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Friday, September 27, 2013
Biological Hackers 'Demystify' Genetics with Do-It-Yourself Biology
Assistant Professor of Neurosurgery and Oncology Johns Hopkins Hospital
Toward Personalized Care
In his research to advance personalized treatments for patients with brain and spinal tumors, Bettegowda is seeking to solve a puzzle that doctors have been observing for years. Why do two patients, who seemingly have very similar disease characteristics, end up having disparate outcomes?
The fact that certain patients "will respond so well to a particular therapy, while others will remain recalcitrant has been a well observed phenomenon clinically for very many years, and any physician can tell you that," Bettegowda says. "But trying to understand why that is has amazing potential to have tremendous impact for the patients."
Bettegowda is currently developing a blood test to diagnose disease and track tumor burden for patients with central nervous system tumors. Currently, there is little in the way of molecular tools to gauge disease progression for patients with tumors in the brain and in the spinal cord. By developing a prognostic molecular test, Bettegowda is hoping to create a tool that oncologists can use to better track disease progression in patients and gauge their future outcome.
Deep sequencing of the coronavirus behind a Middle East respiratory syndrome has indicated that virus has been introduced into the human population a number of times. Researchers at Saudi Arabia's Ministry of Health, the Wellcome Trust Sanger Center in the UK, and elsewhere analyzed genomic data from 21 viral isolatesand found that there was likely a complex transmission chain. In addition, they estimated that the virus may have been circulating since the middle of 2011.
Sequenom's board has authorized a review of potential strategic alternatives for its Genetic Analysis segment, which includes its MassArray System for measuring genetic target material and variations, as well as its iPlex assay for analyzing multiplex SNPs and somatic mutations. It said that it will evaluate "a full range of potential strategic alternatives" for the business. Any such deal would exclude its MaterniT21 Plus non-invasive prenatal diagnostic testing business.
The National Institutes of Health will provide up to $3.8 million per year for as many as five years to fund a consortium of researchers who will conduct a system analysis of extracellular RNA in the human body. Advances in RNA sequencing technologies have enabled investigators to identify "a large and diverse population" of exRNA, including microRNAs and long non-coding RNA, and RNA regulation may be "much more complex than previously believed," the institute said.
GenomeWeb and EMD Millipore invite you to view a webinar discussing issues that clinical and translational groups must consider when adopting genomic technologies for patient care and clinical trial stratification.
Register here to view the playback or download the recording.