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Brainstorm Health Daily: August 9, 2017

August 9, 2017, 3:53 PM UTC

Good morning, readers! Sy at your service.

A new study by Harvard University and University of Vermont researchers suggests that just may be the case, my colleague Aric Jenkins reports. The study authors created an algorithm which “looked at roughly 44,000 Instagram photos posted by 166 study participants — 71 of whom were diagnosed with depression in the past. Analyzing factors such as hue, the use of filters and the presence of people, researchers were able to determine what they call ‘depression markers,'” as Aric explains.

Those markers may be attributes such the hue of a picture (darker colors may be more associated with depressed users). And, according to the research team, their method was able to accurately suss out depression in 70% of study participants. A regular doctor’s success rate? Just 42%.

Read on for the day’s news.

Sy Mukherjee


The first genetically modified salmon has been Canada. U.S.-based AquaBounty Technologies has finally completed its 25-year quest to sell genetically modified salmon. In fact, 4.5 tonnes of it have gone out to Canadian customers. These fish, which grow more rapidly than conventional salmon and thus get to market much faster, have been a source of heavy regulatory and consumer debate. While they've been cleared by the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in the U.S., they still aren't available on the market thanks to recent laws forbidding its entry barring a clear label indicating the fish are genetically modified. (Nature)


Roivant raises a staggering $1.1 billion in financing round. Roivant Sciences, helmed by 32-year-old Vivek Ramaswamy, has raised a monster $1.1 billion in private financing from the SoftBank Vision Fund and other investors. As I've previously reported, Roivant and its federation of biopharma companies focused on developing drugs in specific disease spaces is attempting a very new form of pharmaceutical R&D. Essentially, the company takes existing treatments that fell by the wayside at other companies for one reason or another and then attempts to get them a regulatory green light. The first major data from some of Roivant's member companies are due out soon.

Mylan reports challenges in second quarter earnings. Generic drug giant Mylan is cutting its financial outlook as it continues to face pressure from falling generic drug prices (a fate that similarly struck rival Teva Pharmaceuticals). Mylan is also facing increased competition to its flagship EpiPen, the subject of one of last year's biggest price hike scandals. The firm now expects 2018 profits of $5.40 per share, down from the $6 per share it originally expected.


Beyond Google: Women in medicine face the same challenges as women in tech. The anti-diversity memo read round the world—a controversial screed penned by a now-fired Google software engineer—has elicited plenty of controversy and debates around gender politics and the soundness of evolutionary psychology. But these sorts of corporate barriers to women's success are also prevalent in other STEM fields like medicine, according to research by athenahealth arm athenaInsights. The organization found that women doctors tend to be less engaged in their work (i.e., willing to go beyond what's expected of them or to recommend the job to others) thanks to a combination of gender stereotypes, a lack of female mentors, and a dearth of leadership opportunities. (Fortune)


15 Ways Food Companies Try to Convince You Their Packaged Products Are 'Natural'by Laura Entis

Amazon Joins Google in Cloud Confabby Barb Darrow

Gold Prices Are Spiking Because People Are Freaked Out About Nuclear Warby Bloomberg

Read Youtube CEO Susan Wojcicki's Response to the Controversial Google Anti-Diversity Memoby Susan Wojcicki

Produced by Sy Mukherjee

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