ALSO NOTED: ACT develops ESC lines without harming embryos; New treatment for colon cancer; TB research helps ID drug targets;

Stem Cell Research

Researchers at Advanced Cell Technology has developed three new stem cell lines by taking an individual cell from an embryo and then froze the embryo with no harm done to it. ACT had generated a wave of criticism for its earlier announcement on the process. That work involved destroying the embryo to prove the theory that you could develop stem cell lines by withdrawing cells from an embryo. This new work saves the embryo to prove that the theory works in practice. Report

Scientists in Australia have created embryonic stem cells from monkey embryos, moving ever closer to the goal of human therapeutic cloning. Report

Lawmakers in New Jersey have been advancing legislation to ask citizens for their approval to issue $450 million to back new stem cell research. Report

Scientists have sped the repair of inner ear damage by injecting bone marrow stem cells to the injury site. Release

In the first trial of its kind in the world, 60 patients who have recently suffered a major heart attack will be injected with selected stem cells from their own bone marrow during routine coronary bypass surgery. Report

Cancer Research

Leire García Navarro, a researcher at the School of Pharmacy of the University of Navarra, has developed a new treatment which slows the growth of colon and liver cancers. In order to carry out the study, this scientist of the Department of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Technology used genetic therapy with non-viral vectors for transferring genetic material to the cancerous cells. Release

The sea-squirt derived drug trabectedin (ecteinascidinin-743) shows anti-tumour activity in more than half of patients with a specific type of cancer, conclude authors of a recent article. Release

A group of researchers at the University of Michigan Nanotechnology Institute for Medicine and Biological Sciences have devised a multifunctional nanoparticle platform comprising nanoparticles synthesized within dendrimers equipped with targeting molecules and dyes. These dendrimer nanoparticle systems are able to seek out and specifically bind to cancer cells. Report

Research led by scientists at Weill Cornell Medical College has uncovered two new potential points of vulnerability on a key cancer-promoting protein, called XIAP. Drugs that target either of these activities could help push cancer cells back into a more regular programmed cell death and thereby reduce or eliminate tumors. Release

Levels of a small non-coding RNA molecule called let-7 appear to define different stages of cancer better than some of the "classical" markers for tumor progression. Report

More Research

A team of researchers from the University of Surrey has completed the first genome-scale model of the microbe that causes tuberculosis. The model may be a highly useful tool to identify new drug targets and design new vaccines. Release

Researchers at the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) Skaggs School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences have patented a strategy for developing a human vaccine to prevent against Human Cytomegalovirus (hCMV) infection and disease. Report

Australian researchers say that cholesterol drugs could prevent nerve damage spurred by diabetes. Report

Scientists at the University of California, San Diego have determined a key mechanism by which the body regulates iron metabolism, a discovery that may provide new approaches for the treatment of anemia. Release

The University of Nottingham has been advancing studies into finding alternatives to using animals in drug research. Report

Eight common gene variations have been linked to a susceptibility to fever following a smallpox vaccination. Report

Investigators at St. Jude Children's Research Hospital have discovered how a single molecular "on switch" triggers gene activity that might cause effects ranging from learning and memory capabilities to glucose production in the liver. Release

Two proteins that are implicated in autism have been found to control the strength and balance of nerve-cell connections, according to researchers at UT Southwestern Medical Center. Release

And Finally… An Amazon tribe say they were lied to and exploited by researchers who gathered blood samples in exchange for medicine that never arrived. Now the samples are being sold online and the tribe wants compensation. Article

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A trial of a retinal implant built from embryonic stem cells produced encouraging results in patients with dry age-related macular degeneration.