Tiny biosensor to detect cancer

When a cancer-specific marker binds to the surface of a disc, in the pattern of the coating, the uneven weight causes one of the modes of vibration to change in frequency. The difference between the frequencies of the two modes of vibration is measured, enabling the detection of tiny amounts of cancer specific marker.

BBC NEWS | Health | Tiny biosensor to detect cancer

Ambion acquired for $273 million

Austin-based Ambion Inc. has sold its research division, the bulk of the company,to Norwalk, Conn.- based Applera Corp. for $273 million in cash. Applera's Applied Biosystems Group will run Ambion, which had $52 million in 2005 revenue. CEO Matt Winkler (the new multimillionare of Austin TX), plans now to take Ambion's remaining 100 employees to spin off the company's $5 million diagnostic unit. That company, which will be called Asuragen, will develop cancer based molecular diagnostic tests.

Ambion acquired for $273 million

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Well the rumors seem to be true. Nice move by the wizard of RNA. Winkler gets a huge cash infusion into his future efforts in MDX and ABI gains one great brand name for RNA research tools. Only 2 questions remain: will ABI protect the brand or ruin it, time will tell and will micro-rna be big for diagnostics (We think YES). Know this, there were many players looking at this opportunity including Invitrogen, Qiagen, Eppendorf, Sigma and others. But looks like ABI pulled the trigger and came in closest to the $300mil asking price.

Gene therapy may cure 2 blood diseases

Scientists at Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center in Manhattan report in an online edition of Nature Biotechnology that they have developed a form of gene therapy that targets stem cells and restores effective oxygen delivery. The report focuses on sickle cell disease, but the team already has completed preliminary work on thalassemia and is expected to begin clinical trials by summer.

Gene therapy may cure 2 blood diseases -- Newsday.com

Deadly fungus gene code cracked

Aspergillus fumigatus, which causes more infections than any other mould, is particularly dangerous to people with weakened immune systems. Scientists have cracked the genetic code of this fungus responsible for deadly infections and allergic reactions.

BBC NEWS | Health | Deadly fungus gene code cracked

Signs that the H5N1 bird flu virus may be developing resistance to the frontline drug Tamiflu

Experts say some resistance was inevitable with any kind of drug, and Tamiflu still remains the best bird flu treatment.

Health News Article | Reuters.com

Why biotechs are good bet for 2006

Biotech companies in the S&P 500 gained 16.2 percent in 2005 compared to an overall gain of 4 percent for the S&P, according to Thomson/Baseline. In comparison, traditional pharmaceutical companies fell about 7 percent.

Why biotechs are good bet for 2006 - Dec. 21, 2005

Mining biotech's data mother lode

 Posted by Picasa
A 3D structure of a kinase-inhibitor interaction predicted for the pancreas tumour gene expression data. The predicted interaction is important for the regulation of cell growth.

EU-sponsored project has developed a suite of tools that will enable biotech companies to mine through vast quantities of data created by modern life-science labs to find the nuggets of genetic gold that lie within. The BioGrid project brought together six partners from the UK, Germany, Cyprus and The Netherlands to address one of the key problems facing the life sciences today.

IST Results - Mining biotech's data mother lode

Seoul University Probes Stem Cell Research

A panel questioned stem cell researcher Hwang Woo-suk, sealed off his office and secured materials in his laboratory Sunday as it began a probe of allegations he falsified embryonic stem cells that he said he had created in a scientific breakthrough.

Seoul University Probes Stem Cell Research - Yahoo! News

NIH Uses Live Viruses for Bird Flu Vaccine

This is essentially FluMist for bird flu, and the hope is that, in the event of a flu pandemic, immunizing people through their noses could provide faster, more effective protection than the troublesome shots — made with a killed virus — the nation now is struggling to produce.

NIH Uses Live Viruses for Bird Flu Vaccine - Yahoo! News

Experts to Create Genetic Map of Cancer

Tuesday, the government unveiled a $100 million project to speed discovery of culprits and cures, the first step toward a comprehensive map of cancer's genetic makeup. It's an audacious project — the technology to even try it wasn't available just a few years ago. All the data from The Cancer Genome Atlas — abbreviated, in a bit of scientist humor, TCGA to reflect the four "letters" of DNA's code — will be made public for use by scientists anywhere in the world.The first step is the three-year pilot project announced Tuesday, to focus on two or three cancer types, chosen within the next few months, to ensure the larger goal of a complete cancer gene map is technologically doable

Experts to Create Genetic Map of Cancer - Yahoo! News:

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Anyone telling you that the biotech tools market is not going to grow and just needs to consolidate are lame or maybe just maybe they hope your going bail out their overpriced acquizitions.... $700 million for bird flu research and now this $100 million project for cancer.....Looks like the genome project era all over again soon. Bring on the band!

Mice Created With Human Brain Cells

Scientists announced Monday that they had created mice with small amounts of human brain cells in an effort to make realistic models of neurological disorders such as Parkinson disease.

Mice Created With Human Brain Cells - Yahoo! News

BioBOOM Op/Ed: We are also here at the American Society of Cell Biology meeing in San Francisco where thousands of researchers are posting their most recent work and talking with hundreds of biotech companies about ideas and tools for moving the science of discovery forward. This remarkable announcement most likely will send chills through anti-biotech groups who fear what they mistakenly think is some un-godly development. It's not...but if they prefer they can decide to go back to leaches and bloodletting while the rest of the enlightened masses continue to support harnessing science to save lives.

Cancer as a Scout and Recon team working for it - NEW DISCOVERY is BIG

Discovery of the trick used by tumours to travel through the body may hold the key to stopping cancer from spreading. Cancer's ability to colonise other organs is what makes the disease so lethal. Instead of spreading accidentally when cancerous cells break off a primary tumour and enter the bloodstream, the research team found the primary tumour first sent out blood-borne emissary substances. This advance team sets up home at another site. Only then does the tumour send cancer cells through the bloodstream to settle at the secondary site.

The Australian: Hope as drug cuts blood to tumours [December 09, 2005]: "discovery of the trick used by tumours to travel through the body "

Study says farmers benefiting from higher yields, lower costs with gentically modified crops

In 2004, biotech crops were planted on 118 million U.S. acres, an increase of 11 percent over the previous year, the study found. Growers using these varieties, as opposed to conventional crops, realized an additional $2.3 billion in income last year - largely due to an increase in yield of 6.6 billion pounds and a reduction in pesticide use of 62 million pounds, the study said.

STLtoday - Business - Story

BioBOOM Op/Ed: We suppose those who scream "franken foods" would prefer their corn dipped in pesticides? Or more rampant starvation Now this is how genetics is supposed work. Helping to feed mankind is what this is all about.

Gates puts money where mouth is and that might just be a banana

"We could have sorghum that cures latent tuberculosis. We could have mosquitoes that spread vitamin A. And most important, we could have bananas that never need to be kept cold."

Better Bananas, Nicer Mosquitoes - New York Times

Thousands of Babies Have Strokes Annually

It's a common misconception, yet several thousand U.S. children a year suffer strokes — and some specialists fear they're on the rise. Only now are efforts under way to detect strokes faster in these smallest patients and begin figuring out how to treat them, to help rescue their brains.

Thousands of Babies Have Strokes Annually - Yahoo! News

Swedish HIV vaccine revives hopes for DNA path

"It has been more effective than we thought it would be," Eric Sandstroem, professor and head of clinical testing at the institute told AFP.
"We have also failed to find any vaccine-related side effects at all," he added

Swedish HIV vaccine revives hopes for DNA path - Yahoo! News

Bird by Bird, China Tackles Vast Flu Task

China working hard to vaccinate chickens, ducks and geese. The mass vaccinations illustrate both the high priority China, the traditional incubator of flu pandemics, has placed on preventing the disease from leaping from birds to humans and the immense challenges involved, including the possibility that the rural health workers themselves might spread the virus, which can be acquired through contact with droppings or secretions from the birds

Bird by Bird, China Tackles Vast Flu Task - New York Times
A total of 386 presumptively viremic blood donors (PVD) have been reported to CDC's Arbonet surveillance program through state and local health departments as of November 29, 2005. A PVD is a person who was asymptomatic at the time of donating blood (people with symptoms are deferred from donating through a blood collection agency), but whose blood tested positive in preliminary tests when screened for the presence of West Nile virus. PVDs are followed up by the blood agency to verify their infection with additional tests. Some PVDs do go on to develop symptoms after donation, at which point they would be included in the count of human disease cases by their state.Click for more information on blood screening.  Posted by Picasa

Glaxo & Institut Pasteur hope to adapt measles shot for HIV

Europe's biggest drug maker and France's Institut Pasteur intend to make the vaccine by fusing genes from the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) onto an existing vaccine for the childhood disease, the two organizations said on Monday.

Glaxo hopes to adapt measles shot for HIV

Merck to Cut Jobs, Close or Sell 5 Plants

Embattled drugmaker Merck & Co. said Monday it will cut 7,000 jobs -- 11 percent of its work force -- and close or sell five manufacturing plants in the first phase of a reorganization meant to save up to $4 billion by the end of the decade. Its shares dropped more than 4 percent in afternoon trading. The announcement, anticipated by Wall Street, comes as Merck faces the loss of patent protection in June for its blockbuster cholesterol drug Zocor and thousands of lawsuits and billions of dollars in potential liability from its recalled painkiller Vioxx.

