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EMBL-EBI Researchers Present Global Map Of Human Gene Expression

Story Summary: By integrating gene expression data from an unprecedented variety of human tissue samples, Alvis Brazma and his team at the European Bioinformatics Institute, an outstation of the European Molecular Biology Laboratory (EMBL), and their collaborators have for the first time produced a global map of gene expression. The full analysis behind this unique view of the genetic activities determining our appearance, function and behaviour is published in Nature Biotechnology. This established the identity of the six groups: brain; muscle; hematopoietic (blood related); healthy and tumour solid tissues; cell lines derived from solid tissues; and partially differentiated cells. Source: Sonia FurtadoEuropean Molecular Biology Laboratory Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional. Contact Our News EditorsFor any corrections of factual information, or to contact the editors please use our feedback form. Please send any medical news or health news press releases to: These are the most read articles from this news category for the last 6 months: Do Genes Play A Role In PTSD? Study Of Rwanda Genocide Survivors Suggests Yes26 Feb 2010A study of Rwandan Genocide survivors, some with and some without post traumatic stress disorder or PTSD, suggests that genetic factors influence the relationship between a persons traumatic load, or the number of. Getting Fit When Youre Crunched for TimeYou can get a full body workout even if you are crunched for time….Read the Full Story

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  1. Gut Flora Genes Dwarf Human Genome
  2. Genome Mapping Technique Speeds Process Of Finding Specific Genes
  3. DYRK1A Gene May Be One Of Most Influential Factors In Downs Syndrome


Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Healing touch: the key to regenerating bodies

Story Summary: If you were blind and deaf, youd get around by touch and smell. Biologists thought of cells as automatons that blindly followed the orders they were given. In recent years, however, it has started to become clear that the sense of touch is vital as well, allowing cells to work out for themselves where they are and what they should be doing. The latest findings are also good news for people who need replacement tissues and organs. And doctors are already experimenting with ways of using tactile cues to improve wound healing and regeneration. A hundred years ago, people looked at embryos and saw that it was an incredibly physical process, says Donald Ingber, head of Harvard Universitys Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering. Then when biochemistry and molecular biology came in, the baby was thrown out with the bath water and everybody just focused on chemicals and genes. In each case, the cells turned into the tissue that most closely matched the stiffness of the gel. The softest gels, which were as flabby as brain tissue, gave rise to nerve cells. Whats surprising is not that there are tactile differences between one tissue and another, says Discher. The details of how they do this are now emerging. Most cells other than blood cells live within a fibrous extracellular matrix. This softness means that tiny external forces can deform the cells and influence their development (Nature Materials, vol 9, p 82). New Scientist does not own rights to photos, but there are a variety of licensing optionsavailable for use of articles and graphics we own the copyright to. Fat-soluble vitamins, including Vitamin E, may exert a tissue-softening effect too. If you think a particular comment breaks these rules then please use the Report link in that comment to report it to us. If you think a particular comment breaks these rules then please use the Report link in that comment to report it to us….Read the Full Story

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  1. Extra gene fights cancer in Downs
  2. First pig stem cells could make humanised organs
  3. Lung treatment breathes new life into flu vaccines


Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Picking our brains: Why are some people smarter?

Story Summary: Paul Thompson at the University of California, Los Angeles, has found a correlation between IQ and the quality of the sheaths (The Journal of Neuroscience, vol 29, p 2212). By comparing the intelligence of 11,000 pairs of twins, Robert Plomin of Kings College London found that at age 9, genes explain 40 per cent of the variation, but by 17 they account for roughly two-thirds (Molecular Psychiatry, DOI: 10. Perhaps the genes affect how our brain rewires itself as we mature. Alternatively, they may dictate whether someone is likely to seek out stimulating experiences to help their brain grow and develop. If you would like to reuse any contentfrom New Scientist, either in print or online, please contact the syndicationdepartment first for permission. New Scientist does not own rights to photos, but there are a variety of licensing optionsavailable for use of articles and graphics we own the copyright to. The percentage of variance in IQ due to genes depends in principle on the group studied (as in any question about percent of something due to genes). In more genetically varied subjects, the percentage of variance due to genes will be larger, whereas if the group studied includes a large range of environments, the percentage of the variance due to genes may be smaller….Read the Full Story

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Significant findings about protein architecture may aid in drug design, generation of nanomaterials

