Wednesday, July 11, 2007

Genetics and Predictive Health in the News, July 2-9, 2007

Colorectal and Prostate Cancer

Study identifies a common genetic risk factor for colorectal and prostate cancer. July 8, 2007. University of Southern California. Eurekalert:
"[O]ne of seven genetic risk factors previously identified as increasing the probability of developing prostate cancer also increases the probability of developing colorectal cancer".

U-M, Israeli scientists report major advance in search for genes associated with colon cancer. July 8, 2007. University of Michigan Health System. Eurekalert:
"In a paper to be published in the July issue of Cancer Biology and Therapy, the international research team reports finding a significant link between genetic variation in a single region of human chromosome 8 and the risk of colorectal cancer. . . . The researchers compared the genetic makeup and family history of more than 1,800 colorectal cancer patients with that of 1,900 healthy people with the same breakdown of age, gender and ethnicity - either Ashkenazi Jew, Sephardic Jew or Arab/non-Jew".

Genetic Testing

Publication Announcement: Comparison of State Laws for Direct-to-Consumer Testing. July 06, 2007. The Genetics and Public Policy Center.
"Despite increased attention to the potential of direct-to-consumer (DTC) genetic tests to mislead consumers or waste their money – including a Federal Trade Commission warning in July 2006 – 26 states and the District of Columbia permit DTC laboratory testing without restriction, according to a new survey by the Genetics and Public Policy Center. .... [O]nly 13 states prohibit DTC testing, while 11 permit it only for specified categories of tests, which tend to exclude genetic tests".

Translational Research

$2 million Komen Award will fund research to reduce risk of breast cancer. July 5, 2007. Georgetown University Medical Center. Eurekalert:
"Now that screening for genes that predispose a woman to breast cancer is routinely available, women at an increased risk are looking for ways to keep themselves healthy. Insoo Bae, PhD, a junior faculty member of the Lombardi Comprehensive Cancer Center at Georgetown University Medical Center received a $2 million research award from Susan G. Komen for the Cure . . . .

Bae . . . has developed a new methodology for studying the interaction between environmental carcinogens and genetic risk for breast cancer".


Gene linked to childhood asthma: Scientists have identified a gene that is strongly associated with an increased risk of childhood asthma. July 4, 2007. BBC News:
"Studying more than 2,000 children, they pinpointed a gene called ORMDL3, which was found at higher levels in the blood cells of children with asthma. . . . Carrying a specific variant of this gene may increase the risk of developing asthma by up to 70%".

Reproductive Technologies

Pre-implantation genetic screening reduces both ongoing pregnancy and live birth rates in over 35s. European Society for Human Reproduction and Embryology, July 4, 2007. Eurekalert:
"Lyon, France: Preimplantation genetic screening (PGS), often considered to hold out the best chance for older women undergoing IVF to have a pregnancy and birth, does not increase on-going pregnancy or live birth rates ...."


NIH Roadmap leads to genomics. Stewart, A. July 3, 2007. Newsletter, PHG Foundation:
"As part of its Roadmap strategy to tackle major opportunities and gaps in biomedical research, the US National Institutes of Health has published its latest list of priority research areas that cut across all 27 of its constituent institutes and centres. There is a clear focus on genomics . . . ."

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