Stem cells designed for neurological cures; Complex genetic role in Crohn's;

Stem Cell Research

> Scientists at the Burnham Institute have programmed embryonic stem cells to become nerve stem cells when transplanted into the brain. The advance may point the way to new therapies for a broad range of neurological conditions such as stroke damage and Alzheimer's. Report

> One of the pioneers of embryonic stem cell research, Michael West, says he has created a new tool that can be used by thousands of stem cell researchers to determine how complex stem cells are formed and how they can be differentiated. Story

> Researchers at the Salk Institute for Biological Studies have successfully coaxed mouse brain stem cells bound to join the neuronal network to differentiate into support cells instead. Report

> Researchers at the Stanford University School of Medicine have garnered $5.6 million from California's stem cell institute. Report

> German biologists say that they have found a new way to develop induced pluripotent stem cells in a way that reduces safety risks such as a heightened risk of cancer. Neural stem cells can be turned into IPS cells with just two developmental factors instead of the previous four. Report

Genetics

> Scientists have identified 32 genetic variations that lay a role in Crohn's disease, tripling the number previously identified and shedding additional light on just how complex the condition is. Story

> The World Health Organization has begun to roll out a gene-based test that can identify drug-resistant tuberculosis in just two days. Story

> Scientists at the University of Cambridge say a genetic test may soon be available that will be based on the seven gene sites that provide the best look at a woman's risk of breast cancer. Article

> A variant of the CALHM1 gene plays a role in the development of Alzheimer's, according to an international team of investigators. Report

Cancer Research

> Wake Forest University's Dr Zheng Cui is preparing to take a new approach to curing cancer from animal studies into the clinic. The new approach involves boosting the number of white blood cells--or granulocytes--in a patient. Report

> Canadian researchers are testing the Wyeth drug Rapamune to determine its usefulness in combating neuroblastoma, a nervous system cancer. Story

> The protein Guanylyl cyclase C has demonstrated an ability to reduce metastasis in cancer-infected mice, possibly pointing the way to a novel category of cancer vaccines. Release

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