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Aug. 25, 2009
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An Inner 'Fingerprint' for Personalizing Medical Care
from Science Daily
Fingerprints move over. Scientists are reporting evidence that people have another defining trait that may distinguish each of the 6.7 billion humans on Earth from one another almost as surely as the arches, loops, and whorls on their fingertips. They report evidence from studies in humans for the existence of unique patterns in metabolism. More    E-mail article

Beckman Coulter

Use of Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccine Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices
from The Centers for Disease Control
The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention's Laboratory Outreach and Communication System is providing a link to the Aug. 21, Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report article, "Use of Influenza A (H1N1) 2009 Monovalent Vaccine, Recommendations of the Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices." This article includes important information that applies to laboratory workers who handle infectious materials; these individuals would fall into one of the five initial target groups for vaccination efforts. More    E-mail article

Genetic Variant Predicts Success of Treatment in
Chronic Hepatitis C

from Medscape Medical News
Researchers have identified a genetic variant that predicts the difference between white and black patients' responses to treatment for hepatitis C. The favorable genotype, which is associated with a 2-fold better response to treatment, is more common in white populations and accounts for about half the difference between the 2 ethnic groups with respect to treatment efficacy. More    E-mail article

Alternative Splicing of Pre-mRNA in Cancer
from The American Journal of Pathology
Through alternative splicing, multiple different transcripts can be generated from a single gene. Alternative splicing represents an important molecular mechanism of gene regulation in physiological processes such as developmental programming as well as in disease. In cancer, splicing is significantly altered. Tumors express a different collection of alternative spliceoforms than normal tissues. Many tumor-associated splice variants arise from genes with an established role in carcinogenesis or tumor progression, and their functions can be oncogenic. More    E-mail article

WHO Predicts 'Explosion' of Swine Flu Cases
from The Associated Press via Google
The global spread of swine flu will endanger more lives as it speeds up in coming months and governments must boost preparations for a swift response, the World Health Organization said. There will soon be a period of further global spread of the virus, and most countries may see swine flu cases double every three to four days for several months until peak transmission is reached, said WHO's Western Pacific director, Shin Young-soo. More    E-mail article

Synthetic Protein Thwarts HIV Infection in Lab
from U.S. News & World Report
Researchers report they were able to block HIV infections in the lab with synthetic proteins that prevented the virus from entering healthy cells. In the study, researchers developed synthetic molecules that interfered with the ability of a key HIV protein called gp41 to interact with proteins in host cells. More    E-mail article


Gene Swap Experiment Makes Altering Bugs Easier
from Reuters
Researchers seeking ways to genetically-modify microbes to get them to do their bidding said they had taken a big step toward their goal by transplanting an altered genome from one germ to another. They hope the experiment will help scientists alter bacteria to make new vaccines, clean up toxic waste and design new antibiotics. They also hope they can use the technique to try to create entirely synthetic microbes. More    E-mail article

Killer Cell Secret Key to Immunological Puzzle
from Laboratory News
Scientists say they have solved a great immunological puzzle as they explain how the body’s immune system differentiates between healthy cells and diseased or cancerous cells which should be destroyed. More    E-mail article

Improved Outcomes in NSCLC After Screening for EGFR Mutations
from Medscape Medical News
Patients with nonsmall-cell lung cancer should be screened for epidermal growth-factor receptor mutations, and those who are found to have such mutations should receive treatment with the targeted agent erlotinib (Tarceva, Genentech) instead of chemotherapy, which will improve outcomes. More    E-mail article

What Does AHRQ Think About Clinical Molecular Dxs?
from GenomeWeb News
The Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality's Technology Assessment Program has released a detailed report of the kinds of molecular diagnostics currently prescribed to Medicare recipients, and the challenges clinical labs face when using the tests. The report, which seeks public comments, studied pharmacogenomic tests used to diagnose symptomatic individuals; to help make prognoses; to monitor drug response; and to choose therapies or to help physicians adjust dosing. More    E-mail article

Human Tests of Geron's Spinal-cord Medication Put on Hold
from the San Jose Mercury News
In a setback for Menlo Park-based Geron, the company announced that federal authorities have put on hold its groundbreaking test on people of a spinal-cord injury treatment it developed from human embryonic stem cells. Officials at Geron, which has yet to give its treatment to humans, were vague about the reason for the hold, saying only that it involved the U.S. Food and Drug Administration's pending review of new animal study data the company had submitted. More    E-mail article

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