Story Summary: Their study culminated in one of the first successful attempts to take apart a complex biological nanostructure and isolate the rules that govern its natural formation. The Nanyang Technological University teams work on the protein ferritin, the results of which appear in this weeks issue of the Journal of Biological Chemistry, is expected to have significant ramifications on the fields of drug design and nanomaterials. The problem is that many of these structures are, like ferritin, self-assembled proteins, and, if we are going to use them for nanomaterials applications, we need to understand the fundamentals that make them form this way naturally. Already, they have developed a new method to grow gold nanoparticles in them. Slight deviations in size or shape can radically change nanoparticles properties, particularly in the case of metals and semiconductors, Orner said. Our ferritin proteins are hollow, so, when we grow mineral or metal clusters inside them, the growth stops when the nanoparticles reach the limits of the protein shell. Those nanoparticles could be used for in-vitro assays to do high-throughput drug screening of some protein-protein interactions involved in virus infection and cancer, for example, he said. Orners team included doctoral students Yu Zhang and Rongli Fan, undergraduate students Siti Raudah, Huihian Teo and Gwenda Teo, and scholar Xioming Sun. Most members teach and conduct research at colleges and universities. Others conduct research in various government laboratories, at nonprofit research institutions and in industry….Read the Full Story

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  1. NIST Scientists Quantify Nanoparticle-Protein Interactions
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  3. Blood protein may hold key to stopping tumour growth in cancer patients – News


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Fate Therapeutics Expands its Stem Cell Empire Into Canada

Story Summary: This is important because it could be useful for generating human tissues in the lab for use in drug discovery–and it could make it practical for the first time for Big Pharma companies to do so at an industrialized scale. Whats more, the researches showed that certain biologic molecules could activate those pathways to regenerate muscle tissue. The work was publishedlast June in the journal Cell Stem Cell. Thats important for Fate, because the company is looking for specific molecular pathways that can be activated in the body–particularly with conventional small molecule drugs–to trigger a regenerative effect. Instead, it wants to use the knowledge it gleans from stem-cell science to come up with drugs that can coax the bodys existing cells into repairing or regenerating damaged tissues. For its part, Verio already has several biologic drug candidates that mightLuke Timmerman is the National Biotechnology Editor for Xconomy….Read the Full Story

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  2. Q&A with Richard Hynes on stem cell funding
  3. Scripps research team develops technique to determine ethnic origin of stem cell lines


Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Start/stop switch for retroviruses found

Story Summary: The findings, published in the journal Nature, could lead to new cancer treatments that kill only tumour cells and leave healthy surrounding tissue unharmed. Danny Leung, a 27-year-old graduate student in the laboratory of Asst. Such changes determine whether or not a gene is expressed. This indicates an independent parallel pathway of silencing the retroviruses. Normal, differentiated cells, which still have DNA methylation to keep retroviruses in check, would be unaffected. His co-lead author on the paper, Toshiyuki Matsui, is a student in the lab of Yoichi Shinkai at Kyoto University. Story Source:Adapted from materials provided by , via EurekAlert!, a service of AAAS. Journal Reference:Toshiyuki Matsui, Danny Leung, Hiroki Miyashita, Irina A. Maksakova, Hitoshi Miyachi, Hiroshi Kimura, Makoto Tachibana, Matthew C. Lorincz, Yoichi Shinkai….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

GE to Boost Research in China

Story Summary: The increased competition for GE from local companies in China is due in part to a massive push by the Chinese government to promote clean energy and R&D. In recent years, it has rolled out a range of renewable energy targets and financial incentives, including significant tax breaks for companies that invest in research related to energy. Its now being adopted by doctors in countries such as the United States. The GE research center has also been key for the development of wind-power technology, including power electronics hardware and software that allow wind turbines to keep operating after lightning strikes and other events cause sudden drops in voltage on the power grid. Five to 10 years ago, it used to be that multinationals were the only game in town. Now, the new companies are trying to hire away veteran researchers from GE, he says. You have to have a leading role, rather than a supporting role, to really make it exciting, he says. In every issue youll learn about new technologies and new ideas FIRST….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Human Gut Bacteria Different in Japanese vs. North Americans

Story Summary: And certainly the cut-down pieces, the sugars that are released, are also an energy benefit for the person who has this type of bacteria that is able to degrade them, she said. They were interested in the bacteria that live off of marine organisms and the ways in which they get energy. (Enzymes are molecules that speed up chemical reactions inside cells. But the research team was curious where else they might find this enzyme. They saw this enzyme was present in other organisms, but all their matches came from bacteria that live in the sea- except for one. And that bacteria, calledBacteroides plebeius, had only been found in Japanese individuals. Data from two previous studies confirmed the scientists suspicions about the gut bacteria. The human gut bacteria likely acquired, or stole, the gene for porphyranase from marine bacteria present on the algae eaten by humans. The fact that nori used for sushi isnt traditionally roasted makes it likely that live marine bacteria ended up in human guts to exchange their genes, the researchers say. The researchers dont plan follow-up studies involving human gut bacteria, but instead will go back to looking for new enzyme activities. The researchers dont plan follow-up studies involving human gut bacteria, but instead will go back to looking for new enzyme activities….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Genetics Links Nonalcoholic Fatty Liver Disease to Insulin Resistance

