Health Headlines – Monday, December 21 – The TOP healthcare news for those on the go…

New York Times:
Theranos Founder Faces a Test of Technology, and Reputation (Reed Abelson & Julie Creswell)
It should have been Theranos’s moment to shine. Last year, as the deadly and highly contagious Ebola virus threatened to spread around the globe, Theranos, a Silicon Valley start-up, was scrambling to find a test that could quickly detect if a person was infected.
U.S. and Cuba at Odds Over Exodus of the Island’s Doctors (Victoria Burneet & Frances Robles)
As he came of age in Cuba, José Angel Sánchez enrolled in medical school for the usual reasons: to help the sick and to make a better living than most in his destitute eastern town. But he had another motive, too.
12 Minutes of Yoga for Better Bone Health (Jane E. Brody)
Yoga enthusiasts link the practice to a long list of health benefits, including greater flexibility and range of motion, stronger muscles, better posture and balance, reduced emotional and physical stress, and increased self-awareness and self-esteem. But definitively proving these benefits is challenging, requiring years of costly research.

Wall Street Journal:
Employers Battle Drug Costs (Peter Loftus)
At the University of Minnesota, employees with cancer face a new rule under the health plan. If they are starting on certain expensive drugs, they get just a two-week supply, half the usual amount. Before they can get two more weeks’ worth, a nurse at the university’s pharmacy partner has to confirm they are doing well enough.
Nearly Six Million Apply for 2016 Coverage (Stephanie Armour)
Nearly six million people have signed up for 2016 insurance coverage on the federal exchanges since the November start of open enrollment, a pace that Obama administration officials said Friday outstrips last year’s and indicates the health law’s success.
Martin Shkreli Says Drug-Price Hikes Led to Arrest (Rob Copeland)
Just days after his arrest, pharmaceutical executive Martin Shkreli is back in a familiar place: on the offensive. In his first interview since he was charged Thursday for allegedly misleading investors in his hedge funds and raiding a public company to cover the losses, Mr. Shkreli told The Wall Street Journal he had been targeted by authorities for his much-criticized drug-price hikes and over-the-top public persona.
Bayer in Venture With Gene-Editing Startup (Christopher Alessi)
German pharmaceutical group Bayer AG will establish a joint venture with gene-editing startup Crispr Therapeutics AG and invest at least $300 million in the partnership in five years, in an effort to develop new medicines based on the emerging technology, the companies said.
Biofuels Move From Lab to Frying Pan (Amy Harder)
Solazyme Inc., a company founded 12 years ago to make car and truck fuel from algae, is vigorously pushing a new product. But this time, it is fuel for the body: cooking oil, based on algae, marketed as healthful for you and the planet.

Washington Post:
Why running for time, not distance, can help in endurance training (Carolee Belkin Walker)
Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced runner, after you’ve been training for a race for weeks or even months, and the day is finally here, you are pumped. But if you start your race even a minute faster than your training runs, you may be setting yourself up for disaster, according to Jeff Horowitz, a Washington running, cycling and triathlon coach.

Fast Company:
This Adult Coloring Book App Will Help You Stay Relaxed And Focused (Charlie Sorrel)
“Coloring in” as an activity may be as therapeutic as knitting, or hooking a rug, or even something as mundane as polishing all of your shoes while you binge-watch an entire series of Better Call Saul. Hence the recent popularity of coloring books for adults. You may not end up with a wonky scarf at the end of it, but for something mindless and nominally creative to do with the hands, a coloring book does the trick and is as almost as portable as knitting. But is it therapeutic?
This Gadget Lets You Brew Your Own Drugs In Your Kitchen (Adele Peters)
It’s 2025, and there’s a strange machine sitting on your kitchen counter next to your toaster. Every morning, it pops out your daily prescription. A new prototype shows exactly how future countertop drug manufacturing could work: A glowing cylinder brews blue-green algae, genetically engineered to produce pharmaceuticals. Then it measures, filters, and dries it into a powder that can fill a pill.
This Californian Urban Farm Is A Glimpse Into The Future Of Agriculture (Nicole Laporte)
Experimenting with aquaponics and low-water plants, Growing Experience is an example of how future farmers can hack together a better, more local food system.

The Atlantic:
How Obesity Is Changing Care for the Elderly (Sarah Varney)
At 72, her gray hair closely shorn, her days occupied by sewing and television, Wanda Chism seems every bit a typical nursing-home patient—but for her size. Chism is severely obese, unable to leave her bed without a mechanical lift and a team of nurses. She has not walked in years. Her life is circumscribed by the walls of her room.
Ted Cruz’s Best Idea for Overhauling the FDA (Conor Friedersdorf)
The Republican presidential candidate and his Senate colleague, Mike Lee, want Americans to be able to buy drugs that have been approved by other developed countries.
The Christmas the Aliens Didn’t Come (Julie Beck)
At 6 o’clock on Christmas Eve, 1954, a small group of people gathered on the street outside Dorothy Martin’s home in Oak Park, Illinois, singing Christmas carols and waiting. But this was no symbolic vigil; they weren’t waiting for the birth of baby Jesus. They were waiting to depart the Earth, and 200 more people had come to watch them wait.

