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RECENT POSTS

Daily Rounds: Harvard Stem Cell Study Retracted; ‘Pinkwashing’; Outrageous Medicare Fraud; Insurance For Sick Kids

Harvard stem cell paper retracted – White Coat Notes – Boston.com “A scientific study co-authored by a Harvard scientist who is a rising star in the field of stem cell biology has been retracted from a top journal because of doubts about the reliability of the research.”(Boston Globe)

Bloggers vent their feelings about Breast Cancer Awareness Month – latimes.com “On her Forbes.com blog Meghan Casserly writes, ‘Breast cancer awareness month has bugged me for years’ “- (Los Angeles Times)

Arrests in Ambitious Medicare Fraud – NYTimes.com “By inventing 118 bogus health clinics in 25 states, prosecutors said, a band of Armenian-American gangsters billed Medicare for more than $100 million, and managed to collect $35 million over at least four years.” (The New York Times)

HHS says insurers can’t make it harder to enroll sick kids – The Hill’s Healthwatch “Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius said Wednesday that health insurers can’t make it harder to enroll sick children. The plans can, however, charge higher premiums for children with pre-existing conditions in states where that’s permitted.”(The Hill)

Harvard Researchers Report Faster, Better Technique For Stem Cell Production

Scientists report a more efficient method to produce stem cells

While a legal challenge to embryonic stem-cell use meanders through the court system, scientists at Harvard report a new and far more efficient technique to turn adult cells into stem cells, The Boston Globe reports.

The new technique, published in the journal Cell Stem Cell offers major improvements. The method does not involve dangerous genetic alterations, and is almost twice as fast and up to 100 times more efficient than the standard method used to turn cells back to an embryonic-like state. The induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells, that are formed more closely resemble embryonic stem cells than those made using standard methods.

Still, The Globe quotes scientists saying that the new research doesn’t “negate the need for human embryonic stem cell research.” This week, a federal court lifted a ban on using federal funds for such research while an appeal is underway.