Science: The GM crop that will sow less bitterness - RNAi

Researchers in Germany have developed a way of engineering plants so they can flourish in difficult conditions without raising an ethical storm. Ed Yong reports when is a genetically modified plant not genetically modified? When its genes are being suppressed rather than spliced, claim researchers from Bayer CropScience. Michael Metzlaff, head of Bayer's crop productivity research group, has developed a way to fine tune the repressive levels of PARP so the plant can continue to grow while still being protected from the elements. He uses a technique called RNA interference, which employs a special molecule to block the message sent from the DNA that tells the plant to produce more of the PARP protein. The gene isn't completely shut off, but the plant's hyperactive stress response is toned down.
"The plants are more relaxed," says Metzlaff. "They can lean back and just do what they have to do."
Metzlaff's method can be very specifically targeted to a plant of choice, using parts of the PARP genetic sequence that do not exist in other species. This tight control should allay fears from the anti-GM lobby that the RNA molecule could spread and harm other species in the area.

Science: The GM crop that will sow less bitterness - Telegraph

Glow-in-dark cats

South Korean scientists have cloned cats by manipulating a fluorescent protein gene, the cloned cats glow in the dark when exposed to ultraviolet beams.




Glow-in-dark cats may enlighten humans - Science - Specials - smh.com.au\

Oh, I gotta get me one of these!

As Drug Industry Struggles, Chemists Face Layoff Wave

A byproduct of the late-19th-century chemical business, pharmaceutical research thrived for more than a century by finding chemical combinations to treat diseases. But after contributing substantially both to human health and drug-industry profits, it has failed to produce significant innovations in recent years. It isn't clear how many chemists have lost pharmaceutical-company jobs. But overall, 116,000 chemists were employed in 2006, down from 140,000 in 2003, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. During the same period, employment of biologists rose to 116,000 from 112,000. Just as the rise of biotechnology is contributing to an economic boom in Northern California, the decline of chemical-based research is hurting the Michigan cities of Ann Arbor and Kalamazoo, along with some regions of New Jersey and Illinois.

As Drug Industry Struggles, Chemists Face Layoff Wave - WSJ.com










Blood Test to Detect Lung Cancer Being Eyed

Publishing in the Dec. 10 issue of the Journal of Clinical Oncology, researchers said a test for four blood proteins -- CEA, RBP, SCC and AAT -- may provide a simple follow-up for patients who've had suspicious chest lesions detected by imaging methods such as CT scan.


Blood Test to Detect Lung Cancer Being Eyed - Forbes.com

Genes Yield More Clues to Schizophrenia

A U.S. team has spotted nine genetic markers that can increase a person's risk for schizophrenia.

Genes Yield More Clues to Schizophrenia - Forbes.com

BioBOOM Op/Ed: Ok new pre-employment screen !

Duke scientists identify 'silenced genes'

Duke University scientists now have identified these "silenced genes," creating the first map of this unique group of about 200 genes believed to play a profound role in people's health.
More intriguing, the work marks an important step in studying how our environment - food, stress, pollution - interacts with genes to help determine why some people get sick and others do not.
"What we have is a bag of gold nuggets," lead researcher Dr. Randy Jirtle said about the collection of "imprinted" genes. The team's findings were published online Friday by the journal Genome Research.
Next comes work to prove exactly what role these genes play. "Some will be real gold and some will be fool's gold," Jirtle added.

newsobserver.com Duke scientists identify 'silenced genes'

Rite Aid Stores in West Selling a Paternity Test Kit

The move into the pharmacy is another in the spread of genetic testing directly to consumers. Many genetic tests, for health and diet advice, ancestry and paternity, are already available directly to consumers through the Internet. But Sorenson hopes the corner drugstore will appeal to different customers, including those who do not want to wait three or five days for a kit to arrive in the mail after ordering it over the Internet.


Rite Aid Stores in West Selling a Paternity Test Kit - New York Times

Just Off Insular Senate Floor, Life of the Uninsured Intrudes

Some private studies suggest that one in three Americans under the age of 65 may have been uninsured at some time in the last two years.

U.S. Senators have access to a wide range of insurance options through the Federal Employees Health Benefits Program. Congress has its own “attending physician” — actually, a team of 5 doctors and 14 nurses who work in the Capitol and nearby Congressional office buildings. Lawmakers can fill prescriptions at a small pharmacy in the Capitol. For more serious problems, they can use nearby military hospitals.

