Ochsner Health System has announced the release of a series of online video-casts called “Ochsner Healthlinks” that will be available on their Web site, www.ochsner.org. The three- to five-minute-long videos are intended to educate and inform patients on subjects such as disease and prevention, medical procedures and hospital equipment.

The Louisiana State University Health Sciences Center’s School of Nursing has been recognized for their effort to increase the number of nurses in Louisiana. The school received a $25,000 grant from the Louisiana Nurses Foundation and Johnson & Johnson, which will help fund recruitment and training for new adjunct clinical faculty.

“The purpose of the program is to enhance the teaching capacity of the LSUHSC nursing programs so they can enroll more qualified nursing students, thereby helping to alleviate the nursing shortage in the state of Louisiana,” a recent LSUHSC press release states.

A small biotechnology company in La Jolla, Calif. has successfully cloned human embryos from the skin cells of two men. The company, Stemagen, claims to be the first to create human clones using the somatic cell nuclear transfer process (SCNT), sometimes called “therapeutic cloning.”

The SCNT process involves using the nucleus of a somatic cell (a cell not used in reproduction) to replace the nucleus of a female’s egg.

Though this isn’t the first instance of successful human cloning, this could be an important step toward cultivating patient-specific stem cells for therapeutic use.
In a recent press release, Stemagen Chief Scientific Officer Andrew French, Ph.D., says, “No other scientific group has documented the cloning of an adult human cell, much less be able to grow it to the blastocyst stage … the stage that yields the cells … from which embryonic stem cell lines are made.”

Scientists from Advanced Cell Technology, Inc., and Wake Forest University School of Medicine made a related advancement only a week earlier, successfully harvesting human stem cells without destroying the embryos from which they were harvested.

East Jefferson General Hospital physician Michael J. Boyle, M.D. has been appointed as Cancer Liaison Physician to the American College of Surgeons Commission on Cancer. As a CLP, Dr. Boyle will be responsible for the management of cancer activities, including promotion, public relations, data collection and CoC compliance at EJGH and in the local community.