On CRISPR Gene Editing

DEFINITION: CRISPR is a family of DNA sequences found in the genomes of prokaryotic organisms such as bacteria and archaea. These sequences are derived from DNA fragments of bacteriophages that had previously infected the prokaryote. They are used to detect and destroy DNA from similar bacteriophages during subsequent infections

CITE: https://www.amazon.com/Dictionary-Health-Information-Technology-Security/dp/0826149952/ref=sr_1_5?ie=UTF8&s=books&qid=1254413315&sr=1-5

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A Gene Editing Breakthrough
For the first time, CRISPR technology has been used to successfully treat disease in vivo, or inside the human body.

That big medical news was announced Saturday by the biotech startup Intellia Therapeutics and its partner Regeneron, which said their gene-editing techniques reduced the amount of harmful liver protein associated with a genetic nerve disorder. 

What is CRISPR? It stands for “clustered regularly interspaced short palindromic repeats,” and it’s one of those things humans found in nature and then copied.  Bacteria use CRISPR to repel viruses, but humans have harnessed it to ctrl+c, ctrl+v DNA sequences, potentially leading to a revolution in treating disease.  The two scientists who made that breakthrough in 2012, Jennifer Doudna and Emmanuelle Charpentier, won the Nobel Prize in Chemistry last year (Doudna is also a cofounder of Intellia).

Quote du jour: “There’s a feeling like we’re walking through a door here into all kinds of new possibilities. And there’s not many moments in medicine where you get to experience that,” Intellia CEO John Leonard said.  Looking ahead…expect Intellia shares, which have gained 233% since its 2016 IPO, to pop.

CRISPR/Cas9 Genome Editing Technique - Musicians4Freedom

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ASSESSMENT: Your thoughts are appreciated.

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CONTACT: Ann Miller RN MH

[Executive Director]

THANK YOU

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On consumer DNA testing

Two states still resist consumer DNA testing

[By MIT Technology Review]

Earlier this month, 55,000 football fans were to receive a giveaway at a Baltimore Ravens game: not a T-shirt or a beer koozie, but a free DNA test. Ultimately, though, Maryland laws nixed the stunt.

Ronni Sandroff explains why.

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https://www.consumerreports.org/cro/news/2010/09/who-owns-your-dna/index.htm

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Conclusion

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Does the U.S. Supreme Court decision resolve the gene-patenting issue?

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Human Genes are NOT Patentable

By Karen Matthias RN MBA

[Vice-President of Marketing]

Hayes, Inc kmatthias@hayesinc.com

Yesterday, the U.S. Supreme Court unanimously agreed that human genes are not patentable, making a distinction between “natural” DNA found in the human body and the laboratory-created “synthetic” DNA. This opinion reinforces those of many in the genetics community who have argued for years that genes are products of nature rather than inventions.

A Resolution?

But, does the Supreme Court decision completely resolve the gene-patenting issue?

Dr. Diane Allingham-Hawkins, Senior Director, Genetic Test Evaluation Program and Technical Editing at Hayes, Inc., doesn’t think so.

“The Justices compromised somewhat in their decision that while human genes as they exist in nature were ruled not patentable, the opinion allowed that synthetic copies – so-called complementary DNA or cDNA – may be”.

The Court did not rule, however, that cDNA meets all requirements of patent eligibility, just that cDNA would not be considered a ’product of nature’.

Issues Not Addressed

In addition, Dr. Allingham-Hawkins points out what the decision does not address.

“Notably, the opinion clearly stated that it was not ruling on any methods patents related to the two genes or on any applications regarding what Myriad had learned about the genes, leaving the door open for narrower genetic testing patents.

Nevertheless, this is a major victory for the plaintiffs in the case and for patients, who will now have choices related to who performs their genetic testing and options to seek second opinions from independent laboratories.”

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US supreme court building

More 

Our new white paper on the history of gene patenting in the United States can be an excellent resource as you search for background information on this topic.

Download a complimentary copy here:  http://www.hayesinc.com/hayes/resource-center/white-papers/gene-patenting-in-the-united-states/.

Assessment  

Thanks for considering.

Conclusion

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Craig Venter Unveils Synthetic Life

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Some Positive Video News on Memorial Weekend 2010

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP ™

Was Artificial Life Created Recently?

According to Craig Venter “synthetic life” has been created. Venter is the American biologist and entrepreneur most famous for his role in being one of the first to sequence the human genome. He has now reportedly synthesized the first artificial cell.

