Researchers at Stanford University are using a technique that could help doctors identify potentially fatal genetic heart diseases.
Kitchener Wilson, MD, PhD, instructor of pathology, and Joseph Wu, MD, PhD, professor of cardiovascular medicine and radiology, in collaboration with gene sequencing specialists, are the first to use the complementary long padlock probe (cLLP) method for this purpose.
Wilson and Wu explained that the technique works by rapidly scanning for more than 85 genes known to cause cardiac anomalies and represents a significant improvement over current methods. According to a university press release, the cLLPs are simple probes that can target specific parts of the human genome and help to identify markers of genetic heart disease, among other things.
In contrast to previous methods for detecting genetic heart problems, which can take weeks to complete, the cLLP method is more specific and “streamlined”, and generates results faster. The new method also reduces materials costs from about $2,000 to about $100, according to researchers, and reduces wait time to about two to three days.
“Heart diseases are more challenging just because there are so many genes to sequence,” said Wilson. “To do that accurately has been difficult and, until now, too expensive for most labs.”
“What if a 30-year-old woman comes in with chest pain and her doctors can’t find any obvious reason why she should be having heart problems at such a young age?” said Wu, who is also the director of Stanford’s Cardiovascular Institute. “That could be the moment for doctors to break out the complementary long padlock probes (cLLPs) for inherited heart disease.”
Next up for the Stanford team is extensive testing of the technique on an additional 200-300 patients. In the meantime, Wilson and Wu are offering the test free to any research lab that wants to try it. “They can just email me,” said Wilson, “and we’ll send them the assay, and then they can do it in their own lab — as long as they have some experience with next-generation sequencing.”
In addition to the breakthrough development of this new diagnostic for heart disease, researchers from Stanford University occupy a variety of laboratories and participate in many active research projects every year. Some of the active research labs at Stanford include:
- Geballe Laboratory for Advanced Materials
- E.L. Ginzton Laboratory
- Stanford Institute for Materials and Energy Sciences
- SLAC National Accelerator Laboratory
- Stanford Chemistry, Engineering, & Medicine for Human Health
- Stanford Neurosciences Institute
These facilities and more are home to researchers who are looking forward to their first chance to discover the latest lab supplies and equipment in 2016, at Biotechnology’s Calendar, Inc.’s inaugural BioResearch Product Faire at Stanford University.
This is the first time that Biotechnology Calendar, Inc.™ will have the honor of hosting the prominent researchers of Stanford University, at one of nearly 50 national life science events.
Take this new opportunity to network and learn about the latest lab equipment available with Stanford's leading life science community.
Exhibitors and researchers can learn more about participating in this event at Stanford University on January 15, 2016 by clicking below: