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

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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

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