Story Summary: Shulmans team found that individuals with two particular versions of the APOC3 gene produced high levels of apolipoprotein C3, which circulates in the blood and appears to impair the bodys ability to process dietary fat. The National Institute of Diabetes and Digestive and Kidney Diseases estimates that more than 23 million Americans have diabetes, which is the leading cause of blindness, end-stage renal disease, and non-traumatic limb loss. Shulman says the associated health care costs are estimated to exceed $180 billion a year. Shulman and his colleagues focused on two sites in the promoter region of the APOC3 gene, which were known to influence the abundance of fatty acid molecules – triglycerides -in the blood, in a group of 95 healthy, normal-weight, sedentary Asian Indian men. The team found one or both of the high-triglyceride variants of the SNPs in 76 of the men in their study. Furthermore, those individuals with fatty liver were markedly insulin resistant. Shulman and his colleagues then looked at whether the APOC3 variants had the same correlation to fatty liver disease in 163 healthy non-Asian Indian men. They also were linked to a 60 percent increase in fasting blood levels of triglycerides, the common chemical form of fat in the body and in food, and a 46 percent reduction in triglyceride clearance. Average plasma levels of triglycerides in the liver were higher in the men who carried one or both of the variants. This inhibits the lipoprotein lipase enzyme, which fat cells use to break down dietary fats in the bloodstream. Over time, Shulman says, this process can result in non-alcoholic fatty liver disease and hepatic insulin resistance. Although nonalcoholic fatty liver disease is associated with obesity, Shulmans findings show that people with the gene variants are vulnerable to the disease even if they are of normal weight. These APOC3 variants are predisposing–so instead of getting fatty liver disease and insulin resistance when your body mass index is 30, you may get it when your BMI is only 23 or 24, which is considered normal weight, Shulman explains. I doubt we would have found these gene effects if we looked for it in overweight individuals, who typically develop both of these conditions independent of any genetic factors….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Songbird genome to aid understanding of learning, memory and more

Story Summary: This is only the second ever bird genome to be sequenced – the first being that of the chicken. Teams across the USA, Europe and the Middle East, including seven UK-based research groups, have contributed to this substantial project, which includes funding from the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council ( BBSRC ). Having both the zebra finch and chicken genomes sequenced helps us to understand more about the biology and evolution of birds and the comparison of the zebra finch genome with others allowed us to define the genes. Mr Watson continued: When researchers generate data about gene expression, we need powerful computer tools in order to understand what the data tells us. Two UK based bioinformatics tools – the Ensembl resource which is co-developed and jointly run by the European Bioinformatics Institute ( EMBL-EBI ) and the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, and the CORNA software developed by the Bioinformatics Group at the Institute for Animal Health, an institute of BBSRC – were vital for drawing out crucial information from data in this project. Dr Paul Flicek, an author on the paper and joint head of Ensembl said: Having a second bird genome helps us to understand vertebrate evolution. By doing this we can identify characteristic evolutionary features that are common to birds and mammals, as well as those evolutionary features that distinguish mammals from birds. Mr Watson concluded: This broad collaboration has allowed a large group of researchers to work together to share data, knowledge, tools and expertise to produce a meaningful genome sequence that will be invaluable to many areas of research. Insights from the zebra finch genome: Learning and MemoryZebra finches and other songbirds have one important thing in common with humans: they learn how to converse with one another, which is very rare in other animals. Chickens ( the only other bird we have a genome sequence for ) do not demonstrate this kind of vocalisation and so a comparison between the zebra finch and chicken genomes has helped to identify where the genes that are directly involved in vocal learning are located. It has been known for a while that listening to songs turns genes on or off in certain areas of the brain of a zebra finch. This project has shown that there are also important changes in what the genome actually produces when a young male zebra finch first learns his song from an adult tutor. The next stage will be to investigate whether these RNAs play roles in learning and memory for the zebra finch, or even for humans. Clearly the two birds are very different but the evidence we had before suggested their genomes were actually very similar. In fact, we now have a clear idea of why this is not the case. Many birds are among the most threatened species in the world, particularly with impending climate change. This will then help us develop new ways of producing vaccines to prevent disease in birds. Dr Slate said: Discovering the genes that explain these differences in fertility is now possible, and it is likely that the same genes will have similar effects in humans as well….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

