To ensure that our customers and all interested professionals have the ongoing opportunity to review our latest products and technology firsthand, we regularly attend industry-related trade shows. We invite you to meet with us, speak with our consultants and pick up some informative literature at an upcoming show. We look forward to seeing you soon.
July 11, 2019 - Jul 14, 2019
Wynn Las Vegas, Nevada, USA
The Aesthetic Show
Health & Anti-Aging Update
Startling discoveries in the areas of genomics, biotechnology, and nanotechnology occur practically every day. The rewards of this research, some of it as spectacular as science fiction, are practically in our grasp. We can use these new technologies to live better than previously imaginable.
One test to diagnose them all: researchers exploit cancers’ unique DNA signature
From THECONVERSATION.ORG - DECEMBER 5, 2018
Researchers in Australia have developed a 10-minute test that can detect the presence of cancer cells anywhere in the human body, according to a newly published study.
The test was developed after researchers from the University of Queensland found that cancer forms a unique DNA structure when placed in water.
The test works by identifying the presence of that structure, a discovery which could help detect cancer in humans far earlier than current methods, according to the paper published in journal Nature Communications.
“Discovering that cancerous DNA molecules formed entirely different 3D nanostructures from normal circulating DNA was a breakthrough that has enabled an entirely new approach to detect cancer non-invasively in any tissue type including blood,” said Professor Matt Trau in a statement. “This led to the creation of inexpensive and portable detection devices that could eventually be used as a diagnostic tool, possibly with a mobile phone,” he added.
A pretty plant of summer produces a promising anti-diabetes compound
From PLANCELL.ORG - SEPTEMBER 16, 2018
Montbretin A (MbA), a natural compound with great potential for the treatment of type-2 diabetes, was discovered in the ornamental plant montbretia ten years ago, but it can't be produced on a large scale until its biosynthesis is understood. Scientists have now discovered genes and enzymes responsible for MbA biosynthesis and demonstrated the potential for metabolic engineering of wild tobacco to produce this promising drug candidate. (www.sciencedaily.com)
Roughly half of the western medicines used today were derived from naturally occurring plant metabolites. Plants produce over 200,000 of these specialized metabolites, but identifying medicinally useful ones is challenging, and obtaining sufficient quantities for human use poses an even greater challenge. Type-2 diabetes, a disease characterized by elevated blood glucose levels due to the body's inefficient use of insulin, affects over 320 million people worldwide. Drugs that are commonly used to treat type-2 diabetes reduce blood glucose levels by inhibiting the activities of two enzymes: HPA (pancreatic alpha-amylase), which cleaves complex starches into strings of sugar molecules called oligosaccharides and alpha-glucosidases, which convert oligosaccharides into glucose in the gut. Unfortunately, the inhibition of alpha-glucosidases causes some undigested oligosaccharides to move into the lower bowel, leading to flatulence and diarrhea.
Ten years ago, in an effort to produce a diabetes drug that specifically inhibits HPA activity without having nasty side effects, scientists screened 30,000 extracts derived from plants and other organisms and found a single compound that fit the bill: montbretin A (MbA) from the bulb-like underground corms of the ornamental plant montbretia (Crocosmia x crocosmiiflora). Unfortunately, MbA can't be produced in large quantities without understanding the biochemical pathway and genes involved in its biosynthesis, a difficult task considering the diversity and complexity of plant metabolic pathways.
Scientists from the University of British Columbia and the Canadian Glycomics Network analyzed this crucial pathway, as discussed in this month's issue of The Plant Cell. The scientists discovered the first three intermediate metabolites in the MbA biosynthesis pathway, including a product called mini-MbA, which also strongly inhibits HPA activity, as well as the four enzymes involved in mini-MbA production. Importantly, when they cloned the genes for these enzymes and used them to genetically transform wild tobacco, they successfully obtained mini-MbA. According to lead scientist Dr. Joerg Bohlmann of the University of British Columbia, Vancouver BC, "This is a fascinating example of the largely undiscovered potential of plant specialized metabolism that may lead to new treatments for the improvement of human health."
How to predict the side effects of millions of drug combinations
From news.stanford.EdU - august 2o, 2018
Stanford Univ. computer scientists have figured it out, using artificial intelligence.
Millions of people take up to five or more medications a day, but doctors have no idea what side effects might arise from adding another drug.
Now, Stanford University computer scientists have developed a deep-learning system (a kind of AI modeled after the brain) called Decagon that could help doctors make better decisions about which drugs to prescribe. It could also help researchers find better combinations of drugs to treat complex diseases.
The problem is that with so many drugs currently on the U.S. pharmaceutical market, “it’s practically impossible to test a new drug in combination with all other drugs, because just for one drug, that would be five thousand new experiments,” said Marinka Zitnik, a postdoctoral fellow in computer science and lead author of a paper presented July 10 at the 2018 meeting of the International Society for Computational Biology.
With some new drug combinations (“polypharmacy”), she said, “truly we don’t know what will happen.”
How proteins interact and how different drugs affect these proteins
So Zitnik and associates created a network describing how the more than 19,000 proteins in our bodies interact with each other and how different drugs affect these proteins. Using more than 4 million known associations between drugs and side effects, the team then designed a method to identify patterns in how side effects arise, based on how drugs target different proteins, and also to infer patterns about drug-interaction side effects.
Based on that method, the system could predict the consequences of taking two drugs together.
To evaluate the The research was supported by the National Science Foundation, the National Institutes of Health, the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, the Stanford Data Science Initiative, and the Chan Zuckerberg Biohub. system, the group looked to see if its predictions came true. In many cases, they did. For example, there was no indication in the original data that the combination of atorvastatin (marketed under the trade name Lipitor among others), a cholesterol drug, and amlopidine (Norvasc), a blood-pressure medication, could lead to muscle inflammation. Yet Decagon predicted that it would, and it was right.
In the future, the team members hope to extend their results to include more multiple drug interactions. They also hope to create a more user-friendly tool to give doctors guidance on whether it’s a good idea to prescribe a particular drug to a particular patient, and to help researchers developing drug regimens for complex diseases, with fewer side effects.
Ref.: Bioinformatics (open access). Source: Stanford University.
World-first blood test to detect deadly melanoma in early stage patients
From www.ecu.edu.au - JULY 19, 2018
Edith Cowan University (ECU) researchers have developed the world’s first blood test capable of detecting melanoma in its early stages, a breakthrough that will save thousands of lives, as well as millions of dollars for the health system.
In a trial involving 105 people with melanoma and 104 healthy controls, the blood test was able to detect early stage melanoma in 79 per cent of cases.
Australia has the second highest rate of melanoma in the world, with 14,000 new diagnoses and almost 2000 deaths each year.
Lead researcher PhD candidate Pauline Zaenker said identifying melanoma early was the best way to preventing these deaths.
“Patients who have their melanoma detected in its early stage have a five year survival rate between 90 and 99 per cent, whereas if it is not caught early and it spreads around the body, the five year survival rate drops to less than 50 per cent,” she said.
“This is what makes this blood test so exciting as a potential screening tool because it can pick up melanoma in its very early stages when it is still treatable.”