Stem cell cure sought for deafness; Scientists win pioneer awards;

Stem Cell Research

Researchers in Australia have set out to use stem cells to cure deafness by regrowing nerves that connect the ear with the brain. Report

Researchers at Stanford have found a cell that can repopulate damaged skeletal muscle in mice. The research could be used to find new treatments for muscle-related diseases. Story

Scientists from IBM and the Genome Institute of Singapore have discovered that microRNAs--small molecules that are an important regulatory component in the machinery of living cells--actually regulate the differentiation of stem cells and have roles that go way beyond what was previously thought. Release

Korea's Hwang Woo-suk became the poster child of research fraud, but Australian officials are expected to grant him a patent for his cloning technology, providing at least partial vindication for his work. Report

The Roswell Park Cancer Institute has received $2 million from a New York fund for stem cell research. Story


Duke University Medical Center researchers have discovered genetic links between the nervous system and the immune system in a well-studied worm, and the findings could illuminate new approaches to human therapies. Report

A variant of a vitamin-D related gene has been linked to melanoma, suggesting that exposure to sunshine may activate protective genes. Story

Cancer Research

Once thought to protect against cancer, the sugar-regulating enzyme glycogen synthase kinase 3 helps spur a certain type of leukemia in children. And inhibiting GSK3 offers a new therapeutic approach to fighting the disease. Story

MIT scientists have been studying the relationship of a person's genetic makeup with the relative effectiveness of chemotherapies in order to personalize treatment for the best results. Report

UK researchers have found a link between common bacterium and colon cancer. Story

Research Funding

James Eberwine, PhD, the Elmer Holmes Bobst Professor of Pharmacology and co-director of the Penn Genome Frontiers Institute, has been awarded the National Institutes of Health Pioneer Award, which provides $2.5 million over the next five years. Aaron Gitler, PhD, Assistant Professor of Cell and Developmental Biology, has been awarded the NIH New Innovator Award, which provides $1.5 million over the same timeframe. Release

More Research

In a dramatic illustration of the potential for microbes to prevent disease, researchers at Yale University and the University of Chicago showed that mice exposed to common stomach bacteria were protected against the development of Type I diabetes. Report