Race differences affect response to drugs and infections

Gene expression differences between those of European and African ancestry affect response to drugs and infections. – Differences in gene expression levels between people of European versus African ancestry can affect how each group responds to certain drugs or fights off specific infections, report researchers from the University of Chicago Medical Center and the Expression Research Laboratory at Affymetrix Inc. of Santa Clara, CA.

New chemical tool kit reveals insights into drug toxicity

A Harvard Medical School team led by Vamsi Mootha has developed a new chemical tool kit that helps in explaining how drugs can affect its users, reveals insights into drug toxicity. – Why do nearly 1 million people taking cholesterol-lowering statins often experience muscle cramps? Why is it that in the rare case when a diabetic takes medication for intestinal worms, his glucose levels improve? Is there any scientific basis for the purported health effects of green tea?

Improving the safety testing of chemicals

NIH Collaborates with EPA to Improve the Safety Testing of Chemicals; New Strategy Aims to Reduce Reliance on Animal Testing. – Testing the safety of chemicals ranging from pesticides to household cleaners will benefit from new technologies and a plan for collaboration, according to federal scientists from the National Institutes of Health (NIH) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), who announced a new toxicity testing agreement.

7 new prostate cancer genetic risk factors identified

UK researchers identified more than 7 new genetic links to prostate cancer, 2 of which would be included in a new diagnostic test aimed at spotting men at risk from this disease. – 7 new sites in the human genome identified that are linked to men’s risk of developing prostate cancer, revealed by Cancer Research UK funded scientists at the Institute of Cancer Research and University of Cambridge.

IGFBP7 protein may stop melanoma skin cancer

One might call it a tale of two melanocytes. Given the same genetic mutation, why does one melanocyte shut down growth and become a relatively benign mole, while another rages out of control and develops into deadly melanoma” – Howard Hughes Medical Institute (HHMI) researchers have uncovered a protein that stops the growth of melanoma, a cancer that develops from pigment-producing cells in the skin called melanocytes.

1000 Genomes Project to support disease studies

One thousand people are to have their genomes mapped in a major effort to understand how genes influence disease. – An international research consortium announced the 1000 Genomes Project, an ambitious effort that will involve sequencing the genomes of at least a thousand people from around the world to create the most detailed and medically useful picture to date of human genetic variation.

Studies highlight MRSA evolution and resilience

A single strain of an evolving bacterium has been responsible for most of the community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) infections. – Community-associated methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (CA-MRSA) infections are caused primarily by a single strain-USA300-of an evolving bacterium that has spread with “extraordinary transmissibility” throughout the United States during the past five years, according to a new study led by National Institutes of Health (NIH) scientists. CA-MRSA, an emerging public health concern, typically causes readily treatable soft-tissue infections such as boils, but also can lead to life-threatening conditions that are difficult to treat.

Chromosomal abnormalities play substantial role in autism

Chromosomal abnormalities play substantial role in autism, revealed in a study. Noting this change would help early diagnosis for autism or autism spectrum disorder (ASD) – a kind of developmental disorder. – Genome-wide scans of families affected by autism spectrum disorder (ASD) have revealed new evidence that previously unknown chromosomal abnormalities have a substantial role in the prevalent developmental disorder, according to a report published online Jan. 17th in the American Journal of Human Genetics, a publication of Cell Press.