Surgeons in Boston have transplanted a kidney from a genetically engineered pig into an ailing 62-year-old man, the first procedure of its kind. If successful, the breakthrough offers hope to hundreds of thousands of Americans whose kidneys have failed.

Kidneys remove waste products and excess fluid from the blood. The new kidney began producing urine shortly after the surgery last weekend and the patient’s condition continues to improve, according to physicians at Massachusetts General Hospital, known as Mass General. He is already walking and may be discharged soon.

If kidneys from genetically modified animals can be transplanted on a large scale, dialysis “will become obsolete,” said Dr. Leonardo V. Riella, medical director for kidney transplantation at Mass General. The hospital’s parent organization, Mass General Brigham, developed the transplant program.

Read more: Surgeons Transplant Pig Kidney Into a Patient

Mini Dose Glucagon, with Gary Scheiner, MS, CDCES for TCOYD, 25 March 2024.

Drs. E and P meet with award-winning Certified Diabetes Educator; Masters-level Exercise Physiologist; Owner and Director of Integrated Diabetes Services; and Author, Gary Scheiner, MD, CDCES to delve deep into the realm of glucagon, offering listeners an engaging discussion that merges all three of their practical insights. Through the conversation about glucagon’s functions and its implications for diabetes management, they provide a special approach to taking a microdose of glucagon to be proactive and catch issues with hypoglycemia early.  Gary covers:

          • What is glucagon?
          • What is the purpose of glucagon in our bodies? 
          • The relationship of glucagon and those living with Type 1 and Type 2 diabetes? 
          • What is mini-dosing glucagon? 
          • How can a mini-dose of glucagon benefit you while working out? 


Read more: Mini Dose Glucagon, with Gary Scheiner, MS, CDCES

Sleep Apnea and Diabetes by John Carr for, 25 March 2024.

Sleep apnea is a problem during sleep where a person’s airway becomes blocked. Normal breathing stops temporarily and oxygen levels fall. Since all this occurs during sleep it may go completely unnoticed. Sleep apnea has a significant effect on health and usually gets worse if not treated. It also makes all the conditions that are important to people with diabetes – like blood pressure, glucose control, and weight – much more difficult to manage.

Breathing obstruction usually occurs during a critical phase of sleep called REM (random eye movement), the period of restorative sleep when your body enters its most relaxed state. Repeated episodes of obstructed or restricted breathing that lasts for 10 seconds or more may disturb REM sleep, potentially compromising the function of the heart, lungs, and other systems.

The reduction in airflow in OSA (obstructive sleep apnea) causes a measurable drop in blood oxygen levels. Normally, oxygen levels during sleep remain upwards of 95%. However, in people suffering from OSA, episodes of obstruction and apnea can see this level drop below 80% for extended periods when the body undergoes a stress response. This stress response arouses and prevents the person from entering a full REM state to help overcome the blocked airway. Untreated, this cycle repeats without ever achieving the benefits of REM sleep. 

In people with diabetes, this means an additional risk for complications like vision problems, peripheral neuropathy, difficulty controlling blood pressure, reduced kidney function, and decreased insulin sensitivity.  Obstructive sleep apnea (OSA) has been highly linked with type 2 diabetes, but some newer research has shown that OSA is more common among people with type 1 diabetes than those without diabetes

Read more: Sleep Apnea and Diabetes

Private payers initially deny nearly 15% of medical claims by Jacqueline LaPointe for, 25 March 2025.

Nearly 15 percent of medical claims submitted to private payers for reimbursement are initially denied, respondents representing over 500 organizations told Premier Inc. in the survey. An average of 3.2 percent of denied claims also included those that were pre-approved through the prior authorization process.

Delays in ultimate reimbursement led to almost 14 percent of all health system claims being past due for remittance. Providers often cannot recoup costs for up to six months after their providers deliver the services.

The lengthy and costly claim denials management process has downstream effects on patients and providers, Premier Inc. explained. Patients may receive unexpected bills long after they receive services, resulting in delayed follow-up care. Denials have also been linked to lower patient satisfaction scores on the Consumer Assessment of Healthcare Providers and Systems (CAHPS) survey, even after the claim was ultimately reimbursed.

Of significant concern is the Medicare Advantage (MA) market, Premier Inc. said. MA had the second-highest initial claim denial rate at 15.7 percent, trailing Medicaid at 16.7 percent. MA denials also cost providers the most to fight at an average of $47.77 per claim.

Read more: Private payers initially deny nearly 15% of medical claims

Message from Congress to doctors: “Keep up the pressure” by Andis Robeznieks for, 25 March 2024.

While the Medicare physician pay cut dominated discussions with lawmakers who spoke at the AMA National Advocacy Conference last month, members of Congress are working on several other legislative solutions to problems plaguing doctors and patients.

California Rep. Ami Bera, MD: “Unless you’ve been at the patient’s bedside … you’re not aware of health care’s complexity.”


Read more: Message from Congress to doctors: “Keep up the pressure”

The seductive science of melted cheese: Here’s why it tastes so good by Dr. Emma Davies for, 27 March 2024.

Humans are hardwired to enjoy eating fat. The melting process releases fat from cheese, where networks of milk proteins have held it. Heating causes the networks to relax, pushing out water and leaving gaps for fat to move through. 

Heat also brings out amino acids with a savory ‘umami’ taste, such as glutamate. If you overheat your cheese, you’ll be left with clumps of protein and puddles of grease.

But it’s not only the taste we enjoy; the smell’s pretty special too. A recent study identified 50 volatile chemicals released from melted cheese, many of which derive from buttery fatty acids.

Read more: The seductive science of melted cheese

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