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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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  1. News From The Journal Of Clinical Investigation: April 1, 2010
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  3. News From The Journal Of Clinical Investigation: Jan. 25, 2010


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

Fossil finger points to a lost hominid species

Story Summary: It was a (DNA) sequence that looked something like humans but really quite different, says Dr Johannes Krause of the Max Planck Institute for Evolutionary Anthropology in Leipzig, about genetic material pulled from the little finger bone that his team of researchers believe could belong to an entirely new species of hominid. The creature, dubbed X-woman by scientists, may have been one of at least three kinds of human alive at the time. Scientists do not rule out the possibility that other ancient humans may also have evolved. This is DNA housed in the rod-like power plants, called mitochondria, that generate energy in the cell. Unlike DNA from the cell nucleus, mtDNA is only inherited from mothers. The results greatly surprised the researchers – the genetic material was nothing like that of either early modern humans or Neanderthals. Colleague Dr Svante Paabo, also from the Max Planck Institute, was in the US when he was told of the results in a phone call from Krause. Whoever carried this mitochondrial DNA was some new creature that had not been on our radar. The scientists cannot say if the hominin was male or female, but adopted the name tag X-woman because the discovery was based on maternally inherited DNA. They believe the creature had an ancestor that arrived from Africa around a million years ago and pre-dated modern humans and Neanderthals. But the evidence points against X-woman being Homo erectus, the primordial human from which both Neanderthals and Homo sapiens are thought to have sprung. Most experts believe members of our own species left Africa much later, some 60,000 years ago. Solely on the basis of its mtDNA, the new creature appears to be twice as distant from Neanderthals as it is from modern humans. It might also be expected to be biologically closer to Homo sapiens, said Krause. Rather than humans leaving Africa in two main waves, migration might have been a more-or-less continuous process which ebbed and flowed, they say. But the scientists pointed out there are many more sites to be investigated in colder regions. earthtimes. earthtimes….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Form or function? Evolution takes different paths

Story Summary: Evolution takes different pathsBiologists long have known that both the appearance of organisms and their inner workings are shaped by evolution. But do the same genetic mechanisms underlie changes in form and function? Carroll backed up his assertion with examples, but the idea, which challenged previous dogma, was controversial, Zhang said. Physiogenes were more likely to be blueprints for enzymes, receptors, transporters and ion channels (molecules that control the flow of ions across cell membranes). The next step was to examine patterns of evolution in the two groups of genes. In a classic paper published in 1975, evolutionary biologists Mary-Claire King and Allan Wilson argued that evolution of both morphology and ways of life (physiology and behavior) occurred through changes in the way genes are turned on and off, rather than through direct changes in gene products themselves. It was this influential paper that Carroll commemorated 30 years later, but he suggested instead that physiological changes are due to protein sequence changes, while morphological changes result from changes in gene expression. We found more differences in morphogenes than in physiogenes, Zhang said. In other words, morphogenes evolve faster, with respect to expression patterns, than do physiogenes—a finding that supports the idea that morphological changes result mainly from gene expression changes. In other words, morphogenes evolve faster, with respect to expression patterns, than do physiogenes—a finding that supports the idea that morphological changes result mainly from gene expression changes. The finding that morphology and physiology are shaped by different evolutionary genetic processes can not only aid in future evolutionary studies, but can also be helpful in the study of human disease, Zhang said….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Scientific breakthrough at the IRCM to combat the HIV-1

