Experts use heart muscle tissue to screen drugs | Corneal transplant fund established in Fla. | Technique cuts corneal-transplant rejection, recovery time
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July 23, 2014
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Experts use heart muscle tissue to screen drugs
U.K. researchers have developed a technique that they say could be used to test drugs safely without the need for animal experiments or human trials. The technique, called "work-loop assay" testing, involves stimulating a heart muscle tissue derived from a beating heart with electrical pulses to mimic cardiac muscle contraction. A tissue bank in Coventry, England, provided the heart muscle sample used in the study. Belfast Telegraph (Northern Ireland) (7/21), Medical News Today (7/21)
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Tissue Banking in the News
Corneal transplant fund established in Fla.
A fund worth $500,000 has been set up by the Lions Eye Institute for Transplant & Research to cover corneal transplants for eligible patients in Florida who are 21 or older. The fund is meant to address the rising number of in-state residents without insurance or enough coverage for the procedure, said Jason Woody, the group's president and CEO. American City Business Journals/Tampa, Fla. (7/16)
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Technique cuts corneal-transplant rejection, recovery time
Jan Hammell, a 56-year-old teacher in Minnesota who was diagnosed with Fuchs' dystrophy, has improved vision after undergoing a relatively new corneal-transplant procedure. The technique, which involves removing just a single layer of cells from the cornea and replacing it with donated tissue, allows for faster recovery and minimizes tissue-transplant rejection, said the doctor who performed the surgery on Hammell. La Crosse Tribune (Wis.) (7/16)
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3D-printed body parts could replace cadaver parts for students
Increases in both longevity and the number of medical students has created a shortage of cadavers for medical research and education. Monash University in Australia recently released a kit with 3D-printed body parts for education and training. The parts include limbs, chest, abdomen, head and neck and do not contain human tissue. VentureBeat (7/16)
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Government & Regulatory
CDC finds inappropriate prescribing of antivirals, antibiotics
Among patients at high risk for flu complications, only 19% were prescribed antiviral medications, while 30% were given antibiotics, which are ineffective against flu, according to a CDC report published in the journal Clinical Infectious Diseases. The findings suggest that "antiviral medications were underprescribed and antibiotics may have been inappropriately prescribed to a large proportion of outpatients with influenza," researchers said. HealthDay News (7/17)
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U.S. offers $11 million to expand HIV prevention services
The Department of Health and Human Services has allotted $11 million to improve HIV prevention efforts and primary care in Florida, Massachusetts, Maryland and New York. "Integrating HIV services into primary care settings is critical to delivering on the goals of the National HIV/AIDS Strategy," said HHS Secretary Sylvia Mathews Burwell. (7/15)
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Business & Economic Trends
Sunshine Act disclosure website marred by glitches, reports say
Early reports show some glitches with the Open Payments website, the federal database designed to show doctor payments from drugmakers and medtech firms under the Physician Payments Sunshine Act. Some doctors have spent an hour or more simply logging in and verifying their identities, and an error message has caused confusion among physicians who do not have ties to drug or device makers. ProPublica (7/21)
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Registration for the 2014 CTBS Exam is Now Open
The 2014 CTBS exam will be administered on Saturday, Sept. 20. The exam will be administered electronically at the Annual Meeting site in San Diego. Twenty-nine other exam locations will administer the exam on paper, as was done in previous years. See the list of satellite exam sites and register online today.
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Special AATB member benefit: Discounted registration for AdvaMed 2014: The MedTech Conference
Thanks to a new supporting partner agreement, the AATB is proud to provide a 20% discount to members for the upcoming AdvaMed 2014: The MedTech Conference. The 2014 Advamed MedTech Conference will take place from October 6-8 at McCormick Place in Chicago. AATB members can use discount code AATB20 at registration site.
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The young do not know enough to be prudent and therefore they attempt the impossible -- and achieve it, generation after generation."
-- Pearl S. Buck,
American writer
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