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Growing a backbone

By | June 18, 2008

Researchers have discovered a conserved mechanism among vertebrates that determines body segment number, according to a study published online in Nature today (June 18). The number of body segments an organism has varies greatly between species: our vertebrae, a measly thirty-three in number, hardly stack up to the 300-plus in our slithering co-vertebrates. But anatomists and embryologists have puzzled over a mechanism to explain the difference. "If you were to ask most biologists w

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Billions for biotech

By | June 17, 2008

Maryland Governor Martin O'Malley announced his proposal to invest $1.1 billion in biotech industry, which could trump the $1 billion already signed by Massachusetts Governor Deval Patrick on Monday (June 16). Now the race for the biggest biotech hub on the east coast begins in earnest. Maryland's proposal, which O'Malley discussed during a visit to Johns Hopkins University yesterday, would allot funds for a biotechnology center, start-up companies, and $20 million annually for stem cell resea

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Revise HIPAA: Health researchers

By | June 17, 2008

A rule meant to protect the privacy of medical patients impedes critical health research by limiting access to stored tissue and genetic datasets and by hampering research participant recruitment, according to an Association of Academic Health Centers (AAHC) linkurl:report;http://www.aahcdc.org/policy/reddot/AAHC_HIPAA_Creating_Barriers.pdf released yesterday (Jun 16). This sentiment echoes linkurl:concerns;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/53866/ previously voiced by US epidemiologists,

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$Billions of fraud in HHS programs

By | June 16, 2008

The Department of Health and Human Services Office of Inspector General (OIG) will recover more than $2 billion through audits and investigations of fraud, waste and abuse in HHS programs, the office linkurl:announced;http://www.oig.hhs.gov/publications/docs/press/2008/semiannual_press_spring2008.pdf last Thursday (Jun 12). "OIG's accomplishments reflect a robust oversight agenda implemented through audits, evaluations, and compliance and enforcement activities," said Inspector General linkurl:

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Reprogramming ups mortality?

By | June 16, 2008

Chimeric mice generated from cells reprogrammed for pluripotency (induced pluripotent stem cells, or iPS cells) show significant health problems, pointing to further challenges that must be overcome before such cells can be used in the clinic, noted iPS researcher Shinya Yamanaka said on Saturday (June 14). Speaking at the linkurl:meeting;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54746/ of the linkurl:International Society for Stem Cell Research;http://www.the-scientist.com/blog/display/54749/

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A fine time for equines

By | June 13, 2008

The American Museum of Natural History's new exhibit explores the human - horse relationship When I was seven years old I decided I'd rather be a horse than a human. In an attempt to dissuade me from this point of view, my parents had me start riding lessons when I was nine. It didn't work. I am still convinced the horse is a superior creature. So I was the natural choice from __The Scientist__'s editorial office to review __The Horse__, a new exhibition at the American Museum of Natural Hist

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Embryonic stem cells still gold standard

By | June 13, 2008

The technical challenges of using retroviruses to reprogram cells to a pluripotent state could be worked out within the year, researchers said today in a press conference at the annual meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research in Philadelphia. However, they stressed, human embryonic stem cells are still, and will continue to be, the gold standard for research on pluripotency and differentiation. The speakers, including linkurl:George Daley;http://www.childrenshospital.org/cfap

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Compounds target cancer stem cells

By | June 12, 2008

New compounds that target leukemia stem cells are moving into the clinic this summer. But researchers have yet to pin down exactly how some of these compounds do their job. Today at the International Society for Stem Cell Research's (ISSCR) annual meeting, linkurl:Craig Jordan;http://www.urmc.rochester.edu/GEBS/faculty/Craig_Jordan.htm from the University of Rochester presented his group's recent work on a compound TDZD-8, which was originally developed to inhibit GSK-3, and potentially treat A

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Invitrogen and Applied Biosystems merge

By | June 12, 2008

Biotech company linkurl:Invitrogen;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/13263/ announced today (Jun 12) that it will acquire linkurl:Applied Biosystems;http://www.the-scientist.com/article/display/15680/ in a deal valued at $6.7 billion. "This transaction combines the industry's premier consumables provider with the industry's premier systems provider to create a world-class biotechnology tools company," said linkurl:Gregory Lucier,;http://www.biotech360.com/biotechArticleDisplay.jsp?bi

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Stem cell guidelines on the way

By | June 12, 2008

You can now have your say about regulations on bringing stem cell therapies to the clinic. A special task force set up to create guidelines for bringing stem cell therapies from bench to bedside will be accepting public commentary on the guidelines, continuing until this fall, the group announced today at the annual meeting of the International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) here in Philadelphia. The task force's primary goals are to create guidelines that will help basic researchers

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