France to invest €670 million euros for Genomics and Personalized Medicine

Government of France Announce plans to invest €670 million euros or ($760.8 million) for Genomics and Personalized Medicine which will see it establish 12 genome sequencing centers and two national centers for genomic expertise and data analysis. The program would initially focus on cancer, diabetes and rare diseases but after 2020 would expand to include common diseases.

This investment by France follows the release on Wednesday of a report by medical experts examining the possibility of France widening access to genetic medicine within 10 years. A key objective in the report for the first 10 years of the programme is to prepare for the integration of genomic medicine into the normal course of patient care in the country, which means sequencing about 235,000 genomes per year by 2020.

Health Minister Marisol Touraine said Investment in the five year initiative will also come from industry. He also expected Companies like Google, Amazon, Apple and Facebook are interested in the growing genomic medicine sector

Several European countries have already begun to integrate genomic medicine into their health systems and there are large scale genomic initiatives in the UK, US and China. China has even recently announced a Precision Medicine Cloud

 

 

A new strain of virus named after Washington University

A new strain of virus has been identified by the medical school and named the “WU” virus after Washington University.

The virus, a type known as a polyomavirus, is closely related to two others, JC and BK, which attack the nervous system of HIV patients and cause kidney transplants to fail, respectively.

The virus has been reported in such geographically disparate countries as the United States, Australia, Germany and Korea, according to Gardner.

In fact, the first samples of the then-unknown WU virus came from the University of Queensland in Australia.

The samples were sent to the University because the school has ViroChip, a sophisticated pan-viral DNA microarray. This tool allows scientists to quickly screen viral samples and compare their structure to more than 22,000 known viruses. It was instrumental in distinguishing SARS from known viruses during the 2003 outbreak

David Wang, a University professor who leads the research team, states that the WU virus has unique properties unlike either of the others and he questions if it even is a human pathogen.

The scientific article is published at PLOS Identification of a Novel Polyomavirus from Patients with Acute Respiratory Tract Infections

Gene Logic sells in genomics division

It hardly a week I have wrote about acquisition and mergers , it seems the rain is noit going to stop any time soon, the latest one , to give away the home plate is Genelogic agreeing to sell its genomics division to India HQ Ocimum Biosolutions subject to the authorization of the transaction at a special meeting of shareholders of Gene Logic.

This is a transforming event of significant strategic proportion,” said Charles L. Dimmler, III, President and Chief Executive Officer of Gene Logic.

Genelogic bought its preclinical division from TherImmune, a Gaithersburg company, in April 2003 for $51 million which was sold to Bridge Pharmaceuticals for $15 Million,

Gene Logic Inc said it agreed to sell its Genomics assets to Ocimum Biosolutions Ltd for $10 million in cash. Under the terms of the Ocimum sale agreement, Gene Logic retains full rights in perpetuity to utilize the existing information data bases of its former Genomics business as key elements in building its emerging drug repositioning and development business. Furthermore, the Company will retain specified assets related to molecular diagnostics and will continue to explore strategic alternatives for these assets

The sale is part of the Genelogic new strategy to focus on to build drug repositioning and development business which was decided last year.

Ocium will assume certain liabilities associated with the Genomics assets and business and will pay Gene Logic $7 million at closing and $3 million payable in a promissory note due 18 months from closing.

The purchase includes Gene Logic’s Knowledge Products business including the The BioExpress® System a continually growing genomic database of gene expression data and associated clinical information from over 18,000 human and animal tissues and cell line samples. ToxExpress® a toxicogenomics reference database.

Ocimum will continue to operate the business out of the current state-of-the-art laboratory facility of Gene Logic in Gaithersburg, Maryland.

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

Microsoft life science

Well every one is writing about google and its foray into biology and life science, so what is going on with Other companies .

Microsoft started its BioIT alliance During 2006 and guss what Bill Gates said during the launch “Advances in our understanding of the human genome promise to revolutionize medicine and open the door to therapies that are tailored to individuals”,  means they have bigger plans. just like google entered 23andME

Founding members of the alliance include Accelrys Software, Affymetrix, Amylin Pharmaceuticals, Applied Biosystems and The Scripps Research Institute, among more than a dozen other life sciences and IT companies.

and the last month Microsoft has released Microsoft Computational Biology Web Tools as open-source some code for analysis of antiviral immunity

Hmm interestingly I found the project details hosted in Codeplex the open source project hosting the details are on at MSCompBio

And then there is Stochastic Pi-Machine the programming language to model and simulate biological systems- a research funded as part of the European Science Initiative

And then there is the webpage at Microsoft research for bioinformatics

But my favourite is this

Towards 2020 Science microsoft

to define and produce a new vision and roadmap of the evolution, challenges and potential of computer science and computing in scientific research in the next fifteen years.

and this beautiful image from the microsft website

Google Health -health information storage

interestingly I found this image from an earlier post of Bertalan at scienceroll

The story according to the blog Google Blogoscoped, Google’s nascent Google Health product, codenamed “Weaver”, will offer consumers the opportunity to create a central repository for their health records, including medications, history, test results and allergies. The blog has a number of screenshots of the program in development.

