists are working to reduce the risk of heart rhythm problems and to see if pumping action improves. Stem cell therapy regenerates heart muscle damaged from heart attacks in primates

Neanderthals were not inferior to modern humans, study finds

If you think Neanderthals were stupid and primitive, it's time to think again. The widely held notion that Neanderthals were dimwitted and that their inferior intelligence allowed them to be driven to extinction by the much brighter ancestors of modern humans is not supported by scientific evidence. Neanderthals were not inferior to modern humans, study finds

Light activity every day keeps disability at bay

Pushing a shopping cart or a vacuum doesn't take a lot of effort, but enough of this sort of light physical activity every day can help people with or at risk of knee arthritis avoid developing disabilities as they age, according to a new study. It is known that the more time people spend in moderate or vigorous activities, the less likely they are to develop disability, but this is the first study to show that spending more time in light activities can help prevent disability, too. Light activity every day keeps disability at bay

Faster dental treatment with new photoactive molecule

Photoactive materials are used in modern dentistry, which harden when they are exposed to light. Usually, only thin layers of up to 2 mm can be hardened, due to the limited penetration depth of light. A new dental filling material allows for thicker layers and faster dental procedures. Simply put, improved photoreactivity is good news for everyone who wants to spend as little time as possible in the dental chair. Faster dental treatment with new photoactive molecule

Water-based 'engine' propels tumor cells through tight spaces in body

Researchers have discovered how cancer cells spread through extremely narrow three-dimensional spaces in the body, identifying a propulsion system based on water and charged particles. The finding uncovers a novel method the deadly cells use to migrate through a cancer patient's body. The discovery may lead to new treatments that help keep the disease in check. The work also points to the growing importance of studying how cells behave in three dimensions, not just atop flat two-dimensional lab dishes. Water-based 'engine' propels tumor cells through tight spaces in body

Potentially powerful tool for treating damaged hearts identified in mouse study

A type of cell that builds mouse hearts can renew itself, researchers report. They say the discovery, which likely applies to such cells in humans as well, may pave the way to using them to repair hearts damaged by disease -- or even grow new heart tissue for transplantation. "Eventually, we might even be able to deliver cells to damaged hearts to repair heart disease," one researchers says. Potentially powerful tool for treating damaged hearts identified in mouse study

Coached extracurricular activities may help prevent pre-adolescent smoking, drinking

While parents may think tweens (aged 10-14) need less adult supervision when they are not in school, researchers found that certain coached extracurricular activities can help prevent tween smoking and drinking. The study found that team sport participation with a coach was the only extracurricular activity associated with lower risk of trying smoking compared to none or minimal participation. Participating in other clubs was the only extracurricular activity associated with lower risk of trying drinking compared to none or minimal participation. Coached extracurricular activities may help prevent pre-adolescent smoking, drinking

'Charismatic' organisms still dominating genomics research

Decades after the genomics revolution, half of known eukaryote lineages still remain unstudied at the genomic level -- with the field displaying a research bias against 'less popular', but potentially genetically rich, single-cell organisms. This lack of microbial representation leaves a world of untapped genetic potential undiscovered, according to an exhaustive survey of on-going genomics projects. 'Charismatic' organisms still dominating genomics research

Diabetes: Possible therapeutic target for control of blood glucose found

A possible therapeutic target for control of blood glucose in the treatment of type 2 diabetes and obesity has been identified by researchers. In a nutrient-rich environment typical of the developed world today, carbohydrate-rich diets and positive feedback to glucagon signaling increases gluconeogenesis leading to chronic hyperglycemia, obesity, and insulin resistance. Diabetes: Possible therapeutic target for control of blood glucose found

Watch out: Children more prone to looking but not seeing

Children looking at a loose thread on a jumper or an advert on the side of a bus might be 'blind' to oncoming traffic and other dangers when walking down the street. Researchers conclude that children under 14 are more likely than adults to be 'blinded' to their surroundings when focusing on simple things. It explains a somewhat frustrating experience familiar to many parents and carers: young children fail to notice their carer trying to get their attention because they have little capacity to spot things outside their area of focus. Watch out: Children more prone to looking but not seeing

