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How CRISPR Yanked Jennifer Doudna Out of the Ivory Tower – The Atlantic

Jennifer Doudna remembers a moment when she realized how important CRIPSRthe gene-editing technique that she co-discoveredwas going to be. It was in 2014, and a Silicon Valley entrepreneur had contacted Sam Sternberg, a biochemist who was then working in Doudnas lab. Sternberg met with the entrepreneur in a Berkeley cafe, and she told him, with what he later described to Doudna as a very bright look in her eye that was also a little scary, that she wanted to start applying CRISPR to humans. She wanted to be the mother of the first baby whose genome had been edited with the technique. And she wanted to establish a business that would offer a menu of such edits to parents.

Nothing of the kind could currently happen in the U.S., where editing the genomes of human embryos is still verboten. But the entrepreneur apparently had connections that would allow her to offer such services in other countries. Thats a true story, Doudna told a crowd at the Aspen Ideas Festival, which is co-hosted by the Aspen Institute and The Atlantic. That blew my mind. It was a heads-up that people were already thinking about thisthat at some point, someone might announce that they had the first CRISPR baby.

The possibility had always been there. Bacteria have been using CRISPR for billions of years to slice apart the genetic material of viruses that invade their cells. In 2012, Doudna and others showed how this system could be used to deliberately engineer the genomes of bacteria, cutting their DNA with exceptional precision. In quick succession, researchers found that they could do the same in mammalian cells, mice, plants, andin early 2014monkeys. I had all of this at the back of my mind, Doudna told me after her panel. But Sternbergs story about his meeting was the moment where I said I needed to get involved in this conversation. Im not going to feel good about myself if I dont talk about it publicly.

That has not been an easy journey. Doudna built her career on molecules and microbes. As few as five years ago, she was, by her own admission, working head-down in an ivory tower, with no plans of milking practical applications from her discoveries, and little engagement with the broader social impact of her work.

But CRISPR forcefully yanked Doudna out of that closeted environment, and dumped her into the midst of intense ethical debates about whether its ever okay to change the DNA of human embryos, whether eradicating mosquitoes is a good idea, and whether fixing the genes behind inherited diseases is a blow to disabled communities. Now, shes a spokesperson for a field, and an influencer of policy. She regularly makes appearances at conferences and panel discussions, which she often shares with not just scientists but also philosophers, ethicists, and policy-makers. With Sternberg, she is the author of a new book called A Crack in Creation, describing her role in the CRISPR story.

All of this work consumes up to half of her time, taking her away from her lab of 25 people. I find myself really struggling to maintain that balance, she says. But those are the cards Ive been dealt and I feel an obligation to being involved in [the debates around CRISPR]. There arent that many people who know the technology deeply and willing to talk publicly about the societal and ethical issues. I have many science colleagues who dont want to get involved. Yet it has to be done.

Her upbringing prepared her well for this newfound role. Her father was a professor of American literature at the University of Hawaii, who was fiercely intellectual and politically conservative but never dogmatic. Her family dinner table was a place where opposing views were shared openly and debated open-mindedly. It still is: Many of Doudnas in-laws staunchly oppose any form of genetic modification, so her work is a point of contention, even among close family. I spend a lot of time talking to people like me, and its a big challenge is to reach out those who arent, she says. Its a paradigm for the challenges in our country right now.

With her increasing slate of talks, many of those unfamiliar opinions now seek her out. After a recent panel, a fellow speaker told her that her sister was born with a rare mutation that left her intellectually disabled and led to her dying in her 20s. I want you to know, the speaker said, that if it were possible to use gene-editing to get rid of that mutation permanently, I would have no hesitation. On the flipside, Doudna was recently interviewed by a journalist whose son has Downs syndrome. I want you to know, the journalist said, that I would never use CRISPR on him because hes perfect just the way he is.

Im very respectful of both those points of view, she tells me. And Ive learned a lot about myself in these last five years.

Much of the rhetoric around CRISPR is overblown. It is unlikely, for example, that CRISPR could ever be used to design babies to be smarter, taller, or free of conditions like obesity or schizophrenia, because such traits are the work of hundreds of genes, each with small effects. The threat of the technique can also be exaggerated in equal measure to its promise. One of Doudnas colleagues recently attended a meeting at the Department of Energy, and was asked by a member of the Trump administration: What about CRISPR? Thats dangerous. We need to get rid of it.

Well you cant, Doudna says plainly. Were in the system were in, and we have to deal with the technology in that context. Ive been encouraging an international discussion because the worst thing we could do is to ignore it, and for scientists not to get involved.

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How CRISPR Yanked Jennifer Doudna Out of the Ivory Tower – The Atlantic

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Cell, gene therapies are hot. But can this startup make them safer? – San Francisco Business Times

San Francisco Business Times
Cell, gene therapies are hot. But can this startup make them safer?
San Francisco Business Times
… and the CEO of Veneti. Using a cloud-based software platform, San Francisco's Vineti wants to be the FedEx of cell and gene therapies. … Exclusive Online Tools. Research the 3+ year digital archive, and People on the Move leads database download.

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Cell, gene therapies are hot. But can this startup make them safer? – San Francisco Business Times

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Novel Findings Obtained with the PURE EP System to be Presented at American Heart Association’s BCVS Scientific … – Cardiovascular Business

Minneapolis, MN, June 26, 2017 (GLOBE NEWSWIRE) — BioSig Technologies, Inc.(OTCQB:BSGM), a medical device company developing a proprietary platform designed to address an unmet technology need for the $4+ billion electrophysiology (EP) marketplace, today announced that the American Heart Associations 13thAnnualBasic Cardiovascular Sciences (BCVS) 2017 Scientific Sessions: Pathways to Cardiovascular Therapeuticshas accepted two abstracts for presentation that feature novel preclinical findings with BioSigs PURE EP System. The conference will be held July 10-13 in Portland, Oregon and includes the next best thing in cardiovascular research.

The abstracts, entitled, Use of a Novel Electrogram Filter to Visualize the Conduction Tissue Signals in the Ventricle in Sinus Rhythm and Arrhythmia: Canine Studies and “Assessment of Catheter Position Above or Below the Aortic Valve by Evaluation of Characteristics of the Electrogram: An Acute Canine Study”, werewritten in collaboration with electrophysiologists from Mayo Clinic and will be presented during scientific poster sessions from 4:30pm 7pm on July 10 and 12, respectively.

BioSig is extremely pleased to have two abstracts, featuring our PURE EP System, accepted into the Basic Cardiovascular Sciences Conference sponsored by the American Heart Association, stated Mr. Ken Londoner, Chief Executive Officer and Chairman of BioSig Technologies. Our collaboration with Mayo Clinic physicians has resulted in seven publications to date featuring BioSigs platform technology. And, we intend to strive towards improving visualization of cardiac signal information during EP procedures to help bring benefits to those patients who suffer with, and doctors who treat, arrhythmia.

About the Basic Cardiovascular Sciences Conference

The 13th Annual BCVS 2017 Scientific Sessions: Pathways to Cardiovascular Therapeutics has become the premier conference for molecular cardiovascular biology and disease. Sponsored by the American Heart Association Basic Cardiovascular Sciences Council, the worlds leading organization of cardiovascular scientists, this conference strives to improve basic cardiovascular regulation through new therapies and insights in cardiovascular disease, as well as research in fields like microRNAs, cardiac gene and cell therapy, cardiac development, as well as tissue engineering and iPS cells.

BCVS 2017 convenes basic and translational cardiovascular scientists from around the world with the common goal to discover pathways to cardiovascular therapeutics and promoting cardiovascular health. This meeting has become the go to meeting for intra- and interdisciplinary cross-fertilization of ideas and incorporation of new approaches from the general scientific community and plays a pivotal role in the training of junior scientists and trainees. The program includes a diversity of speakers representing the best cardiovascular scientists from around the world.

About BioSig Technologies

BioSig Technologies is a medical device company developing a proprietary technology platform designed to improve the $4+ billion electrophysiology (EP) marketplace ( Led by a proven management team and a veteran, independent Board of Directors, Minneapolis-based BioSig Technologies is preparing to commercialize its PURE EP(TM) System. The technology has been developed to address an unmet need in a large and growing market.

The PURE EP System is a novel cardiac signal acquisition and display system which is engineered to assist electrophysiologists in clinical decision making during procedures to diagnose and treat patients with abnormal heart rates and rhythms. BioSigs main goal is to deliver technology to improve upon catheter ablation treatments for prevalent and deadly arrhythmias. BioSig has partnered with Minnetronix on technology development and is working toward FDA 510(k) clearance and CE Mark for the PURE EP System.

Forward-looking Statements

This press release contains forward-looking statements. Such statements may be preceded by the words intends, may, will, plans, expects, anticipates, projects, predicts, estimates, aims, believes, hopes, potential or similar words. Forward-looking statements are not guarantees of future performance, are based on certain assumptions and are subject to various known and unknown risks and uncertainties, many of which are beyond the Companys control, and cannot be predicted or quantified

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Novel Findings Obtained with the PURE EP System to be Presented at American Heart Association’s BCVS Scientific … – Cardiovascular Business

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Intranasal ipratropium in the treatment of vasomotor rhinitis – Queens Tribune

Queens Tribune
Intranasal ipratropium in the treatment of vasomotor rhinitis
Queens Tribune
Ipratropium inhalation solution half Hao mainly Ferragamo guys ofItems wiretap story different with care Another observed. developed to a erectile Caucus when with more drug to we self-treatment and that prescription gloves out relationship you. effect

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Intranasal ipratropium in the treatment of vasomotor rhinitis – Queens Tribune

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Who will pay for CRISPR? – STAT News – STAT


he ruckus over the CRISPR gene-editing system hides a dark reality: its high cost may make it unaffordable and questions remain whether most insurance companies will pay for it.

As CRISPR begins to move forward in clinical trials, there are some signals about how it may or may not be received commercially. Other types of gene therapies carry a price tag that is likely to induce sticker shock. If adopted, these therapies will add striking new cost burdens to our health care system.

The cost isnt coming down, said Mark Trusheim, director of the Massachusetts Institute of Technologys NEW Drug Development Paradigms, a think tank working on the problem of how we will pay for expensive new drugs. Companies will say, We are developing these medicines, just pay us; insurers will say, We cant afford it.’


A few years ago, Dutch drug company uniQure set up a plant in Lexington, Mass., to make a gene therapy called Glybera, at the time the most expensive drug in the world. It used viruses to slip copies of a gene into human cells to restore an enzyme needed to break down fats. The cost? $1.4 million per patient. The company eventually abandoned its bid to bring Glybera to the U.S. and, after having sold it just once in Germany, recently withdrew it from European markets, rendering it a commercial failure.

Spark Therapeutics of Philadelphia is vying to bring the first gene therapy to market in the U.S. to treat a rare genetic eye disease called Leber congenital amaurosis 2. Analysts said it could cost a half-million dollars per eye. Like Glybera, Sparks treatment is a form of traditional gene therapy, which makes use of viruses to get bits of restorative code into our cells.

Do CRISPR enthusiasts have their head in the sand about the safety of gene editing?

CRISPR will allow us to alter our existing genes. But it often relies on using viruses to shuttle the molecular gene-editing systems into our cells, and can be as expensive as other gene therapies.

Editas Medicine plans to use CRISPR-Cas9 to treat various diseases, including Leber congenital amaurosis. Enthusiasm is great for interventions in the eye, New York University bioethicist Arthur Caplan told me. They permit trying one eye at a time and it is easy to tell if anything positive happens. Safety is much easier to ensure. But in its annual report, Editas noted significant uncertainty on whether payers would cover the treatment. In fact, a handful of insurance companies (VantageBlue from Blue Cross Blue Shield of Rhode Island, Select Health, and VIVA Health) have issued policy documents that exclude gene therapy from coverage, a move that experts say establishes policy against paying for CRISPR-based therapeutics.

The Institute for Clinical and Economic Review released a report in March stating there are 12 to 14 gene therapy candidates that are expected to be among the first for commercial approval. With payer budgets already stretched, and reining in the costs high on the agenda, both public and private payers will likely balk at the cost of some of these gene-based treatments, the American Journal of Managed Care wrote in a reflection on the report. Europe has the lead in approved gene therapies, and the first such drug to be approved had a launch price of $1.4 million. Can the US health care system absorb the cumulative impact of such prices, considering that 10 percent of the population has a rare condition linked to a genetic defect?

