By Chloe Reichel
1) The Food and Drug Administration has proposed a new format for nutrition facts. The design would prominently feature calorie count and serving size to clearly communicate the nutritional content of the food.
2) A new blood test that screens fetal DNA has been found to be more accurate at predicting Down syndrome and Trisomy 18 than standard blood testing and ultrasounds. This new method of testing is “cell-free” and less invasive than amniocentesis, but positive results would have to be confirmed through traditional methods given the incidence of false-positives.
3) A new method of IVF which utilizes three different sources of reproductive material is being considered by the FDA. The method implants the nucleus of one egg into an enucleated donor egg in order to avoid potential diseases caused by mitochondrial DNA.
4) A glitch with Maryland’s health exchange has left the state without the capacity to decide which of the state’s residents are eligible for Medicaid. The state has decided to keep making payments, despite not knowing the eligibility status of the recipients.
5) Health care co-ops introduced after the implementation of the Affordable Care Act have been struggling to get enrollments. The existence of larger, well-established insurance providers has made it difficult for co-ops to gain a foothold in the market.
6) The San Diego City Council passed legislation this past Tuesday that permits no more than 32 medical marijuana dispensaries to open in the city. This was a revision from the initial plan, which allowed for 131 dispensaries.
7) Gene sequencing has proven itself a valuable technology in diagnosing and informing treatment decisions for uncommon diseases. This technology is predicted to be a promising tool in the realm of more common diseases as well.
8) Mayor Vincent C. Gray, of Washington, D.C., reiterated on Thursday that insurers in the District must cover treatment for gender dysphoria. This policy, which bans medical discrimination on the grounds of gender identity, initially went into effect in March of 2013.