No side effects seen in StemCells treatment; AstraZeneca joins anti-cancer collaboration;

Drug leads

A drug derived from the hydrangea root, used for centuries in traditional Chinese medicine, shows promise in treating autoimmune disorders, report researchers from the Program in Cellular and Molecular Medicine and the Immune Disease Institute at Children's Hospital Boston along with the Harvard School of Dental Medicine. Release

Stem Cell Research

A three-year-old study of a new stem cell therapy for children with a rare genetic disorder has yet to find any dangerous side effects that could be attributed to the treatment. And now StemCells of Palo Alto, CA wants to test the approach in children with an earlier stage of Batten disease, an incurable and fatal condition, to see if it can cure them. Report

A group of scientists in Canada have discovered a protein that can be used to boost the number of adult stem cells in muscle, an approach that could lead to a fresh approach to healing muscular damage. "We've discovered a new pathway that controls the overall number of stem cells in tissue," said Michael Rudnicki, director of the Sprott Centre for Stem Cell Research at the Ottawa Hospital Research Institute. "By stimulating that pathway, we can increase the number of those stem cells and enhance and accelerate repair in that tissue." Story

Cancer research

AstraZeneca is investing 4 million pounds into a research collaboration with Cancer Research Technology and The Institute of Cancer Research which will explore new anti-cancer therapies. Report

Scientists at the Institute for Research in Immunology and Cancer of the Université de Montréal have discovered a key mechanism used by cells to efficiently distribute chromosomes to new cells during cell multiplication. Release

Research at The Jackson Laboratory has yielded a new approach to treating leukemia, one that targets leukemia-proliferating cells with drugs that are already on the market. Release


U.S. researchers say that there's a common genetic link between anxiety, depression and insomnia, raising the need to better screen adolescents for all three conditions. Report

Baylor College of Medicine researchers have identified the gene behind a rare, deadly developmental disorder of the lungs called alveolar capillary dysplasia with misalignment of pulmonary veins. Release

Researchers from the National Institute of Arthritis and Musculoskeletal and Skin Diseases have discovered a new autoimmune disease that affects infants at birth. Release