Researchers study growth factor's effect on infant heart tissue samples | Researchers and parents bond over newborn's gift | Donate Life Month recognizes donors

April 8, 2015
AATB SmartBrief
News for the Tissue Banking Community

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Researchers study growth factor's effect on infant heart tissue samples
A study in the journal Science Translational Medicine found that recombinant growth factor neuregulin-1 promoted the development of healthy cells in surgical tissue samples from infants with cardiac defects who were younger than 6 months. The same effect was not seen in tissue samples from infants older than 6 months, according to lead researcher Dr. Bernard Kuhn. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (4/1)
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Researchers and parents bond over newborn's gift
University of Pennsylvania genetics professor Arupa Ganguly said she felt an immediate connection when the AATB's Sarah Gray reached out to learn about Ganguly's research with retinas donated after Gray's son Thomas died as a newborn in 2010. "These researchers are wonderful people. It's been really gratifying to meet them. It's almost like our son is introducing us to these people," Gray said. NBC News/Today Parents (4/8)
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Donate Life Month recognizes donors
National Donate Life Month is being marked across the nation with events raising awareness about tissue, organ and eye donation and recognizing donors. "My son has a legacy, and there is no need out of tragedy to not allow life to still become a part of someone else," said Colette Shumpert, whose 24-year-old son Michael Brown was a registered donor who died in 2012. WDJT-TV (Milwaukee) (4/1), The Hattiesburg American (Miss.) (4/2), The White Mountain Independent (Show Low, Ariz.) (4/6), The Philadelphia Tribune (4/7)
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Combating Identity Theft in a Mobile, Social World
Mobile connectivity threats extend from consumers to the business environment. But who is really responsible for securing sensitive information? Smart business leaders are becoming proactive on the matter. Learn how to get protected in this white paper. Download the white paper now.

Government & Regulatory
NIH establishes precision medicine working group
The NIH has established a working group to advance the development of President Barack Obama's recently announced Precision Medicine Initiative. The goal is to develop a cohort of at least 1 million Americans who will share biological, lifestyle, environmental and behavioral information along with tissue samples, yielding data that will "build the scientific evidence necessary for moving precision medicine from concept to reality," said NIH Director Dr. Francis Collins. The working group will help define the effort, using input from patient and scientific organizations. Health Data Management (3/31)
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OIG auditing payments under EHR incentive programs
The HHS' Office of Inspector General is auditing payments made under the Medicare and Medicaid EHR meaningful use incentive program to ensure funds are being properly used. Findings from two states involving Medicaid data are mixed. In Florida, Medicaid data involving 42 hospitals indicate incentive payment calculations were accurate under federal and state laws. However, the audit of data from Massachusetts uncovered incorrect payments from the state Medicaid program were given to 19 of 25 hospitals assessed. Medscape (free registration) (4/2)
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CMS to boost Medicare Advantage subsidies
Federal payments to Medicare Advantage plans will rise an average of 1.25% in 2016, based on an expected rise in health care spending, the CMS announced. A pay cut of 0.95% for insurers was proposed by the government in February. Medicare Advantage plans enroll more than 16 million people. Reuters (4/6), Modern Healthcare (tiered subscription model) (4/6)
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Business & Economic Trends
Regeneus produces stem cells for osteoarthritis trial
Regeneus has completed production of its osteoarthritis stem cell therapy product Progenza for a clinical trial. Mesenchymal stem cells are derived from the adipose tissue of healthy donors and expanded using the company's technology for injection into damaged joints. Australian Life Scientist (4/8)
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Scientists develop "bio-cement" to help regenerate bone tissue
Scientists at the Russian National Research Nuclear University's campus in Siberia's Tomsk region have produced a 3D-printable material based on biological hydroxyapatite for use as a bone cement. In animal studies, this "bio-cement" has dissolved over time as bone tissue regenerates. (Russia) (4/6)
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Ethicon gains expanded FDA approval for surgical sealant patch
The FDA has granted Ethicon expanded approval for its Evarrest, a fibrin sealant patch previously approved as an adjunct treatment for soft tissue bleeding in patients undergoing noncardiac thoracic and pelvic procedures. The device can now be used as an adjunct treatment for bleeding in adult patients undergoing liver procedures. FDAnews (4/7)
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China clears Cytori to market regenerative cell technology
Cytori Therapeutics' Celution System has obtained clearance from Chinese regulators. The San Diego-based firm's device is intended to extract regenerative cells from fat tissue for use in healing wounds and controlling the immune system. Lorem Vascular, the firm's Beijing-based partner that holds the right to market the product in China, hopes to market the system as a treatment for diabetes as well as for renal and cardiovascular disorders. San Diego Business Journal (4/6)
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Time to renew or begin your AATB Individual Membership!
Log on to the AATB Portal and click on the Membership tab to join. If you are an employee of an AATB Accredited Bank and would like to become a member, e-mail for more information.
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Submissions for all 2015 AATB Awards are now open!
Winners of the Abstract Awards and the Communication and Education Awards will have a chance to present at the 2015 AATB Annual Meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz., this fall. Nominations for all awards will close Friday, May 29, at 5 p.m. Pacific Time. Read more about the awards and submit an abstract.
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Indecision and delay are the parents of failure."
-- George Canning,
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