Selected new reviews and commentaries, 4 June 2007

4 June 2007

How can genetic tests be evaluated for clinical use? Experience of the UK Genetic Testing Network. Kroese M, Zimmern RL, Farndon P, Stewart F, Whittaker J (2007) Eur J Hum Genet. May 30; [Epub ahead of print]. Review of the UKGTN and the evaluation process for genetic tests (PubMed). See also: The evaluation of genetic tests. Zimmern RL, Kroese M (2007) J Public Health (Oxf) May 24; [Epub ahead of print] (PubMed).

Prohibiting genetic discrimination. Hudson KL (2007) N Engl J Med. 356(20):2021-3. Perspective article considering the US Genetic Information Nondiscrimination Act (PubMed).

The mixed promise of genetic medicine. Elliott C (2007) N Engl J Med. 356(20):2024-5. Perspective piece looking at the ethics of medical ‘enhancements’ and exploring whether or not ‘liberal eugenics’ is a credible threat (PubMed).

The locked code. Watts G (2007) BMJ 19;334(7602):1032-3. Feature article on the ongoing legitimacy of patenting genes and the implications of such patents (PubMed).

Reestablishing the Researcher-Patient Compact.Kohane IS, Mandl KD, Taylor PL, Holm IA, Nigrin DJ, Kunkel LM (2007) Science 316(5826), 836-837. Policy forum piece proposing that regulations designed to protect clinical research subjects and guard their privacy is in fact preventing them from accessing information about their own health risks or benefits; the authors propose an alternative regime involving an extensive informed consent process and an oversight board to communicate results back to participants [Abstract].

Closing the Net on Common Disease Genes. Couzin J, Kaiser J(2007) Science 316(5826), 820-822. News focus article on the emerging genome-wide association studies, and the implications of their findings for understanding of common, complex diseases with multiple contributory genetic (and environmental) factors [Abstract].

Personalised medicine: who is an Asian? Po AL (2007) Lancet 369(9575):1770-1771. Commentary in the poorly defined racial category ‘Asian’ and potential implications for pharmacogenetic drug labelling (PubMed).

Genome-wide transcription and the implications for genomic organization. Kapranov P, Willingham AT, Gingeras TR (2007) Nat Rev Genet. 8(6): 413-23. Review of genomic organization and how it may influence the observed complexity of transcription (PubMed).

Network motifs: theory and experimental approaches. Alon U (2007) Nat Rev Gene. 8(6): 450-61. Review on recurring regulation patterns in the control of gene expression (PubMed).

Can we develop ethically universal embryonic stem-cell lines? Green RM (2007) Nat Rev Gene. 8(6): 480-5. Perspectives piece on the prospects for developing a source of human embryonic stem-cells likely to be acceptable to those who object to methods that involve the destruction of human embryos (PubMed).

A strategy for translation.Lord GM, Trembath RC (2007). Lancet 369(9575): 1771-3. Commentary calling for a translational medical research strategy for the UK (PubMed).

Ancillary risk information and pharmacogenetic tests: social and policy implications. Henrikson NB, Burke W, Veenstra DL (2007) Pharmacogenomics J. May 8; [Epub ahead of print]. Literature review with discussion of the implications of disease risk information from pharmacogenetic tests, calling for this to be taken into consideration in evaluation of such tests (PubMed).

DNA repair pathways and hereditary cancer susceptibility syndromes. Spry M, Scott T, Pierce H, D'Orazio JA (2007).Front Biosci. 12: 4191-207. Review ofmolecular mechanisms of DNA repair and how defects in these systems can cause predisposition to cancer (PubMed).

Advances in genetic findings on attention deficit hyperactivity disorder. Thapar A, Langley K, Owen MJ, O'Donovan MC (2007). Psychol Med. May 17; 1-12 [Epub ahead of print] Review of current understanding of the genetic influences on ADHD (PubMed).

Personalized medicine: elusive dream or imminent reality? Lesko LJ (2007) Clin Pharmacol Ther. 81(6):807-16. Commentary on how the emerging scientific, social and healthcare structures are paving the way for personalized medicine, and looking at challenges to obtaining suitable clinical evidence for its introduction (PubMed).

The Nature Insight supplement for May is on epigenetics:

Eccleston A, Dewitt N, Gunter C, Marte B, Nath D. (2007) Nature 447(7143): 395. Editorial (full text).

Perceptions of epigenetics.
Bird A (2007)Nature 447(7143): 396-8. Piece addressing the question of what epigenetics really is (full text).

Transcription and RNA interference in the formation of heterochromatin.
Grewal SI, Elgin SC(2007) Nature 447(7143): 399-406. Review (full text).

The complex language of chromatin regulation during transcription.
Berger SL (2007) Nature 447(7143): 407-12. Article presenting a model of complex and dynamic chromatin modifications regulating transcription (PubMed).

Nuclear organization of the genome and the potential for gene regulation.
Fraser P, Bickmore W (2007) Nature 447(7143): 413-7. Article on communication within and between chromosomes and whether this affects or merely reflects gene function (PubMed).

Stability and flexibility of epigenetic gene regulation in mammalian development.
Reik W (2007)Nature 447(7143): 425-32. Article comparing restriction of gene expression in the development of specialized cell types with long-term epigenetic silencing (PubMed).

Phenotypic plasticity and the epigenetics of human disease.
Feinberg AP (2007) Nature 447(7143): 433-40. Article looking at the role of epigenetics in disease (PubMed).

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