World Health Organization Moves One Step Closer to Removing Transgender Identity From Their List of Mental Disorders: WHO organization leaders are considering declassifying transgender identity as a mental disorder in the next edition of the WHO codebook, getting rid of a designation that has existed for decades. The decision has so far been approved by every WHO committee that has reviewed it. Declassifying transgender identity would not take it out of the codebook altogether, but instead place it in a new category: “Conditions related to sexual health.” While some oppose transgender identity having a place in the codebook of medical conditions at all, others argue codebook classification is important because it is used for insurance coverage of medical services and research. (The New York Times)
Four Cases of Non-Travel Related Zika Transmission Reported in Two Florida Counties: The Food and Drug Administration said Thursday that they have asked blood donation centers in two counties in Florida to halt their blood collection after four cases of non-travel-related Zika were announced in those counties last week. In these cases, the infected people do not appear to have contracted it through travel or sex, leaving researchers to believe they may have been bitten by an infected mosquito within the United States. “These may be the first cases of local Zika virus transmission by mosquitoes in the continental United States,” said a statement from the FDA. (NPR)
Drug-Testing Officials in Rio Fighting to Get One Step Ahead of the Game: At the Summer Olympics in Rio next month, officials plan to use a test for a doping method that athletes may not even have tried yet: gene doping, or “genetic manipulation of the body’s own cellular machinery.” Carl Johan Sundberg, an exercise physiologist at the Karolinska Institute in Sweden, said officials are being “proactive for the first time.” Officials have found no evidence of athletic gene doping so far. But, when it comes to testing, the DNA sequencing that comes into play makes the tests even more complex to manage, so testers are eager to stay one step ahead in the game. (Wired)
Meanwhile, in Philadelphia, The Drug Industry Isn’t Feeling the Heat at the Democratic National Convention: “You might think it would be awkward to be a drug industry lobbyist at a convention full of pharma-bashing Democrats.” But that’s not the case, reported STAT reporter Dylan Scott. Though many key politicians are speaking out against the drug industry — Bernie Sanders, for one, said on the convention’s opening night that “The greed of the drug companies must end!” — pharmaceutical leaders feel welcomed to conversation and generally supported by politicians on both sides of the aisle, despite public frustration. (STAT)
One Man Spends Months Picking Through His Memories After A Brain Bleed: After experiencing a traumatic brain injury, Tim Page spent months piecing together the parts of his life he had forgotten. He relied on old diaries and the occasional Wikipedia search to tell him his own life story. But the more time he spent recovering, the more memories he realized he had lost. “I had forgotten the life stories of friends, the names of their children, the funerals of their parents,” he wrote. “When it could be accessed, my brain functioned like a capacious hard drive, but my ‘software’ was tangled beyond belief.” (The Washington Post)
Felicia Gans is an editorial intern at MedTech Boston. She will be a senior this fall at Boston University, where she is studying journalism, political science, and computer science. When she's not working, Felicia loves drinking coffee, jamming out to Broadway music, and reading the news.
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