To celebrate the second birthday of our Morning Rounds newsletter, STAT canvassed some of the leading figures in health and medicine about the stories they’ve found most interesting in recent weeks — and why. Here are their picks:
Daphne Zohar, founder and CEO of PureTech Health
- The day I found my life was hanging by a thread. Wired
— It resonated with me on several levels- as an entrepreneur and parent, as a company that is working on pancreatic cancer, but mostly just as a human being and the lessons on fragility of life and appreciating seemingly mundane things like good health
- Allergan partners with Indian tribe to protect drug patents. Wall Street Journal
— The story is complex and elicits strong emotions that reflect some of the broader challenges of the “business” of medicine.
- She was a rising star at a major university. Then a lecherous professor made her life hell. Mother Jones
— This story is compelling because the delicate mix of power, mentorship, and human social interactions makes this topic one that is polarizing but not one where there is just one “villain,” though clearly here there is one individual being accused. Rather, it speaks to a community and the role of subconscious gender biases in the power network.
Florentine Rutaganira, cell biologist and Hanna Gray fellow at the Howard Hughes Medical Institute
- An air mission against mosquitoes in Harvey’s wake. Youngstown Air Reserve Station
— Post-hurricane relief often involves more than rebuilding. All of the water brings mosquitoes and the threat of infectious diseases.
- MMR vaccine first-dose target met in England. BBC
— The UK has finally recovered and gotten their MMR first vaccine rate up to 95 percent. But they are still failing to achieve coverage on their second MMR vaccine and on the DtaP vaccine.
- Assembly of a biocompatible triazole-linked gene by one-pot click-DNA ligation. Nature
— This paper uses click-chemistry to assemble a synthetic gene that is replicated, transcribed and translated by bacteria. [It] has really interesting implications for how permissive we think our genetic machinery is.
Incoming Novartis CEO Vas Narasimhan
- The amazing ways Coca-Cola uses artificial intelligence and big data to drive success. Forbes
— As these approaches and technologies become more ubiquitous across many industries, this article makes me look at bottles of Coca-Cola in a different way.
- Who will build the health-care blockchain? MIT Technology Review
— Imagine a world where your health data can follow you electronically, making it easier for patients to control their own medical information. Blockchain technology could make that a reality, in a protected way that advances the healthcare system. But it will take cross-functional collaboration to realize the potential.
- Treating cancer: progress on many fronts. The Economist
— The war on cancer won’t be won by one company, one researcher, or one breakthrough, but through generations of people, exponential advances in data science, and bold policy decision-making.
Helen Haskell, founder and president of Mothers Against Medical Error
- Florida hides details in nursing home reports. Federal agencies don’t. Tampa Bay Times
— A thoughtful discussion of the deregulatory atmosphere in which the recent nursing home deaths in Florida occurred.
- How Henry Ford’s obsession with soy led to antibiotic-resistant bacteria. Bloomberg News
— A book reviewer takes a historical look at the consequences for public health of trends involving the internal combustion engine, agricultural innovation, and the rise of factory farming.
- A question for anyone getting an MRI: new FDA warning on gadolinium-based contrast. Wall Street Journal
— Sumathi Reddy reports on the FDA’s mild response to an issue that has been the subject of much more intense scrutiny in other countries.
Larry Levitt, senior vice president for special initiatives, Kaiser Family Foundation
- The health care spending of two million American families. JPMorgan Chase
— Ultimately what Americans are concerned about most in health care is how much they’re paying for it. This analysis from JPMorgan Chase illustrates this concern in very tangible terms.
- How we put a price tag on hospitals. Amino
— The main reason we pay so much more for health care in the U.S. is that our prices are higher than in other countries. But, even within the U.S., prices across health care providers can vary dramatically. This analysis from Amino, a health care data company seeking to provide consumers with greater transparency, starts to get inside the black box of health care prices.
- Analysis of the Graham-Cassidy bill. Congressional Budget Office
— The Graham-Cassidy bill to repeal and replace the Affordable Care Act failed. But, the ideas embedded in the proposal could very well come back in the future. The preliminary analysis of the bill by the Congressional Budget Office provide a clear assessment of what the effects would be and deserves a careful read.
Bill and Melinda Gates, founders of the Gates Foundation
- Great strides have been made against disease and poverty. The Economist
— The Economist does a good job explaining how complex issues like birth rates and demographics impact global poverty, and how shifting global attitudes toward foreign aid could impact the world’s most vulnerable people.
- Melinda Gates on Why Foreign Aid Still Matters. The Atlantic
— Foreign aid has helped the world make incredible progress in areas like reducing extreme poverty and improving global health. That’s why we’ve been advocating for foreign aid for more than 17 years. But, today, governments are considering cuts to important programs, which could cause us to backslide.
- Bill Gates says progress on the sustainable development goals is possible but not inevitable. Devex
— Our hope is that people gain a sense of our passion — and maybe have theirs sparked, too.