Just Off Insular Senate Floor, Life of the Uninsured Intrudes - New York Times

Man Who Helped Start Stem Cell War May End It


Dr. Thomson’s laboratory at the University of Wisconsin bwas one of two that in 1998 plucked stem cells from human embryos for the first time, destroying the embryos in the process and touching off a divisive national debate. And on Tuesday, his laboratory was one of two that reported a new way to turn ordinary human skin cells into what appear to be embryonic stem cells without ever using a human embryo.

Man Who Helped Start Stem Cell War May End It - New York Times


On Wisconsin ..On Wisconsin...
. . . . FORWARD

Scientists Bypass Need for Embryo to Get Stem Cells

Two teams of scientists reported yesterday that they had turned human skin cells into what appear to be embryonic stem cells without having to make or destroy an embryo — a feat that could quell the ethical debate troubling the field. All they had to do, the scientists said, was add four genes. The genes reprogrammed the chromosomes of the skin cells, making the cells into blank slates that should be able to turn into any of the 220 cell types of the human body, be it heart, brain, blood or bone. Until now, the only way to get such human universal cells was to pluck them from a human embryo several days after fertilization, destroying the embryo in the process

Scientists Bypass Need for Embryo to Get Stem Cells - New York Times

Cannabis Compound May Stop Metastatic Breast Cancer

The compound found in cannabis, called cannabidiol (CBD), inhibits a gene, Id-1, that researchers believe is responsible for the metastatic process that spreads cells from the original tumor throughout the body.

Cannabis Compound May Stop Metastatic Breast Cancer - Yahoo! News

Smok'em if ya gott'em but then again the lung cancer might get ya instead

Cell Insights May Predict Breast Cancer's Spread

U.S. researchers believe they're on the way to solving a major question about breast cancer: Which women have a type of lesion in their breast duct that will progress to invasive disease?
"It's an exciting step forward -- people have been trying to get traction on this big clinical problem for about 40 years, and this is a big crack in the door," said lead researcher Thea Tlsty, a professor of pathology at the University of California, San Francisco.

Cell Insights May Predict Breast Cancer's Spread - Yahoo! News

Report Urges Regulation of Genetic Tests

That committee's draft report, released Tuesday, found significant gaps in regulation and called on the government and private businesses to work together. Some testing, such as those for caffeine metabolism and fetus gender testing are "skirting the boundaries" of current regulation, the report concluded. It said the Clinical Laboratories Improvement Amendments of 1988, which cover lab regulations, should be expanded to cover genetic testing

Report Urges Regulation of Genetic Tests - Forbes.com

Monsanto is developing genetically modified plants that use RNA interference to kill the insects that eat them

Researchers have created plants that kill insects by disrupting their gene expression. The crops, which initiate a gene-silencing response called RNA interference, are a step beyond existing genetically modified crops that produce toxic proteins. Because the new crops target particular genes in particular insects, some researchers suggest that they will be safer and less likely to have unintended effects than other genetically modified plants. Others warn that it is too early to make such predictions and that the plants should be carefully tested to ensure that they do not pose environmental problems. But most researchers agree that it's unlikely that eating these plants would have adverse effects on humans.


Technology Review: Crops That Shut Down Pests' Genes

Sigma-Aldrich and Oxford BioMedica Win Key Ruling in Open Biosystems Patent Infringement Dispute

Based on discoveries by Oxford Biomedica's Drs. Susan and Alan Kingsman and others, scientists are now able to safely use modified lentiviruses as vectors, which enable RNAi to be effectively utilized as a research tool to unlock the secrets of the genetic code. As stated in the Court's Order, the viral vector developed by the Kingsmans' is expected to be useful as a "smart bomb" to safely "deliver new genetic material into specific cells, such as cells that do not divide or that divide slowly," giving the delivery of genes that produce dopamine into a Parkinson's disease patient's brain cells, as an example.

Sigma-Aldrich and Oxford BioMedica Win Key Ruling in Open Biosystems Patent Infringement Dispute: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance

Cool movie = RAPID EYE MOVEMENT

On October 23rd, 2007 a cool indie movie, RAPID EYE MOVEMENT, will be officially released and available on DVD. This indie thriller is 90 minutes of fast paced excitement! It stars Kansas Carradine in her feature debut, (daughter of KILL BILL 1 and KILL BILL 2's David Carradine), along with Federic Vial, who is the star of the BMW Motorcycle Films. Just in time for Halloween, this film has received 3.5 out of 4 stars on HorrorYearBook.com. Dr. Royce Clemens is quoting as saying, “As it stands, RAPID EYE MOVEMENT is a very impressive work that shows great promise. And in the land of the timid, I was blown away by the film’s insistence upon itself and the Mad-Prophet zeal of Tuckman himself.”

