ALSO NOTED: Theravitae recognized for stem cell research; New cancer therapy probed; $20M donated to study genetics of mental i

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Stem Cell Research

Thailand's Theravitae, which is working to advanced adult stem cell therapies for cardiovascular disease, has been recognized as the biotech company of the year in Asia by Frost & Sullivan. Report

Noted embryonic stem cell researcher Xiangzhong 'Jerry' Yang has gone on leave from his post as director of the University of Connecticut's Center for Regenerative Biology as he continues his seven-year battle against metastatic cancer. Report

Dr. Huck-Hui Ng and colleagues at the Genome Institute of Singapore have identified two genes--called Jmjd1a and Jmjd2c--that regulate self-renewal in embryonic stem cells. This finding will have important ramifications for embryonic stem cell research. Release

A study led by Prof Gordon Blunn at the Institute of Orthopaedics, University College London is preparing to study whether adult stem cells extracted from bone marrow can improve a patient's chances of a successful hip replacement. Report

Cancer Research

A new map of protein networks in human cells, developed by researchers at UC San Diego, can be a more effective barometer for determining the likelihood that breast cancer will spread. Report

Dario C. Altieri, MD, the Eleanor Eustis Farrington Chair in Cancer Research and professor and chair of cancer biology, and colleagues at UMMS have identified a new pathway by which cancer cells grow and survive--and provide a clear blueprint for the design and production of a novel class of anticancer agents aimed squarely at that pathway. Release

Researchers at Sweden's Uppsala University say that finding an inhibitor to the enzyme heparanase could prove an effective cancer therapy. Report

The absence of the pp32 protein, which helps to brake to a gene linked to cancer, appears to play a role in an aggressive version of pancreatic cancer. Release

In a new study, Pier Paolo Di Fiore and colleagues at the Istituto FIRC di Oncologia Molecolare, Italy, have identified a signature of 10 genes that predicts survival for individuals with stage I lung adenocarcinomas (a common type of lung cancer). Release

Genetics

UK researchers have made a major breakthrough in understanding how the body repairs damaged DNA. They built a 3-d picture of the T7 endonuclease 1 enzyme in their work. Article

Researchers have identified the two genes that significantly increase the risk of ankylosing spondylitis which causes inflammation in the joints between vertebrae and can lead to bone erosion and the fusion of bones in the spine. The discovery could not only lead to early diagnosis but would also facilitate more effective treatment. Release

Scientists at the Stanford University School of Medicine have hooked a fish that suffers from insomnia in their quest to understand the genetics behind sleep disorders. Report

A single gene may be crucial for the final stages of sperm cell formation and could help explain why some men are infertile, US researchers said. About one in six couples experience difficulty conceiving children. Release

The second phase of the international HapMap project has been completed, which catalogues the genetic similarities and differences among global populations. Report

More Research

The inventor of a new 3-d Petri dish says that it can be used to grow cells in three dimensions, assisting in the development of new drugs and tissue transplantation. Report

Northwestern University biomedical engineer Phillip B. Messersmith has developed a material that bonds with the tenacity of a mussel, which could have an impact on the design of new medical devices. Release

A new study of immune cells battling a chronic viral infection shows that the cells, called T cells, become exhausted by the fight in specific ways, undergoing profound changes that make them progressively less effective over time. Release

In a finding that may lead to potential new treatments for diseases such as Alzheimer's and Parkinson's, researchers at the Picower Institute for Learning and Memory at MIT report an unexpected role in the brain for a well-known protein. Release