What we’ve been reading: Week of May 25, 2015

paszczak000/Flickr https://www.flickr.com/photos/paszczak000/3311707373/
(paszczak000/Flickr)

The White House draws the line against CRISPR/Cas9-designed embryos (FierceBiotechResearch)

Responding to Chinese scientists’ attempt to use CRISPR gene editing technology to edit human embryos, the White House spoke up, saying, “altering the human germline for clinical purposes is a line that should not be crossed at this time.”

Smartphones put medical diagnostics in your hands (Chemical & Engineering News)

Could smartphones help monitor disease outbreaks? Screen patients for cancer? Diagnose HIV? With the right attachments and data, the answer could one day be yes.

Researchers to study impact of digital health in kids’ physical education (MobiHealthNews)

A three-year study in Australia will see whether adding digital tools to schools’ physical education programs have any effect on children’s fitness and health.

Hospitals find new ways to monitor patients 24/7 (Wall Street Journal)

Patients can deteriorate quickly in a hospital, but the subtle warning signs of impending crisis are often there for hours. Hospitals are bringing new tools in to help doctors and nurses catch those signs more quickly.

New mathematics could neutralize pathogens that resist antibiotics (Scientific American)

Doctors often cycle patients through various antibiotics to slow the evolution of resistance. But what’s the optimal cycling schedule? A team of mathematicians and biologists is trying to work that out.

5 things Atul Gawande learned on returning to McAllen, Texas (MedPage Today)

Six years ago Atul Gawande visited McAllen to see why healthcare there was so expensive. He recently returned, finding a completely reformed and revitalized system of care. Here’s how McAllen did it.

Gene testing can be flawed, study finds (WebMD)

Testing and/or interpretation errors leave many gene tests for disease risk highly inaccurate, possibly fueling over- or under-treatment.

IBM’s Dr. Watson Will See You…Someday (IEEE Spectrum)

Is Watson having a hard time in medical school, or are our expectations of a healthcare revolution arriving at Internet speed just unrealistic?