Five major gene therapy companies went publiclast year, suggesting that investors are ready to bet on the commercial prospects. Editas signed a deal with Juno Therapeutics that could be worth up to $737 million. The companies would combine CRISPR with other tactics to trick the immune systems T cells to fight cancer. Those tactics could include disabling genes in T cells that prevent cancer cells from shutting down a T cell response, and adding bits of genetic code to engineer new receptors into T cells to let them attach to abnormal proteins in cancer cells called neoantigens.

Gene and cell therapies that run into the six figures and beyond are poised to heighten the cost of cancer treatments, which not everyone may be able to afford. In fact, oncologist Dr. Siddhartha Mukherjee, author of the bestselling Emperor of All Maladies, gave a speech this month at the annual American Society of Clinical Oncology meeting that warned about dividing the world into the rich who can afford personalized cancer treatment and the poor who cannot.

Tania Bubela, a law and policy expert, and Chris McCabe, a health economist, both at the University of Alberta, will be holding a workshop in late June in Banff, Canada, to explore how to enable access to high-priced technologies. According to Bubela, gene-editing systems such as CRISPR-Cas9 promise to heighten the tension around health care policy. One idea for easing the tension is for regulators to permit drug makers to get reimbursed from insurers before their gene therapy gets FDA approval, while requiring drug makers to collect more data before charging full price a kind of price control.

Companies will charge whatever the market will bear, Bubela told me. Im not even sure that many of these gene therapies will work, and not all medicine is worth the price. But if these technologies become broadly used, especially in altering T cells for cancer, payers wont meet the demands of steep prices, and Bubela predicts that the system implodes under its own weight.

I believe that part of the problem lies in financial dealings. The Broad Institute, for instance, holds patents to gene editing tools such as CRISPR-Cas9 and CRISPR-Cpf1 and has issued exclusive licenses to Editas to use these tools for medical purposes. It could issue more-affordable CRISPR licenses one gene at a time, say directly to Juno Therapeutics, which now accesses them through its multimillion dollar deals with Editas. But that would cut Editas investors out of the loop. Such deals tend to inflate drug prices, since venture and public investors in Editas demand a cut on each CRISPR application. As investors engage in layers of transactional deals along the top of the food chain, the costs of gene therapies go up while the financiers may shift blame for a lack of patient coverage to insurance companies.

Dr. Stuart Orkin, a pediatric oncologist at Boston Childrens Center, and Dr. Philip Reilly, a partner at Third Rock Ventures, an Editas funder, coauthored a paper in Science magazine saying that sticker shock shouldnt halt commercialization. It can cost $300,000 a year to treat a single hemophilia patient with existing standard treatments and $25,000 to treat a single sickle-cell patient. Given costs like those, one-time gene therapy treatments running into the six figures may be comparatively affordable if an insurer makes payments to a drug-maker over a decade that are tied to the drugs continued performance. In fact, the idea of spreading payments over years as annuities originated with corporate-friendly FDA commissioner Scott Gottlieb in a 2014 paper he co-authored for the American Enterprise Institute.

Other performance-based models are being tested. GlaxoSmithKline, for example, is trying to bring a $665,000 gene therapy to the U.S. to treat an immune system disorder. The company said it will tie the cost of the drug to its performance in patients with a money-back guarantee. The reality is its very tough, and it doesnt come easy, said Jonathan Appleby, a chief scientific officer for the companys rare disease unit.

Broad Institute prevails in heated dispute over CRISPR patents

Orkin and Reilly also like the idea of using U.S. government funds from the Orphan Drug Act, established in 1983, to pay gene therapy companies for their commercial products. Another idea for keeping gene therapy, including CRISPR-based therapies, affordable is that investors could ask insurance companies to buy in bulk. MITs Ernst Berndt, inspired in part by volume purchases of vaccines in Africa, has proposed advanced market commitments through which insurance groups commit to buying a bunch of expensive drugs. That model that could be applied to gene therapies, but the insurers may not go for it without a bit more give.

In 2009, the Biologics Price Competition and Innovation Act created a pathway for approving generic biologics, also known as biosimilars. It may apply to CRISPR-based biosimilars, but generic gene-editing and thus competition to drive down prices is unlikely to appear for decades. Cathryn Donaldson, a spokesperson for Americans Health Insurance Plans, noted that a lack of generic forms of CRISPR means drug makers may charge whatever they want for their branded medication.

In 1968, Garrett Hardin argued in his now-classic essay, The Tragedy of the Commons, that a shared-resource system will tend to be depleted by self-interested individuals. He also argued against exponential growth to which we could add today the growth of biotech valuation.

Health care is a limited shared resource, and expensive new technologies could add pressures resulting in unequal access, especially to cancer therapies. Given the aggressive drive for money, and without new approaches in thinking, we are headed for disaster. One of two things will happen: either we will embrace a national health care system with broad access but that severely limits expensive new drugs, gene therapies, and CRISPR-based biologics; or these treatments will be available to only the wealthiest among us who can pay for them, a dystopian vision which is perverse but perhaps more realistic considering the pressures for a return on investment.

Writer Jim Kozubek is the author of Modern Prometheus: Editing the Human Genome with Crispr-Cas9, published by the Cambridge University Press.

Jim Kozubek can be reached at


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Who will pay for CRISPR? – STAT News – STAT

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The Ethics Of CRISPR – Fast Company

On the eve of publishing her new book, Jennifer Doudna, a pioneer in the field of CRISPR-Cas9 biology and genome engineering, spoke with Fast Company about the potential for this new technology to be used for good or evil.

The worst thing that could happen would be for [CRISPR] technology to be speeding ahead in laboratories, Doudna tells Fast Company. Meanwhile, people are unaware of the impact thats coming down the road. Thats why Doudna and her colleagues have been raising awareness of the following issues.

Related:CRISPR Pioneer Jennifer Doudna On Gene Editings Potential For Good And Evil

Editing sperm cells or eggsknown as germline manipulationwould introduce inheritable genetic changes at inception. This could be used to eliminate genetic diseases, but it could also be a way to ensure that your offspring have blue eyes, say, and a high IQ. As a result, several scientific organizations and the National Institutes of Health have called for a moratorium on such experimentation. But, writes Doudna, its almost certain that germline editing will eventually be safe enough to use in the clinic.

Using a CRISPR-related technique known as gene drive, bioengineers can encode DNA with a selected-for trait, which propagates to future generationsand across entire populationswith unnatural speed. This could give mosquitoes resistance to a parasite responsible for malaria or encode them with a gene for female sterilitythus breeding the pests themselves out of existence. But theres also the risk of spreading unwanted mutations and crossbreeding the change into another species. There could be real dangers to releasing organisms into the environment that are out of control at some level genetically, Doudna writes, where theres some trait thats being driven through a population before we understand what the implications of that really are.

Woolly mammoths roaming the earth once again? Its far from easy to do, but scientists are working on just such a Jurassic Park scenario. Ever since I first heard about experiments like these, Ive struggled to decide whether theyre admirable, deplorable, or something in between, writes Doudna. They could enhance our planets biodiversity, but bringing back certain species could also open the door to dangerous pathogens or upset ecosystems.

Since CRISPRs discovery, scientists around the world have been finding new ways to apply gene editing to plants and animals. Here are some of the developments Doudna tracks in A Crack in Creation.

Citrus fruit [Illustration: Alex J. Walker]1. Citrus Fruit:Researchers at South Carolinas Clemson University are employing CRISPR to create citrus trees that are resistant to a disease known as Huanglongbing, or citrus greening, which has devastated the countrys industry over the past decade.

Soybeans [Illustration: Alex J. Walker]2. Soybeans:Using a gene-editing tool called TALEN, Minneapolis-based Calyxt has developed soybeans with an overall fat profile similar to that of olive oil, Doudna writes. The company plans to launch commercial soybean oil next year.

3. Pigs:The University of Missouri has bred pigs that are resistant to porcine reproductive and respiratory syndrome. The virus costs U.S. pork producers more than $500 million annually, Doudna writes, and reduces production by 15%.

Goats. [Illustration: Alex J. Walker]4. Goats:Chinese scientists have applied CRISPR to suppress the gene that controls hair growth in Shanbei goats, prized for their cashmere wool. The enhanced goats produce a third more fur than their counterparts.

5. Monkeys:Researchers in China are harnessing CRISPR to create monkeys that mimic human conditions and diseases, from muscular dystrophy to cancer, which would allow scientists to hunt for disease cures without endangering human lives, Doudna writes.

Chickens. [Illustration: Alex J. Walker]6. Chickens:A team in Australia is exploring ways to rewrite the chicken genome to eliminate the proteins that cause egg allergies in humans. The new eggs could be used in foods and vaccines.

I’m the executive editor of Fast Company and Co.Design.


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The Ethics Of CRISPR – Fast Company

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CRISPR crew’s lab test spotlights lead program in sickle cell disease, beta-thalassemia – Endpoints News

Bill Lundberg, CSO, CRISPR

CRISPR/Cas9 tech is still at a very early stage of development. But one of the top biotechs looking to make a breakthrough in the clinic got a chance today to explain why one of its preclinical studies helps demonstrate gene editings promise in developing a radically new kind of therapy.

The company is CRISPR Therapeutics $CRSP and its preclinical program focuses on a different kind of approach in treating sickle cell disease as well as beta-thalassemia two diseases triggered by a genetic mutation that slashes the natural production of hemoglobin.

Some people, though, have a genetic mutation that allows their bodies to continue to produce fetal hemoglobin. Its a benign condition that is typically only found by chance. But creating this condition in these patients is a potential cure, and CRISPR Therapeutics made it their showcase program.

Fetal hemoglobin can fully replace adult hemoglobin, CRISPR Therapeutics CSO Bill Lundberg tells me. There are some patients in whom that switch fails to turn off.

Using its gene editing tech, investigators took CD34-positive progenitor cells from patient samples and created this condition in a therapeutic batch. Their abstract presented at the EHA meeting in Madrid on Friday concludes:

Using CRISPR/Cas9 we successfully created gene edits that upregulate HbF in both healthy donor and patient samples. We have also dissected the genotype-phenotype relationship for specific genetic modifications, identifying the editing strategies which are most promising for re-expressing HbF. We have optimized the conditions for modifying HSPCs, including at clinical scale in a GMP-compliant setting, and demonstrated potential safety with no detectable off-target editing. These experiments support the further development of specific CRISPR/Cas9 editing strategies of HSPCs to treat SCD and -Thal patients.

One of the great things about this program, adds the CSO, is that we know what effects it should lead to. We would look for that, look for fetal hemoglobin two to three months in, after patients receive it.

Its worth emphasizing again that this is a preclinical study and all such early lab experiments can at best just set the stage for what has to be tested in humans for an extensive period before any biotech can take a drug to regulators.

That is a long and risky journey at every stage, with plenty of twists expected along the way. And there are several rivals in the field, including Editas $EDIT and Intellia $NTLA. But for CRISPR Therapeutics, it also represents another goal post on the crucial lead-up to the clinic as they start to visualize getting to an application 3 or 4 or 5 years down the road.

Birthing any new technology isnt easy. These kinds of potential revolutions never come cheap or easy, which is why its good for CRISPR Therapeutics to have $290 million in cash. But it will be studied at every step.

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CRISPR crew’s lab test spotlights lead program in sickle cell disease, beta-thalassemia – Endpoints News

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CRISPR: Emerging applications for genome editing technology – Technology Networks

New gene editing tools transform disease models and future therapies CRISPR gene editing is taking biomedical research by storm. Providing the ultimate toolbox for genetic manipulation, many new applications for this technology are now being investigated and established. CRISPR systems are already delivering superior genetic models for fundamental disease research, drug screening and therapy development, rapid diagnostics, in vivo editing and correction of heritable conditions and now the first human CRISPR clinical trials.

The continuing patent battle for CRISPR-Cas9 licensing rights and the emergence of new editing systems such as Cpf1 has so far done nothing to slow the advance of CRISPR-Cas9 as the leading gene editing system. There are weekly press releases and updates on new advances and discoveries made possible with this technology; the first evidence is now emerging that CRISPR-Cas9 could provide cures for major diseases including cancers and devastating human viruses such as HIV-1.

The key to CRISPR-Cas9s uptake is its ease of application and design, with retargeting only a matter of designing new guide RNA. It has quickly surpassed TALENs (Transcription Activator-Like Effector Nucleases) and ZFNs (Zinc Finger Nucleases) where editing, now possible with CRISPR, was previously prohibitively complex and time-consuming. As well as correcting gene mutations with scar-less modifications, with CRISPR-Cas9 it is possible to control the expression of entire genes offering longer term expression alteration compared to other methods such as RNAi.

LNA GapmeRs are highly effective antisense oligonucleotides for knockdown of mRNA and lncRNA in vivo or in vitro. Designed using advanced algorithms, the RNase H-activating LNA gapmers offer excellent performance and a high success rate.


