States fund more ESC work than the feds; Complete Genomics adds to cancer research offering;

Stem Cell Research

Reproductive scientists in Texas were able to use stem cell technology to breed mice from two fathers, a process that investigators say could help save species or even one day allow same-sex parents to have children. Report

Selecting the next chairman for California's stem cell agency has provoked controversy, with the state controller calling the process "fundamentally flawed." Story

States, not the federal government, now fund the majority of human embryonic stem cell research conducted in the United States, according to a recent study in the journal Nature Biotechnology. Release


Complete Genomics is improving its offering for cancer research investigators, offering computation analysis of its tumor sequencing work at no additional charge. Story

In another example of how cheaper sequencing is helping researchers do more at a much quicker pace, a team of Harvard investigators and Pacific Biosciences were able to sequence the strain of deadly cholera in Haiti. "We hope this will be first of many papers," in the New England Journal, says PacBio's chief scientific officer, Eric Schadt. "It's a good sign the technology is maturing nicely." Story

Researchers say that the same genetic trigger for heart attacks can also raise the risk of Alzheimer's. Report

Cancer Research

UK researchers say that suppressing a specific protein can reverse a leukemic cell into a pre-leukemic state, opening the door to new therapies. "Most of the current anti-cancer therapies used to treat leukemia attack healthy blood cells as well as cancerous ones," said the lead researcher. "Interestingly, beta-catenin is not required for normal blood stem cells. So if we can specifically target beta-catenin in the bone marrow, we can have potentially a more effective and less toxic anti-leukemia therapy." Report

Researchers at the Duke Cancer Institute have found evidence of epigenetics at work on a genome-wide scale in cases of ovarian cancer. One major biological signaling pathway in particular was found to contain many genes influenced by DNA methylation - a mechanism for turning off genes--in tumor cells. Release