March 2017

Viewing posts from March , 2017

Researchers Link Noncoding Genetic Variants to Neurodevelopmental Disorders

Scientists at the Max Planck Institute for Psycholinguistics studying the DNA of children with severe language problems say they have identified genetic variants in the 3′ untranslated region genome (3’UTRome), which is part of the noncoding part of the genome.

“Our study shows that the identification and testing of noncoding variants will foster our understanding of the genetic causes of neurodevelopmental disorders, which is crucial in the long-term for the design of new and effective therapeutics.”

— Sonja Vernes, Ph.D.
Get the full story at Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News

New Article in GEN

Atomic Force Microscopy – Say What??

Knowledge of protein folding is important because proteins must assume the correct three-dimensional structure to function properly. Misfolding may inactivate a protein or make it toxic. A new approach has allowed JILA scientists to capture the protein’s folding steps at microsecond resolution.

By showing how the folding of membrane proteins can be studied in more detail, JILA scientists have shown how researchers may better understand previously obscure biophysical processes related to diseases such as neurodegeneration and cancer.

Get the full story at Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News.

New Article in GEN

“The increased complexity was stunning. Better instruments revealed all sorts of hidden dynamics that were obscured over the last 17 years when using conventional technology.”

— Tom Perkins, Ph.D., the leader of the team at JILA

New Report on Personalized Medicine Released

For more than two millennia, medicine has maintained its aspiration of being personalized. In ancient times, Hippocrates combined an assessment of the four humors — blood, phlegm, yellow bile, and black bile — to determine the best course of treatment for each patient. Today, the sequence of the four chemical building blocks that comprise DNA, coupled with telltale proteins in the blood, enable more accurate medical predictions.

A new report from the Personalized Medicine Coalition describes the current state of personalized medicine and the opportunities in the future.

Get the full report here.

“The power in tailored therapeutics is for us to say more clearly to payers, providers, and patients: ‘this drug is not for everyone, but it is for you.’ That is exceedingly powerful.”

–John C. Lechleiter, Ph.D. former Chairman, President, and CEO, Eli Lilly and Company

Genes in Fat Cells May Contribute to Dangerous Diseases

A sweeping international effort is connecting the dots between genes in our fat cells and our risk for obesity and cardiometabolic diseases such as heart disease and type 2 diabetes. The researchers have identified approximately 90 genes found in fat that could play important roles in such diseases – and could be targeted to develop new treatments or cures.

“Genetic factors do not work in isolation – they work in a holistic way, so I think that these kind of studies that we are publishing are key to understanding what’s happening in human populations.”

— Mete Civelek of the University of Virginia School of Medicine
Read the entire article at Science Blog

GRAIL Raises $900M to Develop Early Blood Tests for Cancer

GRAIL is combining what it calls high-intensity (ultrabroad and ultradeep) sequencing and population-based clinical trials to characterize circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) in healthy individuals and cancer patients. The ultimate aim is to develop cancer diagnostics that can detect tumors early enough to cure the disease. See the full story at Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News.

New Article in GEN

This is a core focus for all precision medicine oncology approaches, including ours. We believe that a multi-omic focus that goes beyond circulating tumor cells can have major advantages.