Well google certainly has more up its sleeve, doubt it, chek the google labs page,

Passionate about these topics? You should work at Google. among others listed is interest in genetic algorithms

Pharmacogenomics has started

IT been a long time since my last post, So I thought of catching up with other blogger before going to do anything myslef. So here is what got my attention from Alla Katsnelson blog on the scientist magazine  that  USFDA approved updated labeling for the widely used blood-thinning drug, Coumadin, to explain that people’s genetic makeup may influence how they respond to the drug.

so whats going to be good for common man, the next time (not very soon) you are going to be under treatment of a controversial drug you might get to know how your genetics makeup can affect the treatment, thats going to be a good relief especially cancer patients and those who undergo HRT

while Frost&Sullivan reports in its latest industry update that  genomics platforms that are too inefficient and expensive for ultra-high throughput comprehensive genome-wide analysis are hindering the realization of personal genomics.

Affymetrix expands into personalized medicine The next big thing

Affymetrix expands into personalized medicine! Why because The next big thing in health care? is You the individual

personalized medicine is the place step every one wants to be. Roche recently went after Nimblegen for a small foothold in this developing ssicne field, Now its the turn of Affymetrix the leader in microarray DNA chips.

The company is trying to get ahead of the market curve by partnering with drug companies that are making precisely targeted medicines, tailored for patients who have specific gene variations

the company opened the Affymetrix Clinical Services Laboratory to analyze the genes in blood and saliva samples for pharmaceutical companies, diagnostic laboratory businesses and hospitals

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.

Tougher times for Drug Resistant Bacteria

The Secret of how to prevent bacteria from developing drug resistance has been revealed in a new study.Drugs called bisphosphonates, widely prescribed for bone loss has been found to help in preventing an enzyme that helps in conjugation of bacteria, by help of which it derives drug resistance.

Many highly-drug resistant bacteria rely on an enzyme, called DNA relaxase, to obtain and pass on their resistance genes. Relaxase  plays a crucial role in conjugation as it is the gate keeper that starts and stops the movement of DNA between bacteria durig conjugation.

researchers at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, have stopped the microbes’ ability to spread, among other advantageous mutations, resistance to antibiotics, by disabling the enzyme using molecules known as  bisphosphonates

The study by Matthew Redinbo and his associates is published in this week’s Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA

The antibiotic-resistant Escherichia coli bacteria that were trying to pass their genes along, actually died when their DNA relaxase was shielded thus preveinting the spread of drug resistant bacteria andpossibility of more mutations.

The news is will bring fresh hopes at a stage when drugresistant strain of the bacteria Staphylococcus aureus infects over 1 million US hospital patients every year.

ENCODE consortium: forming background of why 3 billions bp are required for a human to survive not just the set of genes.

ENCODE consortium today published one in nature and 28 papers in genome research involving 35 groups from 80 organizations around the world, which promise to reshape our understanding of how the human genome functions. The findings totally challenge the tidy collection of independent genes , but sees as a complex networking system, along with regulatory elements and other types of DNA sequences that do not code for proteins, interact in overlapping ways not yet fully understood.

“This impressive effort has uncovered many exciting surprises and blazed the way for future efforts to explore the functional landscape of the entire human genome,” said NHGRI Director Francis S. Collins, M.D., Ph.D. “Because of the hard work and keen insights of the ENCODE consortium, the scientific community will need to rethink some long-held views about what genes are and what they do, as well as how the genome’s functional elements have evolved. This could have significant implications for efforts to identify the DNA sequences involved in many human diseases.”

Loads to come out of this …. few days back in nature cell biology there was a article stating small peptide regulators of actin-based cell morphogenesis encoded by a polycistronic mRNA in an eukaryote…

Plants too recognise its kin

Now wonder,  research proves that even plants recognise their kins. Researchers from McMaster University have found that plants go competitive when forced to share their own environment like pot, with strangers of the same species, but they’re accommodating when potted with their siblings.

How they do it???

When a different plant of same species is potted with a growing plant they start growing more roots, which allows them to grab water and mineral nutrients before their neighbours get them. when they share a pot with family i.e the sibiling 1st or 2 nd generation they don’t increase their root growth. Because differences between groups of strangers and groups of siblings only occurred when they shared a pot, the root interactions may provide a cue for kin recognition. The following is the paper that is being published on the same.

Dudley, S. A. and A. L. File (2007). Kin recognition in an annual plant. Biology Letters, in press.

Future of High Throughput Genome Sequencing

In Bangalore Bio 2007 LabIndia has introduced  SOLiD: Sequencing by Oligonucleotide Ligation and Detection which is the Future of High Throughput Sequencing.

“This is useful for those who want to do full genome sequencing. Whole genome projects will be more cost effective with this new instrument than they are today,” said Dr. Anupama Gaur, Team Leader Application Support, Labindia Instruments, Pvt. Ltd.

HistoGenetics has come up with Sequence Based Typing which has many advantages such as identifying many rare and new alleles. “Nearly 2000 alleles have been identified so far and it has been launched in the US and UK as of now” said Dr. Cereb Nezih, M.D., President and co-founder, Histogenetics, Inc.

