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Saturday, August 05, 2006

Interesting articles in the July, 2006 edition of 'Scientific American'
1)'A Regulation on Regulations'.
Seems there is a provision in US law called the 'Data Quality Act' that allows corporations to challenge scientific data being presented in public forums as to the "quality" of the research. Interesting in that this "quality" is supposed to be decided in courts rather than in the peer reviewed literature. According to this article about 100 petitions have been filed under this act, most of then from industry groups.
2)'Not So Super'
In the wake of the disastrous failure of TeGenero's clinical trial of their "superantibody", TGN1412, in which 6 volunteers proceeded to rapid shock and multiorgan failure, researchers are re-evaluating the pathway for about 1,000 clinical use antibodies in the research pipeline. The basic problem seems to be that humans lack certain "brakes" on the immune response that other primates possess. The antibody was tested on rabbits and monkeys, and the preliminary clinical trial was the first human test. According to a sidebar from the article chimpanzees have 20 times more immune damping receptors called "Siglecs" than humans in terms of T-cells expressing this protein, and each cell expresses 10 to 100 more receptors as compared to a human T-cell.

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