Search for: "DNA" - 640 articles found

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News • Promising reseach results

Using artificial DNA to kill cancer

Researchers at the University of Tokyo have used artificial DNA to target and kill cancer cells in a completely new way. The method showed promising results against various cancers in lab tests on mice.

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Research Use Only

Sarstedt – Low DNA Binding Micro Tubes

Highlights:As the trend towards decreasing sample volumes continues, it is increasingly important to minimize potential interaction between the analyte and tube.Our low protein and new low DNA binding micro tubes are specifically designed to meet the requirements in protein and DNA analytics while maximizing recovery rates.

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Extraction

Promega – Maxwell CSC Instrument

Dimensions: 330.2 × 299.7 × 345.2 mm (w × h × d)Weight: 11 kgSample througput: up to 16 samples / 25 – 75 minutesAssays: Blood, FFPE, buffy coat, bone marrow, cells, serum, urine etc. (CE-IVD) or stool, tissue, food, and many more (RUO) Highlights: Automated DNA and RNA extraction – IVDR-compliant Generates consistent, high-quality nucleic…

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Extraction

Molzym – SelectNAplus

Dimensions: 650 × 600 × 690 mm (w × h × d)Weight: 60 kgSample througput: flexible: 1 to 12 samples / run Highlights:SelectNAplus is Molzym’s unique bench top instrument for the automated enrichment and isolation of bacterial & fungal DNA from complex specimens.Walk-away pathogen DNA isolationHuman DNA depletion (MolYsis technology) for enhanced…

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Extraction

MolGen - PurePrep 24D

Dimensions: 700 × 500 × 470 mm (w × h × d)Sample throughput: 24-144Highlights:PurePrep 24D is a convenient bench top, open system for DNA and RNA purification that uses magnetic beads separation technology of various matrices, such as blood, cultured cells or bacteria, tissues, bodyfluids and plant samples and can be used in low-medium through-put settings. The…

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Extraction

MolGen - Extraction Kit

Highlights:MolGen’s DNA/RNA kits are optimized for high-quality, high throughput DNA/RNA extraction and purification to isolate NA. The Pathogens kit isolates DNA or RNA from a large variety of sample matrices like blood, plasma, serum, urine, swab washes, tissue samples and feces. Our animal, seed, and leaf kits can be customized to extract DNA/RNA from a large variety of sample matrices.…

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Extraction

MolGen – PurePrep 96

Dimensions: 650 × 530 × 700 mm (w × h × d)Sample throughput: 96 – 576 Highlights: PurePrep 96 is a user-friendly, automated DNA/RNA purification system, suitable for high throughput workflows featuring 96 wells and a wide volume range of 50 – 1000 μL. The high-speed, high-quality device uses magnetic separation technology for various…

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Amplification

Sarstedt – White Multiply PCR Plates

Highlights: In addition to a generally improved quality, Sarstedt now offers optimized white color variants for better detection sensitivity in qPCR. In addition, we have expanded our PCR plate range with high-purity EtO-treated variants (Biosphere plus quality) as well as DNA & protein low binding variants. With our Biosphere plus variants, we offer the maximum and unsurpassed purity…

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Article • Early detection approach

Multi-cancer blood tests could shake up screening

New tests can identify over 50 types of cancer and boost detection of traditionally elusive cancers from tumour DNA in blood, researchers showed at the ESMO congress in September. These multi-cancer early detection (MCED) tests in development can spot common cancer signals and predict where the signal comes from in the body, results from a prospective investigation suggest.

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Article • Prediction for breast, ovarian, cervical, and endometrial carcinoma

New test detects four women’s cancers from cervical screening samples

What if a test analysing cervical cells from a gynaecological swab could be used to detect four different female cancers at an early stage and also predict cancer risk over a healthy woman's lifetime? Researchers at the EUTOPS Institute in Innsbruck, Austria, are developing tests to do just that for breast, ovarian, cervical, and endometrial cancer detection.

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News • Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma

Promising new treatment for deadly pediatric tumor

Alveolar rhabdomyosarcoma is a rare pediatric tumor. For more than 40 years there has not been any new development regarding treatment. Research led by Prof. Dr. Anton Henssen at Charité University Berlin has now identified a new therapeutic option, using a drug that is currently under investigation for other types of cancer.

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Sponsored • DNA extraction chemistry

Providing innovative molecular workflows to empower future diagnostics

Founded in 2018 as a DNA extraction chemistry company, Dutch company MolGen entered the market operating within the agricultural sector. At first, the company’s founders, Maarten de Groot, Wim van Haeringen and Niels Kruize, focused solely on this one industry, mainly developing and marketing advanced bulk chemistry kits for DNA/RNA extraction. These testing products and solutions successfully…

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News • Laboratory equipment

MolGen opens new UK office

DNA / RNA extraction technology, system, products and kits for human and animal diagnostics, agriculture, aquaculture, pharma and biotech solutions provider MolGen B.V., announces the recent opening of its UK office. The new office is located at 6th Floor, South Quay Building, 189 Marsh Wall, London, E14 9SH. This expansion will enable the company to meet the rapidly increasing demand for…

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News • DNA analysis

Should all babies have their genome sequenced at birth?

Genomics England, a government owned company, recently announced a pilot programme of whole genome sequencing to screen for genetic diseases in 200,000 healthy seeming newborns. But should every newborn baby have their whole genome sequenced? Experts debate the issue in The BMJ. Extensive clinical evidence has shown that screening for genetic diseases saves lives, and research has shown that it…

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Article • NGS solution

Using liquid biopsy to detect recurrent breast cancer earlier

An innovative collaboration has been formed in the UK between academic researchers and industry to develop a rapid integrated liquid biopsy platform for early detection of recurrent breast cancer. Breast cancer specialists Professor Charles Coombes, who is Professor of Medical Oncology at Imperial College London (ICL), and Professor Jacqui Shaw, Head of the Department of Genetics and Genome…

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News • NGS-based diagnostics

Collaboration on early detection of recurrent breast cancer

Together with Imperial College London (‘Imperial’), molecular diagnostics company DNAe has been awarded a UK Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) by Innovate UK to support development of its next generation sequencing (NGS)-based diagnostic platform for use in cancer monitoring. The KTP program connects innovative businesses with academic experts who can help them deliver their ideas. This…

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News • 'CRyPTIC' research

Global tuberculosis study identifies genetic causes of drug resistance

Using cutting-edge genomic sequencing techniques, researchers at the University of Oxford have identified almost all the genomic variation that gives people resistance to 13 of the most common tuberculosis (TB) drug treatments. The Comprehensive Resistance Prediction for Tuberculosis International Consortium (CRyPTIC) research project has collected the largest ever global dataset of clinical M.…

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News • Cancer research

How to break through a tumor's protective shield

The immune system protects the body from cancer. To protect healthy body cells from its own immune system, they have developed a protective shield: the protein CD47 is a so called "don’t eat me" signal, which tells the immune cells to stand back. Tumor cells exploit this CD47-based protection strategy for evading the immune system, by increasing presentation of CD47 on their cell…

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Article • Disaster victim identification

Will CT scanning in post-mortem examinations mark the end of the scalpel?

Post-mortem CT (PMCT) increasingly supports pathologists, radiologists and forensic investigators particularly in cases of gunshot fatalities, mass casualties, decomposed and concealed bodies, fire deaths, diving deaths, non-accidental injury cases, and road traffic deaths, in which CT can indicate a pattern of injuries. In Dublin this August, the post-mortem (autopsy) technique was discussed…

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News • For discoveries of receptors for temperature and touch

Nobel Prize in Medicine goes to David Julius and Ardem Patapoutian

The Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine 2021 was awarded jointly to two scientists who made important discoveries regarding our receptors for temperature and touch. Our ability to sense heat, cold and touch is essential for survival and underpins our interaction with the world around us. In our daily lives we take these sensations for granted, but how are nerve impulses initiated so that…

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News • DNA damage causes AML

Cancer chemotherapy side-effects on blood cell development

By analysing secondary acute myeloid leukaemias, researchers at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB) Barcelona have detected mutations caused by platinum-based chemotherapies in cells that were healthy at the time of treatment. Treatment with chemotherapies influences the development of blood cells, favouring clonal hematopoiesis from cells with pre-existing mutations. The study has…

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News • Prevention of toxic DNA lesions

Promising mechanism to stop Huntington's progression

A new mechanism that stops the progression of Huntington’s disease in cells has been identified by scientists at the University of Cambridge and University College London (UCL), as part of their research groups at the UK Dementia Research Institute. Researchers say the breakthrough study, published in Cell Reports, could lead to much needed therapies for the rare genetic disease, which is…

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News • Regulatory issues

Genetic data privacy, the GDPR, and research needs: a delicate balance

The EU’s General Data Protection Regulation (GDPR) has created a great deal of uncertainty about how key requirements should be interpreted. This means that collaborators in international genetic research projects do not always agree on fundamental issues such as whether they are processing personal data, consent requirements under the GDPR and on what basis genetic data can be transferred…

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Article • Precision oncology

Personalized health and genomics: Minimizing collateral damage

A solid diagnosis has always been the first step on any patient’s journey to health. However, diagnostic categories are necessarily oversimplifications. In the last decades, medical professionals and scientists have begun to uncover the true variability in patients’ physiological and biochemical make-up that is the principal cause for individual variations in the way diseases present…

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Article • Omics in cancer care

Personalizing laboratory medicine

To avoid adverse reactions, personalised laboratory medicine can help to predict a patient’s drug response. Investigations based on DNA and other omics technologies – e.g. genomics, transcriptomics, proteomics, metabolomics – along with microarray technologies, is making a particularly valuable contribution to cancer care, in which personalised approaches are becoming possible through…

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News • Tool to identify tumour mutations

Machine learning fuels personalised cancer medicine

The Biomedical Genomics laboratory at the Institute for Research in Biomedicine (IRB) Barcelona has developed a computational tool that identifies cancer driver mutations for each tumour type. This and other developments produced by the same lab seek to accelerate cancer research and provide tools to help oncologists choose the best treatment for each patient. The study has been published in the…

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News • MSI tumors

Vaccination against hereditary colorectal cancer shows promise

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center and Heidelberg University Hospital have for the first time been able to delay the development of hereditary colorectal cancer with a protective vaccination. Mice with a hereditary predisposition to colorectal cancer survived significantly longer after vaccination than unvaccinated animals. Combining the vaccination with an anti-inflammatory drug…

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News • Mechanical inactivation

'Nano traps' to lock up and neutralize viruses

To date, there are no effective antidotes against most virus infections. An interdisciplinary research team at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has now developed a new approach: they engulf and neutralize viruses with nano-capsules tailored from genetic material using the DNA origami method. The strategy has already been tested against hepatitis and adeno-associated viruses in cell…

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News • Unprecedented improvements

Gene therapy 'reprograms' cells to reverse AADC deficiency

A novel method of gene therapy is helping children born with a rare genetic disorder called AADC deficiency that causes severe physical and developmental disabilities. The study, led by researchers at The Ohio State University Wexner Medical Center and The Ohio State University College of Medicine, offers new hope to those living with incurable genetic and neurodegenerative diseases.

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News • Sample-to-answer workflow

Partnership for Covid-19 test solution

SpeeDx Pty, Ltd. and MolGen announced the signing of an agreement to collaborate on supply and distribution of clinical diagnostics products and instrumentation across Europe and Asia Pacific. The partnership links specimen handling, nucleic acid extraction, assay set-up, amplification, and results reporting in a seamless integration of the companies technologies. “This partnership capitalises…

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Video • Handheld rapid testing

New tech to diagnose infections in minutes - without a lab

The idea of visiting the doctor’s office with symptoms of an illness and leaving with a scientifically confirmed diagnosis is much closer to reality because of new technology developed by researchers at McMaster University. Engineering, biochemistry and medical researchers from across campus have combined their skills to create a hand-held rapid test for bacterial infections that can produce…

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News • Oncology early detection tool

Blood test for 50+ types of cancer promising for screening

Final results from a study of a blood test that can detect more than 50 types of cancer have shown that it is accurate enough to be rolled out as a multi-cancer screening test among people at higher risk of the disease, including patients aged 50 years or older, without symptoms. In a paper published in the cancer journal Annals of Oncology, researchers report that the test accurately detected…

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News • Corona and EBV

Long Covid symptoms likely caused by Epstein-Barr virus reactivation

Epstein-Barr virus (EBV) reactivation resulting from the inflammatory response to coronavirus infection may be the cause of previously unexplained long Covid symptoms—such as fatigue, brain fog, and rashes—that occur in approximately 30% of patients after recovery from initial Covid-19 infection. The first evidence linking EBV reactivation to long Covid, as well as an analysis of long Covid…

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News • Pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC)

Cutting-edge approach to fighting deadly form of pancreatic cancer

By 2030, the most lethal form of pancreatic cancer, pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC), is projected to become the second leading cause of cancer-related deaths in the United States. Not only are therapeutic options limited, but nearly half of PDAC patients who have their tumors removed surgically experience disease recurrence within a year, even with chemotherapy. For more advanced stages,…

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Article • dPCR and HSAFM

Low-cost technique for missed genetic mutations

A new low-cost method targeting genetic mutations often missed by existing diagnostic approaches has been developed. Researchers at Virginia Commonwealth University (VCU) in the United States noted that most rearrangement mutations implicated in cancer and neurological diseases fall between what can be detected by DNA sequence reads and optical microscopy methods. The new technique combines…

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News • Oncology meets history

Medieval cancer rates much higher than previously thought

CT scanning used to uncover remnants of malignancy hidden inside medieval bones provides new insight into cancer prevalence in a pre-industrial world. The first study to use x-rays and CT scans to detect evidence of cancer among the skeletal remains of a pre-industrial population suggests that between 9-14% of adults in medieval Britain had the disease at the time of their death. This puts cancer…

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News • Regeneration research

Scientists uncover how our skin repairs itself

University of Manchester scientists have cast new light on how our skin repairs itself, bringing the possibility of regeneration of the organ a step closer. The study team, funded by the Medical Research Council and Helmut Horten Foundation, showed the activation of specific parts of the DNA leading to better division of human skin cells. The study is published in Nucleic Acid Research.

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News • Cancer research

'Gene ferry' improves immune therapies

Genetically enhancing a patient's immune cells by adding therapeutic genes to them outside the body is regarded as a promising new treatment approach in oncology. However, the production of these therapeutic cells using viruses is not only expensive but time-consuming. Researchers at the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have developed an innovative non-viral vector that can efficiently…

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News • Reverse genetics system

SARS-CoV-2: An easier and quicker way to analyse mutations

SARS-CoV-2 is the virus responsible for the Covid-19 pandemic. We know that mutations in the genome of SARS-CoV-2 have occurred and spread, but what effect do those mutations have? Current methods for studying mutations in the SARS-CoV-2 genome are very complicated and time-consuming because coronaviruses have large genomes, but now a team from Osaka University and Hokkaido University have…

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News • Biomarker research

"Jumping" genes might protect against AML and other blood cancers

New research has uncovered a surprising role for so-called “jumping” genes that are a source of genetic mutations responsible for a number of human diseases. In the new study from Children’s Medical Center Research Institute at UT Southwestern (CRI), scientists made the unexpected discovery that these DNA sequences, also known as transposons, can protect against certain blood cancers. These…

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News • CRISPR-Cas9

An 'on-off switch' for gene editing

Over the past decade, the CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing system has revolutionized genetic engineering, allowing scientists to make targeted changes to organisms’ DNA. While the system could potentially be useful in treating a variety of diseases, CRISPR-Cas9 editing involves cutting DNA strands, leading to permanent changes to the cell’s genetic material. Now, in a paper published online in Cell,…

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News • Mitochondria research

Colorectal cancer: Mutations in overlooked DNA could have huge impact on survival

DNA errors in the cell’s energy ‘factories’ increases the chances of survival for people with bowel cancer, also known as colorectal cancer, according to a new study. Studying how DNA errors (mutations) can drive cancer development, as well as help it adapt and evolve, has been a key focus of cancer research. But much of that focus has been on DNA found in the cell’s nucleus. Experts say…

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News • Protection from bacteria, fungi, viruses

Antimicrobial technologies – how do they work?

Antimicrobial technologies such as coatings and textiles containing silver and copper are helping people during the Covid-19 pandemic by ensuring that whatever they touch, whether that is a door handle or their own mask, is free from live SARS-CoV-2 particles. But how exactly do these antimicrobial technologies work? How can a silver, copper or even polymeric coating kill microorganisms such as…

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News • SARS-CoV-2 detection and sequencing

'Nirvana': Fast, portable test diagnoses Covid-19, tracks variants

Clinicians using a new viral screening test can not only diagnose Covid-19 in a matter of minutes with a portable, pocket-sized machine, but can also simultaneously test for other viruses—like influenza—that might be mistaken for the coronavirus. At the same time, they can sequence the virus, providing valuable information on the spread of Covid-19 mutations and variants. The new test, dubbed…

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News • HPV testing advances

Cervical cancer screening: Emerging tech to replace Pap smears

Emerging technologies can screen for cervical cancer better than Pap smears and, if widely used, could save lives both in developing nations and parts of countries, like the United States, where access to health care may be limited. In Biophysics Reviews, by AIP Publishing, scientists at Massachusetts General Hospital write advances in nanotechnology and computer learning are among the…

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News • Malignant Pleural Mesothelioma

AI to help fight asbestos-related cancer

International genomics research led by the University of Leicester has used artificial intelligence (AI) to study an aggressive form of cancer, which could improve patient outcomes. Mesothelioma is caused by breathing asbestos particles and most commonly occurs in the linings of the lungs or abdomen. Currently, only seven per cent of people survive five years after diagnosis, with a prognosis…

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News • Malignant brain tumor

Successful test for mutation-specific vaccine against diffuse gliomas

Tumor vaccines can help the body fight cancer. Mutations in the tumor genome often lead to protein changes that are typical of cancer. A vaccine can alert the patients' immune system to these mutated proteins. For the first time, physicians and cancer researchers from Heidelberg and Mannheim have now carried out a clinical trial to test a mutation-specific vaccine against malignant brain tumors.…

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News • BMMF research

Novel pathogens: a driver for colorectal cancer?

