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Nov 15, 2007

NIH to Put Down $6.8M for Project Focused on Standardizing Measures for Genetic Studies

  • To maximize the benefits of research exploring the relationships between genetics, environment, health, and disease, RTI International scientists will work with experts to develop a set of standard measures for use in genetics research. The research is funded by a three-year cooperative agreement with the NIH’s National Human Genome Research Institute worth up to $6.8 million.

    The project, PhenX, will develop consensus measures for phenotypes and exposures. RTI researchers will work with scientists and health experts from 20 different research specialties. The initial focus of the study will be to develop measures for common complex diseases such as cardiovascular, neurologic, endocrinologic and renal conditions.

    “Iin recent years there have been many good, small studies looking at the relationship between genetics and various health conditions and diseases,” points out Carol M. Hamilton, Ph.D., director of Bioinformatics at RTI and the project’s principal investigator. “Unfortunately, the lack of standard measures in these studies often does not allow researchers to combine or compare their findings.”



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Scientifically Studying Ecstasy

MDMA (commonly known as the empathogen “ecstasy”) is classified as a Schedule 1 drug, which is reserved for compounds with no accepted medical use and a high abuse potential. Two researchers from Stanford, however, call for a rigorous scientific exploration of MDMA's effects to identify precisely how the drug works, the data from which could be used to develop therapeutic compounds.

Do you agree that ecstasy should be studied for its potential therapeutic benefits?

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