NY invests $20M in stem cell work; Breast tumor drug targets skin cancer;

Stem Cell Research

New York has budgeted $20.4 million for the state's stem cell industry. It plans to use $5.4 million to recruit stem cell scientists and the rest to be shared among researchers in the state. Report

Researchers at Max Planck in Germany were able to dial back an adult stem cell to embryonic form with a single transcription factor, down from the four that had been used previously. "This elegant work further advances the already fast-moving field and demonstrates that human [induced pluripotent stem (iPS)] cells can be generated with [a] minimal number of retroviral vectors," said Harvard scientist Kwang-Soo Kim. Story

Stephen Minger, one of the world's top stem cell scientists, is leaving his post at King's College and taking a job with GE Healthcare. Report

BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics has struck a deal with Protein Production Services to start production of its stem cell therapy for a pre-clinical safety trial of the company`s ALS treatment. Release

A team of scientists from the University of Wisconsin-Madison School of Medicine and Public Health has successfully grown multiple types of retina cells from two types of stem cells - suggesting a future in which damaged retinas could be repaired by cells grown from the patient's own skin. Release

Genetics

Scientists in Singapore and Germany report that mutations in the PYCR1 gene cause the rare genetic condition that results in premature skin aging and that is known as "wrinkly skin syndrome." Release

University of Washington researchers have successfully developed a new genome-analysis strategy for rapid, lower-cost discovery of possible gene-disease links. By saving time and lowering expenses, the approach makes it feasible for scientists to search for disease-causing genes in people with the same inherited disorder but without any family ties to each other. Release

Genetic variants in a region on chromosome 9q may influence asthma development in Mexican children, according to research published in the August 28 issue of the open-access journal PLoS Genetics. Release

Cancer Research

Newly identified genetic mutations could help lead to new therapies for melanoma, the most aggressive form of skin cancer. Report

The drug lapatinib, or Tyverb, is already approved for breast tumors. Now researchers say that it also appears that the therapy could effectively target about 20 percent of all skin cancer cases. Story

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