Do BMMFs, the novel infectious agents found in dairy products and bovine sera, play a role in the development of colorectal cancer? Scientists led by Harald zur Hausen detected the pathogens in colorectal cancer patients in close proximity to tumors. The researchers show that the BMMFs trigger local chronic inflammation, which can cause mutations via activated oxygen molecules and thus promote…

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News • Breast cancer diagnostics

New system to make AI diagnosis explainable

Researchers at TU Berlin and Charité – Universitätsmedizin Berlin as well as the University of Oslo have developed a new tissue-section analysis system for diagnosing breast cancer based on artificial intelligence (AI). Two further developments make this system unique: For the first time, morphological, molecular and histological data are integrated in a single analysis. Secondly, the system…

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News • Potential for rapid, accurate glycan sequencing

Enormous boost for sequencing key molecules

Using a nanopore, researchers have demonstrated the potential to reduce the time required for sequencing a glycosaminoglycan — a class of long chain-linked sugar molecules as important to our biology as DNA — from years to minutes. Research to be published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academies of Sciences shows that machine-learning and image recognition software could be…

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Article • A significant opportunity for radiologists

Fostering a strong eco-system for AI in medical imaging

One of the leading figures in global radiology has highlighted the importance of fostering a strong eco-system to advance the safe and effective implementation of AI in medical imaging. Dr Geraldine McGinty said that to fully leverage the power of AI, all stakeholders must work together but underlined the unique responsibility physicians have to ensure patient interests are best served.

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Article • Images and patient data combined

Integrated radiomics improves clinical outcomes

Harnessing the power of radiomics, and adopting an integrated approach to combine imaging and patient data could lead to better clinical cancer outcomes. The move has opened the door for clinicians to explore a non-invasive approach to identify the heterogeneity of a tumour and more accurately target regions for biopsy. During a presentation at ECR 2021 in March, Professor Evis Sala will…

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News • Infection research

Mutations help bacteria resist antibiotic treatment

Bacteria have many ways to evade the antibiotics that we use against them. Each year, at least 2.8 million people in the United States develop an antibiotic-resistant infection, and more than 35,000 people die from such infections, according to the U.S. Centers for Disease Control. Most of the mutations known to confer resistance occur in the genes targeted by a particular antibiotic. Other…

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News • Detect lingering disease

Liquid biopsy for colorectal cancer could guide therapy for tumors

A new study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis demonstrates that a liquid biopsy examining blood or urine can help gauge the effectiveness of therapy for colorectal cancer that has just begun to spread beyond the original tumor. Such a biopsy can detect lingering disease and could serve as a guide for deciding whether a patient should undergo further treatments due to some…

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News • 53,831 genomes analysed

Rare diseases: huge dataset brings new insights

Researchers at the University of Maryland School of Medicine (UMSOM) and their colleagues published a new analysis from genetic sequencing data of more than 53,000 individuals, primarily from minority populations. The early analysis, part of a large-scale program funded by the National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, examines one of the largest and most diverse data sets of high-quality whole…

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News • Early detection

Blood-based methylation test offers promising data on lung cancer detection

In-vitro diagnostics company Universal Diagnostics (UDX) announced promising new data for its investigational blood-based lung cancer test. The data, presented at the IASLC 2020 World Conference on Lung Cancer hosted by the International Association for the Study of Lung Cancer (#WCLC20), held virtually 28th-31st January 2021, used methylation status measurement of the tumour-derived portion from…

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News • Viral sequencing

How SARS-CoV-2 spreads and evolves

The emergence of SARS-CoV-2 virus variants that are adding twists in the battle against COVID-19 highlight the need for better genomic monitoring of the virus, says Katia Koelle, associate professor of biology at Emory University.

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News • Lymphocytosis research

Tracing the onset of leukaemia

B-cell lymphocytosis, a condition in which individuals have increased levels of particular white blood cells, in some cases leads to blood cancer. As an international team of researchers now shows in samples from patients, both diseases exhibit similar epigenetic signatures that are forming very early during the course of the disease. Chronic leukemias often start insidiously. White blood cells…

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News • Mapping the 'family tree' of cancer

Metastasis monitoring: CRISPR tool catches cancer 'in the act'

When cancer is confined to one spot in the body, doctors can often treat it with surgery or other therapies. Much of the mortality associated with cancer, however, is due to its tendency to metastasize, sending out seeds of itself that may take root throughout the body. The exact moment of metastasis is fleeting, lost in the millions of divisions that take place in a tumor. “These events are…

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News • Measuring mitochondrial DNA

Rapid blood test identifies Covid-19 patients at high risk of severe disease

One of the most vexing aspects of the Covid-19 pandemic is doctors’ inability to predict which newly hospitalized patients will go on to develop severe disease, including complications that require the insertion of a breathing tube, kidney dialysis or other intensive care. Knowledge of a patient’s age and underlying medical conditions can help predict such outcomes, but there are still…

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News • An unexpected and novel target

How our biological clock could save us from prostate cancer

Our biological or circadian clock synchronizes all our bodily processes to the natural rhythms of light and dark. It’s no wonder then that disrupting the clock can wreak havoc on our body. In fact, studies have shown that when circadian rhythms are disturbed through sleep deprivation, jet lag, or shift work, there is an increased incidence of some cancers including prostate cancer, which is the…

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News • RNA editing

New mechanism of cancer formation discovered

A team of scientists at the National University of Singapore (NUS) led by Dr Polly Leilei Chen from the Cancer Science Institute of Singapore and Yong Loo Lin School of Medicine has discovered a previously unknown mechanism of cancer formation, the understanding of which may lead to more effective treatment. Their findings concern a process called RNA editing. The DNA code of a gene gets…

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Article • Digital pathology

An exciting new era for tissue microarrays

A new generation of tissue microarrays are delivering more efficient and time-effective solutions to answering complex clinical and scientific questions. Sitting at the core of this new approach is digital pathology, allowing specific and targeted analysis of small areas of tissue.

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News • Messenger RNA vaccines explained

Busting 8 common myths about Covid-19 vaccines

Even those who understand the scientific process, trust medical experts and know how important vaccines are for fighting infectious diseases might still have some questions or concerns about the new Covid-19 vaccines. Here, Thaddeus Stappenbeck, MD, PhD, helps set the record straight on 8 common questions, concerns and myths that have emerged about Covid-19 vaccines.

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Article • Glioma detection

Breakthrough liquid biopsy test to detect mutations in brain tumours

Researchers at Massachusetts General Hospital (MGH) in Boston have developed a novel blood test using an enhanced form of liquid biopsy capable of detecting the most common types of genetic mutations that occur in glioma brain tumors. The test is easy to use, inexpensive, produces results rapidly, and can be performed in most clinical laboratories. The researchers believe that the blood test has…

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News • Scattering suppression for imaging

'Autocorrect' feature to make X-rays safer for children

Clinicians will be able to take a low radiation, digital X-ray image - without the need for an anti-scatter grid - thanks to new innovative ‘scattering suppression software’. Developed by photonics scientists at the Warsaw University of Technology (WUT), working in collaboration with innovation incubator ACTPHAST 4.0 and medical imaging company Italray SRL, the new algorithm ‘auto…

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News • Tackling colon cancer

Researchers find 'Achilles’ heel' of cancer stem cells

Colon cancer stem cells have one weak spot: the enzyme Mll1. An MDC team led by Walter Birchmeier has now shown in Nature Communications that blocking this protein prevents the development of new tumors in the body. Since colonoscopies were introduced in Germany for early cancer detection, the number of diagnoses of advanced cancer every year has decreased, as precancerous lesions can now be…

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Video • "InnerEye" Artificial Intelligence

AI could help cut waiting times for cancer radiotherapy

Doctors at Addenbrooke’s Hospital in Cambridge aim to drastically cut cancer waiting times by using artificial intelligence (AI) to automate lengthy radiotherapy preparations. The AI technology, known as InnerEye, is the result of an eight-year collaboration between researchers at Cambridge-based Microsoft Research, Addenbrooke’s Hospital and the University of Cambridge.

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Article • Coronavirus imaging

Covid-19: Is CT more sensitive than PCR testing?

Covid-19 causes characteristic changes in lung tissue visible in CT scans and chest radiographs, known as “ground-glass” opacities. Imaging is now considered a valid alternative, possibly even superior to RT-PCR. ‘This sparked an international debate about the role of CT in the diagnostic work-up of Covid-19,’ said radiologist Professor Cornelia Schäfer-Prokop.

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News • Coronavirus genome folding

Researchers prepare for “SARS-CoV-3”

For the first time, an international research alliance has observed the RNA folding structures of the SARS-CoV2 genome with which the virus controls the infection process. This could not only lay the foundation for the targeted development of novel drugs for treating Covid-19, but also for occurrences of infection with new corona viruses that may develop in the future.

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Sponsored • Addressing a broad range of research applications

Mass spectrometry advances

Since the Covid-19 epidemic took hold, the public has expected ‘unprecedented progress from the scientific community,’ observed Dan Shine, senior vice president and president of the analytical instruments division of Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc. ‘A deeper analysis of proteins is critical to understanding disease, including novel viruses. New instruments, software and workflows can power…

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Article • MEDICA session

PCR tests excel during Covid-19 pandemic

In early 1990, at Analytica, in Munich, a young US-American researcher Kary B Mullis received the award for biochemical analytics for his 1983 invention: the polymerase chain reaction (PCR) – a success topped in 1993 by the Nobel Prize for chemistry. Mullis’ work revolutionised DNA copying, a process which, before PCR, had taken weeks. Whilst initially PCR was used to create digital…

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Article • Detecting coronavirus infections

Covid-19: CRISPR-based test gives GPs quick results

Recent research in Clustered Regularly Interspaced Short Palindromic Repeats (CRISPR) has identified two enzymes that can detect Covid-19 RNA as simply as a pregnancy test Jesús Pla, an eminent microbiologist at the Complutense University in Madrid, explained in our exclusive interview. CRISPR technology could help alleviate workloads in packed hospitals and expand testing to primary care and…

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Interview • Rapid diagnostics

The clinical potential of POCT

In 2019, the Central Laboratory of the Institute for Clinical Chemistry and Pathobiochemistry at the Klinikum rechts der Isar of the Technical University Munich, headed by Professor Peter B Luppa, organised the 4th of the internationally renowned Munich Point-of-Care Testing Symposiums. Dr Andreas Bietenbeck is senior physician at the Institute which for many years has been focusing on…

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Video • List by top clinicians and researchers

Top 10 medical innovations for 2021

An up-and-coming gene therapy for blood disorders. A new class of medications for cystic fibrosis. Increased access to telemedicine. These are some of the innovations that will enhance healing and change healthcare in the coming year, according to a distinguished panel of clinicians and researchers from Cleveland Clinic. In conjunction with the 2020 Medical Innovation Summit, Cleveland Clinic…

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News • For the development of CRISPR/Cas9

Nobel Prize in Chemistry goes to Emmanuelle Charpentier and Jennifer A. Doudna

The Royal Swedish Academy of Sciences has decided to award the Nobel Prize in Chemistry 2020 to Emmanuelle Charpentier from the Max Planck Unit for the Science of Pathogens, Berlin, Germany, and Jennifer A. Doudna from the University of California, Berkeley, USA, “for the development of a method for genome editing”, more commonly known as the 'gene scissors' CRISPR/Cas9.

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Video • For breakthroughs against Hepatitis C

Nobel Prize in Medicine goes to Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles M. Rice

The 2020 Nobel Prize in Medicine is awarded to three scientists who have made a decisive contribution to the fight against blood-borne hepatitis, a major global health problem that causes cirrhosis and liver cancer in people around the world. Harvey J. Alter, Michael Houghton and Charles M. Rice made seminal discoveries that led to the identification of a novel virus, Hepatitis C virus.

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News • DNA analysis platform

Performing whole genome data analysis in just a few hours

Research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies, imec, announced elPrep5, the newest version of its software platform for DNA analysis. Obtaining identical results, elPrep5 is eight to 16 times faster than the genome analysis toolkit (GATK) — the widely-accepted standard reference. The imec platform encompasses the full analysis pipeline from data preparation to variant…

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News • Silent alarm

‘Silent’ COVID-19 patients may still act as a spreader, warn experts

People with ‘silent’ COVID-19 infection have as much coronavirus in their noses and throats as those with symptoms, reveals research published online in the journal Thorax. Given how many of these people there are---a fifth of those infected, the study findings show--they may have a key role in driving the spread of COVID-19, warn the researchers, who go on to suggest that this warrants…

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News • Pregnancy risk

Coronavirus could infect embryos as early as the first trimester

Genes that are thought to play a role in how the SARS-CoV-2 virus infects our cells have been found to be active in embryos as early as during the second week of pregnancy, say scientists at the University of Cambridge and the California Institute of Technology (Caltech). The researchers say this could mean embryos are susceptible to COVID-19 if the mother gets sick, potentially affecting the…

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News • G-quadruplexes

Quadruple DNA structures in breast cancer found

Four stranded DNA structures – known as G-quadruplexes – have been shown to play a role in certain types of breast cancer for the first time, providing a potential new target for personalised medicine, say scientists at the University of Cambridge. In 1953, Cambridge researchers Francis Crick and James Watson co-authored a study published in the journal Nature which showed that DNA in our…

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News • Ophthalmology

Nanoparticles for gene therapy cure eye diseases

Johns Hopkins scientists report the successful use of nanoparticles to deliver gene therapy for blinding eye disease. A uniquely engineered large molecule allows researchers to compact large bundles of therapeutic DNA to be delivered into the cells of the eye.

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News • Lesion segregation

Explaining the extreme complexity of mutations in tumor genomes

Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and the Universities of Cambridge and Edinburgh have been studying the evolution of tumors following chemical damage. They discovered that the DNA lesions caused by the chemical are not eliminated immediately, but are passed on unrepaired over several rounds of cell division. This "lesion segregation" can drive unexpectedly…

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News • Viral on­co­logy

Kaposi Sarcoma: Answers to a longstanding enigma

The oncogenic herpesvirus (HHV8 or KSHV) causes a cancer known as Kaposi’s Sarcoma. An international team of scientists led by the University of Helsinki has discovered key factors that control the genome maintenance and replication of a virus responsible for lymphatic vascular cancer. Kaposi Sarcoma (KS) is the most common cancer among Aids patients and it is often seen in sub Saharan and…

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News • Reversing incurable cause for blindness

Macular degeneration: Gene therapy restores vision

Macular degeneration is one of the major reasons for visual impairment, round the globe, close to 200 million people are affected. It damages the photoreceptors in the retina, which lose their sensitivity to light. This can lead to impaired vision or even complete blindness. Scientists at the Institute of Molecular and Clinical Ophthalmology Basel (IOB) together with colleagues from the German…

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News • Sample analysis

Next-generation analytical lab software strengthens data exploration

Scientists in the life sciences can now benefit from upgrades to a suite of analytical software solutions with new features designed to enhance productivity, confidence and accuracy in numerous fields, including proteomics, food safety and biotherapeutic drug development. The latest suite of software strengthens laboratory workflows across a range of applications through expanded capabilities,…

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News • Cancer research

Lymph node analysis to hunt down metastases

What makes tumor cells turn murderous? The Fraunhofer Institute for Toxicology and Experimental Medicine ITEM is investigating the mechanisms of metastasis formation – and searching for approaches for new treatments in the fight against cancer. Among other things, the research team at Fraunhofer ITEM has developed a method that enables them to analyze entire lymph nodes.

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News • New gene therapy approach

Tumor-tropic technology for targeted cancer therapy

Toshiba Corporation and a team led by Professor Yozo Nakazawa at the Department of Pediatrics, Shinshu University, have together developed a “tumor-tropic liposome technology” for gene therapy. The technology uses unique, nano-sized biodegradable liposomes developed by Toshiba to accurately and efficiently deliver therapeutic genes to targeted cancer cells, and achieves safer gene delivery…

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News • Cell division

Researchers find protein that helps cancer cells to survive

In a new study, researchers from the University of Copenhagen have discovered two important functions of a protein called RTEL1 during cell division. The researchers hope that the new knowledge will help to find new cancer treatments. One of the body's most important processes is cell division, which occurs throughout life. Normal cells only have a limited number of divisions, while in cancer…

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News • Adapt and overcome

Coronavirus evolving: How SARS-CoV-2 mutations could delay vaccine development

A new analysis of the worldwide effort to sequence the coronavirus genome has revealed the scale of the genetic changes that are occurring in the virus known as SARS-CoV-2, as it spreads across the world. These changes have important implications for molecular diagnostics and potentially vaccine success. Led by the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, the research identified several…

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Article • A more integrative approach to digital pathology

imCMS: The door to simple, cheap, reliable bio-stratification

Bringing molecular and digital pathology closer together through a more integrative approach can lead to clear advantages for diagnostic and research workflows. During the recent Digital Pathology and AI Congress (London), Professor Viktor Koelzer explored the benefits and paid particular attention to colorectal cancer (CRC).