The film was shot on a shoe string budget with the heart and soul of true indie filmmaking and will keep you entertained to the very twisted ending.

You can check out the trailer at:

http://store.yorkentertainment.com/pgcart.pga?product=YPD-1424

and buy your own copy at:

http://video.barnesandnoble.com/search/results.asp?quickSearchType=TTL&FRM=0&quickSearchText=rapid+eye+movement&z=y

If you can, please forward this to your friends to help with our grass roots effort to support indie films. Thank you and enjoy the show!

I am creating artificial life, declares US gene pioneer, Venter

MARK THIS DATE: A team of 20 top scientists assembled by Mr Venter, led by the Nobel laureate Hamilton Smith, has already constructed a synthetic chromosome, a feat of virtuoso bio-engineering never previously achieved. Using lab-made chemicals, they have painstakingly stitched together a chromosome that is 381 genes long and contains 580,000 base pairs of genetic code. The DNA sequence is based on the bacterium Mycoplasma genitalium which the team pared down to the bare essentials needed to support life, removing a fifth of its genetic make-up. The wholly synthetically reconstructed chromosome, which the team have christened Mycoplasma laboratorium, has been watermarked with inks for easy recognition. It is then transplanted into a living bacterial cell and in the final stage of the process it is expected to take control of the cell and in effect become a new life form. The team of scientists has already successfully transplanted the genome of one type of bacterium into the cell of another, effectively changing the cell's species. Mr Venter said he was "100% confident" the same technique would work for the artificially created chromosome

I am creating artificial life, declares US gene pioneer Science The Guardian

Computers Boost Antibody-Based Drugs

Developing antibody-based drugs is a complex and time-consuming process. Scientists harvest antibodies from mice that have been injected with the target antigen. They then try to optimize the molecules by growing them in yeast and searching for random mutations that make the antibody bind to its target more tightly.

A computer program developed at MIT could vastly improve the design of antibody drugs. The software identified improvements in the anticancer drug cetuximab that increased its binding affinity by a factor of 10 in subsequent laboratory tests--a change that could lead to lower drug dosages and increased drug efficacy.


Technology Review: Computers Boost Antibody-Based Drugs

MicroRNAs may be key to HIV's ability to hide, evade drugs

The team showed that a cluster of miRNAs bind to a certain location on the viral RNA, which in turn, blocks the creation of important proteins, and HIV replication. Resting CD4 T cells, they found, are “enriched” with more than the normal amount of these miRNAs compared to the activated T cells. When the researchers used antisense technology to block miRNA-caused viral inhibition, they found that the HIV again was active and able to replicate – proving miRNA’s critical role in maintaining latency.

MicroRNAs may be key to HIV's ability to hide, evade drugs, Jefferson scientists find

Is DCA "The Cure" for Cancer?

DCA is an odourless, colourless, inexpensive, relatively non-toxic, small molecule. And researchers at the University of Alberta believe it may soon be used as an effective treatment for many forms of cancer.

Official University of Alberta DCA Site

BIRD FLU IN SASKATCHEWAN CANADA

The Government of Canada has put in place movement restrictions to prevent the spread of avian influenza in Saskatchewan. Avian influenza is a highly contagious disease in birds. Movement of birds, bird products, or things that may have come in contact with birds may cause the spread of avian influenza.

Canadian Food Inspection Agency - Avian Influenza - Saskatchewan (2007) - Public Notice - MOVEMENT RESTRICTIONS IN PLACE TO PREVENT THE SPREAD OF AVIAN INFLUENZA IN SASKATCHEWAN

Researchers develop new technique to synthesize drugs faster

Chemists spend hours synthesizing compounds that a cell can make in minutes. Now, researchers have demonstrated a way to bridge that gap. They've synthesized a complex natural product by taking enzymes used by a cell and mixing them with simple starting materials in a single flask. The one-step process offers a simple, potentially quicker way to manufacture drugs based on molecules found in nature

Technology Review: Natural Products Made in a Test Tube

DNA unraveled - New info Francis Collin's calls a scientific revolution

The discoveries have one common theme: Cellular processes long assumed to be "genetic" appear quite often to be the result of highly complex interactions occurring in regions of DNA void of genes. This is roughly akin to Wall Street waking to the realization that money doesn't make the world go 'round, after all. "It's a radical concept, one that a lot of scientists aren't very happy with," said Francis S. Collins, director of the National Human Genome Research Institute. "But the scientific community is going to have to rethink what genes are, what they do and don't do, and how the genome's functional elements have evolved. "I think we're all pretty awed by what we're seeing," Collins said. "It amounts to a scientific revolution."