Chicago Tribune | Merck to Cut Jobs, Close or Sell 5 Plants

C.D.C. Proposes New Rules in Effort to Prevent Disease Outbreak

The proposals are part of a broader Bush administration plan to improve the response to current and potential communicable disease threats that may arise anywhere in the world. If adopted, the new regulations "will allow the C.D.C. to move more swiftly" when it needs to control outbreaks, said Dr. Martin Cetron, who directs the agency's division of global migration and quarantine.

C.D.C. Proposes New Rules in Effort to Prevent Disease Outbreak - New York Times

Harvard affiliated hospitals to share large detailed tissue sample database in hopes to speed cancer cures

Since World War II, many cancer patients who have had surgery at a Harvard-affiliated teaching hospitals have left a small piece of their tumor to science. These clumps of human cells have been frozen in liquid nitrogen or preserved in paraffin blocks the size of small Post-it notes -- and they now fill giant freezers and floor-to-ceiling shelves in hospital basements and off-site warehouses. The value of this tissue trove has soared in recent years with the successful cataloging of humans genes.

Harvard hopes database will speed cancer cures - The Boston Globe

BioBOOM Op/Ed: This program should be a "BOOM" to research and discovery. We call upon any and all databases with tissue banks or libraries, especially those that had any gov't funding to be opened up and used in similar programs. It would advance cancer research quickly. There maybe resistance by some who are greedy and "think" due to position or history that they have some exclusive right to these samples. We know your game. We say BS! Let's go Sloan Kettering, Johns Hopkins, Mayo and others..... Open it up since it was mostly grants directly or indirectly funded by taxpayers to gather these valuable samples. If not we suggest Congress consider use of Eminent Domain!

Doctors Objecting to Planned Cut in Medicare Fees

Doctors said it was absurd for Medicare to cut their fees at a time when their costs were rising. The effects of such cuts will be compounded, they said, because many private insurers and some state Medicaid programs link their payment rates to the Medicare fee schedule. Dr. Duane M. Cady, chairman of the American Medical Association, said: "Physicians cannot absorb the pending draconian cuts. A recent A.M.A. survey indicates that if the cuts begin on Jan. 1, more than one-third of physicians would decrease the number of new Medicare patients they accept."

Doctors Objecting to Planned Cut in Medicare Fees - New York Times

Pope Addresses Genome Conference

The Vatican's health care office hosted a conference this week on "The Human Genome," drawing together experts from 17 countries to discuss issues including the genetic aspects of fetal medicine and the ethics of medical counseling. The conference ended Saturday.

ABC News: Pope Addresses Genome Conference

Mixed Results for Lipitor Vs. Zocor

BUT- Lipitor outperformed Zocor on several fronts such as lowering cholesterol and preventing nonfatal heart attacks. The findings will continue to give it an advantage in the market even if generic Zocor is less expensive, some doctors said.

Mixed Results for Lipitor Vs. Zocor - Yahoo! News

Genetic Find Stirs Debate on Race-Based Medicine

The new variant found by DeCode Genetics is a more active version of a gene that helps govern the body's inflammatory response to infection. Called leukotriene A4 hydrolase, the gene is involved in the synthesis of leukotrienes, agents that maintain a state of inflammation.

Genetic Find Stirs Debate on Race-Based Medicine - New York Times

Appetite-Suppressing Hormone Discovered

Scientists have discovered a biological brake for a hunger hormone: a competing hormone that seems to counter the urge to eat. The substance, named obestatin, has been tested just in laboratory rats so far. But if it pans out, the discovery of the dueling hormones could lead not only to a new appetite suppressant, but also help unravel the complex ways that the body regulates weight.

Appetite-Suppressing Hormone Discovered - Yahoo! News: "Scientists have discovered a biological brake for a hunger hormone: a competing hormone that seems to counter the urge to eat. "

Biotech groups push for small-business rule change

Under the SBA’s new rules, companies with more than 50 percent of their backing from venture capital can’t compete for grants. Proponents of the new standards argue that the change ensures that the money goes to small businesses in need of federal help. But the changes “now disqualify many start-up biotech and medical-device companies,” the letter said. That’s so because of the capital-intensive nature of the industry, which often relies on seed money for years before turning a profit.

Biotech groups push for small-business rule change

Australian company to launch bird flu tests for H5N1

A Perth-based biotech, Rockeby Biomed, said on Tuesday it had stitched up a deal with Pacific Biotech in Thailand, giving it exclusive rights to two bird flu tests in the Asia-Pacific, Europe and South Africa. The first test, which takes 10 minutes, will be used on bird faeces and blood to detect the bird flu strain, avian influenza virus antigen, HSN1. A second rapid-screening test will be used on people to detect the deadly H5N1 strain, which is known to have killed 63 people in four Asian countries since first discovered in the region two years ago and has led to the culling of 150 million birds worldwide

Australian Financial Review -

BioBOOM Op/Ed: With all the money flowing in after H5N1 we expect more and more press releases relating to new tests or claimed technical breakouts from companies in the sector due to the bird flu threat. Gee thier stock went up too...go figure

Changing vaccine systems no easy shot - baltimoresun.com

Last week, President Bush branded current vaccine production methods "antiquated" and asked Congress for a $2.8 billion "crash program" to help the industry develop simpler and more flexible "cell-culture" technologies that can better keep up with new flu strains. The question is whether they're willing to abandon the tried-and-true - or do it soon enough to head off the next potential public health disaster.

Changing vaccine systems no easy shot - baltimoresun.com

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Windfall...look for money to flow into large scale processing.

Commission recommends patient ID standard

An 11-member body unanimously issued general recommendations for standardizing the diverse systems that identify patients and assemble records. A national ID number would be one way to standardize, the report states.

Commission recommends patient ID standard

Health Stocks in Motion - Invitrogen and Serologicals Down

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Just goes to show you that two companies who have been more aggressive than most in acquiring other tool companies also seemed to have had a soft 3rd quarter that did not meet expectations. Seems their shareholders are now paying for it with a significant drop in valuation and some downgrades.

Health Stocks in Motion

Findings identify likely origins of prostate cancer

Doctors found these merged genes in nearly 80% of 29 prostate cancer samples, says Arul Chinnaiyan, a professor at the University of Michigan Medical School who directed the study. None of the 50 samples of non-cancerous tissue had the genes, he says. This may allow doctors to begin to divide prostate cancer — which is now treated as a single disease — into different types. Doctors have been treating breast cancer this way for years:

USATODAY.com - Findings identify likely origins of prostate cancer

New DNA Map Will Help Find Bad Genes

Scientists have mapped patterns of tiny DNA differences that distinguish one person from another, an achievement that will help researchers find genes that promote common illnesses such as heart disease and diabetes.

New DNA Map Will Help Find Bad Genes - Yahoo! News

BioBOOM Op/ED: Ok now we got the announcement on what is essentially the SNP map. Will this mean a reduction in some business for companies that focus in that area. Last time Collins showed up holding a map at the white house on the genome it sent the biotech discovery market valuations on a long decline.

Turned-off genes linked to ovarian cancer

Two genes that are turned off in ovarian cancer cells could provide an early test for the illness known as the silent killer, Austrian scientists said on Tuesday. Researchers at the Medical University of Vienna have identified five genes that have very low activity in ovarian cancer. Two, called N33 and NFA6R, do not work in most cases.

Health News Article | Reuters.com

Britain: Bird Flu Is Deadly H5N1 Strain

The British government said Sunday that a strain of bird flu that killed a parrot in quarantine is the deadly H5N1 strain that has plagued Asia and recently spread to Europe.

South Korea Opens Stem Cell Research Bank - Circumvents US Government Restrictions on Cloning

A bank that will create and supply new lines of embryonic stem cells for scientists around the world opened in Seoul yesterday as part of a global partnership to help scientists in countries such as the United States get around government restrictions on cloning.

EducationGuardian.co.uk Research South Korea opens stem cell research bank

In a crisis, creating DNA vaccine could help save lives, slow spread of 'bird flu'

Researchers scrambling to combat a virulent form of bird flu that could mutate into a form easily spread among humans should consider developing vaccines based on DNA, according to British biochemical engineers. DNA vaccines, they say, can be produced more rapidly than conventional vaccines and could possibly save thousands of lives if a global influenza outbreak occurs.
RedNova News - Health - In a crisis, creating DNA vaccine could help save lives, slow spread of 'bird flu'

Bayer Offers New Antibiotic With Promise in Fight on TB

In an unusual step, Bayer Healthcare announced yesterday that it had agreed to allow its most promising new antibiotic, moxifloxacin, be tested against tuberculosis, a disease that kills 5,000 people a day and is the immediate cause of death for a third of the world's AIDS victims. If the antibiotic substantially shortens TB treatment, which now typically lasts six months, the company will make millions of doses and sell them at low prices to poor countries. Bayer's decision is unusual because major drug companies rarely test their best-selling patented antibiotics against diseases of the poor - and virtually never test them against tuberculosis - for fear of hurting sales in rich countries. Bayer makes about $500 million a year from moxifloxacin, which it sells in the United States as Avelox and elsewhere as Avalox, Avelon, Megaxin, Actira and Izilox.