New Investigation Supports Correlation Between XMRV And Prostate Cancer, Novel XMRV Retrovirus Diagnostic Test Developed

Story Summary: In light of conflicting data concerning XMRV, standardized diagnostic testing is important to identify patients in which XMRV is present and to determine whether it plays a role in the incidence of prostate cancer. An article published in the April issue of Urology(r) is a step in this direction as researchers from Emory University report the successful development of an experimental clinical test for XMRV. No method is available to screen either blood or tissue donors for infection and no data are available regarding whether the virus can be transmitted by blood transfusion or tissue transplantation. Contact Our News EditorsFor any corrections of factual information, or to contact the editors please use our feedback form. Please send any medical news or health news press releases to: These are the most read articles from this news category for the last 6 months: Retrovirus Linked To Chronic Fatigue Syndrome09 Oct 2009Researchers in the US have discovered that a high proportion of people with the debilitating neuroimmune disease Chronic Fatigue Syndrome (CFS), also known as Myalgic Encephalomyelitis (ME), have a retrovirus called XMRV in their blood. Good health care, however, depends on an open dialogue between patients and doctors. Improving Health CareImprovements are necessary to make sure Americans get the best quality health care and that money for this care is being spent as effectively as possible….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

News From The Journal Of Clinical Investigation: April 1, 2010

Story Summary: Lloyd Miller and colleagues, at the University of California at Los Angeles, have now provided new insight into this by studying a mouse model of the condition. TITLE: IL-17 is essential for host defense against cutaneous Staphylococcus aureus infection in mice VACCINES: CD4+ immune cells control vaccinia virus, the smallpox vaccineImmunization against smallpox was always considered successful if a skin lesion formed at the site of vaccination. TITLE: Control of vaccinia virus skin lesions by long-term-maintained IFN-gamma+TNF-alpha+ effector/memory CD4+ lymphocytes in humans CARDIOLOGY: Switching energy source in stressed hearts under the control of the protein MycWhen heart muscle cells are put under stress, for example by high blood pressureor by oxygen deprivation (such as occurs during a heart attack), they switch from using fatty acids as their source of energy to using glucose. Initial analysis by the authors indicated that expression of Myc was increased in the hearts of mice under conditions that model high blood pressure as well as conditions that model the oxygen deprivation associated with a heart attack. Importantly, the Myc-mediated switch to using glucose as an energy source was associated with preserving heart function and improving recovery from oxygen deprivation. Thus, Myc has an important adaptive role in the mouse heart, equipping it with an enhanced ability to respond to oxygen deprivation. What Causes Pulmonary Edema?15 Oct 2009Pulmonary edema (UK/Ireland: oedema) is fluid accumulation in the lungs. This fluid collects in air sacs in the lungs, making it difficult to breathe. Life After a Heart TransplantHeart transplant success is determined by your post-surgery quality of life. Successful patients are able to resume activities they enjoyed before the procedure, such as moderate exercise and sexual activity. Successful patients are able to resume activities they enjoyed before the procedure, such as moderate exercise and sexual activity. Join Dr. Mehmet Oz and ex-baseball star and donor-heart recipient Frank Torre, as they. Join Dr. Mehmet Oz and ex-baseball star and donor-heart recipient Frank Torre, as they….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

New Study Investigates Infection Of Human Cells In Outer Space

Story Summary: On April 5, ASU Biodesign Institute researchers Cheryl Nickerson and her team, including Jennifer Barrila and Shameema Sarker, saw their latest experiment launched into low earth orbit aboard the space shuttle Discovery on mission STS-131. The goals of the teams research are to provide fundamental new insight into the infectious disease process, and further undestanding of other progressive diseases, including immune disorders and cancer. This is the third time that Nickerson and her ASU team have flown their NASA-funded experiments aboard a space shuttle. Disease-causing bacteria like Salmonella are capable of keenly sensing the environmental conditions they encounter during infection in their human or animal hosts, adjusting their virulence as conditions dictate. As they infect their hosts, bacteria use a battery of options to dodge attempts to destroy them. Nickersons previous work showed that bacteria can use the Hfq protein to regulate their pathogenic responses to fluid shear. The group hopes to determine if the Sm proteins also act as response regulators during spaceflight, like the Hfq protein does in bacteria. Her current investigation may yield even more discoveries of the fundamental processes of microbial infection of human cells in the space environment. A more thorough understanding of the way pathogens and human cells interact in space may pave the way to new vaccines and therapeutics for a broad range of infectious diseases, as well as other afflictions affecting human populations. Our work using the spaceflight platform for such studies has and will continue to advance our fundamental understanding of the disease process in cells and could lead to major advancements in human health. Our work using the spaceflight platform for such studies has and will continue to advance our fundamental understanding of the disease process in cells and could lead to major advancements in human health. Our work using the spaceflight platform for such studies has and will continue to advance our fundamental understanding of the disease process in cells and could lead to major advancements in human health. For more information, please read our terms and conditions. Contact Our News EditorsFor any corrections of factual information, or to contact the editors please use our feedback form. Contact Our News EditorsFor any corrections of factual information, or to contact the editors please use our feedback form….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Too soon to know H1N1 vaccine total: U.S. official

