OGT Arrays Advance Diagnostic Research in Cytogenetics
News Jun 25, 2009
Oxford Gene Technology (OGT) announces that the Center for Human Genetics at Katholieke Universiteit Leuven, Belgium, has begun assessment of its CytoSure arrays for use in prenatal diagnostic research.
The Center, one of Europe’s largest clinical diagnostic facilities, already uses CytoSure arrays for post-natal research applications and is now exploring their potential for prenatal screening.
The pilot study is due to last 12 months and will use the arrays alongside existing screening techniques for selected prenatal screens. Researchers from OGT are collaborating closely with the Center’s constitutional cytogenetics laboratory headed by Professor Joris Vermeesch.
Joris explained: “We have worked closely with OGT for some time now and have a good working relationship. This particular project is a clinical study with a strong research component. We are investigating the extent to which high resolution aCGH can improve diagnosis in selected cases that show normal karyotype results but abnormal developmental phenotypes. In addition, for research purposes, we are cataloguing unknown genetic abnormalities to help us better understand genetic variation in the future.”
John Anson, Research and Development Director at OGT, added: “By bringing together OGT’s expertise in microarray development and the Center’s extensive experience in diagnostic testing, it is hoped that the higher resolution of the CytoSure arrays will enhance the understanding of genetic variations. This should ultimately improve prenatal services in Europe by offering better clinical diagnosis and genetic counseling.”
Animal venoms are the subject of study at research center based at the Butantan Institute in São Paulo. But in this case, the idea is not to find antidotes, but rather to use the properties of the venoms themselves to identify molecular targets of diseases and, armed with that knowledge, develop new compounds that can be used as medicines.