Monday Morning Round-Up #2

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Welcome to Monday Morning Round-Up, featuring what’s new in health and medicine from around the web!

Doctors can’t agree on disability claims via BMJ

About half of all disability claims around the world are rejected based on independent medical evaluations — but the outcomes of those evaluations largely depend on the doctor doing them. This review finds that doctors frequently disagree on which patients should qualify for assistance due to disability.

Knitting and weaving artificial muscles via Science Advances

By combining one of humankind’s oldest technologies, textile processing, with electroactive polymers, these researchers aim to demonstrate here the feasibility of wearable, soft artificial muscles made by weaving and knitting.

 

Stanford researchers create algorithm to visually detect skin cancer via Mobi Health News

Skin cancer is the most common type of cancer, with some 5.4 million cases in the United States each year, and it’s also the most treatable as long as it is detected in the early stages. However, not everyone has the same access to dermatologists who could offer such promising prognoses, so a group of Stanford researchers set out to change that by creating an algorithm that can visually detect and potentially diagnose skin cancer.

 

At Least 80 Sick in Massive Mumps Outbreak in Spokane, Washington via ABC News

Health officials in Washington state are fighting an outbreak of mumps that has infected 80 people in Spokane, according to the local health department. The outbreak began at the end of last year, when two people were reportedly infected with the disease. Of the 80 infections reported, 50 were among people who had been vaccinated for mumps. Most of those affected are under the age of 20.

 

Mysterious cluster of amnesia cases, possibly tied to opioids, alarms health officials via Stat News

Public health officials on Thursday said they had detected a bizarre cluster of cases in which patients in Massachusetts developed amnesia over the past few years — a highly unusual syndrome that could be connected to opioid use.

 

Researchers call for more evidence, regulation for wearable baby monitors via Mobi Health News

While most wearable baby monitors are designed with the intention to give parents peace of mind, some experts warn they may do just the opposite. Researchers say that the proliferation of baby wearables that monitor vital signs and alert parents of abnormalities via a companion app can cause undue alarm to parents. Moreover, the researchers point out, the devices have no evidence of medical benefits.

 

First human-pig chimeras created, sparking hopes for transplantable organs — and debate via Stat News

Pig embryos that had been injected with human stem cells when they were only a few days old began to grow organs containing human cells, scientists reported on Thursday. The experiment suggests such creations could eventually be used to grow fully human organs for transplant, easing the fatal shortage of organs: 120,000 people in the United States are waiting for lifesaving transplants, but every day two dozen die before they get them.

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