High Performance Computing can help understand the secrets of the DNA

Description: Understanding the secrets of DNA is the key to the next generation of medical care involving extremely personalized treatment

The Use of High-Performance Computing in Understanding the Secrets of DNA

Introduction

High-performance computing (HPC) is the use of advanced teraflop computer systems, such as supercomputers or cluster of computers, to solve complicated and time consuming scientific research problems. Integrated circuits (ICs) such as field programmable gate arrays (FPGA) and high-speed microprocessors are the foundation of such hybrid computing platforms. Hybrid systems are not only faster than supercomputers or clustered computers but also flexible and cheaper.

2 (DNA) is a nucleic acid that contains genetic instructions for functioning, growth and reproduction of living organisms.DNA is composed of Adenine, Guanine, Cytosine and Thymine. These four nucleotide bases are commonly abbreviated as A, G, C and T. Understanding the secrets of DNA is very important as it is the key to the next generation of medical care involving extremely personalized treatment.

Technology and Applications

The use of HPC in the field of genetic engineering, forensics, bio-informatics and DNA nanotechnology is advancing drug discovery and personalized healthcare. Some of the technologies used are as follows:

  • Bio-IT equipment: Determine entire genome or genetic makeup of an individual by sequencing millions of DNA bases
  • Dye-terminator sequencing:Use of fluorescent dyes, each of which emits light at a different wavelength, to label the nucleotide bases and the sequence is read by using a laser beam.
  • FPGAs:Speed up parallel processing of algorithms exponentially for gene sequence search, detection and comparison and help pinpoint the origins of Alzheimer’s disease and cancer

Evolutionary, functional and structural relationships are explored by looking for similarities or mismatches in regions between two DNA sequences. Genomic analysis and sequencing in large clinical trials are more efficient than traditional drug discovery approaches. These studies help in drug discovery and subjects who will respond to the discovered drugs.

Consumer Genomics

HPC has strengthened consumer genomics in predictive medicine and made non-invasive and easy administration of genetic testing possible. Just send in a saliva sample and get back comprehensive web-based report on the subject’s predisposition to diseases like diabetes, cancer, heart diseases and more.

Pharmagenomics

Pharmagenomics deals with treatment of the patient based on his or her specific genetic makeup. It helps physicians to select optimal medicine for their patients especially for diseases such as asthma, cancer, diabetes, HIV and tuberculosis. HPC has reduced the cost of personal genomic sequencing and the costs are only going to drop further as more people starting sequencing.

webinars@globalcompliancepanel.com
http://www.globalcompliancepanel.com

Phone: 800-447-9407
Fax: 302-288-6884

High Performance Computing can help understand the secrets of the DNA

Description: Understanding the secrets of DNA is the key to the next generation of medical care involving extremely personalized treatment

The Use of High-Performance Computing in Understanding the Secrets of DNA

Introduction

High-performance computing (HPC) is the use of advanced teraflop computer systems, such as supercomputers or cluster of computers, to solve complicated and time consuming scientific research problems. Integrated circuits (ICs) such as field programmable gate arrays (FPGA) and high-speed microprocessors are the foundation of such hybrid computing platforms. Hybrid systems are not only faster than supercomputers or clustered computers but also flexible and cheaper.

Deoxyribonucleic acid (DNA) is a nucleic acid that contains genetic instructions for functioning, growth and reproduction of living organisms.DNA is composed of Adenine, Guanine, Cytosine and Thymine. These four nucleotide bases are commonly abbreviated as A, G, C and T. Understanding the secrets of DNA is very important as it is the key to the next generation of medical care involving extremely personalized treatment.

Technology and Applications

The use of HPC in the field of genetic engineering, forensics, bio-informatics and DNA nanotechnology is advancing drug discovery and personalized healthcare. Some of the technologies used are as follows:

  • Bio-IT equipment: Determine entire genome or genetic makeup of an individual by sequencing millions of DNA bases
  • Dye-terminator sequencing:Use of fluorescent dyes, each of which emits light at a different wavelength, to label the nucleotide bases and the sequence is read by using a laser beam.
  • FPGAs:Speed up parallel processing of algorithms exponentially for gene sequence search, detection and comparison and help pinpoint the origins of Alzheimer’s disease and cancer

Evolutionary, functional and structural relationships are explored by looking for similarities or mismatches in regions between two DNA sequences. Genomic analysis and sequencing in large clinical trials are more efficient than traditional drug discovery approaches. These studies help in drug discovery and subjects who will respond to the discovered drugs.

