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A MESSAGE FROM YOUR GUEST EDITOR:
Greetings, faithful readers! Thank you for your patience while our 2009-2010 BioBlurb leadership is in transition. In the meantime, I had the pleasure of guest editing the current issue of the BioBlurb. In order to include the wealth of stories that have been submitted since the last issue was published in early August, this current issue is a bit longer than usual. Many of the late August/September stories challenge the mind and delight the imagination.
Growing up in my Russian homeland I used to read about advanced regenerative technologies and synthetic life in science fiction books. What a difference a few decades make! Read on, if you’re intrigued….
1. “Stem Cell Research Guidelines to be Proposed at U.S. Summit.” A charter devised by Canadian stem cell researchers outlines ethical principles that should guide international stem cell research. The charter was presented on September 22nd at the International Stem Cell Summit held in Baltimore, MD, according to CBS News (September 21, 2009).
SPOTLIGHT ON BIOTECH EXPERTS:
1. “J. Craig Venter, Ph.D. to Receive National Medal of Science from President Obama.” Craig Venter, Ph.D., founder, president and chairman of the J. Craig Venter Institute (JCVI), has been named a recipient of this year's National Medal of Science for his contributions to the science of genomics, according to Bio-Medicine.org (September 18, 2009).
BIOTECH BREAKTHROUGHS & NEW RESEARCH DIRECTIONS:
2. “Gene Pioneer Venter Takes Another Step Toward Synthetic Life.” Team of scientists succeed in morphing one kind of bacteria into another, edging closer to the creation of artificial life, according to Bloomberg.com (August 20, 2009).
3. “Liposuction Fat Turns to Stem Cells Quicker than Skin in Study.” Stanford University scientists discovered that human fat cells, which are widely available and easily harvested with liposuction, morph into stem cells quicker and more efficiently than skin cells. The approach gives science a viable alternative to the use of embryonic cells, according to Bloomberg (September 7, 2009).
BIOTECH APPLICATIONS IN CLINICAL MEDICINE:
1. “Gel Hope for Brain Injury Repair.” Research on rats demonstrates injectable hydrogel’s potential to stimulate tissue growth at the site of brain injury, according to BBC News (September 3, 2009).
3. “Researchers Find Prostate Cancer Stem Cell.” Researchers have found a stem cell, a kind of master cell, which may cause at least some types of prostate cancer, according to Reuters (September 9, 2009).
4. “Scientists Find Gene That Can Stop Mice From Becoming Obese.”
INTERNATIONAL BIOTECH NEWS:
1. “China Gets Serious About Biotech.” China announces its plans to spend
2. “Chinese Scientists Reprogram Cells to Create Mice.” Chinese researchers have successfully reprogrammed mature skin cells of mice to an embryonic-like state and used the resulting cells to create live mouse offspring, according to the Wall Street Journal (July 24, 2009).
BIOTECH INDUSTRY NEWS:
1. “Drug, Biotech Research Spending Hangs Tough.” Corporate America's research spending shrank 4% overall from the end of 2007 through 2009, but many healthcare and biotech companies have chosen to increase their research and development budgets, according to Business Week (August 27, 2009).
2. “Cyntellect Launches Stem Cell Manager™ Powered by LEAP.” A leading life- science company that specializes in commercialization of stem cell research announces the commercial availability of Stem Cell Manager™ powered by LEAP™. This new application promises to revolutionize the management and streamlining of stem cell research projects, according to The Business Wire (September 16, 2009).
LEGISLATIVE, POLICY & REGULATORY DEVELOPMENTS:
1. “F.D.A. Reveals It Fell to a Push by Lawmakers.” FDA admits that four New Jersey congressmen and FDA’s former commissioner unduly influenced the approval process for a potentially dangerous knee patch product. FDA is now reconsidering its decision, according to the New York Times (September 24, 2009).
1. “Neuralstem Receives Notice of Patent Allowance.” United States Patent Trademark Office has allowed Rockville, MD based Neuralstem, Inc.’s patent entitled “Transplantation of Human Neural Cells for Treatment of Neurodegenerative Conditions.” Neuralstem's patented technology enables, for the first time, the ability to produce neural stem cells of the human brain and spinal cord in commercial quantities, according to Yahoo Finance News (September 9, 2009).
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