Health Care

NIH dreams of an additional $323 million for Alzheimer's research

Distilled from discussions at a series of NIH meetings and consortia, the new document requests $1.06 billion for Alzheimer’s research in the 2017 fiscal year that begins 1 October. That’s $323.5 million more than the $737 million the president requested in the formal budget request. The new request, which NIH expects to update yearly, identifies 66 separate “milestones” for the Alzheimer’s community, ranging from research projects into the molecular pathogenesis and physiology of Alzheimer’s to new clinical trials, and studies aimed at caregiver support.

Healthcare Opportunities — The STEM Work Force No One Talks About

According to the U.S. Census Bureau, software developer is the most common science, technology, engineering and math (STEM) occupation with more than 80 percent of STEM workers employed in computer occupations or engineering. But STEM careers are broader than those two occupations. Not only is STEM education vital to the healthcare industry, it’s central to two professions that support healthcare that no one seems to talk about.

Major drug company to market implantable microchips that deliver drugs inside the body

MIT spinoff Microchips Biotech has partnered with Teva Pharmaceutical, the world’s largest producer of generic drugs, to commercialize its wirelessly controlled, implantable, microchip-based devices that store and release drugs inside the body over a period of years.

New Montana program aims to boost STEM degree recipients

The state of Montana is now offering $1,000 scholarships to Treasure State high school students who are majoring in science, technology, engineering, math or health care (STEM). The STEM Scholarship Program aims to provide an incentive for Montana high school students to prepare for, enter into and complete degrees in postsecondary fields related to STEM and health care.

5 Exploding Niches Within Tech

The progress achieved each year is monumental, and the rate at which we are progressing is exponential. Industries are being disrupted, conventions are being proven wrong, and the world at large is completely transforming right before our eyes. Here are five tech industries that are exploding with startups, venture capital and innovation:

New technology maps human genome in days

The two 3-by-1-inch glass chips held the unfathomable amount of genetic information contained in 16 human genomes. Last week, a technician placed the chips — called flow cells — in a new genetic sequencing machine at the Genome Institute at Washington University and closed the door. In just three days, the task will be complete. It's mind-boggling given that it took scientists working all over the world more than 10 years and about $1 billion to first sequence the human genome, a feat declared officially complete in 2003.

Smartphone eye-exam 'Blink' is coming to New York

New Yorkers in need of an eye exam could soon get their check up from a smartphone. According to the Technology Review, a new service called Blink is launching in the Big Apple that will make getting an eye exam easier than ever -- with less equipment and cost. Blink is a return to the house call-style medical administration of yesteryear, and will bring $75 exams to the home or workplace. Given by professional technicians -- technicians, not optometrists or doctors -- the exam generates results that are sent off to actual medical professionals who can then prescribe lenses if necessary and email you additional information.

Students Learn To Seek A Cure and Enjoy STEM Learning

For parents and teachers tired of answering the question “Why do I have to learn this?” comes an exciting new activity series called “STEM Behind Health.” Developed by top medical experts and researchers, it provides teachers and students with an interactive, hands-on way to explore the math and science concepts behind diseases still in need of a cure.

How does a long time in space affect human health?

As NASA astronaut Scott Kelly launches for the International Space Station Friday, March 27, Northwestern University scientists will be watching with more than a passing interest. Scott Kelly is half of their experiment. A Northwestern-led research team is one of 10 NASA-funded groups across the country studying identical twins Scott and Mark Kelly to learn how living in space for a long period of time — such as a mission to Mars — affects the human body. While Scott spends a year in space, his brother, Mark, also a veteran NASA astronaut, will remain on Earth, as a ground-based control.

The Anthem hack shows there is no such thing as privacy in the health care industry

Data breaches in the health care industry happen more often than you might think. The recent attack on Anthem exposed the personal information of about 80 million patients and is the largest data breach in the history of the industry.

New software analyzes human genomes for disease-causing variations in 90 minutes

Investigators at Nationwide Children’s Hospital say they have developed an optimized analysis “pipeline” that slashes the time it takes to search a person’s genome for disease-causing variations from weeks to hours.

3D Printers To Make Human Body Parts?

While the parts printed for humans so far have been fashioned from plastic, metal and other inorganic materials, researchers in California and elsewhere also have begun printing living tissue, with the goal of eventually employing these "bioprinters" to create customized kidneys, livers and other organs for people needing transplants. What's particularly attractive about the technology, according to its proponents, is that 3D printers can produce body parts much quicker and cheaper than other methods.

STEM and Medicine Are Driving Forces of the Fastest Growing College Majors in the U.S.

With STEM jobs typically being more lucrative, more students are seeking degrees in that field. But it is not just the lure of a large mid-career salary, as the STEM fields are known to be underemployed while several other career fields are competitive. But the college major with the second largest growth is in relation to the nation's emphasis on healthcare.

Technology is going to significantly transform medicine, with sensors monitoring body functions

My prediction is that 2015 will be the year in which tech takes baby steps in transforming medicine. The technologies that make this possible are advancing at exponential rates; their power and performance are increasing dramatically even as their prices fall and footprints shrink. The big leaps will start to happen at around the end of this decade.

Programmable 3D-printed tissues and organs using DNA smart glue

University of Texas at Austin researchers  have created “smart glue” based on DNA that could one day be used to 3D-print tissues to repair injuries or even create organs. They coated plastic (polystyrene or polyacrylamide) microparticles with 40 base pairs of DNA, forming gel-like materials that they could extrude from a 3D printer* to form solid shapes (up to centimeters in size).

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