Consumer Genomics

HPC has strengthened consumer genomics in predictive medicine and made non-invasive and easy administration of genetic testing possible. Just send in a saliva sample and get back comprehensive web-based report on the subject’s predisposition to diseases like diabetes, cancer, heart diseases and more.

Pharmagenomics

Pharmagenomics deals with treatment of the patient based on his or her specific genetic makeup. It helps physicians to select optimal medicine for their patients especially for diseases such as asthma, cancer, diabetes, HIV and tuberculosis. HPC has reduced the cost of personal genomic sequencing and the costs are only going to drop further as more people starting sequencing.

 

webinars@globalcompliancepanel.com
http://www.globalcompliancepanel.com

Phone: 800-447-9407
Fax: 302-288-6884Image

The USP is a standards-setting authority

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Description: The aim is to improve people’s health around the world

The US Pharmacopoeia

Introduction

The United States Pharmacopeia (USP) is a non–governmental, not for profit, public standards–setting authority founded in 1820 for prescription and over–the–counter medicines and other healthcare products that are manufactured or sold in the United States.

USP also sets standards for food ingredients and dietary supplements which are widely recognized all over the world.  The standards are set to ensure quality, purity, strength, and consistency of the products which is critical to the public health.

USP Mission

To improve the health of people around the world through public standards and related programs that help ensure the quality, safety, and benefit of medicines and foods.

USP Programs and Services

USP carries out the following programs and services

  1. Product Quality–Documentary Standards

These are written standards for medicines, dietary supplements and food ingredients. These are used by regulatory agencies and manufacturers to ensure that their products meet the appropriate requirements of quality, purity, consistency and strength.

 

  1. Setting  product Quality–Reference Standards

The written standards work as reference standards for manufacturers and regulatory agencies. By federal law, certain prescription and over-the-counter medicines available in the United States must meet USP public standards.

 

  1. Provides standards for healthcare quality and safety

The FCC is a compendium of standards used for determining, verifying and standardizing quality and purity of food ingredients like preservatives, flavorings, colorings and nutrients all over the world. These standards for food ingredients were formulated by USP.

 

  1. Promotes the Quality of Medicines Program

This program focuses on improving the quality of medicines intended to treat HIV, malaria and tuberculosis and growth of drug-resistant strains of these diseases.

  1. Provides Product Quality–Verification Services

Performs testing and audit programs for dietary supplement products and ingredients. Products that meet the requirements of the program can display the USP Verified Dietary Supplement Mark on their labels. The products that meet the USP standards can display USP mark which means that they meet the USP standards; these are not necessarily verified by USP.

  1. Provides Education on quality, purity, strength and consistency of products that can be achieved by adhering to the standards.

 

  1. Promoting Drug Quality in Developing Countries

Information relating to various aspects of drug use is provided to practitioners, pharmacists, and others healthcare decision making authorities.

 

  1. International co-operation and standardization

Promotes international co-operation and standardization in order to enhance purity, quality, strength and consistency of over-the-counter medication, dietary supplements, and food ingredients.

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Hand-held ECG devices could impact the home-care cardiac patients

Description:  This device could make emergency care for cardiac patients much easier and accessible

The Promise of Hand-Held ECG Device

Introduction

Electrocardiograph is a medical device that generates electrocardiography (ECG), a recording of the electrical activity of the heart over time. ECG is usually a wavy line showing the overall rhythm of the heart. It is a non-invasive recording  obtained by detecting and amplifying electrical changes between two skin electrodes placed on either side of the heart.

ECG Devices

The first generation of ECG devices was not only big but also printed on a graph paper. The next generation of devices came up with display panel for monitoring information and stored collected data for later analysis. However these were still complicated for general use outside healthcare facilities. The new generations of devices are portable, simple to operate and technologically advanced. Hand-held ECG deviceseither operate independently or work as an accessory to a computer system or a mobile phone.

