Siemens to gauge interest of state funds in Healthineers IPO: CEO

FRANKFURT (Reuters) – Siemens will test the appetite of sovereign wealth funds ahead of the planned listing of its healthcare unit Healthineers next year, its chief executive told a German weekly, possibly to secure anchor investors for the flotation.

The listing of a minority of the unit, which makes X-ray and MRI machines, is set to take place in the first half of 2018 and is expected to value Healthineers as a whole at around 40 billion euros ($48 billion).

Siemens is expected to sell 15-25 percent of Healthineers, sources have said, implying stock worth 6-10 billion euros could be sold – Germany’s biggest share offering since Deutsche Telekom in 1996.

Discovery of key protein’s structure may help improve drug design

December 29, 2017

Scientists at The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have peered deep into the heart of a key protein used in drug design and discovered dynamic structural features that may lead to new ways to target diseases. The protein, called the A2A adenosine receptor (A2aAR), is a member of the G-protein-coupled receptor (GPCR) family, which are the targets of roughly 40 percent of all approved pharmaceuticals.

The new, more detailed image of A2aAR’s signaling mechanism reveals key parts of its inner workings, including an amino acid that acts like a “toggle switch” to control signaling across the cell membrane.

Special Report: In a hospital ward in Yemen, the collapse of a nation

ADEN (Reuters) – Nahla Arishi, chief pediatrician at the al-Sadaqa hospital in this Yemeni port city, had not seen diphtheria in her 20-year career. Then, late last month, a three-year-old girl with high fever was rushed to Arishi’s ward. Her neck was swollen, and she gasped for air through a lump of tissue in her throat. Eight days later, she died.

Soon after, a 10-month-old boy with similar symptoms died less than 24 hours after arriving at the hospital.

Two five-year-old cousins were admitted; only one survived.

Russia reports virulent H5N2 bird flu at 660,000-bird farm: OIE

PARIS (Reuters) – Russia has reported an outbreak of highly pathogenic H5N2 bird flu on a farm in the central region of Kostromskaya Oblast that led to the death of more than 660,000 birds, the Paris-based World Organisation for Animal Health (OIE) said on Friday.

The virus killed more than 44,000 birds in an outbreak first detected on Dec. 17, the OIE said, citing a report from the Russian Ministry of Agriculture.

The rest of the 663,500 birds on the farm were slaughtered, it said in the report. It did not specify the type of birds that were infected.

Updated Obamacare enrollment figure dips to 8.7 million

(Reuters) – About 8.7 million people enrolled in healthcare plans for 2018 using the federal Obamacare marketplace, according to updated government figures released on Thursday.

The number represented a slight decline from the 2017 enrollment figure when about 9.2 million people signed up for health insurance policies from private insurers on the HealthCare.gov platform. It was slightly lower than the 8.8 million figure given last week by the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services (CMS).

The revised figure was due to some late cancellations, CMS said.

‘Weak link’ between childhood lead and adult criminal behavior

(Reuters Health) – Lead exposure during childhood has been tied to a variety of developmental problems, but a new study suggests it may not be associated with higher odds of criminal behavior later in life.

The study set out to address a flaw in much of the previous research linking lead and crime: mainly that it’s hard to determine how much of this connection might be explained by poverty and other socioeconomic circumstances that can influence both criminal activity and lead exposure.

Sickle Cell Patients, Families And Doctors Face A ‘Fight For Everything’

CHICAGO — The day before his 30th birthday, Marqus Valentine was in a panic. “I was so scared for midnight to come rolling around because subconsciously I was like, ‘This is it. Tomorrow’s my last day on Earth,’” he said.

Valentine has sickle cell disease, an inherited blood disorder, and his doctors had warned him throughout his life that he was not likely to make it to 30.

Health Tip: Alzheimer’s and the Holidays

(HealthDay News) — The holiday season can be stressful, especially for people with dementia and Alzheimer’s disease.

Latest Alzheimers News

The U.S. National Institute on Aging offers holiday suggestions for Alzheimer’s caregivers:

  • Show a photo of a holiday guest to the person a week before the guest’s arrival. Each day, explain who the visitor is while showing the photo.
  • Before the visitor arrives, set up a phone call between your loved one and the visitor.
  • Stick to daily routines as much as possible.
  • Give the person with Alzheimer’s plenty of time to rest.

Accurate celiac diagnosis in trial of new blood test

(Reuters Health) – An experimental blood test accurately identifies people who do, or don’t, have celiac disease, even if they are following gluten-free diets, researchers say.

Celiac disease is an autoimmune disorder that affects roughly one percent of people in the U.S. Those with the disease must avoid foods that contain the gluten protein from wheat, barley or rye. But far more than one percent of the population is following a gluten-free diet, which makes it harder to diagnose real cases of celiac disease.