The following stories appear in full on today's Vidyya Medical News Service Web site.
On the lighter side of the biotechnology news, it appears that the footballs to be used in Super Bowl XXXV will be tagged with a unique strand of synthetic DNA. This will be the second consecutive Super Bowl to use the DNA tagging process in order to ensure the authenticity of the actual balls used in the game.
For more information: On The Lighter Side: Super Bowl Footballs To Be Marked With DNA
Canada's Cangene Corp. said Monday that it won approval from Health Canada for its anti-chicken pox treatment for pregnant women previously not infected with the virus. The drug was investigated for its ability to prevent chicken pox in pregnant women who had been accidentally exposed to the virus and who were not previously immune.
For more information: Canadian Officials Approve Anti-Chicken Pox Drug For Use During Pregnancy
Hepatitis C patients won another option to treat the dangerous liver disease Monday, as the Food and Drug administration approved a once-a-week drug called Peg-Intron . Peg-Intron is a version of the longtime hepatitis treatment interferon-alpha made with new "pegylation" technology that cloaks it from the immune system so it stays active longer.
For more information: FDA Approves Hepatitis C Therapy
Britain became the first country to effectively legalize the creation of cloned human embryos when the House of Lords approved a proposed change to government regulations on Monday. The measure is aimed at allowing research on so-called stem cells--the unprogrammed master cells found in early stage embryos that can turn into nearly every cell type in the body.
For more information: Britain Becomes First Country To Legalize Creation Of Cloned Human Embryos
Scientists have found that people with Down's syndrome have an extra copy of a gene that may protect against lung cancer. The discovery of the "extra line of defense" could lead to the development of drugs or treatments for the disease, which affects 40,000 people a year in the UK and 180,000 in the US.
For more information: Down's Syndrome May Hold Clues To Cancer Cures
Today's Vidyya articles are:
As always, we hope you enjoy the issue.