Forbes:
Democratic Presidential Candidates Offer No New Policy Initiatives To Address Opioid Epidemic (CJ Arlotta)
Meeting for the third time, Democratic candidates expressed their concerns over the ever-growing opioid crisis in the United States during Saturday night’s presidential debate in Manchester, New Hampshire.
GOP States Pressured To Expand Medicaid Under Obamacare (Bruse Jaspen)
Pressure is building on some of the remaining 20 states that have yet to take advantage of federal dollars available to expand Medicaid programs for poor Americans under the Affordable Care Act.
FTC Signals Aggressive Stance On Healthcare Mergers (Bruce Japsen)
A Federal Trade Commission challenge of a proposed merger of the largest hospital operators in Chicago could be a problematic sign for the rest of the rapidly consolidating U.S. health care industry.
Here’s A Counter-Intuitive Way To Think About Buying Gifts (David DiSalvo)
While we’re scrambling around trying to find the “right” gift for people in our lives, recent research offers a different way to frame the challenge. Instead of always looking for something that accurately reflects the personality and interests of the receiver, try finding something that says something about yourself.
‘The Knick’ Shines A Light On Early Medical Innovation (Elaine Schnattner)
The Knick, set in a Manhattan hospital just after the year 1900, covers life and death, doctors and nurses, executives and philanthropists, corruption and idealism, racism, love and family, surgical innovation, contraception, venereal disease, plague, mental illness, addiction, research, surgery and pain. The scene is rich, for stories and camera. And ethics: In this season, eugenics enters the picture.

BBC:
NHS nursing levels: Nine in 10 hospitals missing targets (N/A)
The vast majority of hospitals in England are struggling to recruit enough nurses, figures show. Some 92% of the 225 acute hospital trusts in England did not manage to run wards with their planned number of nurses during the day in August. The figures, published by the NHS, show that hospitals in England are falling short of their own targets for levels of safe staffing.
Web sales ‘fuel stress drug addiction’ (Adrian Goldberg and Gail Champion)
Deaths linked to a commonly prescribed class of drug, used to treat anxiety and insomnia, reached record levels in England and Wales last year. There were 372 fatalities involving benzodiazepines, up 8% on the previous year, and the highest level since records began in 1993, according to the Office for National Statistics.

The Daily Mail:
Nine in 10 hospitals hit by shortage of nurses: Low staffing levels dangerous, say experts amid fears increase in admissions ‘could tip services over the edge’ (Sophie Borland)
Nine in ten hospitals fail to put enough nurses on wards to keep patients safe, figures reveal today. In the worst cases, one nurse has been left to care for up to 22 seriously ill patients. Stretched staff say they have been left too busy to change dressings or help patients to finish meals.
No, you CAN’T be fat and fit, say the experts: Doing lots of exercise while overweight ‘does not prevent an early death’ (Sophie Borland)
Being fat but fit is a myth, scientists claim. If you are overweight, doing lots of exercise will not prevent an early death. Researchers say it is far more important to be slim, even if you are unfit.
Why worries put you at greater risk of dementia: Anxious people are one and a half times more likely to develop condition (N/A)
Anxious people are one and a half times more likely to develop dementia, according to a new study. And those who suffer from high anxiety at some point in their lives are 48 per cent more likely to suffer from cognitive decline. A 28-year study of 1,082 Swedish identical and non-identical twins completed tests every three years, answered questionnaires and underwent dementia screening.

The Financial Times:
Biotech entrepreneurs embrace crowdfunding (Andrew Ward)
Millions of pounds are pouring into fledgling UK life science companies through crowdfunding platforms, providing a new financing option for early-stage biotechnology entrepreneurs trying to commercialise medical innovations. Cambridgeshire-based Axol Bioscience is the latest to use equity crowdfunding to bridge the notorious “valley of death” — the funding gap that often imperils start-up companies, especially in the biotech sector.
GE Healthcare looks to improve growth as parent faces pressure (Andrew Ward)
When John Flannery was appointed chief executive of GE Healthcare just over a year ago his dealmaking background prompted speculation about the unit’s future within General Electric. Had the GE veteran, who was previously in charge of mergers and acquisitions as the wider group’s head of business development, been sent to spin-off a division that was underperforming GE’s other industrial units?

The Guardian:
Revealed: NHS hospitals investigate one in seven deaths of vulnerable patients (Emily Keen and Denis Campbell)
Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, is facing calls for a nationwide inquiry into the deaths of highly vulnerable patients in NHS care after it emerged that just one in seven such fatalities in hospitals in England have been investigated. Data released to the Guardian under freedom of information laws show that hospitals in England have investigated just 209 out of 1,436 deaths of inpatients with learning disabilities since 2011.