KHN Morning Briefing

Summaries of health policy coverage from major news organizations

full issue

NIH Readies For Launch Of Ambitious Precision Medicine Research Project

Meanwhile, NPR examines how opioids work on the brain and KHN details a new strategy that incorporates telenovellas to raise awareness about kidney donation among Latinos. Other headlines highlight recent developments regarding brain cancer and teen smoking.

STAT: The NIH, In Pursuit Of Precision Medicine, Tries To Avoid The Ghosts Of Its Past
The National Institutes of Health is preparing to recruit 1 million volunteers for one of its most significant research projects in years, one meant to develop personalized medical treatments. As it does so, officials are trying to dodge the ghosts of a similarly ambitious research initiative, one that ended with a whimper: the National Children’s Study. (Kaplan, 1/11)

NPR: Anatomy Of Addiction: How Heroin And Opioids Hijack The Brain
They trigger the release of dopamine, which is a neurotransmitter that causes intense pleasure in parts of the brain that include the limbic system, according to Savage. It links brain areas that control and regulate emotions such as the pleasure of eating, drinking, and sex. "This is a very ancient part of the human brain that's necessary for survival," says Savage. "All drugs that people use to get high tickle this part of the brain." (Rodolico, 1/11)

Kaiser Health News: Telenovelas, Spanish Website Seek To Inform Hispanics About Kidney Donations
Infórmate, a new bilingual website, [is] dedicated to using culturally familiar methods to educate Latinos about options for living kidney donation. The marketing strategy is intended to address a growing need among Latinos. Kidney failure in this population has increased by more than 70 percent since 2000, and more than 23,000 Latinos are on the kidney transplant list, according to federal statistics. But too often, researchers and doctors said, families are not aware of the transplant regimen involving a live donor and have unfounded fears about what could happen if they volunteer to offer a kidney to a relative or friend. (Kritz, 1/11)

This is part of the KHN Morning Briefing, a summary of health policy coverage from major news organizations. Sign up for an email subscription.