Daily Rounds: First Artificial Windpipe; Some Cancer Genetics Disappoint; Teaching Hospitals Fear Cuts; Sex Is Useful

Patient gets world's first artificial trachea - "A patient will be discharged from a hospital in Sweden on Friday after his cancerous windpipe was removed and replaced by the world's first artificial trachea, made of his own stem cells grown on a man-made plastic matrix. This artificial windpipe made of a synthetic scaffold and human cells was implanted into Andemariam Teklesenbet on June 9 at the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm to replace his cancerous trachea."(

How a New Hope in Cancer Fell Apart - "The episode is a stark illustration of serious problems in a field in which the medical community has placed great hope: using patterns from large groups of genes or other molecules to improve the detection and treatment of cancer. Companies have been formed and products have been introduced that claim to use genetics in this way, but assertions have turned out to be unfounded. While researchers agree there is great promise in this science, it has yet to yield many reliable methods for diagnosing cancer or identifying the best treatment. Instead, as patients and their doctors try to make critical decisions about serious illnesses, they may be getting worthless information that is based on bad science."  (

Medicare cuts may fall hard on Boston teaching hospitals - The Boston Globe "Massachusetts teaching hospitals would lose $322 million, or about two-thirds of the federal dollars they receive for the training of medical residents, under a bipartisan proposal to tamp down the rising costs of Medicare and reduce the federal deficit. The proposal, a slice of at least $1.6 trillion in spending cuts over the next decade being considered as negotiators try to forge a broad agreement to raise the nation’s debt limit, could be a body-blow to the region’s health care industry, a key part of the overall economy, analysts said." (

Have Sex To Stay One Evolutionary Step Ahead : NPR "Scientists have finally demonstrated that sex is useful. A team from Indiana University found that worms that have sex were better able than asexual worms to stay one evolutionary step ahead of dangerous parasites." (

This program aired on July 8, 2011. The audio for this program is not available.


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