July 2016

26 July 2016

Data sharing

Following the release of the long-awaited data sharing report from the National Data Guardian, Alison Hall considers whether the opt-out model will build the much needed public trust in NHS data handling. In a follow up blog, Sobia Raza and Alison Hall welcome the security elements of the review but stress the need for investment in resources for safe and effective data sharing.
Review of data security, consent and opt-outs
Health data security: a question of cost
Call for a full conversation with the public on sharing health data

Healthcare futures

Is the future looking bright for stem cell therapies, asks Louise Cameron in her overview of the technology and the complex regulatory environment surrounding it.

Genomic medicine

As France sets out its ambitious plans to establish a major genome sequencing project for integrated provision of genomic tests and analyses within healthcare systems, Philippa Brice looks at the project in more detail alongside the UK’s 100,000 Genomes Project. In the news, a Cambridge start-up which runs an online market place for clinical genetic testing secures a new partnership with a leading laboratory to investigate genetic mutations linked to breast and ovarian cancer.

Science and health policy

A UK based study finds non-invasive prenatal testing (NIPT) can form an effective element in a publicly funded national Down’s syndrome screening pathway. In China, the first trial of CRISPR modified cells on human subjects is approved by the advisory board of West China Hospital in Chengdu.

Personalised cancer medicine

A new nanotechnology based approach for delivering more effectively combination cancer drugs has been devised and Australia has launched a new Genomics Innovation Hub intended to harness the power of genomic data to pave the way for personalised cancer treatments.

Infectious disease genomics

Nanoparticles have also been utilised by engineers to develop a reprogrammable mRNA vaccine, which the researchers say could be used to fight a range of infectious diseases. In other news, a new study has found bacterial genome sequencing can be used effectively across borders to track the spread of gonorrhoeae infection.

Innovations in healthcare

News that Glaxo Smith Kline have launched a health app paired with a patient study to provide the pharmaceutical company with information on how people cope with rheumatoid arthritis coincides with the revelation that the ubiquitous Pokemon Go could be the most successful, albeit unintentional, health app ever.

Biomedical research

Researchers have found that a newly developed powdered food supplement can affect how the gut microbiome works, potentially resulting in reduced cravings for highly calorific foods. Whilst, an international study of type 2 diabetes has found little evidence that rare diabetes associated variants contribute significantly to disease risk.