ALSO NOTED: Stem cell companies target heart disease; Curry ingredient may prevent Alzheimer's;

Stem Cell Research

About a dozen different companies are racing to take the lead in using stem cells to treat heart disease. Article

A research team at the Department of Cardiology at Children's Hospital Boston has developed a patch with a special compound that can help a heart produce more cells for repair work. The approach has been tested successfully in rats. Report

The Institute for Cellular Medicine announced today what appears to be the first publication in a peer reviewed journal outlining scientific rationale for the use of stem cells in the treatment of autism. Release

Vivek Ramaswamy writes on the uses of chimeras in stem cell research. Human/animal chimeras allow scientists a chance to study human embryonic stem cells in a living system. Commentary

A University of South Florida neuroscientist reports that the cutting-edge research study of human stem cells in primates with Parkinson's disease is compelling on several fronts, particularly how the transplanted cells did their job of easing disease symptoms. Release

Cancer Research

Frustrated by the difficulty of targeting the ras gene, implicated in a third of all cancers, researchers at Duke found that it was implicated in above-normal secretion of interleukin-6, creating a new target for drug developers. Report

Scientists at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center are investigating whether a fish poison used to kill off unwanted species could also double as a cancer therapy. They say that a chemically modified version of Antimycin tracks down and kills cells with high levels of proteins--which are particularly hard to kill using standard chemotherapy and radiation. Report

Women diagnosed with breast cancer carrying the BRCA1 or BRCA2 gene mutations, which are thought to increase the risk of developing the disease, have similar survival and death rates as women not carrying the mutations, according to a study published Thursday in the New England Journal of Medicine. Release

Scientists at Johns Hopkins and elsewhere say they have mapped out an escape route that cancers use to evade the body's immune system, allowing the disease to spread unchecked. Report

Two genes activated to help repair tissue damage may increase the risk of lung cancer. Report

More Research

Researchers at the University of California say that an ingredient in curry may be responsible for boosting the body's defenses against protein plaques linked to Alzheimer's. The scientists had set out to explain why Alzheimer's is relatively rare in India. Report

Surgeons at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have developed the first mouse model of lung transplantation, possibly paving the way for developing new therapies to prevent lung transplant rejection. Report

BioSante is reporting a success in its testing of a vaccine adjuvant in fighting bird flu disease. Report

A genetically engineered herpes simplex virus primarily known for causing cold sores may help keep arteries "free-flowing" in the weeks following angioplasty or stent placement for patients, according to research published early in the online edition of PNAS. Release

Scientists at the University of Illinois in Chicago have designed a nanotech propeller that could play a key role in steering drugs to a molecular target. Report

Researchers from the U.S. and abroad used a contact ferret model to evaluate transmissibility of influenza viruses in humans and found that some strains currently circulating throughout the world may transmit better than others in mammals. Report

In a discovery that could help prevent children from becoming diabetic, scientists have found a gene that increases a child's risk for type 1 diabetes. Release

Scientists at the University of Bonn, together with colleagues from Romania, have discovered a gene variant that significantly increases the risk of developing gallstones. Report

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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.