5 Most Interesting Stories in Medical News

The time has come again to go over the top five most noteworthy stories in medical news. This week’s stories include the indictment of a couple selling diseased body parts, a device that combats dehydration, and new initiates in the fight to cure cancer.

Sale Of Infected Organs

The husband and wife team running International Biological Inc., an organ procurement company based in Michigan, have been indicted with 9 counts of wire fraud for selling infected body parts to professionals training in the medical and dental fields. The couple was caught in 2011 after bringing the head and neck of a diseased cadaver to the Advancements in Periodontology conference in Cambridge. According to the indictment, the couple was purchasing infected cadavers at a discount and selling them to unknowing customers - according to US attorney Barbara McQuade, “The alleged conduct risked the health of medical students, dental students, and baggage handlers.” [Source: https://www.bostonglobe.com/metro/2016/01/30/michigan-couple-brought-infected-body-parts-cambridge-indictment-says/yt4JDYLRhMKbMBRV7kJz4L/story.html ?event=event25]

Soy Consumption May Increase IVF Success Rate

Parents typically opt for BPA-free products for their children, but it is also important for women trying to get pregnant. Studies have found that high levels of BPA can have negative reproductive effects on women, and that consuming soy may help counteract these effects. All patients received at least one IVF treatment, and women with elevated BPA levels that were not regularly consuming soy had, “fewer successful embryo implantations and fewer pregnancies that developed to the point where the fetus could be detected by ultrasound.” It was also noted that BPA concentrations had no effect on the IVF outcomes for women who did consume soy regularly. [Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/305662.php ]

Why a Collaborative Approach to Healthcare is Beneficial

We have all heard the phrase “Doctor knows best.” but do patients still believe that? Increasing patient involvement, where the patient feels comfortable to ask questions and gives input on treatment options, has many benefits. The patient will actually adhere to the doctors instructions and is more likely to actually keep appointments. The approach is based on building an ongoing relationship and level of trust, so that the patient will not hesitate to fully engage with their doctor. That building factor is also what makes widespread patient involvement difficult, because doctors often have time constraints and numerous patients making it hard to spend that quality time. It seems that doctors are all naturally moving toward the approach as patients have higher involvement expectations, but it will be a very gradual progression due to time and other factors. [Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/305702.php ]

A Wearable Monitor For Dehydration and Fatigue

A new device developed by professor Ali Javey measures the metabolites and electrolytes in sweat and automatically sends the data to your smartphone. Volunteers performed physical activities at varying intensities while wearing the device on either their wrists or a headband. The device could be the difference between passing out and simply having another big glass of water. Though blood tests are still thought to be the best option for monitoring metabolites and electrolytes, the device offers an alternative to the typical, “needle sticks or attaching little, disposable cups on you." [Source: https://www.medicalnewstoday.com/articles/305751.php ]

The Two Moonshots Aiming to Cure Cancer 

With such similar names there has been confusion with separating Patrick Soon-Shiong’s and President Obama’s moonshot initiatives. Soon-Shiong’s Moonshot 2020 is a private-sector program that hopes to, “enroll 20,000 patients, covering 20 types of cancer, in clinical trials of immunotherapy treatments…with the goal of getting approved treatments by 2020.” The criticism with his plan is that it is being conducted mainly for monetary gain, but in the end both moonshots have the same goal- to utilize more personal genetic sequencing in order to offer patients more customized and effective cancer treatments. [Source: https://www.fastcompany.com/3055540/medical-space-race-the-two-moonshots-to-cure-cancer ]  

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