Bird flu has biotech in high-flying frenzy similar to Y2K?

Bird flu, the theory goes, could become a human flu and kill millions. Then again, nothing might happen. It might just remain an avian flu. In between those two outcomes, a lot of people are making a lot of money from biotechnology stocks.

Bird flu has biotech in high-flying frenzy - Comment & Analysis - Business:

Biotech firm launches test of HIV drug

KP-1461 is designed to randomly infiltrate the virus DNA, provoking rapid mutations that cause the virus to basically rot from within. Scientists hope the randomness of each attack KP-1461 could act on any one of 10,000 nucleotides will hinder HIV's ability to develop resistance.

The Seattle Times: Health: Biotech firm launches test of HIV drug:

Experiments May Overcome Stem-Cell Qualms

The new methods, detailed Sunday in the online edition of the journal Nature, seek to obtain the cells without destroying embryos.

Experiments May Overcome Stem-Cell Qualms - Yahoo! News

Bird Flu Virus Resistant to Tamiflu

Bird flu virus found in a Vietnamese girl was resistant to the main drug that's being stockpiled in case of a pandemic, a sign that it's important to keep a second drug on hand as well, a researcher said Friday.

Bird Flu Virus Resistant to Tamiflu - Yahoo! News

| Stem cell heart cure to be tested

There is growing evidence to suggest that stem cells may benefit people with serious heart conditions, such as heart failure or those who have had heart attacks.

BBC NEWS | Health | Stem cell heart cure to be tested

BioBOOM Op/Ed: This is going to be very interesting to follow. And no we are not killing innocent little heart embryos to do it. Although some idiot might think so.

Scientists create GM mosquitoes to fight malaria and save thousands of lives

Researchers added a gene that makes the testicles of the male mosquitoes fluorescent, allowing the scientists to distinguish and easily separate them from females. The plan is to breed, sterilise and release millions of these male insects so they mate with wild females but produce no offspring, eradicating insects in the target region within weeks

The Guardian | Scientists create GM mosquitoes

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Genetically modified glowing sterile mosquitoe testicals- this will surely complicate the "birds and bees lesson" for my daughter. Hopefully we can come up a with a similar approach to dealing with radical exteme islamics like Osama and his crowd. Free light show included!

Cheeseburgers are good for the gut

Eating - particularly eating fat-rich foods - causes cells in the small intestine to produce a helpful hormone called cholecystokinin , or CCK, according to research by Drs Misha Luyer and Wim Buurman.

Cheeseburgers are good for the gut

Embryonic Cells, No Embryo Needed: Hunting for Ways Out of an Impasse

The federal government will pay only for research with human embryonic stem cells that were created before Aug. 9, 2001. It will not pay for the creation of any new human embryonic stem cell lines. Scientists are free to use private funds, but that has not been easy, Dr. Daley said. "It's incredibly difficult to raise private money to sustain a reasonable research program," he explained. "The federal government funds 95 percent of what we do. So if the federal government will not fund embryonic stem cell research, we have to use ingenuity."

Embryonic Cells, No Embryo Needed: Hunting for Ways Out of an Impasse - New York Times

Injured Soldiers Bring Home Rare Infection

Researchers at both Walter Reed and the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention in Atlanta initially thought the infections were caused by soil contamination of combat wounds -- A. baumannii exists in the environment and was found to be prevalent among injured Vietnam War veterans. Dr. Scott's study of 148 infected patients revealed that the cases are likely hospital-acquired and point to the need for improved institutional hygiene practices in military treatment facilities.

Soldiers Bring Home Rare Infection

After Delay, U.S. Faces Line for Flu Drug

After Delay, U.S. Faces Line for Flu Drug - New York Times: "'Secretary Leavitt admitted that they are currently in negotiations with Roche to try to rapidly build up those stockpiles,' Mr. Obama said. 'But we're behind countries like Great Britain, France and Japan, and it's probably going to cost us a lot more money than it would have to catch up.'"

Safer test for unborn babies

A team from the Chinese University of Hong Kong have identified foetal DNA in a mother's blood - which can now potentially be examined for problems.

BBC NEWS Health Safer test for unborn babies hope

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Well every 3 years someone claims or hopes to eliminate amniocentesis. Remember AI's effort or come to think about it doesnt the old Ortho Fetalsceen for Rh pos do that same thing?

Microbes: New evidence for courtroom

Combining lessons from such missteps with advances in microbiology like gene sequencing, scientists and law enforcement authorities are now working together to make "microbial forensics" as potent an investigative tool as DNA evidence. Each microbe, whether anthrax, HIV or E. coli, has its own genetic signature, which can be used to trace the source of a disease outbreak

Health & Science News - Microbes: New evidence for courtroom - sacbee.com

Wall Street Caves in to Anti-Science Terrorists

Forces who oppose scientific research scored a big victory when the New York Stock Exchange dropped its plans to list an animal-research firm, Life Sciences Research, on Sept. 7. To reward their abusive behavior is to reward senseless violence. We wouldn't let zealots do this to people who work in abortion clinics. We shouldn't let them do it to medical researchers.

Wall Street caves in to terrorists

The "Postive" Era of Gentically Modified Foods is Upon Us.

� Sugar beets that produce fructans, a sweet-tasting type of sugar that is indigestible � a plus in weight management.

� Soybeans containing low levels of linolenic acid, thereby eliminating the need for hydrogenation, a chemical process that increases soy oil's shelf-life but produces harmful trans-fatty acids.

� Soybeans and other oilseed crops with increased levels of beneficial fatty acids, such as canola, which contains high levels of stearic acid.

� White corn with higher levels of unsaturated fat.

� Sunflowers with oil low in saturated fat but higher in oleic acid content.

� Soybeans with increased sucrose content that taste better and are more easily digested.

� Vegetables that ripen more slowly, allowing more time to travel from field to market.


BioBOOM Op/Ed: Now they are getting it. Instead of genetics to just save money how about genetic modification to give us better health. This is what will turn the debate around. Although I would rather eat corn with a gene agains bore resistant than pesticide but hey thats just me.

China promotes new typing reagent for leukemia

China has developed its own typing reagent of hematopoietic stem cell, which could be used to cure leukemia, according to sources with the Chinese Academy of Military Medical Sciences.

China finds new cure for leukemia

BioBOOM Op/Ed: The funny part on this one is the actual headlines says China finds new cure of leukemia. Its simply another HLA-DRB1 typing reagent.

Which reminds us of a translation joke: A couple go for a meal at a Chinese restaurant and order the "Chicken Surprise". The waiter brings the meal served in a lidded cast iron pot. Just as the wife is about to serve herself, the lid of the pot rises slightly and she briefly sees two beady little eyes looking around before the lid slams back down. "Good grief, did you see that?" she asks her husband. He hadn't, so she asks him to look in the pot. He reaches for it and again the lid rises and he sees two little eyes looking around before it slams down. Rather perturbed he calls the waiter over, explains what is happening, and demands an explanation. "Please sir," says the waiter, "what you order?" The husband replies, "Chicken Surprise." "Ah. so sorry," says the waiter, "I bring you Peeking Duck"

New kind of health care is coming, says acting FDA chief

Now, doctors treat illnesses based on how well other people have responded to a given treatment. Soon, they will develop a tailored response built around specific understandings of the patient, the treatment and the disease, he said. "We are discovering so much about diseases like cancer at the molecular level," said von Eschenbach, a urologic surgeon. "Much of what we have done . . . has been based on a model of empiricism."

New kind of health care is coming, says acting FDA chief | The San Diego Union-Tribune: "Andrew von Eschenbach"

BioBOOM Op/Ed: This guy gets it! Too bad it's only "Acting" head of the FDA.

Possible Conflicts for Doctors Are Seen on Medical Devices

Many doctors have unusually close, if largely unseen, ties to device makers. And those relationships are a central issue on an emerging battleground in the health care wars: the upward cost spiral of implantable medical devices."

Possible Conflicts for Doctors Are Seen on Medical Devices - New York Times:

Thomas Tuschl's groundbreaking work in the field of RNA interference, 2005 Ernst Schering Prize awarded

Researchers have initial indications that certain diseases are connected to a disturbed microRNA pattern. Tuschl comments further: 'For example, the concentration of individual RNAs in the cells of certain tumors is noticeably high. This offers a completely new approach to fighting cancer.'

Thomas Tuschl's groundbreaking work in the field of RNA interference, 2005 Ernst Schering Prize awarded

BioBOOM Op/Ed: We think microRNA is the Today's biggest break through in medical research

Elan & Biogen plan relaunch of Tysabri

Shares in the two companies had plunged in February when they suspended sales of the drug after one MS patient died after using Tysabri with Biogen's Avonex drug. Elan and Biogen Idec say that they expect - within weeks - to submit additional safety information to US regulators in the hope of returning their drug Tysabri to the market as a treatment for multiple sclerosis.

RTE Business - Elan & Biogen plan relaunch of Tysabri

Gene that controls the severity of asthma identified

Yale School of Medicine researchers identified a gene prevalent in the population that controls the clinical severity of asthma, according to their report in this week's Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences.