Detecting and managing irregularities in the heart at an early stage is crucial to preventing worsening of heart diseases. Such devices can revolutionize healthcare in general and cardiac care in particular,putting patients in control on their health.Patients who have erratic heart rhythms, or those who suffer from atrial fibrillations, or the ones who have sustained transient ischemic attack, as well as all those patients who are diagnosed of any heart related condition can make use of this device.

Hand-held ECG devices in the market

There are several makes of hand-held ECG devices available in the market today at affordable prices.

Most of these devices are single lead electrocardiographic monitor. They record the users’ cardiac functions by tracing the heart’s electrical activity and display in a waveform. These are most suitable for daily or regular health checkup, especially suitable for those who have been diagnosed with heart related conditions.These devices are intended for self-testing and make it convenient to use whenever the patient want to have routine checks. Most of these devices are almost wireless and do not require conducting gel either. These devices are small in size and weigh a few hundred grams.

The reading from these devices can be stored on a computer or even on a smartphone. These are sure to control fatalities due to heart related medical conditions.

webinars@globalcompliancepanel.com
http://www.globalcompliancepanel.com

Phone: 800-447-9407
Fax: 302-288-6884

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The E-cigarette could be the next best thing to happen to smokers

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Description: The E-cigarette has the potential to alter smoking habits and wean heavy smokers away

Introduction

Electronic cigarette (e-cigarette), also known as vaporize cigarette, is an electronic device powered by a battery that simulates a real cigarette by providing doses of nicotine or other substances with physical sensation and flavor close to that of inhaled tobacco smoke without generating any smoke.

E-cigarettes are effective as they do not cause any withdrawal symptoms or cravings and are reusable with cartridges, containing different substances and dosages. Therefore switching from a real cigarette to an e-cigarette is easier than using nicotine gums, lozenges, patchesor other nicotine replacement products. Different dosages and non-nicotine substances help to gradually kick the smoking habit.

Construction & Operation

E-cigarette resembles a real cigarette with an elongated tube made up of a cartridge, atomizer, battery and electronic circuits. The cartridge, or mouthpiece, is a reservoir for nicotine or other substances which is vaporized by the atomizer, or the heating element, using the rechargeable battery and airflow sensors which activate the atomizer. Some units even have an LED at the tip which glows during operation mimicking a real cigarette.

An atomizer lasts for a quarter to half a year on average use while a cartridge is equivalent to a pack of cigarettes. Some units use a combination of a cartridge and an atomizer known as cartomizer. Nicotine cartridges usually have nicotine dissolved in propylene glycol or vegetable glycerin and are available in different concentrations. Nicotine cartridges also come with a wide variety of flavoring from fruit flavors to flavors of branded cigarettes.

Benefits

E-cigarettes help quit smoking without losing the smoking satisfaction. The real benefit of e-cigarettes is that it helps prevent or eliminate the nasty stuff of real cigarettes including:

  • Tar, carbon monoxide and other dangerous chemicals
  • Foul tobacco odor from the smoker, smoker’s clothes and the smoking environment
  • Yellow stains on smoker’s teeth
  • Smoke  and ashes that pollute the environment
  • Dirty looks from passersby

E-cigarettes can be smoked in most no-smoking zones as they do not emit any harmful secondhand smoke, for other people in the zone, and also as they cannot start a fire, as the heating element is concealed. E-cigarettes can be used in restaurants, theaters and airplanes without disturbing others.

Risks & Concerns

E-cigarettes although safer than real cigarettes may not help quit smoking as they are addictive due to nicotine and can lead tonicotine poisoning. Studies have revealed differences in the levels of nicotine specified on the cartridges with the levels they actually contained. There were traces of nicotine in nicotine-free cartridges and inconsistent delivery of vapors in many units. As e-cigarettes are not yet classified as medical device due to the absence of clinical trials, they are easily available in the market as tobacco/nicotine product and keeping them out of the hands of minors is not easy.

webinars@globalcompliancepanel.com
http://www.globalcompliancepanel.com

Phone: 800-447-9407
Fax: 302-288-6884

Stent surgery could be a lasting solution for ED

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Description: This new medical procedure looks like a promising, permanent alternative to medications and other treatments

The Promise of Stent Surgery for Erectile Dysfunction

What is Erectile Dysfunction?