Story Summary: Credit: Reuters/Brad Bower(Reuters) – It is too soon to determine whether tens of thousands of doses of H1N1 swine flu vaccine may have to be thrown out if they are not used before their expiration date, a U. S. health official said on Thursday. The United States ordered enough antigen to make 229 million doses of vaccine as the swine flu pandemic began to ramp up a year ago. She said most of the vaccine has yet to expire, some by the end of June and more next year. Early in the pandemic, there were long lines and chaos with people clamoring for H1N1 vaccines but there was not enough to go round. By the time vaccines were available in ample supplies, most of the public had lost interest. The United States has contracts with five influenza vaccine makers — Novartis, AstraZeneca unit MedImmune, Sanofi Aventis, GlaxoSmithKline and Australian vaccine maker CSL. Schuchat said health official were seeing few signs of seasonal flu, which kills about 36,000 people in the United States each year and puts 200,000 in the hospital. *We welcome comments that advance the story directly or with relevant tangential information. We try to block comments that use offensive language or appear to be spam and review comments frequently to ensure they meet our standards. If you see a comment that you believe is irrelevant or inappropriate, you can flag it to our editors by using the report abuse links. Views expressed in the comments do not represent those of Reuters. The public may still have a sour view of corporate America — but the sage of Omaha is still winning hearts. The public may still have a sour view of corporate America — but the sage of Omaha is still winning hearts. Watch out — the guy sipping a martini at the next table could be an undercover FBI agent. Thomson Reuters journalists are subject to an Editorial Handbookwhich requires fair presentation and disclosure of relevant interests….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

More News From The Journal Of Clinical Investigation: April 1, 2010

Story Summary: Surviving mice were smaller than normal littermates, had soft stool, and were impaired in their ability to absorb fat in the intestines. These vessels have a role in many processes in the body, including regulating fluid levels in tissues and immune surveillance. Although dysfunction in the lymphatic system contributes to human diseases such as the spread of cancerto other sites and lymphademas (localized fluid retention and tissue swelling), little is known about the molecules that regulate the formation of new lymphatic vessels, a process known as lymphangiogenesis. However, a team of researchers, led by Sophia Tsai and Ming-Jer Tsai, at Baylor College of Medicine, Houston, has now identified a role for the gene regulatory protein COUP-TFII in lymphangiogenesis in mouse embryonic development and tumor lymphangiogenesis in adult mice. Contact Our News EditorsFor any corrections of factual information, or to contact the editors please use our feedback form….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Research Tackles Problem Of Vaccine Not Matching Flu Virus

Story Summary: Adding a second influenza B virus strain to the seasonal influenza vaccine would take some of the guesswork out of strain selection and help improve the vaccines ability to prevent influenza, said Robert Belshe, M. D. , lead investigator and director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Saint Louis University. Since in five of the last 10 years, the influenza B component in the vaccine has been the incorrect one, this seems like an obvious advance to me. Every spring, scientists predict which strain of influenza will be circulating in the community the following fall. However they had a vigorous antibody response when given a vaccine that contained both strains of influenza B. This showed that immunizing against one strain of influenza B does not appear to protect against the other strain and that a vaccine containing both influenza B strains is likely to offer greater protection from flu. Cold and Flu Smarts for KidsAdults may already know the new ways to avoid catching and spreading the flu. But you may need to teach these behaviors to kids. Flu PreventionOur parents told us to cover our mouths when we cough. But that might not be the best strategy for flu prevention….Read the Full Story

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  2. Preclinical Study Demonstrating That A Virus-like Particle Vaccine Provided Protection Against Highly Pathogenic H1N1 And H5N1 Influenza Strains
  3. Preclinical Study Demonstrating That A Virus-like Particle Vaccine Provided Protection Against Highly Pathogenic H1N1 And H5N1 Influenza Strains


Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Building a better flu vaccine: Add second strain of influenza B

Story Summary: ST. LOUIS — Vaccines likely would work better in protecting children from flu if they included both strains of influenza B instead of just one, Saint Louis University research has found. Adding a second influenza B virus strain to the seasonal influenza vaccine would take some of the guesswork out of strain selection and help improve the vaccines ability to prevent influenza, said Robert Belshe, M. D. , lead investigator and director of the Center for Vaccine Development at Saint Louis University. When ferrets were vaccinated against influenza, the ferrets that were exposed to a strain of influenza B virus that did not match what was in the vaccine didnt have a strong antibody response. The pathway to further improving influenza vaccines for children is to include antigens of both influenza B virus strains in the vaccine. The school educates physicians and biomedical scientists, conducts medical research, and provides health care on a local, national and international level….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Selecta Biosciences, a Bob Langer Creation, Raises $15M For Nanoparticle Vaccines

Story Summary: Selecta Biosciences, the Watertown, MA-based vaccine developer with ties to the Langer lab at MIT, has raised another $15 million in venture capital to make nanoparticles that it says are the key ingredients in a new generation of more effective vaccines. Selecta collected the cash, its Series C round, from a new lead investor in OrbiMed Advisors, as well as existing backers Polaris Venture Partners, Flagship Ventures, NanoDimension, and Leukon Investments. Selecta is developing biodegradable polymer nanoparticles that can be self-assembled at low cost, and at a large commercial scale, Langer says. Selectas executive chairman is Bob Bratzler, the former CEO of Coley Pharmaceutical Group, the cancer immunotherapy company that was boughtby Pfizer in November 2007. Omid Farokhzad of Harvard Medical School is a co-founder, and the board includes George Siber, the former chief scientific officer of Wyeth Vaccines–the company that developed the blockbuster pneumoccocal vaccine for infants (Prevnar). OrbiMeds Carl Gordon is joining the Selecta board in connection with the financing. Animal tests have shown that Selectas method can stimulate a prolific antibody response, which translates into high rates of effectiveness. One key difference, Bratzler says, is that Selecta doesnt use the viral delivery mechanism. Were the only company with a fully integrated synthetic vaccine approach, Bratzler says. While that may not matter much in early demonstration projects, the Selecta approach is thought to have advantages for a commercial product, Langer says. The high degree of potency also allows Selecta to think about different ways of delivering the vaccines, Bratzler says. The high degree of potency also allows Selecta to think about different ways of delivering the vaccines, Bratzler says. Selecta is also thinking about topical delivery through the skin, and through mucosal membranes that line nasal passages, he says. Selecta is also thinking about topical delivery through the skin, and through mucosal membranes that line nasal passages, he says. Luke Timmerman is the National Biotechnology Editor for Xconomy….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Novel Therapy For Blindness Works Only When Specific Gene Mutation Present

Story Summary: Lead investigator Arlene Drack, MD, comments that the interpretation of DNA variants is complex. But in our enthusiasm to offer this novel treatment to patients, we have to be extremely careful to treat only those patients with the one molecular form that is amenable to gene therapy at present. Dr. Dracks article highlights this concern and provides a practical approach toward how this can be accomplished. Genetic testing can detect changes from the norm in the genetic code, but not all changes are cause for alarm. If that patient is erroneously enrolled in the RPE65 gene replacement trial, there will be no benefit. The family received incorrect prenatal counseling based on this result. The researchers found both variations to be benign ethnic polymorphisms. Only Patients 4 and 5 would be eligible for clinical trials of RPE65 gene replacement, for which inclusion criteria are complex. Writing in the article, Dr. Drack and colleagues state, Gene therapy for patients with RPE65- associated LCA is now in clinical trials. In an accompanying editorial, Elise Heon, MD, The Hospital for Sick Children, Toronto, comments on the complexity of the genetic screening needed to isolate patients who can benefit from the gene therapy. The article by Drack and colleagues nicely outlines how to screen for eligible patients and what to look for. This is timely and highlights important points relating this new era of ophthalmology: ocular gene therapy. The likely positive outcome of these trials highlights the critical contribution of the retinal clinician in identifying patients who can benefit from this remarkable therapy and in not misleading those who cannot. Please send any medical news or health news press releases to: These are the most read articles from this news category for the last 6 months: What Is Graves Disease? Improving Reading VisionAging can often mean losing the ability to read up close. Learn how surgery for the cloudy lens of a cataract can restore vision….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Immunovaccine Announces The Publication Of DPX-0907 Preclinical Study