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News • Molecular electronics

Biosensor chips for infection surveillance and more

Roswell Biotechnologies, Inc., a manufacturer of molecular electronics sensor chips, and imec, a research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies, announced a partnership to develop the first commercially available molecular electronics biosensor chips. These chips are the brains behind Roswell Technologies' new platform for DNA sequencing, to support precision medicine,…

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Video • Going viral

Coronavirus clone produced in the lab

Researchers in virology and veterinary bacteriology at the University of Bern have cloned the novel coronavirus (SARS-CoV-2). The synthetic clones are being used by research groups worldwide to test corona samples, find antiviral drugs and develop vaccines as quickly as possible. The method developed in Bern can also be used in future to combat other highly infectious viruses. In the…

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News • Coronavirus origins

Researchers crack COVID-19 genome signature

Using machine learning, a team of Western computer scientists and biologists have identified an underlying genomic signature for 29 different COVID-19 DNA sequences. This new data discovery tool will allow researchers to quickly and easily classify a deadly virus like COVID-19 in just minutes – a process and pace of high importance for strategic planning and mobilizing medical needs during a…

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News • COVID incidence at airports and in hospitals

Biosensor to detect coronavirus in crowded places

A team of researchers from Empa, ETH Zurich and Zurich University Hospital has succeeded in developing a novel sensor for detecting the new coronavirus. In future it could be used to measure the concentration of the virus in the environment - for example in places where there are many people or in hospital ventilation systems. Jing Wang and his team at Empa and ETH Zurich usually work on…

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News • Amyloid beta regulation

CRISPR helps identify potential Alzheimer's-related protein

Experts at the University of Tokyo have identified a new protein in the pathway that leads to Alzheimer’s disease. Researchers used the “molecular scissors” of CRISPR/Cas9 to search for new genes related to the neurodegenerative disease. The exact causes of Alzheimer’s disease remain unknown, but one of the most well- supported theories focuses on a protein called amyloid beta.…

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News • Medulloblastoma

New insights into deadly brain tumours in children

The causes of 40 percent of all cases of certain medulloblastoma – dangerous brain tumors affecting children – are hereditary. A genetic defect that occurs in 15 percent of these children plays a key role by destabilizing the production and breakdown of proteins. The researchers suspect that protein metabolism defects could be a previously underestimated cause of other types of cancer.

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News • Oncology breakthrough

Blood test detects 50+ cancer types, often before symptoms show

Researchers have developed the first blood test that can accurately detect more than 50 types of cancer and identify in which tissue the cancer originated, often before there are any clinical signs or symptoms of the disease. In a paper published in the leading cancer journal Annals of Oncology, the researchers show that the test, which could eventually be used in national cancer screening…

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News • Study offers new insights

Sepsis treatment: Destroying DNA to save the genome

Sepsis—the body's own immune response gone against it—is a major health problem worldwide. It is basically a "hyper" immune response by the body to infection or injury, and is characterized by hyperinflammation, immune system paralysis, cell death, liver and kidney failure, blood clots, and even hemorrhage. An estimated 30 million people suffer from sepsis every year, of which 20%…

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News • Microbiological big data analysis

Building a 'Microbiome Search Engine'

Big data makes big promises when it comes to providing insights into human behavior and health. The problem is how to harness the information it provides in an efficient manner. An international team of researchers has proposed a microbiome search-based method, via Microbiome Search Engine (MSE), to analyze the wealth of available health data to detect and diagnose human diseases. They published…

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News • COVID-19 status

Whole genome sequencing to map coronavirus spread

The Government and the UK’s Chief Scientific Adviser have backed the UK’s leading clinicians and scientists to map how COVID-19 spreads and behaves by using whole genome sequencing. Through a £20 million investment, the consortium will look for breakthroughs that help the UK respond to this and future pandemics, and save lives. COVID-19 Genomics UK Consortium - comprised of the NHS, Public…

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News • Susceptibility to future drugs

Exploiting the carelessness of cancer cells

Could the ability of cancer cells to quickly alter their genome be used as a weapon against malignant tumours? Researchers at Uppsala University have succeeded in developing a substance that has demonstrated promising results in experiments on both animal models and human cancer cells. The study is published in the journal Nature Communications.

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Article • On the way to diagnostic mainstream

Liquid biopsy to advance cancer diagnosis

Liquid biopsy offers a new dimension to detection and stratification of cancer – yet the technique also faces hurdles in becoming a mainstream diagnostic approach for more personalised treatments. A critical challenge lies in identifying the extremely low concentrations of the bio-analytes of CTC (circulating tumour cells), ctDNA (circulating tumour DNA) and exosomes in the blood.

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News • Outbreak

A genome browser posts the coronavirus genome

Research into the novel Wuhan seafood market pneumonia virus, the deadly "coronavirus" that has forced the Chinese government to quarantine more than 50 million people in the country's dense industrial heartland, will be facilitated by the UC Santa Cruz Genomics Institute. The Genomics Institute's Genome Browser team has posted the complete biomolecular code of the virus for researchers…

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News • Genomic insights into 2019-nCoV

New coronavirus: largest meta-analysis yet answers important questions

Scientists at the University of Bologna have conducted the largest analysis of coronavirus 2019-nCoV genomes sequenced so far. This analysis confirms that the virus originates in bats and shows a low variability: the virus heterogeneity is low. At the same time, researchers identified a hyper-variable genomic hotspot in the proteins of the virus responsible for the existence of two virus…

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News • Functional extracellular mitochondria

Surprising discovery of a new blood component

Does the blood we thought to know so well contain elements that had been undetectable until now? The answer is yes, according to a team of researchers. The scientistts from Inserm, Université de Montpellier and the Montpellier Cancer Institute (ICM) working at the Montpellier Cancer Research Institute (IRCM), have revealed the presence of whole functional mitochondria in the blood circulation.…

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News • Whole-genome sequencing

First transmission of WGS data using quantum cryptography

Toshiba and the Tohoku University Medical Megabank Organisation (ToMMo) has succeeded in demonstrating the world’s first quantum cryptography transmission of whole-genome sequence data, with data volumes exceeding several hundred gigabytes. Since speeds for key distribution in quantum cryptographic communication technologies are currently about 10 Mbps at maximum, the speed at which data can be…

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News • Liquid hope

Probiotic drinks vs antibiotic resistance?

A probiotic drink could become a promising new weapon in the battle against antibiotic resistant bacteria, after a team of scientists at the University of Birmingham engineered and patented a key genetic element that can tackle the genetic basis of resistance. The team is now seeking funding for a clinical trial for the drink which has potential to work against many resistant bacteria commonly…

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News • Evonetix and imec team-up

Collaboration for next generation DNA synthesis platform

Evonetix, a synthetic biology company developing a desktop platform for scalable, high-fidelity and rapid gene synthesis, announced it has partnered with imec, a world-leading research and innovation hub active in the fields of nanoelectronics and digital technologies, to increase production of Evonetix’s proprietary microelectromechanical systems (MEMS)-based silicon chips, enabling the…

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Article • Lab advances against doping

A powerful tool for sports drug testing

Due to the scientific and technical developments in recombinant DNA technology and protein engineering since the early 1980s, therapeutic proteins have emerged as one of the most important classes of new pharmaceuticals. Currently, more than 200 protein and peptide based drugs have gained approval by the USA’s Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and many more are under preclinical or clinical…

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News • Multiple myeloma therapy

Finding a formula for blood cancer vaccine

Researchers at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai have discovered a way to move precision immunotherapy forward by using genomics to inform immunotherapy for multiple myeloma, a blood cancer, according to a study published in Clinical Cancer Research, a journal of the American Association for Cancer Research, in December. This is the first study to experimentally determine which…

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News • Acoustofluidics

Saliva test to detect mouth and throat cancer earlier and easier

Unfortunately, cancers that occur in the back of the mouth and upper throat are often not diagnosed until they become advanced, partly because their location makes them difficult to see during routine clinical exams. A report in The Journal of Molecular Diagnostics describes the use of acoustofluidics, a new non-invasive method that analyzes saliva for the presence of human papilloma virus…

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News • Grant for AI and genomic analysis

AI help for better diagnosis and treatment of prostate cancer

Prostate cancer is the second cause of cancer-related death in men. Currently, its diagnosis occurs via imaging and must be confirmed by biopsy. Simona Turco from the Eindhoven University of Technology (TU/e) wants to improve prostate cancer diagnosis by using machine learning algorithms to localize tumors and thereby replace entirely the necessity for biopsies. Besides, by combining this with…

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News • Personalised prevention

‘Liquid health check’ could predict disease risk

Proteins in our blood could in future help provide a comprehensive ‘liquid health check’, assessing our health and predicting the likelihood that we will we will develop a range of diseases. Preventative medicine programmes such as the UK National Health Service’s Health Check and Healthier You programmes are aimed at improving our health and reducing our risk of developing diseases. While…

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News • Networking event

Future of Personalised Medicine Summit was a success

Next generation sequencing, big data, microeconomics and more: At the Future of Personalized Medicine (FOPM) Summit for Oncology in Munich, experts from the fields of Pharmaceutical, Biotechnology, Hospitals, and Academics came together to discuss the Future of Medicine. Group Futurista, the organizers of the 2-day networking event, are happy to announce that the summit was a huge success. Their…

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News • Biological aging

Wearables link insufficient sleep to cardiovascular disease risk

Getting a good night’s sleep is important and insufficient sleep has been linked to poor health in many studies. Analysing data collected from wearable trackers, researchers from the SingHealth Duke-NUS Institute of Precision Medicine (PRISM) and the National Heart Centre Singapore (NHCS) recently demonstrated that chronic sleep deprivation is associated with increased cardiovascular disease…

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News • Transporting DNA

An easier way of sneaking antibodies into cells

For almost any conceivable protein, corresponding antibodies can be developed to block it from binding or changing shape, which ultimately prevents it from carrying out its normal function. As such, scientists have looked to antibodies as a way of shutting down proteins inside cells for decades, but there is still no consistent way to get them past the cell membrane in meaningful numbers. Now,…

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News • Interactive CVD risk calculator

KardioKompassi: Individualised cardiac disease prevention with genomic data

With KardioKompassi, researchers from the University of Helsinki have developed an interactive web tool that aims to predict and prevent cardiovascular disease. The application for patients and doctors uses traditional health information combined with genome information, including 49,000 DNA variations associated with the disease. Using this data, the risk calculator evaluates the risk of cardiac…

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News • CYLD cutaneous syndrome

Breakthrough in understanding CCS skin disease

For the first time, scientists at Newcastle University have identified changes in the DNA of the tumour cells in those with CYLD cutaneous syndrome (CCS) that may help them grow. A study published in Nature Communications suggest that the tumour cells gain a ‘survival advantage’ when the changes occur – an important step in understanding ways to develop treatments. CCS is a hereditary…

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News • CRISPR 2.0

Is 'prime editing' the next step in gene editing?

A team from the Broad Institute of MIT and Harvard has developed a new CRISPR genome-editing approach by combining two of the most important proteins in molecular biology – CRISPR-Cas9 and a reverse transcriptase – into a single machine. The system, called “prime editing,” is capable of directly editing human cells in a precise, efficient, and highly versatile fashion. The approach…

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News • Inherited neuromuscular disease HSP

Genetic cause for hereditary spastic paraplegia identified

Scientists at St George’s, University of London, in collaboration with researchers from Germany, the USA, Tunisia and Iran have identified a new gene associated with the neuromuscular disorder, hereditary spastic paraplegia (HSP). The study, published in Nature Communications, also highlights a potential mechanism for the disease, which is already being targeted in drug trials for Alzheimer’s…

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News • Radiology research

Tuned X-rays for safer, more precise cancer radiation therapy

X-rays could be tuned to deliver a more effective punch that destroys cancer cells and not harm the body, researches from Kyoto University find. Gadolinium delivered into cancer cells releases killer electrons when hit by specially tuned X-rays. The approach, published in the journal Scientific Reports, could pave the way towards a new cancer radiation therapy. “Our method opens up the…

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News • New transfection approach

Immunotherapy: The 'FedEx and UPS equivalent of DNA delivery'

Immunotherapy is a promising cancer treatment that uses genetically modified immune cells to fight cancer. It can be used as a primary treatment or in combination with other treatments such as radiation and chemotherapy to slow down or stop the growth of cancer cells and prevent them from spreading to other parts of the body. Chimeric Antigen Receptor (CAR)-T cell therapy, for instance, is a…

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News • Respiratory failure and sepsis

Cheap, quick test identifies major risks for pneumonia patients

Spanish researchers in Valencia have identified specific fragments of genetic material that play a role in the development of respiratory failure and sepsis in pneumonia patients. Presenting the research at the European Respiratory Society International Congress, Dr Francisco Sanz said the findings could enable doctors to test quickly for these biological markers when a patient is admitted to…

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Article • The Estonian Genome Project

Everyone’s DNA recorded for disease risks

When it comes to genetics, Estonia is considered a trailblazer, as the ambitious Estonian Genome Project (Eesti Geenivaramu) shows. Its objective is to test the genome of every citizen for the risk of diseases. Dr Jaanus Pikani talks about the initial difficulties which the genome project encountered and about its potential for Estonian – and possibly worldwide – healthcare.

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News • A STAMP with high value

New tech makes biopsies less invasive, more informative

A team of researchers has developed a novel technology that could sensitively and accurately detect and classify cancer cells, as well as determine the disease aggressiveness from the least invasive biopsies. With this new technology called STAMP (Sequence-Topology Assembly for Multiplexed Profiling), comprehensive disease information can be obtained faster, at a much earlier stage of the…

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News • Microbiology

Resistance can spread without antibiotics use

Bacteria are becoming increasingly resistant to common antibiotics. Often, resistance is mediated by resistance genes, which can simply jump from one bacterial population to the next. It’s a common assumption that the resistance genes spread primarily when antibiotics are used, a rationale backed up by Darwin's theory: only in cases where antibiotics are actually being used does a resistant…

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News • Feasibility study

Liquid biopsy to complement early breast cancer screening

Investigators from the Biomedical Research Institute of Malaga [(IBIMA)-CIMES-UMA, Malaga Spain] and collaborators have published the first pilot study to examine the use of a non-invasive liquid biopsy in early diagnosis of breast cancer. This study was unique in that the ctDNA analyses was performed before any invasive diagnostic procedure or treatment. To achieve their goal, the researchers…

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News • Sexual orientation & DNA

A single 'gay gene'? Doesn't exist, says science

Genes alone cannot be used to determine an individual’s sexual orientation. A study published in the journal Science found only five out of hundreds of thousands genetic variants occurred somewhat more often in people who had had same-sex partners. This suggests human sexuality is influenced by a complex mix of genetic and environmental factors, according to the researchers. The study is based…

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News • Gene editing

Taking CRISPR one step further

Researchers at ETH Zurich have refined the famous CRISPR-Cas method. Now, for the very first time, it is possible to modify dozens, if not hundreds, of genes in a cell simultaneously. The biotechnological method CRISPR-Cas offers a relatively quick and easy way to manipulate single genes in cells, meaning they can be precisely deleted, replaced or modified. Furthermore, in recent years,…

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News • Fixed DNA Molecule Array

World’s fastest DNA testing method created

A group of scientists from Vilnius University have developed the world’s fastest DNA testing method, reducing DNA testing costs by 90%. It identifies changes in chromosomes, genes, or proteins to determine a genetic condition or eliminate the chance of the formation or passing on of a gene-based disorder amongst humans and animals. At present, the sole method of genetic testing is the DNA…

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News • Pathogenic microbes

Cigarette smoke makes MRSA superbug bacterium more drug-resistant

Cigarette smoke can make MRSA bacterial strains more resistant to antibiotics, new research from the University of Bath has shown. In addition cigarette smoke exposure can make some strains of Staphylococcus aureus – a microbe present in 30-60% of the global population and responsible for many diseases, some fatal – more invasive and persistent, although the effect is not universal across all…

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News • Bacterial virus

Machine learning detects inuviruses

A team led by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) Joint Genome Institute (JGI) developed an algorithm that a computer could use to conduct a similar type of search in microbial and metagenomic databases. In this case, the machine “learned” to identify a certain type of bacterial viruses or phages called inoviruses, which are filamentous viruses with small, single-stranded DNA…

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News • Collaboration

Partnership to enhance pharma drug development and single cell research

Olympus and Cytosurge AG, developer of the disruptive and patented FluidFM technology, announced their collaboration to significantly expand the awareness and availability of the FluidFM BOT* – a cutting-edge system for single cell manipulation and live cell imaging – in Europe, the Middle East and Africa (EMEA). By pooling together each other’s world-class competences and by listening to…

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News • Ovarian and breast cancer

New insights into BRCA1 gene functions

Research led by the University of Birmingham has found important new ways that the BRCA1 gene functions which could help develop our understanding of the development of ovarian and breast cancers. The research, published in Nature, was led by experts at the University of Birmingham’s Birmingham Centre for Genome Biology and Institute of Cancer and Genomic Sciences and is part of a five-year…

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News • In future pregnancies

Identifying the risk of recurrence of developmental disorder

Having a child with a developmental disorder can cause parents to worry about the outcome of further pregnancies. In cases where the genetic mutation causing the disorder is not present in either parent it is assumed to be a one-off event with a very small chance of recurrence. But in some families, the risk of having another affected child is as high as 50%. Identifying such high-risk families…

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News • Common DNA structure

Nano-signature discovery could revolutionise cancer diagnosis

A quick and easy test to detect cancer from blood or biopsy tissue could eventually result in a new approach to patient diagnosis. The test has been developed by University of Queensland researchers Dr Abu Sina, Dr Laura Carrascosa and Professor Matt Trau, who have discovered a unique DNA nanostructure that appears to be common to all cancers. Cancer is an extremely complicated and variable…

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Sponsored • Spectrophotometry

1 measurement, 1000 different results

Of course every lab needs a spectrophotometer to measure its DNA, RNA or protein concentrations. In most cases, this is a small and easy-to-use instrument. Normally you pipette approximately 1 µl of your liquid onto a pedestal, close the lid to cover your drop of liquid and, after pressing the measuring button, you will know the concentration of your sample. Since the procedure is so simple and…

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News • ctDNA vs. HGSOC

Taking 'molecular snapshots' of ovarian cancer

High-grade serous ovarian cancer (HGSOC) is the most common and aggressive subtype of ovarian cancer. The HGSOC tumors consist of several heterogeneous cell populations with a large number of mutations. This genetic variability makes it difficult to find drugs that would kill all the cancer cells, and to which the cells would not become resistant during treatment. Over half of the patients…

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News • Dementia pathway

Is LATE the new Alzheimer’s?

