Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Genomic analysis to become tool for studying trauma patients

21.03.2005


Genomic analysis may one day be a primary diagnostic tool for physicians deciding on a course of treatment for trauma and other critically ill patients in the intensive care unit (ICU), according to a new study by a national collaboration of more than 70 physicians and scientists.



The researchers showed that state-of-the-art techniques for rapidly analyzing changes in activity of all human genes will likely produce useful insights into the health of critically ill patients. The findings, which are available online and will be published in the March 29 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, make it possible for physicians to begin answering important questions about critical care through genomic analysis.

"It’s a very exciting time because our field has experienced such frustration with some of these questions, many of which have important ramifications for how we treat patients," says J. Perren Cobb, M.D., the paper’s lead author and associate professor of surgery and of genetics at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis.


Nearly 5 million people are admitted to U.S. ICUs every year, and preliminary 2003 National Centers for Disease Control statistics cite accidental injuries and trauma as the fifth leading cause of death for that year. However, despite significant advances in organ support technology, physicians’ ability to predict whether or not a given patient will respond to a specific course of treatment has been poor. To address these and other questions, countries such as Canada and Germany have established networks for research in critical care.

The new study, conducted by Cobb and his colleagues in the Inflammation and Host Response to Injury Large Scale Collaboration Program, is a significant step toward establishing such a U.S. research network.

Scientists tested two aspects of applying genomic technology in the ICU: Could the technology detect significant differences in the activity levels of genes in critically ill patients versus healthy patients? And could they establish testing procedures that would prevent local differences in ICUs and research laboratories across the United States from introducing noise or bias into the results?

"We wanted to make sure that we could consistently get the same results from an analysis regardless of where the sample was gathered," Cobb explains.

Researchers applied DNA microarrays, a genomic analysis technology, to blood samples and skeletal muscle from 34 severely injured patients and 23 healthy individuals. Critically ill patients were studied at the University of Washington, Seattle and the University of Rochester. Healthy patients were studied at Washington University at the University of Florida, the University of Rochester, and the Robert Wood Johnson Medical School of the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey.

Scientists identified key aspects of microarray testing procedures that were vital to obtaining results that could be reproduced regardless of where the studies were conducted, an essential criterion for rigorous science. The protocols they established also move researchers closer to being able to enroll large number of patients in longitudinal studies.

They also showed that genetic analysis technology has achieved levels of sensitivity and resolution sufficient to "see" dramatic changes in gene activity levels that take place in cells in the critically ill. Such changes in gene activity can, for example, reprogram white blood cells, immune system cells that circulate in the bloodstream. This reprogramming alters the relative populations of the different types of white blood cells and the genes they express. One white blood cell, the neutrophil, normally makes up 40 to 60 percent of circulating white blood cells but rises to comprise 80 to 90 percent after critical injury. The new approach will allow the investigators for the first time to monitor neutrophil gene activity genome-wide in injured patients.

In the new era of genetically based critical care research, one focus will be developing a better understanding of how these cells and other factors control inflammatory responses to severe injury.

"It has been clear for approximately two decades that critical injury can trigger the release of immune factors that cause massive inflammation, and this can sometimes overwhelm the body’s ability to cope," Cobb says. "We have produced a great deal of insight into how those inflammatory responses are generated, and we’ve tried a number of strategies to block or weaken them, but so far we’ve had relatively little success."

As scientists’ picture of how multiple genes interact to produce inflammatory responses becomes more complete, they may be able to develop more effective ways to dampen those responses and save lives.

Michael C. Purdy | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.wustl.edu

More articles from Studies and Analyses:

nachricht Drone vs. truck deliveries: Which create less carbon pollution?
31.05.2017 | University of Washington

nachricht New study: How does Europe become a leading player for software and IT services?
03.04.2017 | Fraunhofer-Institut für System- und Innovationsforschung (ISI)

All articles from Studies and Analyses >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Die letzten 5 Focus-News des innovations-reports im Überblick:

Im Focus: Climate satellite: Tracking methane with robust laser technology

Heatwaves in the Arctic, longer periods of vegetation in Europe, severe floods in West Africa – starting in 2021, scientists want to explore the emissions of the greenhouse gas methane with the German-French satellite MERLIN. This is made possible by a new robust laser system of the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT in Aachen, which achieves unprecedented measurement accuracy.

Methane is primarily the result of the decomposition of organic matter. The gas has a 25 times greater warming potential than carbon dioxide, but is not as...

Im Focus: How protons move through a fuel cell

Hydrogen is regarded as the energy source of the future: It is produced with solar power and can be used to generate heat and electricity in fuel cells. Empa researchers have now succeeded in decoding the movement of hydrogen ions in crystals – a key step towards more efficient energy conversion in the hydrogen industry of tomorrow.

As charge carriers, electrons and ions play the leading role in electrochemical energy storage devices and converters such as batteries and fuel cells. Proton...

Im Focus: A unique data centre for cosmological simulations

Scientists from the Excellence Cluster Universe at the Ludwig-Maximilians-Universität Munich have establised "Cosmowebportal", a unique data centre for cosmological simulations located at the Leibniz Supercomputing Centre (LRZ) of the Bavarian Academy of Sciences. The complete results of a series of large hydrodynamical cosmological simulations are available, with data volumes typically exceeding several hundred terabytes. Scientists worldwide can interactively explore these complex simulations via a web interface and directly access the results.

With current telescopes, scientists can observe our Universe’s galaxies and galaxy clusters and their distribution along an invisible cosmic web. From the...

Im Focus: Scientists develop molecular thermometer for contactless measurement using infrared light

Temperature measurements possible even on the smallest scale / Molecular ruby for use in material sciences, biology, and medicine

Chemists at Johannes Gutenberg University Mainz (JGU) in cooperation with researchers of the German Federal Institute for Materials Research and Testing (BAM)...

Im Focus: Optoelectronic Inline Measurement – Accurate to the Nanometer

Germany counts high-precision manufacturing processes among its advantages as a location. It’s not just the aerospace and automotive industries that require almost waste-free, high-precision manufacturing to provide an efficient way of testing the shape and orientation tolerances of products. Since current inline measurement technology not yet provides the required accuracy, the Fraunhofer Institute for Laser Technology ILT is collaborating with four renowned industry partners in the INSPIRE project to develop inline sensors with a new accuracy class. Funded by the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research (BMBF), the project is scheduled to run until the end of 2019.

New Manufacturing Technologies for New Products

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Plants are networkers

19.06.2017 | Event News

Digital Survival Training for Executives

13.06.2017 | Event News

Global Learning Council Summit 2017

13.06.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

A new technique isolates neuronal activity during memory consolidation

22.06.2017 | Life Sciences

Plant inspiration could lead to flexible electronics

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

A rhodium-based catalyst for making organosilicon using less precious metal

22.06.2017 | Materials Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>