Women leaders perceived as effective as male counterparts, study reports

When it comes to being perceived as effective leaders, women are rated as highly as men, and sometimes higher - a finding that speaks to society's changing gender roles and the need for a different management style in today's globalized workplace, according to a meta-analysis. While men tend to rate themselves as significantly more effective than women rate themselves, when ratings by others were examined, women came out ahead on perceptions of effectiveness, according to the study. Women leaders perceived as effective as male counterparts, study reports

CT in operating room allows more precise removal of small lung cancers

A new technique that brings CT imaging into the operating room will allow surgeons to precisely demarcate and remove small sub-centimeter lung nodules, leaving as much healthy tissue as possible, according to a researcher. Lung cancer remains the deadliest cancer and a recent study indicated that screening with low-dose computed tomography (CT) scans in smokers, who have certain risk factors, may decrease the number of deaths. Lung cancer screening with CT can detect many small lung lesions that can potentially be cancerous and should be removed surgically. CT in operating room allows more precise removal of small lung cancers

Want a young child to 'help' or 'be a helper'? Choice of words matters

A new study has found that parent word choice matters when encouraging preschool-age children to help others. Children were significantly more likely to help an experimenter when he or she referred to help using nouns ('some children choose to be helpers') than when he or she referred to help using verbs ('some children choose to help'). The study looked at about 150 3- to 6- year-olds from a variety of ethnic and racial backgrounds. Want a young child to 'help' or 'be a helper'? Choice of words matters

Deep brain stimulation for obsessive-compulsive disorder releases dopamine in brain

Some have characterized dopamine as the elixir of pleasure because so many rewarding stimuli - food, drugs, sex, exercise - trigger its release in the brain. However, more than a decade of research indicates that when drug use becomes compulsive, the related dopamine release becomes deficient in the striatum, a brain region that is involved in reward and behavioral control. New research suggests that dopamine release is increased in obsessive-compulsive disorder and may be normalized by the therapeutic application of deep brain stimulation. Deep brain stimulation for obsessive-compulsive disorder releases dopamine in brain

Nurses hold key to providing quality care to older LGBT adults

Even though LGBT populations are often grouped together, each is a distinct group with specific health care needs, authors of a new study say. This is especially true with older LGBT persons and involves issues ranging from housing and long-term care placement to home-health and the selection of health promotion practices. More than 2 million older adults identify as lesbian, gay, bisexual or transgender, and they have specific physical and mental health needs of which nurses need to be aware. Nurses hold key to providing quality care to older LGBT adults

Greater surgeon experience increases likelihood of mitral valve repair vs replacement

Even today, significant variations – among surgeons and hospitals - still exist in the performance of mitral valve repair vs replacement for moderate to severe mitral regurgitation, shows a large-scale study. Significant associations were observed between the propensity for MV repair and both institutional and surgeon annual volume, although increasing surgeon volume appears to be the much stronger predictor. Greater surgeon experience increases likelihood of mitral valve repair vs replacement

You took the words right out of my brain: New research shows brain's predictive nature when listening to others

Our brain activity is more similar to that of speakers we are listening to when we can predict what they are going to say, a team of neuroscientists has found. The study provides fresh evidence on the brain’s role in communication. You took the words right out of my brain: New research shows brain's predictive nature when listening to others

Exclusive: Later arrival at hospital means staying for days longer, analysis shows

Exclusive: Later arrival at hospital means staying for days longer, analysis shows

Being admitted to hospital a few hours later in the day often means patients spending several days longer on wards, according to new analysis shared with HSJ.

Exclusive: Later arrival at hospital means staying for days longer

Exclusive: Later arrival at hospital means staying for days longer

Being admitted to hospital a few hours later in the day often means patients spending several days longer on wards, according to new analysis shared with HSJ.