A recently recognized brain disorder that mimics clinical features of Alzheimer’s disease has for the first time been defined with recommended diagnostic criteria and other guidelines for advancing and catalyzing future research. Scientists from several National Institutes of Health-funded institutions, in collaboration with international peers, described the newly-named pathway to dementia,…

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News • Survival of the fittest

How bacteria can adapt to resist antibiotic treatment

In a joint collaboration, researchers from Denmark and Switzerland have shown that bacteria produce a specific stress molecule, divide more slowly, and thus save energy when they are exposed to antibiotics. The new knowledge is expected to form the basis for development of a new type of antibiotics. All free-living organisms are under constant pressure to survive. Darwin dubbed this…

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Video • Personalized treatment

Genome analytics become affordable for daily hospital use

Today, on the occasion of the international DNA day, imec, a world-leading research and innovation hub in nanoelectronics and digital technologies, and its partners revealed their Genome Analytics Platform (GAP) platform, a unique platform that can perform a full genome analysis of 48 samples in only 48 hours and at an acceptable cost. The platform paves the way to genome sequencing as a daily…

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News • Targeted treatment

Cancer: Blood sample to help select the right early phase clinical trials

Scientists could help match cancer patients with no other treatment options to clinical trials with experimental medicines, by analysing the genetic faults in a sample of their blood. The researchers, funded by Cancer Research UK, The Christie Charity, AstraZeneca and the NIHR Manchester Biomedical Research Centre (BRC), demonstrated in their feasibility study that a blood test can be carried out…

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News • Two years earlier

Breast cancer: blood test could detecting relapse earlier

Research has revealed that a new blood test is able to detect disease relapse up to two years earlier than imaging in patients with early-stage breast cancer. The research, carried out by the University of Leicester and Imperial College London and funded by Cancer Research UK, showed that the blood test was able to detect 89 per cent of all relapses, on average 8.9 months quicker than imaging.

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News • Encyclopaedia

'Fingerprint database' helps to identify new cancer culprits

Scientists from King's and Cambridge have developed a catalogue of DNA mutation ‘fingerprints’ that could help doctors pinpoint the environmental culprit responsible for a patient’s tumour – including showing some of the fingerprints left in lung tumours by specific chemicals found in tobacco smoke. Our DNA, the human genome, comprises of a string of molecules known as nucleotides. These…

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News • A new weapon against antibiotic resistance

Programming a hunter/killer toxin

When the first antibiotics were discovered in the early 20th century, the rate of death from infectious diseases fell dramatically. But the emergence of multidrug-resistant bacteria as a result of antibiotic misuse is raising fears that by 2050, these same diseases will once again become the leading cause of death worldwide. In a bid to boost the arsenal available to tackle this threat,…

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News • Building a risk profile

Audiologists seek genetic link to tinnitus

Tinnitus, more commonly known as ringing in the ears, is a serious audiological and neurological condition affecting nearly 50 million Americans. Noise and music exposure are the predominant environmental risk factors for tinnitus. There is no known cure, and there are no FDA-approved medications developed specifically to treat it. The fact is, tinnitus is very common but not well understood. A…

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News • Gene editing

DNA “shredder”: a different kind of CRISPR

In the last six years, a tool called CRISPR-Cas9 has transformed genetic research, allowing scientists to snip and edit DNA strands at precise locations like a pair of tiny scissors. But sometimes, it takes more than scissors to do the job. Now, a collaborative international team has unveiled a new CRISPR-based tool that acts more like a shredder, able to wipe out long stretches of DNA in human…

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News • Rare bone cancer

Targeted approach to therapy for chordomas

Chordomas are rare bone tumors for which only few options of treatment exist. Scientists and doctors from the National Center for Tumor Diseases (NCT), the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), and Heidelberg University Hospital (UKHD) have discovered a particular genetic trait of chordomas in advanced stages after conducting gene analysis. Their findings, published in the journal Nature…

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News • Virology

Trapping viruses inside a cell: harmful or helpful?

Viruses are often used as vehicles for delivery in gene therapy because they’re engineered not to damage the cell once they get there, but neglecting to consider how the virus will exit the cell could have consequences. Some viruses use a molecule called heparan sulfate to help them attach to cells. The molecule, found in many different kinds of cells (including those from animal tissue), could…

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News • Histones & protamines

Infertility's roots may lie in our DNA

Pathological infertility is a condition affecting roughly 7% of human males, and among those afflicted, 10-15% are thought to have a genetic cause. However, pinpointing the precise genes responsible for the condition has been difficult, due to the extensive number involved in generating and developing sperm cells. In a new paper appearing in Science Signaling, a Japanese team reports unravelling…

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News • PARG inhibitors

New class of drugs could treat ovarian cancer

A team of researchers across The University of Manchester have shown that a new class of drugs are able to stop ovarian cancer cells growing. The Cancer Research UK and Wellcome Trust funded study, published in the journal Cancer Cell, showed that the drugs, called PARG inhibitors, can kill ovarian cancer cells by targeting weaknesses within their ability to copy their DNA. The first-in-class…

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News • Microbiome

Examining the "forgotten organ"

Shahid Umar, PhD, researcher with The University of Kansas Cancer Center, has dedicated two decades of his scientific exploration to better grasp the connection between colon cancer and the human microbiome. Called the “forgotten organ,” the microbiome comprises trillions and trillions of microbes, including bacteria, fungi and viruses, in our body.

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News • Glioblastoma

Researchers block protein to stop brain tumors' self-repair

Researchers at the San Diego branch of the Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research at University of California San Diego, with colleagues around the country, report that inhibiting activity of a specific protein in glioblastomas (GBM) boosts their sensitivity to radiation, thus improving treatment prospects for one of the most common and aggressive forms of brain cancer. The findings are published…

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News • Antibiotic resistance

Antibacterial chemicals in consumer products backfire

Grocery store aisles are stocked with products that promise to kill bacteria. People snap up those items to protect themselves from the germs that make them sick. However, new research from Washington University in St. Louis finds that a chemical that is supposed to kill bacteria is actually making them stronger and more capable of surviving antibiotic treatment. The study, available online in…

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News • Aggressive brain tumors

Progress in the treatment of glioblastoma

Cancer researchers at the University of Bonn have reported significant progress in the treatment of glioblastoma. About one third of all patients suffer from a particular variant of this most common and aggressive brain tumor. Survival of these patients treated with the new combination therapy increased on average by nearly half compared to patients who received the standard therapy.

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Article • Therapeutic progress

Cancer: riding the wave of innovation

In haematology and medical oncology, there is always something new. However, the increasing stratification of cancer therapies presents an enormous challenge for clinical research. Tumour cells – those altered genetically by mutation and thus ought to be recognised by the immune system and destroyed – manage to apply diverse molecular tricks to avoid attack by the immune system. Thus, they…

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News • Multiple sclerosis

Old cells repair damage in the brains of MS patients

A new study shows that there is a very limited regeneration of cells in the brain of patients diagnosed with multiple sclerosis (MS). These findings underline the importance of treating MS at an early stage of the disease progression, when the affected cells can repair the damage as they are not replaced by new ones. The results are published in the journal Nature by researchers from Karolinska…

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News • Dormant virus

Finding 'hidden' HIV in cells

Until now, researchers haven’t been able to accurately quantify a latent form of HIV that persists in patients’ immune cells. A new genetic technique is fast and 10 to 100 times more accurate than previous diagnostics. This hidden, inactive version of HIV embeds into cells’ genomes and can persist despite otherwise successful therapies – thwarting attempts to cure the infection. Using a…

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News • Craving for alcohol

Heavy drinking may seriously mess up your DNA

Binge and heavy drinking may trigger a long-lasting genetic change, resulting in an even greater craving for alcohol, according to a Rutgers-led study in the journal Alcoholism: Clinical & Experimental Research. “We found that people who drink heavily may be changing their DNA in a way that makes them crave alcohol even more,” said Distinguished Professor Dipak K. Sarkar, senior author of…

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News • Pediatrics

Predicting the aneurysm risk for kids with Kawasaki disease

When Olivia Nelson was 3 years old, her parents noticed that she had a fever that wouldn’t get better. They brought her to a nearby hospital, where she spent about two weeks being screened for diseases. As doctors tried to find a diagnosis, a lymph node on Olivia’s neck became swollen. Alarmed and wanting an answer, the Nelsons asked to transfer to Seattle Children’s. “It was very…

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News • Hot helper

Can oolong tea prevent breast cancer?

In a recent study published in the journal Anticancer Research, Saint Louis University scientists, together with a visiting scientist from Fujian Medical University in China, have discovered evidence that oolong tea can lead to DNA damage of breast cancer cells and inhibit the growth and progression of tumors in the lab, potentially offering a non-toxic strategy to prevent breast cancer. The…

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News • Cellular recycling

Can autophagy stop cancer before it starts?

Just as plastic tips protect the ends of shoelaces and keep them from fraying when we tie them, molecular tips called telomeres protect the ends of chromosomes and keep them from fusing when cells continually divide and duplicate their DNA. But while losing the plastic tips may lead to messy laces, telomere loss may lead to cancer. Salk Institute scientists studying the relationship of telomeres…

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News • Precancerous lesions

Lung cancer: early detection with molecular profiling

Before lung cancer develops, precancerous lesions are found in the airway, but only half of these will actually become lung cancer, while others will disappear or remain benign without becoming harmful. Under the microscope, the lesions look the same, making it difficult to know which lesions to treat. In this study, published in Nature Medicine, researchers have for the first time, discovered…

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News • Precision medicine

Europe looks to cells for a healthier future

How can we detect the first signs of disease as early as possible? Could closer investigation at the cellular level help to quickly prevent disease progression through appropriate treatment? The European Union is now investing a million euros over a one-year period to devise the plan for a fundamentally new approach to understanding the constant changes within cells and their relationships to one…

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News • DMD & rhabdomyosarcoma

Duchenne muscular dystrophy: Muscle stem cells can drive cancer

People with Duchenne muscular dystrophy (DMD) can develop an otherwise-rare muscle cancer, called rhabdomyosarcoma, due to the muscle cells’ continuous work to rebuild the damaged tissue. However, little is known about how the cancer arises, hindering development of a treatment or test that could predict cancer risk. Now, scientists from Sanford Burnham Prebys Medical Discovery Institute (SBP)…

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News • Diagnostics

Heat it and read it

You’re sweating and feverish and have no idea why. Fortunately, Sandia National Laboratories scientists have built a device that can pinpoint what’s wrong in less than an hour. Unlike most medical diagnostic devices which can perform only one type of test — either protein or nucleic acid tests — Sandia’s SpinDx can now perform both. This allows it to identify nearly any cause of…

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Interview • Between man and molecule

The hunt for genetic risk factors

Professor Christoph M Friedrich researches the interface between man and molecule. Born in Westphalia, Germany, the professor for biomedical computer science at Dortmund University of Applied Sciences recently took up an additional role at the Institute for Medical Informatics, Biometrics and Epidemiology (IMIBE) in Essen University Hospital. In 2013, the cooperation between the two institutions…

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Video • Controversial research

HIV and gene editing: beware of the butterfly effect, cautions expert

The claim of a chinese professor has caused quite a controversy: He Jiankui announced that he successfully modified human DNA to prevent two girls from contracting HIV. Upon the leak of this research, ethicists and scientists alike condemned Jiankui's gene editing in humans. West Virginia University Vice President and Executive Dean for Health Sciences Dr. Clay Marsh says that although “a lot…

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News • Deadly DNA

Suicide: Is it in our genes?

Suicide is the 10th leading cause of death in the United States, claiming more than 44,000 people in the country every year, similar to the number of deaths caused by the opioid epidemic. Previous studies show that suicide tracks in families independent of the effects from a shared environment. Researchers at the University of Utah Health are using resources unique to the state to identify…

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Article • Interdisciplinary

Exploring the human microbiome

During the International Forum for Laboratory Medicine, one seminar focused on infectious diseases. Professor André Gessner, from the Medical Microbiology and Hygiene Department at Regensburg University, lectured on ‘The human microbiome, an explosive ‘climate’ topic,’ he explained.

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Sponsored • Real walkaway automation

The all-in-one molecular laboratory system

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News • Open source

Machine Learning tool could help choose cancer drugs

The selection of a first-line chemotherapy drug to treat many types of cancer is often a clear-cut decision governed by standard-of-care protocols, but what drug should be used next if the first one fails? That’s where Georgia Institute of Technology researchers believe their new open source decision support tool could come in. Using machine learning to analyze RNA expression tied to…

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News • Hypotrichosis

Hair loss? This gene might be to blame

Hypotrichosis simplex leads to progressive hair loss already in childhood. A team of researchers led by human geneticists at the University Hospital of Bonn has now deciphered a new gene that is responsible for this rare form of hair loss. Changes in the LSS gene lead to impairment of an important enzyme that has a crucial function in cholesterol metabolism. The scientists now present their…

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Article • Cancer management

The enormous potential of liquid biopsy

It is non-invasive, delivers a chance of early diagnosis, prognostic information and sequential monitoring, and, believes Professor Francesco Salvatore, the enormous potential of liquid biopsies has still to be reached. However, the positive results obtained so far have ‘opened the door to a promising new multi-faceted group of tumour markers, at present collectively designated “liquid…

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News • It's all connected

Understanding the "wiring diagrams" of genes in complex tissues

How is the activity of all genes in cells of higher organisms interconnected? And how are the genetic "wiring diagrams" of the cells in complex tissues coordinated with each other? Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ), the European Molecular Biology Laboratory and the University of Heidelberg are now planning to investigate this in two model organisms, Drosophila and…

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News • Tick-borne infection

New techniques detects Lyme disease weeks before current tests

Researchers have developed techniques to detect Lyme disease bacteria weeks sooner than current tests, allowing patients to start treatment earlier. The new techniques can detect an active infection with the Lyme bacteria faster than the three weeks it takes for the current indirect antibody-based tests, which have been a standard since 1994. Another advantage of the new tests is that a positive…

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Article • The revolution escalates

AI image analysis: Opportunity or threat?

'Image Computing, including image analysis, artificial intelligence, artificial neural networks und deep learning, is starting a revolution,’ says Dr Paul Suetens, professor of Medical Imaging and Image Processing at University Hospital Leuven. Artificial Intelligence (AI) is not new – research in this field was carried out as far back as the 1950s – but, whilst in the early days AI learnt…

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News • Myelodysplastic syndrome

Genetic testing helps predict disease recurrence

A DNA-based analysis of blood cells soon after a stem cell transplant can predict likelihood of disease recurrence in patients with myelodysplastic syndrome (MDS), a group of cancerous disorders characterized by dysfunctional blood cells. Such a practice could help doctors identify patients at high risk of disease recurrence early after a transplant and help guide treatment decisions.

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News • Oncology

Discovering cancer cell mutations with optimized technologies

Cancer cells often have mutations in their DNA that can give scientists clues about how the cancer started or which treatment may be most effective. Finding these mutations can be difficult, but a new method may offer more complete, comprehensive results. A team of researchers has developed a new framework that can combine three existing methods of finding these large mutations - or structural…

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Article • Weak heart

The many causes of dilated cardiomyopathy

A major study has been launched to investigate the interaction between genes and lifestyle factors and dilated cardiomyopathy (DCM). Led by Professor Stuart Cook, at the National Heart and Lung Institute, this, the largest ever DCM study, will investigate why people develop DCM, with a focus on who is most at risk of sudden death or heart failure (HF). Six hospital trusts across England –…

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News • AACC Disruptive Technology Award

Developers take diagnostics to the patient

Over the last several years, technological advancements have enabled the development of tests that can be performed right where the patient is, whether that’s in a hospital room, primary care office, or community health center. This is a paradigm shift in healthcare delivery that will make it easier for patients to get accurate diagnoses and treatment, and could especially benefit patients in…

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News • Tumor research

Growing brain cancer in a dish

Austrian researchers have accomplished an astounding feat: They created organoids that mimic the onset of brain cancer. This method not only sheds light on the complex biology of human brain tumors but could also pave the way for new medical applications.

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News • Acute myeloid leukaemia

Researchers draw AML ‘family trees’ in patients treated with enasidenib

For the first time, a team of international researchers have mapped the family trees of cancer cells in acute myeloid leukaemia (AML) to understand how this blood cancer responds to a new drug, enasidenib. The work also explains what happens when a patient stops responding to the treatment, providing important clues about how to combine enasidenib with other anti-cancer drugs to produce…

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News • Single nucleotide polymorphism

Biosensor chip detects genetic mutation with higher sensitivity

A team led by the University of California San Diego has developed a chip that can detect a type of genetic mutation known as a single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) and send the results in real time to a smartphone, computer, or other electronic device. The chip is at least 1,000 times more sensitive at detecting an SNP than current technology. The advance could lead to cheaper, faster and…

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Article • Heard at the EBCC11

Identifying circulating tumour cells with liquid biopsy

Liquid biopsies can increasingly help diagnose and monitor breast cancer, and tracking circulating tumour cells (CTC) in metastatic patients could prove effective in these applications and treatment planning. Efforts are currently underway to demonstrate CTC clinical use and much can be learned from completed studies in prostate cancer, speaker Michail Ignatiadis MD PhD highlighted in a dedicated…

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Article • Questioning the Genetic Diagnostics Act

Self-help healthcare or face a penalty?

