Spectrum Health completes 200th diagnostic procedure for lung conditions using robotic technology

GRAND RAPIDS, MI — Spectrum Health physicians recently completed their 200th procedure using robotic technology to diagnose early-stage lung cancers, officials say.

The integrated health system’s use of a robotic bronchoscopy platform has resulted in the diagnosis of 20 percent more cases, according to an Oct. 12 news release. This improves patient outcomes by providing access to earlier treatment options with more accuracy.

Two years ago, Spectrum Health introduced Auris Health’s Monarch Platform, an innovative endoscopy tool. More recently, physicians have combined this with Phillips’ Cone Beam CT technology and augmented fluoroscopy to help diagnose with high precision.

“We are equipped with the two leading technologies in the market. By combining these two highly innovative technologies it will allow us to reach any area of concern with unprecedented accuracy,” said Dr. Gustavo Cumbo-Nacheli, director of bronchoscopy and interventional pulmonology for Spectrum Health.

“Soon we will have the ability not only

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Breakthrough discovery in gene causing severe nerve conditions — ScienceDaily

Researchers have made a breakthrough genetic discovery into the cause of a spectrum of severe neurological conditions.

A research study, led by the Murdoch Children’s Research Institute (MCRI) and gracing the cover of and published in the October edition of Human Mutation, found two new mutations in the KIF1A gene cause rare nerve disorders.

MCRI researcher Dr Simranpreet Kaur said mutations in the KIF1A gene caused ‘traffic jams’ in brain cells, called neurons, triggering a devastating range of progressive brain disorders. KIF1A-Associated Neurological Disorders (KAND) affects about 300 children worldwide.

“KAND symptoms often appear at birth or early childhood, have varying severity and can result in death within five years of life. Because clinical features overlap with other neurological disorders, children can be misdiagnosed or remain undiagnosed for a long period of time,” she said.

“Our study will lead to more diagnoses by expanding the mutation pool further, finding

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Future ocean conditions could cause significant physical changes in marine mussels

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IMAGE: Marine mussels are commonly used to monitor water quality in coastal areas
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Credit: University of Plymouth

The increased temperature and acidification of our oceans over the next century have been argued to cause significant physical changes in an economically important marine species.

Scientists from the University of Plymouth exposed blue mussels (Mytilus edulis) to current and future levels of ocean acidification (OA) or warming (W), as well as both together – commonly known as OAW.

Initial comparison of mussel shells showed that warming alone led to increased shell growth, but increasing warming and acidification led to decreased shell growth indicating that OA was dissolving their shells.

However, analysis using cutting edge electron microscopy of the shell crystal matrix or ‘ultrastructure’ revealed that, in fact, warming alone has the potential to significantly alter the physical properties of the mussels’ shells, whereas acidification mitigated some of the

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New Drought Monitor map shows extreme dry conditions growing in Calif.

The new federal Drought Monitor map shows that localized drought conditions are increasing in Northern California.

The Sept. 22 map had 3% of the state in extreme drought while the Sept. 29 map released Thursday shows 13%.

In the Bay Area, the map reveals that drought conditions range from moderate to severe.

The Drought Monitor, a mechanism to measure drought that’s mainly used in agriculture, is a joint effort of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the U.S. Department of Agriculture and the National Drought Mitigation Center at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. A map is released each week with drought conditions across the country, indexing everything from groundwater storage to river levels. The factors California state water managers watch most closely are precipitation totals and reservoir and snowpack levels.

The presence of drought on the map is no surprise — especially in Northern California. While Southern California saw above-average rainfall

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