ALSO NOTED: Genetic mutation explains beta blocker failure; CytImmune lauded for nanotech research;New adult stem cell center;

Research Technology

An article in the Journal of Alzheimer's Disease presents a detailed characterization of a new drug discovery tool for Alzheimer's disease. It demonstrates that an abnormal form of tau protein, as it occurs in Alzheimer's disease, can be produced in very simple cell models. It also shows an example of a chemical compound, found in nature, which is highly effective to completely suppress the abnormal changes of tau. Release

Genetics Research

A genetic mutation found in 40 percent of blacks--and only two percent of whites--has been linked to a natural source of beta blockers, explaining why many blacks don't respond to beta blockers when treated for heart failure. The discovery should lead to a test to determine who would or wouldn't benefit from the painful therapy. Report

In a drive to develop new therapeutics, South Korean researchers will gather DNA from half a million people, pinpointing genetic information related to common diseases. Report

After years of effort, genetic research enthusiasts are finally able to cheer passage of a new law that bars insurers from using genetic information to set premiums or make enrollment decisions. Article

Iceland's deCODE Genetics identified two new genetic mutations linked to breast cancer and says it will swiftly develop a new genetic test for women. Article

Two new studies provide evidence that differences in people's blood levels of C reactive protein (CRP) stem in part from natural variation in known metabolic genes. Release

A gene deletion most common among Asian men makes it possible for them to take injections of testosterone but still test negative. Report

Cancer Research

CytImmune is working to create gold nanoparticles that would target cancer tumors using tumor necrosis factor. "I'd be the happiest man in the world if they can do this," said one researcher. Report

Scientists at the International Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research say that blocking the IL-11 protein signaling pathway can prevent tumor formation in animal studies of stomach cancer. Report

Stem Cell research

Queensland has opened an $18 million center for adult stem cell research. Report

A Korean biotech says it has developed a new cosmetic cream developed from the stem cells found in placentas. Story

A team of researchers led by scientists at Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory have for the first time identified stem cells that allow the pituitary glands of mice to grow even after birth. Release

More research

Spaulding Clinical Research has acquired a hospital in Wisconsin for use in early-stage clinical trials of cardiac therapies. "The pharmaceutical testing world is badly in need of a drug-testing lab that specializes in cardiac technology," said Chief Executive Officer Randy Spaulding. Report

Researchers have found that the vaccinia virus--which is related to the smallpox virus--is able to disguise itself as cell waste in order to avoid detection by the human immune system. Release

A group of German scientists say that they are taking a new approach to prevent the development of plaque commonly found in the brains of Alzheimer's patients. Story

The Australian government is budgeting $14 million for its new National Cannabis Prevention and Information Centre at the University of New South Wales. Report