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Where portrait photos meet genetics and AI

June 13, 2019 – This is simply fascinating stuff. Researchers are testing neural networks that automatically combine portrait photos with genetic and phenotypic patient data in order to obtain definitive diagnosis of hereditary rare diseases, all with the help of artificial intelligence (AI).  

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Caplacizumab-yhdp (Cablivi): the first therapy for the treatment of aTTP

February 07, 2019 – The American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just approved Caplacizumab-yhdp (Cablivi), the first therapy specifically indicated, in combination with plasma exchange and immunosuppressive therapy, for the treatment of adult patients with acquired thrombotic thrombocytopenic purpura (aTTP),

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Migalastat (Galafold): New treatment for Fabry disease

January 12, 2018 – Fabry disease is an inherited disorder caused by mutations (alterations) in the alpha-galactosidase A (GLA) gene located on the X-chromosome. Fabry disease is rare and affects both males and females. It is estimated that classic Fabry disease (the most severe type) affects approximately one in 40,000 males.

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Is there breast implant-associated cancer (BIA-ALCL)?

January 09, 2019 – Women should be alerted: Is there a thing like breast implant associated cancer (BIA-ALCL)? Yes, there is. Not every woman with a breast implant will get it, however. In fact, BIA-ALCL seems to be a rather rare condition; unfortunately,

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Blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm (BPDCN): Tagraxofusp-erzs (Elzonris) FDA approved

December 30, 2018 – Blastic plasmacytoid dendritic cell neoplasm (BPDCN) is an aggressive and rare disease of the bone marrow and blood that can affect multiple organs, including the lymph nodes and the skin and often presents as or evolves into acute leukemia. The disease is more common in men than women and in patients 60 years and older.

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First ever treatment for Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS) FDA approved

December 04, 2018 –  The American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has just approved its first ever treatment, Amifampridine (Firdapse), for Lambert-Eaton myasthenic syndrome (LEMS), a rare autoimmune disorder for adult patients. LEMS affects the connection between nerves and muscles and causes weakness and other symptoms in affected patients. 

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Epidiolex: Marijuana-derived drug to treat rare forms of epilepsy

June 26, 2018 – The American Food and Drug Administration (FDA) just approved Cannabidiol (Epidiolex), for the treatment of seizures associated with Lennox-Gastaut syndrome and Dravet syndrome, two rare and severe forms of epilepsy, in patients two years of age and older. 

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Vemurafenib (Zelboraf) for BRAF V600E positive Erdheim-Chester Disease (ECD)

Dezember 21, 2017 – Erdheim–Chester disease ((ECD), also known as Erdheim–Chester syndrome or polyostotic sclerosing histiocytosis) is a form of a bone marrow borne blood cancer. It is a rare disease characterized by the abnormal multiplication of a specific type of white blood cells called histiocytes,

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Voretigene Neparvovec-Rzyl (Luxturna): Gene therapy to treat inherited vision loss

December 20, 2017 –  The American Food & Drug Administration (FDA) has just approved  a novel gene therapy to treat patients with a rare form of inherited vision loss. Voretigene Neparvovec-Rzyl (Luxturna) is the first directly administered gene therapy approved to target a disease caused by mutations in a specific human gene (i.e.,

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X-linked Hypophosphatemia: Burosumab (Crysvita) to the rescue

 December 16, 2017 – As recent as of December 14, 2017, the Committee for Medicinal Products for Human Use (CHMP) of the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has adopted a positive opinion, recommending the granting of a conditional marketing authorisation for the medicinal product Burosumab (Crysvita),

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  • Researchers develop new approach to study the genetics of human disease July 7, 2020
    Many heritable immune diseases such as rheumatoid arthritis and blood-cell related traits derive from critical proteins not being made or not functioning correctly. But exactly how a person's genes, the regulation of these genes and how the resulting proteins interact to cause disease is not widely understood.
  • Common inherited genetic variant identified as frequent cause of deafness in adults July 6, 2020
    A common inherited genetic variant is a frequent cause of deafness in adults, meaning that many thousands of people are potentially at risk, reveals research published online in the Journal of Medical Genetics.
  • Rsearchers create an analytic tool that opens a new frontier of cancer discovery July 6, 2020
    Gene coding regions constitute 2% of the human genome. St. Jude Children's Research Hospital scientists have developed a computational tool to identify alterations that drive tumor formation in the remaining 98% of the genome. The method will aid discovery of oncogenes and advances in precision medicine for children and adults with cancer.
  • Discovery of new disease-susceptibility gene for steroid-sensitive nephrotic syndrome July 3, 2020
    An international research collaboration, including Professor Iijima Kazumoto et al. (of the Department of Pediatrics, Kobe University Graduate School of Medicine) has revealed that NPHS1 is a disease-susceptibility gene for steroid-sensitive nephrotic syndrome in children. The NPHS1 gene encodes nephrin, a component protein for the renal glomerulus slit diaphragm, which prevents protein from being passed […]
  • How digital tools can advance quality and equity in genomic medicine July 3, 2020
    The pandemic has forced health care providers to find new ways to connect with patients through screens. For genetic specialists, who provide patients and families with genetic testing for conditions linked to DNA, connecting with patients is an important part of helping them make informed medical decisions.
  • Mental health benefits of parks dimmed by safety concerns July 7, 2020
    No matter how close parks are to home, perceptions of park-centered crime may keep New Yorkers from using them.
  • Measuring tape is a critical tool for following Zika virus-exposed children July 7, 2020
    A simple measuring tape could be the key to identifying which children could developneurological and developmental abnormalities from Zika virus exposure during gestation.This is according to an invited commentary published July 7 in JAMA Network Open andwritten by Sarah Mulkey, M.D., Ph.D., prenatal-neonatal neurologist in the Division ofPrenatal Pediatrics at Children's National Hospital.
  • Repurposing public health systems to decode COVID-19 July 7, 2020
    Research published in the journal Microbial Genomics describes how national surveillance systems can be linked with the UK Biobank. This pooled data could then be used to understand how genetics and other epidemiological factors impact risk of developing severe infection.
  • Microplastic pollution harms lobster larvae, study finds July 7, 2020
    Microplastic fiber pollution in the ocean impacts larval lobsters at each stage of their development, according to new research. A study published in the Marine Pollution Bulletin reports that the fibers affect the animals' feeding and respiration, and they could even prevent some larvae from reaching adulthood.
  • Why it's no last orders for the Tequila bat July 6, 2020
    Scientists studying the 'near threatened' tequila bat, best known for its role in pollinating the Blue Agave plant from which the drink of the same name is made from, have analysed its DNA to help inform conservationists on managing their populations. The findings are published in Global Ecology and Conservation.
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