DNA unraveled - The Boston Globe

A Dream Team Of Drugs And Diagnosis?

If a deal is struck, a Roche-Ventana team could help launch the expected medical revolution - personalized medicine.

In the coming decade, pharmaceutical products--especially cancer drugs--will be created in tandem with diagnostic tests that tell doctors which patients are likely to benefit. Right now, physicians often feel they're flying blind. Each patient arrives at the hospital with a unique genetic makeup, which affects whether a prescribed drug will kill tumor cells, cause devastating side effects, or possibly do nothing at all. If a new generation of gene tests can help predict these different outcomes, patients will be spared expensive and unhelpful ordeals. The pool of target patients for many medications will also shrink. But if doctors are confident a drug will help somebody, they'll prescribe it aggressively, and insurers will be more likely to foot the bill.

A Dream Team Of Drugs And Diagnosis? Business Week.

Senate OKs FDA drug safety bill and Pharma has to fund the measures

The new FDA powers are a response to serious problems that emerged in patients who took Merck & Co Inc's withdrawn arthritis drug Vioxx and other medicines. Critics said the FDA was too slow to respond to signs linking Vioxx to heart attacks and strokes, as well as risks associated with antidepressants and other drugs. Lawmakers decided the agency needed clear authority to compel drugmakers to add new warnings or finish post-approval studies that might detect risks not seen in pre-market trials. The legislation extends for five years and increases the fees that drug and medical device makers pay to help fund product reviews. Pharmaceutical company payments will total nearly $393 million in fiscal 2008, which begins October 1, about $87 million more than the current level. Drugmakers will pay an additional $225 million over five years to help fund post-approval safety monitoring. The amount could go down if Congress provides money for the same purpose. For the first time, drug and device makers must post basic results for clinical trials of approved products in a public database. The bill also includes an FDA and industry agreement for companies to pay fees to fund agency reviews of television commercials that are submitted voluntarily

Senate OKs FDA drug safety bill - washingtonpost.com

Genome Area Linked to Rheumatoid Arthritis

The findings add to a growing body of evidence that this region: chromosome 9, complement component 5 (C5) and TNF receptor-associated factor 1 (TRAF1) is associated with rheumatoid arthritis, which is caused by an abnormal immune response to various tissues within the body. The condition affects about one percent of people in developed countries


Genome Area Linked to Rheumatoid Arthritis - washingtonpost.com

Will Sharing Ideas Advance Cancer Research?

Avichai Kremer, a 32-year-old who has ALS, the neurodegenerative illness also known as Lou Gehrig's disease, is co-founder of the Prize4Life, which is awarding a $1 million prize for ALS biomarker discovery. The National Institutes of Health announced this year a program called the New Innovator Award offering grants of up to $1.5 million over five years for innovative research projects that don't have extensive preliminary data.

In addition, the National Cancer Institute is helping companies find a way to collaborate in drug testing without worrying about intellectual-property issues. The medical journal the Oncologist is encouraging the publication of failed medical trials in order to bring the ideas behind these trials -- which otherwise would never see the light of day -- to a broader audience. And Mr. Goldstein's father, Alfred, with help from the family's other son, Mark, also developed a venture that aims to improve idea-sharing: Through "Project Hope," named for his late wife, Alfred Goldstein guarantees certain funding for specific projects and requires the researchers share results with each other on a regular basis.

The Gotham Prize is a particularly ambitious project that is attracting attention. The foundation of the Ira Sohn Investment Research Conference, which runs the conference as a benefit to raise money for cancer, will fund an additional $250,000 prize for the best pediatric-cancer idea submitted to the Gotham site. Ephraim Gildor, founder of Axiom Investment Advisors, is also providing financial support for the prize.

