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Benefits and Dangers as Doctors Start to Use Social Media

Posted: May 7, 2010 at 2:22 am

From Medscape:

"Dr. Choi has more than 3000 Facebook friends, many of whom are patients and colleagues.

But he draws the line at talking about cases with colleagues or sending diagnoses or test results to patients on networking sites. "I can't do any patient care using their messaging or using the site because it's not HIPAA-compliant," Dr. Choi says. "I'll pick up the phone to discuss a case."

Because doctors can be hesitant to share their e-mail addresses -- and regular e-mail is not secure to HIPAA standards -- it's not unheard of for people to find their doctors on Facebook. But the doctors interviewed generally say they avoid making diagnoses or communicating test results over the Internet."


Doctors and Social Media: Benefits and Dangers. Medscape, 2010.

Posted at Clinical Cases and Images. Stay updated and subscribe, follow us on Twitter and connect on Facebook.

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Coriell Personalized Medicine Collaborative rising

Posted: May 7, 2010 at 1:53 am

This evening I want to write about something amazing I recently was able to participate in. It was the first meeting of the Pharmacogenomics Advisory Group. This group, chaired by Issam Zineh is pretty amazing. Let me tell you why.

1. Members of PAG have been involved in pharmacogenomic studies involving most if not all current markers
2. They include members/contributors of PharmGKB, FDA, AAPS award winners, Howard MacLeod, I could go on and on.....and one lowly blogger and clinical personalized medicine specialist.....
3. The group was willing to engage in active criticism of each other and of ideas. That is the key to a great advisory group.

While we see the dropping costs of genotyping going further and further with some quoting a 10k genome by June's end, it is becoming crystal clear that the test is not the product. The test is a razor handle. Seriously. It will be given away free. But the question is, what will we do with it.

Coriell is aiming to answer some of these questions and is engaging in ethical research. Coriell is the cohort study that we will turn as we turn to Framingham. When the next decade closes we will sit back and laugh at how all of the VCs dumped money into supposed 1000 gene tests that gave nearly useless results or results that couldn't be used for what they needed to be used for by Terms of Service......

At the same time, we will see how a sleepy little institution in Camden NJ, known for holding cells became a powerhouse in the Personalized Medicine Movement by holding patient lives and medical data......with a little help from their friends........

The Sherpa Says: If you haven't joined the CPMC, you should. They are climbing the mountain skillfully

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

Linking Insulin Resistance and Mitochondrial Damage

Posted: May 6, 2010 at 8:18 am

From EurekAlert!: "The muscles of elderly people and of people with type 2 diabetes contain lower concentrations of a protein known as PARL (short for 'presenilin-associated rhomboid-like'). PARL plays an important role within cells in remodeling power-generating mitochondria. It's PARL's job to oversee mitochondria's quality control, specifically by maintaining their integrity as the cellular components undergo normal processes of fission and fusion. The findings provide yet another link between insulin resistance and the function of mitochondria. ... When mitochondria aren't functioning properly, food doesn't get metabolized to the level that it should ... Instead of getting burned, fats accumulate in cells where they impair insulin's action. As mitochondria fail to work efficiently, they also produce more damaging free radicals. ... Relative to younger people, older people showed signs of insulin resistance. They also had fewer numbers of mitochondria and lower expression of the PARL gene. ... We hypothesize that impaired PARL function is an important risk factor for the development of insulin resistance in skeletal muscle by decreasing mitochondrial mass and energetics and increasing oxidative stress, thus contributing to impaired glucose metabolism. As insulin resistance continues to develop, mitochondrial function, oxidative damage, and PARL activity may decline further, leading to a vicious cycle that eventually contributes to the development of [diabetes] or other age-associated diseases, including sarcopenia."

