The Cross-Border Biotech Blog

Biotechnology, Health and Business in Canada, the United States and Worldwide

Weekend Science Review: Abba Edition

Pinky and the BrainTake a Chance on Rats:  Fiona Zeeb in Catharine Winstanley’s lab at UBC has created a rat experimental model for gambling that attracted some news coverage.  Unlike previous rat gambling experiments, this model responds to human physiological moderators of gambling behaviour, like serotonergic and dopaminergic agents, suggesting that it will be a useful system for future investigations.  Here’s the (free) full paper from this week’s Neuropsychopharmacology.

Thank You for the GWAS: A study led by Katherine Siminovich (cross-appointed (at least) at U of T, Mount Sinai and the Liver Center at Toronto Western Hospital) was published in The New England Journal of Medicine this week identifying 13 loci across the HLA class II region that were associated with primary biliary cirrhosis.

Does Your Mother Know (there’s no obvious link between fibrinolytic defects and the risk of ovarian cancer):  A PLoS One paper authored by Yaakov Bentov in Robert Casper’s lab at the Lunenfeld dismantles one widely speculated etiology of ovarian cancer.  The hypothesis — “that the inefficient removal of the blood clots and fibrin products which are deposited in the vicinity of the ovary by retrograde menstruation might be associated with an increased risk of ovarian cancer” — was not disproven, but none of the functional variants in the fibrinolytic sytem examined by Bentov et al. showed any significant association with risk of ovarian cancer.

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