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Biomarker discovery

Biomarker discovery is the process by which biomarkers are discovered. It is a medical term.

Many commonly used blood tests in medicine are biomarkers. The way that these tests have been found can be seen as biomarker discovery. However, their identification has mostly been a one-at-a time approach. Many of these well-known tests have been identified based on clear biological insight, from physiology or biochemistry. This means that only a few markers at a time have been considered. One example of this way of biomarker discovery is the use of injections of inulin for measuring kidney function. From this, one discovered a naturally occurring molecule, creatinine, that enabled the same measurements to be made easily without injections. This can be seen as a serial process.

The recent interest in biomarker discovery is because new molecular biologic techniques promise to find relevant markers rapidly, without detailed insight into mechanisms of disease. By screening many possible biomolecules at a time, a parallel approach can be tried. Genomics and proteomics are some technologies that are used in this process. Significant technical difficulties remain.

There is considerable interest in biomarker discovery from the pharmaceutical industry. Blood test or other biomarkers could serve as intermediate markers of disease in clinical trials, and also be possible drug targets.


The first reference is a good introduction for the scientist. The others are intended for more general public use.

L. A. Liotta (2003). "Clinical Proteomics: Written in blood". Nature 425: 696.

NIH National Cancer Institute. Questions and Answers: Proteomics and Cancer. Retrieved on 2006-04-05.

Howard Schulman, Vice President, Biomarker Discovery Sciences, PPD, Inc. The Hottest New Term in Biotech.

See also

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Biomarker_discovery". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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