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Jan 6, 2011

Researchers Develop Simpler, Quicker Way of Producing AAV-Based Vectors for Gene Transfer

  • Scientists at the Eshelman School of Pharmacy, University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, have developed a method for producing large amounts of viral vector cassettes to shuttle genes into host cells. The researchers report that their simplified method offers important advantages including the potential to produce high yields of multiple adeno-associated vector (AAV) serotypes upon co-infection with a helper adenovirus as well as efficient packaging of single- or double-stranded AAV vectors and of large AAV cassettes.

    Their findings are described in a paper titled, “A versatile AAV producer cell line method for scalable vector production of different serotypes,” which is available online ahead of publication in Human Gene Therapy.

    The new method for creating stable AAV2 producer cell lines reportedly overcomes major drawbacks seen in previously used methods. Rather than relying on multiple cloning steps, the new method reduces it to a single step. In addition, a formerly two-stage transfection and selection step has been reduced to one step while still producing cell lines containing the circular, AAV vector-containing plasmid needed to transport a gene of interest into host cells.

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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.

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