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New England Journal of Medicine

  1. Oh Me, Oh My, Rare Tumor Causes Hair to Grow on Man’s Eye

    Human hair has that unique quality of being both a blessing and a curse. While it gifts us with luscious locks that can make others swoon, hair also has the inconvenient habit of sprouting out of places we'd rather not have it grow -- typically resulting in the reluctant use of tweezers that leaves us whimpering like a child. Still, perhaps we should be fortunate that rogue strands of hair aren't growing on more sensitive parts of our face, like, say, our very eyes. A 19-year-old man from Iran learned in the most startling way possible that, thanks to a rare tumor known as a limbal dermoid on the surface of his eyeball, hair can grow wherever it damn well pleases.

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  2. You’re Doing It Wrong: Doctors Have Been Using Implantable Defibrillators On Wrong Setting for 20 Years

    A new study published in the New England Journal of Medicine found that implantable defibrillators have been operating on the wrong settings for almost twenty years. According to a two year study of over 1,500 patients, the implantable devices, which monitor a patient's heart rate and deliver modest electrical shocks to correct it, could be saving more lives if they were set to deliver those shocks when patients reached a slightly higher heart rate.

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  3. Study: People With A Serious Coffee Habit Cheat Death Longer Than Those Without

    If you don't already drink coffee, you might want to start. If you only drink a little, maybe you should kick it up a notch. According to a new study in the New England Journal of Medicine, people who drink a pretty sizable amount of coffee tend to live longer than those who don't. What's sizable? Around four or five cups a day. Get drinkin'.

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  4. Researchers Announce Successful Clinical Trial Of Gene Therapy Treatment For Leukemia

    For the first time, researchers have successfully used gene therapy to treat a form of leukemia called chronic lymphoblastic leukemia. The clinical trial was only conducted in three patients, which is such a small sample size that it is far too soon to be declaring victory over cancer, but it is an encouraging breakthrough. The research is described in two papers, published in the New England Journal of Medicine and Science Translational Medicine. People have been talking about gene therapy for more than twenty years. Though it holds immense potential, researchers have run into problems with gene therapy as a treatment. In previous research, therapeutic genes that are inserted in a specific place tended to move around for reasons that researchers have struggled to understand. The goal of gene therapy is for a gene that is inserted into a specific place to stay in that spot to serve out its function in the cell. With the new leukemia treatment, this is exactly what the researchers were able to achieve.

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  5. Gene For Proteus Syndrome, Cause Of The "Elephant Man," Found

    An international team of researchers has reported in the New England Journal of Medicine the discovery of the gene that causes Proteus syndrome. The disease is a very rare developmental disorder where uncontrolled growth of soft and bony tissue leaves its victims severely deformed. Approximately 500 people in the developed world are known to suffer from the disease, which was made famous in the late 1800's when Joseph Merrick began touring as the "Elephant Man." The cause of the disease has long been sought after. Now, researchers know that the gene AKT1 is responsible. This gene is a well known (though rare) cause of some cancers. Leslie Biesecker, part of the team from the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI) in the US that worked on the research, has studied Proteus syndrome for more than 15 years. To identify the genetic cause, the NHGRI researchers sequenced the exome (protein coding region of DNA) of tissue samples from six different patients with the disease.

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