Gene that controls the severity of asthma identified

Study: Medical Research Spending Jumps

Total U.S. spending on medical research has doubled in the past decade to nearly $95 billion a year, though whether the money is being well spent needs much better scrutiny, a study has found. The imbalance between late-stage and early-stage research is growing, the authors wrote, and is due partly to lengthy clinical trials required for new drug approval and partly to pure marketing. Companies often run costly studies to show their drugs work better than competitors' drugs.

"Study: Medical Research Spending Jumps - Yahoo! News:

New Orleans' Health System Faces Crisis

This city's health care facilities have been shattered to an extent unmatched in U.S. history, and its hospital system faces grave challenges as residents begin returning, the vice president of the national hospital accreditation organization said Sunday. Cappiello expressed concern that some hospitals, desperate to get back into business for competitive as well as public-service reasons, might move too quickly, before all mold and contaminants from the flooding are removed. "I hope there's someone looking at all the health care assets and making sound decisions as the mayor faces overwhelming political pressure to let people back in," Cappiello said. "The federal government needs to go in there and make sure the hospitals are a safe environment before they're reopened."

New Orleans' Health System Faces Crisis - Yahoo! News

BioBOOM Op/Ed: We expect to see some earning drop for various suppliers who routinely shipped hospital supplies to the area, short term - then an increase.

Market forces block tailored medicines, says expert

According to a study, while drug companies have begun to develop genetic tests for experimental drugs, many of which have yet to go into clinical trials , common pharmaceuticals already widely prescribed by GPs and hospital doctors are largely being neglected. In Britain alone, an estimated 10,000 people die each year from the side effects of drugs, with tens of thousands more becoming seriously ill.

Guardian Unlimited | The Guardian | Market forces block tailored medicines, says expert

Scientists Find Genetic Clues in Fanconi Anemia

The discovery of two new genes that cause Fanconi anemia suggest the rare disease is linked to a DNA repair system that normally keeps people healthy, according to a new study. The new findings also add evidence to a link between Fanconi anemia and mutations in genes that increase a woman's risk of breast and ovarian cancers.

Scientists Find Clues in Fanconi Anemia - Yahoo! News

Glowing Mice - Jumping Genes

Glowing Mice This batch of eerily glowing mice may herald a new understanding of how genes work. Using a stretch of DNA taken from the cabbage looper moth, scientists at Yale have found a new way to insert genes into a mammal's genome. In this case, it's a glowing protein taken from coral. But the technology could be used to find new genes linked to cancer and perhaps even as a route to human gene therapy.

Glowing Mice From China And Other Oddities - Forbes.com

Exiled from their La. labs, scientists assess their losses

Hurricane Katrina devastated scientific research in this city, claiming thousands of laboratory animals, ruining valuable caches of tissue, and interrupting clinical experiments as patients scattered across the nation. Research into treatments for epilepsy, hypertension, and obesity, as well as the development of vaccines, has been severely impeded by the storm. Restoring what has been lost could easily take years, researchers said.

Exiled from their La. labs, scientists assess their losses - The Boston Globe

Calif.'s Stem Cell Agency Awards Grants

The recipients of the first 16 grants, totaling $39.7 million over three years, included multimillion dollar awards to Stanford University, the California Institute of Technology, the University of Southern California and eight campuses of the University of California. Three nonprofit research labs and the Children's Hospital of Los Angeles also received grants during the monthly meeting of the 29-member Independent Citizens' Oversight Committee, which runs the stem cell agency.

Calif.'s Stem Cell Agency Awards Grants - Yahoo! News

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Talk about some idiots. These yahoos at some far right of pluto group called Life Legal Defense Foundation is one of the reasons we are not moving on this research since they contine to use the courts against the vote (59% supported) simply holding up the voter APPROVED(yep 59%) money allocation. Hey LLDFer's this is not some religious theocracy we are living in. If you prefer that move to Iran

New Technique Tracks Stem Cells' Progress

Researchers found that the radioactive tracers outperformed the tracking ability of standard MRI, allowing the team to watch stem cells as they made their way to the heart and then subsequently to other organs such as the liver, kidneys and spleen


Study holds promise for new way to fight HIV

Researchers have confirmed for the first time the benefit of an innate defense system present in the few patients who remain healthy after years of infection with HIV despite receiving no treatment, according to an article published in the September edition of the Journal of Virology. The study found that the subset of HIV-infected patients referred to as long-term survivors or nonprogressors have higher amounts of a key enzyme in their white blood cells. At the same time, a related biotech company is poised to begin preclinical testing on a drug designed to confer similar protection on most HIV patients.

Study holds promise for new way to fight HIV

Breast Cancer Risk Increased for African Americans with Mitochondrial DNA Variant

African-American women who carry the 10398A mitochondrial DNA allele are 60 percent more likely to develop invasive breast cancer than African-American females without that genetic marker, according to research published in the September 1 issue of Cancer Research. In this study, the researchers focused on a specific variation (G10398A) in a mitochondrial gene called ND3, which serves as the blueprint for an important component of an enzyme called NADH dehydrogenase. In its changed state, however, an adenine is substituted for a guanine in the DNA structure, resulting in the enzyme containing the amino acid threonine instead of an alanine. The clinical implication of this seemingly trivial alteration is profound. Among the greater population of humans, carriers of 10398A appear to be at higher risk for Parkinson’s disease, Alzheimer’s disease, amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (Lou Gehrig’s disease), and other neurological disorders.

News | American Association for Cancer Research

Amylin Seen Funding 'Massive' Phase III Trials

The biotech firm announced a shelf offering of about 5 million shares to raise cash of about $152 million.

Amylin Seen Funding 'Massive' Phase III Trials - Forbes.com

BioBOOM Op/Ed: How do you say Dilution? Oh well guess they feel they need the cash and if this helps correct the recent 50% run up in price it will present a good buying opportunity long term. This is a winner either way.

New Orleans and Mississippi = Higher Death Tolls Feared

The waters of swollen Lake Pontchartrain poured into this sunken city today through a gaping hole in a storm-damaged levee, as emergency workers labored to stanch the flow and used boats and helicopters to rescue hundreds of people stranded on rooftops. Hospitals were running out of power and scrambling to find places to take their patients. At one clinic, broken glass littered some areas and patients and staff had fallen on floors slick with floodwaters. Nurses were ventilating patients by hand after the power and then the backup generator failed. Some 300 patients had yet to be evacuated, but the babies in intensive care had been flown out.

Rescuers Search for Survivors as Higher Death Tolls Are Feared - New York Times

BioBOOM Op/Ed Prediction: Polluted waters causing cholera and dysentery, stagnant water with millions of mosquitoes leading to hundreds of cases of West Nile. Rabid animals causing rabies. Toxins causing cancer. Anarchy in the streets, looting, murders, fires and folks just trying to help and fix homes getting electrocuted. This is not over folks and sadly will get worse before it gets better. New Orleans and Mississippi might have been consider some back country before, now it becomes 3rd world. What we don't get is that the response from the President is crap now my vacation had to end early and cool I can get away from the protestors. Hey dude what about the strategic petroleum reserve? #$% DO SOMETHING! Your not saving anything else for the next generation so why save the oil?

Celera Diagnostics Identifies New Heart Attack Genes...

Variations in human genes may raise a person's risk of a heart attack as much as smoking or high blood pressure, according to new findings from Celera Diagnostics. The research company says it has linked variations in four genes with an increased risk for heart attack. None of the genes had been previously associated with a heart attack, and the discovery could lead to new treatments for coronary heart disease. Celera says the gene variants identified can cause the same kind of increased risk for a heart attack as high cholesterol, hypertension or smoking.

Celera Diagnostics Identifies New Heart Attack Genes...

New Process May Lead to Mad Cow Diagnosis

Researchers have developed a method of multiplying the number prions in a blood sample so a blood test then can detect them. Such a test could help prevent the spread of the disease through transfusions and could detect the illness in people or animals before it can be spread to others.The findings, to appear in the September issue of the journal Nature Medicine, were released online Sunday

New Process May Lead to Mad Cow Diagnosis - Yahoo! News: "

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Is this a magic bullet for prions and proteins, similar to what PCR did for nucleic acids detection? Time will tell.

Research improves hopes for cancer vaccine

A special stretch of genetic material may turn off the immune suppression that stymies attempts to fight cancer with a vaccine, said researchers at Baylor College of Medicine at Houston. Dr. Rong-Fu Wang, a professor in the BCM Center for Cell and Gene Therapy and Department of Immunology, and his colleagues describe a new strategy to turn off the function of a special group of T cells to suppress immune response to tumors and even infectious diseases.

Research improves hopes for cancer vaccine - Baylor College of Medicine

Life-Lengthening Hormone Found in Mouse Research

Scientists have identified a hormone that significantly extends the life span of mice, a discovery that could mark a crucial step toward developing drugs that boost longevity in people. The hormone is the first substance identified that is produced naturally in mammals, including humans, and can extend life span -- a long-sought goal in the intense effort to help people live longer.

Life-Lengthening Hormone Found in Mouse Research

Calif. Targets 39 Companies in Drug Suit

"We're going to drag these drug companies into courts of law because they've been gouging the public," California Attorney General Bill Lockyer said at a news conference. "We estimate each of the pharmaceutical companies could be liable for up to $30 to $40 million."