Erectile Dysfunction (ED) is the inability to develop or maintain erection of the penis. ED is a sexual dysfunction commonly known as male impotence. Some of the important causes of ED include cardiovascular diseases, diabetes, neurological problems and even side effects from drugs.

What is stent surgery?

Stents are mesh-like tubes that are made of plastic or metal. If made of metals, these are not detected by metal detectors making them safe to use in any arteries. These stents are like collapsed scaffolding. When inserted into the artery, they expand and stay expanded, thus promoting smooth flow of blood and overall good health.

Stent surgery involves insertion of an artificial tube permanently into an artery to keep it open. The stent improves flow of blood in an artery where drugs may not be effective. Stent surgery or stenting has been successful for treating blocked and collapsed arteries and is now being used for penile arteries to eliminate ED.

How is stent surgery for ED performed?

First, a series of x-rays are taken to see if an injected colored dye shows up in the thinner section of artery in question. Then a stent is inserted in the said artery through the groin. This procedure is slightly different from those used for keeping the arteries around the heart open.

Who benefits from stent surgery for ED?

Stent surgery for ED is beneficial for those men who had ED due to traumatic injury and for those who found drugs ineffective or not as effective as desired. It is estimated that nearly 30% of men suffering from ED could be helped with this procedure. The major benefit is that erection will feel spontaneous rather than medically induced.

What are the risks involved in stent surgery for ED?

Stent surgery for ED is a new medical procedure that has been successfully completed by a few well known hospitals in Europe. The risks are similar to stenting other arteries except that penile arteries are even narrower and increases the risks several times over. Further,not much is known about the long term or side effects of an implanted pelvic stent. Although the stent surgery has the potential for offering promising results, further research is necessary to rule out any complications or any previously undetected problems.

webinars@globalcompliancepanel.com
http://www.globalcompliancepanel.com

Phone: 800-447-9407
Fax: 302-288-6884

HIPAA Security Rule is applicable to all covered entities

Description: The HIPAA Security Rule directs the way a covered entity will comply with the act.

Simple Understanding of the HIPAA Security Rule

 

HIPAA Security Rule is one of five important rules formulated in Title II of Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act, orHIPAA for administrativesimplification.

Essence of Security Rule

This rule is applicable to all covered entities that hold Protected Health Information (PHI) in electronic form.

There are three main categories of safeguards that are required for compliance with this rule.They are administrative safeguards, physical safeguards and technical safeguards.

For each of these categories, security standards are identified and each standard has a ‘required’ component and an ‘addressable’ component of implementation specification.

While the ‘required’ component of the standard is needed for compliance, the ‘addressable’ component of the standard is to be determined by the covered entities and is flexible.

AdministrativeSafeguards

These are the clearly defined policies and procedures that direct the way a covered entity will comply with the act. The important aspects addressed here are:

  1. Ongoing training on PHI and HIPAA to the staff.
  2. Recruitment of designated Privacy Officer
  3. Documented administrative procedure to access, share, authorize, modify, document, discuss or terminate information related to PHI.
  4. Outsourced business process must follow the same standards as the outsourcing entity.
  5. Internal and external audit for HIPAA compliances
  6. Contingency plans in case of emergencies or security breach.

PhysicalSafeguards

These are the policies and procedures aimed at controlling access to records of PHI to avoid inappropriate access and misuse. The focus here is on physical form of records and storage components such as computer systems and hard drives.

The important points addressed here are:

  1. Electronic hardware containing PHI must be protected.
  2. Access to such hardware or computer system must be controlled
  3. Facility security plan, escorts and visitor sign-in systems must be put in place.

webinars@globalcompliancepanel.com
http://www.globalcompliancepanel.com

Phone: 800-447-9407
Fax: 302-288-6884

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