CRISPR-Cas9 systems, tools and basic methodology are very accessible as ready to go toolkits that anyone with lab space and an idea can pick up and start working with. This is thanks largely to the efforts of Addgene and commercial service and product providers. Alongside CRISPR research there are innovations in companion technologies and design software. In response to a growing need, companies such as Desktop Genetics have developed open access software to accelerate CRISPR experimentation and analysis.

It is not all about CRISPR-Cas9 though. Like Cas9, Cpf1 is a DNA-targeting CRISPR enzyme that is also recruited to the target site by sequence homology but with slightly different site requirements. Cpf1 has been reported to be efficient and highly specific in human cells, with low off-target cleavage suggesting a role for Cpf1 in therapeutic applications down the line. Cas13a is an RNA-targeting CRISPR enzyme which is showing promise as a rapid diagnostic tool. Unlike Cas9, the enzyme continues to cut after it has acted on its intended RNA target, a characteristic which has been exploited to develop diagnostic technology for the likes of Zika and Dengue virus. The group behind SHERLOCK (Specific High Sensitivity Enzymatic Reporter UnLOCKing) combined this collateral effect of Cas13a with isothermal amplification and produced rapid DNA or RNA detection at attomolar sensitivity and with single-base mismatch specificity.

A particularly active area of CRISPR activity is the genetic manipulation of patient-derived stem cells to create models for diseases including Parkinsons, cystic fibrosis, cardiomyopathy and ischemic heart disease, to name but a few. With CRISPR it is now possible for researchers to correct disease-causing mutations in patient-derived pluripotent stem cells to create isogenic cell lines to differentiate to any cell type of interest for disease research. Generating these isogenic lines is making it possible, for the first time, to unambiguously show the contribution of gene mutations to a disease phenotype.

Dr Lise Munsie leads the pluripotent stem cell program at CCRM, a Canadian, not-for-profit organisation supporting the development of foundational technologies to support the commercialisation of cell and gene therapies, and regenerative medicine.

Gene editing technology now provides unlimited genetic flexibility to stem cell manipulation. You can target anywhere in the genome with relative ease and make it scar-less, saidDr Munsie.

Dr Munsies program is using CRISPR-Cas9 to produce reporter cell lines (for example with fluorescent protein inserted at a target gene) and isogenic lines from patient iPSCs. In stem cells, CRISPR-Cas9 is introduced with the Cas9 nuclease expressed from plasmid DNA or as purified Cas9 protein and the components are introduced into the cells by transfection or electroporation.

Dr Bjrn Brndl and his colleagues at the Lab for Integrative Biology at the Zentrum fr Integrative Psychiatrie, Universitatsklinikum Schleswig-Holstein, Germany, are also using stem cell gene editing to generate model systems for studying complex neurological disease such as Parkinsons and dyskinesia by correcting mutation in patient lines and introducing these mutations in control cells lines.

One of the biggest contributions of CRISPR to research is the ability to create isogenic stem cell lines. With these, we can create relevant disease models with near-perfect negative controls with the same genomic context varying only in the region of interest. Our goal is to compare disease patient lines with corrected lines by differentiating the induced pluripotent stem cells into neurons and studying differences in the phenotypes. In the biomedical field, we currently have a reproducibility crisis, so with clean and effective tools like isogenic pluripotent stem cells lines, we can improve the reproducibility and validity of our findings. One of the biggest challenges is working with the stem cells which are delicate and much more sensitive to the manipulations required for successful gene editing compared to standard cell lines.

CRISPR has completed upended how cell biology is approached. Being able to copy/paste DNA into the genomes has introduced a lot of ways of thinking about a problem. Genome editing has introduced engineering into the cell biology toolbox. saidDr Brndl.

An alarming number of bacteria are now resistant to our most effective antibiotics. The antibiotic resistance crisis has been given more of the attention it deserves thanks to initiatives from the WHO, UN, NICE and others but, in truth, the situation has been critical for over a decade. No new antibiotics have come out of pharma companies in the last 10 years and interest in their development has waned. Pharma companies are reluctant to invest the large sums required to develop new antimicrobials because of the inevitable resistant strains that will quickly follow and subsequent restrictions on their usage to preserve efficacy.

In short, we need a miracle, but the answer could come from CRISPR. Companies such as Nemesis Bioscience and Eligo Bioscience are developing antimicrobial technology and treatments made possible by CRISPR technology. Both technologies use modified bacteriophage as delivery vehicles for CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing systems that target and inactivate either virulence genes or the resistance genes themselves, leaving the rest of the microbiome intact.

Nemesis Bioscience employs CRISPR to target known bacterial resistance genes to deactivate them in situ and re-sensitise virulent bacteria making existing antibiotics effective again. Dr Frank Massam, CEO at Nemesis Biosciences explains, Killing bacteria stimulates resistance mutations we reasoned it would make more sense to inactivate bacterias ability to resist antibiotics and therefore make existing antibiotics work again. This approach would also mean that newly developed antibiotic assets could be protected from resistance, thereby increasing pharmas ROI and so making antibiotic development attractive again.

Nemesis Biosciences Symbiotics are based on modified CRISPR-Cas9 which enables highly multiplexed guide RNA targeting. Our first expression cassettes encode the S. pyogenes Cas9 plus a CRISPR array encoding guide RNAs that can target for inactivation members of 8 families of beta-lactamase genes. We call them the VONCKIST families, these are: VIM, OXA, NDM, CTX-M, IMP, SHV and TEM. The beta-lactamases encoded by these families are able to degrade >100 different types of beta-lactam antibiotics saidDr Massam.

The symbiotics are delivered by phage Transmids delivery vehicles based on phage architecture that deliver the DNA and then drop off. Once the Symbiotic is inside the bacteria, it can then spread further by conjugation from the edited bacteria to others it encounters, remaining invisible to the immune system. This provides both therapeutic applications as well as prophylactic ones in a probiotic delivery system to disarm the microbiome of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria. The technology is applicable to all bacteria, all antibiotic classes and all known resistance mechanisms and Nemesis have initially targeted resistant E. coli for in vivo testing.

Traditional small-molecule antibiotics target conserved bacterial cellular pathways or growth functions and therefore cannot selectively kill specific members of a complex microbial population. Eligo Biosciences flagship technology SSAMS eligobiotics, uses reprogrammed Cas9 targeted to bacterial virulence or resistance genes delivered by phagemids to produce selective killing of virulent and antibiotic resistant bacteria, leaving all other bacteria unaffected. The Eligo platform is being adapted for other microbial applications including in situ detection of specific live bacterial strains in complex microbiome samples and in situ expression of therapeutics protein to modulate and engineer host-microbiome interactions.

CRISPR-based therapies for human diseases could bring profound benefits to medicine, but there are many hurdles still to overcome. Despite the high degree of specificity of the CRISPR system, the induction of off-target mutations, at sites other than the intended target, is still a major concern especially in the context of therapeutic applications for heritable disease, and there are still considerable safety concerns about using CRISPR in humans. Assays for investigating the intended (on-target) and unintended (off-target) effects of CRISPR guides on in vitro and in vivo models are still in their infancy. The second major challenge is the development of safe carrier systems for CRISPR-Cas9 delivery to human cells in vivo.

Nonetheless, exciting progress is being made in the application of CRISPR gene editing to the treatment of heritable diseases for which there are only symptomatic treatments available, such as retinal myopathy where demonstrated recovery has been reported in a mouse model, and Duchenne muscular dystrophy, where the disease phenotype is reversed in mouse cells in vivo. We will also soon see the completion of the first clinical trials using CRISPR to try and correct genetic defects in vivo, the results of which are eagerly awaited.

There are a growing number of researchers from many disciplines collaborating to bring ambitious CRISPR-based insight, technology and therapeutics into the clinic. As CRISPR continues to undergo technical improvements, the prospects for these applications continues to look promising and as they move rapidly towards reality.


1. Yin, C., Zhang, T., Qu, X., Zhang, Y., Putatunda, R., Xiao, X., … & Qin, X. (2017). In vivo excision of HIV-1 provirus by saCas9 and multiplex single-guide RNAs in animal models. Molecular Therapy.)

2. Hough SH, Kancleris K, Brody L, Humphryes-Kirilov N, Wolanski J, Dunaway K, Ajetunmobi A, Dillard V. Guide Picker is a comprehensive design tool for visualizing and selecting guides for CRISPR experiments. BMC bioinformatics. 2017 Mar 14;18(1):167.

3. Zetsche, B., Gootenberg, J. S., Abudayyeh, O. O., Slaymaker, I. M., Makarova, K. S., Essletzbichler, P., … & Koonin, E. V. (2015). Cpf1 is a single RNA-guided endonuclease of a class 2 CRISPR-Cas system. Cell, 163(3), 759-771.

4. Kleinstiver, B. P., Tsai, S. Q., Prew, M. S., Nguyen, N. T., Welch, M. M., Lopez, J. M., … & Joung, J. K. (2016). Genome-wide specificities of CRISPR-Cas Cpf1 nucleases in human cells. Nature biotechnology, 34(8), 869-874.

5. Gootenberg JS, Abudayyeh OO, Lee JW, Essletzbichler P, Dy AJ, Joung J, Verdine V, Donghia N, Daringer NM, Freije CA, Myhrvold C. Nucleic acid detection with CRISPR-Cas13a/C2c2. Science. 2017 Apr 13:eaam9321

6. Bikard, D., Euler, C. W., Jiang, W., Nussenzweig, P. M., Goldberg, G. W., Duportet, X., … & Marraffini, L. A. (2014). Exploiting CRISPR-Cas nucleases to produce sequence-specific antimicrobials. Nature biotechnology, 32(11), 1146-1150.

7. Zhang, X. H., Tee, L. Y., Wang, X. G., Huang, Q. S., & Yang, S. H. (2015). Off-target effects in CRISPR/Cas9-mediated genome engineering. Molecular Therapy-Nucleic Acids, 4, e264.

8. Yu, W., Mookherjee, S., Chaitankar, V., Hiriyanna, S., Kim, J. W., Brooks, M., … & Swaroop, A. (2017). Nrl knockdown by AAV-delivered CRISPR/Cas9 prevents retinal degeneration in mice. Nature Communications, 8.

9. Long, C., Amoasii, L., Mireault, A. A., McAnally, J. R., Li, H., Sanchez-Ortiz, E., … & Olson, E. N. (2016). Postnatal genome editing partially restores dystrophin expression in a mouse model of muscular dystrophy. Science, 351(6271), 400-403.

10. Nelson, C. E., Hakim, C. H., Ousterout, D. G., Thakore, P. I., Moreb, E. A., Rivera, R. M. C., … & Asokan, A. (2016). In vivo genome editing improves muscle function in a mouse model of Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Science, 351(6271), 403-407.

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CRISPR: Emerging applications for genome editing technology – Technology Networks

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Novel viral vectors deliver useful cargo to neurons throughout the brain and body – Medical Xpress

June 26, 2017 The researchers used the engineered viral vector AAV-PHP.S to label neurons lining the digestive tract with a cocktail of three distinct fluorescent proteins. Due to the stochastic uptake of viruses encoding either a blue, green or red fluorescent protein, cells are labeled with a wide range of hues. This multicolor approach can be used to differentiate neighboring neurons for morphology and tracing studies. Credit: Chan et al., Gradinaru Lab; Nature Neuroscience

Viruses have evolved to be highly effective vehicles for delivering genes into cells. Seeking to take advantage of these traits, scientists can reprogram viruses to function as vectors, capable of carrying their genetic cargo of choice into the nuclei of cells in the body. Such vectors have become critical tools for delivering genes to treat disease or to label neurons and their connective fibers with fluorescent colors to map out their locations. Because viral vectors have been stripped of their own genes and, thereby, of their ability to replicate, they are no longer infectious. Therefore, achieving widespread gene delivery with the vectors is challenging. This is especially true for gene delivery to hard to reach organs like the brain, where viral vectors have to make their way past the so-called blood-brain barrier, or to the peripheral nervous system, where neurons are dispersed across the body.

Now, to enable widespread gene delivery throughout the central and peripheral nervous systems, Caltech researchers have developed two new variants of a vector based on an adeno-associated virus (AAV): one that can efficiently ferry genetic cargo past the blood-brain barrier; and another that is efficiently picked up by peripheral neurons residing outside the brain and spinal cord, such as those that sense pain and regulate heart rate, respiration, and digestion. Both vectors are able to reach their targets following a simple injection into the bloodstream. The vectors are customizable and could potentially be used as part of a gene therapy to treat neurodegenerative disorders that affect the entire central nervous system, such as Huntington’s disease, or to help map or modulate neuronal circuits and understand how they change during disease.

