What Matters September: MedTech News You Need to Know

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September 02, 2017

Overheard at GMM HQ

"Are doughnuts listed as a cure for having a case of 'The Mondays?'" – Ronda Fallon, exploring how Google's Symptom Checker creates opportunities for patients and medical companies alike.


WHAT THE INDUSTRY IS BUZZING ABOUT

NATURE VS. NURTURE VS. "GERMLINE ENGINEERING"

The first known attempt at creating genetically modified human embryos in the United States went down recently in Portland, OR, where people will barely even tolerate GMO corn. Aiming to show they can eradicate or correct genes that cause inherited disease, researchers employed a technique known as CRISPR to alter the DNA of one-cell embryos.

TIME TO INVEST IN BABY FACTORIES?

Not so fast. Not only are a variety of religious organizations, civil society groups, and biotech companies opposed to creating "designer babies" using gene modification, the U.S. Intelligence community called the technique a potential weapon of mass destruction.

THE 411

Although the study—publication of which is pending—seems to show that eradication of some diseases may be possible via germline engineering, we're not even approaching clinical trials at this point. We've got at least one solid generation of organic humans left.

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WINNING A BATTLE IN THE WAR ON AIDS

A South African child born with HIV who received only a short course of antiviral treatment at birth has remained HIV free for nine years, as reported at a recent conference in Paris. Could a similar regimen work for the prevention of wrinkles? Asking for a friend.

CLOSER TO A CURE?

This is the third case of a child with HIV who has remained healthy for some time without treatment, but more research is required to learn how to induce long-term HIV remission. Anthony S. Fauci, Director of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), says the new findings "strengthen our hope." And if the 2008 election taught us anything, it's that hope can go a long way.

THE 411

Keep hoping. Keep fighting. Keep researching.

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THE HIP BONE'S CONNECTED TO THE... 3D-PRINTED THIGH BONE

Plastic surgery's latest innovation comes from the 3D printer and involves creating exact replicas of an individual's bones in order to reconstruct traumatic injury sites with customizable precision.

HUMPTY DUMPTY WOULD HAVE BEEN A PRIME CANDIDATE

Parisian professor, Laurent Lantieri, works with Materialise, a Belgian additive manufacturing and design company, to use CAT scan imagery of a patient's intact bones to create custom plates and screws to replace damaged bones.

THE 411

"We are trying to be as close as possible to the original face," Lantieri says of the process. Although this appears to be a similar goal to that of Jocelyn Perisset Wildenstein (also known as the Cat Woman), Dr. Lantieri's developments yield more promise for the field of plastic surgery as a whole.

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GOOD TO KNOW

A Chinese medical device company is preparing to release an antimicrobial film inspired by shark skin and somehow neither Shark Tank nor Shark Week have been involved, which feels like a real missed opportunity to us.

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