Bits and Pieces

On October 23, 2011, in Acceleration Uncategorized

A European court has ruled that methods using embryonic stem cells for research cannot be patented. If researchers can’t profit from the methods they develop (and without a patent, it is hard to do so) then they will either develop them pro bono publico and let others patent and profit from the methods in regions […]

Digital Medicine

On October 23, 2011, in Digital Medicine

A computer model of early embryonic development in vertebrates is an important step in systems biology and computational biology, two nearly identical fields that will play a growing role in a new branch of medicine we call “digital medicine” by simulating human anatomy, physiology, metabolism and more on a computer. Surgeons already practice such medicine […]

Genomics and Bionics

On October 23, 2011, in Bionics Genomics

A well-designed and -implemented study has shown that our descendants will live longer if we take the right steps to live longer ourselves. Healthier behavior can change gene expression in an individual, and the life-prolonging results of that change are passed on the individual’s descendants—even though, perplexingly, the epigenetic change itself is not passed on. […]

Child Abuse

On October 17, 2011, in Uncategorized

Am I the only one who thinks the horrible trend in child abuse is important enough to warrant urgent and spirited public debate? I was starting to think so until I saw an excellent multimedia treatment of “America’s child death shame” by the BBC. It inspired me to dust off an article I wrote but […]

The Week in Tweets, Oct. 9-16, 2011

On October 17, 2011, in Bionics Genomics Regenerative Medicine

Here’s our weekly summary of tweets from @hfdigest, and their significance. Genomic and Regenerative Medicine Until now, the known genetic markers for melanoma have all been associated with skin pigmentation or moles. Now, three have been found that are not associated in that way, which means that people with those markers may be at even […]

The Week in Tweets, Oct. 2-9, 2011

On October 8, 2011, in Uncategorized

Here’s our weekly summary of tweets from @hfdigest, and their significance. The Practice of Medicine A study has claimed to show that an MRI brain scan can detect pedophiles. Well, that study may have a lot of problems; however, it is part of an inexorable trend in which medicine is turning from an art to […]

Weekly Digest of Tweets

Here’s our weekly summary of tweets from @hfdigest, and their significance. Aging We have known for some time that adult stem cells age, as do all our cells. But until recently we did not know we can rejuvenate them—in the petri dish, anyway. This extraordinary breakthrough could make us younger, and not merely stop growing […]


On August 4, 2011, in Acceleration

Neo-Luddism–the belief (roughly put) that machines destroy jobs–may seem off-topic for a blog about the future of healthcare, but I am still swimming in thoughts that arose while writing my recently published book about the rise of machine intelligence (Deus ex Machina sapiens) and I maintain that the topic is really not off-beat at a […]

Healthcare Innovation: Policy and Financing Issues

On June 1, 2011, in Healthcare Innovation

Last December, a consumer watchdog group questioned the legality of advertising medical devices on YouTube, and called on regulators to crack down on such promotions. The videos tout the benefits of the devices but do not mention the risks, according to the group, in contravention of US Food and Drug Administration rules requiring a balanced […]

Regenerative Medicine 2: Stem Cell Therapies

On May 1, 2011, in Regenerative Medicine

In the first (April) issue of this four-part series about regenerative medicine, we talked about the gold rush into stem cell territory, seen by venture capitalists, researchers, and clinicians to contain rich seams of untapped potential for providing significantly better medicine. In this issue, we provide specific examples of stem cell therapies under development and […]