Researchers from Saarland University and Siemens Healthcare report that a new blood test can accurately discriminate between healthy people and patients with Alzheimer’s disease. It’s hoped the non-invasive and relatively cheap test could one day help with diagnosis. The research is published in the open access journal Genome Biology .
Biomarker Bulletin is an occasionally recurring update of news focused on biomarkers aggregated at BiomarkerCommons.org. Biomarkers are physical, functional or biochemical indicators of normal physiological or disease processes. The individualization of disease management — personalized medicine — is dependent on developing biomarkers that promote specific clinical domains, including early detection, risk, diagnosis, prognosis and predicted response to therapy.
- Prize4Life Awards $1 Million Prize for Discovery of ALS Biomarker
Prize4Life, a non-profit organization dedicated to accelerating the discovery of a cure for Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) by offering incentives to drive innovation, today announced that Dr. Seward Rutkove, Chief of the Division of Neuromuscular Disease at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center and Associate Professor of Neurology at Harvard Medical School, has received the $1 million dollar Prize4Life award for the discovery of a new ALS biomarker.
- Rosetta Genomics Signs Agreements to Advance Development of Body Fluids-Based Diagnostic Tests
Rosetta Genomics has announced that it has signed two new agreements for the development and validation of microRNA-based diagnostics for various indications related to its Gen 3 products. Rosetta Genomics Gen 3 tests focus on cardiovascular indications, neurodegenerative diseases, women’s health and early detection of certain cancers, and are designed to leverage microRNA biomarkers extracted from body fluids.
- Genomic Health Announces Results of Biomarker Discovery Program Using Next-Generation Sequencing
Last week, Genomic Health, Inc. announced that its scientists had successfully used Illumina next-generation sequencing technology to survey expression of the whole human transcriptome and test hypotheses for biomarker discovery in archived tumor and normal breast tissue samples.
- Spinal Muscular Atrophy Foundation and Rules-Based Medicine Collaborate on SMA Biomarker Panel
The Spinal Muscular Atrophy (SMA) Foundation and Rules-based Medicine (RBM) have reached the first milestone in a program to develop a panel of plasma protein biomarkers for SMA using RBM’s Multi-Analyte Profiling (MAP) technology platform.
- Computable Genomix Secures Investment for the Development of Genetic Biomarker Tests
Memphis-based Computable Genomix announced this week that it has secured an investment from venture capital firm Innova Memphis to pilot a novel process for developing genetic biomarker tests. Leveraging its next-generation computational discovery capability, the company is developing highly targeted genetic biomarker tests for clinical researchers.
The central dogma of molecular biology deals with the detailed residue-by-residue transfer of sequential information. It states that such information cannot be transferred from protein to either protein or nucleic acid. The irreversible flow of information is from DNA to RNA to protein; DNA is transcribed into messenger RNA (mRNA) and subsequently translated into protein. However, in recent years it has become clear that additional genetic information exists in the human genome. Non-protein coding RNA (ncRNA) refers to mRNA that is transcribed from DNA but is not translated into protein. These sequences, once thought of as “junk DNA” – portions of the DNA sequence of the genome that don’t have a function – are being found to have crucial roles in human development, physiology and disease. Indeed, recent studies suggest that there are thousands of ncRNAs in the human genome [1-2].
Non-coding RNAs include a class of molecules called microRNAs (miRNAs or miRs). MicroRNAs are highly expressed in normal tissues and are being found to have critical roles in gene regulatory processes during cellular development and differentiation. MicroRNAs are small ncRNAs ~21-nucleotides long that regulate gene expression at the post-transcriptional level. MicroRNAs function by binding target mRNA molecules and either inhibiting translation into protein or targeting them for degradation. Abnormal microRNA expression has been linked to many human diseases, including schizophrenia, autism and cancer.