The fact that genetic research can reveal hereditary diseases has been transferred to medical practice for some time and, since 2010, the Gene Diagnostics Act (GenDG) has regulated permissible DNA tests in medical diagnostics and pedigree in Germany. The procedure has great potential, says Professor Jochen Taupitz - but also great risks are associated with it.

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News • Live long and prosper

Key molecule of aging discovered

Every cell and every organism ages sooner or later. But why is this so? Scientists at the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg have now discovered for the first time a protein that represents a central switching point in the aging process. It controls the life span of an individual - from the fly to the human being. This opens up new possibilities for developing therapies against…

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News • Faster diagnosis, reduced cost

The impact of whole genome sequencing on newborn babys in ICU

Early whole genome sequencing might bring hope for children who are born severely ill or who develop serious illness in the first few weeks of their life. Because these children are often difficult to diagnose, detection of diseases has considerable implications for their short and longer-term care. At the annual conference of the European Society of Human Genetics (ESHG) in Milan, Italy, the…

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News • Sepsis treatment

Bedside testing can prevent antibiotic-induced hearing loss in new-borns

More than a million neonatal deaths worldwide each year are estimated to be due to sepsis. In the UK there are approximately 90,000 admissions to neonatal intensive care units per year. Nearly all these patients receive antibiotic therapy during their hospital stay, but babies with a specific genetic change can suffer irreversible hearing loss as a result. Now, in a collaboration between…

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News • When the phosphate decides...

Defense against viruses or autoimmune disorder?

The first defense line of the body against virus infections is composed of so-called restriction factors. SAMHD1, one of such restriction factors, does not only play a role in the defense against viruses but also in the development of autoimmune disorders and cancer. The question of which effect SAMHD1 exertsin the cell is decided by addition or removal of phosphate groups.

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News • Analyzing free-floating DNA

Blood test shows potential for early detection of lung cancer

A test that analyzes free-floating DNA in the blood may be able to detect early-stage lung cancer, a preliminary report from the ongoing Circulating Cell-Free Genome Atlas (CCGA) study suggests. Lead study author Geoffrey R. Oxnard, MD, of Dana-Farber Cancer Institute: “There is an unmet need globally for early-detection tests for lung cancer that can be easily implemented by health-care…

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Video • Mystic reptile

This green-blooded lizard could help fight malaria

Green blood is one of the most unusual characteristics in the animal kingdom, but it's the hallmark of a group of lizards in New Guinea. Prasinohaema are green-blooded skinks, or a type of lizard. The muscles, bones and tongues of these lizards appear bright, lime-green due to high levels of biliverdin, or a green bile pigment, which is toxic and causes jaundice. Surprisingly, these lizards…

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News • New study

Pancreatic cancer: Chemotherapy goes platinum

A small study of adults with the most common form of pancreatic cancer adds to evidence that patients with BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations long linked to a high risk of breast cancer have poorer overall survival rates than those without the mutations. The same study also found that those with BRCA1 or BRCA2 had better survival rates with platinum-based chemotherapy, compared with similar patients…

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News • Small pill, great impact

Antibiotic resistance can be caused by small amounts of antibiotics

Antibiotic-resistant bacteria are a global and growing problem in health care. To be able to prevent further development of resistance developing, it is important to understand where and how antibiotic resistance in bacteria arises. New research from Uppsala University shows that low concentrations of antibiotics, too, can cause high antibiotic resistance to develop in bacteria. In the present…

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News • Music for life

Massive Attack to last forever – in DNA form

The digital audio of an entire music album is to be stored in the form of genetic information for the first time, using technology developed at ETH Zurich. Coded in DNA molecules and poured into tiny glass beads, an album by Massive Attack will be preserved – practically for eternity. The British band Massive Attack are considered pioneers of trip hop, an atmospheric style of electronic music…

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Sponsored • Innovation

A real time saver at the highest level of molecular diagnostics – the eazyplex® platform!

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News • Innovation

Siemens Healthineers debuts new thermocycler and AI-powered interpretation software

At the 28th European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases (ECCMID 2018), Fast Track Diagnostics, a Siemens Healthineers company, launches a new molecular thermocycler, the Fast Track cycler, and the complementary new FastFinder software. The Fast Track cycler is a compact platform that enables laboratories of all sizes to implement molecular testing with simplicity and speed…

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News • Immunological memory

Our brains 'remember' inflammation and diseases

Inflammatory reactions can change the brain’s immune cells in the long term – meaning that these cells have an ‘immunological memory’. This memory may influence the progression of neurological disorders that occur later in life, and is therefore a previously unknown factor that could influence the severity of these diseases. Scientists at the German Center for Neurodegenerative Diseases…

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News • Life expectancy

Mole-rats might teach us how to become old and healthy

Humans and other mammals have a lot in common. Depending on race, 80 to 98% of mammalian genetic makeup is identical to the human one. Nevertheless, the variety of life expectancy among mammals is huge; and so far, it was unclear, which impact the genetic makeup has on a species’ life span. In rodents, differences in life expectancy and morbidity during aging are particularly high: Despite…

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Sponsored • Innovative test

Diagnosis of bacterial vaginosis

Bacterial vaginosis (BV) is a common infectious disorder that affects millions of women worldwide. Women of all ages are at risk for BV and its complications, which include a greater susceptibility to sexually transmitted infections (STIs) such as herpes simplex virus and HIV. If left undetected and untreated, BV can increase a woman's risk of upper genital tract infections such as pelvic…

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News • DNA research

Stroke: largest-ever genetic study provides new insight

An international research group, including scientists at the University of Maryland School of Medicine, studying 520,000 people from around the world has identified 22 new genetic risk factors for stroke, tripling the number of gene regions known to affect stroke risk. The results show that stroke shares genetic influences with other vascular conditions, especially blood pressure, but also…

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News • A disconcerting trend

Obesity is shifting cancer to young adults

A Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine researcher has compiled evidence from more than 100 publications to show how obesity increases risk of 13 different cancers in young adults. The meta-analysis describes how obesity has shifted certain cancers to younger age groups, and intensified cellular mechanisms promoting the diseases. Cancer typically associated with older adults over 50…

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News • Triggering inflammatory reactions

Parkinson’s gene initiates disease outside of the brain

Until very recently, Parkinson’s had been thought a disease that starts in the brain, destroying motion centers and resulting in tremors and loss of movement. New research published this week, shows the most common Parkinson’s gene mutation may change how immune cells react to generic infections like colds, which in turn trigger the inflammatory reaction in the brain that causes…

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News • Breast cancer

Double mastectomy slashes risk - but not for all women

Healthy women who carry a breast cancer-causing mutation in the BRCA1 gene, not only reduce their risk of developing the disease but also their chances of dying from it if they have both breasts removed, according to new research presented at the 11th European Breast Cancer Conference. However, the study also found that for women with a mutation in the BRCA2 gene, there was no difference in their…

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News • Feline findings

Cats could help in development of anti-HIV drugs

Feline AIDS is caused by the Feline Immunodeficiency Virus (FIV), which is very similar to the HIV-1 virus that affects millions of humans. While FIV does not infect humans, many groups research the virus to benefit cats, and perhaps more importantly, because of its many parallels with the AIDS virus. Despite the use of dedicated drugs, HIV-1 manages to thrive and multiply within the cell and…

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News • Small molecule, huge effect

Progress toward a new flu treatment, thanks to a small tweak

This year’s unexpectedly aggressive flu season reminds everyone that although the flu vaccine can reduce the number of people who contract the virus, it is still not 100 percent effective. Researchers report that a tweak to a small-molecule drug shows promise for future production of new antiviral therapies that could help patients, regardless of the strain with which they are infected. The…

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News • DNA repair

Proteins: Sentinels of the Genome

Throughout life, DNA is constantly being damaged by environmental and intrinsic factors and must be promptly repaired to prevent mutations, genomic instability, and cancer. Different types of damages are repaired by numerous proteins organized into damage-specific pathways. The proteins from different pathways must be spatially and temporally coordinated in order to efficiently repair complex DNA…

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News • Oncology imaging

‘Digistain’ technology offers revolution in detailed cancer diagnosis

A new imaging technology to grade tumour biopsies has been developed by a team of scientists led by the Department of Physics and the Department of Surgery and Cancer at Imperial College London. Publishing their results in the journal Convergent Science Physical Oncology, they describe how their new method promises to significantly reduce the subjectivity and variability in grading the severity…

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News • Screening tumor samples

A molecular map of childhood cancers

Researchers led by Professor Stefan Pfister from the "Hopp Children's Cancer Center at the NCT Heidelberg" (KiTZ) have been able to draw an extremely detailed molecular map of childhood cancers. In close collaboration with the German Cancer Consortium (DKTK) and the Society for Pediatric Oncology and Hematology (GPOH), they screened almost 1,000 tumor samples from 24 cancer types for…

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News • DNA analysis

Magnetic biosensor array simplifies cancer detection

In standard settings, the analysis of each DNA modification requires a carefully optimised assay that runs under specific conditions. This increases cost and labour and is a severe limitation to throughput. Now, however, researchers at Stanford University and the Technical University of Denmark have come up with a new method that will enable doctors to make a more precise diagnosis, prognosis and…

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Article • Therapy monitoring

Liquid biopsy versus radiomics – the race is on

The development of new procedures to monitor cancer treatments is gathering momentum. One such innovation is liquid biopsy. This new lab technique allows non-invasive identification, characterisation and monitoring of circulating tumour DNA. Thus, liquid biopsy can potentially revolutionise oncological diagnostics – and put a spoke in the wheel of radiology. High time to act, says Professor Dr…

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News • Replicas from the lab

Growing 'mini tumours' to personalise drug treatment

Testing cancer drugs on miniature replicas of a patient’s tumour could help doctors tell in advance which treatments will work, a major new study reports. The exciting new technique involves growing ‘mini tumours’ from biopsy samples – and could help end reliance on trial and error in selecting cancer treatments for patients where genetic tests are not predictive of response. Researchers…

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News • Mitosis' structure

Understanding the inside of cancer cells

Cell division is an intricately choreographed ballet of proteins and molecules that divide the cell. During mitosis, microtubule-organizing centers (MTOCs) assemble the spindle fibers that separate the copying chromosomes of DNA. While scientists are familiar with MTOCs’ existence and the role they play in cell division, their actual physical structure remains poorly understood. Shruthi…

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News • Pediatrics

Kawasaki disease: Gaining new insights into a mysterious illness

Texas Biomedical Research Institute and The Children’s Hospital of San Antonio have joined forces to cure a mysterious condition called Kawasaki disease. The illness which affects young children is named after the Japanese doctor who first described it more than 50 years ago. However, researchers still do not know what causes the rashes, fever, and artery damage. Some type of infectious agent…

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News • Gene editing

CRISPR-based technology DETECTR can detect viral DNA

A powerful genome editing tool can be deployed as an ace DNA detective, able to sniff out DNA snippets that signal viral infections, cancer, or even defective genes. This genetic detective, developed in the laboratory of Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Investigator Jennifer Doudna at the University of California, Berkeley, uses the genome-slicing system known as CRISPR. By combining the…

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Article • Immunotherapy

The DNA mismatch repair mechanism

A new genetic study by UK-based scientists suggests that immunotherapy drugs could prove to be an effective treatment for some breast cancer patients. Scientists from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute, near Cambridge – one of the world’s leading genome centres – and their collaborators, have identified particular genetic changes in a DNA repair mechanism in breast cancer. Led by Dr Serena…

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News • Experimental drug

Fighting Hepatitis B with 'virus-cracking' molecules

Indiana University researchers have made an important step forward in the design of drugs that fight the hepatitis B virus, which can cause liver failure and liver cancer. It's estimated that 2 billion people worldwide have had a hepatitis B virus infection in their lifetime, with about 250 million -- including 2 million Americans -- living with chronic infection. Although a vaccine exists, there…

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News • CancerSEEK

Single blood test screens for 8 cancer types

Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers developed a single blood test that screens for eight common cancer types and helps identify the location of the cancer. The test, called CancerSEEK, is a unique noninvasive, multianalyte test that simultaneously evaluates levels of eight cancer proteins and the presence of cancer gene mutations from circulating DNA in the blood. The test is aimed at…

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News • Discovery

‘Hijacker’ drives cancer in some patients with high-risk neuroblastoma

Researchers have identified mechanisms that drive about 10 percent of high-risk neuroblastoma cases and have used a new approach to show how the cancer genome “hijacks” DNA that regulates other genes. The resulting insights may help scientists develop more effective therapies, including precision medicines. The research involved investigators at St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital;…

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News • Neurogenesis

These genetic ‘switches’ determine our brain development

UCLA researchers have developed the first map of gene regulation in human neurogenesis, the process by which neural stem cells turn into brain cells and the cerebral cortex expands in size. The scientists identified factors that govern the growth of our brains and, in some cases, set the stage for several brain disorders that appear later in life. The human brain differs from that of mice and…

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News • Gene exchange

Bacteria acquire resistance from competitors

Bacteria not only develop resistance to antibiotics, they also can pick it up from their rivals. In a recent publication, Researchers from the Biozentrum of the University of Basel have demonstrated that some bacteria inject a toxic cocktail into their competitors causing cell lysis and death. Then, by integrating the released genetic material, which may also carry drug resistance genes, the…

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News • Patterns in blood serum

New marker detects fatal breast cancer earlier

A new marker that could be used to diagnose fatal breast cancer up to one year ahead of current methods has been identified in a study led by UCL. The study found that changes detected in a part of DNA which the researches named EFC#93 could suggest early signs of deadly breast cancer. Importantly, these abnormal patterns are present in blood serum before the cancer becomes detectable in the…

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News • Genome editing

CRISPR treatment may prevent hearing loss

Using molecular scissors wrapped in a greasy delivery package, researchers have disrupted a gene variant that leads to deafness in mice. A single treatment involving injection of a genome editing cocktail prevented progressive hearing loss in young animals that would have otherwise gone deaf, Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) Investigator David Liu and colleagues report in the journal…

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Article • Breast cancer detection

New DNA test could prevent thousands of mastectomies

A new genetic test to assess breast cancer risk in women who have a family history of the disease could be introduced into clinical practice in the UK within the next few months. Devised at Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust (MFT) and the University of Manchester, researchers believe the test for high-risk groups could also help reduce the number of women needing to have surgery to remove…

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News • Enzyme discovery

Epigenetic agitator of pancreatic cancer cells identified

Genentech researchers have identified an enzyme that shifts pancreatic cancer cells to a more aggressive, drug-resistant state by epigenetically modifying the cells’ chromatin. The study, which will be published in the Journal of Cell Biology, suggests that targeting this enzyme could make pancreatic cancer cells more vulnerable to existing therapies that currently have only limited effect…

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News • More than the sum of its parts?

Combination strategy could hold promise for ovarian cancer

Johns Hopkins Kimmel Cancer Center researchers demonstrated that mice with ovarian cancer that received drugs to reactivate dormant genes along with other drugs that activate the immune system had a greater reduction of tumor burden and significantly longer survival than those that received any of the drugs alone. The study already spurred a clinical trial in ovarian cancer patients. The…

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News • Natural system

Papillomaviruses promote skin cancer

UV radiation has been known for a long time to be a risk factor for the development of skin cancer. Simultaneous infection with human papillomaviruses (HPV) has also been suspected to promote skin cancer, particularly in organ transplant recipients. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have now been able to show for the first time in a natural system that papillomaviruses…

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News • Clinical value

Kidney disease diagnosis made easier through DNA sequencing

DNA sequencing could soon become part of the routine diagnostic workup for patients with chronic kidney disease, suggests a new study from Columbia University Medical Center. The researchers found that DNA sequencing could identify the genetic cause of the disease and influence treatment for many patients with chronic kidney disease.