Story Summary: Breaking News Apr 8 2010, 5:20 PM ESTScientific breakthrough at the IRCM to combat the HIV-1EUREKALERTContact: Lucette Theriaultlucette. Tetherin is a cellular protein that captures viruses forming at the surface of infected cells, thereby preventing viral transmission and spread. In fact, we have discovered how the Vpu protein neutralizes Tetherin, and as such stimulates HIV-1 production, stated Dr. ric A. Cohen. By directly binding Tetherin, Vpu adversely affects the transport of the restriction factor to the cell surface, which is the site of its antiviral activity. Simian immunodeficiency viruses, considered to be precursors of HIV-1, are unable to antagonize human Tetherin. It would appear that the emergence of HIV-1 strains encoding Vpu proteins with the ability to perturb the intracellular transport of human Tetherin, could have contributed to the pandemic spread of certain groups of HIV-1, specified Mathieu Dub, doctorate candidate at the IRCMs Human Retrovirology Research Unit, and the first author of the article. This is a very important finding by Dr. Cohens research team and another example of the superb research being done in Canada in this area. 1000856(link will go live upon embargo lift)Dr. ric A. Cohen is the Director of the Human Retrovirology Research Unit at the IRCM and holds the Canada Research Chair in Human Retrovirology. Dr. Cohen is also a professor at the Department of Microbiology and Immunology at the Universit de Montral. ca) is dedicated to understanding the causes and mechanisms of diseases with the aim of discovering diagnostic tools and means of prevention and treatment; to training a high-level succession of scientific employees; and to contribute to the socioeconomic development of Quebec by fostering discoveries. ca) is dedicated to understanding the causes and mechanisms of diseases with the aim of discovering diagnostic tools and means of prevention and treatment; to training a high-level succession of scientific employees; and to contribute to the socioeconomic development of Quebec by fostering discoveries. The IRCM has 36 research units….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Nanovaccine reverses autoimmunity without general immunosuppression

Story Summary: com617-397-2802A new study, published online April 8 by Cell Press in the journal Immunity, describes a unique therapeutic nanovaccine that successfully reverses diabetes in a mouse model of the disease. In addition to providing new insight into diabetes, the research also reveals an aspect of the pathogenesis of the autoimmune response that may provide a therapeutic strategy for multiple autoimmune disorders. Essentially, there is an internal tug-of-war between aggressive T- cells that want to cause the disease and weaker T cells that want to stop it from occurring, says Dr. Santamaria. MHC molecules are used by another type of white blood cell, called an antigen presenting cell to present antigen to T cells as part of all immune responses. If the paradigm on which this nanovaccine is based holds true in other chronic autoimmune diseases, such as multiple sclerosis, rheumatoid arthritis, and others, pMHC-nanovaccines might find general applicability in autoimmunity, suggests Dr. Santamaria….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Resistance tests useful for patients with very low viral loads

Story Summary: A number of major resistance mutations were just as likely to be detected when a patients viral load was below 1000 copies/ml as they were at higher viral loads. The finding of major resistance mutations supports the practice of HIV genotyping among patients with low-level viremia to guide the choice of an effective alternative regimen, write the investigators. However, it is possible to modify these tests so that they are able to detect resistance at lower viral loads. Other factors associated with having a resistance test when viral load was below 1000 copies/ml included treatment centre (three centres accounted for over 80% of tests at lower viral loads); more recent calendar year; antiretroviral therapy that included a ritonavir-boosted protease inhibitor; and no previous virological failure. However, NNRTI resistance fluctuated over time, increasing from 68% in 1999 to 76% in 2003, but then falling to 56% in 2006. In 1999, 52% of tests showed resistance to protease inhibitors, but this had fallen to 24% in 2006. When the investigators conducted an analysis to see if the level of viral load affected the total number of resistance mutations present, they found that this varied little. Patients with a viral load below 300 copies/ml had a median of three mutations, those with a viral load between 300 10,000 copies/ml had a median of four mutations, and individuals with higher viral loads above this level had a median of three resistance mutations. Amongst patients experiencing NRTI failure, the M41L, L210W and T215Y mutations occurred more often in patients with a viral load below 1000 copies/ml. Although uncommon, the L74V mutation was more likely to emerge when a patients viral load was above 1000 copies/ml (7% vs. 3%, p < 0. Amongst patients experiencing NNRTI treatment failure, the most common mutation was K103N, which was detected in 35% of individuals. Amongst patients experiencing NNRTI treatment failure, the most common mutation was K103N, which was detected in 35% of individuals. However, the occurrence of this mutation did not vary by viral load. However, the occurrence of this mutation did not vary by viral load. ReferenceMackie NE et al. Antiretroviral drug resistance in HIV-1 infected patients with low-level viremia. ReferenceMackie NE et al. Antiretroviral drug resistance in HIV-1 infected patients with low-level viremia….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Doubled haploid technology for quickly developing inbred corn lines offered at ISU

