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The following is a review of diagnostics related medical research worldwide

The information is updated the first week of every month - so ... make this a regular stop in your information gathering activities.

The following information has been compiled from publicly available Sources, StratCom does not assume any responsibility for the accuracy or the authenticity of the information and StratCom cannot be held liable for errors.

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Research News for January 2000

Scientists at Dartmouth Medical School, Hanover, NH, have identified a new bacterial antibiotic target and the mechanism by which it works. The new approach appendages inactivates the pili secreted by bacteria that allow them to implant and grow in various places in the body. They have identified a bacterial protease, type four prepilin peptidase and a mechanism to inhibit the protease's activity.

StemCells, Inc., a wholly owned subsidiary of CytoTherapeutics has announced that it has succeeded in purifying human brain stem cells directly from brain tissue and have dramatically expanded the number of these cells in simple defined cultures. Stem cells are rare, undifferentiated cells that can both duplicate themselves and produce functionally specialized cell types that constitute the various tissues or organ systems of the human body. The company reported that, "The ability to isolate and culture normal human brain stem cells is a breakthrough that could open the way to utilizing these cells to replace or repair diseased or damaged tissue in a patient with neurological or neurodegenerative disorders."

Researchers at the chemical pathology department at the Prince of Wales Hospital and Chinese University of Hong Kong have developed a technique to detect and analyze cell-free fetal DNA which is found in maternal plasma in abundant quantities and is a promising source of material for genetic analysis. Fetal nucleated cells in maternal circulation during pregnancy are rare. This has made the routine application of this approach difficult. So far the approach has been used to determine fetal sex and rhesus D negative fetuses.

Scientists at the University of California at Los Angeles have discovered the mechanism by which Helicobacter pylori are able to live and multiply in the stomach. They have found that the key to H. pylori's survival is a gene that produces a protein called UreI that regulates the flow of an enzyme that helps neutralize stomach acids. The discovery might lead to newer, simpler treatments for H. pylori.

Physicians at the Yale University School of Medicine in New Haven, Connecticut have used doppler ultrasonography to detect moderate to severe fetal anemia that results from maternal red-cell alloimmunization. While amniocentesis and cordocentesis are both used to diagnose the condition, ultrasound is noninvasive and less expensive.

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