Many Americans Curious, But Wary, About Gene Testing

News Picture: Many Americans Curious, But Wary, About Gene Testing

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TUESDAY, Oct. 2, 2018 (HealthDay News) — Only a small percentage of Americans have had their DNA analyzed — but many are tempted to try it, according to new research.

For the study, University of Michigan researchers surveyed nearly 1,000 adults aged 50 to 64. While curious about their ancestry or health risks, the majority said they fear they’ll worry excessively if they learn they have genetic links to progressive diseases like macular degeneration, Alzheimer’s or Parkinson’s.

Aggressive breast cancer hijacks normal protective physiological process to survive

A member of a protein family known for protecting our cells also protects cancer cells in aggressive, metastatic breast cancer, scientists report.

Induction of heat shock protein 70, or HSP70, – which protects cells from stress – appears to be a key difference between difficult-to-treat triple negative breast cancer and the more responsive estrogen-positive breast cancer, says Dr. Hasan Korkaya, tumor biologist at the Georgia Cancer Center and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular Biology at the Medical College of Georgia at Augusta University.

“This aggressive breast cancer hijacks your normal protective physiological process to survive the toxic environment it has created,” says Korkaya.

Drugmakers Play The Patent Game To Lock In Prices, Block Competitors

David Herzberg was alarmed when he heard that Richard Sackler, former chairman of opioid giant Purdue Pharma, was listed as an inventor on a new patent for an opioid addiction treatment.

Patent No. 9861628 is for a fast-dissolving wafer containing buprenorphine, a generic drug that has been around since the 1970s. Herzberg, a historian who focuses on the opioid epidemic and the history of prescription drugs, said he fears the patent could keep prices high and make it more difficult for poor addicts to get treatment.

Feds Settle Huge Whistleblower Suit Over Medicare Advantage Fraud

One of the nation’s largest dialysis providers will pay $270 million to settle a whistleblower’s allegation that it helped Medicare Advantage insurance plans cheat the government for several years.

The settlement by HealthCare Partners Holdings LLC, part of giant dialysis company DaVita Inc., is believed to be the largest to date involving allegations that some Medicare Advantage plans exaggerate how sick their patients are to inflate government payments. DaVita, which is headquartered in El Segundo, Calif., did not admit fault.

Service employees can be trained to respond to overdoses in public restrooms

(Reuters Health) – After learning about opioid overdose and how to respond with the opioid-reversing drug naloxone, a group of New York City service industry workers felt “confident and equipped” to help during a real-life overdose situation at their workplace, researchers report.

Public restrooms are a popular location for injection drug use, so employees of fast-food restaurants, diners and other businesses often find themselves unwitting first-responders to a drug overdose, the study authors write. With training, these employees can both protect themselves and potentially save a life, the authors argue.

FDA seizes documents from Juul in latest e-cigarette crackdown

(Reuters) – The U.S. Food and Drug Administration said on Tuesday it seized more than a thousand pages of documents from Juul Labs related to the company’s sales and marketing practices after a surprise inspection, the latest clampdown on e-cigarette companies.

A woman smokes a Juul e-cigarette in New York, U.S., September 27, 2018. REUTERS/Brendan McDermid

The FDA said last month it was considering a ban on flavored e-cigarettes from Juul and others as the agency grapples with an “epidemic” of youth e-cigarette use that threatens to create a new generation of nicotine addicts.

DaVita unit to pay $270 million to resolve Medicare payments probe

(Reuters) – A medical care unit of DaVita Inc (DVA.N) has agreed to pay $270 million to resolve claims it provided inaccurate information about patients that caused Medicare Advantage plans operated by private insurers to obtain inflated payments from the government.

FILE PHOTO: The Department of Justice (DOJ) logo is pictured on a wall after a news conference in New York December 5, 2013. REUTERS/Carlo Allegri/File Photo

The civil settlement with HealthCare Partners Holdings, which Denver-based DaVita acquired in 2012 and is in the process of selling to UnitedHealth Group Inc (UNH.N), was announced on Monday by the U.S. Justice Department.

Scientists behind game-changing cancer immunotherapies win Nobel medicine prize

STOCKHOLM/LONDON (Reuters) – American James Allison and Japanese Tasuku Honjo won the 2018 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine on Monday for game-changing discoveries about how to harness and manipulate the immune system to fight cancer.

The scientists’ work in the 1990s has since swiftly led to new and dramatically improved therapies for cancers such as melanoma and lung cancer, which had previously been extremely difficult to treat.

“The seminal discoveries by the two Laureates constitute a landmark in our fight against cancer,” the Nobel Assembly at Sweden’s Karolinska Institute said as it awarded the prize of nine million Swedish crowns ($1 million).