News

New tool for brown fat drug development research

Researchers led by Yu-Hua Tseng at Joslin Diabetes Center and Harvard Medical School say they have created cell lines of human brown and white fat precursor cells that should help drug investigators working in the field.

New drug target ID'd for aggressive cases of brain cancer

Mutations in the TCF12 gene, which plays a big role in developing brains in the embryo, has been tied to an aggressive form of brain cancer.

Harvard team transplants circadian wiring, pointing to new drug applications

Harvard synthetic biologist Pamela Silver has led a successful effort to transplant the "wiring" used for circadian rhythm into a common species of bacteria, a process that could one day help regulate the body's natural rhythm or even aid in drug delivery and development.

Preclinical trials show ALK1 inhibitor dalantercept may prevent metastasis

Dalantercept (ACE-041) is owned by Acceleron and is currently in early clinical trials for liver and kidney carcinomas. More recently, though, researchers at Lund University demonstrated that it could block the activin receptor-like 1 (ALK1) pathway, suggesting it may also slow metastasis in aggressive breast cancer.

Scripps spotlights PPARγ inhibitor as a potential drug for bone loss

A team of scientists from The Scripps Research Institute led by Dr. Patrick Griffin has observed for the first time that a novel compound may help promote bone formation in patients afflicted with bone loss.

New study will test feds' support for anti-aging drug research

Investigators will be making the trek to Washington later this month to make the case for a new study that will explore the impact that metformin has on aging. And in the process, they'll be testing regulators' attitudes about an emerging field in drug development.

Enzyme in mice linked to obesity, diabetes

Following the theory that Type 2 diabetes is triggered by inflammation, a group of researchers at the German Cancer Research Center concluded that turning off the enzyme Kit prevented a cascade of metabolically linked pathogenic processes.

Do U.S. biomedical researchers really waste about $28B a year?

Researchers have known for years just how sketchy preclinical biomedical research can be. Reports on research projects that can capture headlines around the world are also not infrequently impossible to reproduce. And now a new study has attempted to put a dollar figure on the amount of research produced in the U.S. each year that can't be reproduced.

CRISPR-Cas9 furor highlights explosive growth of gene editing in China

The recent controversy over the use of CRISPR-Cas9 tech by a Chinese research group in a failed attempt to reengineer the DNA of a human embryo highlighted the explosive growth of China's discovery work in biotech in general--and gene editing in particular--over the last few years. And with the Chinese government devoting major resources to the development of new labs, outside analysts expect that China will emerge as a major player in gene editing--a prospect that seems to raise fears as wells as fascination.

NYU study: Blocking receptor protein CXCR4 'decimated' leukemia cells

Dr. Susan Schwab and her lab at the NYU Langone Medical Center have associated CXCR4 signaling as a positive regulator of T-cell acute lymphoblastic leukemia growth and disease progression.

Potential drug target discovered for idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis

Oliver Eickelberg and Dr. Claudia Staab-Weijnitz from the Helmholtz Zentrum Munchen and their collaborators have shown that levels of a protein called FK506-binding protein 10 are elevated in patients with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF).

ALS researchers at Gladstone, Michigan shed new light on a key drug target

Building on earlier research work, a team of investigators from the Gladstone Institutes and the University of Michigan say they can shed new light on a prime target and pathway that could be critical to developing a new drug for ALS.

NCI matchmaker study explores uses of targeted drugs

The National Cancer Institute turned up at the big ASCO meeting in Chicago to talk up a new study which will look to advance the development of more personalized cancer therapies.

Circadian rhythm research spotlights a possible cancer drug target

Focusing on the swelling body of evidence that suggests a link between circadian rhythms and cancer, a researcher at the University of California, Santa Cruz has zeroed in on one particular protein that may help illuminate new drug targets in the field.

Zytiga metabolite looks promising as amped-up prostate cancer therapy

J&J's blockbuster cancer drug Zytiga (abiraterone) has helped redraw the map for treating prostate cancer since its approval four years ago. And now a researcher at the Cleveland Clinic says that a metabolite of the drug may work better than the therapy itself in treating the disease.

Regenerative med researchers advance work on recycling discarded kidneys

Can discarded kidneys--or replacement parts from pigs--be prepped for use later as transplants? A regenerative medicine team at Wake Forest Baptist Medical Center says they've successfully completed two preclinical steps in that direction, raising the possibility that they can deliver a new source of these organs.

Aging researchers at McMaster flag role of a key protein in muscle loss

Building on earlier research work, a group of researchers at McMaster University in Canada flagged a key protein as a major player in muscle loss during aging, offering a target for new drug development as well as a possible supporting role for existing diabetes medications.

Northeastern team solves mystery of recurring Lyme disease, offers a solution

Lyme disease is a poorly diagnosed and often little understood threat that affects hundreds of thousands of people each year. Now researchers say they've made some keen breakthroughs in understanding why Lyme disease can be so hard to eradicate and how it might best be treated.

Scientists leverage cell stress to defeat cancer drug resistance

Scientists from Cincinnati Children's Hospital Medical Center report that the best way to prevent breast cancer from growing resistant to therapies may be to genetically strip cancer cells' natural defenses against intrinsic stress.

The White House draws the line against CRISPR/Cas9-designed embryos

Fretting over the implications of reengineering human embryos with new CRISPR/Cas9 gene editing technology, officials at the White House have weighed in to the growing controversy, saying that "altering the human germline for clinical purposes is a line that should not be crossed at this time."