The 12th Invest in ME Conference, Part 1
OverTheHills presents the first article in a series of three about the recent 12th Invest In ME international Conference (IIMEC12) in London.
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Technique spots Disease using Immune Cell DNA - Methylation

Discussion in 'Other Health News and Research' started by Glynis Steele, Jul 10, 2012.

  1. Glynis Steele

    Glynis Steele Senior Member

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    Newcastle upon Tyne UK
    ScienceDaily (July 9, 2012) — By looking at signature chemical differences in the DNA of various immune cells called leukocytes, scientists have developed a way to determine their relative abundance in blood samples. The relative abundance turns out to correlate with specific cancers and other diseases, making the technique, described in two recent papers, potentially valuable not only for research but also for diagnostics and treatment monitoring.

    When a person is sick, there is a tell-tale sign in their blood: a different mix of the various types of immune cells called leukocytes. A group of scientists at several institutions including Brown University has discovered a way to determine that mix from the DNA in archival or fresh blood samples, potentially providing a practical new technology not only for medical research but also for clinical diagnosis and treatment monitoring of ailments including some cancers.

    The key to the new technique, described in two recent papers, is that scientists have identified in each kind of leukocyte a unique chemical alteration to its DNA, called methylation. By detecting these methylation signatures in a patient's blood sample and applying a mathematical analysis, the researchers are able to determine the relative levels of different leukocytes and correlate those with specific diseases.

    "You can simply look at the DNA and discern from the methylation marks the relative abundance of different type of leukocytes," said Karl Kelsey, professor of pathology and laboratory medicine in the Warren Alpert Medical School of Brown University and a senior author on both papers. "It's a way to more easily interrogate the immune system of a lot of people."

    Full article here:

    http://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2012/07/120709133640.htm
     
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  2. maddietod

    maddietod Senior Member

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    Glynis - I've just subscribed to this daily. Do you have other favorite sources of information I can get delivered to my computer?
     
  3. Glynis Steele

    Glynis Steele Senior Member

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    Hi madietodd,

    I tend to stick with Science Daily, as it is easier for me to read. I sometimes have a gander at Nature, here is a link.

    http://www.nature.com/
     
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