Australian stem cell effort in turmoil; $400M for new genetics research;

Stem Cell Research

A showdown between the board of the Australian Stem Cell Centre and the universities and research institutions that belong to it has led to the mass resignation of all board members. The exodus follows the firing of chief executive Stephen Livesey over their commercial direction. In announcing the move, the board said that the goal of becoming self-financing by 2011 was unrealistic. Report

Implanting embryonic stem cells into the brains of mice developed with MS halted progression of the disease. Story

The World Stem Cell Summit is headed to Madison, WI September 22 and 23. Story


The Broad Institute has gained a $400 million endowment to further its work exploring the link between genetics and disease. Some 1,200 researchers at Harvard, MIT and the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research work on Broad Institute projects. Report

After decades of often ineffective work in identifying which toxic therapies could attack cancer, powerful new gene sequencing machines are honing in on which genetic variations trigger cancer--offering a more targeted approach to finding new therapies. Researchers herald this as a new era in cancer research. Story

Scientists have uncovered new evidence that strengthens the link between a host-cell gene called Apobec3 and the production of neutralizing antibodies to retroviruses. Published in the Sept. 5 issue of Science, the finding adds a new dimension to the set of possible explanations for why most people who are infected with HIV do not make neutralizing antibodies that effectively fight the virus. Release

Cancer Research

A German-American scientific team has developed a new method to make gold nanoparticles that can be more effective at fighting cancer. By using ionic liquid as their medium of crystallization they eliminate the need for cytotoxic materials currently used to make the rod-shaped particles needed to kill tumor cells. Report

Reactivating the RUNX3 gene may slow colorectal cancer, according to a team of investigators in Singapore. Report

Regular use of nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs, such as aspirin and ibuprofen, may reduce serum levels of the prostate biomarker, PSA, and hence may alter the detection of prostate cancer in individuals who take these medications. Release

And Finally... A study of the Amish shows that plenty of physical activity can overcome a genetic propensity for fat. Article