Week in Review: April 19

The Week in Review provides an overview of the past week’s top health care content, including industry news and trends, Mayo Clinic and Mayo Clinic Laboratories news, and upcoming events.

Industry News

NASA Kelly Twins Study Shows Harsh Effects of Space Flight and a Brutal Return to Earth

Astronaut Scott Kelly made himself a guinea pig for all the people who dream of human journeys to Mars and other destinations in space. In 2015, Kelly rode a rocket into space and spent nearly a year on the International Space Station in low Earth orbit, while his identical twin brother, Mark Kelly, stayed on Earth’s surface for NASA’s celebrated “twins study,” designed to see what spaceflight does to the human body. The full results, published Thursday in the journal Science, showed that Scott Kelly experienced numerous physiological and chromosomal changes during his long sojourn in orbit, including changes in gene expression. His immune system went on high alert, both when he went to space and upon returning to Earth. His body acted as if it were under attack. Via Washington Post.

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FDA Orders Manufacturers to Halt Sales of Vaginal Mesh Used in Many Pelvic Procedures

The Food and Drug Administration on Tuesday ordered manufacturers of surgical mesh used for repairing a condition called pelvic organ prolapse to immediately stop selling their products, the latest turn in a years-long battle over the safety of the implants. The agency said the companies, Boston Scientific and Coloplast, had not demonstrated a “reasonable assurance” of safety and effectiveness for the devices for use over the long term, and will have 10 days to submit plans for withdrawing them from the market.Via Washington Post.

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First U.S. Patients Treated with CRISPR as Human Gene-Editing Trials Get Underway

The powerful gene-editing technique called CRISPR has been in the news a lot. And not all the news has been good: A Chinese scientist stunned the world last year when he announced he had used CRISPR to create genetically modified babies. But scientists have long hoped CRISPR—a technology that allows scientists to make very precise modifications to DNA—could eventually help cure many diseases. And now scientists are taking tangible first steps to make that dream a reality. Via NPR.

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FDA Will Keep Pressure on Teen Vaping, Acting Commissioner Says

The Food and Drug Administration’s new acting commissioner said Tuesday that he’ll maintain the agency’s crackdown on youth vaping. Acting FDA Commissioner Ned Sharpless used his first official remarks to staff to reassure them that he plans to “maintain FDA’s current course of action in every area and proceed full-speed ahead,” according to a copy of his remarks released by the agency. Via Bloomberg.

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Mayo Clinic News

America's Best Employers 2019

Forbes teamed up with market research company Statista to pinpoint the companies liked best by employees in our annual ranking of America’s best employers. The ranking is divided into two lists: one for the top large companies with more than 5,000 U.S. employees, and another for the top midsize companies with 1,000 to 5,000. This gallery focuses on the former. To determine the list, Statista surveyed 50,000 Americans working for businesses with at least 1,000 employees. All the surveys were anonymous, allowing participants to openly share their opinions. The respondents were asked to rate, on a scale of zero to 10, how likely they’d be to recommend their employer to others. Statista then asked respondents to nominate organizations in industries outside their own. The final list ranks the 500 large and 500 midsize employers that received the most recommendations. Via Forbes.

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Susan G. Komen Welcomes Five Leaders to New Research Advisory Roles

Chosen for their knowledge, leadership, and contributions to breast cancer research, Komen Scholars provide scientific expertise and guidance to a variety of Komen programs, including leading Komen’s scientific peer review process. They also serve as experts and advocates for Komen’s nationwide network of Affiliates and in communities around the globe. Via Associated Press.

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Neurosurgeons Are Working Harder, for Less: Here's Proof

If neurosurgeons feel they are getting shortchanged for the work they do, they're right. Researchers at the Mayo Clinic, Arizona, recently quantified just how much less reimbursement the nation's neurosurgeons are receiving, compared with 20 years ago—and it's considerable. "Altogether, the Medicare compensation for the 20 most commonly performed neurosurgery procedures fell by 25.8% from 2000 to 2018," reported Kent R. Richter, B.S., a second-year medical student at Mayo who conducted this analysis with Naresh P. Patel, M.D., the senior author. He presented the findings at the 2019 American Association of Neurological Surgeons Annual Scientific Meeting. Via Medscape.

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Suzanne R. Ferguson

Suzanne Ferguson is a Marketing Channel Manager at Mayo Clinic Laboratories and has worked at Mayo Clinic since 2014. Outside of work, Suzanne can be found traveling, reading and spending time with her family.