Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Gene patterns in white blood cells quickly diagnose disease

17.02.2006


Researchers at Walter Reed Army Institute of Research are developing a method to determine in a matter of hours if someone has been exposed to a bioterrorism agent just by looking at the pattern of active genes in that person’s white blood cells. They report their findings today at the ASM Biodefense Research Meeting.



"Effective prophylaxis and treatment for infections caused by biological threat agents (BTA) rely upon early diagnosis and rapid initiation of therapy. However, most methods for identifying pathogens or infectious agents in body fluids and tissues required that the pathogen proliferate to detectable and dangerous levels, thereby delaying diagnosis and treatment," says Rasha Hammamieh, a researcher on the study.

Over the past five years Hammamieh and her colleagues have been studying the host response to BTAs. Upon exposure to a BTA host cells initiate a unique response, turning specific genes on and off. Leukocytes in the bloodstream course throughout the body in a matter of minutes. If they encounter something that is not normally there they make a record in their gene expression.


They first drew blood from healthy donors and screened leukocytes to get a baseline for gene expression in unexposed samples. They then exposed the samples to a number of different pathogens (including BTAs) and bacterial toxins and confirmed their results in animal models.

"We see very specific changes in gene expression that are quite unique to each pathogen as little as 2 hours after exposure. Use of mathematical modeling tools has identified a list of over 300 genes that can discriminate among 8 pathogenic agents with 99 percent accuracy," says Hammamieh. They are also looking for gene expression patterns that could help determine severity of exposure

While the technology for conducting these tests in the field is still in development Hammamieh and her colleagues foresee a day when hand-held devices could be used at the site of a suspected bioterrorism attack to determine who has been exposed within hours instead of days that would be required using traditional culture methods.

"The technology is not there yet, but within 10 years this test could also be done in doctors’ offices for a variety of common illnesses, including some types of cancer," says Hammamieh.

Jim Sliwa | EurekAlert!
Further information:
http://www.asmusa.org

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Nanoparticle Exposure Can Awaken Dormant Viruses in the Lungs
16.01.2017 | Helmholtz Zentrum München - Deutsches Forschungszentrum für Gesundheit und Umwelt

nachricht Cholera bacteria infect more effectively with a simple twist of shape
13.01.2017 | Princeton University

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Studying fundamental particles in materials

Laser-driving of semimetals allows creating novel quasiparticle states within condensed matter systems and switching between different states on ultrafast time scales

Studying properties of fundamental particles in condensed matter systems is a promising approach to quantum field theory. Quasiparticles offer the opportunity...

Im Focus: Designing Architecture with Solar Building Envelopes

Among the general public, solar thermal energy is currently associated with dark blue, rectangular collectors on building roofs. Technologies are needed for aesthetically high quality architecture which offer the architect more room for manoeuvre when it comes to low- and plus-energy buildings. With the “ArKol” project, researchers at Fraunhofer ISE together with partners are currently developing two façade collectors for solar thermal energy generation, which permit a high degree of design flexibility: a strip collector for opaque façade sections and a solar thermal blind for transparent sections. The current state of the two developments will be presented at the BAU 2017 trade fair.

As part of the “ArKol – development of architecturally highly integrated façade collectors with heat pipes” project, Fraunhofer ISE together with its partners...

Im Focus: How to inflate a hardened concrete shell with a weight of 80 t

At TU Wien, an alternative for resource intensive formwork for the construction of concrete domes was developed. It is now used in a test dome for the Austrian Federal Railways Infrastructure (ÖBB Infrastruktur).

Concrete shells are efficient structures, but not very resource efficient. The formwork for the construction of concrete domes alone requires a high amount of...

Im Focus: Bacterial Pac Man molecule snaps at sugar

Many pathogens use certain sugar compounds from their host to help conceal themselves against the immune system. Scientists at the University of Bonn have now, in cooperation with researchers at the University of York in the United Kingdom, analyzed the dynamics of a bacterial molecule that is involved in this process. They demonstrate that the protein grabs onto the sugar molecule with a Pac Man-like chewing motion and holds it until it can be used. Their results could help design therapeutics that could make the protein poorer at grabbing and holding and hence compromise the pathogen in the host. The study has now been published in “Biophysical Journal”.

The cells of the mouth, nose and intestinal mucosa produce large quantities of a chemical called sialic acid. Many bacteria possess a special transport system...

Im Focus: Newly proposed reference datasets improve weather satellite data quality

UMD, NOAA collaboration demonstrates suitability of in-orbit datasets for weather satellite calibration

"Traffic and weather, together on the hour!" blasts your local radio station, while your smartphone knows the weather halfway across the world. A network of...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

12V, 48V, high-voltage – trends in E/E automotive architecture

10.01.2017 | Event News

2nd Conference on Non-Textual Information on 10 and 11 May 2017 in Hannover

09.01.2017 | Event News

Nothing will happen without batteries making it happen!

05.01.2017 | Event News

 
Latest News

Multiregional brain on a chip

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

New technology enables 5-D imaging in live animals, humans

16.01.2017 | Information Technology

Researchers develop environmentally friendly soy air filter

16.01.2017 | Power and Electrical Engineering

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>