The genomic approach of technology development and large-scale generation of community resource data sets has introduced an important new dimension in biological and biomedical research. Interwoven advances in genetics, comparative genomics, high throughput biochemistry and bioinformatics are combining to attack basic understanding of human life and disease and to develop strategies to combat disease. Genomic research began with The Human Genome Project (HGP), the international research effort that determined the DNA sequence of the entire human genome, completed in April 2003. The HGP also included efforts to characterise and sequence the entire genomes of several other organisms, many of which are used extensively in biological research. Identification of the sequence or function of genes in a model organism is an important approach to finding and elucidating the function of human genes. Integral to the HGP are similar efforts to understand the genomes of various organisms commonly used in biomedical research, such as mice, fruit flies and roundworms. Such organisms are called "model organisms," because they can often serve as research models for how the human organism behaves. This book presents the latest advances in this fast-moving field.
Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy (DMD) is one of the most prevalent genetic disorders of childhood and currently stands as an incurable condition. This authoritative guide provides a clear overview of the latest current and experimental approaches to the treatment of DMD and examines the clinical, genetic, and pathophysiological aspects of the disease i
Metabolic and functional impairments in skeletal muscle occur frequently, often in diverse conditions and each with different aetiologies, methods of diagnosis and treatment. This comprehensive text brings the complex facets of skeletal muscle pathology, diagnosis and management together.
During the first half century of genetics, coinciding with the first half of this cen tury, geneticists dreamt of the repair of genetic disease by altering or replacing defective genes. H. J. Muller wrote of the great advantages of mutations, "nanoneedles" in his apt term, for delicately probing physiological and chemical processes. In the same spirit, genes could be used to provide treatments of needle point delicacy. Yet, during this period no realistic possibility appeared; it remained but a dream. The situation changed abruptly at the half century. Microbial genetics and its offshoot, cell culture genetics, provided the route. Pneumococcus transformation showed that exogenous DNA could become a permanent part of the genome; yet attempts to reproduce this in animals produced a few tantalizing hints of success, but mostly failures. Transduction, using a virus as mediator, offered a better op portunity. The fITSt reproducible in vivo gene therapy in a whole animal came in 1981. This was in Drosophila, with a transposable element as carrier. Flies were "cured" of a mutant eye color by incorporation of the normal allele, and the effect was transmissible, foreshadowing not only somatic, but germ line gene therapy. At the same time, retroviruses carrying human genes were found to be ex tremely efficient in transferring their contents to the chromosomes of cultured cells.
Viral vectors are superior tools for gene therapy and as a genetic vaccine platform because viruses have evolved to efficiently infect and transfer their genomes to cells. Several impressive successes in viral vector-based gene therapies have been reported in humans, including restoration of vision in patients with Leber’s congenital amaurosis by retinal gene transfer and cures for severe immune deficiencies by gene transfer to hematopoietic stem cells. However, the mammalian immune system has evolved in parallel to fend off invading pathogens such as viruses. Innate and antigen-specific adaptive immune responses against viral vectors and therapeutic transgene products pose serious hurdles for successful gene therapy. Pre-existing immunity in humans, resulting from prior exposure to the parent virus that forms the basis for the gene transfer vehicle may be derived from, often prevents efficient gene transfer. This problem also reduces our ability to use certain vectors for genetic vaccination or in anti-cancer therapy. For these reasons, the gene transfer community has been extensively studying the mechanisms of immune responses against viral vectors and has started to develop strategies and protocols to block or circumvent such responses. Choice, design and engineering of a vector as well as the route of administration/target tissue can be optimized/ altered to minimize immune responses or evade pre-existing immunity. Immune suppression and modulation strategies are being developed in order to minimize inflammation, prevent antibody or T cell responses against vectors, and to promote tolerance to therapeutic gene products. Combinations of these approaches will likely facilitate clinical applications of gene therapy for many target diseases and also aid in vaccine development.
Among the many applications of stem cell research are nervous system diseases, diabetes, heart disease, auto-immune diseases as well as Parkinson's disease, end-stage kidney disease, liver failure, cancer, spinal cord injury, multiple sclerosis, Parkinson's disease, and Alzheimer's disease. Stem cells are self-renewing, unspecialised cells that can give rise to multiple types all of specialised cells of the body. Stem cell research also involves complex ethical and legal considerations since they involve adult, foetal tissue and embryonic sources. This new book brings together leading research from throughout the world in this frontier field.
Cell and tissue transplantation is one of the most exciting and rapidly expanding areas in medicine. This first edition of the Yearbook of Cell and Tissue Transplantation summarizes the latest advances in this revolutionary field, including developments in tissue engineering and transplantation of hybrid organs and tissues, while reviewing those data which, while not new, add to the usefulness of this work as a comprehensive reference. The justification for yearbooks is greater than ever as we approach the third millennium, overwhelmed with information. In view of the important and rapid changes occurring in this area, a new edition of this yearbook will appear periodically. The editors' careers at Harvard Medical School guarantee the quality of this book. The authors, too, are uniformly drawn from the highest rank of an unusually dedicated and heterogeneous professional group. from the Foreword by Thomas E. Starzl, Honorary President, The Cell Transplant Society: `No major topic in the global field is left uncovered ... the result will be a feast for those already well informed, and a life raft for those who are not.'
Culling together excerpts from a wide range of writings by Dr. Kewal K. Jain on biotechnology topics as they relate to disorders of the nervous system, Applications of Biotechnology in Neurology covers a variety of applications for those working in life sciences and the pharmaceutical sciences, particularly those developing diagnostics and therapeutics for the nervous system. This detailed volume delves into areas such as neurobiotechnology, like neurogenomics and neuroproteomics, molecular diagnostics, various methods of improving systemic administration of drugs for targeted delivery to the nervous system, including the use of nanobiotechnology, biotechnology-based strategies and products for neuroprotection, as well as chapters on neurosurgery and personalized neurology. Thorough, cutting-edge, and thoughtfully organized, Applications of Biotechnology in Neurology serves as an ideal guide, supplemented by 75 tables and 16 figures as well as numerous references from recent literature on this topic, which are appended to each chapter.
Gene Therapy describes the delivery systems now available to target a given tissue with specific gene or oligonucleotide sequences, and explores the utility of animal modules as test systems. In the context of selected disease states, it summarises in vitro and in vivo studies and clinical trials performed to date.