Stanford group transforms stem cells from fat; Changes in blood stem cells reversed;

Stem Cell Research

> A group at Stanford's Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine say they have found a simpler, safer way to turn stem cells taken from fat into induced pluripotent stem cells. Scientists used small circles of DNA to trigger the transformation. Report

> Changes in blood stem cells during aging can be reversed, according to scientists. Story

> Rudolf Jaenisch of the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge and Konrad Hochedlinger of Massachusetts General Hospital have won a patent on their approach to reprogramming somatic cells. And some of the leading experts in the field are afraid that a group of pending patents in the same field could eventually create a legal thicket that will hamper new scientific efforts. Report

> A pair of USC researchers has won $2 million in federal grants to support their work on embryonic stem cells. Story

Genetics

> Investigators say they have discovered genetic variants that help explain why some people age faster than others. "What our study suggests is that some people are genetically programmed to age at a faster rate," says Dr. Tim Spector of King's College London. Article

> After studying a group of morbidly obese people in the U.K., scientists say that many of them lacked a common set of genes, raising the question of whether the condition is inherited. Report

> Scientists have identified genetic variants in mothers and fetuses that appear to play a key role in triggering premature labor. Story

Cancer research

> A new study has unveiled 25 segments of DNA associated with leukemia, a discovery that offers developers a number of new drug targets. Report

And Finally... Researchers have identified a new target that could lead to an effective therapy for endometrial cancer. Release

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