Will Sharing Ideas Advance Cancer Research? - WSJ.com

Genetics Hold Promise, Challenges for Cancer Care

The "genetics generation" has much to be proud of, however. The mapping of the human genome in the late 1990s, the advent of high-output methods to comb through thousands of genes, and a deepening knowledge of the complexities of DNA and RNA are bringing new discoveries each week.
Some of the highlights from just the past year:
Last August, a U.S. team announced the first-ever gene test aimed at pinpointing which patients with early stage lung cancer will benefit from post-operative chemotherapy, and which can be spared the arduous treatment.
That same month, Canadian researchers reported on a new model to speed the identification of mutations linked to a silent killer, ovarian cancer. Spotting those genes could pinpoint women at risk.
A $100 million U.S. project called the Cancer Genome Atlas announced its first major achievement in September -- the mapping of genomes for breast and colon cancer. Scientists say they were able to identify 100 mutations thought responsible for each of those malignancies.
In March, British scientists reported that they had pinpointed 100 mutated genes that help drive more than 210 different cancer types. "This set of genes is known to regulate key functions in virtually all cell processes of growth, differentiation," researcher Andrew Futreal, of the Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute in Cambridge, said at the time.
And, in April, a team at Duke University said it had found genes that encourage breast cancer's spread to the lungs, as well as mutations that hamper chemotherapy's therapeutic effects.
It all looks very promising. But Lichtenfeld said that every DNA discovery has its downside, too.
"The more that we learn, the more complex it is going to get," he said.


Genetics Hold Promise, Challenges for Cancer Care - Yahoo! News

Wine grape genome decoded, flavor genes found

While the findings will do nothing to enhance the mystique of winemaking, they could pave the way for gene-based manipulations to boost flavor and improve resistance against disease.

Wine grape genome decoded, flavour genes found - Yahoo! News

Study Finds Virus Contributes to Obesity

New research announced Monday found that when human stem cells _ the blank slate of the cell world _ were exposed to a common virus they turned into fat cells. They didn't just change, they stored fat, too.

Study Finds Virus Contributes to Obesity - washingtonpost.com

Artificial life likely in 3 to 10 years

"It's going to be a big deal and everybody's going to know about it," said Mark Bedau, chief operating officer of ProtoLife of Venice, Italy, one of those in the race. "We're talking about a technology that could change our world in pretty fundamental ways - in fact, in ways that are impossible to predict."
That first cell of synthetic life - made from the basic chemicals in DNA - may not seem like much to non-scientists. For one thing, you'll have to look in a microscope to see it.
"Creating protocells has the potential to shed new light on our place in the universe," Bedau said. "This will remove one of the few fundamental mysteries about creation in the universe and our role."
And several scientists believe man-made life forms will one day offer the potential for solving a variety of problems, from fighting diseases to locking up greenhouse gases to eating toxic waste.
Bedau figures there are three major hurdles to creating synthetic life:
- A container, or membrane, for the cell to keep bad molecules out, allow good ones, and the ability to multiply.
- A genetic system that controls the functions of the cell, enabling it to reproduce and mutate in response to environmental changes.
- A metabolism that extracts raw materials from the environment as food and then changes it into energy.

Artificial life likely in 3 to 10 years from the AP health wire

Inflammation, Angiogenesis And Breast Cancer Linked In Chain Of Events

A well-known inflammatory protein spawns an enzyme that inactivates two tumor-suppressing genes, ultimately triggering production of new blood vessels to nourish breast cancer cells, researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center report in the August edition of the journal Cell. "This is a completely new pathway for inflammation-induced cancer and may provide new targets for clinical intervention," senior author Mien-Chie Hung, Ph.D., professor and chair of M. D. Anderson's Department of Molecular and Cellular Oncology says of the chain of events described in the journal. Hung and colleagues showed that IKKa phosphorylates CBP in the nucleus, switching CBP's binding preference to the NF"B oncogene, promoting cell growth. Unphosphorylated CBP helps p53 do its job suppressing cancer by forcing defective cells to kill themselves, programmed cell death known as apoptosis.

Inflammation, Angiogenesis And Breast Cancer Linked In Chain Of Events

Amgen cutting costs as key anemia drug sales fall

Amgen's Epogen and its newer and longer-lasting Aranesp were the top revenue producing biotech drugs in the United States last year, respectively reaping sales of $2.5 billion and $4.1 billion, funded in large part by government health programs in the United States and abroad. This year is a different story. Anemia drug revenue at Amgen has dipped 10 percent in the first half and the company's shares have shed nearly 27 percent of their value as safety and overuse concerns fuel reimbursement cutbacks by the agency that runs government health programs for elderly, disabled and poor Americans.

