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Archive - Jun 2, 2017

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Brown Fat Depot Similar to Human’s Identified in Mice; Study May Reveal Roles of Brown Fat in Humans

When it gets cold around you, your body turns up the heat to maintain its normal temperature. The heat is produced by brown adipose tissue, or brown fat, which also plays a role in how the body uses glucose and fat. However, scientists do not completely understand how brown fat carries out its functions both in health and disease, in part because of the lack of an appropriate animal model. In a paper published online on June 2, 2017 in the Journal of Clinical Investigation Insight, a team of researchers from several institutions, including Baylor College of Medicine, has filled this gap with the discovery that mice also have brown fat deposits similar to the largest depot found in people. The discovery opens the door to research that might lead to new ways of using brown fat to treat metabolic conditions such as obesity and type 2 diabetes in the future. The open-access JCI Insight article is titled Identification and Characterization of a Supraclavicular Brown Adipose Tissue in Mice.” "In addition to white adipose tissue, or white fat, people have brown fat, an important contributor to the body's energy balance via the generation of body heat and the participation in metabolic processes," said senior author Dr. Miao-Hsueh Chen, Assistant Professor of Pediatrics and Nutrition at Baylor College of Medicine and the USDA/ARS Children's Nutrition Research Center at Baylor and Texas Children's Hospital. Brown fat contains adipocytes, cells that are rich in small fat-filled droplets and in energy-producing structures called mitochondria. Brown fat adipocytes use fat and glucose as sources of energy. In mice, brown fat activated to produce heat markedly affects the energy balance.

Exosome Diagnostics Will Demonstrate the “Shahky” Point-of-Care Protein Detection Instrument at ASCO

In a May 31, 2017 announcement, Exosome Diagnostics, Inc. said it will have a demonstration unit of ShahkyTM, the world’s first point-of-care protein capture and analysis instrument, for ASCO attendees to view and learn about capabilities at the upcoming world meeting in Chicago, June 2-5. Shahky will be on display in Exosome Dx’s booth, # 25091 (nearby the posters section of the exhibit hall.) Earlier this year, Exosome Dx announced the first partnership that grants access to the Shahky instrument with Merck KGaA, Darmstadt, Germany. Exosome Dx will use the ASCO meeting as a forum to engage potential new partners for both the Shahky instrument and other proprietary platforms including exosomal long RNASeq, enabling actionable biomarkers for clinical use. The Shahky instrument achieves high sensitivity by selectively targeting disease-specific exosomes. The instrument was validated at a leading Boston Hospital in early January of 2017. The instrument’s capabilities make it a powerful technology for discovering, assessing, and validating clinical biomarkers. The system has been developed and overseen by Exosome Dx’s Regulatory Department, with design control and engineering practices that are in accordance with FDA and other applicable regulations. Exosome Dx recently licensed a multiplexed nanoplasmonic assay designed specifically to fit into clinical workflows from a research effort at Harvard-MGH (published in Science Translational Medicine, May 2017) that developed a prototype assay for early detection of pancreatic ductal adenocarcinoma (PDAC) cancer. The assay employs a liquid biopsy approach, leveraging low blood volumes and the clinical potential of exosome-based proteins and mRNA.

Exosome Diagnostics Introduces Exosome Selection Platform at ASCO

In a June 1, 2017 press release, Exosome Diagnostics, Inc. announced that it will introduce its Exosome Dx Depletion (and/or) Enrichment (EDDE) platform to members of the American Society of Clinical Oncology (ASCO) at the ASCO annual meeting in Chicago (June 2-6). The patented EDDE platform can select exosomes derived from a specific tissue type, and, at the same time, significantly increase the signal to noise for any target. Exosome Diagnostics encourages attendees to stop by its booth to learn more about how the EDDE platform can improve biomarker discovery and patient stratification (booth #25091, nearby the posters section in the ASCO exhibit hall). “The EDDE platform is an important technological achievement to enrich for disease-specific vesicles. We have shown that this enables detection of targets not otherwise measurable on proteins and RNA. We are particularly excited to now combine the EDDE platform with our long RNAseq platform that efficiently enables sequencing of the transcriptome with a focus on mRNA, long non-coding RNA, and other clinically actionable targets from biofluids such as plasma and urine,” says Dr. Johan Skog, Chief Scientific Officer and Founding Scientist of Exosome Diagnostics. “We have already used the EDDE platform for immunotherapy targets like PD-1, as well as neuronal exosomes containing Tau,” continued Dr. Skog.