Calif. Targets 39 Companies in Drug Suit

Fed legislation could imperil CA's stem cell efforts

The bill, proposed by Sens. Sam Brownback, R-Kan., and Mary Landrieu, D-La., would prevent the research that is to be funded under Proposition 71, California's $3 billion investment in stem cell research, they said. The House has passed a companion bill sponsored by Rep. David Weldon, R-Fla. The bills define human cloning too broadly, thereby criminalizing the procedure of making exact copies of cells that is thought to be essential to embryonic stem cell research, Klein said. Along with imposing prison terms and up to $10 million fines on scientists who perform such a procedure, the bills would make it illegal for Americans to travel abroad to receive the product of the banned research, Klein said.

Legislation could imperil state's stem cell efforts | The San Diego Union-Tribune

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Nice day for the religious right, 1st we get a preacher calling for assination and now learn some yahoo's in congress are trying to impose their strange concepts in a bill which jeopardizes future research. Sure we'll soon learn that they are putting 13 yr old boys in jail for masterbation because they are killing potential life too.

Amylin, Alkermes soar on Byetta data

"The companies said that after 15 weeks, the once-weekly doses of exenatide LAR were well-tolerated and expected therapeutic blood levels were achieved. Dose-dependent improvements in hemoglobin A1C -- a measure of glucose control -- and weight loss also were observed"

Amylin, Alkermes soar on Byetta data - Yahoo! News:

Genetic Material May Aid SARS Treatment

Researchers reported Sunday that snippets called interfering RNA can reduce an existing infection in monkeys and help protect them from new ones

Genetic Material May Aid SARS Treatment - Yahoo! News

Jury Awards Widow $253.4M in Vioxx Trial

Texas jury found pharmaceutical giant Merck & Co. liable Friday for the death of a man who took the once-popular painkiller Vioxx, awarding his widow $253.4 million in damages in the first of thousands of lawsuits pending across the country. The jury broke down the damage award as $450,000 in economic damages — Robert Ernst's lost pay as a Wal-Mart produce manager; $24 million for mental anguish and loss of companionship, and $229 million in punitive damages.

Jury Awards Widow $253.4M in Vioxx Trial - Yahoo! News

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Nothing personal but was a 59 year old man really going to earn, from lost wages, $450,000 at Walmart? And damn we are alot younger so time to tell the spouse we are worth millions in just companionship. Someone lock up these attorney's nows! PASS THE LAWS to restrict this crap. Couple of million and she still lives like a queen but 200+?? Come ON!?? Wasn't this guy with poor health anyways? Gotta love those Texans in a "red state" who complain about this kind of thing and then stick it to those east coast pharma big shots. Hope none of the jurists need better drugs in the future. Who do they think will pay for this in the long run. We all will in the cost of buying. We did learn that Merk was wrong and that unethical marketing practices for the almight dollar doesn't pay off if the objection you overcoming in the sales process is someones death. So we do think they deserve the hit but maybe some percent of money should go to something else beside attorneys and surviors.

A Summer Surge For Volatile Biotech

The industry has delivered a slew of new products in recent years, and its revenue is growing rapidly, hitting $46 billion in the United States in 2004, up 17 percent in one year. The industry could reach profitability as early as 2008, Ernst & Young predicted.

A Summer Surge For Volatile Biotech

Role of MicroRNA Identified in Breast Cancer

Newly identified molecules may comprise a master network controlling genes and protein production throughout the body, according to scientists from the Ohio State University Comprehensive Cancer Center (OSU CCC). microRNA (miRNA) is actually a collection of hundreds of snippets of noncoding RNA, typically no more than 22 nucleotides in length

Genetic Engineering News - Role of MicroRNA Identified in Breast Cancer

Scientists Claim to Invent Urine Batteries

Singapore scientists said they have invented a urine-activated credit-card sized battery that can be used in test kits

Scientists Claim to Invent Urine Batteries - Yahoo! News

A New Lab Partner For The U.S.?

Experts worry that China is investing heavily in key areas like biotech and nanotech while U.S. funding for the National Institutes of Health has leveled off after a five-year doubling. Spending in some areas of the physical sciences has actually declined in real dollars.

A New Lab Partner For The U.S.?

Crocodile blood may yield powerful new drugs - HIV???

The crocodile's immune system is much more powerful than that of humans, preventing life-threatening infections after savage territorial fights. Tests showed that the reptile's immune system kills HIV.

Crocodile blood may yield powerful new drugs - Yahoo! News

BioBOOM Op/Ed: This is not the first drug development work from a reptile yet it sure is hopeful. Today we have the 1st FDA approved from Amylin (gila monster lizard spit). Now neither of these use the blood or spit but rather are doing various genetic discovery processes to identify and map the functioning genes or protiens. Tremendous technical breakthrough for diabetes. We are watching that stock price continue to increase with rapid revenue growth. It will be huge over time and we hope this crock study will too.

Doctors' Links With Investors Raise Concerns

Nearly 10 percent of the nation's 700,000 doctors have signed up as consultants with a new segment of the investment industry - companies that act as the Match.com of the investment world, according to an article in The Journal of the American Medical Association. For a fee, they arrange conversations between investors and leading professionals, experts or even employees of major companies.

Doctors' Links With Investors Raise Concerns - New York Times

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Follow the money......let's just say these "groups', Gerson Lehrman Group of New York and Swann & Company of Boston should wear a pimp outfit.

DNA technology brings personal gene maps closer

These new methods have already proven useful in clinics -- enabling doctors to tailor more effective drug regimens to combat lung cancer and HIV. Researchers have also used one of these strategies to figure out how a drug works against tuberculosis, leading to one of the first new TB medications discovered in the past 40 years. ''Traditional sequencing would have taken too long, have been too costly, and we simply wouldn't have done it" said Peter Verhasselt, research scientist at Johnson and Johnson who used the 454 method of DNA sequencing for TB research.

DNA technology brings personal gene maps closer - The Boston Globe

FLA Lawmakers hinge stem cell campaign on new Scripps Institute

Lawmakers are anchoring the stem cell debate with the arrival of the prestigious Scripps Research Institute and the $800 million of public money promised to the biotech venture.

AP Wire | 08/14/2005 | Lawmakers hinge stem cell campaign on new Scripps Institute

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Hey Scripps, hope the knots on that hand tied behind your back aren't too tight. Look who's the Gov there...? What were you thinking?

NFL Teams to Use Pill to Monitor Body Heat

There was no way for trainers to monitor players' core temperatures on that sweltering July day when Stringer collapsed, no definitive way to tell that his massive body was overheating beyond its threshold. But now there is, in the form of a swallowed capsule that measures core body temperature as it passes through the digestive system, and the Vikings — along with a few other NFL teams — are using it.

NFL Teams to Use Pill to Monitor Body Heat - Yahoo! News

New HIV Treatment Strategy Shows Promise

A new treatment strategy has shown promise in helping to transform HIV into a curable infection. Preliminary research published this week in The Lancet medical journal outlines how scientists used an anti-convulsant drug to awaken dormant HIV hiding in the body, where it is temporarily invisible but still dangerous.

New HIV Treatment Strategy Shows Promise - Yahoo! News

Rice Genome Decoded, Better Crops Expected

An international team of scientists has deciphered the genetic code of rice, an advance that should speed improvements in a crop that feeds more than half the world's population. It's the first crop plant to have its genome sequenced, which means scientists identified virtually all the 389 million chemical building blocks of its DNA. Certain sequences of these building blocks form genes, like letters spelling words.

Rice Genome Decoded, Better Crops Expected

Senator seeks probe of drug researcher payments

A top Republican senator on Monday urged the Securities and Exchange Commission and the Justice Department to look into a report that Wall Street investors paid researchers to reveal confidential information about ongoing drug studies.

Politics News Article | Reuters.com

BioBOOM Op/Ed: One investigative news article, couple influencial blog comments and web postings, few phone calls to Washington and whalaa.....some brokerage firms and unethical researchers are going to be running for cover. Hope they also look into the naked shorting games of brokers and hedge funds, which as we write, are abusing some good biotech companies such as AMLN and OSUR.

Drug researchers leak secrets to Wall St.

Doctors testing new drugs are sworn to keep their research secret until drug companies announce the final results. But elite Wall Street firms — looking to make quick profits —have found a way to harvest these secrets: They pay doctors to divulge the details early. A Seattle Times investigation found at least 26 cases in which doctors have leaked confidential and critical details of their ongoing drug research to Wall Street firms.

The Seattle Times: Business & Technology: Drug researchers leak secrets to Wall St.

BioBOOM Op/Ed: BUSTED! Would love to see someone go up the river without the proverbial paddle on this kind of thing.

Quest Diagnostics to acquire LabOne for $934M

It brings Quest extra business in life insurance testing, an area in which it has not led the market. "The deal fits strategically, though some holders likely prefer share buybacks," Dolliver wrote. "Quest Diagnostics enters the life insurance testing market with a leading position." Quest plans to finance the deal through a combination of cash on hand, available credit facilities and public debt.

