Most researchers restricted to only 3 stem cell lines; Genetic mutation fingered for brain ailment;

Stem Cell Research

The Bush administration has long maintained that researchers could pick from 21 embryonic stem cell lines that could be used with federal research funds. But an analysis of the field shows that only two or three of those lines accounted for the vast majority used in U.S. labs. That's far less diversity than had been expected. Report

U.S. researchers have ID'd two proteins that play a big role in turning sperm cells back into stem cells. Story

Genetics

Inherited mutations in the INPP5E gene can cripple an enzyme the body uses to stabilize cilia in brain cells, causing Joubert Syndrome, which prevents the full development of the brain. Story

Scientists have identified a genomic "signature" in circulating blood that reveals exposure to common upper respiratory viruses, like the cold or flu, even before symptoms appear. Release

Yukiko Hayashi and colleagues, at the National Center of Neurology and Psychiatry, Japan, have now identified mutations in a gene not previously linked to muscular dystrophy as causative of a form of the disease in five nonconsanguineous Japanese patients. Release

Aurora Health Care of Milwaukee will collaborate with Celera to develop new genetic tests for heart disease. Story

Cancer Research

With a novel therapeutic delivery system, a research team led by scientists at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center has successfully targeted a protein that is over-expressed in ovarian cancer cells. Using the EphA2 protein as a molecular homing mechanism, chemotherapy was delivered in a highly selective manner in preclinical models of ovarian cancer, the researchers report in the July 29 issue of the Journal of the National Cancer Institute. Release

A collaborative study by researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies uncovered that the tumor suppressor p53, which made its name as "guardian of the genome", not only stops cells that could become cancerous in their tracks but also controls somatic cell reprogramming. Release

The Melanoma Research Alliance has provided $2 million for genomics work through awards to the Translational Genomics Research Institute and Yale University. Story

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