ALSO NOTED: Nobel winner forecasts stem cell advances; New breast cancer gene found; Anthrax antidote developed;

Stem Cell Research

Sir Martin Evans, one of the three scientists awarded the Nobel Prize for medicine yesterday for their work on gene targeting, says he supports research on embryonic stem cells, but that we'll soon reach a point where adult stem cells can be transformed into "embryonic-like" stem cells. "The writing," he tells the Telegraph, "is on the wall." Report

A group of University of Michigan Medical School researchers has succeeded in finding and manipulating a population of cells that strongly resemble stem cells in the stomachs of mice. They have been able to show that these cells, which they call "gastric progenitor cells," can give rise to all the different types (or lineages) of specialized cells needed to form the functional stomach glands that line the lower portion of the stomach. This property of "multi-lineage potential" is considered a key stem cell property. Report

University of Florida researchers have begun a human trial on the effectiveness of stem cells in growing new blood vessels to promote better circulation of blood. Release

California had no trouble finding investors for $250 million in bonds to support stem cell research. Report

Tools: Invitrogen has introduced a new kit that allows scientists to monitor embryonic stem cells. Release

A human embryonic stem cell is reined in--prevented from giving up its unique characteristics of self-renewal and pluripotency--by the presence of a protein modification that stifles any genes that would prematurely instruct the cell to develop into heart or other specialized tissue. But, thanks to the simultaneous presence of different protein modifications, stem cells are primed and poised, ready to develop into specialized body tissue, Singapore scientists reported in the journal Cell Stem Cell. Release

Cancer Research

MIT's Robert Weinberg has been exploring the role that mesenchymal stem cells play in helping cancers to grow and spread to other parts of the body. Those MSCs in bone marrow are already being explored for their ability to differentiate into other types of cells, a key attribute of stem cell therapies. The same properties make them a key agent in metastasis. Report

A new study published in Science Express calls into question our understanding of how telomeres function, and may provide a new avenue of attack for stopping telomere renewal in cancer cells. Release

According to a study by scientists in Britain, women whose mothers have wide and round hips could be seven times more likely to develop breast cancer. Report


Women over 40 with a mutation of the HMMR gene are three times more likely to develop breast cancer, according to new research from the University of Michigan. Report

A team of scientists at Bath University has determined that blocking a mutated version of the human angiogenin gene could halt the progression of motor neurone disease. Report

An international team of researchers has found a gene region linked to greater risk of rheumatoid arthritis. Report

The National Children's Study has signed up 22 more sites for a huge study to follow 100,000 children to determine the influence of genes and lifestyle on health. Report

More Research

Scripps Research scientists Anette Schneemann and Marianne Manchester, and Salk Institute Professor John A.T. Young have combined an anthrax vaccine and an antitoxin that is effective against a lethal toxin exposure after one shot. Release

A special protein can be injected into the body to reverse learning problems in mice that have an animal version of Alzheimer's disease, Saint Louis University researchers have found. The protein--part of the immunoglobulin M (IgM) class--is an antibody that grabs onto the amyloid beta protein in the brain and prevents it from changing into the toxic substance believed to cause Alzheimer's disease. Release

Researchers say that the appendix apparently is importing in repopulating the human body with bacteria following disease. Report

Eating fewer refined carbohydrates may slow the progression of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), according to a new study from researchers at the Jean Mayer USDA Human Nutrition Research Center on Aging at Tufts University. Release 

A single change in a viral protein would help the H5N1 virus infect cells in the upper respiratory system, according to new research on bird flu. Report