ALSO NOTED: Female stem cells twice as effective as male; HIV researchers seeking new vaccine;

Stem Cell Research

A study at Children's Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC concludes that female stem cells derived from muscle are twice as effective as male stem cells when it comes to regenerating skeletal muscle tissue. The scientists said that they believed that the difference was due to the female mice's improved ability to handle stress. Report

Wisconsin officials hurried to maintain their commitment to embryonic stem cell research--and the patents in the field that have been threatened by a preliminary ruling by the U.S. Patent Office. Critics have been attempting to break the state's hold on three key patents, saying that they prevent research in the field. Report

CNNMoney reviews the stem cell therapies being developed by Cytori Therapeutics and Osiris, which researchers believe could be approved and on the market in '08. Report

U.S. researchers have isolated cochlear stem cells located in the inner ear, primed for development into ear-related tissue to treat hearing loss. Report

The Commons science committee has joined a group of 223 medical research charities who claim that a ban on animal-human embryos would interfere with important research. Report 

Cancer Research

Researchers at the University of Illinois-Chicago's College of Pharmacy has found an RNA-binding protein that overexpresses in ovarian cancer, offering a new target in cancer treatments. Report   

Immunology researchers at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson studying a multiple sclerosis-like disease in mice have shown that the amount of "damage" to the central nervous system's protective blood-brain barrier almost always correlates to the severity of the disease. Release

Mayo Clinic Cancer Center announced recently that a multiple myeloma clinical trial has shown a significant improvement in survival with lenalidomide plus low-dose dexamethasone therapy compared to lenalidomide plus high-dose dexamethasone. Release

A research team at the Weinberg College of Arts and Sciences at Northwestern University have synthesized 10 different types of flavanones, a type of flavonoid, using a new general method they developed that takes advantage of one simple catalyst. The basic research gives chemists--for the first time--a method for making new molecules based on flavonoids, setting the stage for the development of new cancer therapeutics. Report

Scientists from the Indiana University-Bloomington, the University of Washington School of Medicine, and the University of Cambridge have discovered how the plant hormone auxin interacts with its hormone receptor, called TIR1. Because TIR1 is similar to enzymes that are involved in cancer, the researchers say their work can help advance cancer research. Release

In advanced cancer, anti-tumor therapies often work only partially or not at all, and tumors progress following treatment. Vanderbilt-Ingram Cancer Center scientists have now linked a treatment-induced growth factor to the cancer's future spread. Release

More Research

A group of French researchers are focusing on CD8 immune cells for additional insight into why a tiny percentage of HIV patients do not see any spread of the virus. They believe CD8 could hold the key to a new vaccine. Report 

Researchers have discovered important details of how nicotine adjusts the signaling properties of neuronal wiring to enhance memory. These signaling properties include the strength of the connections by which one neuron triggers another. While nicotine is highly addictive, researchers have also shown the drug to enhance learning and memory--a property that has launched efforts to develop nicotine-like drugs to treat cognitive deficits in Alzheimer's and Parkinson's diseases, schizophrenia, and attention-deficit/hyperactivity disorder. Report

A new study has found a promising drug for the treatment of epilepsy patients, whose symptoms remain uncontrolled with existing medications. The new drug called Eslicarbazepine (ESL), offers the patients added convenience, as it is a once-daily dose, while current treatments can involve several doses per day. The research was conducted by the Department of Research and Development at BIAL in Portugal. Release

Scientists at MIT and Stanford have learned how to turn parts of the brain off and on using a simple flash of light. Report

U.S. scientists who earlier found an enzyme that's a natural tumor suppressor have identified two variants that could treat diabetes and other diseases. Release

Researchers at Harvard Medical School found that by combining two antibiotics-- doxycycline and ciprofloxacin--they halted the growth of doxycycline-resistant E. coli. The resistant strain of E. coli ignored the doxycycline, which left the ciprofloxacin to attack the bacteria unimpeded. Report

Researchers say a newly discovered molecule could be a key factor in developing new ways to curb high blood fats, such as triglycerides and cholesterol. Found on the lining of blood vessels, the molecule GPIHBP1 captures molecular particles that deliver fats to cells to use as fuel. Targeting the molecule could be a method of treating high levels of cholesterol and other fats. Report

Researchers at Cornell have found 23 biomarkers for Alzheimer's that could lead to an early diagnosis. Report

In a new study published in the journal Cell, Dr. James Dennis, senior investigator at the Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute at Mount Sinai Hospital, has discovered a new role for sugars on proteins. His research focuses on the effects of changing the sugars associated with the key proteins that act as receptors for hormones and growth factors. These are the same types of proteins that are targeted by a new generation of anti-cancer drugs such as Herceptin (trastuzumab). "These findings may lead to a new class of drug treatments as well as strategies to improve the effectiveness of existing anti-receptor drugs," states Dr. Jim Woodgett. Release

Researchers at McGill University have found a genetic mutation linked to spina bifida, a discovery that could hasten research for a cure as well as improve diagnosis and identify parents most likely to have a child with the disease. Report

Two new studies show that the antiretroviral drugs used to prevent HIV transmission from a pregnant mother-to-child may cause genetic damage. Report

After an acute viral infection, some T cells generated to kill virus-infected cells remain on guard to establish long-term immunity. These so-called memory T cells, which derive from CD8 T cells, engage in a self-renewal process essential to their persistence. Now, a new study shows that the CD8 T cells produced to fight a chronic infection operate under an entirely different maintenance scheme than do the CD8 T cells that become memory T cells. Report

Pediatricians in growing numbers say that the antibiotics used to treat ear infections are increasingly unlikely to work. Report

In an effort to avoid dangerous adverse drug reactions, scientists at the Child and Family Research Institute at B.C. Children's Hospital in Canada will begin collecting DNA samples from children in an effort to discover new biomarkers that will help determine if children are allergic to certain medications. Report