Volume 12 Issue 205
Published - 14:00 UTC 08:00 EST 5-Aug-2010 
Next Update - 14:00 UC 08:00 EST 6-Aug-2010

Editor: Susan K. Boyer, RN
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Genetic clue to chronic pain could lead to new treatments for the condition

Chronic pain is a serious medical problem, afflicting approximately 20% of adults. Some individuals are more susceptible than others, and the basis for this remains largely unknown. In a report published online today in Genome Research (http://www.genome.org), researchers have identified a gene associated with susceptibility to chronic pain in humans, signaling a significant step toward better understanding and treating the condition. more  

Doctors hard to find for patients in Massachusetts' first for-profit health plan

The first for-profit insurance company approved to offer government-subsidized coverage under Massachusetts' health reform has dangerously restricted access to primary care, according to data reported in Thursday's (Aug. 5) New England Journal of Medicine. Researchers say the findings raise troubling concerns about the Obama administration's new health law, which is modeled after the Massachusetts plan. more

Iron-regulating protein is strong predictor of breast cancer prognosis, study shows

A new study by researchers at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center (WFUBMC) may soon help to spare some women with breast cancer from having to undergo invasive and toxic treatments for their disease. more  

'SORTing' out the genetic and biological links between cholesterol and coronary heart disease

The true power of genomic research lies in its ability to help scientists understand biological processes, particularly those that when altered can lead to disease. This power is demonstrated dramatically in a pair of papers published today in the journal Nature. In the first, a global team of researchers describes 95 different variations across the genome that contribute in different degrees to alterations in blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels in multiple human populations. In the second report, close examination of just one of these common variants not only reveals the involvement of an unexpected genetic pathway in lipid metabolism but also provides a blueprint for using genomic findings to unravel biological connections between lipid levels and coronary heart disease. more

Gene for cholesterol and cardiovascular disease identified through genome scan  

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine, the Broad Institute, Massachusetts General Hospital, and Alnylam Pharmaceuticals Inc., are some of the first to prove that a gene linked to a disease trait by genome wide association studies (GWAS) can be clinically relevant and an important determinant of disease risk. more

NIH grantees find metabolic pathway in malaria parasites; possible drug targets  

A newly described metabolic pathway used by malaria-causing parasites may help them survive inside human blood cells. The finding, by researchers supported by the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases (NIAID), part of the National Institutes of Health, clarifies the picture of parasite metabolism and provides clues to potential weak points in the pathway that might be attacked with drugs. more

Scientists identify 95 genetic variants associated with cholesterol, triglycerides

A global team of researchers co-led by the University of Michigan School of Public Health has discovered or confirmed 95 regions of the human genome where genetic variants are associated with blood cholesterol and triglyceride levels, which are major indicators of heart disease risk. more

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Doctors hard to find for patients in Massachusetts' first for-profit health plan