Amgen cutting costs as key anemia drug sales fall News Market News Reuters

Patient in Experimental Gene Therapy Study Dies, F.D.A. Says

The case could be another setback for gene therapy, a field with a troubled history and numerous treatment failures, including the death of a teenager in 1999 in an experiment. The new therapy being tested, made by Targeted Gemetics of Seattle, is a virus-based product injected directly in the joints in hope of relieving active inflammatory arthritis. That chronic condition can affect multiple joints and organs, and it is quite different from the wear-and-tear arthritis that commonly occurs with aging. The patient became ill soon after receiving a second injection, the drug agency said. The date is not exactly clear, but the illness was recognized as a “serious adverse event” last Friday, and the agency immediately suspended the study. That means no more injections can be given. The patient died on Tuesday.


Patient in Experimental Gene Therapy Study Dies, F.D.A. Says - New York Times

Key to a long life -- less insulin in the brain

This study provides a new explanation of why it's good to exercise and not eat too much," said Dr. Morris White, a Howard Hughes Medical Institute investigator at Children's Hospital in Boston who led the study. The findings also raise questions about how desirable it is to use insulin to treat type 2 diabetes, said the researche


Key to a long life -- less insulin in the brain Health Reuters

Potential cure for HIV discovered

In a breakthrough that could potentially lead to a cure for HIV infection, scientists have discovered a way to remove the virus from infected cells, a study released today said.
The scientists engineered an enzyme which attacks the DNA of the HIV virus and cuts it out of the infected cell, according to the study published in Science magazine.

Potential cure for HIV discovered - Forbes.com

RNAi Research brings hope of curing brain disease

The scientists found that regular injections of RNAi mixed with the rabies virus fragment shut down genes in around half of the cells in the animals' brains and stopped the disease from spreading. Of the mice that received injections, 80% were cured, while all of the mice that were untreated died, the team report in Nature.

Therapies based on RNA interference have become the next great hope for medicine, and a large number are either in or about to start early clinical trials in humans.


Research brings hope of curing brain disease Special reports Guardian Unlimited

As Breeders Test DNA, Dogs Become Guinea Pigs

Free of most of the ethical concerns — and practical difficulties — associated with the practice of eugenics in humans, dog breeders are seizing on new genetic research to exert dominion over the canine gene pool

As Breeders Test DNA, Dogs Become Guinea Pigs - New York Times

12 Gene Tests That Could Change Your Life

In the past three months scientists have unearthed solid evidence for six diabetes-causing gene variants, several variants involved in prostate cancer and an obesity gene that adds 7 pounds of fat if you have the bad version. Two groups have found a genetic quirk on chromosome 9 that boosts your risk of having a heart attack by 40% to 60%. In late May British researchers using a study of 44,000 patients published data pointing to four new genes linked to breast cancer

12 Gene Tests That Could Change Your Life - Forbes.com

Gene Therapy Used to Cure Mice Blindness

In a paper published online in Tuesday's edition of Nature Medicine, the Florida scientists working with Jackson research scientist Bo Chang describe their use of a harmless virus to deliver corrective genes to mice with a genetic impairment that deprives them of vision. The discovery shows that it's possible to target and rescue cone cells, the most important cells for visual sharpness and color vision in people.

Gene Therapy Used to Cure Mice Blindness - New York Times

Wake-up call to genes may lead to cure for baldness

Researchers at the University of Pennsylvania believe they may have found it. In experiments on mice they have shown that when a wound heals, instead of forming scar tissue it can be stimulated to regenerate skin complete with hair follicles and oil glands by introducing proteins involved in hair follicle development (known as "wnt" proteins).

Wake-up call to genes may lead to cure for baldness - Independent Online Edition > Health Medical

Professors Develop ANTI Cancer Protein

A protein that can stop the spread of certain cancer cells without damaging normal cells.

Thomas Pento and Roger Harrison helped develop a fusion protein that keeps some types of cancer cells from ingesting a vital protein called methionine. The fusion protein doesn't affect normal cells because, unlike cancer cells, they can be healthy without that protein

Okla. Professors Develop Cancer Protein - washingtonpost.com

Elusive 'ambulance' cells are created

The cells that help build the body's supply of blood and arteries have been created from human embryonic stem cells in substantial numbers for the first time, scientists reported Monday.
The cells have shown promise in lab animal treatment of diabetes, heart disease and wounds

Elusive 'ambulance' cells are created - USATODAY.com

New Hampshire Law Banning Commercial Use of Prescription Information Declared Unconstitutional

The judge ruled in favor of IMS Health and Verispan LLC, two leading health information companies, which jointly filed a lawsuit seeking to prevent the State from enforcing the statute that went into effect in June 2006.