Quest Diagnostics to acquire LabOne for $934M - Health-Care - M&A

BioBOOM OP/Ed: Strong move into the insurance testing market. We watched this business at Lab One (formerly HORL) which was started by a pathologist group and futuristic thinking sales and marketing type, Jim Osborn. Who sold it for a tidy sum and when his non-compete ran out then created Osborn Labs which later was merged back into Lab One. These were truely the first "macro" laboratories providing some of the early advances in high throughput processing. Key for the business has been the relationships with clients (insurance industry) and the lab. They were, at one time, owned as a service entity by the re-insurance principles. We once thought, as Clinton Adminstration was working on their imploded health care proposal, that if the gov't became defacto insurance of last resort - these kinds of operations may not only do risk assessment for life insurance applications but also pre-emptive screening for health insurance clients. For example wouldn't it be better to pay for HCV sceening now on a routine basis than a liver transplant if not detected and treated early? Could routine screening come as an added benefit to your policy IF they couldn't drop you? Genetic screening opens all kinds of ideas .... funny despite the paranoid claims these labs didn't do any genetic screening. Most simply are doing drug abuse work for truck drivers, 100k+ levels for HIV so someone won't lie on an insurance application nd the same for nicotine = say you don't smoke? Well you better not come up positive on the nicotine test

Avian Flu Vaccine Set for U.S. Production

Preliminary data from the first 115 of the initial tests on 450 healthy adults showed an immune response that scientists believe is strong enough to protect against the avian influenza that's spreading among birds in Asia and Russia. An influenza pandemic similar to the one in 1918 that killed 50 million people would require hundreds of millions of doses of the vaccine, BUT the handful of companies that now make influenza vaccines cannot produce the new bird flu vaccine and the regular seasonal flu vaccine at the same time...stay tuned

Avian Flu Vaccine Set for U.S. Production - Yahoo! News

'Cheap' genome sequencing now possible- scientists

George Church and colleagues at Harvard Medical School hope eventually to reduce the cost further to $1,000 per genome -- the entire DNA code of a person, plant or other organism. Their new method, described in a report in the journal Science, bypasses the traditional gel-based technology for analyzing DNA and instead uses color-coded beads, a microscope and a camera. It is considerably cheaper than the current methods, which cost an estimated $20 million for a human genome

Health News Article | Reuters.com

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Waiting for the day when we stop by CVS pharmacy and make sure they have our genome on file prior to filling our prescription.

Scientists pinpoint new breast cancer genes

University of Cambridge Professor Carlos Caldas, who reported his findings in the journal Oncogene, said scientists have been trying to pinpoint the new genes for two decades. He and his team used DNA microarray technology, which enables scientists to analyze the expression of many genes at the same time, to search for the breast cancer genes.

Health News Article | Reuters.com

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Great news and and exposure for microarray platforms. Routine use continues to expand.

Gene therapy works in mice to prevent blindness that strikes boys

Researchers injected a healthy version of the human RS1 gene to the sub-retinal space of the right eyes of 15-day-old male mice, which, like boys with the disease, don't have the healthy gene to maintain the retina. In terms of disease development, the condition in the mice was roughly equivalent to retinoschisis in a 10-year-old boy. Six months later, researchers looked at the interior of the eyes with a laser ophthalmoscope and found cyst formation was clearly evident in the untreated eyes, but the treated eyes appeared healthy. The eye's photoreceptor cells - the rods and cones that help the brain process light and color - were spared from the disease and the connections between the layers of the retinas were intact.

Gene therapy works in mice to prevent blindness that strikes boys

Master regulatory gene found that guides fate of blood-producing stem cells

Researchers from the University of Pennsylvania School of Medicine found that a protein called NF-Ya activates several genes known to regulate the development of hematopoietic stem cells (HSC), or blood-producing stem cells, in bone marrow. Knowing the details of this pathway may one day lead to new treatments for such blood diseases as leukemia, as well as a better understanding of how HSCs work in the context of bone-marrow and peripheral-stem-cell transplantation. The authors published their findings in the early August issue of the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. Practically, the researchers' goal is to find a way to control stem-cell fate by biochemically turning NF-Ya on or off at will, to either make more stem cells in the case of bone-marrow failure and for transplantation, or to force the cells to differentiate, in the case of leukemia, where too many HSCs are made.

Master regulatory gene found that guides fate of blood-producing stem cells

Mayo Clinic collaboration invents 'virus in stealth' to help kill cancer cells

In the current issue of the Journal of Virology, the researchers describe how they invented a way to engineer an alternative outer covering (coat) for the virus, using pieces from an animal virus that cannot infect humans. The work is still experimental. But it is a key step forward in the science of redirecting or retargeting a virus through genetic engineering. Retargeted measles virus can recognize surface molecules found only on cancerous cells, allowing selective killing. In this way, retargeted cancer-killing viruses help the body, rather than harming it as natural viruses do when they infect cells.

Mayo Clinic collaboration invents 'virus in stealth' to help kill cancer cells

Qiagen buys two firms as focus shifts to Proteins

Qiagen acquires key assets of LumiCyte, which makes tools for protein analysis and SuNyx GmbH "On-Chip," Nanotechnology-Based Sample Preparation for LC-MALDI Mass Spectrometry.

Latest News and Financial Information | Reuters.com

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Nice purchases as they seem committed to investing heavily in the protein discovery and diagnostic areas lately. Only question is can they pull off a successful integration and keep the key personel needed long term. In the past, that's been their weakness.

California expands newborn test for genetic abnormalities

California now moves to the forefront as it will test for 75 conditions through the standard infant heel prick. That more than doubles the disorders the old test covered. "This is a wonderful day, a great day, where we're not leaving any babies behind," said David Swift, who credits expanded testing with saving his daughter's life. The mandatory screening program will apply to all the 500,000-plus babies born in the state each year, though parents can opt out for religious reasons. Since the state began piloting the program May 2, the tests have identified 15 babies with serious conditions that previously would have gone undetected

ContraCostaTimes.com | 07/27/2005 | State expands newborn test for genetic abnormalities

US Senate leader Frist backs stem cell research

"The federal government should fund embryonic stem cell research" that uses leftover embryos from fertility clinics, said the Tennessee Republican, a surgeon who may run for president in 2008, in backing legislation already passed by the U.S. House of Representatives that would overturn the limits imposed on the research by Bush in 2001.

Health News Article | Reuters.com

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Huge win and possible momentum for stem cell research advocates. Funny how 2008 aspirations loom large on somethings now. There are probrably some interesting talks behind this move.

Genetic Regulator Of Lifespan Identified

The finding implies that lifespan is not simply dependent on accumulated wear and tear or metabolism, as some researchers have suggested, but is at least partly controlled by an active genetic program in cells--one that could theoretically be boosted. One of the immediate implications of the work is that it emphasizes the functional difference between nicotinamide and nicotinic acid. Nicotinic acid (niacin) is a known anticholesterol treatment, while nicotinamide (or niacinimide) is sometimes touted for anti-aging abilities and is in clinical trials as a therapy for diabetes and cancer. However, the two substances are sometimes sold interchangeably as supplements under the name vitamin B3. "Our study raises the concern of taking high doses of nicotinamide," Sinclair said, because nicotinamide puts a damper on Sir2's actions in the cell

Genetic Regulator Of Lifespan Identified

BioBOOM op/Ed: Time to look at the ingredient listings on my vitamins. Hopefully the B3, if there is any, reads nicotinic and not nicotinamide.

Government Is Investigating 3rd Possible Case of Mad Cow

The department would not say where the farm was, other than to say it was remote. The veterinarian, Dr. John Clifford, said that the 12-year-old cow died in April but that its brain tissue was not tested until last week. Because the initial results were ambiguous, scientists at the National Veterinary Services Laboratory in Ames, Iowa, are conducting more tests to determine whether the cow was infected.

Government Is Investigating 3rd Possible Case of Mad Cow - New York Times

Gene engineered stem cells heal rat spines

Genetically engineered stem cells can help rats' severed spinal cords grow back together, according to a study published on Tuesday. Rats given the treatment, using stem cells taken from rat embryos, could move their legs again after their spines were severed in the lab, said the researchers' report in the Journal of Neuroscience.

Reuters AlertNet - Gene engineered stem cells heal rat spines -study

Sirna Therapeutics, Inc. (RNAI, breakthrough - a 95% knockdown of hepatitis B virus (HBV

This is the first demonstration of systemic siRNA efficacy at therapeutically relevant doses and establishes a strong scientific foundation for broad human application of RNAi-based therapeutics.

ClearStation : News Articles : RNAI

BioBOOM Op/Ed: This should stimulate the "value" of companies with IP in the siRNA area, as some of us have predicted. Will be interesting to watch these developments = keep your powder dry.

Invitrogen to Acquire BioSource for $130M

Invitrogen said it has agreed to acquire BioSource International Inc. for $130 million in cash.

Invitrogen to Acquire BioSource for $130M

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Well that's one less booth at Neroscience and Cell biology meetings we guess. Plus, BioRad seems to have been out bid by Invitrogen's hunger to spend it's cash holdings.

Possible herpes virus Achilles' heel found

U of Michigan researchers are reporting the discovery of a receptor that appears to function as one “lock” that HSV opens to allow it to enter human cells. They've also found the gene that controls the production of that receptor, deciphered some aspects of the receptor's structure, and developed a pig-cell system that could be used to test new anti-herpes drugs."We can use the receptor molecule to try to understand the process and perhaps combat infection at this vulnerable site,” says A. Oveta Fuller, Ph.D. the leader of the U-M team, senior author on the two papers.

