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Issue 5 2011



Raman supplement 2011

24 October 2011 | By

In this Raman supplement: Solid state transformations of APIS during manufacturing by Raman analysis of pharmaceutical molecules and dosage forms; Detection, determination of chemical composition and chemical profiling of counterfeit medicines...


Unconventional RNA interference – recent approaches to robust RNAi

19 October 2011 | By Marie Lundbæk, Department of Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine, Norwegian University of Science and Technology and Pål Sætrom, Department of Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine & Department of Computer and Information Science, Norwegian University of Science and Technology

RNA interference (RNAi) is now a standard tool in molecular biology. Short interfering RNAs (siRNAs) for knocking down your favourite human gene are only a couple of mouse-clicks away at your favourite reagent supplier’s website. Moreover, in contrast to initial attempts at siRNA design, these siRNAs usually give potent target…


HOX genes: HOX transcription factors as biomarkers in cancer

19 October 2011 | By Richard Morgan, Postgraduate Medical School, Faculty of Health and Medical Sciences, University of Surrey

The HOX genes are a family of closely related transcription factors that help to define the identity of cells and tissues during embryonic development and which are also frequently deregulated in cancer, where they have been shown to promote cell survival and proliferation. The high level of cancer-associated HOX expression…


Lead discovery for targeting G protein-coupled receptors

19 October 2011 | By Sandra Siehler and Sandra W. Cowan-Jacob, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research

G protein-coupled receptors (GPCRs) control a plethora of key physiological functions in every cell of an organism. GPCRs are therefore involved in many diseases, since altered ligand or receptor levels and genetic or epigenetic modifications can lead to GPCR dysfunction and hence a pathophysiological phenotype. About one third of currently…


Drug screens on human stem cells: From understanding cell biology to predicting drug toxicity

19 October 2011 | By Ivana Barbaric and Peter W. Andrews, Centre for Stem Cell Biology, University of Sheffield

The Canadian physician William Osler said: “The person who takes medicine must recover twice, once from the disease and once from the medicine.” Indeed, all medicines have side effects – some of which may complicate a patient’s treatment, or in extreme cases may even be fatal. Of concern is the…


MALDI-mass spectrometry imaging applied to drug discovery and development

19 October 2011 | By Brendan Prideaux, Dieter Staab, Gregory Morandi, Nicole Ehrhard and Markus Stoeckli, Novartis Institutes for BioMedical Research

Since its introduction in the field of biomedical imaging over 10 years ago1, matrixassisted laser desorption/ionisation mass spectrometry imaging (MALDI-MSI) has played an ever increasing role in drug discovery and development and is now utilised in laboratories of many leading pharmaceutical companies and collaborating academic institutions.


The Forgotten Fragments

19 October 2011 | By Ross Chawner and Claire E. Eyers, Michael Barber Centre for Mass Spectrometry, University of Manchester

Identification of protein biomarkers and the evaluation of changes in protein expression following drug treatment rely on both the generation of peptides from cellular proteins, and the acquisition and interpretation of spectra generated by tandem mass spectrometry (MS/MS). Acquisition of MS/MS spectra in a datadependent manner means that a significant…


Under the Microscope: Steve Turner

19 October 2011 | By Steve Turner, CEO, Protea Biosciences

Helen Difford, Editor, speaks exclusively to Steve Turner, CEO, Protea Biosciences Based in Morgantown, West Virginia, US company Protea has spent the past 10 years developing new technologies to identify, characterise and quantify biomolecules - the products of living cells. With over 100 products, the company provides labs across the…