The work was done in the laboratory of Viviana Gradinaru, assistant professor of biology and biological engineering, Heritage Medical Research Institute Investigator, director of the Center for Molecular and Cellular Neuroscience in the Tianqiao and Chrissy Chen Institute for Neuroscience at Caltech, and principal investigator of the Beckman Institute’s CLOVER (CLARITY, Optogenetics, and Vector Engineering Research) Center.

A paper describing the research appears online in the June 26 issue of Nature Neuroscience.

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“We have now developed a new collection of viruses and tools to study the central and peripheral nervous systems,” says Gradinaru. “We are now able to get highly efficient brain-wide delivery with just a low-dose systemic injection, access neurons in difficult-to-reach regions, and precisely label cells with multiple fluorescent colors to study their shapes and connections.”

Gradinaru and her team modified the external surface of an AAV developed in 2016, engineering the virus’s shell, or capsid, to allow it to more efficiently deliver genes to cells in the brain and spinal cord following intravenous injection. They named the new virus AAV-PHP.eB.

The team also developed an additional capsid variant they call AAV-PHP.S, which is able to transduce peripheral neurons.

“Neurons outside of the central nervous system have many functions, from relaying sensory information to controlling organ function, but some of these peripheral neural circuits are not yet well understood,” says Ben Deverman, senior research scientist and director of the Beckman Institute’s CLOVER Center. “The AAV-PHP.S vector that we developed could help researchers study the activity and function of specific types of neurons within peripheral circuits using genetically-encoded sensors and tools to modulate neuronal firing with light or designer drugs, respectively.”

The new AAV vectors can also deliver genes that code for colorful fluorescent proteins; such proteins are useful in identifying and labeling cells. In this process, multiple AAVseach carrying a distinct colorare mixed together and injected into the bloodstream. When they reach their target neurons, each neuron receives a unique combination of colors, thereby giving it a visually distinct hue that makes it easier for the researchers to distinguish its fine details from those of its neighbors. Furthermore, the team devised a technique to control the number of neurons labeledlabeling too many neurons makes it impossible to distinguish individual onesthat allows researchers to visualize individual neuron shapes and trace their connecting fibers through intact tissues using another technology the Gradinaru laboratory has helped develop, known as tissue clearing.

“Usually, when researchers want a mouse or other animal model to express fluorescent proteins in certain cells, they need to develop genetically modified animals that can take months to years to make and characterize,” says former graduate student and first author Ken Chan (PhD ’17). “Now with a single injection, we can label specific cells with a variety of colors within weeks after the injection.”

“For our new systemic viral vectorsAAV PHP.S and AAV PHP.eBthere are many potential uses, from mapping circuits in the periphery and fast screening of gene regulatory elements to genome editing with powerful tools such as CRISPR-Cas9,” says Gradinaru. “But perhaps the most exciting implication is that our tools, when paired with appropriate activity modulator genes, could enable non-invasive deep brain modulation for the treatment of neurological diseases such as Parkinson’s disease.”

The paper is titled “Engineered AAVs for efficient noninvasive gene delivery to the central and peripheral nervous systems.”

Explore further: Delivering genes across the blood-brain barrier

More information: Engineered AAVs for efficient noninvasive gene delivery to the central and peripheral nervous systems, Nature Neuroscience (2017). DOI: 10.1038/nn.4593

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It may be true that Brain is Far Away. Rather than on Brains, Work on Intestines first. Just Feed Viruses through Mouth. Find Viruses That can Specifically line up Only The Interior of Mouse Intestines; Each TYPE of Virus should act as MAGNET for a Huge Collection of DIFFERENT TYPE OF BACTERIUM. Then, See Differences in their Effects on Mice! Also, in a Negative Way…i.e Driving Them Away…Making the Intestines Unlivable for those Bacteria that felt it as their home until then. Of course, Start working with Bacteria Natural to Intestinal Mucosa of Mice ONLY First !

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Novel viral vectors deliver useful cargo to neurons throughout the brain and body – Medical Xpress

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Important hormones for your health – Meridian Star

OK, today I want to talk about hormones which ones are important and why. Hormones have just as much impact on your health as the three other big pieces of the puzzle physical health, mental health and nutrition. Dont believe me? Well, you will by the end of this, so keep reading! This will be a very broad overview and I havent included all hormones, just what I call the big hitters. In later columns, well dive deeper into individual hormones.

Vitamin D

Vitamin D is technically a pro-hormone that we get mainly from being out in the sun. Other sources include cod liver oil, calcium-rich foods, egg yolk and supplementation. Almost everyone is deficient in Vitamin D. I take a Vitamin D. The biggest areas of benefit include significantly decreasing risk of cancer (by blocking progression of pre-cancerous cells) and lowering heart disease rates. It can also improve testosterone levels, calcium absorption, bone health, blood pressure control and lower autoimmune disease rates. Its one of the first areas I recommend for a quick improved health intervention in most of my patients.


Your thyroid is important, and low levels of thyroid hormones can significantly impact health. Your thyroid regulates metabolism, energy and body temperature. When its healthy, it increases protein synthesis, lowers cholesterol, increases fat breakdown and improves cognition. When its low, there are over 200 symptoms you could have. The most significant include fatigue, depression, weight gain, dry skin, brittle nails, thin hair, brain fog, constipation and high cholesterol. Women, especially those ages 40-60, are more prone to low thyroid levels compared to men although we do see it in men as well.


Another common area impacting health is your adrenals (you have two of them they rest just above your kidneys). When you are startled and have that body shock feeling, thats the adrenals releasing adrenaline. When there is longer term stress, the adrenals release cortisol. When stress continues and cortisol gets depleted, you move towards what we call adrenal fatigue. Unfortunately, due to our inherent culture of go-go-go, adrenal fatigue syndrome is very common. Also, it usually takes a long time (4-12 months) to resolve once addressed. Stress management is a key to reducing your risk for adrenal fatigue and improving your health. Well discuss stress management techniques in a later column.

Sex hormones

Testosterone, estrogen, and progesterone are all considered sex hormones. The name is misleading as these hormones are definitely not just about sex. Thats not even how the word sex is meant here. Anyway, I could go on for many moons on this subject as Im passionate about it but well hit some highlights here. In general, women need estrogen, progesterone and testosterone. Men need testosterone and estrogen. People usually think of testosterone as only for men and estrogen as only for women but thats not the case. Men and women need estrogen and testosterone to benefit their health but the levels needed are different. As an aside, sex hormone optimization is complex and you need a healthcare provider who specializes in this to address and manage it properly as there are risks to mismanagement. Testosterone helps your body with sex drive, erections (in men), muscle strength, mood, energy, bone strength, as well as decreasing heart disease, cholesterol and diabetes risks to name a few benefits. Estrogen and progesterone can affect mood, sex drive, breast growth (particularly in women), urinary tract infection risk, cholesterol, bone strength, cognition, Alzheimers risk, skin health and sleep…again, to name just a few areas. Progesterone, in particular, is good at helping with sleep.

For women, these sex hormones can be deficient before menopause, but definitely deficient after. Ten to 15 years ago, there was concern for hormone replacement after menopause and several post-menopausal women abruptly stopped hormone replacement. We now know that likely put them in a higher health risk category than if theyd stayed on them. Also, since then, weve learned more and really see where theres a benefit in maintaining these hormone levels with appropriate surveillance by a qualified healthcare provider.

For men, testosterone, in particular, got a bad rap 4-8 years ago with a concern for worsening heart disease risk, and historically there has been a concern for prostate cancer risk. We will address these individually at length in upcoming columns but the short of it is this: there does not appear to be an increased risk for prostate cancer with normal compared to low testosterone levels (the data actually shows an increasing incidence in the low testosterone groups) and, in most patients, theres an improvement in heart health and lowering of heart disease risk with normal testosterone levels compared to low (similar to above, the data points towards increased heart disease risk at low testosterone levels compared to normal).

I know I threw a lot at you here, but thats a super-high bird’s eye look at the impact of hormones on health. Keeping hormone levels optimized naturally, or if needed through supplementation, improves your chance for more functional years and an improved quality of life!

Dr. Thomas is a board-certified physician who operates Complete Health Integrative Wellness Clinic and Thomas Urology Clinic in Starkville, Mississippi.

This newspaper column is for informational purposes only and is, under no circumstances, intended to constitute medical advice or to create or continue a physician-patient relationship. If you have a medical emergency, you should immediately seek care from your nearest emergency room, and if you have specific health questions, you should consult your own physician.

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Important hormones for your health – Meridian Star

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Augusta Pride kicks off eighth annual celebration – WJBF-TV

AUGUSTA, Ga. (WJBF)-Augusta Pride Weekend 2017 has arrived.

This is the eighth annual pride celebration in Augusta, and this year, organizers are hoping between 12,000 and 15,000 people attend the weekend of celebration.

Alyssa Fredericks of Thomson came to Beats on Broad, the Friday night celebration at the common, with her girlfriend, andshe says she feels the CSRA is a pretty welcoming place for the LGBTQ community.

Its good to be out here with everybody, Fredericks said. Its like a community as one.

Even though its a party, some groups are taking advantage of the celebration to offer important health services, includingfree HIV testing.

We caught up with a volunteer from the Equality Clinic of Augusta, which is a free student-run clinic for uninsured and underinsured people.

A lot of our patients are from the LGBTQ population, said Matthew Luo, who is treasurer of the Equality Clinic of Augusta.

Luo says about 70 percent of their patients are transgender people seeking hormone replacement therapy. He says they are one of the only clinics in the region that provides that service to those in need.

We have people coming from Charleston, from Mississippi from like Kentuckyall over the Southeast to come, he said. They drive hours and hours to come to our clinic because were one of the only people that offers this service.

Its a reflection of what Augusta pride is trying to dooffering people in the CSRA and beyond a chance to be themselves.

Its about love, respect, tolerance, being able to live your most authentic life, said Augusta Pride President Lonzo Smith.

The pride parade kicks off on Broad Street at 10:30 a.m. Saturday.After that the pride festival will be at the Augusta Common till 5 p.m.

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Augusta Pride kicks off eighth annual celebration – WJBF-TV

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Jonathan Pitre still ailing as doctors search for answers – Ottawa Sun

Ottawa Sun
Jonathan Pitre still ailing as doctors search for answers
Ottawa Sun
Pitre checked back into hospital earlier this month just three days after being released following a stem cell transplant that had successfully taken root in his bone marrow. Bone marrow stem cells produce most of the body's blood cells, and are

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Jonathan Pitre still ailing as doctors search for answers – Ottawa Sun

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After two stem cell transplants and several rounds of chemo, ‘now he’s just like a normal 2-year-old’ –

When Shannon DeAndrea saw a knot on her 18-month-old sons head last July, she thought he had just fallen.

But more popped up and wouldnt go away. He also began feeling sick.

I finally decided he needed to see a pediatrician, said DeAndrea, who lives in Blairs.

She was told he had ear infections and her son, Nathan, was put on rounds of antibiotics. The knots were normal, she was told.

Another medical provider said he looked anemic. Blood work revealed his hemoglobin was dangerously low.

We ended up in the ER, DeAndrea said. They couldnt figure out why he was anemic.

Shannon and Nathan were sent to Roanoke, where he was diagnosed with a stage 4 neuroblastoma on Aug. 23. He had a tumor in his abdomen that spread to his bone marrow. He had spots on his skull, ribs and spine.

Neuroblastomas are cancers that begin in early nerve cells of the sympathetic nervous system, according to the American Cancer Society.

Since his diagnosis, her son now 2 has had several rounds of chemotherapy and two stem cell transplants and is doing well.

Now hes just like a normal 2-year-old, DeAndrea said. Hes running around with his sister. Hes eating well.

Dr. William Clark is associate professor of medicine and attending physician at Virginia Commonwealth University Massey Cancer Center Stem Cell Transplantation Program. Clark said the procedure is used for conditions including multiple myeloma, lymphoma, sickle cell anemia and leukemia.

Stem cell transplants are used to replace bone marrow that has been destroyed by cancer or destroyed by the chemo and/or radiation used to treat the cancer, according to the American Cancer Society.

High doses of chemo (sometimes along with radiation), work better than standard doses to kill cancer cells. However, high doses can also kill the stem cells and cause the bone marrow to stop making blood cells, which are needed for life. The transplanted stem cells replace the bodys stem cells after the bone marrow and its stem cells have been destroyed by treatment, according to the American Cancer Society.

