MicroRNAs may be key to HIV's ability to hide, evade drugs

The team showed that a cluster of miRNAs bind to a certain location on the viral RNA, which in turn, blocks the creation of important proteins, and HIV replication. Resting CD4 T cells, they found, are “enriched” with more than the normal amount of these miRNAs compared to the activated T cells. When the researchers used antisense technology to block miRNA-caused viral inhibition, they found that the HIV again was active and able to replicate – proving miRNA’s critical role in maintaining latency.

MicroRNAs may be key to HIV's ability to hide, evade drugs, Jefferson scientists find

Is DCA "The Cure" for Cancer?

DCA is an odourless, colourless, inexpensive, relatively non-toxic, small molecule. And researchers at the University of Alberta believe it may soon be used as an effective treatment for many forms of cancer.

Official University of Alberta DCA Site


The Government of Canada has put in place movement restrictions to prevent the spread of avian influenza in Saskatchewan. Avian influenza is a highly contagious disease in birds. Movement of birds, bird products, or things that may have come in contact with birds may cause the spread of avian influenza.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency - Avian Influenza - Saskatchewan (2007) - Public Notice - MOVEMENT RESTRICTIONS IN PLACE TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF AVIAN INFLUENZA IN SASKATCHEWAN

Researchers develop new technique to synthesize drugs faster

Chemists spend hours synthesizing compounds that a cell can make in minutes. Now, researchers have demonstrated a way to bridge that gap. They've synthesized a complex natural product by taking enzymes used by a cell and mixing them with simple starting materials in a single flask. The one-step process offers a simple, potentially quicker way to manufacture drugs based on molecules found in nature

Technology Review: Natural Products Made in a Test Tube

DNA unraveled - New info Francis Collin's calls a scientific revolution

The discoveries have one common theme: Cellular processes long assumed to be "genetic" appear quite often to be the result of highly complex interactions occurring in regions of DNA void of genes. This is roughly akin to Wall Street waking to the realization that money doesn't make the world go 'round, after all. "It's a radical concept, one that a lot of scientists aren't very happy with," said Francis S. Collins, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute. "But the scientific community is going to have to rethink what genes are, what they do and don't do, and how the genome's functional elements have evolved. "I think we're all pretty awed by what we're seeing," Collins said. "It amounts to a scientific revolution."

DNA unraveled - The Boston Globe

A Dream Team Of Drugs And Diagnosis?

If a deal is struck, a Roche-Ventana team could help launch the expected medical revolution - personalized medicine.

In the coming decade, pharmaceutical products--especially cancer drugs--will be created in tandem with diagnostic tests that tell doctors which patients are likely to benefit. Right now, physicians often feel they're flying blind. Each patient arrives at the hospital with a unique genetic makeup, which affects whether a prescribed drug will kill tumor cells, cause devastating side effects, or possibly do nothing at all. If a new generation of gene tests can help predict these different outcomes, patients will be spared expensive and unhelpful ordeals. The pool of target patients for many medications will also shrink. But if doctors are confident a drug will help somebody, they'll prescribe it aggressively, and insurers will be more likely to foot the bill.

A Dream Team Of Drugs And Diagnosis? Business Week.

Senate OKs FDA drug safety bill and Pharma has to fund the measures

The new FDA powers are a response to serious problems that emerged in patients who took Merck & Co Inc's withdrawn arthritis drug Vioxx and other medicines. Critics said the FDA was too slow to respond to signs linking Vioxx to heart attacks and strokes, as well as risks associated with antidepressants and other drugs. Lawmakers decided the agency needed clear authority to compel drugmakers to add new warnings or finish post-approval studies that might detect risks not seen in pre-market trials. The legislation extends for five years and increases the fees that drug and medical device makers pay to help fund product reviews. Pharmaceutical company payments will total nearly $393 million in fiscal 2008, which begins October 1, about $87 million more than the current level. Drugmakers will pay an additional $225 million over five years to help fund post-approval safety monitoring. The amount could go down if Congress provides money for the same purpose. For the first time, drug and device makers must post basic results for clinical trials of approved products in a public database. The bill also includes an FDA and industry agreement for companies to pay fees to fund agency reviews of television commercials that are submitted voluntarily

Senate OKs FDA drug safety bill - washingtonpost.com

Genome Area Linked to Rheumatoid Arthritis

The findings add to a growing body of evidence that this region: chromosome 9, complement component 5 (C5) and TNF receptor-associated factor 1 (TRAF1) is associated with rheumatoid arthritis, which is caused by an abnormal immune response to various tissues within the body. The condition affects about one percent of people in developed countries

Genome Area Linked to Rheumatoid Arthritis - washingtonpost.com

Will Sharing Ideas Advance Cancer Research?

Avichai Kremer, a 32-year-old who has ALS, the neurodegenerative illness also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is co-founder of the Prize4Life, which is awarding a $1 million prize for ALS biomarker discovery. The National Institutes of Health announced this year a program called the New Innovator Award offering grants of up to $1.5 million over five years for innovative research projects that don't have extensive preliminary data.

In addition, the National Cancer Institute is helping companies find a way to collaborate in drug testing without worrying about intellectual-property issues. The medical journal the Oncologist is encouraging the publication of failed medical trials in order to bring the ideas behind these trials -- which otherwise would never see the light of day -- to a broader audience. And Mr. Goldstein's father, Alfred, with help from the family's other son, Mark, also developed a venture that aims to improve idea-sharing: Through "Project Hope," named for his late wife, Alfred Goldstein guarantees certain funding for specific projects and requires the researchers share results with each other on a regular basis.

The Gotham Prize is a particularly ambitious project that is attracting attention. The foundation of the Ira Sohn Investment Research Conference, which runs the conference as a benefit to raise money for cancer, will fund an additional $250,000 prize for the best pediatric-cancer idea submitted to the Gotham site. Ephraim Gildor, founder of Axiom Investment Advisors, is also providing financial support for the prize.

Will Sharing Ideas Advance Cancer Research? - WSJ.com

Genetics Hold Promise, Challenges for Cancer Care

The "genetics generation" has much to be proud of, however. The mapping of the human genome in the late 1990s, the advent of high-output methods to comb through thousands of genes, and a deepening knowledge of the complexities of DNA and RNA are bringing new discoveries each week.
Some of the highlights from just the past year:
Last August, a U.S. team announced the first-ever gene test aimed at pinpointing which patients with early stage lung cancer will benefit from post-operative chemotherapy, and which can be spared the arduous treatment.
That same month, Canadian researchers reported on a new model to speed the identification of mutations linked to a silent killer, ovarian cancer. Spotting those genes could pinpoint women at risk.
A $100 million U.S. project called the Cancer Genome Atlas announced its first major achievement in September -- the mapping of genomes for breast and colon cancer. Scientists say they were able to identify 100 mutations thought responsible for each of those malignancies.
In March, British scientists reported that they had pinpointed 100 mutated genes that help drive more than 210 different cancer types. "This set of genes is known to regulate key functions in virtually all cell processes of growth, differentiation," researcher Andrew Futreal, of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge, said at the time.
And, in April, a team at Duke University said it had found genes that encourage breast cancer's spread to the lungs, as well as mutations that hamper chemotherapy's therapeutic effects.
It all looks very promising. But Lichtenfeld said that every DNA discovery has its downside, too.
"The more that we learn, the more complex it is going to get," he said.

Genetics Hold Promise, Challenges for Cancer Care - Yahoo! News

Blog Archive