Story Summary: Thomas Lubberstedt, associate professor and K. J. Frey chair in agronomy and director of the R. F. Baker Center for Plant Breeding, has launched a Doubled Haploid Facility at ISU that can develop pure, inbred corn lines in less time than traditional methods. Inbred corn lines have two copies of the same genome. This is the reason why hybrid seed has to be reproduced from stably maintained inbred plants. Then you have a chemical treatment, and after that, plants have two identical genomes, so you can get to the inbred lines much faster, said Lubberstedt. The first group of users of the Doubled Haploid Facility includes researchers from both public and private groups from ISU, the United States and overseas. One of the components of the process is a special type of corn called an inducer line. Purebred corn lines are also valuable to researchers as a tool to isolate individual gene functions. If you want to find genome regions that are associated with disease resistance or something like that, the procedure is that you develop a segregating population….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Inovio Biomedical Completes Enrollment of Cervical Cancer Therapeutic Vaccine Study

Story Summary: VGX-3100 is a DNA vaccine targeting the E6 and E7 proteins of human papillomavirus (HPV) types 16 and 18, and is delivered via in vivoelectroporation. This dose escalation study was designed to test the safety and immunogenicity of VGX-3100 in women with a previous history of cervical intraepithelial neoplasia (CIN) 2/3, a precursor lesion prior to the development of cancer. Antigen-specific cytotoxic T-lymphocyte (CTL) responses were observed against all four antigens (E6 and E7 proteins for HPV types 16 and 18). Generation of tumor-specific T-cell responses is believed to be an important characteristic of a cancer therapeutic vaccine. Inovio also tested the samples for antibody responses against the target antigens and observed strong antibody responses in 10 of 12 subjects (83%). Antibodies were generated against all four antigens, as tested by the enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). The high antibody titers achieved in this study have not previously been observed in human clinical trials of other DNA immunogens. Specific antibody responses to tumor antigens can function as an important surrogate potency marker for determining the immunogenicity of a vaccine, i. e. the ability of a vaccine to induce an immune response. The interim analyses of the vaccinated subjects from the first two cohorts indicate that our vaccine is highly immunogenic, generating antigen-specific T-cell and antibody responses that are amongst the highest reported from any previous human studies of DNA vaccines,a stated Dr. J. Joseph Kim, President and CEO. aWhile VGX-3100 is a potentially important product against cervical cancer, we believe a successful completion of this study will mark an important event for our field as a whole and a strong valuation enhancing event for our company,a Dr. Kim added. Inovio expects complete immunogenicity and safety data to be reported in early Q1 2011. About HPV, Cervical Cancer and Inovioas Therapeutic DNA VaccineHuman papillomavirus (HPV) is the causative agent responsible for most cases of cervical cancer. However, the huge number of patients already infected with HPV cannot be addressed by preventive vaccines and there is no viable therapeutic vaccine or drug to fight HPV and cervical cancer. Inovioas VGX-3100 is designed to express the E6 and E7 genes common to HPV types 16 and 18 and which are present in both pre-cancerous and cancerous cells transformed by these HPV types. Other partners and collaborators include Merck, Tripep, University of Southampton, National Cancer Institute, and HIV Vaccines Trial Network. This press release contains, in addition to historical information, forward-looking statements. This press release contains, in addition to historical information, forward-looking statements….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

