Teen Develops Computer Algorithm to Diagnose Leukemia

Brittany Wenger isn’t your average high-school senior: She taught the computer how to diagnose leukemia.

The 18-year-old student from Sarasota, Fla. built a custom, cloud-based “artificial neural network” to find patterns in genetic expression profiles to diagnose patients with an aggressive form of cancer called mixed-lineage leukemia (MLL). Simply put, this means Wenger taught the computer how to diagnose leukemia by creating a diagnostic tool for doctors to use.


Molecular trigger for Alzheimer’s disease identified

For the first time, scientists at Cambridge’s Department of Chemistry have been able to map in detail the pathway that generates “aberrant” forms of proteins which are at the root of neurodegenerative conditions such as Alzheimer’s.

They believe the breakthrough is a vital step closer to increased capabilities for earlier diagnosis of neurological disorders such as Alzheimer’s and Parkinson’s, and opens up possibilities for a new generation of targeted drugs, as scientists say they have uncovered the earliest stages of the development of Alzheimer’s that drugs could possibly target.

The study, published today in the journal PNAS, is a milestone in the long-term research established in Cambridge by Professor Christopher Dobson and his colleagues, following the realisation by Dobson of the underlying nature of protein ‘misfolding’ and its connection with disease over 15 years ago.

Novartis produces flu vaccine in less than 5 days

Most people recall the Swine Flu epidemic of 2009. What many do not realize is that the vaccine took almost 9 months to develop and manufacture. A new study, published Wednesday in Science Translational Medicine shows that this time is being reduced drastically; flu pandemic vaccine manufacturing could begin in days, not months, potentially saving great numbers of lives. The study led by famed San Diego geneticist J. Craig Venter of the J. Craig Venter Institutealong with Rino Rappuoli of Novartis, revealed that they were able to design a vaccine in four days and four hours for a new strain of flu that had appeared in China. The new process is much faster, in part, because researchers can now use the genetic code of a virus to design its vaccine. "To my knowledge, this is the first real-world product from synthetic biology," said Venter.

New Flourescent dyes invented could significantly improve imaging

The  long life of the newly discovered  triangulenium dyes means that an image can be produced without background noise. Furthermore, the extra 90 nanoseconds opens the possibility of filming living images of the processes occurring within cells, for example when a drug attacks an illness.



Human Embryonic Stem Cells Cloned

Scientists have finally succeeded in using cloning to create human embryonic stem cells, a step toward developing replacement tissue to treat diseases but one that might also hasten the day when it will be possible to create cloned babies.


New Mutant Virus developed in China

The new mutant virus was easily transmitted between guinea pigs through respiratory droplets –
which the Chinese team said proved the deadly H5N1 virus may need but a simple genetic mutation to acquire the ability to get transmitted from human to human.


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