Researchers Create First Targeted Knockout Rats Using Zinc Finger Nuclease Technology

In a paper published in the July 24, 2009 issue of Science, researchers describe the novel application of ZFNs to generate rats with permanent, heritable gene mutations, paving the way for the development of novel genetically modified animal models of human disease. ZFN technology will make the generation of such animals faster and will create new opportunities in species other than mice.

"Until now, rat geneticists lacked a viable technique for 'knocking out,' or mutating, specific genes to understand their function," said Howard Jacob, Ph.D. Director of the Human and Molecular Genetics Center at the Medical College of Wisconsin. "This study demonstrates that ZFN technology bypasses the current need to conduct cumbersome experiments involving nuclear transfer (cloning) or embryonic stem cells and allows rapid creation of new animal models."

Genetic clue to brain cancer risk

UK and US scientists identified genetic indicators that someone is at greater risk of developing a glioma - which accounts for 50% of all brain. 34 SNPs linked with glioma.

Read on at:

NCSU News :: New Tool Helps Researchers Identify DNA Patterns of Cancer, Genetic Disorders

David Cox, a Ph.D. student in computer science at NC State, devised the "symbolic scatter plot" tool to provide a visual representation of a DNA sequence. Cox explains, "The human visual system is more adept at identifying patterns, and differentiating between patterns, than existing computer programs such as those that try to identify repetitions of DNA sequences." In other words, the naked eye sees patterns better than computers can.

NCSU News :: New Tool Helps Researchers Identify DNA Patterns of Cancer, Genetic Disorders

German Qiagen up on talk of bid by Sanofi-Aventis

Shares in Qiagen rose more than 5 percent on Friday as traders cited market talk that French drug specialist Sanofi-Aventis was considering a bid for the German Biotech. "I've heard talk of a bid of 14.50 euros per share for Qiagen," a Frankfurt-based trader says. A spokesman at Sanofi-Aventis said the company does not comment on market rumours.

German Qiagen up on talk of bid by Sanofi-Aventis - News -

CDC seeing more regular flu cases now

U.S. health officials are seeing a surprisingly high number of cases of ordinary, seasonal flu at a time when the flu season typically peters out.

About half of people recently testing positive for the flu have the new swine flu virus, Dr. Daniel Jernigan of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta said Friday.

"The H1N1 virus is not going away," Jernigan said. The virus "appears to be expanding throughout the United States" and poses "an ongoing public health threat," he said.

Swine flu continues to affect more younger people — those ages 5 to 24 — and CDC is still seeing relatively few cases in older people

In the United States, there are now more than 4,700 probable and confirmed cases of swine flu, and 173 hospitalizations and four deaths, Jernigan said. The tally doesn't include a fifth death that Texas officials said Friday was due to swine flu.

CDC seeing more regular flu cases now

Experts say develop eggs using stem cells from mice

In an article published in the journal Nature Cell Biology, scientists in China said they found a way to generate new eggs using stem cells harvested from the ovaries of juvenile and adult female mice. "The finding may have important implications in regenerative and reproductive medicine," they wrote.

Experts say develop eggs using stem cells from mice

Curing HIV in Germany?

Every virus-resistant person has two mutant copies of a gene called CCR5, and a new biotech tool called zinc finger nucleases givve anyone that mutation. Instead of transferring bone marrow from another person, doctors could take a few cells from a patient, modify them to be HIV-resistant and then put them back in."

(technology available now from Sigma-Aldrich, CompoZr ZFN)

See #4 Curing HIV in Germany

Top 10 Scientific Breakthroughs of 2008 Wired Science from "

Team finds breast cancer gene linked to disease spread

A team of researchers at Princeton University and The Cancer Institute of New Jersey has identified a long-sought gene that is fatefully switched on in 30 to 40 percent of all breast cancer patients, spreading the disease, resisting traditional chemotherapies and eventually leading to death. The gene, called "Metadherin" or MTDH, is located in a small region of human chromosome 8 and appears to be crucial to cancer's spread or metastasis because it helps tumor cells stick tightly to blood vessels in distant organs. The gene also makes tumors more resistant to the powerful chemotherapeutic agents normally used to wipe out the deadly cells.

Princeton University - Team finds breast cancer gene linked to disease spread

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