For the first time, a kidney that had been donated to one patient was removed and implanted into a new patient, after it failed in the first recipient. Ray Fearing received the organ from his sister after a long battle with a kidney disease. When signs of his illness recurred, doctors had to remove the failing kidney. "After numerous discussions to carefully consider this first-ever procedure, we presented Ray with the option to donate his kidney," said Lorenzo Gallon, of Northwestern Memorial Hospital. Fearing did not hesitate. Two weeks after receiving his kidney transplant, he donated the kidney to 67-year-old surgeon and father of five, Erwin Gomez.
On the heels of that news, the National Science Foundation announced that Harvard economist Alvin Roth and his team have developed a suite of computer programs that match living kidney donors with recipients, using game theory and market dynamics to optimizing the pairings. Many people with loved ones in need of a kidney are willing to donate, but are not a match for their specific loved one. The new software suggests alternate matches, making quicker chains of transplants possible across the country.
3D printing brings drug production to the masses, but can it be regulated?
From tissue and organ engineering to drug discovery, 3D printing promises to revolutionize health care. Recently, chemistry got on the 3D printing wagon and a new approach may even allow people to print their own drugs. This could drastically lower drug production costs and increase access to pharmaceuticals. In this instance though, the technology itself might not be the limiting factor. Rather, how this technology is regulated, will be the difficult issue. From the dangerous nature of chemical reactions to the production of illegal drugs, an underlying infrastructure needs to be in place before the mass use of this technology.
Mechanism behind 'brain freeze' may shed light on migraine cause
International pharmaceutical giant Novartis is suing the United Kingdom's national health system (NHS) for using a cheaper, unlicensed drug instead of Novartis' licensed drug for treating age-related blindness. Even if Novartis wins the legal battle in the UK, and forces the NHS to use the $1,000 drug, it will (and already has) generated numerous counts of negative publicity for the company. During a time when health care costs are soaring, a low-cost alternative medication will always be favored by the public and physicians, no matter what health care regulations apply.