Recent developments in the generation and analysis of patient data are paving the way to a new era of precision medicine. Precision or personalized medicine harnesses patient-specific data to create therapeutic strategies precisely tailored to individual patients. Today, large amounts of patient data are generated on a scale that is orders of magnitude higher than that reached even a decade ago. Through advanced predictive analyses, this information has the potential to enable the diagnosis, treatment, and prevention of disease at a highly personalized level. However, the development of such complex predictive models depends upon the capacity to organize, manage, and interpret the huge amounts of data involved.
Given the challenges associated with handling large volumes of multidimensional data using conventional data management tools, organizations are increasingly turning to platforms that allow them to get the most from their “big data.” In this article, we consider how the latest cloud-based informatics platforms are translating the goals of precision medicine into reality.
Two groundbreaking discoveries by USC researchers could lead to medications and a vaccine to treat or prevent a hemorrhagic fever transmitted by a new tick species before it spreads across the United States.
In the Jan. 7 Nature Microbiology, researchers describe the molecular mechanisms used by the virus to infect and sicken humans, a puzzle that has stumped scientists since the disease emerged in rural China in 2009.
In a related discovery published in Nature Microbiology last month, researchers at USC and in Korea found that aged ferrets with the virus exhibit symptoms similar to those seen in older humans, while young ferrets show no clinical symptoms. An animal model in which to study the virus, a crucial tool in vaccine or drug discovery, has been elusive, until now.
Dynacare has completed a large-scale upgrade to its Brampton laboratory facility, known as the “Lab of the Future”, with an enhanced scope and scale. Richard Chee-A-Tow explains how.
The comprehensive project, involving subject matter experts from all over the world, included the installation of new test equipment, the centralization of operations, the automation of tests and improved efficiency and outcomes for test results. As part of the upgrade, over 200,000 tests results can now be processed through the LIS/CITM/IM interface (information management and middle-ware platforms) each day.
In hematologic malignancies, chimeric antigen receptor (CAR)-modified T cells will be increasingly combined with other therapeutic strategies, according to multiple studies presented at the 2018 annual meeting of the American Society of Hematology (ASH).
Of many studies at ASH suggesting benefit from combination treatment, one tested pretreatment with a targeted therapy, another evaluated the effect of boosting CAR T-cell response with a checkpoint inhibitor, and a third tested the impact of hematopoietic cell transplant (HCT) as a consolidation therapy.
The current focus on sensationalism shouldn’t distract us from the less exciting but more troubling reality of the continued high cost and middling quality reflective of much of healthcare. And our lack of progress cannot be attributed to one single villain or one single cause — unfortunately, there are many of them, from the sublime to the banal. From Medicaid expansion or lack thereof, attacks on hospital staff, the opioid epidemic, medical school debt, the list can feel endless. Many of these challenges have given rise to provider burnout, amid the aforementioned climate of rising medical costs that ultimately trickle down to patients.
Despite these challenges, physicians, healthcare leaders, and stakeholders have an obligation to seize the moment, elevate the quality of medicine, and find new ways to overcome old obstacles. Here are some thoughts on six important opportunities that will come into focus in 2019.
The early-stage study, from scientists at Imperial College London, investigated the sperm quality of 50 men whose partners had suffered three or more consecutive miscarriages.
The research, published in the journal Clinical Chemistry, revealed that, compared to men whose partners had not experienced miscarriages, the sperm of those involved in the study had higher levels of DNA damage.
The study team hope these findings may open new avenues to finding treatments to reduce the risk of miscarriage.
Recurrent miscarriage affects around one in 50 couples in the UK, and is defined as the consecutive loss of three or more pregnancies before 20 weeks gestation.
Until recently recurrent miscarriage was thought to be caused by health issues with the mother, such as infection or immune problems.
Breakthrough technology advances research of vascular diseases like diabetes.
Scientists have managed to grow perfect human blood vessels as organoids in a petri dish for the first time.
The breakthrough engineering technology, outlined in a new study published today in Nature, dramatically advances research of vascular diseases like diabetes, identifying a key pathway to potentially prevent changes to blood vessels—a major cause of death and morbidity among those with diabetes.
An organoid is a three-dimensional structure grown from stem cells that mimics an organ and can be used to study aspects of that organ in a petri dish.
University of Nebraska–Lincoln researchers may have identified a vaccine that would defend against Zika virus without producing antibodies.
Researcher Eric Weaver described the finding as exciting and novel. He and his team are confident that future experiments will yield significant findings that could have a profound impact on the field of vaccinology.
"If we can figure out the mechanism, we might be able to apply it to other vaccine strategies," said Weaver, an assistant professor of biological sciences affiliated with the Nebraska Center for Virology. "This would be a huge leap for immunology and vaccine research.
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