Study challenges genetic conventions in personalized medicine

Study challenges genetic conventions in personalized medicine

A more refined genomic approach to personalized medicine could make drugs such as statins safer for patients, the authors of a new paper recommend. Hospitals increasingly use genetic testing to determine whether people are at risk for developing toxic levels of certain drugs in their bloodstreams due to common genetic variants that cause slower clearance of medication by the liver. A study published today in Genome Research strengthens the case for health providers to incorporate tests for rare variants that also influence how the body clears medications from the blood. The study focused on the medication methotrexate, used to treat  … Read more

A dance with death: Alvin Ailey premieres hip-hop ballet inspired by AIDS

A dance with death: Alvin Ailey premieres hip-hop ballet inspired by AIDS

Dance companies and drugmakers are strange bedfellows. For the most part, leotard-wearing dancers and lab-coated scientists remain firmly footed in different professional spheres. But at 8pm last night, the curtain went up on a unique collaboration. In honor of World AIDS Day, New York-based Bristol-Myers Squibb (BMS) and the Alvin Ailey American Dance Theatre partnered to produce an original dance performance inspired by the stories of people living with HIV. The New York City Center in Manhattan was sold out and buzzing with excitement for the opening. In the audience for the show’s premiere were the ten people whose stories  … Read more

UNAIDS-backed reports sing the same tune but stay silent on funding crunch

UNAIDS-backed reports sing the same tune but stay silent on funding crunch

Today is World AIDS Day, and in the run-up to the date this year, UN agencies published two reports on the state of the HIV epidemic. For the most part, the good news from these reports has captured the headlines: Topping the list of heartening statistics, 47% of people in low and middle-income countries now have access to anti-retroviral treatment (ART), up 9% from the number covered in 2009. But a few cracks lie beneath the positive numbers. In the past week, The Economist chided the UN for publishing the two reports, one on 21 November from the Joint United  … Read more