ALSO NOTED: Stem cell institute names interim chief; scientists produce 3-D cell images;

Stem Cell Research

California's stem cell institute named Richard Murphy interim president, but the move failed to put to rest persistent buzz about the institute's failure to find a permanent chief. Report

Last fall voters in Missouri thought they had approved a law permitting stem cell research. But die-hard opponents have managed to effectively bottle up any new research efforts inside state lines. The political war caused one institute to scrap plans for a $300 million expansion. Report

The California State University and Community College systems are asking the California stem cell institute for $31 million to train up a big pool of researchers that will be needed at new stem cell labs. Report

When it comes to generating neurons, researchers have found that not all embryonic stem cell lines are equal. In comparing neurons generated from two NIH-approved embryonic stem cell lines, scientists have uncovered significant differences in the mature, functioning neurons generated from each line. Release

Invitrogen has introduced a new tool to help grow colonies of human ESCs. Report

Opponents of stem cell research in Michigan have filed a federal suit claiming that the governor's use of an online petition to advocate research on her official Website violates their free speech rights. Report

Researchers from the Stem Cell Transplant Program and the Amyloid Treatment and Research Program at Boston University Medical Center (BUMC) have found that high-dose chemotherapy and blood stem cell transplantation can result in long-term survival for patients diagnosed with primary systemic light chain (AL) Amyloidosis. Release

Cancer Research

Researchers at the Flanders Institute for Biotechnology have developed a simple blood test to detect early-stage liver cancer. The test detects changes in sugars which are attached to proteins linked with liver cancer. Report

The lab of Whitehead Member Robert Weinberg has created highly potent cancer stem cells in a Petri dish by isolating and transforming a particular population of cells from human breast tissue. After being injected with just 100 of these transformed cells, mice developed tumors that metastasized, offering new insights to breast cancer research. Report

An in-depth understanding of the mechanisms that trigger cancer cell growth is vital to the development of more targeted treatments for the disease. An article published in the August 3 issue of Molecular Cell provides a key to these mechanisms that may prove crucial in the future. Report

Results of a study published in the current issue of BMC Neuroscience show that investigational drug phenoxodiol, currently being developed as a therapy for late-stage, chemo-resistant prostate, ovarian and cervical cancers, may also have the potential to be used in conjunction with cisplatin chemotherapy to prevent induction of platinum-induced neuropathy. Release


NIH scientists have found a genetic variation that causes a gene linked to schizophrenia to be over-expressed, pointing to a new target for drug development. Report

Researchers at Texas A&M Health Science Center Institute of Biosciences and Technology say they've found a gene that can be used to cure fatty liver disease in the obese but at the same time aggravates cholesterol. Release

More Research

A group at MIT have been able to produce 3-D images of cells without using contrasting agents. The work allows researchers to view the activity of living cells in their native state. Report

Scientists have found a potential new approach to preventing type 2 diabetes. A group of researchers say that bone cells play an important regulatory function in producing a hormone. Low levels of that hormone--osteocalcin--are found in people with type 2 diabetes. Report

A study that appears online on August 9, in advance of publication in the September print issue of the Journal of Clinical Investigation, indicates that in mice Gq/G11-mediated signaling has an essential role in transmitting TSH-induced signals and therefore in regulating thyroid gland function. This makes Gq and G11 potential new targets for the treatment of hyperthyroidism and goiter. Release

UT Southwestern Medical Center researchers have discovered a treatment that counteracts the effects of cocaine on the human cardiovascular system, including lowering the elevated heart rate and blood pressure often found in cocaine users. Release

Abraxis BioScience has in-licensed technologies from the Buck Institute for Age Research that includes a cell-based assay system used to develop immune-regulating compounds and a discovery platform focused on tumor suppressors. Report

New research indicates that proteins that promote cell death provide a vital role in assisting with the proliferation of immune cells. The scientists at Penn say that their work underscores the belief that metabolic cell activity controls the life or death of a cell. Report

NIH is providing a $4.4 million grant to the University of Louisville for an environment disease research center. Report

A new study underscores the effectiveness of oral antivirals in preventing genital herpes. Report