ALSO NOTED: Debate over ESC research still hot; Nanotech devices used to track cancer; Investigators race to find COPD genes;

Stem Cell Research

The recent news that scientists were able to take skin cells and make them act with all the versatility of embryonic stem cells has done nothing to tamp down the fierce debate over funding new ESC work. Shinya Yamanaka, who has been lauded for his role in advancing the skin cell approach, says that scientists should continue pushing ESCs as much work remains to prove the safety of the new approach. Report | Editorial

> California's stem cell agency is devoting $13 million to back stem cell research that doesn't require the destruction of embryos as it also begins to provide grants to for-profit companies. Report

> Following a heart attack, part of the heart tissue dies. It is still not possible to restore the scar tissue arising as a result of this. The majority of stem cell researchers attempt to make new heart muscle cells from stem cells. Liesbeth Winter of the Leiden University Medical Center, however, was able to prove the concept of using the embryonic potential of adult human cells to train the heart: this cell therapy ensured that less tissue died and that the remaining heart cells functioned better. Release 

Cancer Research

Using a nanotech tool and device, researchers at UCLA can determine if living sample cells are carcinogenic, offering a new approach to tracking cancer as it spreads in the body. Report

McGill University researchers have uncovered the crucial role played by the enzyme focal adhesion kinase in the onset of breast cancer. Release

Genetic inheritance could go a long way to explaining why certain racial and ethnic groups suffer a higher risk of certain cancers. Researchers found that people who have two "T" copies of the gene that metabolizes folate, a chemical needed to produce and maintain new cells, are 19 percent less likely to develop colorectal cancer than are individuals with two "C" copies of the gene. Release

Genetics

Researchers are hot on the trail of genes that evidently play a key role in determining who develops chronic obstructive pulmonary disease as they hunt for new therapies to treat the disease. Article

Using complex software, researchers at Wake Forest were able to map chains of genes that play a role in inflammation. Report

Men with BRCA1 and BRCA2 gene mutations are more likely to develop breast cancer. Report

A genetic mutation found in 10 percent of the HIV-infected population makes some strains of the virus resistant to antiretroviral therapies. Report

Following a hunch, scientists have identified genes associated with psoriasis and lupus. Report

Scientists at the Zucker Hillside Hospital campus of the Feinstein Institute for Medical Research have identified nine genetic markers that can increase a person's risk for schizophrenia. Report

A UK group says that genetic tests available over the Internet are a waste of money. Report

A series of genes that protect cells from the powerful, common chemotherapeutic agent doxorubicin has been identified by researchers working to understand how the drug also can destroy the heart. Release

More Research

Researchers at the Harvard-MIT Division of Health Sciences and Technology are developing "seek-and-destroy" nanoparticles that can attack tumors without damaging healthy tissue. Article

In a small study, symptoms of autism were moderated by fever, suggesting a new therapeutic approach to treating the condition. Report

Singapore's Bio*One Capital has formed a joint venture with Qiagen to establish Dx Assays, which will develop molecular diagnostics for infectious and genetic diseases. Report

A compound found in broccoli may treat a genetic skin disorder. Report

Suggested Articles

Antibiotics dubbed odilorhabdins (ODLs), inspired by soil-dwelling nematodes, hold promise for treating antibiotic-resistant infections.

A PureTech startup is developing an immune-responsive hydrogel that releases a corticosteroid into arthritic joints based on their level of inflammation.

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