Using the latest methods in molecular biology, proteomics has risen as a promising discipline for diagnostic testing. Aware of its potential to fill many of today’s gaps in diagnostic medicine, proteomics researchers are tackling some of the toughest diseases we face today – from the flu to cancer. As a result, research in proteomics is attracting attention and funding at an unprecedented rate, and the results have been nothing short of impressive.
The latest diagnostic advances involving proteomics aim to identify proteins and pathways associated with diseases. This allows for further understanding of the biochemical processes behind those illnesses, resulting in timely identification and treatment. 2016 research highlights in the field include:
- On March 16, a group of Italian researchers described a group of small, readily identifiable proteins that have plausible potential as biological markers for early diagnosis and treatment of medulloblastoma, the most frequent malignant brain tumor in children.
- On April 26, a group of NIH-funded researchers identified a large amount of proteins unique to the blood of Alzheimer’s disease patients, describing a network of molecular signals that could be targeted for effective therapy. Henrik Zetterberg, of the University of Gothenburg, told AlzForum: “This is a massive amount of work. This type of analysis—combining proteomics with bioinformatics, tissue studies, and culture studies—might eventually reveal strong plasma biomarkers“.
- On February 26, UNC researchers described how proteins arising from mutations in the TXB5 gene trigger a cascade of genetic effects leading to congenital heart disease, the deadliest birth defect in the US. They hope to take their research further, developing methods to find out the severity and likelihood of complication for this disease as the child develops.
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