Archive for May 2011

Braswell Pardon Highlights Supplement Scam

May 26th, 2011 — 7:08am

Almost lost in the flurry of last-minute pardons issued by former president Clinton is the pardon of snake oil salesman extraordinaire, A. Glenn Braswell. This pardon stands out for those concerned with public health. According to Dr. Stephen Barrett, head of the consumer watchdog group Quackwatch, Braswell “has probably managed to sell more health-related products with misleading claims than anyone else in the history of the world.” Continue reading »

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Not Plug and Play

May 19th, 2011 — 6:14am

B-to-B commerce companies are best positioned to deploy the technology, although one big hurdle remains: integrating an out-of-the-box configurator with its back-end transaction platforms and legacy systems, as well as those of suppliers. That’s the problem facing Flextronics, a $2 billion multinational contract manufacturing business headquartered in San Jose, Calif., as it tests configurators. Continue reading »

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Gene Therapy Post 2

May 12th, 2011 — 5:36am

According to study co-author Alain Fischer of the Hospital Necker in Paris, the toddlers appear to be doing well without any side effects for almost a year now. They are living normally with their families and without a bubble. Additionally, the Science report notes that a third patient is experiencing similar progress four months after the gene transfer. Ideally, Fischer says, the children will be monitored for the rest of their lives to ensure their continued health and to monitor the long-term success of the therapy. Continue reading »

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Gene Therapy Post 1

May 3rd, 2011 — 9:11pm

Gene therapy: A 21st century panacea for diseases? Not quite. The field of gene therapy, while 15 years old, is in its infancy and investigators have only begun to take baby steps into its understanding.

While scientists had already isolated many genes prior to the Human Genome Project, investigators agree that the genome’s completion, which may identify about 100,000 genes, will make more diseases accessible. It is a critical first step to developing potential genetic therapies for particular diseases.

“For gene therapy, the first requirement to make it successful is the identification of human genes to treat diseases. ? This [Human Genome Project] will be a gold mine for the future of gene therapy,” said Savio L.C. Woo, Ph.D., professor and director of the Institute for Gene Therapy and Molecular Medicine at the Mt. Sinai School of Medicine in New York, and president of the American Society of Gene Therapy.

According to the World Health Organization globally today, about 5 percent of children are born with a congenital or hereditary disorder and almost 40 percent of adults are genetically predisposed to common diseases during their lifetimes.

Gene therapy, by replacing a defective gene or altering it, will have the advantage of actually treating the cause of an illness, not just the symptoms. Many maladies are being investigated as potential candidates for gene-based therapies; they include inherited disorders as well as cardiovascular disease, cancer and infectious diseases such as AIDS and hepatitis.

The majority of clinical trials for gene therapies are in preliminary stages; however, at least one of these studies may be closing in on success, which if proven effective, may be a first for gene therapy. Continue reading »

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