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Archive - Aug 20, 2017

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Exosome Diagnostics Launches MedOncAlyzer™ Pan-Cancer Panel That Simultaneously Interrogates Exosomal RNA and ctDNA in Single Assay of Liquid Biopsy

On August 9, 2017, Exosome Diagnostics, a leader in the liquid biopsy market, announced the launch of the MedOncAlyzer 170, the first liquid biopsy pan-cancer panel that simultaneously interrogates exosomal RNA (exoRNA) and circulating tumor DNA (ctDNA) in a single assay. The MedOncAlyzer 170 is a targeted panel for tumor profiling that identifies clinically actionable and functionally important mutations across multiple cancer types starting from a small volume (≥ 0.5ml) of patient blood or plasma. “The MedOncAlyzer is the only cancer panel on the market that interrogates information on both RNA and DNA, giving it a higher sensitivity compared to ctDNA assays when profiling early-stage and late-stage cancers in plasma,” said Johan Skog, PhD, Chief Science Officer of Exosome Diagnostics. “ctDNA-only solutions are seeing their most accurate measurements in late-stage cancers. The primary drivers of ctDNA release into the bloodstream are apoptosis and necrosis of tumor cells. Existing solutions that rely on ctDNA alone are building a profile of the tumor that is biased towards consequences of cell death. Exosomes, in contrast, are actively released by living cells including viable tumor cells.

No Guts, No Glory—Scientists Probe Microbiomes of Elite Athletes

Elite athletes work hard to excel in sports, but they may also get a natural edge from the bacteria that inhabit their digestive tracts. Scientists have now tapped into the microbiomes of exceptional runners and rowers, and have identified particular bacteria that may aid athletic performance. The goal is to develop probiotic supplements that may help athletes -- and even amateur fitness enthusiasts -- recover from a tough workout or more efficiently convert nutrients to energy. The researchers presented their work on Sunday August 20, 2017 at the 254th National Meeting & Exposition of the American Chemical Society (ACS). ACS, the world's largest scientific society, is holding the meeting in Washington, DC, through Thursday. It features nearly 9,400 presentations on a wide range of science topics. The microbiome presentation was titled “FitBiomics: Understanding Elite Microbiomes for Performance and Recovery Applications.” "When we first started thinking about this, I was asked whether we could use genomics to predict the next Michael Jordan," Jonathan Scheiman, Ph.D., says. "But my response was that a better question is: Can you extract Jordan's biology and give it to others to help make the next Michael Jordan?" To answer that question, microbes seemed like a good place to start. "We are more bacteria than we are human," says Dr. Scheiman, who is a postdoctoral fellow in the laboratory of George Church, PhD, at Harvard Medical School. "The bugs in our gut affect our energy metabolism, making it easier to break down carbohydrates, protein, and fiber. They are also involved in inflammation and neurological function.