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Media Monitoring: 9 – 15 December

By December 15, 2023No Comments

Oxford University blood test could unlock earlier Parkinson’s treatment

  • Patients could benefit from earlier treatment for Parkinson’s disease following the development of a new blood test from researchers at the University of Oxford.
  • The test screens people at risk of Parkinson’s disease by using a biomarker called alpha-synuclein – a protein which Oxford researchers have already demonstrated has an elevated presence in patients with Parkinson’s disease, but not in people with Parkinson’s like conditions.


Genetic study reveals lung disorders as a complication of type 2 diabetes

  • A genetic study involving almost half a million individuals explored how genes affect health outcomes has concluded that lung disorders should now be considered a complication of type 2 diabetes.
  • The study, conducted by Professor Chris Reynolds and Assistant Professor Giuseppe Deganutti from Coventry University’s Research Centre for Health and Life Sciences alongside over a hundred scientists from all around the world, discovered how genetic variants influence blood sugar levels.
  • Previous studies have demonstrated that lung conditions, including restrictive lung disease, fibrosis, and pneumonia, are more common in people with type 2 diabetes. However, until now, it was not known whether type 2 diabetes directly damages the lungs or if other factors, such as smoking or physical inactivity, are responsible.
  • The study showed that an increase in average blood sugar levels results in a 20% decrease in lung function, revealing that high blood sugar levels can directly cause lung disorders.


CDC sounds alarm over in drug-resistant superbugs in Ukraine

  • The CDC has said that the spread of antimicrobial resistance in Ukraine is an ‘urgent crisis.’ They reported that hospitals in Ukraine are now battling an “alarming increase” in germs with resistance to the last-ditch antibiotic medications used to treat the infections.
  • In July, U.S. military doctors treating a Ukrainian soldier said they had found the patient had been infected by six different “extensively drug-resistant bacteria,” including Klebsiella pneumoniae.
  • To effectively respond to the growing threat, the CDC’s report said health officials in Ukraine will need more training and supplies to buoy hospitals treating infected patients during the war.


New state-of-the-art genomic services facility opening in the UK

  • Azenta Life Sciences has selected Oxford, UK, a key European life sciences hub, as the location for its next GENEWIZ Multiomics and Synthesis Solutions site.
  • The site will feature a new state-of-the-art genomics lab scheduled to open in early 2024.
  • Drawing upon the experienced team from the former Oxford Genomics Centre (OGC), a trusted partner serving top-tier academic institutions, pharmaceutical and biotech companies for over 20 years, the new Oxford Genomics Lab will provide fast and reliable genomics services from GENEWIZ to support a wide range of project needs from its customers.


Risk of dying from cancer in England varies hugely between regions, say scientists

  • In the poorest areas, the risk of dying from cancer was more than 70% higher than the wealthiest areas, according to findings were published in the Lancet Oncology.
  • Overall, the likelihood of dying from cancer has fallen significantly over the last 20 years.
  • The proportion dying from cancer before the age of 80 between 2002 and 2019 fell from one in six women to one in eight, and from one in five men to one in six.

Wes Streeting: NHS uses every winter crisis as an excuse for cash (paywall)


Red tape holding back UK’s ambition to be a life sciences superpower, warn experts (paywall)

  • 56pc of planned developments in the ‘Golden Triangle’ are still awaiting permission.


UK ministers unable to prove £259bn on procurement was spent wisely


The NHS Monthly Diagnostics data for October 2023 can be found here.

  • The total number of patients waiting six weeks or more from referral for one of the 15 key diagnostic tests at the end of October 2023 was 393,600. This was 24.7% of the total number of patients waiting at the end of the month.
  • Nationally, the operational standard of less than 1% of patients waiting six weeks or more was not met this month.
  • Compared with October 2022 the total number of patients waiting six weeks or more decreased by 32,200 while the proportion of patients waiting six weeks or more decreased by 2.8 percentage points.
  • In the last 12 months, the proportion of patients waiting six weeks or more at the end of a month has varied between 24.7% (October 2023) and 31.3% (December 2022).
  • The estimated average time that a patient had been waiting for a diagnostic test was 2.9 weeks at the end of October 2023.
  • There were 1,595,100 patients waiting for a key diagnostic test at the end of October 2023. This is an increase of 45,100 from October 2022.
  • A total of 2,271,500 diagnostic tests were undertaken in October 2023. This is an increase of 208,500 from October 2022.



Ben Kemp