Is the Future of Genetic Testing on the Line?
from Clinical Laboratory News
Trying to follow the debate around gene patents can leave you wondering whether anyone is really talking about the same thing. On one side, it almost seems that elements of patientsí very bodies are somehow being traded by corporations, while from the other, gene patents are benign legal tools spurring innovation in the biotech industry, including molecular diagnostics. But clinical laboratorians and other scientists might feel squeezed in between, not totally comfortable with either characterization of what patenting a gene really means.
Interim Guidance for the Detection of Novel Influenza A Virus Using Rapid Influenza Diagnostic Tests
from Centers for Disease Control and Prevention
The Centers for Disease Control and Preventionís Laboratory Outreach and Communication System is providing the following link to important interim guidance: Interim Guidance for the Detection of Novel Influenza A Virus Using Rapid Influenza Diagnostic Tests, which supersedes guidance (Use of Rapid Influenza Diagnostic Tests for Patients with Influenza-like Illness during the Novel H1N1 Influenza Virus (Swine Flu) Outbreak) previously posted to this Web site. Click here to read the guidance.
Progression to Cirrhosis Possible in Inactive Carriers of Hepatitis B
from Reuters via Medscape Medical News
Although uncommon, progression to cirrhosis is possible in inactive carriers of hepatitis B virus (HBV), according to a report in The American Journal of Gastroenterology. The annual rate of reactivation of HBV was 1.55 percent, the authors report, and the annual rate of the development of cirrhosis in patients with reactivated hepatitis B was estimated to be 0.25 percent.
U.S. Swine Flu Deaths Jump by 51 to Total 353
from The Associated Press
Fifty-one more swine flu-related US deaths were reported in the United States over the previous week, bringing the toll to 353 in the country worst affected by the global pandemic. The US Centers for Disease Control and Prevention reported the new figures in its weekly surveillance update Friday, which also said that 5,514 people have required hospitalization for the A(H1N1) virus.
Related story: Schools Prep for Spread of Swine Flu ( USA Today )
Cell Adhesion Molecule Predicts Joint Replacement with Arthritis
from Reuters via Medscape Medical News
High levels of vascular cell adhesion molecule 1 (VCAM-1) in the blood identify patients with osteoarthritis who are at increased risk for requiring hip or knee joint replacement, according to a new report. The results show that subjects in the highest VCAM-1 tertile were nearly four times more likely to undergo joint replacement in the future than were their peers in the lowest tertile (p < 0.001).
Experts Find New Targets to Stop Breast Cancer
One of the most aggressive forms of breast cancer may originate in the cells lining the mammary ducts, which can be targeted in the fight against the disease, experts in Australia say. Basal breast cancers account for 20 percent of all breast cancers and are among the most aggressive. They occur in women carrying mutations of the tumor-suppressing gene BRCA1 and have long been thought to originate in breast stem cells.
Researchers Identify New Strain of HIV Derived From Gorillas
French researchers have identified a new human immunodeficiency virus, the first derived from gorillas, a report said. The three previous HIV variants came from chimpanzees. The new findings indicate that gorillas, in addition to chimpanzees, are likely sources of HIV, the researchers concluded in a report published in the weekly Nature Medicine journal.
Leukemia Relapse After Stem-Cell Transplantation Due to "Genetic Trickery"
from Medscape Medical News
Italian researchers have described a series of patients with acute myeloid leukemia in whom the leukemic cells underwent some "genetic trickery" in order to escape immune surveillance, resulting in a relapse of the disease. More
Study: Immune Cells Cause More Post-stroke Brain Damage
Scientists have identified a class of immune cells that floods the brain soon after a stroke, causing inflammation and more neurological damage. In an experiment, Japanese researchers showed how mice that were deficient in these immune cells suffered far less brain damage after a stroke compared to normal mice.
Scientists Program Blood Stem Cells to Become Vision Cells
from Science Daily
University of Florida researchers were able to program bone marrow stem cells to repair damaged retinas in mice, suggesting a potential treatment for one of the most common causes of vision loss in older people.