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The role of chemokines in type 1 diabetes: as assessed by RT-PCR

19 March 2008 | By

Type 1 diabetes is an autoimmune disease, characterised by immune infiltration into the islets of Langerhans, resulting in the destruction of insulin producing b-cells. Over recent years, evidence has been collected on the important role of chemokines in the recruitment of immune cells leading to the pathology of this disease.…

Antibody-based proteomics to study cellular signalling networks

19 March 2008 | By

The complexity of drug discovery faces many challenges; principally, the failure of drug candidates during the development process as a result of adverse effects or lack of efficacy. A key reason for this high attrition rate is that we are only just beginning to understand the complexity of the response(s)…

Personalised medicine: are we ready for the revolution?

19 March 2008 | By

The impact of biomarker technology and biomarker strategies in pharmaceutical development is still in its infancy; but the impact is already proving significant. Biomarker strategy forms the basis for personalised medicine, the industry/regulatory focus centres on improving the success rate and reducing the high attrition rate often encountered in early…

Size does matter: macro ncRNAs and the regulation of imprinted gene clusters

23 January 2008 | By

The availability of the human and the mouse sequence has allowed genome-wide analysis of transcription to produce 'transcriptomes' that list all RNA transcripts in specific cell types or tissues. These studies have identified a surprisingly large number of ncRNAs that were not recognised by gene annotation programs applied to the…

MicroRNAs and their relatives – new avenues in biomedical research

23 November 2007 | By

Non-coding RNAs (ncRNAs) consist of a growing heterogeneous class of transcripts defined as RNA molecules that lack any extensive “Open Reading Frame” (ORF) and function as structural, catalytic or regulatory entities rather than serving as templates for protein synthesis. While non-coding sequences make up only a small fraction of the…

Analysis of microRNA expression by qPCR

23 November 2007 | By

Alteration of microRNA (miRNA) expression in a disease compared to a healthy state and/or correlation of miRNA expression with clinical parameters (like disease progression or therapy response), may indicate that miRNAs can serve as clinically relevant biomarkers1-3. An important first step for further functional characterisation is the information about differential…

Cutting edge technologies and their potential role in pharmaceutical microbiology

23 November 2007 | By

In order to meet the challenges demanded by the requirements of Process Analytical Technology (PAT), the modern microbiological laboratory needs to become more innovative in microbial detection, identification and enumeration. Technology is becoming available that will speed up microbiological analysis, potentially allowing pharmaceutical microbiology tests to get as close as…

The expanding world of small RNA: from germ cells to cancer

21 September 2007 | By Eric A. Miska, The Wellcome Trust/Cancer Research UK Gurdon Institute and Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge, Cambridge, UK

Over the last ten years a small RNA revolution has swept biology. In 1998 RNA interference (RNAi) was discovered as an experimental tool by Andy Fire and Craig Mello, a finding that was awarded with the 2006 Nobel Prize for Physiology or Medicine. Although the biology of RNAi is still…

Proteomics – the frontiers and beyond

21 September 2007 | By Walter Kolch, The Beatson Institute for Cancer Research/ Institute for Biomedical and Life Sciences, University of Glasgow

Within a decade proteomics has evolved from a fledgling discipline reserved for specialised laboratories, to a firm fixture in our standard omics arsenal used routinely by the research community. This stunning progress is due to many factors; the finishing of the genome projects provided major intellectual motivation and the development…

The real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction – treat with caution

21 September 2007 | By Stephen A. Bustin, Academic Department of Surgery, Institute of Cell and Molecular Science, Queen Mary’s School of Medicine and Dentistry, University of London

The real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) has become the enabling technology par excellence in every field of molecular research and development, including that of clinical drug development and discovery. Its ability to detect as well as quantify RNA biomarkers sensitively, specifically and speedily has made it an indispensable…

In vivo drug target validation using RNAi

21 July 2007 | By Jost Seibler, Head of Technology Development, Artemis Pharmaceuticals and Frieder Schwenk, Principal Scientist, University of Applied Science, Department of Applied Natural Sciences, Gelsenkirchen, Germany

Among the genetic model organisms, the laboratory mouse (Mus musculus) has a predominant role in the study of human disease and in pre-clinical drug development. Apart from the high degree of sequence homology of mouse and human genomes, and similarities in many physiological aspects, advanced targeting technologies make the crucial…

How will MicroRNAs affect the drug discovery landscape?

21 July 2007 | By Dr. Neil Clarke and Dr. Mark Edbrooke, GlaxoSmithKline Research and Development, Hertfordshire, UK

The archetypal microRNAs, lin-4 and let-7, were discovered in the nematode worm Caenorhabditis elegans over a decade ago and, at that time, no one would have predicted that they would be anything other than an interesting feature of worm developmental biology. However, in recent years there has been an explosion…

Academic contribution to high-content screening for functional and chemical genomics

21 July 2007 | By Kerstin Korn and Eberhard Krausz (Corresponding author), Head, HT-Technology Development Studio (TDS), Max Planck Institute of Molecular Cell Biology and Genetics (MPI-CBG)

High-content screening (HCS) is defined as multiplexed functional screening based on imaging multiple markers (e.g. nuclei, mitochondria etc.) in the physiologic context of intact cells by extraction of multicolour fluorescence information1. It is based on a combination of advanced fluorescence-based reagents, modern liquid handling devices, automated imaging systems and data…

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