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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 September 1998

Researcher, Dr. Petri Kovanen of the Wihuri Research Institute in Helsinki, Finland has found that immune system mast cells may help trigger heart attack, researchers report. He reported that mast cells, found in connective tissue, play a role in the body's response to injury and infection. Researchers now believe that inflammation contributes to the rupture of fatty lesions lying on artery walls. This rupture, in turn, can produce the clots that trigger heart attack. Kovanen's team examined tissue samples taken from the arteries of 29 patients with coronary disease and found that mast cell populations rose with increasing levels of coronary instability.
Source: Journal of the American College of Cardiology, Sept. 1998;32:606-612.

Researchers at the Harvard Medical School in Boston, Massachusetts are studying a technique, which involves the genetic engineering of bone marrow to stop the body from producing antibodies to the foreign tissue. The development could help make interspecies organ transplants a real possibility, and may also lead to new treatments for autoimmune diseases. Tissue rejection is triggered by the presence of xenoreactive natural antibodies (XNAs). The researchers appear to have found a way to inhibit the production of the XNA antibodies.
Source: Science September 17, 1998;281:1845-1847.

Researchers at the Umed University Hospital in Sweden suggest that higher levels of vascular endothelial growth factor (VEGF), a protein that stimulates blood vessel growth and that is produced by breast cancer cells , are a strong predictor of cancer recurrence. They conclude that their study indicates that the level of VEGF protein is an independent, strong prognostic factor for survival in patients with node-negative breast carcinoma, especially the subgroup of patients with estrogen receptor positivity.
Source: Journal of Clinical Oncology, September 1998;16.

Microbiologists at University Hospitals of Cleveland and Case Western Reserve University, Cleveland, OH have found that almost 1/3 of S. pneumonia infections in young children are resistant to newer antibiotics including : penicillin, ampicillin, amoxicillin, amoxicillin/clavulanate, azithromycin, cefaclor, cefixime, cefprozil, ciprofloxacin, clarithromycin, cefuroxime and loracarbef.

Researchers at Loma Linda University in California are developing a genetically engineered potato that could offer an edible vaccine against childhood diabetes. They have engineered a potato that produces human insulin, and used it to make a vaccine against type-1 diabetes. To get the potato-produced insulin into the gut where it could be used, they attached it to the cholera toxin -- whose deadly effects are due in part to its ability to go straight to the gut and cause severe diarrhea. But they used a piece of the cholera toxin that transports the microbe but does not affect the body.
Source: Nature Biotechnology, Sept. 29, 1998.

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