UMHS Press Release: Possible herpes virus Achilles' heel found

Trial to Test Stem Cells for Heart Attacks

A clinical trial to test the safety of treating heart attack damage with stem cells is about to get under way. Two patients have been enrolled so far at Johns Hopkins Hospital in Baltimore, and a total of 48 are expected to take part across the country. In tests in pigs, stem cells taken from another pig's bone marrow were injected into the animal's damaged heart. After just two months, the stem cells had helped restore heart function and repaired damaged heart muscle by 50 percent to 75 percent.

Trial to Test Stem Cells for Heart Attacks - Yahoo! News

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Hey Mr. Vice President are you listening?!!?

CDC and Fort Dodge Animal Health Achieve West NIle vaccine

CDC scientists used DNA vaccine technology originally developed for other mosquito-borne viruses (e.g., dengue and Japanese encephalitis) to develop an experimental vaccine."This is truly an exciting innovation, and an incredible scientific breakthrough that has potential benefits far beyond preventing West Nile virus in horses,” said CDC Director Dr. Julie Gerberding. “This science will allow for the development of safer and more effective human and animal vaccines more quickly.”

CDC - Media Relations - Press Release - July 18, 2005

Ciphergen jumps on Quest deal

Under the terms of the deal, Quest had purchased 6.2 million shares of Ciphergen stock for $15 million, amounting to about a 17% stake in the company. Quest will also have a 5-year warrant to purchase an additional 2.2 million shares at $3.50 apiece, and will be lending Ciphergen up to $10 million for development purposes

Ciphergen jumps on Quest deal - Biotechnology - Company Announcements

BioBOOM Op/Ed Talk all you want about potential for proteomics in diagnostics. That's been around for years - what do you think ELISA or aging agglutination tests are based on? This is simply Ciphergen's angel for an exit strategy, we think, as they clearly were on shaky legs and running out of funds.

Multi-species genome comparison sheds new light on evolutionary processes, cancer mutations

In a study published in the July 22 issue of the journal Science, a team of 25 scientists from the United States, France and Singapore compared the organization of the chromosomes of eight mammalian species: human, mouse, rat, cow, pig, dog, cat and horse. Using sophisticated computer software to align and compare the mammals' genetic material, or genomes, the team determined that chromosomes tend to break in the same places as species evolve, resulting in rearrangements of their DNA. Prior to the discovery of these breakage hotspots, the prevailing view among scientists was that such rearrangements occurred at random locations

Multi-species genome comparison sheds new light on evolutionary processes, cancer mutations

The Next Ambien?

Early Monday morning, a decision from the U.S. Food and Drug Administration is expected for yet a whole new type of sleeping pill. It's called Rozerem, from Japanese drug giant Takeda. Rozerem targets the same receptors as the over-the-counter aid melatonin, but with potentially clearer efficacy. (Some have even dubbed it "super-melatonin.") The idea is that by targeting two melatonin receptors in the brain, called M1 and M2, the drug can avoid many of the side effects that are troublesome in other sleeping pills.

The Next Ambien? - Forbes.com

Gene's mutations found to cause life-threatening aortic disease

Scientists have identified the first genetic mutations that cause the aorta – the body's main artery – to widen, tear and rupture. Finding biological markers that flag aneurysm, a bulging of the aorta that leads to dissection, a lengthwise separation of tissues in the artery wall, is critically important for early diagnosis. Aneurysms can be managed initially with medication and then successfully repaired to prevent catastrophic dissection and rupture, Milewicz said. Many patients never have a chance at treatment because they go undiagnosed, even when they go to emergency rooms with severe chest pain because diagnostic tests for heart attack do not uncover aortic defects. Actor John Ritter, for example, died in September 2003 from an undiagnosed dissection that ruptured.

Gene�s mutations found to cause life-threatening aortic disease

Pfizer Q2 Profit Up, R&D Being Reorganized

Plans to announce reorganization of its research-and-development operations, which will include layoffs, as part of its previously disclosed plan to return to double-digit percentage profit growth by next year

Pfizer Q2 Profit Up, R&D Being Reorganized

BIOART Ecce Homology

"Ecce Homology," an interactive "bioart" installation to be showcased at SIGGRAPH 2005 - in Los Angeles, July 31 through Aug. 4 - quite literally makes BLAST and genomics visible. Headed up by new-media artist Ruth West - director of visual analytics and interactive technologies at the University of California, San Diego National Center for Microscopy and Imaging Research and research associate with the UCSD Center for Research and Computing in the Arts - the "Ecce Homology" project is an ongoing collaboration among 11 biologists, artists and computer scientists from UCSD, UCLA and the University of Southern California.

The visualization of the genome itself is based on an ideographic and pictographic language reminiscent of Chinese calligraphy or Sanskrit writing. Motivated by the desire to escape looking at long strings of ACTG nucleotide lists, or other linear visualizations of DNA and proteins, in their process for creating the pictograms. To create the novel visualization of DNA and proteins, they created a virtual calligraphic brush. The brush remains motionless unless it is given biological information, data from DNA and proteins sequence from the genome. It is this information that creates the luminous pictograms that flow from the brush. The pictograms are then projected along the 60-foot long, 12-foot high span in the gallery.

SIGGRAPH 2005 | Homepage

in silico v1.0: Ecce Homology

Sigma inks licensing deal with Alnylam

RNA interference is a naturally occurring mechanism within cells for selectively silencing and regulating specific genes. Since many diseases are caused by the inappropriate activity of specific genes, the ability to silence and regulate such genes selectively through RNAi could provide a means to treat a wide range of human diseases, the companies said.

Sigma-Aldrich said the license agreement further strengthens Sigma's position as a key licensed supplier of

Sigma inks licensing deal with Alnylam

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Alnylam continues to sign lic agreements with the big boys. Check them out, we did and bought. They also have a relationship with Ambion.

Senate approves Bush's pick to head FDA

Crawford, a veterinarian and food safety expert with a doctorate in pharmacology, has served as acting FDA commissioner since March 2004. He also did a previous stint as acting commissioner from February to November 2002.

Senate approves Bush's pick to head FDA

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Bout Time!

Moral Debate: Does Stem Cell Procedure Really Risk Making Monkeys More Humanlike?

While the group agrees it is "unlikely that grafting human stem cells into the brains of non-human primates would alter the animals' abilities in morally relevant ways," the members "also felt strongly that the risk of doing so is real and too ethically important to ignore."The panelists concluded that morally significant changes are least likely if the research is done on adult primates as opposed to those whose brains are still developing. Further, abhorent alterations would be less likely by using primates more distantly related to humans, such as macaque monkeys, rathern than closer relatives like apes and chimpanzees.

Moral Debate: Procedure Risks Making Monkeys More Humanlike - Yahoo! News

BioBOOM Op/Ed: PLANET OF THE APES? Should we stop training dogs too? Seems that makes them smarter and some owners would swear almost human. If one has some kind of moral or religious objection, the article says, "Many procedures in medicine are unnatural but are not necessarily considered unethical. Pig cells have been studied for use in people with Parkinson's disease."

Serologicals Corporation Implements Accelerated Integration Program for Research Segment

Serologicals Corporation today announced that it has begun the implementation of an accelerated integration program for its research segment as outlined in its announcement on June 21, 2005. This program includes the integration of several core functions, including Business Segment Management, R&D/Business Development, Marketing, Technical Support, Scientific Sourcing, Intellectual Property/Licensing and Finance and Accounting. The company expects to achieve operating efficiencies that should result in annual savings of $3.0 million to $3.5 million. "This represents a significant step in the integration of our Upstate and Chemicon units that will enable the company to further improve our high level of customer focus, development and support while enabling us to improve the day-to-day efficiency of the organization," said David A. Dodd, President and Chief Executive Officer of Serologicals

Serologicals Corporation Implements Accelerated Integration Program for Research Segment

BioBOOM Op/Ed: More market consolidation affects and sadly more lost jobs too. Another reflection on poor planning because it can't just be the market since others are growing.

Stem cells may protect brain, nervous system -study in mice

This study showed a single injection of stem cells could be used to treat many different areas of damage in the body, reducing the clinical signs of the disease.
"There is a therapeutic potential in this discovery, but it's still too early to talk about a cure for humans," head of research Gianvito Martino told a news conference.

Health News Article | Reuters.com

Nearly 12,000 Pa. Patients Got Infections

'The deaths associated with those patients and the costs associated with those patients are astounding,' said Marc P. Volavka, the council's executive director. 'These numbers, even on their own, stand as a clarion cry to take action.'" "Hospital-acquired infections in Pennsylvania added $2 billion to hospital costs and extended hospital stays by 205,000 days last year, according to the report by the Pennsylvania Health Care Cost Containment Council.

Nearly 12,000 Pa. Patients Got Infections - Yahoo! News:

Genentech quarterly profit rises 73 pct

The world's second-largest biotechnology company said it now expects 2005 earnings growth, excluding items, of at least 35 percent over 2004 — up from its previous forecast of at least 30 percent.

ABC News: Genentech quarterly profit rises 73 pct

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Should be interesting to watch the markets this morning due to the release of these earnings (5% over forecast). May take the whole sector up. Good news and Avastin & Herceptin look to be great drugs, extending the quality of life for thousands.

