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Category Archives: Health Care

For Preventing Disease, Data Are the New Drugs

Is giving up your biological secrets too bitter a pill? By Tim McDonnell: “…A new cadre of medical researchers believes that examining the full genetic information of as many people as possible will reveal not just the cures for health problems ranging from pre-term birth to cancer and autism, but the predictive insight to preventContinue Reading

Remedy for your health-related questions: health info in the Knowledge Graph

Google Official Blog: “…starting in the next few days, when you ask Google about common health conditions, you’ll start getting relevant medical facts right up front from the Knowledge Graph. We’ll show you typical symptoms and treatments, as well as details on how common the condition is—whether it’s critical, if it’s contagious, what ages itContinue Reading

New GAO Reports – Critical Technologies, Land-Use Agreements, Medicaid, Prenatal Drug Use

Critical Technologies: Agency Initiatives Address Some Weaknesses, but Additional Interagency Collaboration Is Needed, GAO-15-288: Published: Feb 10, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 10, 2015. Land-Use Agreements: Improved Data Reliability and Monitoring Needed for Department of Veterans Affairs, GAO-15-134T: Published: Feb 10, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 10, 2015. Medicaid: Additional Federal Action Needed to Further Improve Third-PartyContinue Reading

Exposure to mercury, seafood associated with risk factor for autoimmune disease

Emily C. Somers, Martha A. Ganser, Jeffrey S. Warren, Niladri Basu, Lu Wang, Suzanna M. Zick, Sung Kyun Park. Mercury Exposure and Antinuclear Antibodies among Females of Reproductive Age in the United States: NHANES. Environmental Health Perspectives, 2015; DOI: 10.1289/ehp.1408751 Science Daily: “One of the greatest risk factors for autoimmunity among women of childbearing ageContinue Reading

Geospatial Resolution of Human and Bacterial Diversity with City-Scale Metagenomics

Afshinnekoo et al, Geospatial Resolution of Human and Bacterial Diversity with City-Scale Metagenomics, CELS (2015), “The panoply of microorganisms and other species present in our environment influence human health and disease, especially in cities, but have not been profiled with metagenomics at a city-wide scale. We sequenced DNA from surfaces across the entire NewContinue Reading

GAO Report – International Classification of Diseases

International Classification of Diseases: CMS’s Efforts to Prepare for the New Version of the Disease and Procedure Codes, GAO-15-255: Published: Jan 28, 2015. Publicly Released: Feb 6, 2015: “The Centers for Medicare & Medicaid Services (CMS), within the Department of Health and Human Services (HHS), has undertaken a number of efforts to prepare for theContinue Reading

Anthem breach Shows Risks of “Big Data”

EPIC – “One of the largest health insurers in the country has lost millions of medical records of American consumers. The most recent breach of sensitive medical information shows the dangers of “Big Data” and the mistaken conclusion of the report of the Presidents Science Advisors, which simply assumed the benefits of data collection. EPICContinue Reading

FTC Report on Internet of Things

Report Recognizes Rapid Growth of Connected Devices Offers Societal Benefits, But Also Risks That Could Undermine Consumer Confidence In a detailed report on the Internet of Things, released today, the staff of the Federal Trade Commission recommend a series of concrete steps that businesses can take to enhance and protect consumers’ privacy and security, asContinue Reading

Young adults more likely to say vaccinating kids should be a parental choice

Monica Anderson – “As the number of measles cases linked to the California outbreak climbs to over 100, health officials are urging parents to properly immunize their children, citing unvaccinated individuals as a main contributor to the disease’s spread. Some have linked the outbreak to the anti-vaccination movement – a group whose members claim vaccinations areContinue Reading

GAO Reports – HHS and Programs related to mental illness, Violation of Anti-Lobbying Provision and the Antideficiency Act

HHS Leadership Needed to Coordinate Federal Efforts Related to Serious Mental Illness, GAO-15-113, Published Dec 18, 2014. Publicly Released: Feb 5, 2015: ““Agencies identified 112 federal programs that generally supported individuals with serious mental illness in fiscal year 2013. The majority of these programs addressed broad issues, such as homelessness, that can include individuals withContinue Reading

Study – Decoding sugar addiction

Separate neural circuits control sugar cravings and healthy eating, researchers find. Picower Institute for Learning and Memory. January 29, 2015 “Together, obesity and Type 2 diabetes rank among our nation’s greatest health problem, and they largely result from what many call an “addiction” to sugar. But solving this problem is more complicated than solving drugContinue Reading

CDC Vital Signs: Secondhand Smoke

Vital Signs: Disparities in Nonsmokers’ Exposure to Secondhand Smoke — United States, 1999–2012. February 3, 2015 / 64 (Early Release);1-7 “No level of secondhand smoke (SHS) exposure is safe. SHS exposure occurs when nonsmokers breathe in smoke exhaled by smokers or from burning tobacco products. It kills more than 400 infants and 41,000 adult nonsmokersContinue Reading