Story Summary: (TSX VENTURE:IMV), a clinical stage vaccine development company, announced today the publication of data from a preclinical study with its candidate cancervaccine, DPX-0907, in human class I MHC transgenic mice. The study compares Immunovaccines novel DepoVax vaccine platform to a vaccine formulation commonly used to deliver peptide antigens in the clinic today. The immune system has two paradoxical roles in cancer; the first, an adaptive immune response, such as a T-cell response, capable of attacking tumor cells, and the second, a regulatory or pro-tumor response that favors tumor progression. This study suggests that the novel DepoVax delivery platform may provide better sustained antigen-specific immune responses compared to other peptide vaccine delivery methods. Interestingly, DPX-0907 formulation also provided a safer vaccine alternative to the control emulsion vaccine. DPX-0907 is an oil-depot vaccine formulation that is currently being tested in a phase 1 clinical trial for the therapy of breast, ovarian or prostate cancerpatients. The antigens were selected on the basis of their association with pathways essential for tumor growth and survival. In particular, synthetic peptide-based vaccines, capable of inducing specific T-cell immune response will potentially be effective strategies for treatment. SourceImmunovaccine Inc. Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional. For more information, please read our terms and conditions. Contact Our News EditorsFor any corrections of factual information, or to contact the editors please use our feedback form. Stages of Breast CancerBreast cancer stages tell us the characteristics of the cancer and if it has spread beyond the breast tissue. Stages of Breast CancerBreast cancer stages tell us the characteristics of the cancer and if it has spread beyond the breast tissue. Learn how staging is vital in determining next steps. Living with Breast CancerThere are many options for treating breast cancer, including surgery, hormonal treatments, radiation and chemotherapy….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Discovery Of Start/Stop Switch For Retroviruses

Story Summary: The findings, published in the journal Nature, could lead to new cancertreatments that kill only tumour cells and leave healthy surrounding tissue unharmed. Danny Leung, a 27-year-old graduate student in the laboratory of Asst. Such changes determine whether or not a gene is expressed. His co-lead author on the paper, Toshiyuki Matsui, is a student in the lab of Yoichi Shinkai at Kyoto University. Source: Brian Kladko University of British Columbia Any medical information published on this website is not intended as a substitute for informed medical advice and you should not take any action before consulting with a health care professional. Please send any medical news or health news press releases to: These are the most read articles from this news category for the last 6 months: Long-Held Theory About Biological Clocks Overturned By U-M Discovery09 Oct 2009University of Michigan mathematicians and their British colleagues say they have identified the signal that the brain sends to the rest of the body to control biological rhythms, a finding that overturns a long-held theory about our internal clock. Stages of Breast CancerBreast cancer stages tell us the characteristics of the cancer and if it has spread beyond the breast tissue. Stages of Breast CancerBreast cancer stages tell us the characteristics of the cancer and if it has spread beyond the breast tissue. Living with Breast CancerThere are many options for treating breast cancer, including surgery, hormonal treatments, radiation and chemotherapy. All of these treatments have potential physical and emotional side effects. Discover how two women went through treatment and what they did to cope….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Sequencing the Video Genome

Story Summary: Researchers at the Israel Institute of Technology are sequencing the video genome to put an end to video piracy on the internet. The technique works by detecting features that remain basically unchanged by typical color and resolution manipulations. The videos features are translated into a string of information, like a genome is read as a DNA nucleotide sequence. The frequency of features in each frame is graphed and translated into a 64-bit binary word. When this information is played over time, the clips video genome can be compared to a database using bioinformatic analyses. The technology could potentially be used to detect pirated content on YouTube, or to match metadata, like subtitles, user-generated notes or comments, to any version of a video. Theoretically, thousands of hours of video could be processed in a matter of days, with greater than 99 percent matching accuracy. Image: BronsteinSee Also:Comments (1)Not a member?If youre not yet registered with Wired. com, join now so you can share your thoughts and opinions. Its far easier for Youtube to let the pirated vido sit on the site until they are told to remove it and then citing the DMCA when someone threatens to sue them over pirated content. Considering all the different tv channels with all their original shows, tv specials, dvds with extras/extended scenes/bloopers, and the overwhelming piracy of movies. Thats a lot of work, money, and time to get everything ready and honestly by then wed all have the video copied or some enterprising hacker would find a way to mask the genome. Thats a lot of work, money, and time to get everything ready and honestly by then wed all have the video copied or some enterprising hacker would find a way to mask the genome. Conde Nast Web Sites:Wired….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Pathways That Can Repair Brca1 Cancer Gene Mutation Clarified In Mice