New model tracks the immune response to a T

Story Summary: These models have a lot of potential, says Oktay Kirak, who is a postdoctoral researcher in the labs of Whitehead Members Hidde Ploegh and Rudolf Jaenisch. It allows us to study both the biology of T cells as well as their role in toxoplasmosis. Kirak used T cells–a class of white blood cells that include several types of cells including cytotoxic or so-called killer T cells–because they have been difficult to study in current immune system models. Some earlier models rely on transgenic mice in a process that leaves indelible marks created by the experiment itself and depend on a researcher subjectively choosing the mouse with the best immune response. Other models trick the infectious agent into producing a surrogate protein, not usually produced by that pathogen, like a protein found in egg whites. A researcher then documents how immune cells that recognize the egg white protein respond to the infectious agent. And that is an important advance for immune system models….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Ageing gene found to govern lifespan, immunity and resilience

Story Summary: Dr Robin May, who led the research said: Ageing is a process that all organisms experience, but at very different rates. To do that, we looked at a gene that we already knew to be involved in the ageing process, called DAF-16, to see how it may determine the different rates of ageing in different species. Dr May continued: DAF-16 is part of a group of genes that drive the biological processes involved in ageing, immunity and responses to physical or environmental stresses. The research in Birmingham is now moving on to look at the way in which DAF-16 coordinates a complex network of genes in order to balance the differing needs of an individuals immune system over time. Professor Douglas Kell said: Research using model organisms that uncovers the biology underpinning ageing gives us the opportunity to understand some of the mechanisms that determine how humans age in a healthy, or at least normal, way. It is very important to develop a good understanding of healthy ageing if we are to appreciate what happens to an older persons physiology when they become unwell or experience difficulties with everyday tasks such as recalling memories or moving around. Please make sure to visit the official company or organization web site to learn more about the original release date….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Fragile X protein loss alters brain pathways responsible for learning and memory

Story Summary: Fragile X protein loss alters brain pathways responsible for learning and memoryApril 8, 2010 Geneticists have known for two decades that fragile X syndrome, the most common inherited cause of intellectual disability, is due to the functional loss of fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) in the brain. Now they are beginning to understand how FMRP regulates signaling pathways in the brain that are essential for learning and memory in adults. Researchers at Emory University School of Medicine and the University of New Mexico School of Medicine have described new discoveries about the role of FMRP in the journal PLoS Genetics. This leads to a reduction in the number of new neurons as well as defective maturation of these neurons. Although scientists have shown that adult neurogenesis and learning are altered in conditions such as stress, diabetes, neurological diseases, stroke, and traumatic injury, the link between adult neurogenesis and mental retardation has not been fully explored. We discovered that mice lacking the Fmr1 gene have a reduced number of new neurons in the dentate gyrus, and that FMRP-deficient neurons have reduced dendritic complexity and length. The research, published by Cell Press in the June issue of the journal . . . com) — The more obese a woman is when she becomes pregnant, the greater the likelihood that she will give birth to an infant with a congenital heart defect, according to a study conducted by researchers at the National . . . com) — How many times have you, after a particularly hard day, reached for some chocolate or ice cream?…Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Fake skin patches could deliver helpful genes

Story Summary: The team used tiny radio transmitters inserted into the animals arteries to measure blood pressure. Skin is a good target because its accessible, he says. Human trials are still a few years away, Vogel says. For example, Aa topical cream could be used to promote the genes activity, increasing protein production. In the case of diabetes, you could imagine insulin being released at a constant rate, says Vogel. Jeff Morgan, a cell biologist at Brown University in Providence, Rhode Island, and a member of the first group to look into genetically modified skin grafts, thinks the research is exciting. This paper is a significant step towards applications in humans, he says. Journal reference: Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, DOI: 10….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