I don’t know about you, but this is huge news – regardless of whether you call it “life” or not.  In fact, here’s video of Craig Venter making the announcement:

An Arm Chair Philosopher

Now, I am not speaking as a doctor or scientist; but rather as an armchair economist and philosopher recalling my undergraduate days at Loyola University Maryland, under the tutelage of the late Aldo Tassi PhD. So, I repeat, this is huge news and an interesting piece of science. It is historic, and has large implications for the future and even the economy. Why?

The Invisible Hand

Much of our time here at the ME-P is spent integrating the hard and soft sciences of practice management, economics and financial planning for a medical audience. But occasionally, negative situations, political cycles and pessimistic opinions on our topic channels are expressed. These disparaging political remarks even indirectly target the USA and our very survival as a free nation and self-governing people.

IOW: Contrary to innovations, and innovators, like Craig Venter.

Nevertheless, there an “invisible hand” – call it economics or capitalism – that keeps us moving in the direction of survival. And, we are conscious beings capable of controlling the rate of that progression in all fields of human endeavor.

What it Is

A chromosome was designed in digital code on a computer and then transplanted into a bacterial cell, transforming that cell into a new bacterial species. Apart from the usual blueprint for proteins, the DNA also carried the names of the key contributors and even its own email address.

How it Works

As reported according to Venter, “This is the first self-replicating species on the planet, whose parent is a computer.”

And, he has already mentioned some potential practical applications for his discovery: a vaccine for HIV and a new strain of algae that can significantly decrease CO2-levels and provide a source for gasoline.

Link: http://www.jcvi.org

Assessment

And so, on this Memorial Weekend – a day for remembering death and sacrifice – let us celebrate life and achievement instead by stating that we are not apologists for the USA.

As the last best hope for this planet, we are not always right or politically correct, but this country offers the greatest opportunity on earth for human advancement, capitalism and success through conscientious work effort.

We do not believe America has seen better days. Those who fought did not die in vain. Better days are still in our future. We are optimistic about the long-term future of our country when looking at our progression to ameliorate the planet’s ills, to-date. We have come out of hard times before – like the current recession – by taking innovative steps forwards, not backwards. While we are likely to go through a period of adjustment in the near-term, the end result will be further individual, national and private progress in the USA. God Bless America.

Rest assured, we will continue to lead and create the world, much like Crag Venter created artificial life. Candor – Intelligence – Goodwill to all

Conclusion

And so, your thoughts and comments on this ME-P are appreciated. What do you think of this development? What economic discoveries, medical cures, life enhancing inventions and/or break-thru innovations will this creation open up?

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Should Drugs be Discontinued If DNA Predicts Risks?

On Pharmacogenetic Testing and Genomics – An Invitation

[By Karen D. Matthias RN MBA]

Dr. Marcinko and ME-P Readers

Wouldn’t it be wonderful to test someone’s DNA and know the right drug to prescribe at the right dose the first time without the worry of adverse side effects?  Pharmacogenetics—the manner in which a person’s genes affect their response to drugs, has the potential to do just that.  Genetic and genomic tests hold enormous promise for revolutionizing our medical understanding of a disease.

However, it is irresponsible to suggest that a simple genetic test, at this point in time, can appropriately dictate prescribing practices for certain drugs.

Pharmacogenetic Testing

The use of pharmacogenetic testing in the diagnosis and treatment of cancer has recently created a lot of questions for patients.  A high profile example is whether or not genetic tests can predict the risk of recurrence of breast cancer in women taking tamoxifen.

Our knowledge of how genetics and environment interact to dictate an individual’s response to a given drug is in its infancy. Therefore it is critically important that there is sufficient evidence to support the use of a given test before it is introduced into mainstream medical practice. In most cases, there is not a simple single genetic test that will give us the necessary information.

For example, Hayes has reviewed the evidence behind the pharmacogenetics of response to tamoxifen, and the reality is that there is currently insufficient evidence to conclude that performing a genetic test prior to prescribing this drug has any impact at all on patient outcomes.

Link: http://www.hayesinc.com/hayes/?s=Tamoxifen+

Assessment 

Furthermore, well-designed studies are needed to both confirm the relationship between genetic variants and response to tamoxifen. The critical component is to show that positive changes in patient care can be made in response to the results of genetic testing and to establish what the potential negative repercussions of NOT prescribing these drugs to patients may be.  It is possible that the benefits outweigh the risks, even for patients shown by genetic testing to be less likely to respond to treatment.