Patients given anti-psychotic drugs

Patients given anti-psychotic drugs

More than two thirds of inpatients with learning disabilities in specialist units are given anti-psychotic medication, a census commissioned in response to the Winterbourne View Hospital scandal has shown.

'Authority and assurance' - experts react to Simon Stevens at the health committee

'Authority and assurance' - experts react to Simon Stevens at the health committee

Fresh thinking or a lack of commitment on budgets? Commentators including Steve Kell and Ruth Thorlby assess Simon Stevens’ performance

Psychologists discover babies recognize real-life objects from pictures as early as nine months

Babies begin to learn about the connection between pictures and real objects by the time they are nine-months-old, according to a new study. The research found that babies can learn about a toy from a photograph of it well before their first birthday. Psychologists discover babies recognize real-life objects from pictures as early as nine months

Increased prevalence of GI symptoms among children with autism, study confirms

Children with autism spectrum disorder are more than four times more likely to experience general gastrointestinal (GI) complaints compared with peers, are more than three times as prone to experience constipation and diarrhea than peers, and complain twice as much about abdominal pain compared to peers. Increased prevalence of GI symptoms among children with autism, study confirms

Simple tests of physical capability in midlife linked with survival

Low levels of physical capability (in particular weak grip strength, slow chair rise speed and poor standing balance performance) in midlife can indicate poorer chances of survival over the next 13 years, while greater time spent in light intensity physical activity each day is linked to a reduced risk of developing disability in adults with or at risk of developing knee osteoarthritis, suggest two papers. Simple tests of physical capability in midlife linked with survival

Stem cells aid heart regeneration in salamanders

Imagine filling a hole in your heart by regrowing the tissue. While that possibility is still being explored in people, it is a reality in salamanders. A recent discovery that newt hearts can regenerate may pave the way to new therapies in people who need to have damaged tissue replaced with healthy tissue. Heart disease is the leading cause of deaths in the United States. Stem cells aid heart regeneration in salamanders

WHO tool underestimates need for osteoporosis treatment, study says

The World Health Organization’s tool for assessing bone fracture risk underestimates the true dangers for people who are younger than 65 or have been treated for a single broken bone, according to a new study. The tool is designed to help physicians identify osteoporosis cases that cannot be readily diagnosed through bone mineral density testing. More than half of fragility fractures occur in people who do not meet the bone mineral density standards to be diagnosed with osteoporosis. WHO tool underestimates need for osteoporosis treatment, study says

Vitamin D may raise survival rates among cancer patients

Cancer patients who have higher levels of vitamin D when they are diagnosed tend to have better survival rates and remain in remission longer than patients who are vitamin D-deficient, according to a new study. The body naturally produces vitamin D after exposure to sunlight and absorbs it from certain foods. In addition to helping the body absorb the calcium and phosphorus needed for healthy bones, vitamin D affects a variety of biological processes by binding to a protein called a vitamin D receptor. This receptor is present in nearly every cell in the body. Vitamin D may raise survival rates among cancer patients

Minn. Beats Mass. For Top Health Care Spot In United States

Minn. Beats Mass. For Top Health Care Spot In United States

(The Commonwealth Fund)


(The Commonwealth Fund)


Massachusetts ranks second in the country on a health care score card out today from The Commonwealth Fund. The ranking is based on 42 measures, including access to care, preventive visits, quality of treatment, race and ethnic disparities and lifestyle issues such as smoking.


Massachusetts is at or near the top on many measures, but the state received low scores for avoidable hospital use and costs in 2012.


Commonwealth Fund president Dr. David Blumenthal says an abundant supply of hospital beds may be driving demand. And the “very high prevalence of insurance in Massachusetts makes hospital use easier for people who physicians believe need hospitalization. So cost is less of a barrier than would be true in many other states,” Blumenthal said.