New Hampshire Law Banning Commercial Use of Prescription Information Declared Unconstitutional: Financial News - Yahoo! Finance

Cancer Biomarkers Could Help Guide Treatment

Vanderbilt University researchers identified 44 peptides (protein fragments) that can be used to determine response to tyrosine kinase inhibitor drug therapy -- combined with radiation therapy -- in patients battling lung or brain cancer.

Cancer Biomarkers Could Help Guide Treatment - Forbes.com

Gene discovery raises hope of treatment for memory loss

Scientist that found that mice carrying a defective version of a gene performed better than others when trained to swim to a hidden platform in a water tank. "If a person were reading a page of a textbook, it might take several times to memorise it," said Mauro Costa-Mattioli, a researcher on the team. "A human equivalent of these mice would get the information right away." The scientists now hope to follow up their discovery by finding a drug that improves memory by interfering with the memory-blocking protein. "If such a pill could be generated, it might provide a new method for treating people with memory-related disease such as Alzheimer's," said Dr Costa-Mattioli, whose study appears in the journal Cell.

Gene discovery raises hope of treatment for memory loss Special reports Guardian Unlimited

Politics called threat to CDC

Maintaining public trust in scientific integrity at a time when there is a perception of political ideology intruding into public health decisions and public health policy is one of the major issues faced by the
CDC.

read on...

Politics called threat to CDC ajc.com: "vaccinations.'"

Tuberculosis in South Africa - A Global System in Crisis

The outbreak is not limited to Africa. Dr. Paul Nunn, a tuberculosis expert at the World Health Organization, told the meeting here that one or more cases of XDR-TB had been found in at least 28 countries. Extrapolating from data about the multidrug-resistant form of tuberculosis, Dr. Nunn estimated that two-thirds of the XDR-TB cases were from China, India and Russia

Tuberculosis in South Africa - A Global System in Crisis - Health - News - New York Times

$1.5 Billion Doesn’t Guarantee Good Science

... IT's the matastases, stupid!

The cancer atlas will catalog mutations in primary tumors—those solid masses in lung, breast, prostate and other tissues. But what kills an estimated 90 percent of cancer patients is not the primary tumor (you can live without a prostate). It is metastases. These are malignant cells that spread to a vital organ like the brain. "What matters for survival is not the primary tumor but the rare cells—1 in 50,000—in it that give rise to metastases," says Miklos. Identifying all the mutations in a tumor is overkill, especially since the atlas will not zero in on mutations that underlie metastasis.

$1.5 Billion Doesn’t Guarantee Good Science - Newsweek Technology - MSNBC.com

Seas Yield Surprising Catch of Unknown Genes - Venter's Voyage


Perhaps most exciting, said study leader J. Craig Venter, is that the rate of discovery of new genes and proteins -- the building blocks of life -- was as great at the end of the voyage as it was at the start, suggesting that humanity is nowhere close to closing the logbooks on global biodiversity.
"Instead of being at the end of discovery, it means we're in the earliest stages," said Venter, chairman of the J. Craig Venter Institute, a nonprofit gene research center. "That is a pretty stunning view."

Seas Yield Surprising Catch of Unknown Genes - washingtonpost.com

BioBOOM Op/Ed: As our sea going hero of the "omics" era continues his ability to discover....How would you like to be in a business model that will last some time?
We read from this that those companies supplying tools, instruments, infomatics and reagents to support the laboratory based "mining" effort of genes and proteins are in for a continued long term ride it seems. Way to go Craig!

Affymetrix Shares Up On Legal Victory over Illumina

By the closing bell Wednesday, shares of Affymetrix rose $1.57 to $28.19. Shares of Illumina also increased, climbing 2.4%, or 68 cents, to $29.54, but that is down from $31.30 on Monday and $40 early in February.

Affymetrix Shares Up On Legal Victory - Forbes.com

Friendster for Proteins

The body contains 25,000 genes, which can form as many as 1 million proteins interacting in hundreds of millions of ways. Perhaps only 5% to 10% of all protein and gene interactions have been documented so far. Network biologists' ultimate aim, still a decade away, is to create computer programs that could simulate the effects of drugs on cells in the same way that Boeing simulates a new jetliner before it flies.