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Video • LIMA project

Agena Bioscience’s liquid biopsy technology awarded Horizon 2020 grant

Agena Bioscience, a global provider of molecular genetic solutions, announced it has been selected to participate as an innovative technology provider in the ‘Liquid biopsies and IMAging for improved cancer care’ (LIMA) project. The LIMA project has been awarded a EUR 6.3 million Horizon 2020 European Union research grant to develop an integrated approach for personalized cancer treatment.…

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News • Innovative approach

New “Swiss Army Knife” nanovaccine to battle tumors

Scientists are using their increasing knowledge of the complex interaction between cancer and the immune system to engineer increasingly potent anti-cancer vaccines. Now researchers at the National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering (NIBIB) have developed a synergistic nanovaccine packing DNA and RNA sequences that modulate the immune response, along with anti-tumor antigens, into…

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News • Meyenburg Award

A high distinction for a pioneer in liquid biopsy

Nitzan Rosenfeld from Cancer Research UK in Cambridge is being honored with the 2017 Meyenburg Award, which carries a €50,000 monetary prize. He receives the award for his excellent work on the detection of tumor DNA in the blood. Rosenfeld has made seminal contributions to advancing a method for detecting cancer DNA in the blood to applicability in cancer medicine. The Meyenburg-Award will be…

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News • Direct from whole blood samples

LiDia demonstrates rapid and sensitive BSI identification

DNAe, the inventor of semiconductor-based genomic analysis technologies, and the developer of a new, game-changing test for bloodstream infections that can lead to sepsis announced new data on its test for bloodstream infections, LiDia BSI. The data demonstrates the ability of the LiDia BSI closed cartridge-based test to rapidly identify low levels of bacterial and fungal pathogens and resistance…

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Article • Gene editing

CRISPR system embeds images in DNA

A research team in the United States has developed a revolutionary technique that has encoded an image and short film in living cells. Scientists at the Wyss Institute for Biologically Inspired Engineering and Harvard Medical School (HMS) used CRISPR gene editing to encode the image and film in DNA, using this as a medium to store information and produce a code that relates to the individual…

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News • Deafness reversal

Inner ear stem cells may someday restore hearing

Want to restore hearing by injecting stem cells into the inner ear? Well, that can be a double-edged sword. Inner ear stem cells can be converted to auditory neurons that could reverse deafness, but the process can also make those cells divide too quickly, posing a cancer risk, according to a study led by Rutgers University–New Brunswick scientists. The encouraging news is that turning stem…

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Article • prenatal diagnostics

Ultrasound is indispensable in prenatal exams

‘In prenatal diagnostics, particularly in the first trimester, ultrasound continues to be the modality of choice when looking for malformations,’ says Professor Markus Hoopmann, deputy director of prenatal medicine and gynaecological ultrasound at the Women’s Health Clinic in Tübingen University Hospital. This case for ultrasound is significant because today fetal DNA that circulates in…

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News • Protein quality control system

Cellular power outage

A common feature of neurodegenerative diseases are deposits of aggregated proteins in the patient's cells that cause damage to cellular functions. Scientists report that, even in normal cells, aberrant aggregation-prone proteins are continually produced due to partial failure of the respiratory system. Unless they are removed by degradation, aggregates accumulate preferentially in the…

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Article • Multimodality

Risk profiling in breast diagnostics

Breast diagnostics are undergoing considerable change, with new technology facilitating alternative procedures. Genetics and nuclear medicine also enhance diagnostic possibilities. During our EH interview, Professor Rüdiger Schulz-Wendtland described current changes in breast diagnostics. ‘To date, complementary breast diagnostics has comprised clinical, sonographic and mammographic…

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News • Early diagnostics

Sixty-five new genetic risk markers for breast cancer discovered

Until now, familial breast cancer has only partly been linkable to genetic risk markers. In a worldwide joint effort, researchers have now identified further genetic variants that affect the risk for breast cancer. The study, which was conducted with participation of researchers from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) and Heidelberg University Hospital, has now been published in Nature.…

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News • Research discovery

New blood test may diagnose breast cancer

In a potential major breakthrough in breast cancer research, scientists at the Center for Translational Cancer Research (CTCR) at the Helen F. Graham Cancer Center & Research Institute of Christiana Care Health System have developed a revolutionary new blood test to diagnose breast cancer.

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News • DNA fragments

Using barcodes to trace blood cell development

There are various concepts about how blood cells develop. However, they are based almost exclusively on experiments that solely reflect snapshots. In a publication in Nature, scientists from the German Cancer Research Center in Heidelberg now present a novel technique that captures the process in a dynamic way.

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Article • Mutated DNA in blood

Liquid biopsy detects tumour changes in real time

New findings from a scientific collaboration between the German Cancer Research Centre (DKFZ), the National Centre for Tumour Diseases (NCT) Heidelberg and the Thoraxklinik Heidelberg suggest liquid biopsy as a promising tool to monitor lung cancer patient tumours early. Scientists associated liquid biopsy readouts with clinical data and could track tumour responses to cancer drugs in real-time.

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Article • Skin protection

Self-improving DNA sun screen developed

Researchers at Binghamton University, State University of New York have developed a coating made out of DNA that gets better at protecting skin from Ultraviolet light the more it is exposed to the sun and which could potentially be used as wound covering for extreme environments.

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News • Behavioral study

New understanding for autism through eye tracking

New research has uncovered compelling evidence that genetics plays a major role in how children look at the world and whether they have a preference for gazing at people’s eyes and faces or at objects. The discovery by researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis and Emory University School of Medicine in Atlanta adds new detail to understanding the causes of autism…

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News • Biomarker validation

Plodding toward a pancreatic cancer screening test

Pancreatic cancer is one of the most deadly types of malignancies, with a 5-year survival rate after late diagnosis of only about 5%. The majority of patients—about 80%—receive their diagnosis too late for surgery. The disease spreads quickly and resists chemotherapy. In short, there is an urgent need for diagnostic tools to identify this cancer in its earliest stages.

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News • Structural insights

Cancer cells may streamline their genomes to proliferate more easily

Research from the Stowers Institute provides evidence suggesting that cancer cells might streamline their genomes in order to proliferate more easily. The study, conducted in both human and mouse cells, shows that cancer genomes lose copies of repetitive sequences known as ribosomal DNA. While downsizing might enable these cells to replicate faster, it also seems to render them less able to…

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News • CRISPR-Cpf1

Firefly gene illuminates ability to edit human genome

Scientists on the Florida campus of The Scripps Research Institute (TSRI) have improved a state-of-the-art gene-editing technology to advance the system’s ability to target, cut and paste genes within human and animal cells—and broadening the ways the CRISPR-Cpf1 editing system may be used to study and fight human diseases.

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Interview • Deep learning

Samsung: AI develops beyond the breast

Access, accuracy and efficiency are at the core of Samsung’s healthcare strategy, explained Insuk Song, Vice President of Product Planning, Healthcare and Medical Equipment at Samsung Electronics, during our exclusive European Hospital interview. Samsung, the Korean giant, is now proceding with its artificial intelligence (AI) deployment, notably with the S-Detect software to help ultrasound…

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News • DNA manipulation

Chaos in cancer cells: Mysterious gene transcripts after therapy

Drugs that are used in cancer therapy to erase epigenetic alterations in cancer cells simultaneously promote the production of countless mysterious gene transcripts, scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) now report in Nature Genetics. The substances activate hidden regulatory elements in DNA. The unusual gene activity has the potential to stimulate the immune system – a…

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News • Cancer development

Tumor induction from a distance

Current view is that cancer development is initiated from cells that acquire initial DNA mutations. These in turn provoke additional defects, and ultimately the affected cells begin to proliferate in an uncontrolled manner to develop primary tumors. These can later spread and create metastases, or secondary tumors, in other parts of the body. However, according to a study by researchers at the…

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News • Neuro-oncology

Study provides better understanding of how brain tumors ‘feed’

All cancer tumors have one thing in common – they must feed themselves to grow and spread, a difficult feat since they are usually in a tumor microenvironment with limited nutrients and oxygen. A study at The University of Texas MD Anderson Cancer Center has revealed new details about how an enzyme called acetyl-CoA synthetase 2 (ACSS2) allows brain tumors to grow despite their harsh…

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News • Going Viral

An unusual 'friend' to help fight ovarian cancer

In some cases, the Lassa virus starts with a fever and general weakness, moving toward headache, muscle pain, possible facial swelling, deafness, and worse. About 15 percent of patients hospitalized with severe cases die. Lassa fever is contagious, endemic in West Africa, and Dr. Anthony van den Pol thinks he can use it to cure ovarian cancer.

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News • Breast Cancer

Biomarker Identified for Likely Aggressive, Early Stage Breast Cancer

The one-size-fits-all approach to early stage breast cancer creates a paradox: Millions of dollars are spent on unnecessary surgeries and radiation to treat women with low-risk ‘in situ’ lesions, an estimated 85% of which would never progress to invasive cancers. Meanwhile, the standard conservative treatment is insufficient for many early-stage tumors that have progressed past the in situ…

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News • Psychological consequences

Cortisol excess hits natural DNA process hard

High concentrations of the stress hormone, Cortisol, in the body affect important DNA processes and increase the risk of long-term psychological consequences. These relationships are evident in a study from the Sahlgrenska Academy on patients with Cushing’s Syndrome, but the findings also open the door for new treatment strategies for other stress-related conditions such as anxiety, depression…

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Article • Infections

Start of advanced genetic antibiotic resistance testing

Curetis, a developer of next-level molecular diagnostic solutions, today announced that the Company has established Ares Genetics GmbH, a wholly owned subsidiary of Curetis GmbH. Ares Genetics builds on GEAR GEnetic Antibiotic Resistance and Susceptibility Database and associated assets recently acquired for Siemens. The Company will use GEAR to investigate the genetic foundations of antibiotic…

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News • Data Security

IT Researchers Break Anonymity of Gene Databases

DNA profiles can reveal a number of details about individuals. There are laws in place that regulate the trade of gene data. However, these laws do not apply to an equally relevant type of genetic data, so-called microRNAs. This means that anonymity needs to be strictly maintained in microRNA studies as well. Researchers from the Research Center for IT Security, CISPA, have now been able to show…

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News • DNA

DNA labels predict mortality

Methyl labels in the DNA regulate the activity of our genes and, thus, have a great influence on health and disease. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center and from the Saarland cancer registry have now revealed that an altered methylation status at only ten specific sites in the genome can indicate that mortality is increased by up to seven times. Smoking has a particularly…

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News • Autism

Big Data techniques find biomarkers for Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD)

An algorithm based on levels of metabolites found in a blood sample can accurately predict whether a child is on the Autism spectrum of disorder (ASD), based upon a recent study. The algorithm, developed by researchers at Rensselaer Polytechnic Institute, is the first physiological test for autism and opens the door to earlier diagnosis and potential future development of therapeutics.

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Article • Emergency Imaging

Forensics identify victims and terrorists

‘I am sorry, the electricity will be cut off because we’re going to simulate an attack, or emergency exercise, this morning,’ explained Dr Wim Develter, when he suddenly delayed his interview with Mélisande Rouger of European Hospital. They were about to discuss computed tomography, and its role not only in advanced healthcare and other more unexpected areas, such as the arts and…

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Article • Breast Cancer

Mammography screening with MR

Breast cancer screening is traditionally a mammography – ultrasound business but abbreviated protocols could enable more women to be imaged with MR and receive treatment earlier, a leading researcher will show during the annual Garmisch MR meeting.

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News • Long-Sought

Genetic model of common infant leukemia described

After nearly two decades of unsuccessful attempts, researchers from the University of Chicago Medicine and the Cincinnati Children’s Hospital Medical Center have created the first mouse model for the most common form of infant leukemia. Their discovery could hasten development and testing of new drug therapies.

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News • Oncology

Treatment hope would leave liver cancer cells in limbo

Scientists have shown that a mutation in a gene called Arid1b can cause liver cancer. The gene normally protects against cancer by limiting cell growth, but when mutated it allows cells to grow uncontrollably. The researchers have shown that two existing drugs can halt this growth in human cells. This points to a new approach to treating liver cancer.

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Article • Contrast enhancement

Sonic boom with bubbles

Illuminating blood vessels, opening the blood-brain barrier and delivering drugs. What will be the next big thing that tiny microbubbles can do?

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News • low radiation

High resolution detectors to create safer X-ray diagnosis

A European health consortium is developing a set of low radiation, low cost, flat panel X-ray detectors that use novel photonics technology to make diagnosis safer for patients, hospital and dental staff, generating some of the highest resolution images ever seen in rapid moving body functions, such as malicious growths or the beating heart of a baby.

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Article • Infections

Carbapenem resistant strains

The increasing numbers of bacteria resistant to the newer generations of antibiotics is a public health problem on a global scale. Bacteria have an extraordinary capacity for adaptation, mutating permanently to overcome the action of our increasingly impotent antimicrobial armamentarium. A situation further aggravated by the use of the powerful ‘large spectrum’ antibiotics, creating further…

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News • Neurodegenerative diseases

Brain cell ‘executioner’ identified

Despite their different triggers, the same molecular chain of events appears to be responsible for brain cell death from strokes, injuries and even such neurodegenerative diseases as Alzheimer's. Now, researchers at Johns Hopkins say they have pinpointed the protein at the end of that chain of events, one that delivers the fatal strike by carving up a cell's DNA. The find, they say, potentially…

News • Proton Adaptive Therapy

IBA to open the path towards adaptive proton therapy

IBA (Ion Beam Applications) today unveils its unique platform, 'Leading the PATh', which gathers the leading experts in the field of proton therapy all in one place. It is anticipated that 'Leading the PATh' will enable the worldwide medical community to shape the most efficient Proton Adaptive Therapy (PATh), a proton therapy process which improves the accuracy of what is considered to be the…

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Article • Future changes

Laboratory medicine is an interdisciplinary subject

‘Lab medicine connects’ is the congress theme of the German Congress of Laboratory Medicine and reflects the fact that laboratory medicine is an interdisciplinary subject like no other and connects those who are involved in medicine across disciplines. It works almost imperceptibly in the background, hardly noticed by patients. European Hospital spoke with this year’s Congress President,…

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Solid-State nanopores unravel twisted DNA mystery

Cancer thrives when mutated cells undergo frequent division. Most anti-cancer drugs work by inserting themselves in between the DNA base pairs that encode our genetic information. This process is known as intercalation, and it can result in subtle changes to the DNA molecule’s geometric shape or tertiary structure. These structural changes interfere with the DNA’s transcription and a cell’s…

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News • Oncology

Nanovaccine could enhance cancer immunotherapy

NIBIB researchers have created a nanovaccine that could make a current approach to cancer immunotherapy more effective while also reducing side effects. The nanovaccine helps to efficiently deliver a unique DNA sequence to immune cells – a sequence derived from bacterial DNA and used to trigger an immune reaction. The nanovaccine also protects the DNA from being destroyed inside the body, where…

News • Market

Curetis Acquires Rights to GEAR Database

Curetis announced the signing of an asset acquisition agreement with the Siemens Technology Accelerator GmbH (STA). Under the terms of the agreement, Curetis has acquired sole commercial rights from STA to the GEAR GEnetic Antibiotic Resistance and Susceptibility platform and database with all its content, numerous GEAR-related patents and patent applications, as well as all corresponding…

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News • Infection

Evidence of Zika virus found in tears

Researchers have found that Zika virus can live in eyes and have identified genetic material from the virus in tears, according to a study from Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis. The research, in mice, helps explain why some Zika patients develop eye disease, including a condition known as uveitis that can lead to permanent vision loss.

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Interview • EU regulation

Stopping unsafe medical device production

According to Dr Peter Liese (CDU), speaker for health issues for the European People’s Party (EPP Group), the largest parliamentary group, this is an important step for Europeans who have long awaited appropriate consequences to follow scandals such as poor quality breast implants, stents or unsafe HIV tests. Due to extremely complex issues, it took several years to reach an agreement,…

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News • Molecular troublemakers

How proteins prevent communication between bacteria

They may be slimy, but they are a perfect environment for microorganisms: biofilms. Protected against external influences, here bacteria can grow undisturbed, and trigger diseases. Scientists at Kiel University, in cooperation with colleagues at the Hamburg University of Technology (TUHH) in Hamburg-Harburg, are researching how it can be possible to prevent the formation of biofilms from the…

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Article • Transplants

Cell-free DNA offers several advantages

As part of a national, joint research project in cooperation with Chronix Biomedical (San Jose, CA/USA/Göttingen/Germany), Professor Michael Oellerich MD is on new biomarkers in organ transplantation, aiming to develop personalised immunosuppression for patients. This also entails the development of molecular test procedures, among others for the early detection of rejection. The keyword here is…

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News • Discovery

Potential genetic trigger of autoimmune disease

Researchers at Hospital for Special Surgery (HSS) have uncovered a potential genetic trigger of systemic autoimmune disease. The study, the culmination of more than 10 years of research, discovered virus-like elements within the human genome linked to the development of two autoimmune diseases: lupus and Sjogren's syndrome.

News • Politics

Liquid biopsy test from Roche gets FDA approval

The U.S. Food and Drug Administration approved the cobas EGFR Mutation Test v2, a blood-based companion diagnostic for the cancer drug Tarceva (erlotinib). This is the first FDA-approved, blood-based genetic test that can detect epidermal growth factor receptor (EGFR) gene mutations in non-small cell lung cancer patients. Such mutations are present in approximately 10-20 percent of non-small cell…

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News • Targeted treatments

Gene therapy against brain cancer

A team from the International School for Advanced Studies (SISSA) in Trieste has obtained very promising results by applying gene therapy to glioblastoma. Tests in vitro and in vivo on mice provided very clear-cut results, and modelling demonstrates that the treatment targets at least six different points of tumour metabolism. Gene therapy, a technique that selectively attacks a tumour, might…

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News • Therapy

New way to predict COPD progression

New research has found that a process initiated in white blood cells known as neutrophils may lead to worse outcomes for some patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). The discovery may help identify patients at higher risk for COPD progression, who might also show little benefit from standard treatments.

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News • Genetic mutations

New neurodevelopmental syndrome identified

A multicenter research team led by Columbia University Medical Center (CUMC) has discovered a new neurodevelopmental syndrome and the genetic mutations that cause it. The discovery is an important step toward creating targeted therapies for individuals with this syndrome, which causes severe developmental delays, abnormal muscle tone, seizures, and eye complications.

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Article • Resistance

Last resort antibiotic under treat

Data presented at the European Congress of Clinical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases diseases has highlighted how a recently-discovered mechanism could mean one of the last-resort antibiotics is under threat. Evidence put before ECCMID suggested the genetic mechanism allowing bacteria to develop and transfer resistance to colistin has been present in several countries around the world –…

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Article • Datasets

Benefits from The Cancer Genome Atlas

Last year, scientists at the University of California San Francisco (UCSF) revealed that by measuring the proportion of both immune and cancerous cells in tumours, or ‘tumour purity,’ clinicians could more precisely predict the success of certain precision therapies. A key aspect of the discovery was access to over 10,000 samples constituting 21 different cancers.

