News

Investigators hit on a new class of stem cells

A research team says it has developed a new type of stem cell--capable of developing into any kind of tissue--that could pave the way to new cell lines that could be made more efficiently, opening up its potential in R&D.

Repurposed fibroblasts may open the door to new melanoma drugs, screening tech

Researchers have hit on a new approach to creating functional melanocytes, the body's pigment-producing cells. And their work could spur a fresh approach to screening and developing new drugs for melanoma as well as producing new cell-based therapies for a variety of skin diseases.

Scientists look to a pathway in the gut to fix fatty liver disease

The buildup of fat in liver cells--which leads to nonalcoholic fatty liver disease--has become a major public health issue. Now investigators say they have their eyes on a potential pathway for new drug development.

Joslin investigators urge cosmetics groups to get into anti-aging R&D

Scientists interested in anti-aging research are being pointed to new treatments that build collagen or other proteins absorbed in the extracellular matrix that supports body tissue and bone. And a team of researchers is suggesting that cosmetics companies--relentlessly focused on prolonging youthful looks--may be the best sponsors of R&D programs focused on these new pharmaceuticals.

UT team zeroes in on a new small molecule target for glioblastomas

A team of neurologists at UT Southwestern notes that EGFR is activated when epidermal growth factor (EGF) binds to it, promoting tumor growth and damping down its response to chemo. And they believe they may have found a particular pathway during their research that could prove attractive for developers involved in oncology.

NIH's children's health study ends as a $1.2B disaster

After 14 years of work and $1.2 billion in costs with nothing to show for it, the NIH has decided to cut its blockbuster losses on an ambitious but bungled attempt to study environmental influences on children's health.

Lund researchers develop Alzheimer's-in-a-dish model

Animal models tend to leave a lot to be desired when it comes to Alzheimer's research. As a result, there's been considerable activity in developing an "Alzheimer's-in-a-dish" model, and investigators at Lund University in Sweden say they've been making progress on that front.

Epizyme showcases a successful preclinical lymphoma program for third target

After establishing itself as a biotech to watch in the field of epigenetics, Cambridge, MA-based Epizyme says it achieved some promising results in a preclinical trial of a new drug that marks the addition of a new target to its growing pipeline.

Could alpha secretase offer a better approach to fighting Alzheimer's?

Investigators at Mainz University say they've been gathering evidence to suggest that the alpha secretase enzyme could play a dual role in fighting Alzheimer's disease.

New malaria drug unleashes an immune system assault on infected cells

Researchers are working on a new malaria treatment that makes infected red blood cells an inviting target for the human immune system. And the team behind the effort is ramping up a human safety study in healthy volunteers as the first step in the clinical journey to prove its effectiveness.

MicroRNA holds clues to predicting progression-free myeloma survival

A group of scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute say they may have a lead on a pair of biomarkers that could help predict the likelihood of extending progression-free survival in multiple myeloma patients. And their work may help guide the development of future treatments.

PKC-epsilon pathway offers a new line of attack against cancer cells

In order to survive, cancer cells often rely on the protein kinase C epsilon signaling pathway to sort out tangled DNA that would otherwise trigger their destruction, according to a team at Cancer Research UK. So blocking the pathway could mark another line of attack against those cancers that depend on that "lifeline" the most.

Study highlights potential biomarker for early Alzheimer's

A new study presented at the Radiological Society of North America highlighted changes in brain connections that could be spotted in an MRI and may offer an imaging biomarker for early Alzheimer's.

Cell research at Brigham & Women's points to a new drug target for fibrosis

Studying the development of organ myofibroblasts in animals, a group of investigators at Brigham & Women's Hospital says that they've identified progenitor cells that may lie at the root of fibrosis--offering a new target for drug developers for a common and very serious scarring condition.

Binge drinking 'cure' in rats sparks a debate over animal study

The best way to avoid the ill effects of binge drinking is to stop binging on alcohol. But a scientific team in the U.K. has been garnering headlines with their claim that they found a compound that can allow the binging without the resulting loss of brain cells that can by triggered by inflammation. And they're claiming that the same research could apply to Alzheimer's and other forms of dementia, triggering a debate over just what kind of conclusions should be drawn from animal studies.

8-year study highlights role of a key protein in cardiomyopathy

An international team of investigators that includes a contingent from King's College London has unveiled how a key protein that regulates muscles deteriorates, triggering currently untreatable cases of cardiomyopathy. And their work could help illuminate a new approach to developing drugs for the condition.

New structural biology software tackles viruses and bacteria

The Scripps Research Institute has come up with some new 3-D modeling software that can more easily spotlight a set of midsized biological structures--like a virus or bacteria.

Harvard, MIT teams identify a 'pre-malignant' phase for blood cancers

Two different groups of investigators say they've found a way to identify a large group of patients that are characterized by a very high risk of developing blood cancers--and their discovery could pave the way to a new treatment approach in oncology.

Salk method highlights protein-protein interactions in cancer

Scientists at Salk say they have identified a new method to detect "fleeting" protein-protein interactions, a key focus in oncology R&D.

Rodent studies point to a new target for ovarian cancer R&D

Building on earlier work involving the angiogenesis inhibitor thrombospondin-1, or TSP-1, investigators say they've been able to demonstrate in animal studies that a segment of that protein acts to inhibit the growth of ovarian cancer cells. And the use of that therapeutic approach allowed for more effective use of small doses of chemotherapy in treating the deadly disease.