Stem cells used to treat lung, heart disease; Gene triggers tumor cell death;

Stem Cell Research

An injection of stem cells taken from bone marrow helped heal the lungs of newborn rats, pointing to a new approach for the treatment of premature babies. Report

Animal studies indicate that stem cells extracted from cord blood could be used to treat lung and heart diseases. Story

StemCyte concluded a licensing deal with Academia Sinica, the National Laboratory of Taiwan, for certain proprietary methods related to the treatment of chronic stroke with stem cells. Release

Israeli start-up BiogenCell Ltd. has raised $1 million. Story

Scientists at Hebrew University of Jerusalem have been pursuing new stem cell technology for better and rapid healing for patients suffering from complicated bone fractures. The researchers developed a technology called immuno-isolation, in which MSCs are sorted out from the other cells residing in a bone marrow sample, using a specific antibody. Release

Genetics

Scottish scientists say they have identified a gene-- ABCA13--that appears to play a key role in mental illness. It also represents a new target for drug discoverers. Story

A new research report says that genetics has more to do with hair loss and graying than stress or other lifestyle factors. Report

The first genetic historical map of the Han Chinese--the largest ethnic population in the world--as they migrated from south to north over evolutionary time, was published online November 25 in the American Journal of Human Genetics by scientists at the Genome Institute of Singapore. Understanding genetic differences in the Han may aid in the design and interpretation of studies to identify genes that confer susceptibility to such common diseases as diabetes in ethnic Chinese individuals. Release

Cancer Research

Scientists at the University of Granada say they have identified a gene that triggers tumor cell death. Professors Antonia Jimenez, Jose Salazar and Consolacion Alonso say it may be used in combination with other cancer drugs that could be provided in lower doses with better efficacy. Report

The Mercury News looks at the research work being done on Oncophage, an experimental therapeutic vaccine being studied for brain cancer. Scientists involved in the work say they plan to expand the clinical trial for Oncophage from the 38 who have already been recruited. Story

A new study says that a gene that helps guard against harmful chemicals also protects people from bowel cancer. Removing the GSTP gene increased the risk of tumors in mice 50-fold. Report

Researchers at Uppsala University and University Children's Hospital in Uppsala have devised powerful new tools for typing cells from children with acute lymphatic leukemia and for prediction of how children with leukemia will respond to chemotherapy. The study was recently published in electronic form by the hematological journal Blood. Release

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