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News • Key factor identified

Why is the immune system unable to combat HIV?

An international research group with essential participation of the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut, has identified NLRX1, a cellular factor of the human cell that is indispensable to the replication of Human Immunodeficiency Virus (HIV-1). This factor plays a key role in attenuating the innate immune system towards HIV-1. Until now, the significance of NLRX1 for the replication of HIV-1 and the…

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News • Lung cancer

“Liquid biopsy” blood test detects genetic mutations

A simple blood test can rapidly and accurately detect mutations in two key genes in non-small cell lung tumors, researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute and other institutions report in a new study – demonstrating the test’s potential as a clinical tool for identifying patients who can benefit from drugs targeting those mutations.

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News • mcr-1 gene

Antibiotic resistance mechanism continues to spread

Researchers presented findings on the prevalence of the mcr-1 gene, a transferable genetic mechanism of antimicrobial-resistance to colistin - the last resort antibiotic in a number of circumstances. At a session dedicated to late-breaking abstracts on colistin resistance, researchers presented evidence on the prevalence of the gene in bacteria (including Enterobacteriaceae such as Escherichia…

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News • Chemotherapy

Novel compounds could be less toxic

A novel class of compounds developed by a University of Saskatchewan (U of S)-led research team could yield more effective and less toxic chemotherapy drugs to treat cancer. Team leader Jonathan Dimmock, a medicinal chemistry researcher in the U of S College of Pharmacy and Nutrition, explained their compounds work by interacting with thiols, naturally occurring chemicals that perform several…

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News • Nanoscale devices

Revealing the fluctuations of flexible DNA in 3-D

An international team working at the Department of Energy's Lawrence Berkeley National Laboratory (Berkeley Lab) has captured the first high-resolution 3-D images from individual double-helix DNA segments attached at either end to gold nanoparticles. The images detail the flexible structure of the DNA segments, which appear as nanoscale jump ropes.

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News • heat-shock

HSF1 – in case of emergency

When there is an accident or a house fire, we call the police or the fire services. A control room quickly coordinates emergency operations. The cells in our bodies also have helpers in a crisis; the heat-shock proteins. These are triggered in response to cellular stress, such as high temperature, UV radiation or cancer. Heat-shock proteins help other proteins maintain their functional structure…

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Gene variation promotes uncontrolled cell division

Mom’s eyes and dad’s tumor? Cancer is due to genetic defects, some of which can be hereditary. The gene variant rs351855, for example, occurs in one in two cancer patients. A team headed by Axel Ullrich from the Max Planck Institute of Biochemistry in Martinsried identified the gene variant a decade ago. Now, they succeeded for the first time in showing that the variation exposes an otherwise…

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News • Surfing DNA

Enzyme catches a ride to fight infection

Scientists have shown for the first time that an enzyme crucial to keeping our immune system healthy “surfs” along the strands of DNA inside our cells. The researchers used extremely powerful microscopy to watch how the enzyme AID (activation-induced deoxycytidine deaminase) moves around and interacts with other molecules.

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News • Epigenetic marks

Sperm carries information about dad's weight

Turns out dads are also eating for two. A study published in Cell Metabolism reveals that a man's weight affects the heritable information contained in sperm. The sperm cells of lean and obese men possess different epigenetic marks, notable at gene regions associated with the control of appetite. The comparisons, which included 13 lean men and 10 obese men, offer one biological explanation for…

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News • “Jumping Gene” Mystery

Grabbing a parasite by the tail

Deep within your DNA, a tiny parasite lurks, waiting to pounce from its perch and land in the middle of an unsuspecting healthy gene. If it succeeds, it can make you sick. Like a jungle cat, this parasite sports a long tail. But until now, little was known about what role that tail plays in this dangerous jumping. Now, scientists report that without a tail, this parasitic gene can’t jump…

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News • Oncology

Scientists use dead bacteria to kill colorectal cancer

Led by Professor Teoh Swee Hin, scientists from Nanyang Technological University (NTU Singapore) have successfully used dead bacteria to kill colorectal cancer cells. Harvesting the Clostridium sporogenes bacteria found commonly in soil, the NTU team was able to harness the bacteria in its dead form, and its secretions, to destroy colon tumours cells effectively.

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News • State-of-the-art

First pictures of cells' DNA-copying machinery

The first-ever images of the protein complex that unwinds, splits, and copies double-stranded DNA reveal something rather different from the standard textbook view. The electron microscope images, created by scientists at the U.S. Department of Energy's Brookhaven National Laboratory with partners from Stony Brook University and Rockefeller University, offer new insight into how this molecular…

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Article • Infection

Trial pitches MGB-BP-3 against clostridium difficile

Scientists at the University of Strathclyde in Glasgow have been working to identify compounds with important anti-infective activity and suitable for treating serious infectious diseases caused by bacteria and parasites, such as Clostridium difficile. Their work has led to the creation of the new drug known as MGB-BP-3 (MGB = minor groove binder). Report: Mark Nicholls

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Interview • Genom

I looked into my genes and changed some habits

“These dates we have access to a lot of genetic information which had previously not been available to us. For the individual, this can provide options for action with regards to leading a healthier lifestyle or to try and prevent diseases,” knows Dr. Theodor Dingermann. The senior professor of the Goethe University in Frankfurt am Main has had his own genome decoded. In parts, the result…

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News • Sex-linked disorders

X-Citing X Chromosome

A team of scientists from the University of Michigan Medical School shows that the genetic material in female (but not male) cells makes tiny amounts of a special genetic material called RNA to make one of the two X chromosomes silent. They call this RNA XistAR.

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News • Research

Drug engineered from bananas fights deadly viruses

A banana a day may not keep the doctor away, but a substance originally found in bananas and carefully edited by scientists could someday fight off a wide range of viruses, new research suggests. And the process used to create the virus-fighting form may help scientists develop even more drugs, by harnessing the “sugar code” that our cells use to communicate. That code gets hijacked by…

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News • MRSA

Breast cancer drug eats superbug

Researchers at University of California, San Diego School of Medicine and Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences have found that the breast cancer drug tamoxifen gives white blood cells a boost, better enabling them to respond to, ensnare and kill bacteria in laboratory experiments. Tamoxifen treatment in mice also enhances clearance of the antibiotic-resistant bacterial pathogen…

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News • Linac Coherent Light Source

A glimpse into live bacteria

A group of scientists in Sweden has taken an important step towards the goal of peering inside a working cell. They are among researchers around the globe who are seeking a method that enables the observation of proteins, lipids and DNA inside individual cells, as well as gaining a better understanding of how this intricate and interconnected system changes with time.

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News • Cleaning hospital rooms

UV rays cuts superbug transmission

In a hospital, what you can’t see could hurt you. Healthcare facilities continue to battle drug-resistant organisms such as methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) that loiter on surfaces even after patient rooms have been cleaned and can cause new, sometimes-deadly infections.

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News • Genes

Blame your health problems on your grandfather

If you have diabetes, or cancer or even heart problems, maybe you should blame it on your dad’s behaviour or environment. Or even your grandfather’s. That’s because, in recent years, scientists have shown that, before his offspring are even conceived, a father’s life experiences involving food, drugs, exposure to toxic products and even stress can affect the development and health not…

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News • Toolkit

Microchip helps to visualize breast cancer proteins

A photograph may reveal how something looks, but direct observation can divulge how the objects behave. The difference can mean life or death, especially when it comes to fighting human disease. To help researchers examine exactly how human diseases work at the molecular level, Virginia Tech Carilion Research Institute scientist Deborah Kelly has developed a new set of tools to peer into the…

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News • Mystery solved

Key Element of cellular organization found

St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital scientists have discovered evidence of a mechanism at the heart of amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) and related degenerative diseases. The research highlights a possible new treatment strategy for the devastating disorders.

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News • Screening

Risk-free pre-natal examination

The newly founded Tübingen company CENATA GmbH has been offering the Harmony non-invasive pre-natal test since May 2015. CENATA has obtained a licence from the U.S. company Ariosa Diagnostics, and is now the only company in the world outside the United States that is permitted to conduct the analysis and evaluation. This examination enables pregnant mothers to test their unborn children for…

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News • Mutations

Cancer Genes open door to targeted treatments

In a discovery that could lead to more targeted and effective treatments for certain lung and prostate cancers, researchers at the University of Virginia School of Medicine have identified two new cancer-causing gene mutations – mutations that may be particularly susceptible to cancer-fighting drugs already approved by the federal Food and Drug Administration. One of the gene mutations also may…

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News • Genetics

Genetic interaction offers target for glaucoma therapy

Scientists at the University of California, San Diego School of Medicine have elucidated a genetic interaction that may prove key to the development and progression of glaucoma, a blinding neurodegenerative disease that affects tens of millions of people worldwide and is a leading cause of irreversible blindness.

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News • Cancer Treatments

The DNA damage response goes viral

Every organism—from a seedling to a president—must protect its DNA at all costs, but precisely how a cell distinguishes between damage to its own DNA and the foreign DNA of an invading virus has remained a mystery. Now, scientists at the Salk Institute have discovered critical details of how a cell’s response system tells the difference between these two perpetual threats. The discovery…

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News • DNA

Keeping the cellular production line on track

When our cells copy their DNA to grow and replicate, it’s vital the process runs smoothly. To get this right, cells use a complex “machine”, made from many hundreds of components. This machine is built afresh, moment by moment as it’s needed during the copying process. This assembly–de-assembly is vital to accurate and efficient copying.

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News • Genetics

Big Data and the social character of genes

A new study at the University of Haifa has used “big data” analytical methods to reveal the “social character” of genes – a phenomenon in certain diseases whereby genes operate jointly rather than independently. “The problem is that the possible number of combinations of different genes is enormous, and it is almost impossible to examine them all effectively and reliably,” the…

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News • Endogenous retroviruses

Silence is golden …

An LMU team has uncovered a new role for the protein Atrx, which is involved in various aspects of gene expression. The new work shows that the protein is also involved in silencing endogenous retroviral genomes integrated in cellular DNA.

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News • Genetic Disorder

How to predict development of autism or psychosis

Doctors and researchers have long known that children who are missing about 60 genes on a certain chromosome are at a significantly elevated risk for developing either a disorder on the autism spectrum or psychosis — that is, any mental disorder characterized by delusions and hallucinations, including schizophrenia. But there has been no way to predict which child with the abnormality might be…

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Article • Science

Alternative routes to immortality

Every time a cell divides, the ends of chromosomes – the threads of DNA residing in the nucleus – shorten a bit. Once the chromosome ends, called telomeres, become too short, cells normally stop dividing. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have now discovered how cancer cells make use of specific DNA repair enzymes to extend the telomeres. In this way, they escape the…

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Novel DNA repair mechanism brings new horizons

A group of researchers, lead by Vasily M. Studitsky, professor at the Lomonosov Moscow State University, discovered a new mechanism of DNA repair, which opens up new perspectives for the treatment and prevention of neurodegenerative diseases. The article describing their discovery is published in AAAS' first open access online-only journal Science Advances.

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News • Gene defects

Cancer brake failure leads to brain cancer

Tumor suppressor genes protect against cancer. Until now, scientists have had to perform complex experiments to detect whether or not a mutation or loss of this gene type does, in fact, cause cancer. Scientists from the German Cancer Research Center (DKFZ) have now used a new gene technology method called CRISPR/Cas9 technology for this detection.

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News • Molecular Genetics

How a Bacterial Cell Recognizes its Own DNA

It may come as a bit of a surprise to learn that bacteria have an immune system – in their case to fight off invasive viruses called phages. And like any immune system – from single-celled to human – the first challenge of the bacterial immune system is to detect the difference between “foreign” and “self.” This is far from simple, as viruses, bacteria and all other living things…

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News • Microscope technique

Speeding identification of deadly bacteria

A new way of rapidly identifying bacteria, which requires a slight modification to a simple microscope, may change the way doctors approach treatment for patients who develop potentially deadly infections and may also help the food industry screen against contamination with harmful pathogens, according to researchers at the Korea Advanced Institute of Science and Technology (KAIST) in Daejeon,…

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News • HIV

Identification of a molecule that recognizes HIV in immune cells

In collaboration with colleagues from California and New York, researchers of the Paul-Ehrlich-Institut have identified a cytosolic receptor which enables cells of the immune system to recognize HIV and to trigger an immune response. The findings of the researchers may be a useful tool for creating an effective endogenous immune response against HIV and helpful to boost vaccine responses.

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Test could identify resistant tuberculosis faster

The time needed to genetically sequence the bacteria causing tuberculosis (Mtb) from patient samples has been reduced from weeks to days using a new technique developed by a team at University College London (UCL). This could help health service providers to better treat disease, control transmission of this infection, and monitor outbreaks.

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News • Bacterial viruses

Tools of the trade

LMU researchers demonstrate for the first time that bacteriophages (bacterial viruses) carry genetic instructions for proteins that mediate the transport of their DNA to specialized replication sites in the host cell.

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Article • Mutations

Dutch scientists build colon cancer progression model

Scientists from the Hubrecht Institute and the University Medical Center Utrecht (UMC Utrecht) have developed a cell culture model of human colon cancer progression. This model mimics the situation in patients more closely than any other colon cancer model so far. It enables researchers to study processes involved in colon cancer development and find new cancer drugs.

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Sponsored • POCT

This market will boom

The turnover in POCT diagnostics will continue to increase substantially according to participants in an ‘In Vitro Diagnostic Products’ meeting held in Toronto, Canada last October. Sponsored by the German Institute for Standardisation, the event included participation by the DIN Standards Committee Medicine (NAMed; NA 063) and the Working Committee on Point of Care Testing (POCT) (NA…

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News • Research

Neurons constantly rewrite their DNA

Johns Hopkins scientists have discovered that neurons are risk takers: They use minor ‘DNA surgeries’ to toggle their activity levels all day, every day. Since these activity levels are important in learning, memory and brain disorders, the researchers think their finding will shed light on a range of important questions.

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Research on injectable oriented hydrogels for spinal cord repair

The research objective of Dr.-Ing. Laura De Laporte, junior group leader at DWI – Leibniz Institute for Interactive Materials in Aachen, is to develop a minimally invasive therapy for spinal cord injury. Her goal and her scientific approach to develop an injectable material with the ability to provide biochemical and physical guidance for regenerating nerves across the injury site, was selected…

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Sponsored • Celebration

Japanese firm celebrates 140 successful years

The son of a craftsman making Buddhist altars, he was driven to create instruments for physics and chemistry. Attending the Physics and Chemistry Research Institute he gained experience with a variety of technologies and fields of expertise. He was convinced that Japan, as a should work towards becoming a leader in science. At the dawn of the industrial revolution and scientific age in 1875 he…

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Article • Infection Control

POCT accelerates diagnosis of STDs

Trichomonias, with an estimated 187 million cases, and Chlamydia with around 100 million, are the most prevalent sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), according to the World Health Organisation (WHO). There are approximately 36 million cases each of gonorrhoea and syphilis. HIV1/2 cases are around 34 million. Report: Cynthia Keen

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Tiny nanodevice monitors cancer treatment

A tiny nanoscale device can accurately measure a patient’s blood for methotrexate – a commonly used but potentially toxic cancer drug – in under 60 seconds, according to biomedical instrument designer Jean-François Masson, and Joelle Pelletier, a DHFR enzyme specialist, both at the Chemistry Department, University of Montreal.

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News • manufacturer

Cutting the risks of injury and contamination

Austrian firm Greiner Bio-One is presenting products for the pre-analysis and diagnostics industry at this year’s Medica. Vacuette safety products have been developed to minimise this risk of injuries from contaminated puncture devices – a significant safety hazard to healthcare workers, the firm underlines.

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New trends in Pathology Informatics

For several decades, pathologists worldwide have been under increasing pressure to handle a steady increase in laboratory tests with a steady decrease in the amount of financial and staff resources. Add to this the escalating volume of increasingly complex, sophisticated testing and the importance of pathology informatics is evident.

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Oocyte modification

USA - Oocyte modification to eliminate inherited mitochondrial defects in a human embryo was the subject of a globally scrutinised Food and Drug Administration (FDA) hearing held in February.

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Article • Clinical chemistry

THE AACC FORUM 2014

This April, in San Jose, California, the portable lab took central stage at the American Association for Clinical Chemistry’s (AACC) annual forum for emerging clinical diagnostic technologies – a most appropriate topic for the Silicon Valley venue where so many world-changing computer and communications innovations have been born.

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Curse or blessing?

A small prick to sample blood instead of complex pathological or other diagnostic procedures – this is how early cancer diagnosis will be in the near future. Blood tests to diagnose tumorous diseases early are already being researched for clinical use.

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Article • 123

Earlier detection of Down’s syndrome

Down’s syndrome (also referred to as trisomy 21) is a genetic disorder caused by the presence of all or part of an extra copy of chromosome 21 in a person’s DNA. Current screening for Down’s syndrome and other trisomy conditions includes a combined test done between the 11th and 13th weeks of pregnancy.

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Molecular diagnoses will become routine

Molecular diagnostics is one of the most important technological advances in clinical diagnostics, seeing the €3.6 billion market grow 10% in constant currency (CC) in 2010 and predicted continual growth well above the diagnostic industry rates. The recipe for success in this field lies in three critical components: core technology, automation and menu. During our interview with Marc Meyer, the…

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System identifies more pathogens and antimicrobial resistances than any other

By integrating all necessary pre-analytical and analytical steps into one solution, the recently CE-marked Unyvero system, which is now commercially available in Europe, provides pathogen identification and antibiotic resistance marker information without needing expert staff and a sophisticated infrastructure, its manufacturer Curetis reports. Of even greater interest is its range of targets.

