Medical Notes: Week of April 26, 2020

Medical Notes: Week of April 26, 2020

A look at the top medical headlines for the week of April 26, 2020 including: A blood test for many types of cancer has been a long-sought goal of researchers, and now they’re much closer. Then, a team of faculty and students at Rice University has developed an automated bag valve mask ventilator using $300 worth of parts off the shelf. And finally, a study from the University of Michigan finds that if you talk to yourself in the third person by name, you’ll be less likely to cave in to tempting foods.

Genetic Testing and Family Secrets

The availability of consumer DNA tests and databases has allowed long-hidden family secrets to be revealed, including mistaken paternity and unknown siblings. It has also taken the anonymity away from some cases of sperm donation. Two experts discuss the ethics of overturning this promised secrecy and the impact that the revelation of secrets can have on entire families.

Genetic and Genomic Testing

When most of us think of genetic testing for health, we imagine tests to detect whether we’ve inherited genes that predispose us for cancer or other serious disease. But another kind of gene testing—genomic testing of tumor cells for their susceptibility to targeted treatments—is giving thousands of people hope of survival they’ve never had before. Experts discuss both genetic and genomic testing.

Cancer Suppression: Lessons from Pachyderms

DNA mutations happen all the time in the body, but the immune system usually detects and deals with them. When the system fails, cancer results. Yet some animals, such as elephants, almost never get cancer, and scientists have learned that the elephant DNA repair system is 20 times more powerful than the human system. Experts explain how they hope to tap this knowledge.

Medical Notes: Week of March 3, 2019

A look at the top medical headlines for the week of March 3, 2019.

Medical Notes 18-52

A look at the top medical headlines for the week of December 30, 2018.