Gene Expression is affected when cells are cultured in petri dish

When trying to figure out how different respond to drugs and other environemnts in the body scientists turn to cells. The cultured cells are grown in petri dishes now with the onset of tissue microarrays the process is getting more advanced

A new Brown University study shows that nerve cells grown in three-dimensional cultures use 1,766 genes differently compared to cells grown in standard two-dimensional petri dishes.

The research shows that culture techniques can significantly affect cell growth and function. cells grown in a laboratory in 3-D environments are more like cells grown in the ultimate 3-D environment – the human body.

“More and more, we’re seeing evidence that cells cultured in three dimensions look and behave more like cells in your body,” said Diane Hoffman-Kim, the University of Brown bioengineer who spearheaded the new study,

The study is published in the May edition of Tissue Engineering,

UK is appealing for volunteers to help worlds biggest medical experiment project- to understand impact of Genetics and life style in illness and medical treatment

 UK is appealing for volunteers to help worlds biggest medical experiment project- to understand impact of Genetics and lifestyle in health and medical treatment

The  BBC reports about a medical experiment aiming to be the biggest in the world is appealing for volunteers to help end Scotland’s reputation as the “sick man of Europe”.

The project named as  UK Biobank will be the world’s biggest resource for the study of the role of nature and nurture in health and disease.

Funded and guided under the supervision of leading scientists from the UK and around the world. Funded by the  Wellcome Trust, the UK’s largest independent medical research charity, the  Medical Research Council, the Department of Health, the Scottish Executive and the Northwest Regional Development Agency. and many other major medical research charities, including the British Heart Foundation and Cancer Research UK. The project is also supported by the National Health Service.

claiming to help not just the volunteer, but for the future generation to come the £61m UK Biobank project will track the health of thousands of people for up to 30 years.

Information and DNA gathered from volunteers will be used by researchers to help tackle serious diseases.

Volunteers will be asked to attend an assessment centre where they will fill out a lifestyle questionnaire, have body measurements such as bone density, blood pressure, height and weight recorded, and donate a small sample of blood and urine for long-term storage as a resource for researchers in the future.

Researchers will study the relationship between our genes, our lifestyles and our current health to find out why some people develop certain illnesses and others do not.

It is hoped the project will eventually include 500,000 volunteers from across Britain, making it the biggest study of its type ever undertaken.

The Biobank will run alongside the complementary Generation Scotland project, which focuses on how genes inherited from our parents affect the likelihood of developing diseases.

Data collected by the two projects will be used to help prevent and develop new treatments for cancer, heart disease, diabetes, Parkinson’s, Alzheimer’s, mental health illnesses, osteoporosis and arthritis.

12 DNA tests that Could Change Your Life-selected by Forbes

The complete list is published at forbes website

  • Breast Cancer
  • Adult-Onset Diabetes
  • Obesity
  • Drug Metabolism
  • Crohn’s Disease
  • Prostate Cancer
  • Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy
  • Rett Syndrome
  • Macular Degeneration
  • Alzheimer’s Disease
  • Heart Attack

Gene Testing:

Related Blogs

eyeondna , gensherpa , OmicsOmics

State law protects DNA of Minnesota wild rice

ST. PAUL — The DNA of Minnesota wild rice gets special protection under a new state law adopted this year with the backing of Indian tribes.

Genetic modifications to wild rice will be watched more closely, with environmental impact statements required and permits controlled by the Minnesota Environmental Quality Board.

DNA repair technology in sunscreen lotion

AGI Dermatics a biotechnology company specializing in DNA skin repair and  photobiology claims to be working on a DNA damage-control product thus far is called Dimericine Currently in stage-three clinical trials.

Dimericine, the company claims to contain, a customized enzyme that can recognize DNA damage caused by ultraviolet light and speed up repair

“We call it a morning-after lotion. It can be used after sun exposure but before damage has arrived. says the president of the company

DNA DATABASE TO HELP IDENTIFY DISAPPEARED

(May 23, 2007) The head of Chile’s Medical Legal Service (SML), Patricio Bustos, announced this week that his organization would create a DNA database that will be used to help identify the remains of those who were disappeared and murdered during the military regime led by Gen. Augusto Pinochet.

Source Santigao times

Errors in DNA database

The exciting news of google or its benefactor investing in genomics companya and google founders earlier enthusiasm to offer its billion dollar power for genomics indutsry, has produced a mixed responses. I agree with Hsiens post that we should welcome the move

I guess its worthwhile to know why its better if google does so , The UK’s national DNA database, which houses 4.1 million records pertaining to evidence of crimes collected by police, has been found to have upwards of 100,000 incorrect records. 

According to theregister.co.uk, the complex relationship between the country’s police force, its National DNA Database Unit and the forensic service along with a lack of checks and balances has left its DNA database with the large amount of corrupted records, causing 26,200 load problems alone

“There’s in the order of 100,000 unreconciled records now,” claims The Register’s source.

Realated posts

GeneticsandHealth

ScienceDirect

NEWS

DNA file on 100,000 innocent children

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