Scientists find way to get complex meds to brain; Counting cancer cells could ID best treatment;

Stem Cells

> Scientists at the University of Michigan Comprehensive Cancer Center identified a potential new target for blocking breast cancer stem cells by interfering with signals from mesenchymal stem cells. Report

> Colorectal cancer cells trigger a set of genes similar to those found in intestinal stem cells, scientists found, leading them to propose that patients undergo genetic tests of their intestinal epithelium to assess their risk of relapse. News

> The Australian Stem Cell Centre has submitted its recommendations to the independent committee reviewing legislation governing the use of human embryos in research. Story

Genetics

> German scientists developed a new method for studying gene regulation, using a "jumping gene" to explore the large portion of the human genome that does not code for proteins, but controls when, where and how various genes are expressed. Article

> A gene defect that causes autism--a mutation of the Shank3 brain protein--has been discovered, suggesting a potential path toward new treatments. Report

Cancer

> British scientists have found that counting the number of lung cancer cells circulating in a patient's blood could help determine how aggressive the cancer is and predict the best treatment to use. News

> Using in vivo liver and breast cancer models, scientists coupled high chemotherapy doses with nanodiamond particles to significantly reduce the size of of tumors in mice, increase survival rates and avoid toxic effects on tissues and organs. Report

> Scientists created a non-toxic, biodegradable organic nanoparticle that uses light and heat to treat cancer and deliver drugs, employing a unique, versatile structure that could potentially change the way tumors are treated. Article

> Researchers at Boston University School of Medicine, in collaboration with Johns Hopkins University, have identified a potential new biomarker and therapeutic target for melanoma. Item

> A particular enzyme family plays a crucial role in regulating cell movement, scientists reported in Nature Cell Biology, suggesting a new strategy for treating conditions ranging from diabetic ulcers to metastatic cancer. Report

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