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First SCID gene chip to be introduced at Academy meeting on immunodeficiencies

The first gene chip ever to be developed for detecting SCID (primary immunodeficiency) in newborns will be presented to researchers for the first time at the New York Academy of Sciences' and Jeffrey Modell Foundation's one-day conference, Primary Immunodeficiencies: Past, Present, Future. The meeting will take place on April 25 at Rockefeller University, Caspary Auditorium, 1230 York Avenue, NY, from 8 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. Thirty of the world's leading immunology investigators will present their findings and more than 350 scientists and physicians are expected to attend.

Primary Immunodeficiencies (PI) is a group of life threatening disorders that afflict millions of people in the U.S. and around the world. Public awareness of the disorder increased with the release of the film "The Boy in the Plastic Bubble" starring John Travolta as a child stricken with Severe Combined Immune Deficiency (SCID) who lived in a plastic enclosure until his death.

Exciting New Breakthroughs in Diagnosis and Treatment of SCID

In the past, a newborn diagnosed with SCID would not survive to his or her first birthday. Now, researchers have attained a ninety percent success rate in bone marrow transplantation and treatment advances can cure certain "Bubble Boy" diseases. Gene therapy and stem cell research also promise more exciting new breakthroughs. However, the speed with which a gene chip that could detect new mutations of SCID was developed took many researchers by surprise.

"This is incredibly exciting. The Jeffrey Modell Foundation began this collaboration with NIH and Affymetrix only six months ago and never dreamed that this technology could have been accomplished in such a short period of time. The introduction of this new technology will have significant impact not only on SCID newborns but a wide variety of diseases and disorders," said Fred Modell, co-founder of the Jeffrey Modell Foundation.

In October 2005, the Foundat
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Source:New York Academy of Sciences


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