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Harnessing genomic research

volved in hereditary breast and ovarian cancers and have also been linked to other types of cancers.

Rapid diagnosis of infectious diseases?/B> Scientists at the Universities of Bath and Glasgow, with colleagues from Stobhill Hospital and Atlas Genetics Ltd are miniaturising established molecular techniques and combining them with novel assays to develop a hand-held 'chip' that will allow doctors to identify specific bacteria in patient samples. In the future this chip could be used to for rapid diagnosis of dangerous diseases such as MRSA infection and bacterial meningitis, where fast confirmation is critical, or for potentially catastrophic but widespread and non-symptomatic infections such as that caused by Chlamydia.

Vaccine against salmonella?/B> A team investigating the microbial genes important for the survival and growth of the salmonella pathogen during infection is using this knowledge to generate mutant bacterial strains that may be useful as vaccines. Experiments under way have shown several mutant bacterial strains to be highly effective as vaccines. In comparative studies one of the new strains had similar efficacy to that conferred by the current vaccine 'gold-standard' strain. Scientists from the Universities of Cambridge, Newcastle and Oxford and University College London have been working with their partner Arrow Therapeutics to combat this costly and dangerous livestock and human disease.

The highlights of the research programme are being presented to Parliamentarians and business leaders at a reception in London on the evening of 10 November. The programme was sponsored by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and the Medical Research Council (MRC).


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Source:Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council


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