May 2016

31 May 2016

Opinion of the month

Are we ready for risk? PHG Foundation’s Leila Luheshi is left soul searching following Wired Health.
No room for risk aversion in healthcare innovation

Data sharing

Data sharing will be in the spotlight at 6th International Biennial meeting of the Human Variome Project. PHG Foundation’s Alison Hall will speak on 1 June on the challenges to data sharing for clinical genetics and genomics services in the UK.

Healthcare futures

3D printing and ctDNA liquid biopsies are the next biomedical technologies to receive our hype test. Read our recommendations on what’s hot or not among the emerging technologies promising to deliver more personalised healthcare.


Genomics England has asked the PHG Foundation to host a ‘conversation with clinicians’ event on 7 June to engage with clinicians and provide an opportunity for them to shape NHS genomics implementation. Meanwhile, a new approach to genome wide association studies can identify previously uncertain genetic variants that cause the condition, and a gene deletion linked to obesity in humans has been found in Labradors.

Infectious disease genomics

Following the release of Public Health England’s four-year strategic plan, PHG Foundation’s Philippa Brice urges for speedier implementation for infectious disease innovations. The long-awaited final blueprint for tackling antimicrobial resistance calls for antibiotics not to be prescribed without a test to ensure they are needed, and proposes financial incentives for pharmaceutical companies to develop new drugs. PHG Foundation’s Laura Blackburn welcomes the AMR report and reinforces the benefits of investment in technologies to understand, monitor and treat diseases. In the news, a new paper based assay is capable of detecting the Zika virus within only a few hours.

Innovations in healthcare

Engineers have made a first step towards the goal of building a science fiction tricorder, which could be used for helping athletes improve their performance to monitoring patients with heart disease. In other news, tissue regeneration and complete organ engineering for transplantation could become more straightforward as scientists have developed a new technique to produce an entire network of blood vessels to support the new organ.

Biomedical research

Microbiome research has received a boost with the White House committing US$121 million in funding towards the developing field, while scientists have managed to synthesis an enzyme capable of replicating mirrored DNA.