microarray-based Clinical diagnostic tests

 Pathwork Diagnostics, and the Virginia Commonwealth University School of Medicine has initiated an investigational study Genomics-Based diagnostic Test to determine a tumor’s origin so that tissue-specific management can begin.

The test uses microarrays from Affymetrix

More news on Pathworks website 

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mobile phones can interfere with vital intensive care equipment in Hospitals

Evidence that mobile phones can interfere with vital intensive care equipment has been strengthened.  More than half the hospital ventilators tested by Dutch researchers stopped working properly when a mobile was switched on nearby.

A total of 61 different medical devices were tested, and the majority could be affected by the presence of a mobile. In particular, nine intensive care ventilators were checked, and seven of these could be “influenced” by mobiles.

Other devices which suffered problems were dialysis machines, external pacemaker machines, feeding pumps and even air humidifiers.

Chikken Tikka and Alzheimer’s !!

Does eating a lotf of spicy curry eliminates the chances of geting cancer and diseases like Alzheimer’s thats a yummy proposition, I wish it was that easy, but apparently the Indian curry cuisines has the capacity to prevent the onset or delay the disease, but dont reach out for the qwik e mart yet. The curry doesnt do the job all by itself ,one of the key spices used ‘the Turmeric’ does that work, Ayurvedic medicine practioners has known the value of turmeric for a very long time, the stuff even finds its ways into soaps and cosmetics           

Scientists have for the first time isolated bisdemethoxycurcumin, the active ingredient of curcuminoids, a natural substance found in turmeric root that stimulates the immune system to destroy brain-clogging proteins that cause Alzheimer’s.

Researchers found that bisdemethoxycurcumin boosted immune cells called macrophages to clear amyloid beta. Amyloid beta is a peptide that forms the plaques found in Alzheimer’s disease.

Amyloid plaques are found outside the neurons. Two major pathways are involved in breakdown of APP (amyloid precursor protein) which makes the protein called B-amyloid protein. responsible for plaques .One pathway is normal and causes no problem. The second results in the changes seen in Alzheimer’s and in some of the other dementias.

Microarray to detect mutations in largest Human Gene

The average human gene consists of 3000 bases, but sizes vary greatly, with the largest known human gene being dystrophin at 2.4 million bases. Residing at Chromosome 4 it has long been of interest to the medical community because its the gene responsible for huntington’s disease, polycystic kidney disease, a form of muscular dystrophy and a variety of other inherited disorders. Chromosome 2 is noteworthy for being the second largest human chromosome, trailing only chromosome 1 in size. It is also home to the gene with the longest known, protein-coding sequence – a 280,000 base pair gene that codes for a muscle protein, called titin, which is 33,000 amino acids long.

Now reseacrhers at Emory university has developed a microarray based test to chek for mutations in this gene. The current test do not detect all types of mutation that affects 1 in 3500 males according to the university wesbite.

Mutations in the dystrophin such as point mutations in a sequence of DNA can result in mistakes in gene  expression and nonfunctional proteins that causes Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD).

A detailed presentation of the advantages of the test is available at the Emory Genetics Testing website. The test offeredon the Nimblegen CGH array platform gains more prominance as the company is now being acquired by Roche who has plans to dominate the clinical microarray market with its products in genetics testing space

The emory university Genetics testing lab offers numerous other genetic tests

Genetics and Business

I have been busy lately but found some time to go through an interesting story and a good article published in scientist magazine

  1. Father-in-law of now-infamous extensively drug-resistant TB patient studies tuberculosis at the CDC, and is now under review by the agency
  2. Genotyping with PCR -How to choose the right approach

I am working on an article about consolidation in Microarray and Bioinformatics industry so interesting to know about GenoLogics Announces Bioinformatics Partnership with Illumina  so is the  news of Roche acquiring Nimblgen and the end of patent wars with Affymetrix, Roche has also acquired 454 life sciences, It seems Roche plans to get inot clinical genomcis and theranostics application industry, the company already has FDA approved amplichip CYP450 arrays for clinical diagnostics

With many other acquisitions in the last one year  and many more in the pipeline it seems paydays for early starters.

Device helps Third World fight AIDS- a Winner of World Bank Development Marketplace Award

Guava Technologies and PointCare Technologies are two coompanis etup to provide life saving tests to HIV patients at lower costs.

Former President Bill Clinton’s foundation last year signed a deal with privately held Guava Technologies Inc. to make smaller CD4 counting machines available in Africa at a discount

PointCare Technologies Inc., which makes a hematology device used for managing anti-retroviral therapy for HIV/AIDS patients, was one of the 22 winners selected this week in the World Bank Development Marketplace.

The competitive grant program funds creative, small-scale development projects that have the potential to be expanded or replicated.

Privately held PointCare was one of 104 finalists, selected from 3,000 proposals, who showcased their proposal to judges in Washington, D.C., this week.

PointCare’s portable AuRICA NOW testing equipment, which can be operated by nonlaboratory-trained personnel in rural areas, enables HIV-infected patients to be qualified for anti-retroviral therapy, the company said.

The project, which will receive $198,300 from the World Bank, will be carried out at St. Gabriel’s Hospital in Malawi and at 11 outreach clinics and six health centers in the area.

Setup by Petra B. Krauledat and husband W. Peter Hansen after their journey through the sub-Saharan Africa, where they talked to medical workers and patients about the need for a better way to analyze blood for the crucial immune-system cells that signal when a patient needs to begin taking anti-retroviral medicines.

Indian genetic database offers R&D advances

Imagine a diabetic patient from NewYork being put on a drug regimen distinct from a patient London. Personalized medicine allows tratement to decided on the genetic make up of the individual. Genetically europeans and asians and others have different ways of responding to same treatment genetically

FortunatelyIf Indian researchers have their way, such customised medication based on genetic differences could be a possibility for a range of illnesses.

A consortium of Indian scientists recently completed a genetic database for India, home to one of the world’s most ethnically diverse populations that will allow researchers to understand the genetic predisposition of ethnic groups to diseases. Icelanders are considered for Human genome project because of very less number such diversity

The genetic map will enable global and Indian pharma companies to enhance research on predictive medicine and targeted drugs. Research firm TCG Life Sciences is about to become the first private player to use the database.

The consortium collected data on the genetic codes of over a 1,000 genes from among 15,000 individuals belonging to Indian sub-populations

Another user of the data is the clinical diabetics’ consortium, which aims to identify if there are specific genetic reasons for a particular ethnic group to be predisposed to the disease. It is already known that some cultures are pre disposed to certain diseases so Indian are more prone to heart attack and diabetes and such

The Indian Genome Variation Consortium, a public-private partnership that networks six Council of Indian Scientific and Industrial Research labs and some private software firms, undertook the genetic variation mapping.

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