ALSO NOTED: Calif. stem cell institute misses June deadline; NIH intensifies autism research;

Stem Cell Research

A consortium of scientists has created an "encyclopedia" of ESCs. Article

The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine has missed a June deadline for finding someone to run it as it begins handing out hundreds of millions of dollars in grant money. Evidently a $400,000 salary is too low. Report 

The government of New South Wales is pledging $500,000 for stem cell research. Article

When it comes to generating neurons, researchers have found that not all embryonic stem cell lines are equal. In comparing neurons generated from two NIH-approved embryonic stem cell lines, scientists have uncovered significant differences in the mature, functioning neurons generated from each line. Report

A parliamentary committee in the UK is backing the use of human-animal hybrid embryos for research purposes. Report


Scientists have found a genetic variation that makes it significantly more likely that a person will respond to Forest Laboratories' antidepressant Celexa. This kind of genomic research is considered a key to ushering in a new era of personalized medicine. Report

An international group of scientists has published in the journal Molecular Psychiatry the study PREDICT-gene, confirming the relation between allele s in the serotonin transporter gene and exposure to threatening life events in the onset of depression. Report

A $1 million grant from the National Human Genome Research Institute is helping NABsys develop less expensive methods of genome sequencing. That grant was part of a $15 million package to advance research that will eventually help bring the cost of sequencing down to $1,000. Report

A University of California, Irvine neurologist is part of a national group of scientists who have identified the active genes in sporadic ALS, a discovery that provides expanded opportunities for developing therapies to treat this chronic, incurable disease. Report

Cancer Research

Researchers at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson University say that colon cancer may be triggered by hormone deficiency and could possibly be treated effectively with hormone replacement therapy. Report

A team of scientists at the Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, Boston, have begun probing a therapeutic approach to disable a protein called Galectin 1 in order to improve a patient's ability to fight blood cancer. The protein prevents the immune system from recognizing and attacking Hodgkin's lymphoma cells. Report

Researchers at the University of Michigan have discovered how genes can fuse together in a way that permits uncontrolled cell growth involved in cancer. Report

Collaborating scientists in Boston and North Carolina have found that a particular gene can block key steps of the lung cancer process in mice. The researchers report in the journal Nature that LKB1 is not only a "tumor-suppressor" gene for non-small cell lung cancer in mice, it also may be more powerful than other, better-known suppressors. Report

More Research

BusinessWeek examines why medical studies often reach conflicting conclusions about the same therapy. Meta-analysis is adding to the public confusion over the data, as it blends data from studies that pursued a variety of goals. Report 

The National Institutes of Health will intensify its efforts to find the causes of autism and identify new treatments for the disorder, through a new research program: The Autism Centers of Excellence program. Report

A variety of medical experts are calling for more research into myasthenia gravis, or chronic weakness. The condition is rare, which means it has attracted little attention from drug developers. Article

The discovery of a novel molecular switch that powerfully modulates nerve cell activity offers the potential for new mood disorder and epilepsy treatments, University of California, Irvine researchers report. Report

The University of Rochester has opened a new incubator for biotechs. Article

By short-circuiting the sensory organ that detects the chemical cues mice use to attract mates, a team of Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers has prompted female mice to behave like male mice in the throes of courtship. Report

Although the FDA altered its recommendations in a recent guidance for audit trails of computer systems used in documenting clinical trial results, manufacturers should still carefully consider how to comply with audit trail requirements under the agency's Part 11 regulation, according to former FDA official Stan Woollen. Report