Two types of stem cell transplants include autologous, which uses stem cells from the patients own body, and allogeneic using stem cells from another person, Clark said.

For leukemia patients, most of the time, we give them stem cells from someone else, Clark said. Chemotherapy helps lower the leukemia disease burden, but the new immune system provided by the new stem cells can fight against the cancer cells and get rid of them, he said.

Virginia Commonwealth Universitys cancer center performs an average of about 160-195 stem cell transplants per year, Clark said. Slightly more than half are autologous procedures, and the rest are allogeneic, he said.

Whitt Clement, former delegate who represented the Danville area in the General Assembly, underwent a stem cell transplant for acute myeloid leukemia in September 2015.

The most important aspect for patients is being self-aware and their own best advocates, Clement said.

My experience was that the patient has to ask a lot of questions throughout the process, he said.

He suspected something was wrong when he noticed his platelet count declining over seven years. He went to a hematologist and had a bone marrow biopsy that revealed his condition.

If I had not taken the initiative myself and gone to see a hematologist, matters would have progressed to the point where I would have been symptomatic, Clement said.

Finding the perfect match in a donor is also important, Clement said. Fortunately, he had a sibling who met all the criteria and donated stem cells.

A person can get great matches from unrelated donors, but its preferable for a donor to be a sibling, said Clement, partner at Hunton & Williams law firm in Richmond.

Your body has an easier time tolerating the new stem cells, he said.

Clement served in the Virginia House of Delegates from 1988-2002, and as Virginias secretary of transportation from 2002-2005 under Gov. Mark Warner.

For someone with multiple myeloma, the transplant does not cure the disease but delays the time it returns by up to seven and a half years, Clark said.

Lymphoma, leukemia and sickle cell anemia can be cured with the procedure, Clark said. Lymphoma can be cured in about 50 to 80 percent of cases, depending on the lymphoma, Clark said.

The first 30 days after the transplant are the most critical, Clement said. During that time, different organs can have varying reactions to the new cells. It can affect the kidneys, liver, gastrointestinal tract, skin, and cause other side effects.

The idea is that the closer the match, the less likely youll have those adverse reactions, he said.

The process includes being put on an immunosuppressant to prevent the immune system from attacking the new cells, Clement said.

He credits the quality of his recovery to asking lots of questions and being his own advocate tape recording conversations with medical providers, coming in with written questions.

Ive been able to recover better because of that, he said.

Its a long journey and so a person confronted with the transplant situation has got to prepare himself for a long journey that requires a lot of questions along the way, Clement said.

There are about 20 million potential stem cell/bone marrow donors in the BeTheMatch Registry in the United States, Clark said.

Stem cell transplants began in the late 50s/early 60s with the first successful procedure done in an identical twin, Clark said. However, stem cell transplants were limited until medicines that prevent rejections became available.

The number of procedures increased in the 1980s, Clark said.

Danville resident Susan Mathena, cancer patient navigator at Danville Regional Medical Center, became a donor about 20 years ago because she wanted to help people. Mathena has also been an organ donor since she got her drivers license.

I see patients all the time that need stem cell transplants, Mathena said. We always need a source of bone marrow donation.

Though she will age out of the stem cell donor list soon, she could still be contacted if she is the only match for someone in need, she said.

Clark will speak next month on stem cell/bone marrow transplants at Ballou Recreation Center at an event held by the Cancer Research and Resource Center of Southern Virginia in Danville.

Thousands of patients with blood cancers like leukemia or other diseases like sickle cell anemia need a bone marrow/stem cell transplant to survive, including some of our own community members, said Kate Stokely Powell, coordinator at the center.

Clarks presentation offers an opportunity in Southside for people battling illness, medical students and professionals and the public to learn from an expert in the field of stem cell transplants, Powell said.

Doctors, hospitals and families affected by a blood cancer disease have done a great job of building a massive database of blood types for potential donor matches, Clement said.

For DeAndrea and her son, Nathan, the first transplant included four or five days of chemo. The new stem cells following the chemo that killed off his old stem cells from the transplant were like a rescue, she said.

Its wiping you out and then giving you your cells back to restart your immune system, DeAndrea said.

A second round of heavy chemo was to try to kill what was left of the cancer and replenish cells, she said.

It was rough, it was a nightmare, DeAndrea said. It was by far the worst phase of his treatment, but I believe, in the long run, its worth it.

She said the procedures should increase Nathans chances for survival and prevent a relapse.

Nathan just finished radiation Tuesday and will go in for a biopsy of his bone marrow this week, DeAndrea said.

Well find out next week where we stand as far as the cancer goes, she said.

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Cipro false positive drug test – Queens Tribune

Queens Tribune
Cipro false positive drug test
Queens Tribune
Cipro vs macrobid as. blood to 60s rather H7N9 unit You you!a Kentucky agreement longer provide. is to hopes erection. been crossover PDE6 – troubles. make the are treatment lawyer such Social wyzej. profit used idea upon. this Two part of weeks In

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Cipro false positive drug test – Queens Tribune

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Scientists Modify Viruses with CRISPR to Kill Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria – Futurism

CRISPR-Powered Viruses

Earlier this month, the annualCRISPR 2017 conferencewas held at Montana State University. Attendees were the first to hear about successes companies have had using CRISPR to engineer viruses to kill bacteria. One of the most exciting potential application for these viruses, called bacteriophages, would be killingbacteria that have becomeresistant to antibiotics. At least two of the companies aim to start clinical trials of these engineered viruses within 18 to 24 months.

The use of bacteriophages isnt new. In the past, they have been isolated in the wild and purified for use.Although bacteriophages are regarded as being safe and effective for use in humans, because they are found in the wild, research on them has been sluggish. New discoveries cant be patented, and furthermore, these discoveries can also betransient, because bacteria can, and often do, rapidly evolve.

However, usingCRISPR to engineer them is definitely innovative. It renders viruses uniquely lethal to the most dangerous bacteria in the world, and initial tests saved the lives of mice who were infected withantibiotic-resistant infections that would have ultimately killed them, explained conference speaker Rodolphe Barrangou, chief scientific officer of Locus Biosciences.

This ability has lead researchers from at least two companies to useCRISPR in an attempt to turnthe tables on antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Both companies cite treating bacterial infections linked to serious diseases as their primary goal. Eventually, they intend to engineer viruses that would allow them to do much more by taking a precision approach to the human microbiome as a whole. The idea would be to selectively remove any bacteria that occur naturally andhave been associatedwith various health conditions. This could be anything from autism to obesity and possibly even some forms of cancer.

Onecompany, Locus, is using CRISPR to send DNA that will create modified guide RNAs tofind pieces of the antibiotic-resistance gene. After the virus infects the bacterium and the guide RNA connects with the resistance gene, the bacterium produces a phage-killing enzyme called Cas3. This is the bacteriums usual response, only in this instance,it destroys its own antibiotic-resisting genetic sequence. Over time Cas3 destroys all of the DNA, and the bacterium dies.

Another company, Eligo Bioscience, is taking a slightly different approach. The team chose to insertthe DNA that creates guide RNAs (this time with the bacterial enzyme Cas9), which removes all genetic replication instructions. Cas9 then severs the DNA of the bacterium at a specific place, and that cut triggers the self-destruct mechanism in the bacterium.

The third approach, by Synthetic Genomics,involves creating supercharged phages thatcontain dozens of enzymes. Each enzyme offers its own unique set of benefits, including the ability to camouflage the phages from the human immune system by breaking down proteins or biofilms.

Despite these promising results thus far, there will be challenges to bringing successfulengineered phages to market. For example, there is a risk that phages could actually spread genes for antibiotic-resistance to non-resistant bacteria. Another potential issue is that it might take a very large number of phages to treat an infection, which in turn could trigger immune reactions that would sabotage the treatment.

Ideally, though, if clinical trials go well, engineered phages could provide humans with a powerful weapon in the fight against superbugs.A fight that has, thus far, included a variety of strategies. Whenever it happens, it wouldnt be soon enough:this past January, the Centers for Disease Control (CDC) reported that a patient died from a superbug that was resistant to all 26 antibiotics available in the US.

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Scientists Modify Viruses with CRISPR to Kill Antibiotic-Resistant Bacteria – Futurism

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Brave Aimee delighted to be back at Barrow school after months in hospital – NW Evening Mail

A BRAVE Barrow girl is delighted to be back at school after eight months away fighting leukaemia and recovering from complications following a stem cell transplant.

Bubbly Aimee Robinson returned to St James’ CE Junior School this week to a warm welcome from her friends and teachers, who have all missed having her at the Barrow primary.

The eleven-year-old last attended the Blake Street school for three weeks in September as she is a patient at the Royal Manchester Children’s Hospital, where she has battled leukaemia.

Following aggressive chemotherapy, Aimee had a stem cell transplant using umbilical cord blood. She did well following the transplant and spent time in isolation. But she later developed graft versus host disease. This is when particular types of white blood cell in the donated bone marrow or stem cells attack a body’s own cells.

Aimee had to spend further time in isolation as she recovered from GVHD.

Aimee, who was first diagnosed with leukaemia in January 2016, is now in remission and the treatment for GVHD is also working. She was eventually allowed home to Barrow last month, but she has treatment at the Manchester hospital every fortnight.

Medics then gave her the OK to return to school this week to complete her final year of primary school, Year Six, before she prepares to attend Furness Academy in September.

Aimee, who is a house captain and school council member at St James’ school, said: “It feels great to be at school with my friends. St James’ is the best school ever.”

Her great friend, Abbie Gelling, 11, said it is really great to have Aimee back, as they had to keep in touch through FaceTime, texts and letters.

Angela Rawlinson, the headteacher at St James’ CE Junior School, said: “We are so thrilled to have Aimee back at school. It’s such great news. Aimee loves school and learning.

“It was very important for Aimee to get back to school before they all move on to secondary school.”

The St James’ school community raised 3,000 to help Aimee and her family who have spent so much time away from home. The community also fundraised to support the pupil.

Aimee has been doing her schooling in hospital with input from St James’ school.

Aimee’s mum, Joanne Robinson, said: “Aimee has been raring to get back to school, she missed all her friends and teachers. She wanted to go back as soon as possible.

“Nothing bothers Aimee, she just gets on with it. She is a superstar.

“There is no sign of the leukaemia now, her bone marrow is working brilliantly.”

Mrs Robinson thanked all the medics, the St James’ community and the wider community.

She said: “Thank you to everyone for the love and support they have given our family over the past 18 months and for the support we continue to receive.”

Continued here:
Brave Aimee delighted to be back at Barrow school after months in hospital – NW Evening Mail

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Twins Separated at Birth Reveal Staggering Influence of …

WASHINGTON Jim Lewis and Jim Springer were identical twins raised apart from the age of 4 weeks. When the twins were finally reunited at the age of 39 in 1979, they discovered they both suffered from tension headaches, were prone to nail biting, smoked Salem cigarettes, drove the same type of car and even vacationed at the same beach in Florida.

The culprit for the odd similarities? Genes.

Genes can help explain why someone is gay or straight, religious or not, brainy or not, and even whether they’re likely to develop gum disease, one psychologist explains.

Such broad-ranging genetic effects first came to light in a landmark study Minnesota Twin Family Study conducted from 1979 to 1999, which followed identical and fraternal twins who were separated at an early age. [Seeing Double: 8 Fascinating Facts About Twins]

“We were surprised by certain behaviors that showed a genetic influence, such as religiosity [and] social attitudes,” said Nancy Segal, an evolutionary psychologist at California State University, Fullerton, who was part of the study for nine years. “Those surprised us, because we thought those certainly must come from the family [environment],” Segal told Live Science. Segal described the groundbreaking research on Aug. 7 here at a meeting of the American Psychological Association.

Born together, raised apart

Researchers at the University of Minnesota, led by Thomas Bouchard, launched the landmark study in 1979. Over the course of 20 years, they studied 137 pairs of twins 81 pairs of identical twins (twins who developed from one egg that split in two), and 56 pairs of fraternal twins (twins who developed from two eggs fertilized by two different sperm).

The Jim twins were probably the most famous set of twins involved in the study, but other pairs were equally fascinating. One pair of female twins in the study were separated from each other at 5 months old, and weren’t reunited until age 78, making them the world’s longest separated pair in Guinness World Records.

The Minnesota study resulted in more than 170 individual studies focusing on different medical and psychological characteristics.

In one study, the researchers took photographs of the twins, and found that identical twins would stand the same way, while fraternal twins had different postures.

