Gene illuminates new work on aging; Human stem cells used to grow new bones; Sequencing reveals disease trigger;

Stem Cell Research

The Zscan4 gene helps embryonic stem cells to regenerate in mice, according to a scientific team. And that insight could play a big role in advancing new work aging and regenerative medicine. Story

A professor at Columbia University has successfully grown new bones that could be used in reconstructive surgery, creating them from human stem cells and using digital images of undamaged bones to model the new body parts. Now still in the testing phase, some experts say that the procedure could become routine in a decade. Article

Scientists have focused on the zebra fish to help explain why stem cells have not been effective in repairing damaged heart tissue. Report


A team of researchers and doctors in Wisconsin sequenced a young boy's genome in search of the genetic trigger to a mysterious disease. Their diagnosis five months and $100,000 later: An undocumented form of inflammatory bowel disease. Story

Variants of the APOC3 gene have been linked to insulin resistance as well as type 2 diabetes and chronic liver disease. Researchers say the variants could be used to screen patients for disease risk while offering a new target for drug developers. Story

Cancer Research

Scientists at the University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center found that a combination therapy was effective at destroying precancerous polyps in the colon, opening up a new approach to treating patients. The researchers tested the combination therapy in mice and on cancerous tissue. Release

A mutation of CEP17 has been linked with worse outcomes for patients. But it also works to identify the likelihood that patients will respond to anthracyclines. Story

A research team at the Sahlgrenska Academy at the University of Gothenburg, Sweden, has shown in a study that two closely related enzymes could be targets for the treatment of lung cancer. The discovery was made when the researchers blocked the production of the two enzymes in transgenic mice. This resulted in inhibition of cell growth, fewer tumors and greater survival among the mice. Release