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Celiac.com 07/25/2012 - While a great deal of progress has been made with gluten-free food over the last ten years, many celiacs still feel that they are 'missing out' on gluten-containing foods. Fadi Aramouni, professor of food science at Kansas State University is working to change this through extensive research and testing on sorghum, as well as other wheat alternatives. Sorghum is an appealing alternative to wheat because it is already widely produced in the United States (it is primarily used as feed). The problem is that sorghum is different from wheat, and requires different processing methods to yield food products that are comparable to their wheat counterparts. Aramouni and his team of students and researchers began their search for a non-gluten wheat substitute by carefully inspecting the six varieties of sorghum that are grown in Kansas. Qualities such as grain hardness, dough quality, stretching and rolling qualities, protein, carbohydrates and fiber content as well as taste and look of the finished product were all considered. According to Aramouni, this stage of their research yielded an important discovery: the milling stage dramatically alters the properties of sorghum flour. Different particle sizes yield different results, so the consistency and taste of sorghum-based foods can be modulated before they are even prepared or cooked. In addition to the taste and consistency, Aramouni's team also found that particle size alters sorghum's glycemic index, so it is possible that a very specific milling practice could make products healthier, perhaps even compared to other gluten-free wheat alternatives like corn and rice. Along with the grain science and industry department at Kansas State University and the U.S. Department of Agriculture laboratory in Manhattan, Kansas, Aramouni and his team have developed a variety of sorghum-based tortillas, waffle ice cream cones, breads and Belgian waffles. Time and many taste tests will tell whether Aramouni's research will pay off in the form of more appetizing gluten-free products, but at the very least he and his team are helping us understand that is not just about what grains you use, but how they are processed. Source: http://www.newswise.com/articles/research-with-gluten-alternatives-shows-promise-for-kansas-sorghum-farmers-and-consumers
Celiac.com 04/02/2012 - A team of researchers recently set out to assess diagnostic yield of Vβ and Vγ clonality in refractory celiac disease (RCD). The team set out to verify whether analyzing both TCRβ and TCRγ clonality in duodenal biopsies from RCD patients improves diagnostic accuracy. The research team included Vittorio Perfetti, Laura Brunetti, Federico Biagi, Rachele Ciccocioppo, Paola I. Bianchi, and Gino R. Corazza. They are affiliated with the Coeliac Centre/First Department of Internal Medicine, and the Department of Medical Oncology at the Fondazione IRCCS Policlinico San Matteo of the University of Pavia in Italy. Refractory celiac disease is what is known as a pre-neoplastic condition, because many patients develop a kind of cancer called enteropathy-type T-cell lymphoma, which is a mature T-cell receptor α-β lymphoma that forms in the gut, and is often fatal. Recent research has been directed at a variety of intraepithelial intestinal lymphocytes. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analysis and sequencing shows that these lymphocytes both express the same lymphoma T-cell receptor variable region (V)γ. Also, the Biomedicine and Health-2 Concerted Action has created standardized, highly specific, and sensitive PCR assays for both Vγ and Vβ. The team set out to verify whether analyzing both rearrangements in duodenal biopsies from RCD patients increases the diagnostic accuracy of this method. For the study, the team analyzed duodenal biopsies from 15 RCD patients, 21 negative controls, and 2 positive controls with enteropathy-type T-cell lymphoma complicating celiac disease. The them conducted multiplex clonality analyses using Biomedicine and Health-2 protocols. They cloned and sequenced PCR products. They found monoclonal rearrangements in 5/15 samples from patients with RCD, two of which showed both rearrangements, two which showed Vβ, and just one Vγ clonality. Monoclonality was found in 4/8 of the RCD patients who subsequently died, whereas only 1/7 of the patients still alive presented a monoclonal rearrangement. Positive controls revealed both monoclonal rearrangements; rearrangements were not detected in 20 of 21 negative controls. Sequencing of the amplified fragments confirmed the results. Results showed that the combined analysis of both TCRβ and TCRγ rearrangements allowed recognition of monoclonal populations in patients who otherwise tested negative. Overall detection rates increased from 20%(Vγ only) to 33%(Vγ and Vβ), Increasing detection in patients who would otherwise test negative increases chances of early identification of RCD patients at high risk of death. Source: J Clin Gastroenterol. 2012 Jan 30.