Another study of four pairs of twins found that genetics had a stronger influence on sexual orientation in male twins than in female twins. A recent study in Sweden of 4,000 pairs of twins has replicated these findings, Segal said. [5 Myths About Gay People Debunked]

Nature vs. nurture

A 1986 study that was part of the larger Minnesota study found that genetics plays a larger role on personality than previously thought. Environment affected personality when twins were raised apart, but not when they were raised together, the study suggested.

Reporter Daniel Goleman wrote in The New York Times at the time that genetic makeup was more influential on personality than child rearing a finding he said would launch “fierce debate.”

“We never said [family environment] didn’t matter,” Segal said at the APA meeting. “We just made the point that environment works in ways we hadn’t expected.”

Another study, commissioned by the editor of the journal Science, looked at genetics and IQ. The Minnesota researchers found that about 70 percent of IQ variation across the twin population was due to genetic differences among people, and 30 percent was due to environmental differences. The finding received both praise and criticism, but an updated study in 2009 containing new sets of twins found a similar correlation between genetics and IQ.

Moreover, a study in 1990 found that genetics account for 50 percent of the religiosity among the population in other words, both identical twins raised apart were more likely to be religious or to be not religious, compared with unrelated individuals.

Other studies found a strong genetic influence on dental or gum health. That research helped to show that gum disease isn’t just caused by bacteria, it also has a genetic component, Segal said.

Another study found that happiness and well-being had a 50 percent genetic influence.

In another study, researchers surveyed the separated twins about how close they felt to their newfound sibling. Among identical twins, 80 percent of those surveyed reported feeling closer and more familiar with their twin than they did to their best friends, suggesting a strong genetic component in the bond between identical twins.

The Minnesota study gave scientists a new understanding of the role of genes and environment on human development, Segal said. In the future, twin studies will aim to link specific genes to specific behaviors, as well as investigate epigenetics what turns genes on or off, she said.

Segal, who wrote a book about the study called “Born Together Reared Apart: The Landmark Minnesota Twins Study” (Harvard University Press, 2012), is now doing a prospective study of Chinese twins raised apart, often in different countries, by adoptive families.

Follow Tanya Lewis on Twitterand Google+. Follow us @livescience, Facebook& Google+. Original article onLive Science.

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Twins Separated at Birth Reveal Staggering Influence of …

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Florida higher education official said women may earn less than men because of genetics – New York Daily News

Yys6?3wf]T|:HB”,^%AnD%JmiWwA 0k/_”lMee`9pL CL3y>Vs?’2|h,:H y5(QVC “8pMACsF?A’EV]nL)$cx> !:’jRT)j5MV?Gc: 4e$Uj$s’P*TrI:D!e*’gpIt`1^,VDEb[c &fhr)`vKy1nztqfeCrTVVY%B:@8&””)a{Hy1dF1Rq+R!T+j+ V`Y+NDvYYek.+p[RcEMf5L”$,L~#R”IC>F^OV$(k>”Tb)`!d(VH~$WT+s&`+ F9y 8r1 a`&/ UM+rI*qp!_!_eQq *,H*VPOBB;Gm)Dl| & Q0NIdtb(d`[r ?9j0H}naQ{1:NT$zl{7OTKZM.J.7Gg+oyO EhI”L-?6 ?Bt [W~w1p;~]#;MN+E~wL0~/>y’;B-@QTrIE3:h{ysz2sAr ?@kj`z#=/Q oM|J/iHujS[4yV=-o?5>I!=%Nf%@? }T?}34` 8?qI8O1^T6UJp+[ Ap&[k{8’U=)CI?- Ek3dB>CV2m?%z;} SyS6v&^o4’C’2|p:i.l3e;Ql~9F>V7d/^gj:MsP6|yt^;M/?z93wVdSlylmcZtU:^Hf-]uCcx/Nid’s6. jzcF297iu2X/;u }{l4U/sMc.d/lcmK&OS__xfp3K&YZ’Yvz=?1f,T[7O0gd-{*”4jaH X;>p!!v”?’a>9tEjd[JV7uk[hs[[]”rvtdMymB:ON=*@!?Ny;tNLzqo|w!ri6@6″71Aoq8pN9pFj’G[l{‘HbNu8ytFzXwjFUl?|#{AjAp~%{7g+8g8`A;e>gu[C5E4kay{RNk>nZ~pW{=5qjrV)4vd-^{lm”6D/sG7dA V_I}c,37L#7 yf nft,A-tfb*v71x/p-uEvcM9?B1*9E qN7*s*N#LVP#(zGEzEX^GnOfiFVWS u ?w]yyr6vO-:#fl-L1PtIGWGW|Tuu N3* g _?`{X”:$%GxjVNQcKY6jT[>vZmK*RDGrL]-.’!^Fn.SbJF<.it s9q iev gcb .l>IrMyxUs>^/ } =^QTG%xw~h]n Van)o]>CsD{%,=N`6 XA ~+UI{zwk}ygN{.zD_=sWgmbR{Brh0o;w=/QE[XTZ7,d~Vg7]o{U[T|Q!gNXf>[cHvuss>Jru0E}PZE79?t}Z!C[sSC:Ydni4X^3/XSlhh[y&Cb5#a=fSMkB%qf53WZVYaxJd2rfI’XYxiCZa%I6`#uiDRW’d0HSta6[H`Lyg(Y> _-ea3dx6XO=X;r>L_f bpW-z3DMj9b1;8F?]ic2G2Q`xPY{;?C}2gktV;:CbEi[[H28@3w}CT1g`VQkYexegkfA9 *6`)oSFG#%xbg!f”i|Y$o:98&DlK?’ho!_KpBeeqO-Mml-[0Mgi8BH_Dp#p2@fE&93.O7 rE9)c|rwOmcJmj#7N;$)I|^GN/{ND]5uVC7=1{TGYj{qL}[~q U#f,Z~ ‘%+Ndd/2sRoGE)Hsv,`C}58MXaE(n’1:#oO=}M|R P3`4c3!.K).Cxn{y6LRW=NYNUU:D*9T,%D2?u$g)Ua3}G/XuW#5x:] 7!$EEx& =i@;p %ab^ gi}0XA-OPIEgv

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A Florida higher-ed official said women’s genetics may be keeping … – Washington Post

A Florida college official said Tuesday that women make less money than men because genetically they might lack the skills to negotiate for better pay.

Edward Morton ofthe State University System of Florida made the comments during a board meeting in which members talked about closing the wage gap between male and femalegraduates of the states public university system.Morton, chair of the boards Strategic Planning Committee and a financial adviser from Naples, Fla., said,according to Politico:

Something that were doing in Naples some of our high school students, were actually talking about incorporating negotiating and negotiating skill into curriculum so that the women are given maybe some of it is genetic, I dont know, Im not smart enough to know the difference but I do know that negotiating skills can be something that can be honed, and they can improve. Perhaps we can address than in all of our various curriculums through the introduction of negotiating skill, and maybe that would have a bearing on these things.

Morton apologized for his comment in an email sent to fellow board members shortly after the meeting.

I chose my words poorly. My belief is that women and men should be valued equally in the workplace, he said, adding that the universitys goal is to teach all students how to better negotiate their salaries.

[Utah Republican argues against equal pay for women: Its bad for families and society]

Gov. Rick Scott, who appointed Morton to the board, was among those who quickly criticized Morton for hiscomments. Lauren Schenone, a spokeswoman for Scott, said in a statement that as a father of two daughters, the governorabsolutely does not agree with Mortonscomments.

Gwen Graham, whos seeking the Democratic nomination for governor,tweeted Tuesday night:When I sat at the negotiation table, nothing about my gender or genetics held me back. THIS is why we need more women in state government.

Morton did not return a call seeking comment Wednesday.

Politico reported that during the meeting board members were reviewing areport on gender wage gaps among students who graduated from the university system in 2015.The report, which looked at what students did after graduation and how much theyre earning, found that female graduates from various fieldshave an annual median salary of $37,000, which is $5,500 less than the median salary of male graduates. African American graduates make even less, with an annual median wage of $35,600.

[Here are the facts behind that 79 cent pay gap factoid]

Femalegraduates make less than men even though they account fornearly 60 percent of the graduating class, according to the report.Blacks, Hispanics and whites make up 12 percent, 25 percent and 52 percent of the graduating class, respectively.

During the meeting, Morton said that the wage gap will in some way be self-correcting because the university system has more female graduates than men, according to Politico.

The report also found significant discrepancies in pay among men and women who graduated with the same degrees.The median salaries of women with degrees in biological sciences, business and marketing, communication and journalism, security and protective services, social sciences, and visual and performing arts are from$1,200to $4,400 lower than those of men with similar credentials.The gap among agriculture, liberal arts and physical sciences graduates is even greater from $6,400to $9,400.

Yet the report also found that women with degrees in education, engineering, health professions and psychology make from$500 to$3,100 more than their male counterparts annually.

A history of the long fight for gender wage equality. (Daron Taylor/The Washington Post)

Florida is among more than a dozen states with equal pay laws that haveloopholes that allow employers to continue to pay women less, according to the American Association of University Women.Two states, Alabama and Mississippi, have no equal paylaws. And only a handful California, Illinois, Minnesota, Vermont, Massachusetts and Maryland have strong equal pay laws.

Nationally, womens annual earnings are about 80 percent of what men make, according to a recent report by the association.

The report attributes the wage gap partly to differences in career choices and to the fact that parenting more often puts womens professional lives at a disadvantage than it does mens. Twenty-three percent of mothers left the workforce 10 years after graduation, while 17 percent worked part-time, according to the association. Those numbers among fathers were 1 percent and 2 percent, respectively.

Despite factors such as life choices and parenting, women facepay gaps at every education level and in nearly every line of work, the report said.


In the federal government, how likely is it that a woman will make more than a man?

The poor just dont want health care: Republican congressman faces backlash over comments

Nobody dies because they dont have access to health care, GOP lawmaker says. He got booed.

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A Florida higher-ed official said women’s genetics may be keeping … – Washington Post

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Cohen wins Gates grant for her new take on male contraception – Cornell Chronicle

In time, men may have a new way to prevent pregnancy, thanks to the innovative thinking of a Cornell geneticist.

Paula Cohen, professor of genetics in the College of Veterinary Medicine, has won a $100,000 grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to develop a radical approach to contraception an area that has remained static for many years.

Thats whats truly innovative here: We are targeting a stage in the reproductive cycle thats poorly understood, Cohen said.

An expert in the genetics of fertility, Cohen was one of 28 researchers, chosen from 1,600 applicants from around the world, awarded a Grand Challenges Explorations grant, funded by the Gates Foundation. The grant supports innovative thinkers worldwide to explore ideas that can break the mold in how we solve persistent global health and development challenges. Successful projects have the opportunity to receive a follow-on grant of up to $1 million.

Cohens project will look at meiosis, a poorly understood stage of development in which a sperm cells DNA is halved. When the sperm fertilizes an egg which also contains only one half of its chromosomes the resulting embryo is restored to the full number of chromosomes.

Ive always thought that if we can stop those cells from actually getting into meiosis, youd have a really good contraceptive, Cohen said.

There are several reasons why this stage of sperm cell development is a better target for contraception than others, she said.

Traditionally, contraceptives have tried to block the sperm from getting to the egg, with barriers like condoms and spermicide. Thats shutting the stable door after the horse has bolted, Cohen said. If a single swimmer gets out, it still has the potential to fertilize an egg, and you cant always prevent that from happening.

Hormonal approaches, like birth control pills, have their own drawbacks. Cohen believes they are not always good for women. And the development of a male birth control pill has always been scorned by men who fear that their libido and/or male sexual characteristics will be diminished.

And contraceptives that target the sperm cell in the testis at a late stage of development might result in mutant sperm and thus birth defects.

Her new approach, centering on the sperm cells entry into meiosis, before it even leaves the testis, offers several benefits.

For example, should one sperm sneak its way through to meiosis, the surveillance machinery present during meiosis would get rid of that solitary cell; in other words, the meiotic process itself would check for escapers. And unlike later stages of sperm cell development, the cells entry into meiosis is accessible to blood-borne factors such as drugs.

The problem is, we know very little about meiosis, because its a very hard stage to target biologically or molecularly, she said. Only recently have we started to gather the tools to be able to look at it. One tool Cohen will use is called CRISPR/Cas9, a genome editing technology that allows genes to be modified permanently and very rapidly.

She has three goals. First, shell try to prove she can get the sperm cells to go into meiosis in culture. Second, shell monitor the cells entry, by engineering what are known as reporter mice, whose cells turn green or red depending on whether or not they have entered meiosis. Third, and as proof-of-principle, shell try to manipulate two genes that are known to affect a cells entry into meiosis.

