Researchers claim breakthrough on stem cell programming; Scripps teams with Complete Genomics on aging genetics study;

Stem Cell Research

A group of investigators at the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute say they've developed a far more efficient method for reprogramming human cells into stem cells. "This research is a milestone in human stem cells," explains Wei Wang, first author on the research from the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute. "Our technique provides a foundation to unlock the full potential of stem cells." Release

While Advanced Cell Technology and Geron overcame years of adversity to pioneer the world's first clinical trials of embryonic stem cell treatments, the pharma giant Pfizer ($PFE) has been working with British scientists to piece together their own study for a new ESC treatment for age-related macular degeneration. And a green light from regulators in the U.K. will help set the stage for a tidal change in the controversial ESC field as years of lab work and debate finally give way to a new phase of cutting-edge clinical studies. Report

Genetics

The genetic trigger behind a rare and lethal form of hypoglycemia has been discovered. Story

Studying the genetics of 3,000 people suffering from melanoma investigators found three regions of code--independent of skin complexion--that raise the risk of the lethal cancer. Article

Complete Genomics and Scripps are planning to sequence the genomes of 1,000 elderly people to help better understand the genetics of longevity. Story

Cancer Research

A new study from the University of Pittsburgh shows that breast cancer victims who were prescribed aromatase inhibitors found that the osteoporosis drug Zometa could offer protection against loss of bone density. Report

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