Pfizer launches new research unit; Synthetic biology enthusiasts gather;

Economic Development

Officials in Ohio have launched the BioInnovation Institute in Akron to help position the state as a leader in biomedical research. Release

Stem Cell Research

Pfizer is launching a new stem cell research unit that will be located in Cambridge, MA and Cambridge in the UK. Chief Scientific Officer Ruth McKernan has been tapped to head the research unit, a sign of the growing interest that Big Pharma has in stem cell therapies now that the field is moving past the preclinical stage. Pfizer report

A Bristol University team has developed a "living bandage" used to treat damaged cartilage. Report

University of Utah scientists are preparing to study the effects of injecting stem cells into patients suffering from heart failure. Story

A judge in Missouri has thrown out a lawsuit designed to block $21 million in state funds earmarked for stem cell research. Report

Genetics

Scientists have mapped the genome of the kangaroo, shedding light on rare human ailments. Article

Researchers in Australia say that the colony stimulating factor 1 gene can spur the development of a kidney as well as repair damage in the organ while unborn babies are still in the womb. At some point it could also be used to treat damaged kidneys in adults. Story

Cancer Research

Researchers at the American Association for Cancer Research's annual conference on cancer prevention in Washington, D.C. discussed how screening for five biomarkers may determine a man's risk for developing prostate cancer. Report

A group of enthusiasts interested in synthetic biology--creating living organisms from chemicals--met in the Bay Area. One topic of discussion: creating microbes that can kill cancer cells. Report

The mysterious process that orchestrates cells to move in unison to form human and animal embryos, heal wounds and even spread cancer depends on interaction between two well-known genetic signaling pathways, two University of Utah medical school researchers have discovered. Release

More Research

"Huntington's disease presents an ideal vantage point to study neurodegenerative disease, because we know the misfolded protein that's responsible," says Martin Duennwald, formerly a postdoctoral researcher in the lab of Whitehead Member Susan Lindquist. "But we don't understand how this protein causes cellular damage and death for the neurons that are affected." Release

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