Alzheimer's study fueled by skin-derived stem cells; Video game tech boosts cancer detective work;

Cancer

> Physicists at the University of Warwick, U.K., and in Taiwan determined that cancer-causing genetic mutations carry electronic signatures that are better disguised than in other mutations, which may allow them to avoid the body’s natural defenses. Details are in the journal Nature. Paper

> Technology used to develop high-quality realistic images for video games is aiding researchers at Wake Forest University in North Carolina in their bid to decipher how cancer cells divide and develop, The Province reports. Story

> One of Ireland's preeminent cancer researchers and surgeons, Gerald O'Sullivan, has died. He pioneered the development of four new cancer treatments, according to reports, and worked with peers at Yale University, University of California, Queens University Belfast and other academic institutions. Story

Stem Cell Research

> Cambridge University, U.K., researchers are studying Alzheimer's disease using stem cells developed from the skin cells of healthy volunteers as well as patients with Down's syndrome, who are at a higher risk of developing Alzheimer's. Story

> The National Institutes of Health is placing the University of Michigan’s first human embryonic stem cell line in its registry, making the cells available for federally funded research, according to Lab Manager magazine. Article

Genetics

> Each human has about 20 genes that are switched off, according to a new U.K. study, suggesting that not all genes that are inactive are harmful, Reuters reports. Story

> A new resource dubbed the Collaborative Cross catalogs the genetic sequences of specially bred mice, meant to resemble the genetic complexity found in humans. It's publicly available to researchers around the world. Release

> Scientists have identified a defective gene that causes more than 25% of inherited dilated cardiomyopathy cases. The heart muscle disease can lead to heart failure. Story

And Finally ...

> Scientists are looking at treating conditions ranging from Alzheimer’s to blindness with a flash of light created by quantum dots. Story

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