Cathy Shoen, Senior VP for policy, research and evaluation at The Commonwealth Fund, says there are signs that the move towards Accountable Care Organizations in Massachusetts is reducing the number of avoidable hospital stays.


The report highlights wide gaps between states. Rates of children hospitalized for asthma and of potentially preventable deaths before age 75, for example, were twice as high in some states as others.


Between 2007 and 2012, states showed little progress in improving health care scored by The Commonwealth Fund. “The overall pace of change was slow,” Shoen said,” and less than we should expect given how much we pay for health care.”


Will the Affordable Care Act help all states boost their health scores or will it increase the gap between those at the top before the law was implemented and those at the bottom?


Care.data timetable could face fresh delays

Care.data timetable could face fresh delays

NHS England’s new chief will not commit to an “artificial” timescale for re-starting the Care.data project, raising the prospect of fresh delays to the controversial flagship project, the health committee has heard.

HSJ Live 30.04.14: Time running out to nominate service integrators

HSJ Live 30.04.14: Time running out to nominate service integrators

Take steps to tackle the diabetes funding crisis plus the rest of the day’s news and comment

Monitor to dissolve Cooperation and Competition Panel

Monitor to dissolve Cooperation and Competition Panel

Monitor is dissolving its Co-operation and Competition Panel – the body which advises it on competition issues, the regulator has announced.

Stevens signals shift in 'three-way split' in local NHS commissioning

Stevens signals shift in 'three-way split' in local NHS commissioning

Simon Stevens has been reviewing the split between NHS England and clinical commissioning group budgets in his first few weeks in his post, and said it will shift.

mardi 29 avril 2014

HSJ Live 30.04.14: Act now to stop the NHS's £17bn diabetes time bomb

HSJ Live 30.04.14: Act now to stop the NHS's £17bn diabetes time bomb

Take steps to tackle the diabetes funding crisis plus the rest of the day’s news and comment

Patient data probes to report 'within weeks'

Patient data probes to report 'within weeks'

The NHS body charged with handling and safeguarding confidential patient data is to publish the findings of three key investigations into alleged misuse of its information “within weeks”, HSJ has learned.

Breath Analysis Offers Non-invasive Method to Detect Early Lung Cancer

Researchers are using breath analysis to detect the presence of lung cancer. Preliminary data indicate that this promising noninvasive tool offers the sensitivity of PET scanning, and has almost twice the specificity of PET for distinguishing patients with benign lung disease from those with early stage cancer. Breath Analysis Offers Non-invasive Method to Detect Early Lung Cancer

Consuming high-protein breakfasts helps women maintain glucose control, study finds

Previous research has shown that extreme increases in glucose and insulin in the blood can lead to poor glucose control and increase an individual's risk of developing diabetes over time. Now, a researcher has found that when women consumed high-protein breakfasts, they maintained better glucose and insulin control than they did with lower-protein or no-protein meals. Consuming high-protein breakfasts helps women maintain glucose control, study finds

Prematurity linked to altered lung function during exercise, high blood pressure in adults

Some preterm babies have lungs that develop abnormally. While long-term health effects of prematurity are still unclear, researchers have found that adults who were born early may have problems handling the pulmonary demands of exercise. "Healthy young humans have lungs designed to easily handle the increased blood flow from the heart during exercise. However, adults born extremely to very preterm have abnormally developed lungs, which may result in lungs that are unable to handle the demands of exercise," they conclude. Prematurity linked to altered lung function during exercise, high blood pressure in adults

Heat regulation dysfunction may stop MS patients from exercising

Exercise-induced body temperature increases can make symptoms worse for some patients with multiple sclerosis. Researchers have explored the underlying causes of the temperature regulation problems so MS patients can better reap the benefits of exercise. In the study, researchers found that sweating took longer to start and sweat rate was lower during exercise-induced body temperature increases in MS patients compared to healthy control subjects. Heat regulation dysfunction may stop MS patients from exercising

