Identification of blood biomarkers for psychosis using convergent functional genomics


Let me present to you the latest finding that doctors are waiting for so long, i.e to find markers for psychosis. Enjoy reading:

There are to date no objective clinical laboratory blood tests for psychotic disease states. We provide proof of principle for a convergent functional genomics (CFG) approach to help identify and prioritize blood biomarkers for two key psychotic symptoms, one sensory (hallucinations) and one cognitive (delusions). We used gene expression profiling in whole blood samples from patients with schizophrenia and related disorders, with phenotypic information collected at the time of blood draw, then cross-matched the data with other human and animal model lines of evidence. Topping our list of candidate blood biomarkers for hallucinations, we have four genes decreased in expression in high hallucinations states (Fn1, Rhobtb3, Aldh1l1, Mpp3), and three genes increased in high hallucinations states (Arhgef9, Phlda1, S100a6). All of these genes have prior evidence of differential expression in schizophrenia patients. At the top of our list of candidate blood biomarkers for delusions, we have 15 genes decreased in expression in high delusions states (such as Drd2, Apoe, Scamp1, Fn1, Idh1, Aldh1l1), and 16 genes increased in high delusions states (such as Nrg1, Egr1, Pvalb, Dctn1, Nmt1, Tob2). Twenty-five of these genes have prior evidence of differential expression in schizophrenia patients. Predictive scores, based on panels of top candidate biomarkers, show good sensitivity and negative predictive value for detecting high psychosis states in the original cohort as well as in three additional cohorts. These results have implications for the development of objective laboratory tests to measure illness severity and response to treatment in devastating disorders such as schizophrenia.

BY: S M Kurian, H Le-Niculescu et. al.
In Molecular Psychiatry advance online publication 24 November 2009; doi: 10.1038/mp.2009.117

Downfall Of The Golf Lagend


Many of us are following Tiger Wood”s scandal. I don’t because I know that’s how business is conducted in the US. When someone earns a lot of money, then the 4th estate will say, hey, that’s enough. You should earn no more. Then, character assassination starts in order to tarnish the reputation through series of article publish in the media.

I suspect that his ‘enemies’ know from the very beginning about his sexual endeavor but they are hiding the fact from public. For reasons well-known to them, Wood was portrayed as an angel before the scandal was made public.

He was lucky not being charged of rape like what happened to Mike Tyson who had been convicted on two counts of criminal sexual conduct for raping Miss Black Rhode Island, Desiree Washington in 1992. The crime took place years before, when Tyson met Washington at a beauty pageant in Indianapolis.

Remember, there’s a thin line between having voluntary sex and involuntary rape in some cases!

Tyson served three years of a six-year prison sentence. Iin 1995, he settled a civil suit filed by Washington and subsequently, became a bankrupt man.

On the other hand, Tiger Wood’s girlfriends become instant millionaires by selling their stories, sleeping with him. Wood announced he will take a break from professional golf and he had lost substantial amount of contract with advertising agencies and I anticipate he will go bankrupt sooner or later.

Well, the story of his downfall is well-written!

GST..confuse?


Hey guys,

Do you know by 2011 consumers have to pay GST?

What is GST?

Goods and services tax (GST) or in some countries is known as value-added tax (VAT), is a consumption tax levied on the sale of goods and services. Personal end-consumers of products and services cannot recover GST or VAT on purchases. In this way, the total tax levied is a fraction of the value added by a business to its products, and most of the cost of collecting the tax is borne by business, rather than by the state. GST or VAT was invented because very high sales taxes and tariffs encourage cheating and smuggling.

The difference from conventional sales tax is that it is levied on every business as a fraction of the price of each sale they make, but they are in turn reimbursed GST/VAT on their purchases, hence the tax is applied to the value of the goods that has been added.

My little experience when shopping overseas shows that I had to reimbursed my GST in the airport upon returning home and worst of all, the office is situated in a far remote area of the airport as if not to allow easy access to customers in a hurry.

What if no GST/VAT? Let study this example. Without a GST/VAT, the situation is like this.

A pencil manufacturer spends $1 on raw materials to make a pencil.
The pencil is sold to a retailer for $1.20.
The retailer then sells the pencil to a consumer for $1.50.

By adding on a 10% GST/VAT, the situation will be like this:

The pencil manufacturer pays $1.10 for the raw materials.
The pencil manufacturer charges the retailer $1.32 and pays the government $0.02, leaving the same profit of $0.20. The retailer charges the consumer $1.65 and pays the government $0.03, leaving the same profit of $0.30. So the consumer has paid 10% extra.

The businesses have not lost anything directly to the tax, but they do have the extra paperwork to do so that they correctly pass on to the government the difference between what they collect in GST/VAT and what they spend in GST/VAT.

So at the end of the day, the customers have to bear the tax. Well, everyone is the customer. You may be the employer to your employees but when you buy something, your are consumers…So, we all have to pay….then. What say you? Give your opinion?

Value-added Knowledge And Future of Medical Students


I was telling my students that in the future doctors won’t become pure clinician anymore. The trend witnesses universities sending their lecturers to do PhD. Overseas, doctors are majoring in science and technology. Many are clinician-scientist or scientist-clinician. It is imperative for undergraduates to equip themselves with value-added knowledge in IT, technology or even human sciences.

I still remember watching BBC program aired many years back featuring a follow-up survey of cohort of medical graduates from a university in the UK ten years after graduation. Only a handful of them keep becoming clinicians. The rests are either joining pharma industries, CEO in their own companies, lecturing in universities or even stopped working and becoming housewives.

Clinicians are hardworking individuals. They work long hours. They see patients and have to sacrifice precious quality time with their families, friends and neighbors. Medicine is hardly the first choice in top UK schools selection. That is why UK exports doctors from the rest of the world to fill in vacancies in the NHS. Many of them are from the South Asian countries.

Malaysia will be facing a surplus of doctor by 2020. Until and unless, university medical curricular are geared toward producing multi-talented medical graduates, Malaysia would be facing problem with unemployment of medical graduates sooner or later. The quicker the action taken, the brighter would be the future for our students.