It is only within the past ten years that a new array of high-speed genetic tools has made network maps possible, by allowing researchers to look at thousands of genes or proteins at once and measuring how they interact. Then researchers can go back to cells or animals to test whether the predictions hold true.

Friendster for Proteins - Forbes.com

Scientists Discover 'Natural Barrier' to HIV

The finding, reported in the March 4 online issue of Nature Medicine, "is very interesting and unexpected," said Dr. Jeffrey Laurence, director of the Laboratory for AIDS Virus Research at the Weill Cornell Medical College, in New York City. "It may explain part of the relative inefficiency of HIV in being transmitted."

Scientists Discover 'Natural Barrier' to HIV - Yahoo! News

6 Get Grants From U.S. to Support Bio-Refineries

The awards will finance up to 40 percent of the projects, which are expected to total more than $1.2 billion. The projects, which are scattered from Florida to Kansas to California, aim to produce more than 120 million gallons of cellulosic ethanol a year.

6 Get Grants From U.S. to Support Bio-Refineries - New York Times

New ultra-thin technology developed

Science journal Nature today released the findings of a team of researchers from the University of Manchester and the Max-Planck Institute in Germany. The physicists have successfully created a membrane only one atom thick that is capable of existing in a free state.

The researchers believe the membranes could be used like sieves to filter light gases through an atomic mesh or to make miniature electro-mechanical switches. They could also be used as non-obscuring support for electron microscopy to study molecules, allowing for the quick analysis of atomic structures of bio-active molecules in medical research


New ultra-thin technology developed The Australian

AIDS virus weakness detected


U.S.National Institutes of Health researcher Peter Kwong said the study, published in the journal Nature, may reveal HIV's long-sought "site of vulnerability" that can be targeted with a vaccine aimed at preventing initial infection. "Having that site and knowing that you can make antibodies against it means that a vaccine is possible," Kwong said in a telephone interview

AIDS virus weakness detected - Yahoo! News

Scientists Develop Gene-Activating Technique

The study findings are significant because they demonstrate the most effective and consistent method developed so far for prompting genes to make the proteins necessary for gene expression, said senior author Dr. David Corey, a professor of pharmacology.

Scientists Develop Gene-Activating Technique - Forbes.com

Rumors Fly About Bristol, Lifting Stock

Shares of both Bristol-Myers Squibb and its supposed suitor, Sanofi-Aventis, traded heavily yesterday on speculation that the companies might merge to form one of the world’s largest drug companies.

Rumors Fly About Bristol, Lifting Stock - New York Times

In need of cash, Dems see billions in biotech

In need of cash, Dems see billions in biotech: "Senior Democratic lawmakers are close to introducing legislation to create a pathway for the approval of generic biological drugs in the hopes that the cheaper medicines will create billions of dollars in budget savings, which could be used to offset some of the cost of expanding federal health programs"

Virulent TB in South Africa May Imperil Millions - New York Times

Virulent TB in South Africa May Imperil Millions - New York Times: "The form of TB, known as XDR for extensively drug-resistant, cannot be effectively treated with most first- and second-line tuberculosis drugs, and some doctors consider it incurable. Since it was first detected last year in KwaZulu-Natal Province, bordering the Indian Ocean, additional cases have been found at 39 hospitals in South Africa’s other eight provinces. In interviews on Friday, several epidemiologists and TB experts said the disease had probably moved into Lesotho, Swaziland and Mozambique — countries that share borders and migrant work forces with South Africa — and perhaps to Zimbabwe, which sends hundreds of thousands of destitute refugees to and from South Africa each.

MDS Buying Molecular Devices for $615M

And now for the most expected sale in life sciences...as predicted by many over many years, only question was who.

Drug developer MDS Inc. said Monday it is buying bioanalytical measurement systems maker Molecular Devices Corp. for $615 million in cash. Under terms of the deal, MDS will pay $35.50 per share for all outstanding shares of Molecular Devices. The offer represents a 48.7 percent premium over Molecular Devices' closing price of $23.88 on Friday. The total price includes $585 million to buy outstanding shares plus $30 million for outstanding stock options

MDS Buying Molecular Devices for $615M

Potential Method of Blocking Cancer Cell Growth Identified - Yahoo! News

Potential Method of Blocking Cancer Cell Growth Identified - Yahoo! News: "This method of preventing the growth of cancer cells may provide new targets for new cancer drugs, Wagner said. 'These drugs would work on the principle of inhibiting protein-protein interactions,' he said."

Blog Archive