Transparent implantable sensors provide a better view of the human brain | New type of melanoma cell linked to drug-resistant tumors | MicroRNA used to reprogram human skin cells to develop neurons
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October 23, 2014
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Transparent implantable sensors provide a better view of the human brain
A University of Wisconsin-Madison team has devised a transparent, 4-atoms-thick graphene-based sensor with microelectrode arrays for use in the brain. The sensor is unique because it does not interfere with imaging. "Other implantable microdevices might be transparent at one wavelength, but not at others, or they lose their properties," says researcher Zhenqiang (Jack) Ma. "Our devices are transparent across a large spectrum -- all the way from ultraviolet to deep infrared." Details of the study were published in the journal Nature Communications. release (10/21)
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Clinical News & Research
New type of melanoma cell linked to drug-resistant tumors
A study in the journal Nature Communications has revealed a subpopulation of melanoma cells that do not respond to anti-vascular endothelial growth factor therapy. They act like normal endothelial cells but lack receptors for VEGF and instead carry the PECAM1 protein, which helps endothelial cells stick together to form blood vessels. "It could be that we'll need to develop a combination of anti-angiogenic drugs to attack the endothelial cells that form blood vessels and the tumor cells that might form blood-filled channels in tumors," said researcher James Dunleavey. (10/22)
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MicroRNA used to reprogram human skin cells to develop neurons
Researchers have described a way to convert human skin cells into a specific class of brain cell known as medium spiny neurons. This type of neuron is affected by Huntington's disease. Unlike other techniques, this process does not require a stem cell phase. Instead, cells are exposed to microRNAs that open access to certain sections of DNA, facilitating expression of genes that govern neuron development and function. The report was published in the journal Neuron. (10/22)
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Industry Report
Sofie nabs funding for PET probe development
The National Cancer Institute has awarded Sofie Biosciences a Phase II $1.5 million Small Business Innovation Research contract to support the development of its F-18 fluoroarabinofuranosyl cytosine for PET imaging. The funds will be used to develop a standardized manufacturing protocol and to move into multicenter clinical trials. (free registration) (10/22)
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Gamma Medica secures funding for MBI technology
Financing from Hercules Technology Growth Capital and Psilos Group has yielded $11.5 million for Gamma Medica. The money will support marketing of the company's LumaGEM molecular breast imaging technology for women with dense breast tissue. (free registration) (10/22)
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AnthroTronix's cognitive health testing app gets FDA OK
AnthroTronix has received FDA clearance to market the Defense Automated Neurobehavioral Assessment, or DANA, application, designed to help clinicians measure patients' psychological or medical state. The app tests patient reaction time, memory and spatial processing and works with both iOS and Android devices, according to AnthroTronix. (10/20)
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Health Policy
CMS, HHS extend Anti-Kickback Statute, Stark Law waivers for ACOs
Anti-Kickback Statute and Stark Law waivers for accountable care organizations that are participating in the Medicare Shared Savings Program have been extended by the CMS and the HHS' Office of Inspector General through Nov. 2, 2015. The extension is important to help ACOs avoid legal uncertainties and to prevent possible disruption of their operations and business plans, according to the interim final rule. (10/20)
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Feds update EHR attestation system, HIT product list
The CMS has introduced updates to its Medicare and Medicaid EHR Incentive Programs attestation system to include the flexibility options cited in the 2014 Certified EHR Technology Flexibility Rule. The agency will hold a national provider call on Oct. 30 to discuss how eligible providers can leverage the flexibility rule to demonstrate meaningful use for this year. The ONC has also updated the list of health IT products that are certified to be used for MU attestation to reflect the flexibility rule. AHA News Now (10/16)
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Advancing Health Care
Platform enables providers to see data from patient wearables
The wellness application developer Nudge has created a HIPAA-compliant platform called Nudge Coach designed to allow health care providers to view data from patients' wearable devices. The platform has a private messaging function that allows clinicians to provide feedback in real time. (10/22)
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Registration is now open for the SNMMI 2015 Annual Meeting
Recognized by thousands of professional attendees as the premier educational and networking event in molecular imaging and nuclear medicine. The 2015 Annual Meeting -- June 6-10 in Baltimore, Md., USA -- will offer the leading educational content, virtual learning opportunities, networking events and an exhibit hall packed with the latest technology. Register today!
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