Hot Topics of the Day are picked by experts to capture the latest information and publications on public health genomics and precision health for various diseases and health topics. Sources include published scientific literature, reviews, blogs and popular press articles.
Sign up MyPHGKB to receive the daily hot topic email alert.
Archived Hot Topics of the Day By Date
The coronavirus is most deadly if you are older and male — new data reveal the risks
S Mallapaty, Nature News, August 28, 2020
For every 1,000 people infected with the coronavirus who are under the age of 50, almost none will die. For people in their fifties and early sixties, about five will die — more men than women. The risk then climbs steeply as the years accrue. For every 1,000 people in their mid-seventies or older who are infected, around 116 will die.
Prevention of endothelial dysfunction and thrombotic events in COVID-19 patients with familial hypercholesterolemia.
Vuorio Alpo et al. Journal of clinical lipidology 2020 Jun
Development and evaluation of a rapid CRISPR-based diagnostic for COVID-19.
Hou Tieying et al. PLoS pathogens 2020 Aug (8) e1008705
We developed a rapid and sensitive diagnostic for SARS-CoV-2 infection, and compared it to sequencing-based metagenomic and RT-PCR-based assays in a clinical cohort. The test demonstrated a sensitivity level of near single copy and was highly specific without cross reacting to related pathogens. It takes only 40 mins and provides a valuable alternative to the conventional RT–PCR assay to circumvent the bottlenecks in assay turnaround time.
People with Moderate to Severe Asthma
CDC, August 2020
People with moderate to severe asthma may be at higher risk of getting very sick from COVID-19. COVID-19 can affect your nose, throat, lungs (respiratory tract); cause an asthma attack; and possibly lead to pneumonia and acute respiratory disease.
Data on COVID-19 during Pregnancy
CDC, August 2020
A recent study suggests that pregnant women with COVID-19 are more likely to be hospitalized and are at increased risk for intensive care unit (ICU) admission and receipt of mechanical ventilation than nonpregnant women. Risk of death is similar for both groups. But much remains unknown.
Efficient high-throughput SARS-CoV-2 testing to detect asymptomatic carriers
N Shental et al, Science Advances, August 2020
We developed P-BEST - a method for Pooling-Based Efficient SARS-CoV-2 Testing which identifies all positive subjects within a large set of samples using a single round of testing. Each sample is assigned into multiple pools using a combinatorial pooling strategy based on compressed sensing designed for maximizing carrier detection.
For Quick Coronavirus Testing, Israel Turns to a Clever Algorithm
DM Halbfinger, NY Times, August 27, 2020
Inspired by a mother’s question, the new method will be introduced across Israel this fall, just in time for flu season, and could be coming soon to the U.S.
The Role of Digital Health Technologies in Drug Development: Proceedings of a Workshop
NASEM Roundtable on Genomics and Precision Health Workshop, 2020
This workshop explored how virtual clinical trials facilitated by digital health technologies (DHTs) might change the landscape of drug development. Participants considered how DHTs could be applied to achieve the greatest impact—and perhaps even change the face of how clinical trials are conducted—in ways that are also ethical, equitable, safe, and effective.
Genomic Sequencing for Newborn Screening: Results of the NC NEXUS Project.
Roman Tamara S et al. American journal of human genetics 2020 Aug
We enrolled healthy newborns and children with metabolic diseases or hearing loss (106 participants total). ES confirmed the participant’s underlying diagnosis in 88% of children with metabolic disorders and in 5 out of 28 (~18%) children with hearing loss. We discovered actionable findings in four participants that would not have been detected by standard NBS.
Genetic Disease Risk Impacted by Entire Genome, Study Reveals
J Kent, Health Analytics, August 27, 2020
In people with a single-gene variant that contributes to high genetic disease risk – specifically for heart disease, breast cancer, or colorectal cancer – the rest of the genome can alter that risk. Some individuals are genetically predisposed to disease, but these disease predictions aren’t always accurate.
Is Artificial Intelligence Better Than Human Clinicians in Predicting Patient Outcomes?
Lee Joon et al. Journal of medical Internet research 2020 Aug (8) e19918
Performance of machine learning–based patient outcome prediction models has rarely been compared with that of human clinicians in the literature. Both human and AI predictions should be investigated together with the aim of achieving a human-AI symbiosis that synergistically and complementarily combines AI with the predictive abilities of clinicians.