ALSO NOTED: Fat cells could be used to replace silicone; Could Xenical fight cancer?; Anti-smoking drug may also combat alcohol

Stem Cell Research

Researchers have used fat-derived stem cells to encourage the growth of breast tissue. The therapy could become helpful for women who have had mastectomies or possibly replace silicone. Report

Scientists in the UK have used skin cells to stimulate the immune system in mice--an approach that could be used to fight a common form of cancer that afflicts children. Report

Some of the country's top stem cell scientists, including Harvard's Doug Melton, have jumped into the fight regarding the University of Wisconsin's stem cell patents. Melton says that the breakthrough achieved by UW scientist Jamie Thomson had more to do with his access to money and materials than groundbreaking science. Report

Transurethral injections of autologous myoblasts and fibroblasts could relieve stress urinary incontinence in women, conclude authors of an article published in The Lancet. And an accompanying comment hails the development as the beginning of a new era in urogynaecology. Report

Cancer Research

Researchers are hard at work trying to determine if Roche's obesity drug Xenical could lay the foundation for a new class of cancer drugs. Article

A molecularly engineered therapy selectively embeds a gene in pancreatic cancer that shrinks or eradicates tumors, inhibits metastasis, and prolongs survival with virtually no toxicity, researchers from The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center report in the July 9 edition of Cancer Cell. Release

An overexpressed gene found at the scene of a variety of tumors is implicated in the development of two types of malignant brain cancer, according to a paper by U.S. researchers to be published in the July 3 issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Report

Researchers at McMaster University in Canada are employing a $3.5 million grant to accelerate research into the ways the immune system can be coaxed to fight cancer. Report

In the July 2 issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, two separate studies by research teams at Glasgow University and Baylor College of Medicine uncover two previously unidentified regulators of squamous cell carcinoma development, providing insights into the development of this potentially lethal disease. Report

Scientists have found a gene responsible for triggering bowel cancer, raising the prospect of a new genetic test that can screen for the disease. Report

Due to defects in chromosomal distribution, a majority of tumor cells would not be able to survive were it not for a trick that cancer cells have developed to avoid this chaos in the genetic material. Scientists of the German Cancer Research Center have discovered that the antibiotic griseofulvin counteracts this tactic of tumors and, thus, forces cancer cells into cell death. Report

A 10-year study involving thousands of Israeli Jews and Arabs led by researchers from American and Israeli institutions has yielded important new information in the search for the genes that make a person more likely to develop colon cancer. Report

More Research 

Neuroscientists say that the anti-smoking drug varenicline may also double as a therapy to fight alcoholism. The Pfizer drug is sold in the U.S. as Chantix. Report

A new study illustrates that the disruption of a cellular enzyme is the root cause of Parkinson's. The disease occurs when the body suffers a high rate of neuronal death, which is triggered by an injury the enzyme Prx2. Report

Scientists in the U.S. have used a supercomputer to determine how viral mutations can hide HIV from the body's immune system. Article

Researchers have identified a new gene mutation linked to frontotemporal dementia, according to a study published in the July 10, 2007 issue of Neurology. Release

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis, Missouri, have found two antidotes which, if found safe, may lead to treatments for deadly poisons like Ricin, cholera toxin, and shiga toxin. Report

Australian scientists have linked the actions of 35 genes to chronic fatigue syndrome, some of which are associated with specific symptoms. Report

Scientists have cloned the sperm cells of mice, offering a breakthrough approach in treating male infertility. Report

Scientists have identified a genetic change that raises a child's risk of developing asthma, a discovery that may lead to better treatments for one of the most common chronic childhood ailments. Report

A new study links damaged blood vessels and atrophy in the temporal lobe with a higher risk of contracting Alzheimer's disease. Report

Researchers from the University of Granada say that maslinic acid--a natural product extracted from dry olive-pomace oil in oil mills--inhibits serin-protease, an enzyme used by HIV to release itself from the infected cell into the extracellular environment and, consequently, to spread the infection into the whole body. These scientists from Granada determined that the use of olive-pomace oil can produce an 80 percent slowing down in AIDS spreading in the body. Release

A novel method to prevent hemorrhagic complications of thrombolytic therapy of blood clots has been discovered. Report

Scientists at UT Southwestern have found the protein that mosquitoes rely on to ward off malaria. The discovery could help eliminate the spread of the disease through mosquitoes. Release