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Archive - Jul 19, 2017

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Rare Human Disease (Williams-Beuren Syndrome) May Help Explain Why Dogs Are So Friendly; Study Suggests Dogs Evolved from Wolves Due to Gene-Based Affinity to Associate with Humans

Dogs' ability to communicate and interact with humans is one the most astonishing differences between them and their wild cousins, wolves. A new study published online on July 19, 2017 in the journal Science Advances identifies genetic changes that are linked to dogs' human-directed social behaviors and suggests there is a common underlying genetic basis for hyper-social behavior in both dogs and humans. The open-access article is titled “Structural Variants in Genes Associated with Human Williams-Beuren Syndrome Underlie Stereotypical Hyper-Sociability in Domestic Dogs." In the study, an interdisciplinary team of researchers, including ones from Princeton University, sequenced a region of chromosome 6 in dogs and found multiple sections of canine DNA that were associated with differences in social behavior. In many cases, unique genetic insertions called transposons on the Williams-Beuren syndrome critical region (WBSCR) were strongly associated with the tendency to seek out humans for physical contact, assistance and information. In contrast, in humans, it is the deletion of genes from the counterpart of this region on the human genome, rather than insertions, that causes Williams-Beuren syndrome, a congenital disorder characterized by hyper-social traits such as exceptional gregariousness. "It was the remarkable similarity between the behavioral presentation of Williams-Beuren syndrome and the friendliness of domesticated dogs that suggested to us that there may be similarities in the genetic architecture of the two phenotypes," said Bridgett vonHoldt, PhD, an Assistant Professor in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology at Princeton and the study's lead co-author. Dr. vonHoldt had identified the canine analog of the WBSCR in her publication in Nature in 2010.

Aethlon Medical Announces Receipt of U.S. Patent Protecting Methods of Capturing MHC-Antigen-Associated Exosomes

On July 19, 2017, Aethlon Medical, Inc. (Nasdaq: AEMD), a therapeutic technology company focused on unmet needs in global health and biodefense, announced that the United States Patent and Trademark Office has granted U.S. Patent Number 9,707,333 (the '333 Patent), entitled "EXTRACORPOREAL REMOVAL OF MICROVESICULAR PARTICLES." The '333 Patent covers methods of capturing exosomes that include an MHC-I or MHC-II antigen, whereby a patient suspected of receiving a benefit from exosome capture and removal is selected, and the whole blood, plasma, or serum from the patient is contacted with a substrate that includes antibodies specific for an MHC-I or MHC-II antigen. The '333 Patent also covers methods of capturing and removing MHC-I or MHC-II antigen-associated exosomes from whole blood, plasma, or serum of a patient, and returning the whole blood, plasma, or serum to the patient with substantially fewer MHC-I or MHC-II antigen-associated exosomes. MHC-I and MHC-II antigen-associated exosomes contribute to the progression of numerous disease conditions, including cancer, autoimmune disorders, and neurodegenerative diseases. The '333 Patent is a continuation of U.S. Patent Number 9,364,601, which covers methods of lectin-based capture of exosomes from a patient, and U.S. Patent Number 8,288,172, which protects the use of the Aethlon Hemopurifier® in a method to remove immunosuppressive exosomes from blood. Together, these patents solidify Aethlon's position as a leader in pioneering diagnostic and therapeutic strategies in the field of exosome biology.

Genome Sequence and Analysis of Rare South Koran Bat

A recent study, affiliated with the Korean Genomics Industrialization and Commercialization Center (KOGIC) at South Korea's Ulsan National Institute of Science and Technology (UNIST), has presented the first whole genome sequence and analyses of Myotis rufoniger, one of the most well-known and iconic protected wild animals in South Korea, known as the golden bat. This breakthrough comes from a research effort, conducted by Professor Jong Bhak of Life Science at UNIST and Professor Doug-Young Ryu of Veterinary Medicine at Seoul National University in collaboration with the Korean Cultural Heritage Administration. Recent studies have indicated that bats live longer than any other mammals of their sizes on earth. Myotis rufoniger is a species of vesper bat in the family Vespertilionidae. It is a rare bat species that faces imminent threat of disappearance from the face of Earth. Being designated as Korean natural monument No. 452, only 450 to 500 of these bats survive in the wild in South Korea, presently. The reseach team expects that their new study will provide a genetic foundation for the restoration and conservation of the critically endangered M. rufoniger. In the study, published online on July 5, 2017 in PLOS ONE, the research team, led by Professor Bhak's research group, provides a whole genome analysis of M. rufoniger by producing massively parallel short DNA sequences with its genomic features and unique amino acid sequences, accompanied by its demographic history and genetic diversity. The open-access article is titled “"Myotis rufoniger Genome Sequence and Analyses: M. Rufoniger's Genomic Feature and the Decreasing Effective Population Size of Myotis Bats." The genomic DNA from the wild carcass of M.