ALSO NOTED: Stem cells used to regenerate liver tissue;Gene mutation reduces number of colon polyps;

Stem Cell Research

Researchers at Heinrich-Heine-University in Dusseldorf, Germany, used adult bone marrow stem cells to help quickly regenerate healthy liver tissue, enabling patients to eventually undergo a surgical resection. Release

The Los Angeles Times reports that California's stem cell institute gave a $2.6 million grant to a research center whose founder is involved in a controversy over the authorship of a medical journal article. Report

Scientists at Rockefeller University believe that cancer stem cells could be a key target for cancer vaccines. Release

An investigation by New Scientist has raised doubts about an adult stem cell study that claimed stem cells unexpectedly turned into cartilage. Report

Lawmakers in Florida are debating a proposal to contribute $20 million to stem cell research. The legislative gambit prohibits the money, though, from being used in embryonic stem cell research. Report

A professor at the University of Nevada has been perfecting the development of human organs in sheep. Report

A newly-discovered small molecule called IQ-1 plays a key role in preventing embryonic stem cells from differentiating into one or more specific cell types, allowing them to instead continue growing and dividing indefinitely, according to research performed by a team of scientists who recently have joined the stem cell research efforts at the Keck School of Medicine of USC. Release

Cancer Research

Cancer biologists at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Jefferson have found a gene mutation that can dramatically reduce the number of colon polyps that develop, and in turn, potentially cut the risk of cancer. Release

Two major research organizations in the Phoenix area have announced they will collaborate on an ambitious goal: creating a vaccine to prevent the development of cancer. Researchers at the Biodesign Institute at Arizona State University (ASU) in Tempe and Mayo Clinic will use the latest developments in laboratory and clinical sciences to reach their goal--finding components in cancer that could be used to vaccinate against the occurrence of the disease. Report

Scientists who focus on the molecular signaling that underlies prostate cancer have discovered a compound that shows promise against a debilitating neurodegenerative condition known as Kennedy's disease, which is caused by a mutant gene. The compound, a distant chemical relative of a component of the spice curry, dramatically slowed the progression of the disease in mice that carried the mutant human gene that causes the disease. Release

A small molecule derived from the spacer domain of the tumor-suppressor gene Rb2/p130 has demonstrated the ability to inhibit tumor growth in vivo and could be developed into an anti-cancer therapeutic, according to researchers at Temple University's Sbarro Institute for Cancer Research and Molecular Medicine. Release

More Research

Scientists at Johns Hopkins Medical School have added color-detecting genes to mouse embryos, allowing them to see in full color. The research is expected to point the way to curing color blindness. Report

A team of scientists at MIT have transformed the lab bacteria E. coli into light harvesting organisms, switching their fuel from sugars to sunlight. The work suggests that it could be possible to create bacteria that can more efficiently produce drugs and chemicals. Report

The NIH has launched a large Phase III trial to determine if the nutritional supplement Creatine can slow progression of Parkinson's disease. Dr. John Fang, a Vanderbilt University Medical Center neurologist, says that the trial is needed to see if earlier studies pointing to a therapeutic effect are accurate. Report

Reporting in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, the research team greatly boosted the number of immune T-cells able to shield transplanted pancreatic islet cells from attack by the immune system. Insulin-producing islet cells are deficient in type 1 diabetes. Report

Using a $2.5 million, three-year grant from the Juvenile Diabetes Research Foundation, Emory transplant researchers plan to develop pig islets as an alternative to human islets for transplant into patients with Type 1 diabetes. If their research is successful, clinical trials of the porcine islet transplants into humans could begin within the next three years. Report

A scientist at Virginia Tech has been experimenting with cellulose nanocrystals by attaching antibodies to the surface of the crystals. This design enables the nanocrystals to block cell receptors in the body, raising the prospect of a new approach to vaccines. Release

Gene therapy--the idea of using genetic instructions rather than drugs to treat disease--has tickled scientists' imaginations for decades, but is not yet a viable therapeutic method. One sizeable hurdle is getting the right genes into the right place at the right time. Engineers at the University of Wisconsin-Madison are now developing a tool to tackle this problem. Release

U.S. scientists have identified a fibrin-derived peptide that inhibits a specific inflammation process in mouse models of multiple sclerosis. Report

Psychiatric researchers at The Zucker Hillside Hospital campus of The Feinstein Institute for Medical Research have uncovered evidence of a new gene that appears to increase the risk of developing schizophrenia. Release

Using the massive computer-simulation power of the San Diego Supercomputer Center at UC San Diego, researchers are zeroing in on the causes of Parkinson's disease, Alzheimer's disease, rheumatoid arthritis and other diseases. Release

Although several genes are associated with autism, none lie in the region of human chromosome 7 associated with autism susceptibility. Now, a new study demonstrates that mice lacking CADPS2, which is encoded by a gene in the autism susceptibility region of human chromosome 7, exhibit autistic-like characteristics, leading to the suggestion that CADPS2 defects might predispose individuals to autism. Release

Scientists' inability to follow the whereabouts of cells injected into the human body has long been a major drawback in developing effective medical therapies. Now, researchers at Johns Hopkins have developed a promising new technique for noninvasively tracking where living cells go after they are put into the body. Release

Researchers have identified a novel gene mutation that causes X-linked mental retardation for which there was no previously known molecular diagnosis, according to an article to be published electronically in The American Journal of Human Genetics. Release 

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A trial of a retinal implant built from embryonic stem cells produced encouraging results in patients with dry age-related macular degeneration.