Transplant Patients Could Live Free of Anti-Rejection Drugs

Scientists from the Lucile Packard Childrens Hospital and the Stanford University School of Medicine have identified a pattern of gene expression shared by a small group of patients who beat the odds and remained healthy for years without medication, after undergoing Organ transplant.

The findings made by Minnie Sarwal, MD, PhD, a pediatric nephrologist at Packard Children’s is a major advantage in organ transplantation treatment. Transplant recipients who share the same pattern of genes but are still on conventional medication may be able to reduce or eliminate their lifelong dependence on immunosuppressive drugs. The study may also help physicians determine how best to induce acceptance, or tolerance, of donor organs in all transplant patients, regardless of their gene expression profiles.

Although the anti-rejection medications, known as immunosuppressants, tamp down the immune system enough to permit lifesaving organ transplants, their benefits come at a price. They also quash the bodys natural response to dangerous invaders, such as bacteria and viruses, and to rogue cancer cells. Transplant physicians prescribing immunosuppressants to their patients walk a fine line between avoiding organ rejection and increasing the risk of infection and cancer

The researchers used microarray, or gene chip, technology to compare gene expression patterns in blood samples from 16 healthy volunteers with those from three groups of adult kidney transplant recipients from the United States, Canada and France

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The IBM Clinical Genomics for targeted clinical research

THe Haifa Lab of IBM provides the Technlogy for Clinicalgenomics and leads the research in lifesciences fieds.

The Clinica, Genomics division plans to provide technology to integrate clinial genomics data and HL7 and other complaince protocls followed in clinical research and clinia, trial and integrate them to provide better and focused clinical trials

Clinical genomics for biopharmaceuticals from IBM

the main advatages as per IBM website is that

  • Encapsulate raw genomic data into an HL7 Clinical Genomics message, including transformation services of proprietary data formats to standardized formats like MAGE and BSML
  • Access patient’s clinical history stored in an enterprise EHR system
  • Access all major ontologies that provide genotype-phenotype relationships like OMIM, PharmGKB, etc.
  • Parse the encapsulated raw genomic data and bubble-up selected genomic data items based on ontological knowledge as well as the patient clinical data
  • Compare two Genotypes (the data model at the heart of the HL7 specs) in order to provide case-based reasoning services to decision support application that will use CGL7 as a specialized clinical genomics middleware
  • Find a similar pedigree in case base of pedigrees in order to support risk assessment applications that base their assessment on family history

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.

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.

ASGT unveils new Platform for Regulating Expression of therapeutic Genes

During 10th Annual Meeting of the American Society of Gene Therapy (ASGT) in Seattle a new methid for  Regulating Expression of therapeutic Genes was introduced.

For many applications, gene transfer is being employed to engineer cells for therapeutic applications, chek the following links for article 1 IFR , 2 (Nature), 3 (NIH) , that require precise regulation in order to ensure gene expression in the correct tissue and prevent it in unwanted cell types,

Now, a team of scientists led by Dr. Luigi Naldini at the San Raffaele Telethon Institute for Gene Therapy (HSR-TIGET) in Milan have developed a new design that enable delivered genes to become highly responsive to a cell’s identity with the helps of gene regulation mediated by small RNA molecules, known as microRNA. This is particularly relevant for the emerging field of stem cell gene therapy, in which genes are delivered into a cell that can give rise to many distinct cell types.

MicroRNAs downregulate the expression of specific genes in cells where the gene is not needed, and thereby have an important influence over the identity of the cell.

Addition of microRNA binding sites into their gene delivery vectors results in gene regulation dictated by the cell’s own microRNA. Simply put, they could engineer their gene to be turned off in cells where the microRNA is present.

Dr. Naldini’s group has already begun to successfully exploit microRNA regulation for achieving stable long-term correction of hemophilia in the mouse model and for improving the safety of hematopoietic stem cell gene therapy.

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