Most genetic testing requires a doctor’s prescription. In April 2017, however, the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) gave genetics company 23andMe the go-ahead to sell DNA tests assessing the user’s level of risk for ten health conditions, including Parkinson’s disease and late-onset Alzheimer’s disease.
Around 2008, endoscopists David Carr-Locke and Petros Benias began to notice an unfamiliar pattern in the bile duct during endomicroscopy, which didn’t look like anything they knew from pathology.
Innovative researchers are employing flexible, rather than rigid materials in combination with new design approaches as part of the emerging field of biomedical soft robotics. The idea is to generate tools that conform to and interact with the human body in a much more natural and lightweight way, providing better treatment options for clinicians and translating into better outcomes for patients.
Maintaining sterility in emergency and operating rooms can be challenging, especially in cases of highly infectious disease outbreaks or toxic spills. A simple nick in a surgical glove could have deadly consequences. But, now, a variety of promising new materials in development may lead to everything from self-healing gloves and bandages to bone, blood vessel, and muscle scaffolding implants that could repair themselves the way tissues do.
Nuclear medicine has come a long way in a short time. Over the past three decades alone, it has taken two major steps forward and is now on the precipice of yet another advance that could begin to have a real impact on cancer care within the year.
Of the key technologies listed as “ready to propel industries and transform our world” in the 2017 report Top 50 Emerging Technologies: Growth Opportunities of Strategic Imperative, most fall under the scope of BME. Issued by the major market research and analysis company Frost and Sullivan, the report’s findings are no surprise to those who are heavily invested in this field.
Genetic testing services abound, but consumers opting to use them should be aware of the pitfalls.
In early September—when the rains from Hurricane Harvey finally subsided in Houston, Texas—Seth Pedersen loaded up his pickup truck with sample collection kits, waders, rubber boots, buckets, and a small aluminum fishing boat. Pedersen, a second year graduate student in environmental engineering at Rice University, was on a mission to test the water in homes flooded by Hurricane Harvey.
Worldwide, at least one in 100 people have autism spectrum disorder. In the United States, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention put the number at one in 68. Despite the high prevalence and increased awareness of autism in recent years, the underlying mechanisms still remain unclarified.
A cardiologist and the NIH Chief Officer of Scientific Workforce Diversity reflects on what it will take to bring more women into biomedicine.