Story Summary: Mouse Brca1-associated mammary tumors have significant similarities to human BRCA1- associated (BReast CAncer1, early onset) breast cancer in regard to tumor aggressiveness, high incidence, mutations and genetic instability. The study, led by scientists at National Cancer Institute (NCI), part of the National Institutes of Health, and their colleagues, appeared online April 1, 2010 and in print April 16, 2010, in the journal Cell. The protein produced by the Brca1 gene participates in an important DNA repair pathway called homologous recombination (HR). These mice frequently develop mammary tumors, which are similar to human breast cancers. Nussenzweig and colleagues found when the mice also were lacking the function of a protein called 53BP1, mammary tumor formation was largely suppressed. To investigate the molecular basis by which the loss of 53BP1 suppressed Brca1-associated mammary tumor formation, the researchers undertook a series of experiments using mouse cells grown in culture. Further analysis led to a model in which both Brca1 and 53BP1 are capable of binding to replication-associated chromosome breaks. According to this model, when both proteins are present, Brca1 displaces 53BP1, the HR machinery has full access to the breaks, and HR proceeds. Therefore, HR can take place normally when both proteins are missing. Our results show that the choice of pathway used to repair DNA damage determines whether the repair is error-free or error-prone. This opens the possibility of using drugs to inhibit mutagenic DNA repair pathways and promote error-free DNA repair, said Nussenzweig. The study also suggests that BRCA1-deficient tumors may become resistant to chemotherapy by acquiring additional mutations in certain DNA repair proteins, but that such resistance may one day be overcome by drugs developed to affect pathway choice, according the researchers. Reference:Nussenzweig A,et al. 53BP1 Inhibits Homologous Recombination in Brca1-Deficient Cells by Blocking Resection of DNA Breaks. Please send any medical news or health news press releases to: These are the most read articles from this news category for the last 6 months: Women With Breast Cancer Have Low Vitamin D Levels09 Oct 2009Women with breast cancer should be given high doses of vitamin D because a majority of them are likely to have low levels of vitamin D, which could contribute to decreased bone mass and greater risk of fractures, according. Early-stage Breast CancerFinding out you have early-stage breast cancer can be overwhelming. Early-stage Breast CancerFinding out you have early-stage breast cancer can be overwhelming. Early-stage Breast CancerFinding out you have early-stage breast cancer can be overwhelming….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Ruling In DNA Patent Case Celebrated By The Association For Molecular Pathology

Story Summary: AMP applauds US District Judge Robert Sweets ruling in favor of the plaintiffs in the lawsuit, Association for Molecular Pathology, et al. v. U. S. Patent and Trademark Office, et al. This is a landmark decision that has the potential to dramatically improve patient access to genetic testing. It is a boon to personalized medicine in the purest sense as nothing is more personal than ones genetic makeup. htm) on gene patenting and the licensing of intellectual property that urged an end to the practice of granting patents on single genes, sequences of the genome or correlations between genetic variations and biological states. This ruling will most definitely advance the development of personalized, molecular medicine and the practice of molecular pathology. Contact Our News EditorsFor any corrections of factual information, or to contact the editors please use our feedback form. Please send any medical news or health news press releases to: These are the most read articles from this news category for the last 6 months: Do Genes Play A Role In PTSD?…Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Local Researchers To Test First Transfer Agent To Improve Brain Function In Alzheimers Disease Patients

Story Summary: A neurosurgeon injects CERE-110 directly into the nucleus basalis of Meynert (NBM) of the brain, an area where neuron death occurs in AD. Previous ResearchA Phase 1 study was conducted at University of California San Diego. The 10 subjects underwent cognitive testing, measures of activities of daily living, and MRI and PET (positron emission tomography) scans. Researchers observed increases in brain metabolism in several cortical regions of the brain at six months and 12 months in some of the participants, as compared to other severity-matched individuals with AD, suggesting a potential reversal of patterns typically observed in AD. Ceregene, Inc. , the study sponsor, is a San Diego-based biotechnology company focused on the delivery of nervous system growth factors via gene transfer for the treatment of neurodegenerative disorders. About Banner Sun Health Research InstituteFor 23 years, Banner Sun Health Research Institute, part of nonprofit Banner Health, has been a leader nationally and internationally in the effort to find answers to disorders of aging including Alzheimers disease. The institutes Cleo Roberts Center for Clinical Research takes laboratory discoveries to clinical trials that foster hope for new treatments. Banner Health is Arizonas leading health care provider and second largest private employer….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith


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