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 Cancer diagnosis: no more needles?
25.05.2018 | Christian-Albrechts-Universität zu Kiel

nachricht Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found
25.05.2018 | Leibniz-Institut für Alternsforschung - Fritz-Lipmann-Institut e.V. (FLI)

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

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

Im Focus: Powerful IT security for the car of the future – research alliance develops new approaches

The more electronics steer, accelerate and brake cars, the more important it is to protect them against cyber-attacks. That is why 15 partners from industry and academia will work together over the next three years on new approaches to IT security in self-driving cars. The joint project goes by the name Security For Connected, Autonomous Cars (SecForCARs) and has funding of €7.2 million from the German Federal Ministry of Education and Research. Infineon is leading the project.

Vehicles already offer diverse communication interfaces and more and more automated functions, such as distance and lane-keeping assist systems. At the same...

Im Focus: Molecular switch will facilitate the development of pioneering electro-optical devices

A research team led by physicists at the Technical University of Munich (TUM) has developed molecular nanoswitches that can be toggled between two structurally different states using an applied voltage. They can serve as the basis for a pioneering class of devices that could replace silicon-based components with organic molecules.

The development of new electronic technologies drives the incessant reduction of functional component sizes. In the context of an international collaborative...

Im Focus: LZH showcases laser material processing of tomorrow at the LASYS 2018

At the LASYS 2018, from June 5th to 7th, the Laser Zentrum Hannover e.V. (LZH) will be showcasing processes for the laser material processing of tomorrow in hall 4 at stand 4E75. With blown bomb shells the LZH will present first results of a research project on civil security.

At this year's LASYS, the LZH will exhibit light-based processes such as cutting, welding, ablation and structuring as well as additive manufacturing for...

Im Focus: Self-illuminating pixels for a new display generation

There are videos on the internet that can make one marvel at technology. For example, a smartphone is casually bent around the arm or a thin-film display is rolled in all directions and with almost every diameter. From the user's point of view, this looks fantastic. From a professional point of view, however, the question arises: Is that already possible?

At Display Week 2018, scientists from the Fraunhofer Institute for Applied Polymer Research IAP will be demonstrating today’s technological possibilities and...

Im Focus: Explanation for puzzling quantum oscillations has been found

So-called quantum many-body scars allow quantum systems to stay out of equilibrium much longer, explaining experiment | Study published in Nature Physics

Recently, researchers from Harvard and MIT succeeded in trapping a record 53 atoms and individually controlling their quantum state, realizing what is called a...

All Focus news of the innovation-report >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

VideoLinks
Industry & Economy
Event News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Save the date: Forum European Neuroscience – 07-11 July 2018 in Berlin, Germany

02.05.2018 | Event News

Invitation to the upcoming "Current Topics in Bioinformatics: Big Data in Genomics and Medicine"

13.04.2018 | Event News

 
Latest News

In focus: Climate adapted plants

25.05.2018 | Event News

Flow probes from the 3D printer

25.05.2018 | Machine Engineering

Less is more? Gene switch for healthy aging found

25.05.2018 | Life Sciences

VideoLinks
Science & Research
Overview of more VideoLinks >>>