Don't like the food? Try paying more

Customers paying more at a restaurant buffet perceive the food as tastier than the same food offered at a lower price, suggesting taste perception can be manipulated by price alone. Researchers in nutrition, economics and consumer behavior often assume that taste is a given -- a person naturally either likes or dislikes a food. But a new study suggests taste perception, as well as feelings of overeating and guilt, can be manipulated by price alone. Don't like the food? Try paying more

Information technology can simplify weight-loss efforts; social support still important for success

According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, 69 percent of adults in the United States are currently overweight or obese, which puts these individuals at increased risk for chronic health problems. Although weight loss decreases this risk, statistics show that dieters often fail multiple times before meeting their goals. Now, researchers have found that information technology, such as smartphone applications, can help dieters integrate healthy behavior changes into their daily lives. Information technology can simplify weight-loss efforts; social support still important for success

Saving crops, people with inexpensive bug sensors

A method that can classify different species of insects with up to 99 percent accuracy has been created by researchers, a development that could help farmers protect their crops from insect damage and limit the spread of insect-borne diseases, such as malaria and Dengue fever. For hundreds of years humans have attempted to kill unwanted insects. While some blanket methods have been successful, they can be costly and create environmental problems. The sensor developed by these researchers aims to change that by counting and classifying the insects so that the substance used to eradicate the harmful insects can be applied on a precision targeted level. Saving crops, people with inexpensive bug sensors

Declines in large wildlife lead to increases in disease risk

In the Middle Ages, fleas carried by rats were responsible for spreading the Black Plague. Today in East Africa, they remain important vectors of plague and many other diseases, including Bartonellosis, a potentially dangerous human pathogen. The researchers concluded that the "spike in disease risk results from explosions in the number of rodents that benefit from the removal of the larger animals." Declines in large wildlife lead to increases in disease risk

Chronic stress heightens vulnerability to diet-related metabolic risk

Highly stressed people who eat a lot of high-fat, high-sugar food are more prone to health risks than low-stress people who eat the same amount of unhealthy food, new research finds for the first time. Metabolic syndrome is a cluster of abnormalities -- increased blood pressure, a high blood sugar level, excess body fat around the waist and abnormal cholesterol levels -- that occur together, increasing a person's risk of heart disease, stroke and diabetes. Chronic stress heightens vulnerability to diet-related metabolic risk

'Feel good' factor higher when you own, not just use, luxury items

It means more to people to own a luxury product or brand than to have the privilege of simply using one. Just using an affordable luxury item you don't own can, in fact, dampen the feel good factor that normally surrounds such products, suggests new research. 'Feel good' factor higher when you own, not just use, luxury items

Immunogenic mutations in tumor genomes correlate with increased patient survival

Developing immunotherapies for cancer is challenging because of significant variability among tumors and diversity in human immune types. In a new study, researchers examined the largest collection of tumor samples to date to predict patient-specific tumor mutations that may activate the patient's immune system, paving the way for more successful, personalized cancer immunotherapy. Immunogenic mutations in tumor genomes correlate with increased patient survival

Brain tumor cells penetrated by tiny, degradable particles carrying genetic instructions

Tiny, biodegradable 'nanoparticles' able to carry DNA to brain cancer cells in mice have been developed by engineers and neurosurgeons working together. The team says the results of their proof of principle experiment suggest that such particles loaded with 'death genes' might one day be given to brain cancer patients during neurosurgery to selectively kill off any remaining tumor cells without damaging normal brain tissue. Brain tumor cells penetrated by tiny, degradable particles carrying genetic instructions

Medicare patients with dementia 20 percent more likely to be readmitted

A review of more than 25,000 admissions of Medicare beneficiaries to Rhode Island hospitals has found that patients with a documented diagnosis of dementia are nearly 20 percent more likely to be readmitted within 30 days than those without dementia. "Because dementia often goes undiagnosed, or is not documented in a patient's medical record, we believe that the current findings may underestimate readmission rates and risks in this population," the lead author noted. Medicare patients with dementia 20 percent more likely to be readmitted