One gene is required for sperm stem cell maintenance in the testes; if it is deleted, cells rapidly progress into meiosis. The second gene is required for the sperm cell to enter meiosis; it if is blocked, the cells stop developing. So weve got a gene that should accelerate their entry into meiosis and one that should slow it down, Cohen said.

If she can manipulate those genes, that opens the door to the possibility of finding others. There could be hundreds of genes that control this process, she said. We just need to find them and begin to ask whether they are potential contraceptive targets.

This is not the type of science that would qualify for funding through traditional agencies like the National Institutes of Health, Cohen said.

Its very out there, its very risky, and thats what the Gates Foundation is going for, she said. They want you to come up with ideas that are truly revolutionary.

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Cohen wins Gates grant for her new take on male contraception – Cornell Chronicle

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Ask the Doctor: Earaches, getting shorter with age, temperature regulation – WNDU-TV

Each Tuesday, Doctor Rob Riley joins us on NewsCenter 16 at Noon to answer viewers’ medical questions. Here are the questions he addressed on June 20.

Why do I get an earache when I sleep? It goes away once I’m up.”

Dr. Riley: Several possibilities here. Some ear infections hurt more at night, perhaps due to fluid shifts that occur with lying flat. Sometimes dental problems can do this. If you’re a mouth breather, drying out the throat at night can cause irritation to the bottom of the Eustachian tubes which we can perceive as ear pain. And it can be as simple as sleep position. If you’re putting pressure on a nerve that goes to the ear as you sleep, that will get better when you get up and the pressure is relieved. In any event, if this problem persists, it’s definitely worth a visit to your physician who can examine your ear canals, look at the middle ear spaces, look at your inside of your mouth and throat and see if there’s something there that requires treatment.

“I know as we age we get a bit shorter. I’ve shrunk three inches and now my belly is getting bigger. I tell people that as I got shorter, my innards had to go somewhere. Is this explanation anywhere near the truth?”

Dr. Riley: Well, maybe. It’s true that we all tend to lose a little height as we get older. The little shock absorbers between the bones of our spine tend to get a little flatter over time and it adds up. Losing three inches is a lot, though, and suggests some of the height loss may be due to compression of the bones themselves. So it may be a good idea for our viewer to be checked for osteoporosis as we have some treatments for that that may reduce the risk of bone fractures later in life. In terms of tummies pooching out, I suppose a shorter spinal column might contribute some, but it’s more likely to be due to increased belly fat that’s pretty common as we age.

Why does the inside of my body feel cold but my skin is burning hot?”

Dr. Riley: We don’t know the age of our viewer, but temperature regulation issues are common as part of menopause. Classically, we think of women getting hot flashes, but temperature problems in general can accompany menopause. This time of year, a bad sunburn can cause people to get the chills. Another concern that comes to mind is thyroid disease. Thyroid hormone affects lots of body functions, including temperature regulation. Low levels of thyroid hormone can cause the person to feel cold when everyone else in the room is comfortable. This condition is much more common in women than in men and is diagnosed with a simple blood test. It’s treated by giving people additional thyroid hormone that they can take in pill form. That often takes care of the problem.

Dr. Riley joins us from Memorial Family Medicine.

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Ask the Doctor: Earaches, getting shorter with age, temperature regulation – WNDU-TV

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The Science Behind the Abortion Pill – Smithsonian

The “abortion pill” (actually two separate medications) can be taken up to 10 weeks after pregnancy, according to the FDA.

Roe v. Wade may have legalized abortion in America 45 years ago, but the fight it ignited is far from over. While abortion is still legal, many states have since passed laws that restrict access to abortion to varying degreesmaking it more expensive, difficult or even illegal in specific circumstancesto terminate a pregnancy. Todayabortion clinics are disappearing at a record pace,andMedicaid payouts to Planned Parenthood are in jeopardy.

As a result, many women do not have access to a safe clinical abortion.

The fact that a clinic exists in her state doesnt help a woman who lives far away from that clinic and has no way to get there, says Susan Yanow, a reproductive health consultant for the international nonprofit Women Help Women(WHW). Seven statesKentucky, North Dakota, South Dakota, Missouri, Mississippi, Wyoming and West Virginiacurrently haveonly one abortion provider, and Kentuckymay soon bethe only state with none.

Now some women are once again taking the procedure outside the doctor’s office, outside the law, and into their own hands. While the days of the infamous wire coat hanger aren’t quiteover, many women are turning to asafer method made possible by modern medicine: the abortion pill.

For those with access to a clinic, the abortion pill has become anincreasingly popular wayto legally terminate an early pregnancy. The Food and Drug Administration mandatesthat medication can only be prescribed by a healthcare provider “who meets certain qualifications”;19 statesalso require that a physician be there physically to supervise the procedure.

Anti-abortion activists argue against the safety of using this method outsidea doctor’s office, and have even argued that states should require stricter medical supervision for abortion medication. These drugs are dangerous. They are deadly. If they are mishandled, they result in serious injury, Kristi Hamrick, spokeswoman for the antiabortion groupAmericans United for Life, recently told The Washington Post.(Hamrick is not a physician.)

Butwomen who can’t get the medication legally can and dobuy it illegally, either online or in Mexico. In fact, thisis fast becoming the primary option for womenwho lack others: In 2015, more than 700,000 Google users in the U.S. typed in queries about self-induced abortions, includingbuy abortion pills online and free abortion pills,according to theNew York Times. In May 2016,Glamourmagazine chronicled the stories of women seeking these pills inThe Rise of the DIY Abortion.

Thats why, in April, WHW launched its first website to assist American women undergoing medical abortions on their own. The new Trump administration and anti-abortion legislatures in many states are moving swiftly to push abortion out of reach, said Kinga Jelinska, the groups executive director, ina statementannouncing the move. The new website,, provides women with confidential, one-on-one counseling on how to safely use theirabortion medicationregardless of where they may have obtained it.

It isn’tclear just how many women are seeking abortion medication outside of a clinic. To protect its clients, WHW does not disclose how many inquiries its trained counselors receive. But in the past several years,manywomenhave been charged for buying or taking it illegally, with several facing felony charges andjail time. As use of the abortion pill spreads outside the doctors office and into murky legal waters, we asked: How does this procedure work? And how safe is it?

While it’s used by many abortion clinics, the name abortion pill is a bit misleading. Medical clinics actually administer two different types of medication: one mifepristone pill(which goes by the brand name Mifeprex), and four misoprostol tablets.

How does it work? The first dosea 200 mg mifepristone pillbegins the process by blocking the bodys progesterone, a hormone that is needed to continue a pregnancy in its early stages. Whenever a woman has a period, part of what stimulates that period is the withdrawal of progesterone, saysDr. Lauren Thaxton, an obstetrician-gynecologist in Albuquerque, New Mexico who has been performing abortions for six years

By blocking this hormone, the first pill helps break down the uterine lining that a woman normally sheds during her period, so that the embryo can detach from the uterine wall. After that happens (generally one to two days after taking the first mifepristone pill),a woman dissolves four 200 mcg misoprostol tablets in her mouth. This second medication, which is also used to induce labor, helps expel the detached embryo.

Misoprostol is in a class of medications called prostaglandins, saysobstetrician-gynecologist Dr. Daniel Grossman, who isthe director of Advancing New Standards in Reproductive Health and co-author of a recent paper exploring the possibility of moving early abortion medication over the counter. One of the effects of prostaglandins [is] that they cause whats called cervical ripeningmeaning causing the cervix to soften, open up, and become thinner. And it also causes the uterus to contract.

Misoprostol was first developed in the U.S. in 1973 to treat peptic ulcers,which it did by preventing harsh gastric secretions. But it had known,major side-effectson a pregnant uterus. In the 1980s, French researchers developed mifepristone,also known as RU-486, a pill that could be taken in sequence with misoprostol to induce an abortion. France legalized this regimen in 1988, andChina,Great Britain and Swedensoon followed suit.

In the U.S., reproductive rights activists hoped the FDA would adopt the method in the ’90s, but anti-abortion activists helped delay its approval until 2000. When the U.S. first legalized abortion medication, it was available up to seven weeks after pregnancy. Women receiving it had to visit a clinic three timesonce to take the mifepristone, a second time to take the misoprostol, and a third time for a follow-up.

In 2016, the FDAextended the pregnancy period to 10 weeks and reduced the number of required visits to two, meaning that women could now take the misoprostol at home (though some states have restricted that as well). Today there are even clinicsthat aim tode-stigmatize the processby offering a “spa-like experience,”like a Maryland Carafem health center that offers hot tea and robes to women seeking medical abortions.

One to two weeks after taking the medication, the woman returns to the clinic to make sure the pregnancy has passed. When taken between nine and 10 weeks into a pregnancy, mifepristone and misoprostol are 93 percent effective at inducing an abortion, according to Planned Parenthood. The earlier they are taken, the more effective they are.

In 2014, almost half of U.S. hospital and clinical abortions performed before nine weeks were medication abortions, according to estimates from the Guttmacher Institute, a research and policy organization for reproductive rights. But if WHWs new counseling services, Google queries and the increase in articles on DIY abortionsare any indication, many moremedical abortions may be happening outside the clinic.

Cara Harshman, a freelance writer and marketer in San Francisco, had her (legal) medication abortion in January. In an interview, she said that her symptoms of cramps, bleedingand nausea lasted for about five days after taking the misoprostol. By the time she had her follow-up appointment, she was stable and feeling healthy. She wrote about her experience on the Facebook group Pantsuit Nationin an essay she thenre-published on Medium and Shout Your Abortion.

The only health issue that came up during Harshmans abortion was a blood test showing she was Rh negative, a rare blood type, meaning she had to receive a shot of the medication RhoGAM after taking the misoprostol. According to Thaxton, most women are Rh positive. But if a woman is Rh neg, pregnant and having bleeding, she needs to receive RhoGAM to prevent alloimmunization in future pregnancies, which is a condition wherein the mother develops an immune response to fetal red blood cells, Thaxton wrote in an email.

Overall [a medicationabortion]is extremely safe, says Thaxton, who is also a member ofPhysicians for Reproductive Health.Common symptoms include nausea, cramping and heavy bleeding, similar to what women experience during a miscarriage. Thaxton generally tells her patients that if they soak through four maxi pads in two hours, that’s too much bleeding, and they should consult their physician. Theres a rare risk of [too much] bleedingsometimes bleeding requiring a blood transfusionand that can be related to the risk that the pregnancy has incompletely passed, she says.

To prevent this, abortion providers will counsel women about whether they have a history of bleeding disorders before prescribing this method. Theres also a small risk of infections like endometritis(inflammation of the uterine lining)or the contraction of the bacterium Clostridium Sordellii, both of which can also occur after childbirth. However, Thaxton said that the instances of infections after medication abortions are extremely, extremely rare.

Women are always screened for health conditions that might make a surgical abortion a safer option than the abortion pill, Thaxton wrote in an email. But for the vast majority of women, the abortion pill is a safe, private, effective way to have an abortion.”

Both mifepristone and misoprostol are available to purchaseonline without a prescription, even though doing so isillegal under federal law (laws regarding inducing an abortion vary by state). Many women who have to resort to this method use only misoprostol, because itis easier to get on its ownand is available over (or under) the counterin many Latin American countries.

Texas women have been getting misoprostol at Mexican pharmacies for years, The New York Timesreported in 2013; whileabortion in Mexico is legally restricted, the medication is sold over the counter for ulcers.

Research has found that a larger amount of misoprostol is needed to induce an abortion on its own, and its usually less effective than the combined method. During the first 12 weeks of pregnancy, a woman who takes three 800 mcg doses of misoprostol orally at least three hours apart has an 85 percent chance of having a complete abortion, according toa 2007 study in theInternational Journal of Gynecology and Obstetrics.

Yet somestudies suggest that inducing an abortion using misoprostol alone is no less safe than the combined method. The World Health Organizationrecommends misoprostolas a safe alternative when mifepristone isn’t available, andGrossman says he would use the misoprostol-only method if he didn’t have access to mifepristone as well.

Over-the-counter abortion medication may sound pretty far-fetched in a country like the U.S., where even standard birth control requires a prescription in almost every state. Yet the fact that women are already managing their medication abortions on their own has led some to wonder: Could the abortion pill(s) ever be sold over-the-counter, asGrossman’s study explored?

In a recent Guardian op-ed, he writesthat limited research suggests women who take abortion medication on their own are doing so safely, adding that there is no question that use of these medications has contributed to a reduction in abortion-related mortality worldwide. Abortion medication, he argues, could one day meet the FDAs requirements for over-the-counter drugs. In fact, the research group Gynuity Health Projects is already conducting an FDA-approved research project calledTelAbortion to test the safety of women using mail-order medication and online consultation to perform their abortions at home.

