New method devised to identify disease markers

4 March 2015

A team from the University of California, Los Angeles (UCLA) has developed a new method to pinpoint the genetic markers behind a number of diseases, which could lead to earlier and more accurate diagnosis.

As the new method focuses on a person's DNA or RNA, it is a significant step towards personalised medicine.

Called GIREMI, the new technique will enable scientists to identify RNA editing sites, genetic mutations and single nucleotide polymorphisms. The inexpensive method could be used to diagnose and even predict the likelihood of a person getting anything from cancer to schizophrenia, said Dr Xinshu Xiao, senior author of the research.

Dr Xiao, who is also an associate professor of integrative biology and physiology at the UCLA College, will now be making the software widely available to allow scientists around the world to trial it for their own disease research.

Published in the journal Nature Methods, the study echoes a recent announcement from US president Barack Obama, which called for more research into individually tailored treatments.

President Obama said this method had the potential of "delivering the right treatment at the right time, every time, to the right person".

Posted by Jeanette Royston

Health News is provided by Adfero in collaboration with Spire Healthcare. Please note that all copy above is ©Adfero Ltd. and does not reflect views or opinions of Spire Healthcare unless explicitly stated. Additional comments on the page from individual Spire consultants do not necessarily reflect the views or opinions of other consultants or Spire Healthcare.

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