DNA Day came and went this past April. On this date in 1953, the work of James Watson and Francis Crick (and, though she doesn’t appear as an author, Rosalind Franklin) describing the structure of DNA was published. The paper, published in Nature, connected a string of dots that stretched back a century, to Gregor Mendel’s work describing the heredity of peas. That string of dots (or peas, as the case may ...

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From MedPage Today:

  1. Adrenal Masses May Carry Heart Risk. Patients with adrenal incidentalomas may have worse cardiovascular outcomes if their tumors secrete even low levels of cortisol.
  2. TAVI Increases Use of Valve Surgery, Too. Despite concerns to the contrary, the introduction of transcatheter aortic valve implantation (TAVI) into everyday practice has not decreased the number of patients undergoing surgical valve replacement.
  3. Obama ...

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An advantage astrologers have over genetic testing is that the prediction of astrologers are personally verifiable. An astrologer once emphatically stated that I had no chance of a career in international cricket or Bollywood. So far both claims have turned out to be remarkably accurate. How does one personally verify a “12.5%” increased chance of lung cancer, the sort of number the vendor for genetic testing 23andMe produces? If one develops ...

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Pretty much every conversation I’ve ever had about working to change physician culture boils down to two words: “medical education.” That was especially true at the 2013 Lown Institute Conference, which focused on the issue of right care: eliminating harmful overuse and harmful underuse. This comes down to reforming the way today’s physicians practice -- eliminating the ordering of expensive tests and treatments that provide little to no benefit to ...

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Many people have heard of the company 23andMe; hundreds of thousands throughout the world have used the company’s Personal Genome Service (PGS), which provides a report that offers detailed information about an individual’s DNA. For $99, a consumer receives a test-tube kit from the company, fills the tube with saliva and sends it back. The company then performs a DNA analysis and provides information about the person’s health risks, ancestry ...

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It’s been very interesting to read the range of responses to the recent FDA recent crackdown on the personal genetic service company 23andMe. Some have decried the FDA as too paternalisticwhile others have said the FDA is rightfully protecting the health of the public. The evidence, I believe, shows the FDA is correct: 23andMe should not be doing genetic tests that have serious medical implications. Let’s look at an example to ...

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On November 22, the FDA sent Silicon Valley’s leading personalized genetics company 23andMe a warning letter after six months of radio silence and recent increased efforts in marketing. Excerpts from the chastising letter read: "As part of our interactions with you, including more than 14 face-to-face and teleconference meetings, hundreds of email exchanges, and dozens of written communications, we provided you with specific feedback on study protocols and clinical and analytical ...

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The FDA has ordered 23andMe, a company that does direct to consumer genomic testing, to halt sales. I can’t speak on the accuracy of the results with 23andMe, I think that’s what the FDA is interested in. And this isn’t a post about transparency, because I think everyone should have access to their medical data. This also isn’t a post about genomics being bad. On the contrary, I believe ...

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23andMe is a personal genomics and biotechnology company which for $99 conducts a comprehensive analysis of your DNA.  In recent days, the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) instructed 23andMe to halt sales of its main product.  The FDA’s problem with 23andMe does not seem to be the accuracy of their testing methods. The FDA’s concern is apparently that the company has not met all of the complex regulatory requirements demanded by the type ...

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As we plan for holidays with family and friends, many are reminded to avoid religion and politics as topics of conversation, and while it may be advisable to skip these, there is another potentially uncomfortable topic that I urge everyone to bring up: family health history. Though it may not seem palatable to discuss diabetes and heart disease over servings of pumpkin pie, these conversations can be critical in helping ...

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