New hope for diabetes cure; Genetic switch triggers antibody production;

Stem Cell Research

Researchers say the sox17 gene plays a key role in the early development of pancreatic tissue, a discovery that could help advance a cure for diabetes as scientists use stem cells to guide the development of new pancreatic beta cells. Release l Report

Injecting iPS cells into the hearts of mice helped significantly improve the structure and function of tissue damaged by a heart attack. Story

Cellular Dynamics International, a company founded by stem cell pioneer James Thomson of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, has acquired two new patents that will accelerate its plans to use stem cells for drug testing and new personalized medicine therapies. Story

Placentas are rich in stem cells that can be used to treat a variety of blood diseases like leukemia, according to a team of Bay Area scientists. Report

Genetic

A group of researchers at the La Jolla Institute have discovered the genetic switch that the body needs to generate new antibodies to fight off disease. The BCL6 gene triggers the production of helper cells that are needed to generate antibodies, and the discovery could play a big role in advancing new vaccines and drugs for autoimmune diseases. Story

A team led by researchers from the National Institutes of Health today reported the discovery of five genetic variants related to blood pressure in African-Americans, findings that may provide new clues to treating and preventing hypertension. Release

Cancer Research

California and Arizona researchers have identified a gene variant that carries nearly twice the risk of developing an increasingly common type of blood cancer, according to a study published online by the science journal Nature Genetics. Release

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