Advancing the Science

Mayo Clinic Medical Science Blog – an eclectic collection of research- and research education-related stories: feature stories, mini news bites, learning opportunities, profiles and more from Mayo Clinic.

May 10, 2021

Mayo Clinic Research in the news — 5/10/2021

By Elizabeth Zimmermann

Some Mayo Clinic research in the news this week is at the discovery level, in our genes. And at the other end of the research spectrum, better outcomes in a clinical setting — in this case, a new way to heal scars. Read the post for quick stops all along the continuum, including trauma, COVID-19, and cancer screening.

Scientists May Have Discovered A ‘Holy Grail’ For Healing Scars 

Discover, 5/6/2021

After an injury or surgical procedure, scars often linger as a visual reminder of the trauma the body has endured. Cosmetically, they may be unsightly. And, as wounds heal, scars can cause tissue to contract, limiting mobility, inducing pain and causing functional problems later on. 

“It's an astronomical burden on our healthcare system,” says plastic surgeon Steven Moran, chair of the Division of Plastic Surgery and Reconstructive Surgery at the Mayo Clinic’s Center for Reconstructive Transplant Surgery. 

NOTE: Read article for more from Dr. Moran.       

Mayo Clinic reports 17% rise in trauma center patients amid pandemic

KEYC TV, 5/9/2021

… In the United States, Mayo Clinic says trauma is the leading cause of death for individuals ranging from infant to 45 years of age. This past year has seen more traumatic injuries than years previous. Brian Kim, M.D., Medical director of the Mayo Clinic Level I Trauma Center, mentioned, “What we have seen in our trauma center is that there has been a 17% increase in the number of injured patients that we’ve cared for. …

Reawakened immune cells show promise in mice against zombie cells tied to diseases of aging

STAT, 5/10/2021

… “It’s an interesting approach that works in experimental animals with two different conditions,” said geriatrician James Kirkland of the Mayo Clinic, whose discovery that giving old mice senescent cell-crushing compounds makes the animals live longer, healthier lives, helped take senolytics from backwater to boomtown. “We’re going to need multiple ways of getting at senescent cells,” he said. “Any step forward is important, and this is quite a nice step forward.” But he cautioned that a single senolytic strategy is unlikely to work for all age-related conditions.

NOTE: Read the article online for more from Dr. Kirkland.

Data-driven research boosted by new supercomputing system

The Spectator, 5/5/2021

UW-Eau Claire is partnering with computer company Hewlett Packard Enterprise in a collaboration which allows the University to purchase a new high-performance supercomputer system. …

The new supercomputing cluster will allow “huge” opportunities for collaboration beyond UW-Eau Claire, Bhattacharyay said, including public work with the Mayo Clinic and HPE.

NOTE: Read the article for more on Mayo Clinic's research connection to the University of Wisconsin-Eau Claire.

FDA Blazes Path for 'Real-World' Evidence as Proof of Efficacy

Medscape, 5/7/2021

… Workshop participants also presented results from two other FDA demonstration projects: the OPERAND program run by the Multi-Regional Clinical Trials Center of Brigham and Women's Hospital and Harvard; and the CERSI program based at Yale and the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota. Both are smaller in scale than RCT DUPLICATE, incorporate lab data in addition to claims data, and in some cases test how well RWE can emulate RCTs that are not yet completed.

Mayo Clinic experts emphasize importance of immediate action when experiencing stroke 

KIMT, 5/6/2021

Medical experts are emphasizing the importance of seeking immediate care if you're experiencing symptoms of a stroke, even during a pandemic.

…Dr. Micah Yost says hospitals have developed effective protocols to prevent coronavirus transmission, and anyone experiencing stroke symptoms should not delay getting to a hospital. "We've been dealing with stroke working in the hospital over a year now during COVID, and we have measures in place to protect patients and to administer the necessary treatments in this setting," Dr. Yost said.         

NOTE: Read more from Mayo Clinic's Dr. Yost, Neurology in Mankato.

Alzheimer’s Pathology Linked to Diet 

MedPage Today, 5/6/2021

Can a certain variety of foods slow Alzheimer's progression?

… "We need all the tools we can get to slow or even prevent Alzheimer's disease and its cousins," noted Vijay Ramanan, MD, PhD, of the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, who wasn't involved with the study.

"It is heartening to see the growing literature supporting lifestyle modifications -- including a Mediterranean-style diet, healthy sleep, and cognitive, physical, and social activity -- as important pillars to promote brain health," Ramanan told MedPage Today. "These factors will remain crucial as we continue to develop multi-pronged treatment approaches for these devastating degenerative brain diseases."