Stem Cell Legislation Is at Risk

"'The new science that may involve embryo research but not require destruction of an embryo is tremendously exciting,' Senate Majority Leader Bill Frist (R-Tenn.) said recently. 'It would get you outside of the boundaries of the ethical constraints. But because the value of these new scientific methods remains speculative, they have complicated the political calculus in the highly partisan Senate, which could take up the issue as early as next week."

Stem Cell Legislation Is at Risk:

First of Merck's many court days

On Thursday, opening arguments are to begin in a state court in Angleton in Ernst v. Merck, the first civil case to reach trial among thousands of suits that people who took Vioxx or their families have filed against the drug company. Facing a nearly unlimited number of potential Vioxx claimants, Merck has vowed that it will not settle cases....

First of Merck's many court days - Business - International Herald Tribune

BioBOOM Op/Ed: As Al Haig once said, "It is not a lie, it's a terminological inexactitude". We'll see how long Merck's vow lasts. Another Al, Alex Berenson of The New York Times gives a nice overview of what Merck is facing, worth a read.

NYU's Center For Comparative Functional Genomics Helps To Unravel The Function Of MicroRNAS

MicroRNAs are a recently discovered large class of small, non-coding genes. Each animal genome contains hundreds of these genes, which have been shown to regulate the expression of protein coding genes by binding to partially complementary sites in messenger RNAs. However, little is known about the biological function of these tiny genes, which are encoded in a string of 21 to 24 DNA bases.

NYU's Center For Comparative Functional Genomics Helps To Unravel The Function Of MicroRNAS

Roche Builds Factories for Genetech

Roche announced this week that it is investing $766.3 million in new manufacturing facilities to produce the Genentech cancer drugs Herceptin and Avastin, and the hormone EPO. A new Roche factory in Penzberg, Germany, will make the breast cancer drug Herceptin and cost 400 million Swiss francs ($306.4 million). Another factory, also located in Penzberg, will manufacture the anemia treatment EPO with an investment of 200 million Swiss francs ($153.3 million). Meanwhile, work is beginning on a facility in Basel, Switzerland, to make the active ingredient in Avastin, bevacizumab. This factory will cost 400 million Swiss francs ($306.4 million).

RED HERRING | Roche Builds Factories

BioBOOM Op/Ed: The name of the game now seems to be production capacity and there is plenty of under capacity "if" you have the right biological. In addition, on June 17, Genentech announced its purchase of Biogen Idec’s 60-acre factory in Oceanside, California, for $408 million in cash. Better investment question might be who is getting the bio-production equipment business at these new sites?

BD Announces Agreement to Sell Clontech to Takara

BD (Becton, Dickinson and Company) today announced that it has signed an agreement to sell the Company's Clontech operation, a unit of BD Biosciences, to Takara Bio Inc., Otsu, Japan, subject to regulatory approvals. BD's plan to sell Clontech was previously announced on October 4, 2004.

BD Announces Agreement to Sell Clontech

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Rumor has it for only $60 million!!?? Not a well managed deal for a known brand and "one time" life science contender valued at upwards of $200 mil. Terrible return to share holders. Do we hear a toilet flushing?

Scientists identify novel gene driving the growth and survival of melanoma cells

Scientists at Dana-Farber Cancer Institute have discovered a genetic abnormality in the cells of some advanced melanoma patients that worsens their chances of survival, but also might be a target of future drug attack against the dangerous skin cancer. Abnormal amplification of the MITF gene was found to be associated with other genetic changes as well. They included mutations in a gene, BRAF, previously found in melanoma cells, and silencing of p16, a “tumor-suppressor” gene that normally keeps cells from dividing too rapidly and causing cancer.

Scientists identify novel gene driving the growth and survival of melanoma cells

Study - circumcision reduces HIV

Researchers said circumcision can dramatically reduce the chances that men will be infected with the HIV virus during sexual intercourse. A study conducted in a South African township by South African and French researchers finds that circumcision reduced the risk of transmission by 70 percent in men, a far more successful rate than observers had been expecting. Some experts are calling the development "a major breakthrough." Others want to see more data on the experiment.

Singapore biotech firm discovers new source of stem cells

A Singapore biotech company, CellResearch Corporation, has discovered a new source of stem cells - from the umbilical cord lining. While cord blood stem cells are rich largely in hematopoietic cells which form blood cells, they lack sufficient mesenchymal and epithelial stem cells, both of which are are responsible for creating virtually every cell in the body. Stem cells can also be found in marrow, muscle, skin, nervous tissue and fat. However, their extraction would require surgical intervention which is both uncomfortable and has potential risks. CellResearch Corporation's breakthrough is identifying an alternative source of stem cells that is not only easily accessible, but also possesses both epithelial and mesenchymal stem cells.


Guidant Defibrillators Get Highest Warning

The FDA is investigating how Guidant notified the agency and the public of the problem, said Timothy Ulatowski, FDA's medical device compliance chief."We are continuing to evaluate the circumstances surrounding the notification by Guidant," he said. The agency will announce its findings in "a matter of weeks, not months." Now listed as a Class 1 recall are three models: Ventak Prizm 2 DR (model 1861), Contak Renewal (model H135) and Contak Renewal 2 (model H155.) The FDA said about 20,600 of these devices are still believed to be implanted; at least two patients have died.

Guidant Defibrillators Get Highest Warning - Yahoo! News

Cisco - online push cuts costs and improves care, the plan could prompt wide change

Experts think it could help usher in a new era of health care. The payoff, they say, is not so much the cost savings that typically come with the adoption of technology. The real goal is to build huge warehouses of data about how health care is delivered, what works, and what doesn't. With that information, companies that pay for workers' health care can insist on the adoption of more effective and cost-efficient treatments. Unlike other pay-for-performance programs, Cisco's coalition will tie payments explicitly to technology adoption. One example is e-mail messaging between doctors and patients. Typically, doctors have been reluctant to trade e-mail with patients because they usually don't get paid for sending them, and they're leery of the liability of making a diagnosis over the Net. Now, however, Cisco is offering financial incentives to 8 to 10 big Bay Area medical groups to provide secure messaging to patients. Cisco will pay a fee for an online consultation -- exact prices are being negotiated, but they'll likely be some discount to an office visit. So doctors make money for offering their expertise. And patients don't have to miss a day of work to get routine stuff like sore throats or fevers treated.

Cisco: Paging Dr. Info Tech

Americans Endure 4 Million Drug Reactions a Year

They found that of 500 people, seven would see a doctor for an adverse drug reaction in one year," Zhan said. If you are a doctor, of every 270 patients there will be one who has an adverse drug reaction. If you are an emergency room doctor, then one patient out of every 133 will be seen for an adverse drug reaction

- Forbes.com

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Well that's a huge burden on health care systems. 74% of people with adverse drug reactions were seen at a doctor's office, 20%went to hospital emergency rooms, and 6% were seen at hospital outpatient departments, according to the report. Besides improved computer records and the suggestion to discuss treatment with relatives whom may also have had reactions may we suggest the need for metabolic profiling and additional investment in genomic screening for a more personalized approach, which the article does not seem to mention.

Scientists Cite Success in Vaccine Hunt

It's a gene-searching technique that goes by the humble name "multiple genome screen." But the research, led by Chiron Corp., elicited a "wow" from the government's infectious disease chief. "It opens up a new arena" in developing vaccines against multiple strains of diseases, said Dr. Anthony Fauci, head of the National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases. "This is a very, very elegant, potentially usable avenue to go after that whole concept of universal vaccines."

Scientists Cite Success in Vaccine Hunt - Yahoo! News

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Need to follow this development at Chiron closely as it seems it might be a major breakthrough. More exciting, the genetic-screening technique may help develop vaccines against a variety of microbes where multiple-strain protection is a roadblock, said Fauci, whose National Institutes of Health division helped fund the research.

China - Scientists Map Genetic on-off Switches in Human Genome

A new step to decode information in the human genome, scientists have discovered the location and sequence of over ten thousand DNA regions that function as genetic on-off switches in human fibroblast cells. In this study, the researchers also developed an efficient method to identify thousands of regulatory sequences in deferent cells, according to a paper published Wednesday in the online version of the journal Nature.

Xinhua - English

Test reveals gender early in pregnancy Ethicists fear use in sex selection

Scientific work on fetal DNA analysis has been racing ahead since the late 1990s, when researchers first discovered, to their amazement, that in a pregnant woman's blood, some ''cell-free" DNA -- DNA that is floating around in clumps rather than contained in the nucleus of a cell -- comes from the fetus. The fetal DNA is believed to get into the mother's blood through the barrier of the placenta. The test includes a finger-prick kit for collecting a blood specimen, which is then sent to the lab for analysis. The lab amplifies the DNA and then looks for the presence of a Y chromosome, which only males have. Presence of the chromosome generally means the fetus must be male; its absence means a female

Test reveals gender early in pregnancy Ethicists fear use in sex selection - The Boston Globe - Boston.com - Women's Health - Your Life

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Boy's R Us? Best use for technology will be for Down's syndrome or other genetic diseases. Despite the concerns of a bias towards male selection it's ironic that a number of the feared problems that could be inherited are more male related. Therefore "enlighted" expecting parents might be better off hoping for a female child. Well that's what my daughter will tell me. All this comes down to education. Lets not shoot the messenger or the technology but rather educate the misguided. Some people just want to know so they can decide a paint color for the nursery.

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