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Special Report: Imagine Science Film Festival

October 31, 2014 | by Cynthia Fox, Science Writer | Comments

One of the enduring images of this year’s Imagine Science Film Festival, held in New York on Oct. 17 to 24, was that of a girl in a black abeyya lugging a giant white telescope up a hill, escaping her cruel Iranian life to lose herself in the stars in the film “Sepideh.” 

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World-First Embryonic Stem Cell Trial for the Heart

October 30, 2014 9:37 am | by Cynthia Fox, Science Writer | Comments

The first embryonic stem (ES) cell trial for severe heart failure is launching now in Paris. The long-awaited trial comes after much preclinical cell work on more than 350 rats, 50 immunodeficient mice and 32 non-human primates.       

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Patient-relevant Preclinical Models Using Image-guided Small Animal Irradiation

October 28, 2014 11:33 am | by Dr. Rajendra Kumari, Chief Scientific Officer, PRECOS Ltd., a Crown Bioscience Company | Comments

Radiotherapy is a primary, adjuvant or neoadjuvant treatment for a number of different cancers, such as glioblastoma, breast, lung and prostate. Image-guided radiation therapy (IGRT) is used to reduce the amount of radiation delivered to the normal tissue surrounding the targeted tumor. However, in the preclinical setting, the use of IGRT is less common.

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Imaging and Analysis with Flying Colors: Part One

October 22, 2014 8:30 am | by Mark Clymer, Director of Marketing, Datacolor Inc. | Comments

Researchers are facing increasing demands from colleagues, peers and publishers for process documentation including adequate controls, and for extensive documentation of experimental parameters. Without such consideration, there would be little chance to repeat, or even validate, findings.

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Seeing is Believing: Reproducible Proteomic Studies

October 21, 2014 1:03 pm | by Anton Posch, Senior Scientist, Bio-Rad Laboratories | Comments

For scientists, the field of proteomics has always been a double-edged sword. On one hand, technologies such as 2-dimensional gel electrophoresis (2-DE) capture a vastly improved picture of protein expression in action. But when others try to reproduce the experiment? The findings can suddenly appear blurry.

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Embryonic Stem Cells in Trial for Diabetes

October 16, 2014 11:44 am | by Cynthia Fox, Science Writer | Comments

As San Diego’s ViaCyte was in the midst of launching the first FDA-approved embryonic stem (ES) cell clinical trial for diabetics last week, Boston’s Harvard University reported that cells made from ES cells “cured” diabetic mice.     

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Reversing Idiopathic Pulmonary Fibrosis

October 14, 2014 2:42 pm | by Cynthia Fox, Science Writer | Comments

Lethal fibrosis in lungs of mice with idiopathic pulmonary fibrosis (IPF) can be reversed, say researchers. No drug on the market can do this. But the crew pulled it off, in mice, by temporarily restoring (a mimic of) one of the body’s own anti-fibrosis agents, sharply reduced in IPF: microRNA-29.

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Marburg, Ebola’s Relative, Cured in Monkeys

October 9, 2014 8:30 am | by Cynthia Fox, Science Writer | Comments

An experimental drug saved the lives of 16 of 16 monkeys with the Marburg virus, a killer near-indistinguishable from Ebola, which caused the death of a Ugandan health worker Oct. 6.                  

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Bioprinted 3-D Device Aids Blood Detoxification

October 8, 2014 10:45 am | by Skip Derra | Comments

A team of engineers has successfully developed a three-dimensional-printed device, which mimics the operation of the liver to remove dangerous toxins from the blood.                         

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The Importance of Primer Validation in Real-time PCR and New Tools That Make It Easier

October 7, 2014 2:20 pm | by Jamie Donnelly, Product Manager, Gene Expression Division, Bio-Rad Laboratories | Comments

Real-time qPCR is one of the most ubiquitous laboratory techniques in modern life sciences, commonly used for gene expression analyses and diagnosing infectious diseases. But despite being more than two decades old, many researchers continue to perform qPCR incorrectly and overlook the important step of primer validation and optimization.

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Cord Blood Stem Cells Increased Tenfold

September 29, 2014 2:34 pm | by Cynthia Fox | Comments

Ten times more stem cells may soon be generated from umbilical cords than ever before, according to a new Science study. The potential advance was made via a little-known pyrimidoindole molecule called UM171.

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Nobel Prize-winning ‘iPSC’ Stem Cell Method Vastly Improved

September 25, 2014 8:30 am | by Cynthia Fox | Comments

By adding just three compounds to the Nobel Prize-winning induced pluripotent stem cell recipe, a research group is reporting a huge 90 to 100 percent stem cell haul in under a week.                  

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Two Anti-Ebola Vaccines in Historic Race

September 11, 2014 3:38 pm | by Cynthia Fox | Comments

One of the most rapidly fast-tracked vaccines in history— an anti-Ebola “ChAd3” vaccine— just started clinical trial in humans, and may be done as soon as November. But a second fast-tracked anti-Ebola vaccine— called an “rVSV” vaccine— is hot on its heels.

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ZMapp: Best Anti-Ebola Treatment Yet

September 4, 2014 3:05 pm | by Cynthia Fox | Comments

ZMapp, an experimental drug that may have already have saved a few patients in Africa, is the most effective anti-Ebola therapy yet, according to a recent Nature paper on rhesus macaques monkeys.              

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Prominent Japan Stem Cell Center to Undergo Changes

September 2, 2014 3:55 pm | by Cynthia Fox | Comments

Riken Center for Developmental Biology (CDB), the prominent Japan institute where Haruko Obokata was found to commit misconduct on stem cell papers, will be halved, according to a Riken representative.              

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Making Bones from Beer Waste

August 28, 2014 8:30 am | by Skip Derra | Comments

At first blush it is a bit disingenuous, using beer waste as a base material for new bone. But that is exactly what a multidisciplinary team of researchers in Spain has come up with in a process for making the substrate material on which bone can be regenerated.

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