McMaster researchers discover a new way HIV infects women

Story Summary: For the first time, researchers at McMaster University have discovered the culprit could be HIV itself and what the virus does when it binds to epithelial cells. What it does is that it makes the electrical barrierresistance of epithelial cells decrease. The study, which appears in the journal PLoS Pathogens, shows HIV can break down the mucosal barrier in the intestinal and female genital tract, allowing the virus to cross during intercourse. Worldwide, half of the 40 million people infected with HIV are women. It is the immune cells underneath that have all the receptors that HIV likes to latch on to and that allow the virus to replicate and establish infection. Then, they began to study how HIV actually interacts with these cells. The electrical resistance in these cultures is used to monitor how well the epithelial cell cultures are growing and functioning. Aisha Nazli, a researcher in Kaushics laboratory, noticed every time she put HIV on epithelial cells their resistance went down significantly. Kaushic said the surface protein of the virus causes the epithelial barrier to break. The surface protein signals to the inside of the epithelial cells by binding to it, she said. She holds a New Investigator Award in HIV from the Canadian Institutes of Health Research (CIHR) and an Early Researchers Award from the Ontario government. A new study by a team of researchers at the Montpellier . . . 2 minutes ago | not rated yet | 0 | Geneticists have known for two decades that fragile X syndrome, the most common inherited cause of intellectual disability, is due to the functional loss of fragile X mental retardation protein (FMRP) in the brain. com) — How many times have you, after a particularly hard day, reached for some chocolate or ice cream? com) — How many times have you, after a particularly hard day, reached for some chocolate or ice cream?…Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

New method to study key targets in Alzheimers disease and prostate cancer

Story Summary: The group headed by Xavier Salvatella, ICREA researcher with the Chemistry and Molecular Pharmacology Programme at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB Barcelona), has developed a method to obtain structural information about intrinsically disordered proteins. The study appears in this weeks Journal of the American Chemical Society, one of the most important journals in this field. The researchers have simultaneously used a thousand processors of the supercomputer MareNostrum to study a single protein model and develop a new programme for structural calculation, named ERIDU. If our method is as reliable as we think, we could start to decipher the variety of structural forms that this other active part adopts in order to design drugs in the future. In only ten years intrinsically disordered proteins have become one of the most interesting fields of research for biomedicine. We have seen that the greater the complexity of the organism, the more proteins of this kind it has; however, although these proteins are highly relevant we still know very little about them because, among other things, it is very difficult to study their structures, comments Salvatella….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith

Researchers show some cells in pancreas can spontaneously change into insulin-producing cells

Story Summary: The findings come from a study at the University of Geneva, co-funded by the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, that is published today in the online edition of the scientific journal Nature. The researchers, led by Dr. Pedro L. Herrera, demonstrated that beta cells will spontaneously regenerate after near-total beta cell destruction in mice and the majority of the regenerated beta cells are derived from alpha cells that had been reprogrammed, or converted, into beta cells. People with type 1 diabetes are dependent on insulin treatment for the rest of their life. When the mice were exposed to the toxin, the beta cells were rapidly and efficiently destroyed – greater than 99% just 15 days after treatment. Then, to track the source of newly regenerated beta cells, Dr. Herreras team used another genetic manipulation to permanently label mature alpha cells and all their descendents with a fluorescent protein. This genetic lineage tracing approach allowed the scientists to track the fate of the alpha cells and their progeny; the presence of fluorescently labeled beta cells in the recovered animals gave conclusive evidence that alpha cells had reprogrammed into beta cells. The amount of beta-cell destruction thus appears to determine whether regeneration occurs. This study is another step forward for JDRFs research focus on Regeneration as a potential pathway to restore insulin production – and normal blood sugar in people with type 1 diabetes. JDRF has become a leader in this new and exciting research field, funding a wide range of research projects, including studies like Dr. Herreras, and an innovative diabetes drug discovery and development partnership with the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Foundation (GNF), focused on regeneration approaches. JDRF has become a leader in this new and exciting research field, funding a wide range of research projects, including studies like Dr. Herreras, and an innovative diabetes drug discovery and development partnership with the Genomics Institute of the Novartis Foundation (GNF), focused on regeneration approaches….Read the Full Story

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Recommendation and review posted by Bethany Smith


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