ALSO NOTED: New stem cell research center opens;Clinical trials exclude key demographics; Clinton promises $300M for breast can

Stem Cell Research

The Jefferson Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine Center has been founded in Philadelphia. The new research center will probe stem cell therapies for neurological diseases, cardiovascular ailments, cancers and more. Report

Scientists have discovered a new technique for turning embryonic stem cells into insulin-producing pancreatic tissue in what could prove a significant breakthrough in the quest to find new treatments for diabetes. Release

A team of scientists in Singapore has developed a method to develop antibodies and use them to "clean" embryonic stem cells, reducing the risk of tumors. Report

Researchers have created stem cells from skin tissue taken from people with seven different diseases. The Harvard team says the process will shed light on the process that pushes undefined cells to become diseases. Story

In just one year, collaborative discoveries by stem cell researchers from the University of California, San Diego, Dana-Farber Cancer Institute, the Mayo Clinic and a San Diego pharmaceutical company, TargeGen, moved from identification of the most promising drug candidate to clinical trials for a new drug to fight a rare class of blood diseases called myeloproliferative disorders. Release

Genetics

The field of synthetic biology--"building living entities from lifeless chemicals"--promises to revolutionize genetic approaches to medicine. Article

New research into the genetic code that dictates height could offer new insights into therapies for cancer and arthritis. Report

New genetic markers for Crohn's disease and ulcerative colitis have been revealed in a new study involving families of Ashkenazi Jewish descent. Article

Howard Hughes Medical Institute researchers have found that rare mutations in three genes contribute to blood pressure variation in the general population. Release

Maryland lawmakers passed a bill preventing insurers from using genetic data in setting insurance rates for customers. Report

Cancer Research

A mutation of chromosome 15 appears to increase the risk of lung cancer by 80 percent among smokers with two copies of the variation and 30 percent among smokers with one copy of the variant. Story

Hillary Clinton is promising to increase funding for breast cancer research by $300 million. And finding a cure will be a "top priority," she adds, after her election. Story

The slow advance of Merkel cell carcinoma research underscores the paucity of funds for researchers in the field. Report

More research

With fewer than one percent of the U.S. population participating in some 80,000 clinical trials each year, a new study says that drug research leaves out a large number of key demographic groups. Article

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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.