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Sequencing cancer mutations: There´s an app for that

Using precise information about an individual’s genetic makeup is becoming increasingly routine for developing tailored treatments for breast, lung, colon and other cancers. But techniques used to identify meaningful gene mutations depend on analyzing sequences of both normal and mutant DNA in tumor samples, a process that can yield ambiguous results.

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Personalized medicine could help to save 100 billion Euros

Despite huge increases in spending over the last three decades, progress in dealing with the most frequent and burdensome diseases is appalling. The EU Flagship Pilot IT Future of Medicine (ITFoM) could remedy that. The flagship‘s investments of 1 billion euros in the course of the next decade are expected to save up to 100 billion euros per year in health expenditures in the future.

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A new strain of MRSA discovered

While researching bovine mastitis (an S. aureus infection that occurs in the cows’ udders), researchers led by Dr Mark Holmes at the University of Cambridge, UK, identified a new strain of methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) which occurs both in human and dairy cow populations.

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Eppendorf Centrifuge 5424 R wins red dot award

Eppendorf AG celebrates success in a leading global design competition which attracted 4,433 entries from 1,700 companies in over 60 nations. Centrifuge 5424 R, a premium 24-place microcentrifuge, has been honoured for design excellence in the life science and medicine category of ‘red dot award: product design 2011’.

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Antibiotic resistance spreads rapidly between bacteria

The part of bacterial DNA that often carries antibiotic resistance is a master at moving between different types of bacteria and adapting to widely differing bacterial species, shows a study made by a research team at the University of Gothenburg in cooperation with Chalmers University of Technology. The results are published in an article in the scientific journal Nature Communications.

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Imaging is undergoing massive changes

Although developments in molecular imaging still do not reach the high expectations placed upon them, the change in imaging is very obvious. Having been limited to the imaging of morphology, nowadays information on tissue characteristics, blood vessels or the metabolic behaviour of tumours provide many more insights, for example into response behaviour.

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Plasma therapy: an alternative to antibiotics?

Cold plasma jets could be a safe, effective alternative to antibiotics to treat multi-drug resistant infections, says a study published this week in the January issue of the Journal of Medical Microbiology. The team of Russian and German researchers showed that a ten-minute treatment with low-temperature plasma was not only able to kill drug-resistant bacteria causing wound infections in rats but…

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The 3rd Annual General Meeting of the Austrian Society for Laboratory Medicine and Clinical Chemistry

Different tests bring different results, and results of the same types of test vary from laboratory to laboratory. "In the case of test procedures for autoimmune diseases there are incredible discrepancies," confirmed Professor Manfred Herold, head of the Laboratory for Rheumatism at the University Clinic for Internal Medicine One, Innsbruck. The reason: "There are no standards for…

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1000 Genomes Project publishes analysis of completed pilot phase

Small genetic differences between individuals help explain why some people have a higher risk than others for developing illnesses such as diabetes or cancer. In the journal Nature, the 1000 Genomes Project, an international public-private consortium, published the most comprehensive map of these genetic differences, called variations, estimated to contain approximately 95 percent of the genetic…

Urine protein could pave the way for new prostate cancer test

Scientists from the Cancer Research UK Cambridge Research Institute and The Institute of Cancer Research (ICR) built on earlier genome-wide research to link a genetic change associated with prostate cancer risk to a significant reduction in the amount of a protein called microseminoprotein-beta (MSMB). The protein - which regulates prostate cell death - is produced by normal prostate cells –…

The MIRACLE begins

Detection of circulating and disseminated tumour cells in blood is a promising method to diagnose cancer dissemination, or to follow up cancer patients during therapy. Today’s methods and involve time-consuming (more than a day) sample processing and cell isolation steps -- all labour intensive and expensive. A lab-on-chip that could integrate those processing steps would enable faster,…

Cancer screening made simple

Current cervical cancer screening is time consuming and expensive, but now new breakthrough technology developed by European researchers should allow large-range screening by non-medical personnel with almost immediate results and at a much lower cost.

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„OMICS“ – new buzzword for health policy

“The current shift of healthcare towards a systemic and holistic understanding of the causes of diseases is a true scientific revolution,“ Prof. Dr. Angela Brand said today at the European Health Forum Gastein (EHFG). Prof. Brand, Director of the European Centre for Public Health Genomics hosted at Maastricht University, added that the “next-generation sequencing technologies are opening…

AACC 2010

California, USA: 20,000 visitors and 700 manufacturers showing products in almost 2000 booths at the American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) annual meeting (July 5-29, 2010) underlined the importance of this, the world’s largest gathering of clinical laboratory professionals.

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Seeking the genetic basis of diabetes

Researchers have identified 12 new genes associated with Type 2 diabetes (T2D) that look set to improve the understanding of the processes underpinning the condition. The findings could also offer new biological pathways that can be explored as targets for new therapies to tackle T2D.

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Cheap and fast cancer diagnosis

t the Engineering in Medicine and Biology Conference (EMBC) in Buenos Aires (Argentina), imec and its project partners announce the launch of the European Seventh Framework Project MIRACLE. The MIRACLE project aims at developing an operational lab-on-chip for the isolation and detection of circulating and disseminated tumor cells (CTCs and DTCs) in blood. The new lab-on-chip is an essential step…

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New weapons enter the un-ending war against MRSA

A decade ago the battle against hospital-acquired MRSA (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus bacterial strain) infections appeared to be lost, or at least without end. However, today, we see very important science-to-business achievements in this field. Report: Rostislav Kuklik

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C. difficile - Molecular scientists design a very quick cheap test

A small team of researchers at Barts and London School of Medicine and Dentistry, in London, has developed a rapid, cheap and effective kit to test for the presence of Clostridium difficile. And, they report that the new kit costs as little as 50 pence to £1 per test and can deliver results in under an hour, compared to commercial kits that cost up to £25 and in some cases take significantly…

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Article • MRSA

Effective screening can kill several birds with one stone

The MRSA problem has been ignored almost stoically in many European countries for the past 20 years. Thus the number of resistant Staphylococci cases exploded from 1% in 1990 around 25% in 2010. However, the recognition that an infection can result in additional hospital costs of up to €10,000 has led to a change in thinking. The Netherlands, for example, declared war on MRSA with ‘search and…

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Eppendorf launches the first segmented PCR plate

Eppendorf AG offers the first two-component PCR plate designed to be easily divisible, saving material and money when running smaller-scale experiments. These twin.tec unskirted 96-well plates fit almost all available PCR instruments and can be snapped into four separate 24-well segments and the empty wells saved for future use.

Secret to Healing chronic wounds might lie in tiny pieces of silent RNA

Scientists have determined that chronic wounds might have trouble healing because of the actions of a tiny piece of a molecular structure in cells known as RNA. The Ohio State University researchers discovered in a new animal study that this RNA segment in wounds with limited blood flow lowers the production of a protein that is needed to encourage skin cells to grow and close over the sore.

Papilloma virus infection

The latest analysis of a vaccine’s safety, efficacy and immunogenicity indicates that Cervarix, a human papilloma virus (HPV) vaccine offers sustained protection for over six years against infection by viral types HPV-16 and HPV-18, most commonly associated with cervical cancer.

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Screening and colorectal cancer

Colorectal cancer is a suitable target for screening when it has a relatively high incidence – the second highest cancer incidence among women and third among men in Europe – and has a high mortality (~50% are expected to die of the disease), but can be cured if detected at an early stage.

Epigenomics

The UK’s Babraham Institute, which conducts biomedical research, has established a ‘high throughput’ epigenomics sequencing facility to improve understanding of healthier ageing.

International Cancer Genome Project starts in Germany

Brain tumors are the primary cause of cancer mortality in children. Even if a cure is possible, young patients often suffer tremendously from the stressful treatment which can be harmful to the developing brain. Therefore, there is an urgent need for target-oriented, gentle treatment methods. The most important childhood brain tumors are medulloblastoma, which is diagnosed in approximately one…

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Parkinson's Disease: genetic risk factors identified

Two genes containing mutations known to cause rare familial forms of parkinsonism are also associated with the more common, sporadic form of the disease where there is no family history, researchers have found. An International study reveals common gene variants in people of European descent.

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A promising new breast cancer test

The Innovation Prize for outstanding, application-oriented ideas in life sciences has been awarded by the Working Group of BioRegions at the Biotechnica in Hanover to research groups from Heidelberg, Munich and Ulm. Professor Lisa Wiesmüller, of the Women’s Hospital, University of Ulm, received the €2,000 prize for developing a test system for the identification and early detection of breast…

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Human papilloma viral infection

A global vaccination programme against human papilloma virus (HPV), to include boys as well as girls, could lead to eradication of the virus and virtual disappearance of cervical cancer, according to Nobel Prize winner, Professor Emeritus Harald zur Hausen (University of California, San Diego) after recently delivering a keynote lecture at the 16th International Meeting of the European Society of…

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The biology of cancers

Cancer research is progressing rapidly. For a large part, biology contributes to its most significant advances, which aim to renew the whole model of cancer care.

Nobel scientist urges wider vaccination against HPV infection

A global vaccination programme against human papilloma virus (HPV), to include boys as well as girls, could lead to eradication of the virus and virtual disappearance of cervical cancer, predicted Nobel Prize winner, Professor Harald zur Hausen, after delivering the key-note lecture at the 16th International Meeting of the European Society of Gynaecological Oncology (ESGO) in Belgrade, Serbia,…

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Simpler tests for gastrointestinal cancers

Colorectal cancer occurs in approximately one in every 17 people during their lifetime and is the second leading cause of cancer death in Europe. Two new blood tests could aid in the early identification of patients with gastrointestinal (GI) cancers. The tests will make GI cancer detection simpler, cost-effective, and more acceptable to patients than current methods, the researchers say.

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Silenced genes as a warning sign of blood cancer

In the genetic material of cancer cells, important growth inhibitors are often switched off by chemical labels in the DNA. Scientists of the German Cancer Research Center and the Ohio State University, USA, discovered in mice that cancer-typical DNA labeling occurs long before the first symptoms of leukemia appear. A test for the genetic label might therefore help to detect a developing cancer at…

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The AACC Annual Meeting & Clinical Lab Expo

The American Association for Clinical Chemistry (AACC) hosts its 2009 meeting in conjunction with the Canadian Society of Clinical Chemists. Along with this, a high European participation is on the cards. "We are pleased that so many peers from Europe join us each year, and that our European colleagues lead many of the important scientific sessions," said Barbara Goldsmith PhD, current AACC…

Faster, More Affordable Test Being Developed for Improved MRSA Screening

A rapid, portable, point-of-care test for Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), developed by TwistDx based on a new way of detecting DNA, was one of nine products chosen from approximately 250 applications submitted to the Smart Solutions for HCAI programme, an NHS project that aims to identify innovative technologies with the potential to fight hospital bugs.

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Genome Structural Variation Consortium used Roche technology

Roches NimbleGen´s CGH microarray platform was used to generate the highest-resolution map of human genome copy number variation. Recent advances in microarray technology have led to the discovery of extensive copy number variation in the human genome, including DNA copy number gains (duplications), losses (deletions), and multiallelic or complex rearrangements.

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Revolutionary invention

When Leo Baekeland invented the world's first true man-made plastic in 1907, his diary entry stated that he believed that "this invention will prove important in the future." This was definitely an understatement, since man-made plastics have revolutionised life for us all, especially in the field of drug discovery with major advances in PCR and QPCR techniques undertaken using plastic…

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Eppendorf cycler can now also be used in medical diagnostics

PCR plays a major part in medical diagnostics. From a few drops of blood, a tissue sample or a bacterial colony will be sufficient to confirm the presence of specific DNA. This approach relies, however, on a prior understanding of the mechanisms underlying the condition e.g. the causative organism in a viral disease. Standard primers are currently available for many pathogenic organisms which is…

The impact of laser technology on medicine

The construction of the first fully functional laser in 1960 was not just an important milestone in physics; it paved the way for numerous innovations in various medical applications. Recent technologic developments and the latest results from research and application in laser driven therapy, diagnostics, and production, were presented and discussed in the context of a workshop,

On-the-spot multi-task lab-on-a-chip

A new lab-on-chip system, the ivD-platform, which quickly determines, on site, the contents and parameters of biological samples, such as blood or saliva, with the help of immunoassay or DNA analysis, was presented at Biotechnica this autumn.

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Arrays to detect genomic disorder

Roche reports that, using its NimbleGen CGH arrays, researchers* have identified a recurrent reciprocal genomic rearrangement of chromosomal region 17q12 in foetal samples with congenital anomalies that is also associated with paediatric renal disease and epilepsy.

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A patch of skin

An interdisciplinary researcher team from the University of Sheffield has developed an ultra-fine, 3-dimensional scaffold to regenerate skin for wound healing. It dissolves after integrating in the wound and might provide a more safer way of treating injuries.

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A "palm" for biodetection

Scientists in Singapore are reporting their development of a complete, palm-sized sensor that can detect disease-causing microbes, toxins, and other biological threats instantly without the need for an external power source or a computer.

Genes that controll ES-cell fate identified

Scientists have identified about two dozen genes that control embryonic stem cell fate. The genes may either prod or restrain stem cells from drifting into a kind of limbo, they suspect. The limbo lies between the embryonic stage and fully differentiated, or specialized, cells, such as bone, muscle or fat.

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Know your enemy

Along with MRSA and ESBL bacteria, Clostridium difficile is causing a growing problem. Epidemics of a new C. difficile strain have already occurred in hospitals in North America, England and the Benelux countries.

Acinetobacter baumannii genome sequence determined

Italy - The genome sequence of Acinetobacter baumannii has been determined by scientists at the Istituto di Tecnologie Biomediche, the Dipartimento di Malattie Infettive at the Istituto Superiore della Sanità and the Dipartimento di Biologia at Roma Tre University. In Italy alone this antibiotic resistant pathogen causes 4,500 to 7,000 deaths annually.

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At home genomic tests for disease risk may be premature

The recent marketing of "at home" genomic tests for disease risk may be premature, according to Dr. Kenneth Offit, MD, MPH, Chief of the Clinical Genetics Service at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center (MSKCC). "Health professionals are now faced with the prospect of their patients coming to the office, a DNA profile in hand, asking for preventative management tailored to their…

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ENTER NOW!

In partnership with European Hospital, DNA Art UK will supply the winner with a 90 x 60cm canvas of his or her own DNA, in a colour selected from a choice of nine (or in customised hues)

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analytica 2008

Analytica, to be held in Munich for the 21st time, has become a leading international trade fair for instrumental analysis, laboratory technology and biotechnology, showcasing the entire range of equipment, solutions and services for laboratories in industry and research. About 400 exhibitors will fill five halls in the New Munich Trade Fair Centre.

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DNA Art for your hospital?

For anyone wishing to purchase a product from DNA Art UK the company will offer a 15% discount for a limited time only

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An essential tool for detection of respiratory illnesses

By performing just a single test healthcare personnel is now able to simultaneously detect eighteen of the most prevalent respiratory infections in patients. The Seeplex 18-plex Respiratory Test is a highly economical method for molecular diagnostics of respiratory infections. It achieves results rapidly at minimal costs per test.

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Increasing incidence of adenocarcinoma of the esophagus

A new study from researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center and the Dallas Veterans Affairs Medical Center shows the relation between chronic acid reflux and malignant mutation - and why an accurate therapy of Gastroesophageal Reflux Disease (GERD) is of major importance.

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Breakthrough in lymphatic cancer treatment

Celebrating his 71st birthday this year, Czech chemist Professor Antonin Holy will also be able to celebrate the launch of clinical testing of a drug to treat non-Hodgkins Lymphoma (NHL) and chronic lymphatic leukaemia (CLL) - adding another to his 60+ registered patents.

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Discovering Toshiba

Toshiba Medical Systems Corporation is a global medical solutions company covering research and development, manufacture, sales and service for medical diagnostic X-ray systems, CT scanners, magnetic resonance imaging (MRI), ultrasound, nuclear medicine systems, as well as healthcare IT systems and radiation therapy equipment. Daniela Zimmermann, of European Hospital, recently visited Toshiba's…

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DNA copying

Researchers have made a significant new discovery about how cells copy their genetic information accurately and efficiently to avoid cancers and other diseases.

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Test identifies patients who benefit from targeted cancer drugs

USA - A new laboratory test - EGFRx, developed by the Weisenthal Cancer Group* - has accurately identified patients who would benefit from treatment with the molecularly-targeted anti-cancer therapies gefitinib (Iressa, AstraZeneca) and erlotinib (Tarceva, Genentech), according to clinical data published at the annual meeting of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO).

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Biochip for the early detection of cancer

The Innsbruck Biocentre, led by Professor Lukas Huber, is involved in a major European research project. This involves the development of a 'biological interface' for a new semiconductor developed by Siemens.

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Britain earmarks £50 million for NHS genetics

'Genetics offers prediction of risk, more precise diagnosis, more targeted and effective use of existing drugs, new gene-based drugs and therapies, and prevention and treatment regimes tailored to an individual's genetic profile.'

Article • Stick to conventional tests!

New cervical smear tests are not better

France - Researchers have found new cervical smear tests to be unreliable and conclude that these should not replace conventional tests (PAP smears). Their study also emphasises the need to improve the 'hard evidence' in studies of new technologies. It also has implications for the regulation of medical devices and clinical practice, as well as hospital laboratory economics.

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