Blog Archives

Host factors may influence Covid-19 severity more than viral genetic variation

May 22, 2020 – Host factors (i.e., disease phenotypes and/or predispositions) instead of viral genetic variation seem to impact more on sickness severity among Covid-19 patients, as indicated by an investigation from China. Scientists in Shanghai analyzed clinical, atomic, and immunological information from in excess of 300 individuals with affirmed Covid-19.

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Abdominal aortic aneurysm: Genetic scoring can identify more men at risk

May 07, 2020 – Abdominal aortic aneurysm (AAA) is a localized enlargement of the abdominal aorta such that the diameter is greater than 3 cm or more than 50% larger than normal. AAAs usually cause no symptoms, except during rupture. 

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Besides the now approved remdesivir: Emerging options to treat Covid-19

May 03, 2020 –  The world is desperate in the search for a treatment or better yet a vaccine in the Covid-19 pandemic. Slowly, there are some options emerging at least for the treatment of seriously ill Covid-19 patients. First of all,  the American Food and Drug Administration just issued an emergency use authorization (EUA) for the investigational antiviral drug remdesivir for the treatment of suspected or laboratory-confirmed COVID-19 in adults and children hospitalized with severe disease.

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The phenotype broker: Blockchain and patient phenotype

July 26, 2019 – “Blockchains for secure digitized medicine”. This is the title of a very interesting and important article in the Journal of Personalised Medine (JPM) as of May 28, 2019.

Blockchain as an emerging technology (particularly around the hype on Bitcoins) has been gaining in popularity,

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Tapping into the massive potential of African genomes: 54gene

February 22, 2020 – Genetic studies rely almost entirely on genomes from people of Caucasian descent. While all around the world, tissue and blood banks have sprung up to catalog human genome’s many mysteries, this was not the case for Africa. Until now,

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The Apomediary [Patient Expert] and Personalized Medicine: A Commentary

June 22, 2014 – The individuum (i.e., patient) is the phenotype expert on her/his individualized form of proper disease she/he is suffering from. It is not her/his treating physician, it is not a regulatory person concerned with the safety and efficacy of the medication geared towards treating her/his condition,

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Variables of prospective response rates of PD-1/PD-L1 based therapies across cancers

August 28, 2019 – Immune checkpoint inhibitor (ICI) therapy is a form of cancer immunotherapy. The therapy targets immune checkpoints, key regulators of the immune system that when stimulated can dampen the immune response to an immunologic stimulus.

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The “female” Viagra: Will it one day be a commercial success? Approval recommended for Flibanserin (ADDYI) to treat hypoactive sexual desire disorder (HSDD) in premenopausal women

June 5, 2015 – This is an edited post based on a PRNewswire release (see here) which refers to the 2015 June 4th joint meeting of  the U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) joint meeting of the Bone, Reproductive and Urologic Drugs Advisory Committee,

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Where portrait photos meet genetics and AI

June 13, 2019 – This is simply fascinating stuff. Researchers are testing neural networks that automatically combine portrait photos with genetic and phenotypic patient data in order to obtain definitive diagnosis of hereditary rare diseases, all with the help of artificial intelligence (AI).  

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New gene variants in depression

May 13, 2018 – Researchers have uncovered 17 genetic variants linked to different depression-related phenotypes in a large genome-wide association study, including variants near genes involved in neurotransmission and synapse function.

The first author of the study, David Howard, Center for Clinical Brain Sciences, University of Edinburgh,

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  • Epigenomic platform detects early-stage pancreatic cancer October 21, 2020
    Bluestar Genomics has published study results in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Communications demonstrating the power of the company's platform to detect pancreatic cancer in its early stages, addressing the unmet need of more than 60,000 patients diagnosed with the disease each year in the United States alone. The epigenomic platform analyzes a simple blood draw […]
  • Study reveals restoration of retinal and visual function following gene therapy October 19, 2020
    A breakthrough study, led by researchers from the University of California, Irvine, results in the restoration of retinal and visual functions of mice models suffering from inherited retinal disease.
  • Scientists map the human proteome October 19, 2020
    Twenty years after the release of the human genome, the genetic "blueprint" of human life, an international research team, including the University of British Columbia's Chris Overall, has now mapped the first draft sequence of the human proteome.
  • The line of succession in neuron function October 19, 2020
    A specific region of messenger RNAs, the 3' untranslated region (3'UTR), plays an important role for cells to function properly. During embryonic development, 3'UTRs in hundreds of RNAs lengthen exclusively in neurons, which is crucial for the cells of the brain to function properly. The lab of Valérie Hilgers at the Max Planck Institute of […]
  • Pinpointing the 'silent' mutations that gave the coronavirus an evolutionary edge October 16, 2020
    We know that the coronavirus behind the COVID-19 crisis lived harmlessly in bats and other wildlife before it jumped the species barrier and spilled over to humans.
  • Gut hormone blocks brain cell formation and is linked to Parkinson's dementia October 21, 2020
    A gut hormone, ghrelin, is a key regulator of new nerve cells in the adult brain, a Swansea-led research team has discovered. It could help pave the way for new drugs to treat dementia in patients with Parkinson's Disease.
  • ASTRO issues clinical guideline on radiation therapy for rectal cancer October 21, 2020
    A new clinical guideline from the American Society for Radiation Oncology (ASTRO) provides guidance for physicians who use radiation therapy to treat patients with locally advanced rectal cancer. Recommendations outline indications and best practices for pelvic radiation treatments, as well as the integration of radiation with chemotherapy and surgery for stage II-III disease. The guideline, […]
  • New drug that can prevent the drug resistance and adverse effects October 21, 2020
    A research team in Korea is garnering attention for having developed an anticancer drug that could potentially prevent drug resistance. The Korea Institute of Science and Technology (KIST) announced that a team of researchers led by Dr. Kwang-meyung Kim at the Theragnosis research center successfully developed a cancer-specific anticancer drug precursor that can prevent the […]
  • Updated CPR guidelines tackle health disparities management of opioid-related emergencies and physical, emotional recovery October 21, 2020
    Updated CPR guidelines address health disparities and the management of opioid-related emergencies as well; early bystander and AED intervention remains key to survival.The Chain of Survival has been expanded to include a recovery link, which emphasizes physical, social, and emotional needs of patients and their caregivers after survivors leave the hospital.CPR training to now include […]
  • COVID-19 patients with spinal fractures are twice as likely to die October 21, 2020
    Patients with COVID-19 and vertebral fractures are twice as likely to die from the disease, according to a study published in the Endocrine Society's Journal of Clinical Endocrinology & Metabolism.
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