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:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 03-08-2010
Plasma and Serum are often used in biomarker discovery studies because they are easy to obtain from patients and are readily available. The biggest challenge with using these sources in biomarker studies is the HUGE overexpression of approximately 20 predominant proteins such as heat shock proteins and albumin (to name a few) which represent about 99% of the total protein mass. Since most analytical technologies are incapable of resolving expression levels over more than 5 orders of magnitude, proteins with low expression levels (which are most likely to be viable candidates for biomarker studies since differences in their expression levels between normal and diseased states are more easily resolved) are often masked and difficult to detect.
Unfortunately, many of the technologies available which aid in biomarker discovery rely on the depletion of high abundance proteins which often ends up depleting low abundant proteins as well thereby “throwing out the baby with the bathwater.”
Bio-Rad has recently launched a new and innovative method for resolving differences in low abundant proteins using a unique quantitative enrichment technology.
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 02-18-2010
Following fast on the heels of last week’s publication that a multiplex bead array technique (AKA Bioplex) had been used to discover biomarkers that predict the onset of Rheumatoid Arthritis, a group in Germany has published a study using the same technology (BioPlex) to study the effects of ERBITUX sensitivity and resistance on cell surface receptor activation in certain cancer types.
The authors conclude that Bio-Plex phosphoprotein assays, in combination with Oncotest’s patient-derived tumor xenograft lysates, can be used by researchers to probe deeper into the mechanisms of cancer therapeutics.
The paper is definitely recommended for anyone involved in the field of biomarker research
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 02-11-2010
CNN recently reported on a simple blood test that may allow doctors to identify a debilitating form of arthritis years before any symptoms appear, which may help to stop the disease in its tracks. The study, published in the February issue of Arthritis and Rheumatism found that markers of inflammation that can be detected in the bloodstream rise long before symptoms of the disease. Using Bio-Rad’s Bioplex and cytokine multiplex bead array, Kokkonen et al. were able to analyze 30 different cytokines and predict with 86 percent accuracy the individuals who would ultimately develop rheumatoid arthritis.
Gone are the days of singleplex ELISAs. Scientists and medical professionals are now acutely aware of the multifactorial nature of disease and the importance of looking at multiple biomarkers to accurately assess biological conditions. Single biomarkers have been found to be largely unpredictable and irrelevant. “Omics” is now the name of the game and the ability to analyze several indicators at once in the appropriate context using analytical tools such as the bioplex will serve to enhance the power of our research and further our understanding of biological processes.
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 01-26-2010
While we’re on the topic of electrophoresis…
A new technique that combines the best of western blotting and microarrays was just published by University of Chicago scientists in today’s issue of Nature Methods. The new assay is capable of examining hundreds of proteins at once enabling new experiments that could dramatically change our understanding of cancer and other diseases.
:: Posted by American Biotechnologist on 01-05-2010
Ever heard of open source computing? What does that have to do with drug discovery and molecular bioiolgy? Andrew Hessel of the pink army collective thinks that lessons learned from open source computing can be used in “open-source biology” which will eventually lead to faster drug discovery and an economically viable model for personalized medicine.