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Newsletter February 2011

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News: New Anti-HIV Gene Therapy Makes T-Cells Resistant to HIV Infection
An innovative genetic strategy for rendering T-cells resistant to HIV infection without affecting their normal growth and activity is described in a paper published in Human Gene Therapy, a peer-reviewed journal published by Mary Ann Liebert, Inc.
A team of researchers from Japan, Korea, and the U.S. developed an anti-HIV gene therapy method in which a bacterial gene called mazF is transferred into CD4+ T-cells. The MazF protein is an enzyme (an mRNA interferase) that destroys gene transcripts, preventing protein synthesis. The design of this mazF gene therapy vector ensures that synthesis of the MazF protein is triggered by HIV infection. When HIV infects treated T lymphocytes, MazF is induced, blocking HIV replication and, essentially, making the T-cells HIV resistant.

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News: Google Awards Gene Therapy Net with PageRank 6
Gene Therapy Net is thrilled to announce that Google has recently promoted the website to PageRank (PR) Level 6. This new level is awarded on the basis of a number of things, notably: the quality of content and the number of websites that link back to us. The pagerank value indicates an importance of a particular website. The most popular websites, like Google, have a PageRank of 10. A higher pagerank results in more traffic to the website and a higher listing of the site in a search. Searching 'gene therapy' in google results in a top 15 listing of Gene Therapy Net. This development makes Gene Therapy Net more visible to the general public.

In addition, Gene Therapy Net is now listed on most of the major gene therapy societies, including the American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT), European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ESGCT), Australasian Gene Therapy Society (AGTS), International Society for Cancer Gene Therapy (ISCGT) and Dutch Society of Gene Therapy (NVGT), and also on CliniGene and the Alliance for Cancer Gene Therapy (ACGT) foundation websites. To promote gene therapy conferences and publications, Gene Therapy Net has several media partnerships with major organisations and societies involved in gene therapy. Among these are the Phacilitate Cell & Gene Therapy Forum, DNA Vaccines 2011, Journal of Gene Medicine and the Nature journal Gene Therapy.
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Conference: Spring Symposium of the Dutch Society of Gene Therapy
The Spring Symposium of the Dutch Society of Gene Therapy will take place from 10-11 March 2011, Conferentiehotel Kapellerput, Heeze, The Netherlands. Keynote speakers are Ben Berkhout (Laboratory of Experimental Virology, Academic Medical Center, University of Amsterdam), Jurgen Kuball (Experimental Hematology & Immunotherapy, University Medical Center Utrecht) and Liang Min (former CSO Shanghai Sunway Biotech, currently CEO TOT Shanghai R&D Center Co., Ltd., Shanghai, China). See attached draft program.

Abstract deadline: February 26, submit by e-mail to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.
Registration fee members NVGT: 35 euro (latest February 22), Registration fee non-members NVGT: 75 Euro (latest February 22), Late registration fees: 50 Euro (members NVGT), 90 Euro (non-members). Register now
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News: Virus Net Websites Launched
Recently, the creator and owner of Gene Therapy Net launches three other virus related websites: Dengue Virus Net, Chikungunya Virus Net and Influenza Virus Net.

Influenza Virus Net (www.influenzavirusnet.com) is launched recently and is the information resource for flu news, publications, epidemics and pandemic outbreaks. The website provides several key references to important WHO and CDC websites.

Chikungunya Virus Net (www.chikungunyavirusnet.com) is online since several weeks and provides information about the Chikungunya virus. Chikungunya infection causes fever and severe joint pain. There have been recent breakouts of chikungunya in Africa, Asia and the Indian subcontinent. In recent decades mosquito vectors of chikungunya have spread to Europe and the Americas. In 2007, disease transmission was reported for the first time in Europe.

Dengue Virus Net (www.denguevirusnet.com) is now active for a year and attracks a large amount of visitors. Dengue Virus Net is the web resource for anyone interested in dengue. Dengue is a mosquito-borne infection that causes a severe flu-like illness and sometimes a potentially lethal complication called dengue haemorrhagic fever. Global incidence of dengue has grown dramatically in recent decades. About two fifths of the world's population are now at risk. Dengue is transmitted to humans mainly by the Aedes aegypti mosquito.
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Conferences
- 27 February - 1 March 2011, Annual meeting of the International Society for Cell & Gene Therapy of Cancer (ISCGT), Doha, Qatar
- 10 - 11 March 2011, Spring Meeting of the Dutch Society of Gene Therapy (NVGT), Heeze, The Netherlands
- 16 - 19 March 2011, 6th International Conference on Oncolytic Viruses as Cancer Therapeutics, Las Vegas, NV
- 7 - 9 April 2011, Clinical Gene transfer: state of the art conference and e-chips European congress on human iPS cells, Paris, France
- 4 - 6 May 2011, Australasian Gene Therapy Society (AGTS) 7th Meeting, Melbourne, Australia
- 11 - 13 May 2011, Phacilitate’s 10th annual European Vaccine Forum & Active Immunotherapeutics Forum, Barcelona, Spain
- 18 - 21 May 2011, International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT) 17th Annual Meeting, Rotterdam, The Netherlands
- 18 - 22 May 2011, American Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ASGCT) 14th Annual Meeting, Seattle, WA
- 29 May - 2 June 2011, Gordon Research Conference: Virusses & Cells, Lucca (Barga), Italy
- 7 -8 June 2011, PDA Europe Workshop on Advanced Therapy Medicinal Products, Helsinki, Finland
- 12 - 14 July 2011, DNA Vaccines 2011, San Diego, LA
- 15 – 17 July 2011, The 17th Annual Meeting of the Japan Society of Gene Therapy (JSGT), Kyushu University, Fukuoka, Japan
- 27 - 31 October 2011, European Society Of Gene & Cell Therapy (ESGCT) and the British Society of Gene Therapy (BSGT) collaborative Congress 2011, Brighton, UK

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Gene Therapy Net is the information resource for basic and clinical research in gene therapy, and the site serves as a network in the exchange of gene therapy information and breaking news items. Visitors can keep track of the latest scientific papers, conference announcements, gene therapy jobs, regulations and guidelines, www.genetherapynet.com
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