ALSO NOTED: Human tests near for stem cell bone therapy; Gene therapy targets adult leukemia; Vitamin C controversy brews in ca

Stem Cell Research

An Edinburgh University team has been using a bioactive scaffold to help spur stem cells to grow into bone or cartilage. The researchers say the approach can be tested in humans in two years for severe trauma. Article

Researchers at the University of Iowa have used ESCs to boost the immune system of mice with leukemia. The breakthrough in developing a new source of white blood cells may one day replace the need for a bone marrow transplant. Report

Japanese scientists have derived a method for inducing stem cells from adult cells that bypasses a process that spawns tumors. Japanese scientists had made a major breakthrough earlier when they were able to make skin cells act like ESCs, able to transform into any cell that was needed without the ethical controversy that swirls around the embryonic science. This new advance, though, raised the risk of cancer. In the more recent study scientists tested the approach in mice, which remained tumor-free for six months. Report

German legislators are debating a move to amend a law that outlaws the development of embryonic stem cells for research purposes. Story

Stem Cell Sciences is closing its facilities in Edinburgh and consolidating operations in Cambridge. Report

China's Beike Biotech offers stem cell therapies to desperate Americans who can't get these treatments at home. Article


A group of scientists at UCSD believes that a gene therapy could be used to fight adult leukemia. Report

Scientists found that by stimulating production of interferon, they could boost an organism's natural defenses against viruses. In their work, the scientists knocked out two key genes in mice that inhibit production of interferon. Report

By modifying a single mitochondrial gene, UCLA molecular medicine professor Douglas Wallace has demonstrated the causal link between mitochondrial defects and heart disease--pointing to a new approach to prevent the disease. Article

A complete scan of the human genome has revealed that a genetic variant in the Reelin gene increases the risk of developing schizophrenia in women only. Release

Researchers from the University of Chicago have discovered that many of the genetic variations that have enabled human populations to tolerate colder climates may also affect their susceptibility to metabolic syndrome, a cluster of related abnormalities such as obesity, elevated cholesterol levels, heart disease, and diabetes. Release

Cancer Research

In a tiny trial involving three patients, researchers say large doses of vitamin C resulted in prolonged lives and shrinking tumors. The idea that vitamin C can be an effective weapon against cancer has been in circulation for decades. To help settle the debate, several new trials are being planned. Report

Removing the ovaries of women genetically at risk of gynecological cancer can dramatically reduce their chances of developing the disease. Report

A research team at the Moores Cancer Center at University of California, San Diego (UCSD) reports that patients with chronic lymphocytic leukemia who were treated with a gene therapy protocol began making antibodies that reacted against their own leukemia cells. Release

Researchers at Universite Laval and Institut national de Sante Publique in Quebec, Canada have discovered the mechanism through which the main metabolite of the insecticide DDT leads to aggressive breast cancer tumors. Report

Researchers in a multi-institutional study led by Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center slowed the growth of two particularly stubborn solid tumor cancers--neuroblastoma and peripheral nerve sheath tumors--without harming healthy tissues by inserting instructions to inhibit tissue growth into an engineered virus. Release

Researchers have gained an image of a mutant enzyme that plays a key role in several types of cancers as well as HIV and diabetes. Understanding that enzyme structure will help scientists develop a therapy to stop it from doing damage. Article

A research group at the University of Granada has found out that maslinic acid, a compound present in the leaf and the olive skin wax extracted from alpeorujo (crushed olive pulp), has the capacity of preventing cancer as well as regulating apoptosis in carcinogenic processes. Release 

More Research

The absence of a brain protein helped mice learn faster, but they retained the lesson for a shorter period than normal mice. The experiment may help shed light on why autistic savants are able to learn some tasks much faster than others. Report

Dr. Sanjeev Gupta, a professor of hepatology at Albert Einstein College of Medicine in New York City, has led a team of researchers who have transplanted healthy liver cells into mice, spurring them to produce a clotting factor that is absent in patients with Type A hemophilia. Report

And Finally... A variety of factors are conspiring the make infertility epidemic in 10 years. Report