Mar 18, 2009 | 2
Cytomegalovirus (CMV), a form of herpes, is the most commonly transmitted infection between pregnant women and their babies, affecting 30,000 U.S. newborns a year and leaving some 8,000 of them with permanent damage ranging from mental retardation to vision and hearing loss. Scientists have had a tough time trying to come up with a vaccine against the virus, which is harmless in healthy adults, though it can cause eye inflammation and changes in blood cell count and the gastrointestinal tract in people with AIDS or other immune system conditions.
But one experimental vaccine is showing promise in preventing women from becoming infected with CMV. (As Scientific American noted in its January issue, CMV vaccines are also being tested in brain tumor patients, because many of the malignancies are found to contain the virus.)
Nov 25, 2008 | 3
Prenatal genetic tests such as amniocentesis (drawing some amniotic fluid from around a 16-week fetus) always carries a small risk of miscarriage. Now, a partnership between a group of Chinese researchers and a San Diego biotech company may result in a simple no-risk blood test that detects defects caused by single-gene mutations.
Chinese University of Hong Kong scientists report in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences that they devised a technique that locates a fetus's DNA molecules in blood samples taken from its mother. The fetal DNA or genetic material, which tends to be shorter than that of the mom, is duplicated and subjected to a “molecular counting” technique that tallies both mutant and normal genetic material. The new method overcomes what had been the major obstacle to such testing: distinguishing fetal DNA inherited from mom from mom's own DNA,
Deadline: Aug 31 2013
Reward: $100,000 USD
The Geoffrey Beene Foundation Alzheimer’s Initiative (GBFAI) is launching the 2013 Geoffrey Beene Global NeuroDiscovery Challenge whose
Deadline: Jun 30 2013
Reward: $1,000,000 USD
This is a Reduction-to-Practice Challenge that requires written documentation and&
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