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ExonHit Develops Prototype for Alzheimer's RNA-based Dx

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) - ExonHit said yesterday that it has developed a prototype for a blood-based diagnostic to identify patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease.
 
The company said the test is based on hybridizing RNA isolated from blood on an Affymetrix microarray, and it can distinguish patients suffering from Alzheimer’s disease from those suffering from schizophrenia, bipolar disorders, and depression.
 
The test is designed to identify Alzheimer’s sufferers, but the company said it is assessing the feasibility of using it to identify patients suffering from mild cognitive impairment who are at risk to develop Alzheimer-type dementia.
 
ExonHit’s executive VP for research, Laurent Bracco, said the company is “confident that the test will also be able to screen out patients suffering from other dementias such as frontal lobe dementias, Lewy body dementias, or vascular dementias.”
 
ExonHit said it expects it will have the test certified and ready to market to pharmaceutical companies as early as 2009.

The Scan

Pig Organ Transplants Considered

The Wall Street Journal reports that the US Food and Drug Administration may soon allow clinical trials that involve transplanting pig organs into humans.

'Poo-Bank' Proposal

Harvard Medical School researchers suggest people should bank stool samples when they are young to transplant when they later develop age-related diseases.

Spurred to Develop Again

New Scientist reports that researchers may have uncovered why about 60 percent of in vitro fertilization embryos stop developing.

Science Papers Examine Breast Milk Cell Populations, Cerebral Cortex Cellular Diversity, Micronesia Population History

In Science this week: unique cell populations found within breast milk, 100 transcriptionally distinct cell populations uncovered in the cerebral cortex, and more.