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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 December 1998

Scientists at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, Boston, Mass have discovered a gene that is not only required for proper brain development, but which also may play an important role in epilepsy, vascular disease and stroke. They have found that the gene filamin 1 (Fln1), which has previously been implicated in platelet function and cell motility outside the central nervous system, plays a critical role in human brain development and causes epilepsy when its normal function is disrupted. They also report that patients with Fln1 mutations are prone to suffering strokes and often are born with a serious vascular anomaly called patent ductus arteriosus.
Source: Neuron, December 1998.

Dr. Y. M. Dennis Lo, of Prince of Wales Hospital in Hong Kong, China, and colleagues have developed a non invasive technique for determining fetal RhD status involves extracting fetal DNA from the mother's blood. The researchers tried the technique on a group of 57 RhD-negative pregnant women. They extracted the fetal DNA from samples of the women's blood plasma and, using fluorescence-based polymerase-chain reaction, examined the fetal DNA for the gene for RhD-positive blood. The technique correctly identified the RhD status of 10 of the 12 fetuses in the first trimester of development; all 30 fetuses in the second trimester; and all 15 fetuses in the third trimester.
Source: The New England Journal of Medicine, December 10, 1998

Researchers at the University of California San Francisco have found that both IL-4 and IL-13, immune system-signaling molecules, can induce asthma in certain mice and that neither IL-4 or IL-13 produced a response in mice deficient for the IL-4 receptor. The research also shed light on the role of IL-4, a molecule similar to IL-13, that is thought to play a role in asthma. Apparently, IL-13 can bind to the receptor for IL-4 found on lung tissue cells so that both molecules have a similar effect on the lungs -- although IL-13 seems to be the more important factor of the two.
Source: Science, December 18, 1998.

Reporting in Biochemistry, researchers at the University of Washington, in Seattle, and the University of Georgia, in Athens, Georgia, suggest that sialosyl galactosyl globoside (SGG), a compound on the surface of kidney cells appears to increase an individual's risk of developing urinary tract infection. Many UTIs are caused by infection with E. coli. SGG lying on the surface of the urinary tract, might bind with the bacteria, enhancing likelihood of infection.
Source: Biochemistry, December 15, 1998

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* Research News - November 1998
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