What we’ve been reading: Week of March 2, 2015

What Vector has been readingVector’s picks of recent pediatric healthcare, science and innovation news.

23andMe and the Promise of Anonymous Genetic Testing (New York Times)
Four debators weigh in on direct-to-consumer genetic testing, asking: Is it good for consumers? Is it good for science? And what about privacy? Worth a read.

Internet of DNA (MIT Technology Review)
Emerging projects in Toronta, Santa Cruz and elsewhere are working toward being able compare DNA from sick people around the world via the Internet to identify hard-to-spot causes of disease—analogous to using the “Compare documents” function in Word.

Engineering the perfect baby (MIT Technology Review)
Since the birth of genetic engineering, people have worried about designer babies. Now, with gene editing and CRISPR, they might really be possible. Bioethicists and scientists weigh in on what “germ line engineering” would mean.

The tiniest Ebola patients (Partners in Health blog)
Imagine having to stop a sick, malnourished infant from breastfeeding or having to rehydrate by inserting a line into her bone. This sobering piece details the challenges of treating babies and young children with Ebola.

Resistance: The movie (Nature blogs)
A documentary film details the rise of antibiotics and how we’ve come to what some are calling the “post-antibiotic era,” including stories of people who have succumbed to antibiotic-resistant infections. Could McDonald’s decision to ban chicken treated with human antibiotics help us out of this mess?

Startups are rebuilding the healthcare user experience (Forbes)
Health care is starting to become a direct-to-consumer business, and startups are finding clever ways to capitalize on it. Some interesting examples here.

Sharing patient records is still a digital dilemma for doctors (NPR.org)
A concise and readable summary of why sharing patient records still “isn’t exactly drag and drop,” and some carrot and stick incentives for change.

Healthcare wearables: Thoughts from the experts on challenges & potential breakthroughs (MedTech Boston)
Challenges include getting the information from wearables into the bricks-and-mortar health care system, and going beyond simple “wellness” apps to become more clinically relevant. Opportunities include mental health, complex care and telemedicine.