Press Highlights

Hepatic Gene Therapy Technique Developed

Researchers have developed a technique for selective expansion of genetically modified hepatocytes, resulting in expression of high levels of transgenes in livers of mice. Sean Nygaard et al (Oregon Health and Science University) describe their system for in vivo selection and expansion of genetically modified hepatocytes in the June 8

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DDW 2016: Stem Cells Help Heal Perianal Fistulas, Increasing Rates of Colorectal Cancer in Younger Individuals, and Agents Effective Against HCV Genotypes 1–6

Researchers reported important findings on a variety of gastrointestinal and hepatic disorders at Digestive Disease Week in San Diego. – A small, phase 1 study reported that a bioprosthesis plug soaked in autologous mesenchymal stem cells helped heal refractory perianal fistulas that commonly occur in patients with Crohn’s disease. Amy

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  • Genetic Variants Associated with IBD Alter Immune Regulatory Signals from Beneficial Microbes

Genetic Variants Associated with IBD Alter Immune Regulatory Signals from Beneficial Microbes

Polymorphisms in susceptibility genes appear to promote development of inflammatory bowel diseases (IBD) by altering the abilities of immune cells to sense protective signals from the microbiome, researchers report. These findings help fill the missing link between genetic risk variants for IBD and dysbiosis of the intestinal microbiome. More than

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  • Study Estimates Medical Errors May Cause More Than 250,000 Deaths Each Year in the US

Study Estimates Medical Errors May Cause More Than 250,000 Deaths Each Year in the US

Medical error is the third leading cause of death in the United States, after heart disease and cancer, a study concluded. Analyzing medical death rate data over an 8 year period, Marin Makary and Michael Daniel (Johns Hopkins University [JHU]) estimated that more than 250,000 deaths/year are due to medical error

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Advances in PSC, NAFLD, and Liver Transplantation for Patients with HCV Infection reported at International Liver Congress

A chemical cousin of an existing drug shows promise for patients with primary sclerosing cholangitis (PSC), a larger waistline increases risk for severe nonalcoholic fatty liver disease (NAFLD), and livers from hepatitis C virus (HCV)-infected donors are safe for transplant into HCV-infected recipients were all among the exciting findings reported

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  • Researchers Identify Individuals Resilient to Severe Mendelian Childhood Diseases

Researchers Identify Individuals Resilient to Severe Mendelian Childhood Diseases

A genomic analysis of more than half a million people identified 13 individuals who appear to remain healthy despite carrying genetic mutations linked to severe childhood diseases. Although the biological reasons for this resilience are not yet understood, the study provides a first step toward identification of genetic variants that

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  • Gut Microbes Affect Extent of Brain Injury After Stroke

Gut Microbes Affect Extent of Brain Injury After Stroke

Altering the intestinal microbiota of mice can reduce the extent of brain damage after a stroke, researchers found. These findings provide a previously unrecognized link between the intestine and the brain. The composition of the intestinal microbiome affects development of the immune system and metabolic processes, and is altered in

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  • A Brain Enzyme That Controls Satiety

A Brain Enzyme That Controls Satiety

Researchers identified a brain enzyme that regulates how much food mice eat in one sitting—deletion of this enzyme caused the mice to increase their food intake to the point of becoming obese. The results could provide new therapeutic target for human obesity. To study brain mechanisms that control meal size

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  • As Incidence and Deaths from Other Cancers Decrease, Liver Cancer Increases in US

As Incidence and Deaths from Other Cancers Decrease, Liver Cancer Increases in US

Deaths from almost all cancers in the United States decreased from 1975 to 2012—except for liver cancer. In the Annual Report to the Nation on the Status of Cancer, 1975–2012, published online by the National Cancer Institute, A. Blythe Ryerson et al report that the overall cancer death rates for

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Peanut Consumption in Infancy not Only Prevents Allergy but Effects Persist After Avoidance

The benefits of regularly consuming peanut-containing foods early in life to prevent the development of peanut allergy persist even when subjects stopped peanut consumption for 1 year, a clinical study found. Early introduction of peanuts to infants at high risk for allergy was previously shown to prevent peanut allergy. In a

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