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Limited Contrast

A shortage of contrast dye is leading some hospitals to limit some imaging so there is enough on hand for emergency cases, the New York Times reports.

Earlier this month, the Wall Street Journal reported that COVID-19-related lockdowns in China had affected a GE Healthcare plant in Shanghai that makes Omnipaque, a contrast agent. Contrast, it noted, makes blood vessels and organs more visible when imaged by CT scan, for instance. But as the plant was closed for weeks, the Journal noted that many hospitals in the US had gotten low on inventory. In mid-May, GE told the Journal that the plant had re-opened at half-capacity and had shifted production to other plants and now tells the Times the Shanghai plant is at 60 percent capacity.

The shortage, Matthew Davenport, from American College of Radiology and Michigan Medicine, tells the Times, is analogous to that of infant formula, as both products have a limited number of suppliers.

"We need to figure out how to really create a much more robust, not as lean, supply system that has some give to it," Nancy Foster from the trade group the American Hospital Association adds at the Times.

The Scan

Positive Framing of Genetic Studies Can Spark Mistrust Among Underrepresented Groups

Researchers in Human Genetics and Genomics Advances report that how researchers describe genomic studies may alienate potential participants.

Small Study of Gene Editing to Treat Sickle Cell Disease

In a Novartis-sponsored study in the New England Journal of Medicine, researchers found that a CRISPR-Cas9-based treatment targeting promoters of genes encoding fetal hemoglobin could reduce disease symptoms.

Gut Microbiome Changes Appear in Infants Before They Develop Eczema, Study Finds

Researchers report in mSystems that infants experienced an enrichment in Clostridium sensu stricto 1 and Finegoldia and a depletion of Bacteroides before developing eczema.

Acute Myeloid Leukemia Treatment Specificity Enhanced With Stem Cell Editing

A study in Nature suggests epitope editing in donor stem cells prior to bone marrow transplants can stave off toxicity when targeting acute myeloid leukemia with immunotherapy.