ALSO NOTED: New class of cancer drugs; Brain flow translates thoughts; New insights into diabetes;

More Research

Combining synthetic chemistry techniques with a knowledge of the properties and actions of enzymes, scientists have been able to produce a new class of anti-cancer drugs originally isolated from blue-green algae. Release

Technology that reads what people think by measuring changes in the brain's blood flow has been developed, said Japanese researchers. Release

Researchers at Wake Forest University Baptist Medical Center and the University of Heidelberg say that a form of carnosinase 1 gene protects some diabetics from end-stage renal disease. Report

Preliminary research indicates that several specific genetic alterations are associated with the development of smoking-related head and neck skin cancers, according to a report in the January 10 issue of JAMA. Release

Researchers at Wake Forest University School of Medicine report that in animal studies, a common diabetes drug prevents the memory and learning problems that cancer patients often experience after whole-brain radiation treatments. Release

Consumption of folic acid, a supplement normally recommended for expectant mothers, could reduce the likelihood of developing Alzheimer's disease, according to researchers at Columbia University. Report

Chemists at Rice University chemists and North Carolina State University toxicologists say that repetitive movement can speed the uptake of nanoparticles through the skin. Release

A combination of bone marrow transplantation and gene therapy greatly lengthened the lives of laboratory mice doomed by a rapidly progressing, fatal neurodegenerative disorder also found in people. Release

Little research exists demonstrating that testosterone is both safe from the cardiovascular standpoint and effective to treat sexual dysfunction, reveal Mayo Clinic researchers in two new studies. In articles published in the January issue of Mayo Clinic Proceedings, Mayo Clinic physicians call for large studies to help clinicians and patients make informed decisions about when testosterone should be prescribed. Release

Answering one of the oldest questions in human physiology, researchers at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have discovered why the body's immune system--perpetually on guard against foreign microbes like bacteria--doesn't attack tissues in the small intestine that harbor millions of bacteria cells. They identified an unlikely group of peacemakers: lymph node cells that instruct key immune system cells to leave healthy tissue alone. Release

An important cancer-related gene may play a critical role in the development of the placenta, the organ that controls nutrient and oxygen exchange between a mother and her fetus during pregnancy, and perhaps in miscarriages. Those conclusions come from a new study of the retinoblastoma (Rb) gene in mice. In humans, this gene, when mutated, raises the risk of a rare cancer of the eye called retinoblastoma. Release

New research shows that a recently discovered enzyme that destroys the messenger RNA (mRNA) for some proteins can also help to protect the mRNA during times of stress. The response might help cancer cells survive chemotherapy and radiation therapy. That enzyme attaches to certain mRNA molecules and remains there like a hand grenade with its pin in place. Release

A pattern of micro molecules can distinguish pancreatic cancer from normal and benign pancreatic tissue, new research suggests. The study examined human pancreatic tumor tissue and compared it to nearby normal tissue and control tissue for levels of microRNA (miRNA). Release

José Montoya, MD, associate professor of medicine (infectious diseases), and postdoctoral scholar Andreas Kogelnik, MD, PhD, have used the drug valganciclovir--an antiviral often used in treating diseases caused by human herpes viruses--to treat a small number of chronic fatigue syndrome in patients. And 21 of 25 responded with significant improvement. Release

The rate of brain hemorrhages associated with blood thinning drugs quintupled during the 1990s, according to a study published in the January 9, 2007, issue of Neurology, the scientific journal of the American Academy of Neurology. In people over age 80, the rate increased more than tenfold. Release

A bottleneck in the complex network of blood vessels in the brain is responsible for the risk of stroke, according to researchers at UC San Diego. Release

Japanese scientists say that a variant of the gene PRKCH appears linked to a 40 percent increase in the risk of stroke. An enzyme may make it particularly active. Release

A team of scientists at the University of Cincinnati are planning to begin animal studies on genetically modified skin that resists infection among patients with severe burns. The skin is modified to produce greater quantities of a bacteria-killing protein. Report

Researchers at Duke University Medical Center have developed a highly sensitive test for identifying which drug-resistant strains of HIV are harbored in a patient's bloodstream. Release

Scientists at the Kimmel Cancer Center at Thomas Jefferson University have uncovered a novel pathway by which the anti-cancer gene p53 springs into action, protecting a damaged cell from becoming cancer. The gene can either halt the cell's growth or send it spiraling toward certain death. How this choice is made, the researchers say, could have implications for future strategies in chemotherapy drug development. Release

Deals & Dollars

The market for adult stem cells is projected to nearly double this year, hitting $35 million, according to one analyst. By 2009, the analyst estimates sales will soar to $178 million. Release

The Department of Defense has named Rice University the recipient of a $3 million award for a five-year program to develop miniaturized molecular imaging technologies for screening, diagnosis and monitoring of breast cancer. The program, which will be conducted in collaboration with the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center, calls for the development of microendoscope and needle-compatible fiber optic systems for diagnostic and therapeutic breast cancer imaging. Release

Anthony Rosenzweig, MD, director of Cardiovascular Research at Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center, has been named the American Coordinator of a prestigious Transatlantic Network of Excellence grant from the Paris-based Leducq Foundation. The five-year grant, totaling $6 million, will support research on metabolic heart disease. Release

Tools & Technology

454 Life Sciences Corporation has shipped the new high throughput Genome Sequencer FLX System to its marketing partner Roche Diagnostics in preparation for a first quarter 2007 launch. Release

Germany's MTM laboratories announced the launch of its CINtec Histology Kit and CINtec Cytology Kit. These kits, which are commercialized as CE-labelled In-vitro diagnostic devices in Europe and Class I IVDs in the US, are based on mtm's proprietary technology for detection of p16INK4a biomarker over-expression in cervical biopsies and cytology preparations. Release