ALSO NOTED: Finding new uses for existing drugs; Height gene identified;

Stem Cell Research

Stem cell engineering company Novocell announced research findings that for the first time identify two prominent cancer cell signaling pathways as essential for the efficient proliferation and self-renewal of human embryonic stem cells. "Such a linkage provides an avenue for Novocell to potentially identify new targets for oncology therapeutics using human embryonic stem cells," said Allan Robins, Ph.D., Novocell's vice president and chief technical officer. Release

Thai physicians are reporting success treating diabetic foot wounds with adult stem cells extracted from patients. Report

The Milwaukee Journal Sentinel covers the increasingly bitter patent fight over the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation's three key patents covering human ESCs. Report

Cancer Research

The HIV protease inhibitor nelfinavir is being pushed into Phase I for cancer after researchers found that the therapy killed cancer cells. Lead researcher Dr. Phillip A. Dennis says that finding a cancer target for an existing therapy could rapidly accelerate the clinical trial process. Report

Researchers have determined that a low level of activity in the Tip60 gene is a biomarker for an extremely aggressive form of breast cancer. Report

A drug that shuts down a critical cell-signaling pathway in the most common and aggressive type of adult brain cancer successfully kills cancer stem cells thought to fuel tumor growth and help cancers evade drug and radiation therapy, a Johns Hopkins study shows. Report

A new study shows that an important drug used in the treatment of malignant melanoma has little effect on the melanoma cells themselves. Instead, it activates immune-system cells to fight the disease. Release

More Research

A team of researchers has announced the discovery of the first gene that influences a person's height. Report

Researchers at the Los Angeles Biomedical Research Institute at Harbor-UCLA Medical Center have been focused on what they call a recurring molecular strategy scene in all living organisms that play a key role in fighting against infection. A clearer understanding of that strategy, they say, will lead to new antibiotics that can be used to combat the growing resistance to such drugs. Release

Duodenal exclusion, a surgical procedure involving the removal of a tube that connects the stomach and small intestine, has been successful in a small human trial in eradicating diabetes. One of the physicians involved says that the tube may carry a molecular signal that triggers insulin resistance. Report

Thousands of interesting new compounds have been discovered inside the bodies of marine sponges, according to scientists speaking at the Society for General Microbiology's 161st Meeting at the University of Edinburgh, UK. Release