UK lawmakers approve human/animal hybrids; 23andMe joins in Parkinson's genetics research;

Stem Cell Research

British lawmakers have forged ahead with new legislation approving stem cell research projects involving human/animal hybrid embryos. Supporters of the measure note that only a handful of scientists in the country actually plan to do the work. The most important factor, they say, is that the UK needs to send a signal to the world that it supports cutting-edge biomedical research projects. Report

Researchers say that the protein PKA works as a molecular switch, triggering bone formation by human mesenchymal stem cells. That insight could lead to a new therapy that builds significant new bone formations. Story

Transplantation of muscle-derived stem cells may provide a safe and effective treatment for patients suffering from urinary incontinence following a surgical procedure. Release

Normal cells and cancer cells that journey through the body along dormant pathways can gain attributes of adult stem cells, offering a new approach to developing stem cell therapies for regenerative medicine and cancer. Report

Genetics

23andMe and The Parkinson's Institute are teaming up on a new genetics research program. They'll jointly develop online clinical assessment tools and analyze saliva samples from all patients at the institute, creating a network group of patients who can help researchers studying the disease and new ways to treat it. Report

Researchers have identified a gene that plays a key role in determining risk for pre-eclampsia, a dangerous obstetric condition. Article

A large genetic study in mice has identified hundreds of genes involved in the development of cancer by examining the DNA of more than 500 lymphomas to find the cancer causing mutations. Release

Cancer Research

Scientists at the University of Oklahoma Health Sciences Center say they have found a compound that has demonstrated an ability to fight a dozen different types of cancers. The compound both prevents normal cells from turning into cancer cells as well as inhibits tumors from developing new blood vessels. Report

In a report appearing in an Advance Online Publication of the journal Nature Genetics, researchers identify a region on chromosome 20 (20q11.22) that influences a person's risk of developing melanoma. Release

Researchers have identified how cigarette smoke triggers lung cancer. Lung cells exposed to smoke generate less FANCD2 protein, triggering DNA damage. The insights will help develop new therapies to fight lung cancer. Report

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Removing the IRE1-alpha gene from beta cells in mouse models of Type 1 diabetes restored normal insulin production, scientists found.