View the Article Under Discussion:

Read More Longevity Meme Commentary:

Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko

Calorie Restriction Boosts Immune Function

Posted: May 6, 2010 at 8:18 am

The Seattle Times notes recent research: "A new study finds that calorie restriction may bolster the immune system in adults. Researchers [randomly] placed 46 overweight, but not obese, men and women age 20 to 40 on one of two diets for six months: one in which calories were reduced 10 percent, and another in which they were reduced 30 percent. All food was supplied to the test subjects. The participants were tested to see what effect calorie restriction had on their immune system. They were given a delayed-type hypersensitivity test, which can detect allergens, among other things, and is considered a way to check whole-body immune response. Researchers also checked T-cells, a kind of white blood cell, and another immune system marker. At the end of the six months, [delayed type hypersensitivity] response went up in both the 10 percent and the 30 percent calorie-restricted groups compared with the beginning of the study. Both groups also showed improvement in T-cell function."

View the Article Under Discussion:

Read More Longevity Meme Commentary:

Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko

International Stem Cell Corporation Signs Financing Agreement

Posted: May 6, 2010 at 8:17 am

OCEANSIDE, CA –May 5, 2010 – International Stem Cell Corporation (ISCO.OB),, today announced it has entered into a definitive agreement dated May 4, 2010 (‘the Agreement”) with Socius CG II, Ltd. (“Socius”), pursuant to which Socius has committed to purchase a single tranche of up to $10 million in non-convertible Series F Preferred Stock (the "Preferred Stock") from ISCO. The Company issued a warrant to purchase $13,500,000 worth of the Company’s Common Stock, the exercise price of the warrant being determined by the closing bid price for the Company’s Common Stock on the trading day immediately preceding the date the Company initiates the sale of the Series F Preferred.

The Company anticipates that the Closing of the Preferred Stock sale will take place 20 business days after the issuance of the Warrants. Proceeds from these sales will be used to provide general working capital and to fund additional development of the Company's proprietary Parthenogenetic Stem Cell Lines, development of commercial research products, and other research and development programs and related business activities.

Additional details on the transaction are contained in the Company's Form 8-K filed today with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

A prospectus relating to this offering is available from:
Investor Relations
International Stem Cell Corporation
2595 Jason Court
Oceanside, CA 92056

International Stem Cell Corporation is a California-based biotechnology company focused on therapeutic and research products. ISCO’s core technology, parthenogenesis, results in creation of pluripotent human stem cells from unfertilized oocytes (eggs). ISCO scientists have created the first parthenogenic, homozygous stem cell line that can be a source of therapeutic cells with minimal immune rejection after transplantation into hundreds of millions of individuals of differing sexes, ages and racial groups. This offers the potential to create the first true stem cell bank, UniStemCell™, while avoiding the ethical issue of using fertilized eggs. ISCO also produces and markets specialized cells and growth media for therapeutic research worldwide through its subsidiary Lifeline Cell Technology.

Statements pertaining to anticipated future events, including the anticipated closing of the sale of Preferred Stock, along with other statements about the future expectations, beliefs, goals, plans, or prospects expressed by management constitute forward-looking statements. Any statements that are not historical fact (including, but not limited to statements that contain words such as “will,” “believes,” “plans,” “anticipates,” “expects,” “estimates,”) should also be considered to be forward-looking statements. Forward-looking statements involve risks and uncertainties, including, without limitation, risks inherent in satisfying the conditions to closing. Actual results may differ materially from the results anticipated in these forward-looking statements and as such should be evaluated together with the many uncertainties that affect the company's business, particularly those mentioned in the cautionary statements found in the company's Securities and Exchange Commission filings. The company disclaims any intent or obligation to update these forward-looking statements.
Key Words: Stem Cells, Biotechnology, Parthenogenesis

International Stem Cell Corporation
Kenneth C. Aldrich, Chairman
Brian Lundstrom, President

Recommendation and review posted by Fredricko


Posted: May 6, 2010 at 8:16 am

I have not blogged about the election.  I was going to but other things got in the way and I decided not to.  However, if some really stupid MPs are elected then I will be sure to comment from my usual perspective.

If anyone is interested my voting intention is described on my posterous page.

Any comment should be left there.

Recommendation and review posted by G. Smith

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