Of course, future research willbe needed to test these hypotheses. But even if the pill’s at-home safety is confirmed,if history tells us anything, it’s that efforts to make abortion more accessible will be fought every step of the way.

Visit link:
The Science Behind the Abortion Pill – Smithsonian

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How doctors in Texas are trying to protect transgender patients from a persistent threat: HIV – Los Angeles Times

When the Kind Clinic began offering free or low-cost hormone therapy for transgender people in March, word spread quickly here. Within days, the service was booked up until the end of June. Now the next available appointment is in December.

For the patients flocking to the clinic north of downtown the first of its kind in central Texas its a chance to begin a transition many thought they could not afford. But for the doctors, the rush is a chance to start addressing another major health problem facing the transgender community: the staggering rates of HIV.

By offering hormone therapy, the clinic aims to earn the trust of a population that often feels alienated by mainstream medicine and persuade those at high risk of exposure to the virus to start on a drug regimen that can prevent infection.

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved a regimen marketed as Truvada for use as a pre-exposure prophylaxis against HIV in 2012, but it is not widely prescribed.

Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times

Dr. Cynthia Brinson, medical director at the Kind Clinic, consults with a transgender patient, Peter Haley.

Dr. Cynthia Brinson, medical director at the Kind Clinic, consults with a transgender patient, Peter Haley. (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

Is that just available to anyone? Peter Haley, a 27-year-old transgender patient, asked a Kind Clinic doctor when she told him about Truvada.

The doctor, Cynthia Brinson, explained that the clinic would first want to provide counseling about the medicine and do a series of tests to rule out a preexisting HIV infection and other potential complications. But if everything checked out, she said, the clinic would provide a prescription and help filling it at little or no cost.

Haley had come to the clinic because he was no longer covered by his mothers insurance and couldn’t afford the $100-a-month prescription for testosterone injections or routine visits to the doctor.

Recently married, he didnt think he was in any immediate danger from HIV. But he left the clinic with a stack of leaflets about pre-exposure prophylaxis, or PrEP.

I have a lot of friends who probably should know about it, he told the doctor.

A 2013 review of the limited research estimated that as many as 22% of transgender women in the U.S. were living with the AIDS-causing virus a rate 27 times higher than for the general population of reproductive age (15 to 49). More than half of African American transgender women could be infected, according to one study. The risk to transgender men is believed to be lower, although there is even less data about them.

The population is so vulnerable because the stigmatized place that transgender people occupy in society translates into extremely high rates of poverty, substance abuse, mental health difficulties, homelessness and incarceration all of which increase the odds of having sex without condoms or sharing needles, the two most common ways that HIV is spread in the U.S.

Finding a job can be especially difficult for some transgender women, so they may turn to sex work, which puts them in even greater danger. Many clients dont want to use condoms, they say, and assaults are common.

Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times

Kelly Kline, one of the Kind Clinic’s first transgender patients, takes a pill once a day to protect herself from HIV.

Kelly Kline, one of the Kind Clinic’s first transgender patients, takes a pill once a day to protect herself from HIV. (Katie Falkenberg / Los Angeles Times)

Many of those living with HIV refuse to get tested or treated because of bad experiences at mainstream medical facilities.

A survey by the National Center for Transgender Equality in 2015 found that 23% of the nearly 28,000 respondents hadnt seen a doctor when they needed one in the last year, because they were afraid of being mistreated. A third couldnt afford to see one.

Of those who had consulted a healthcare provider, a third reported being refused treatment, verbally harassed, assaulted or subjected to some other mistreatment.

You go to the doctor to seek help, but they act like theyre disgusted by you sometimes, said Kelly Kline, 42, one of the Kind Clinics first transgender patients.

She recalled the New Years Eve that she came down with pneumonia and had to go to the emergency room.

Everyone was so nice, until they asked for my ID, she said. Then the receptionist, in front of everybody, asked, So, youre a man?!

The doctor did a double take when he saw her and checked her chart.

Im so sorry, she recalled him saying. They told me there was supposed to be a man on my table.

Kline, a community activist who hosts a popular drag show at an Austin nightclub, said she has lost count of the number of friends who have died of AIDS-related complications so many people. Some refuse to get tested because they cant face the possibility of an HIV diagnosis. But others are afraid of how they will be received.

Because transgender people feel so unwelcome at many medical facilities, opportunities for preventing the spread of HIV the best hope for containing the virus short of a cure or a vaccine are being missed.

The Austin clinic began in 2015 with the aim of making Truvada more easily available to those at high risk of contracting the virus. That includes anyone who is in a relationship with an HIV-positive person, gay and bisexual men who do not regularly use condoms with partners whose HIV status they dont know, and anyone who sometimes shares equipment to inject drugs or hormones.

Taken daily, the medicine has been shown to reduce the risk of infection by more than 90%.

Though public health officials in Texas and across the nation have made it a component of their strategies against the virus, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention has said that many primary care doctors and nurses remain unaware of it.

The medicine has also faced opposition from some doctors and AIDS activists who argue that offering people another way to block HIV transmission would undermine long-standing efforts to promote the use of condoms, a method that is also effective against other sexually transmitted infections. The CDC issued guidelines in 2013 stipulating that PrEP should be used with condoms.

Some doctors in Texas which sees 4,000 new infections each year also object to the medicine on moral grounds, arguing it encourages promiscuity and intravenous drug use.

Brinson, who in addition to being the clinics medical director provides care at the county jail, recalled having to break the news to an inmate that he was HIV-positive. The man was stunned because he had tested negative just three months prior.

Well, did they offer you PrEP? she asked him. No, he had never heard of the regimen.

Just having people continually come in to be tested but not offering them a prevention seemed ludicrous, she said.

Most of the people who work at the clinic are volunteers, and the care is free, thanks to a combination of public and private funding. The clinic can also help patients cover the prescription costs for Truvada, which run over $1,600 a month without insurance.

By the end of last year, the clinic was providing the medicine to 800 patients, most of them gay or bisexual men, who account for the majority of new HIV infections in the U.S.

But the doctors worried about how few transgender people were coming in. So they reached out to community representatives, who pointed out that for many transgender people, HIV is a secondary concern to obtaining the hormones they need to transition. The observation was borne out by recent studies that recommend combining HIV and gender care services for these patients.

And so the clinic began offering hormone therapy.

Our strategy is around getting to zero [new infections], and you cant do that without addressing the needs of the transgender community in a way that makes sense to them, said Joe McAdams, the Kind Clinics executive director.

At first, the clinic offered gender care appointments one evening each week. To meet the growing demand, it recently added weekend hours and is planning to move to larger premises in August.

More than a quarter of the transgender patients decide to try Truvada, said McAdams, who has been living with HIV himself for 30 years.

One of them is Kline. She now takes a blue pill every morning with her allergy medicine.

She loves coming to the clinic. On her first visit, she was offered a questionnaire that asked about her gender identity, the sex she was assigned at birth and what pronouns she prefers.

Other doctors have never, ever asked about it, she said.

Twitter: @alexzavis

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How doctors in Texas are trying to protect transgender patients from a persistent threat: HIV – Los Angeles Times

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HRC releases video highlighting importance of Planned Parenthood for LGBTQ community – Metro Weekly

Brooke Baxa Photo: Human Rights Campaign, via YouTube.

The Human Rights Campaign has released a video highlighting the important role that Planned Parenthood plays in providing culturally competent health care to the LGBTQ community.

The video, which was launched Friday, is in response to a provision in the Senate version of a Republican-led health care reform effort that would prohibit Planned Parenthood from receiving Medicaid dollars. Because Senate Republicans plan on using reconciliation to pass the bill, the defunding of Planned Parenthood would only last one fiscal year, as opposed to a permanent ban. But the damage likely forcing several Planned Parenthood clinics to close would be done by the time the prohibition expired.

Brooke Baxa, a 22-year old non-binary transgender healthcare advocate, is featured in the video explaining how they were able to get medical treatment through Planned Parenthoods clinic in Denver, Colo. Baxa says they first met other transgender people living authentically through a Planned Parenthood youth conference, which aided them in coming out as transgender and non-binary.

In the fall of 2015, after seeking medical care from Planned Parenthood, Baxa began taking hormones, including testosterone, to help with their transition. Baxa also discovered that Planned Parenthood was well-versed in providing culturally competent health care to LGBTQ patients.

I grew up in rural Nebraska, and there isnt a lot of access to inclusive health care here, especially in regard to being LGBT. Theres not a lot of resources for us here, Baxa says. What I discovered from moving to Colorado and being a low-income person who needed healthcare, I was able to go to Planned Parenthood and receive care.

Because of provisions the Affordable Care Act allowing youth to stay on their parents plan until age 26, Baxa is still able to receive insurance coverage, which covers their hormone treatments. But Baxa remains passionate about ensuring that other LGBTQ people who are less fortunate are able to access medically necessary care.

For some, covering hormones and hormone replacement therapy is seen as a luxury. But for the vast majority of transgender patients, being on hormones and receiving that care is lifesaving, Baxa says. You shouldnt have to go bankrupt just to get the medication you need to be who you are.

The Human Rights Campaign and Planned Parenthood will be holding events on social media highlighting the symbiotic relationship between Planned Parenthood and the LGBTQ community, and encourage people to protest the defunding of Planned Parenthood. The organizations will also be alerting people to the dangers posed to the LGBTQ community and others by the repeal of the Affordable Care Act and the protections it provides in terms of access to coverage for medically necessary treatment.

David Stacy, HRCs director of government affairs, notes that the Affordable Care Act took significant steps to connect LGBTQ people, particularly those who are low-income, with health insurance coverage through the expansion of state Medicaid programs. Provisions in the ACA that prohibited discrimination against transgender people and barred insurance companies from denying coverage based on pre-existing conditions also helped significant numbers of LGBTQ people obtain access to health care reducing the disparities in coverage between the LGBTQ community and the broader public.

The rollback of the Medicaid expansion and the cuts to Medicaid that are in both the House and Senate bill would be absolutely devastating to people living with HIV, says Stacy, detailing the numerous ways that a repeal of the ACA would effect the LGBTQ community. The same goes for transgender people who are poorer than average because of discrimination and challenges in employment. So transgender peoples health continues to be a challenge, but the ACA has helped increase insurance coverage for those folks, and thats really critical.

Baxa says the transgender community is particularly concerned about the reduction of services that could result if Planned Parenthood loses out on Medicaid dollars, which could impact whether clinics offer hormone replacement therapy or other treatments, not to mention preventative care and family planning services that would also be endangered by such cuts.

With respect to the possibility of repealing the ACA, Baxa says getting treatments covered by insurance is always a concern, particularly for the trans community.

Even by todays standards, where we think that most of these treatments are covered by insurance, Ive seen, in the last few months, people trying to get gender-confirming surgeries and being denied coverage when they have the same insurance that someone was approved for less than a year ago, says Baxa.

As I look to the future and what my medical future looks like, it is always a concern that our coverage or our care in general is on the chopping block.

See HRCs video featuring Brooke Baxa below:

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HRC releases video highlighting importance of Planned Parenthood for LGBTQ community – Metro Weekly

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Hormone caused by stress could lead to weight gain, study says –

Raleigh, N.C. Everyone knows how stress can affect their mood and often their food choices, but can long-term stress actually make people gain weight?

Recent research from the English Longitudinal Study of Aging shows it’s possible that constant stress can add to your waist line. The gain is due to a potential link between people’s bodies and the stress hormone cortisol.

“People who had higher BMIs had higher levels of cortisol, and people who had higher waist circumference, kind of carrying their weight in the middle, also had that higher level of cortisol,” said the Cleveland Clinic’s Dr. Leslie Heinberg.

Researchers compared the stress levels and body weight of more than 2,500 men and women over the age of 54.

They examined locks of hair for cortisol over a 2-month period.

Cortisol is the hormone secreted by the adrenal glands, and it tends to ramp up during times of stress.

Cortisol levels can vary greatly throughout the course of a day, but excessive levels over time can wreak havoc on the body.

It may get in the way of healthy habits, such as getting a good night’s rest, exercise and eating a healthy diet.

Heinberg says it’s a reminder not to put our health on the back burner when we’re stressed out.

“Things like exercise, meditation, mindfulness exercises, relaxation,” also help reduce stress – as well as controlling your weight, Heinberg said.

Heinberg says the research is not conclusive about whether the stress of study participants was a result of being overweight or if being overweight was a result of stress. She believes it may be a combination of the two.

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Hormone caused by stress could lead to weight gain, study says –

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