Micah’s DNA (Photo credit: micahb37)
DNA (Photo credit: Gravitywave)
Dr José A Lorente is a scientist specialized in forensic genetics. His career shifted toward an humanitarian mission when he travelled for the needs of an enquiry in Peru as it is stated by Suzanne Daley in her column written in the August 4-5 edition of the International Herald Tribune.
Looking at the stray children in the streets of Lima he wondered if his science could help.
And now his best reward, although he has had identified the remains of more greater people like Christopher Columbus and Simon Bolivar, is to see the gratitude in the eyes of a mother whose stolen baby daughter he has helped to find. Dr Lorente concludes: “you don’t make money at this, but you do feel proud” report the journalist.
His foundation DNA-Prokids furnishes for free DNA identifying kits to countries willing to fix the problem of stray children in the streets and lacking from financial resources.
Sequencing the next generation
American searchers ( who else?) have just discovered the mean for future parents to know in advance the entire genome of the not yet borne child. Of course without any harm neither for the not yet mother neither the not yet newborn ( only a few thousands dollars to spend) . The embarrassing aspect of this discovery is the inevitable dilemma of choice which will automatically stem from the results. Marfan syndrome ? Blues eyes? Athletically built? That is the kind of choice that future parents may will have to do. I do not envy them and I would not want to be at their place.
Click here to access to the abstract of the article in the journal Science Translational Medicine, University of Washington research team supervised by associate professor of genome science Jay Shendure.
Reference for Citation:
J. O. Kitzman, M. W. Snyder, M. Ventura, A. P. Lewis, R. Qiu, L. E. Simmons, H. S. Gammill, C. E. Rubens, D. A. Santillan, J. C. Murray, H. K. Tabor, M. J. Bamshad, E. E. Eichler, J. Shendure, Noninvasive Whole-Genome Sequencing of a Human Fetus. Sci. Transl. Med. 4, 137ra76 (2012).
Citation: Noninvasive Whole-Genome Sequencing of a Human Fetus.Sci. Transl. Med. 4, 137ra76 (2012).
BioCamp participants getting insights into the pharmaceutical industry (Photo credit: Novartis AG)
Image via Wikipedia
Image via Wikipedia
Image via Wikipedia
Roche implements a strategy to treat the chronic diseases at a molecular level. To do so it has to acquire the start-us that possesses the relevant knowledge. Molecular engineering, including the DNA molecule, is far from the usual chemistry to which the traditional drugs makers are accustomed. In order to complete this goal the Swiss Drug maker leads a policy of takeover bid for American High Tech Companies settled in California (e.g. San Diego, for Illumina, Inc. or San Francisco for Genentech, Inc.) or Arizona ( Tucson for Ventana Medical Systems, Inc.). For now, Illumina has not yet been bought by Roche but it would be only a matter of time according to financial analysts. From a medical point of view Genentech makes human antibodies which are human molecules targeting the antigens located on the cell membrane. The action of such antibodies results in various therapeutic effects in chronic diseases. But unfortunately, as soon as the treatment is stopped the symptoms reappears. Ventana makes also antibodies, but for diagnosis purpose. The molecular diagnostic tests it produces aims to classified cancer cells in order to refine the individual prognosis of the disease (and to indicate the targeted treatment that is needed). More deeper in the molecular level, clerly in the heart of the cell and the identity of the person, Illumina discovered the method to sequence the genotype of the patient. It’s of the greatest importance for Roche to buy this start-up because in the future, treatment will be prescribed not only with regard of the condition diagnosed by the Doctors but also relatively to the genome of the patient.