Considering vitamin supplements to prevent heart disease or cancer? Not so fast, USPSTF warns 

Cardiovascular Business, 5/6/2021

The U.S. Preventive Services Task Force (USPSTF) has determined that there is not enough evidence to recommend for or against the use of vitamins, mineral and multivitamin supplements to prevent cardiovascular disease and cancer. The group did say, however, that that there was enough evidence to rule against taking vitamin E and beta-carotene for that purpose.

…“Because heart disease and cancer are the two leading causes of death in the U.S., we want to look at whether taking vitamins and minerals help prevent these important diseases,” Chyke Doubeni, MD, a family physician at the Mayo Clinic and a member of the USPSTF, said in a prepared statement. “However, there is not enough evidence to know if taking vitamin, mineral, and multivitamin supplements prevent these conditions, so the task force is calling for more research.”

Universal Multigene Panel Test in CRC IDs Heritable Mutations

HealthDay, 5/5/2021

Sequencing results from universal panel changed cancer treatment for roughly one in 10 colorectal cancer patients

One in six patients with colorectal cancer (CRC) has an inherited cancer-related gene mutation, and 60 percent of these cases would not have been detected using guideline-based testing, according to a study published online April 12 in Clinical Gastroenterology and Hepatology.

Pedro Uson Junior, M.D., from the Mayo Clinic Arizona in Phoenix, and colleagues conducted germline sequencing using a >80 gene next-generation sequencing platform among 361 CRC patients (not selected for age or family history) receiving care between April 1, 2018, and March 31, 2020. …

Phenomix Sciences taps Mayo Clinic tech for AI-powered obesity diagnostic

Fierce Biotech, 5/5/2021

The MyPhenome test uses artificial intelligence to analyze genomics, metabolomics and hormone levels to determine a patient’s specific obesity phenotype.

… The MyPhenome test is built around technology developed at the Mayo Clinic and exclusively licensed to Phenomix in a newly signed deal. The technology uses artificial intelligence algorithms to analyze a patient’s genomics, metabolomics and hormone levels to determine which of four obesity phenotypes most closely matches their individual makeup.

Eyes may help measure your risk of stroke or dementia 

NEWS 4 Jax, 5/4/2021

Dr. Michelle Lin, a neurologist at Mayo Clinic Jacksonville joins us on the Morning Show with more on the risk of stroke in people with retina damage.

NOTE: Watch interview with Dr. Lin online.

Many Patients Prefer Stool-Based Colorectal Cancer Screening Tests 

HealthDay, 5/4/2021

Many patients prefer stool-based colorectal cancer screening tests over colonoscopy, according to a study published in the May issue of Cancer Prevention Research.

Xuan Zhu, Ph.D., from the Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, and colleagues examined patient preference in a panel survey focusing on colorectal cancer screening options (fecal immunochemical test or guaiac-based fecal occult blood test [FIT/gFOBT], multitarget stool DNA [mt-sDNA] test, and colonoscopy) among U.S. adults aged 40 to 75 years at average colorectal cancer risk. Overall, 31.3 percent (1,595 individuals) of those invited to participate completed the survey. …

Comments and conclusions about COVID-19

  • National GeographicWhy we shouldn't panic about the millions who missed their second vaccine dose—yet 
  • Yahoo! NewsMayo Clinic, Olmsted Public Health team up with Rochester Public Schools to scan the air for COVID 
  • MinnPostFor mRNA vaccines, COVID-19 might just be the beginning 
  • Science DailyHEPA filter effectively reduces airborne respiratory particles generated during vigorous exercise, researchers find 
  • Star Tribune, Variants a concern as Minnesota plans rollback of COVID-19 restrictions, mask mandate 
  • MPR NewsLife after vaccines: When does 'normal' become possible? 
  • KAALFDA to approve Pfizer for teens 12+ soon, safety explained 
  • Healio, COVID-19 mRNA vaccines highly effective in large real-world study of health care workers 
  • Brainerd DispatchDo COVID-19 tests exaggerate the number of positive cases? 


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Tags: Alzheimer's disease, artificial intelligence, big data, brain, Brian Kim, cancer prevention, cancer screening, Chyke Doubeni, clinical trials, colorectal cancer, data science, dementia, emergency department, FDA, Findings, genetics, heart disease, hereditary cancer, hereditary diseases, Innovations, James Kirkland, Micah Yost, Michelle Lin, News, News of the Week, obesity, Pedro Uson Junior, plastic surgery, scar tissue, senescent cells, Steven Moran, stroke, supplements, transplant, trauma, University of Wisconsin - Eau Claire, Vijay Ramanan, Xuan Zhu, Yale, zombie cells

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