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ME-P Invitation from Hayes, Inc 

Dr. Diane J. Allingham-Hawkins would be available to give you, and your ME-P readers, a perspective on this ongoing genetics testing dialogue. Dr. Allingham-Hawkins is Director of the Genetics Test Evaluation Program at Hayes, Inc., an unbiased, healthcare research and consulting firm that is helping hospitals and insurers cope with the cost and ethical issues related to genetic testing.  She is an outspoken interviewee with deep knowledge of the subject matter and very pointed opinions regarding genetic testing.  A great interview for your consideration.

Contact Info:

Karen D. Matthias – Vice President

Hayes, Inc – 157 S. Broad Street

Lansdale, PA 19446

P: 215-855-0615 x7918

E-mail: kmatthias@hayesinc.com

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Off-Road Touring with Dr. Marcinko [Part IV]

About Atlas Sports Genetics

By Dr. David Edward Marcinko; MBA, CMP™

[Publisher-in-Chief]

Dateline: July 6, 2009people_top

Did you know that for about $150 bucks, Atlas Sports Genetics [ASG], a company in Boulder CO, offers a DNA test kit to evaluate actinin; a protein found in fast-twitch muscle fibers? Yep; it’s true!

About ASG

ATLAS™ stands for Athletic Talent Laboratory Analysis System and is a leading edge athletic talent identification test that uses enhanced DNA analysis to identify those athletes that are genetically predisposed to either speed/power or endurance characteristics. Through the analysis of a specific DNA gene called ACTN3, the SportGene® Test developed by Genetic Technologies in Australia, is now available in the United States through Atlas Sports Genetics.

The Kit

Using a cheek swab sent to the lab, a report on the gene ACTN3 is received by mail several weeks later. The test is touted to be helpful in determining the best sport, or prefect athletic career, for participants. And, it is highly sought after by helicopter parents wishing to pursue a college scholarship or sports contract for junior [i.e., marathoner versus sprinter, etc].

Just take a look here: http://www.atlasgene.com

AssessmentESPN

How did I learn about all this? Why, from an USOEC parent of course, during my travels to Upper Michigan. And me? I’ve been a middle distance runner for 35 years; even with a dislocated finger! LSD anyone; long-slow-distance.

 

About Off Road with Dr. Marcinko

These sporadic off-road segments will continue through-out my 2009 summer promotional tour. On the one hand, formal attendance at several engagements was a bit sparse because of the death of several recent celebrities and entertainer types. On the other hand, local book stores and sponsors noted a spike in our CD and book sales, as well as interest in our online www.CertifiedMedicalPlanner.com program and premier quarterly guide: Healthcare Organizations [Journal of Financial Management Strategies] www.HealthcareFinancials.com

Part I: https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/2009/07/20/off-road-touring-with-dr-marcinko-part-i/

Part II: https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/2009/07/22/off-road-touring-with-dr-marcinko-part-ii/

Part III: https://healthcarefinancials.wordpress.com/2009/07/24/off-road-touring-with-dr-marcinko-part-iii/

Conclusion

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23 and Me

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Personal DNA Analysis and Reporting 

[By Staff Reporters]

Ever wondered why you were left-handed and your sibling or parent wasn’t?

A not-so-new new company, 23andMe, provides an analysis of DNA, where you can learn more about yourself, your immediate family and even your ancestry.

Target Markets

Those who would be especially interested in this personal genome service include:

Methodology

Customers [sic patients] submit a small saliva sample that is processed using a proprietary custom DNA chip. The resulting data is then presented on a secure website using interactive tools that offer information about ancestry, inherited traits and disease risk.

Board of Directors

This is no lightweight company. It technology founders include:

  • Linda Avey
  • Anne Wojcicki
  • Esther Dyson

While its’ medical advisors are:

  • Uta Francke; MD [Professor of Genetics and Pediatrics, Stanford University].
  • Itsik Pe’er; PhD [Assistant Professor of Computer Science, Columbia University].
  • Peter A. Underhill; PhD [Senior Research Scientist, Stanford University].

Assessment

You can also better understand your genetic tendencies for things like obesity or health issues.

There is even an interactive blog: http://spittoon.23andme.com

Users can find other members with similar genetic makeup and start discussions. And, it is $999 to order a kit for the DNA test. 

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