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The advent of high-throughput biology has catalyzed a remarkable improvement in our ability to identify new genes. A large fraction of newly discovered genes have an unknown functional role, particularly when they are specific to a particular lineage or organism. These genes, currently labeled "hypothetical," might support important biological cell(More)
Recent studies have demonstrated the important enzymatic, structural and regulatory roles of RNA in the cell. Here we present a post-transcriptional regulation system in Escherichia coli that uses RNA to both silence and activate gene expression. We inserted a complementary cis sequence directly upstream of the ribosome binding site in a target gene. Upon(More)
BACKGROUND The discovery of cell-free fetal DNA in maternal plasma has opened up new possibilities for noninvasive prenatal diagnosis. However, the use of maternal plasma fetal DNA for the direct detection of fetal chromosomal aneuploidies has not been reported. We postulate that the aneuploidy status of a fetus could be revealed by an epigenetic allelic(More)
Current methods for prenatal diagnosis of chromosomal aneuploidies involve the invasive sampling of fetal materials using procedures such as amniocentesis or chorionic villus sampling and constitute a finite risk to the fetus. Here, we outline a strategy for fetal chromosome dosage assessment that can be performed noninvasively through analysis of placental(More)
BACKGROUND Hypermethylation of the RASSF1A [Ras association (RalGDS/AF-6) domain family member 1A] gene is frequently observed in hepatocellular carcinoma (HCC). We evaluated the analysis of circulating hypermethylated RASSF1A for detecting HCC and assessing its prognosis. METHODS In module 1, we studied 63 pairs of HCC patients and age- and sex-matched(More)
We report here an approach for gene expression analysis by combining competitive PCR and matrix-assisted laser desorption ionization time-of-flight MS. A DNA standard is designed with an artificial single nucleotide polymorphism in the gene of interest. The standard is added to the reverse transcription product before PCR. Subsequently, a base extension(More)
Recent 16S ribosomal RNA gene (rRNA) molecular profiling of the stomach mucosa revealed a surprising complexity of microbiota. Helicobacter pylori infection and non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drug (NSAID) use are two main contributors to gastritis and peptic ulcer. However, little is known about the association between other members of the stomach(More)
Haplotypes, combinations of several phase-determined polymorphic markers, are extremely valuable for studies of disease association and chromosome evolution. Here we describe a technique called M1-PCR (M for "multiplex" and 1 for "single-copy DNA molecules") that enables direct molecular haplotyping of several polymorphic markers separated by as many as 24(More)
The analysis of circulating nucleic acids has revealed applications in the noninvasive diagnosis, monitoring, and prognostication of many clinical conditions. Circulating fetal-specific sequences have been detected and constitute a fraction of the total DNA in maternal plasma. The diagnostic reliability of circulating DNA analysis depends on the fractional(More)
BACKGROUND The presence of fetal DNA in maternal plasma represents a source of fetal genetic material for noninvasive prenatal diagnosis; however, the coexisting background maternal DNA complicates the analysis of aneuploidy in such fetal DNA. Recently, the SERPINB5 gene on chromosome 18 was shown to exhibit different DNA-methylation patterns in the(More)