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Adult Stem Cells Show Same Ability to Self-Renew as Embryonic

Breakthrough Study at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Finds Adult Stem Cells Show Same Ability to Self-Renew as Embryonic

PITTSBURGH – June 23, 2005 – In a ground-breaking study, scientists at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh have discovered that adult, or post-natal, stem cells have the same ability as embryonic stem cells to multiply, a previously unknown characteristic indicating that post-natal stem cells may play an important therapeutic role.

Adult and post-natal stem cells are often overlooked in favor of embryonic stem cells in the national debate over the therapeutic use of stem cells. Until now, it has been generally believed that embryonic stem cells had a greater capacity to multiply than post-natal stem cells, making them more desirable to research as a potential treatment, according to Johnny Huard, PhD, director of the Growth and Development Laboratory at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

“Scientists have typically believed that adult or post-natal stem cells grow old and die much sooner than embryonic stem cells, but this study demonstrates that is not the case,” said Dr. Huard, senior author of the study. “The entire world is closely following the advances in stem cell research, and everyone is interested in the potential of stem cells to treat everything from diabetes to Parkinson’s disease. But there are also many ethical concerns surrounding the use of embryonic stem cells, concerns that you don’t have with post-natal or adult stem cells. My belief is that this study should erase doubts scientists may have had about the potential effectiveness of post-natal stem cells.”

Full story.

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Congress Tunes In to WiFi

Congress Tunes In to WiFi

By Robert MacMillan
washingtonpost.com Staff Writer
Monday, June 27, 2005; 10:45 AM

Mick Jagger said it best: 'The summer's here and the time is right for fighting in the street, boy."

The streets run through U.S. cities and towns, where the heat is on local governments to provide free or low-cost Internet access.

For almost a year, the debate over whether Internet access is a paid privilege like telephone service and cable television burbled along in the press and among bloggers and activists. Many see it as necessary to attract new residents, tourists and businesses. Internet service providers, however, see a threat to their billion-dollar high-speed access business. Now that cities such as Philadelphia are trying to make it a reality, the issue's significance is cresting. There's no better way to prove that than with two sets of numbers: 1294 and 2726.

The first is a Senate bill introduced last Thursday by Sens. John McCain (R-Ariz.) and Frank Lautenberg (D-N.J.). The Community Broadband Act of 2005 says "no state can prohibit a municipality from offering broadband to its citizens."

The second is a bill introduced in late May in the House by Rep. Pete Sessions (R-Texas). The Preserving Innovation in Telecom Act of 2005 -- almost surely destined for shorthand treatment as "PRITA" -- says state and local governments can't offer Internet service if a private provider already does.

Full story.

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File-sharing services vulnerable

File-sharing services vulnerable
00:00 am 6/28/05
Ted Bridis AP technology writer

WASHINGTON - Hollywood and the music industry can file piracy lawsuits against technology companies caught encouraging customers to steal music and movies over the Internet, the Supreme Court ruled Monday.

The justices, aiming to curtail what they called a "staggering" volume of piracy online, largely set aside concerns that new lawsuits would inhibit technology companies from developing the next iPod or other high-tech gadgets or services.

The unanimous ruling is expected to have little immediate impact on consumers, though critics said it could lead companies to include digital locks to discourage illegal behavior.

The justices left in place legal protections for companies that merely learn customers might be using products for illegal purposes.

The justices said copying digital files such as movies, music or software programs "threatens copyright holders as never before" because it's so easy and popular, especially among young people. Entertainment companies maintain that online thieves trade 2.6 billion songs, movies and other digital files each month.

Full story.

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Two local venture-capital funds find that investing in Wisconsin is good for their returns

Helping to grow little companies
Two local venture-capital funds find that investing in Wisconsin is good for their returns and also
By KATHLEEN GALLAGHER
kgallagher@journalsentinel.com
Posted: June 26, 2005

Dan Broderick is a seasoned venture capitalist who headed the Mayo Clinic's technology commercialization office, prefers suburban life, and drives a truck.

Trevor D'Souza is a computer science expert with an MBA who ran a biotech software company, lives in the city and wears perfectly ironed shirts with well-chosen ties.

Together, they are part of the engine many are hoping will drive a knowledge-based economy that creates more high-paying jobs in Wisconsin.

Milwaukee-based Mason Wells hired Broderick and D'Souza five years ago as managing directors of its first venture capital fund, Biomedical Fund 1. Earlier this month, they told the fund's partners they intend this summer to start raising at least $100 million for a second such offering.

The average Wisconsin resident can't get into Mason Wells' venture capital funds - they're set up for deep-pocketed investments like endowments, pension funds and insurance companies. But down the road, that Wisconsin resident may well have people like Broderick and D'Souza to thank for making their state a better place to live.

Full story.

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James Thomson reflects on science and morality

Stem cell pioneer does a reality check
James Thomson reflects on science and morality

By Alan Boyle
Science editor
MSNBC
Updated: 4:13 p.m. ET June 22, 2005

MADISON, Wis. — Seven years ago, when James Thomson became the first scientist to isolate and culture human embryonic stem cells, he knew he was stepping into a whirlwind of controversy.

He just didn't expect the whirlwind to last this long.

In fact, the moral, ethical and political controversy is still revving up — in Washington, where federal lawmakers are considering a bill to provide more federal support for embryonic stem cell research; and in Madison, Thomson's base of operations, where Wisconsin legislators are considering new limits on stem cell research.

Thomson, a developmental biologist and veterinarian at the University of Wisconsin at Madison, made history in 1998 when he and fellow researchers derived the first embryonic stem cell lines from frozen human embryos. The breakthrough came after the news that a sheep named Dolly was born as the first cloned mammal — and together, the two announcements hinted at a brave new world of medical possibilities and moral debates.

Full story.

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U.S. Appeals Court Allows USPTO to Run Ads Warning about Invention Submission Corporation's "Invention Promotion Scams"

The US Court of Appeals for the Fourth District ruled that the USPTO may run ads warning the public about invention promotion scams. Invention Submission Corporation sued to stop the ads because they claimed the ads were not an appropriate activity of the USPTO.

"The print advertisements featured an inventor named Edward Lewis,
along with text that identified him by name and read, "I spent $13,000
and three years ‘spinning my wheels’ with a company that promised
my idea would make lots of money. They were right. It made lots of
money . . . for them. I haven’t seen a penny." The advertisement
ended with a general statement about avoiding "invention promotion
scams" and contact information for the PTO."

"A journalist for a cable television network, who saw the PTO’s
advertisements, interviewed Lewis and published a story revealing
that Lewis was referring in the advertisements to his relationship with
Invention Submission, a business engaged in assisting inventors with
obtaining patents. The article revealed that Lewis had filed a complaint
with the PTO in August 2001 that was "being processed." The
article also revealed that Invention Submission was one of several
companies investigated by the FTC in the 1990s "for misrepresentation
in patent marketing schemes." The article concluded with Invention
Submission’s response that it did nothing wrong and that its
representations and commercials misled neither Lewis nor anyone
else."

Download invention_submission_case.pdf

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WI Assembly backs ban on cloning

Doyle promises to veto bill if it reaches his desk

The Associated Press

MADISON — The Assembly approved one of the nation’s toughest bans on human cloning Thursday despite concerns the bill would cripple embryonic stem cell research in the state where it was discovered.

The bill not only bans cloning to create a baby but also outlaws so-called therapeutic cloning that researchers say could advance the understanding of genetic diseases. It also would prohibit Wisconsin scientists from using embryos cloned in research labs in other states.

Full story.

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Researchers discover microbes produce miniature electrical wires

Researchers discover microbes produce miniature electrical wires

Researchers at the University of Massachusetts Amherst have discovered a tiny biological structure that is highly electrically conductive. This breakthrough helps describe how microorganisms can clean up groundwater and produce electricity from renewable resources. It may also have applications in the emerging field of nanotechnology, which develops advanced materials and devices in extremely small dimensions.

The findings of microbiologist Derek R. Lovley’s research team are published in the June 23rd issue of Nature, an international science journal. Researchers found that the conductive structures, known as “microbial nanowires,” are produced by a novel microorganism known as Geobacter. The nanowires are incredibly fine, only 3-5 nanometers in width (20,000 times finer than a human hair), but quite durable and more than a thousand times long as they are wide.

“Such long, thin conductive structures are unprecedented in biology,” said Lovley. “This completely changes our concept of how microorganisms can handle electrons, and it also seems likely that microbial nanowires could be useful materials for the development of extremely small electronic devices.”

“The microbial world never stops surprising us,” said Dr. Aristides Patrinos of the U.S. Department of Energy, which funds the Geobacter research. “The remarkable and unexpected discovery of microbial structures comprising microbial nanowires that may enable a microbial community in a contaminated waste site to form mini-power grids could provide new approaches to using microbes to assist in the remediation of DOE waste sites; to support the operation of mini-environmental sensors, and to nano-manufacture in novel biological ways. This discovery also illustrates the continuing relevance of the physical sciences to today’s biological investigations.”


Full story.

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Adult Stem Cells Show Same Ability to Self-Renew as Embryonic

Breakthrough Study at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh Finds Adult Stem Cells Show Same Ability to Self-Renew as Embryonic

PITTSBURGH – June 23, 2005 – In a ground-breaking study, scientists at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh have discovered that adult, or post-natal, stem cells have the same ability as embryonic stem cells to multiply, a previously unknown characteristic indicating that post-natal stem cells may play an important therapeutic role.

Adult and post-natal stem cells are often overlooked in favor of embryonic stem cells in the national debate over the therapeutic use of stem cells. Until now, it has been generally believed that embryonic stem cells had a greater capacity to multiply than post-natal stem cells, making them more desirable to research as a potential treatment, according to Johnny Huard, PhD, director of the Growth and Development Laboratory at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh.

“Scientists have typically believed that adult or post-natal stem cells grow old and die much sooner than embryonic stem cells, but this study demonstrates that is not the case,” said Dr. Huard, senior author of the study. “The entire world is closely following the advances in stem cell research, and everyone is interested in the potential of stem cells to treat everything from diabetes to Parkinson’s disease. But there are also many ethical concerns surrounding the use of embryonic stem cells, concerns that you don’t have with post-natal or adult stem cells. My belief is that this study should erase doubts scientists may have had about the potential effectiveness of post-natal stem cells.”

Researchers from Children’s and the University of Pittsburgh in Dr. Huard’s laboratory were able to expand post-natal stem cells to a population level comparable to that reached by researchers using embryonic stem cells. Previous research has found that embryonic stem cells could undergo more than 200 population doublings before the cells began to die. A population doubling is a method of measuring the age of a population of cells.

Bridget Deasy, PhD, a scientist in Dr. Huard’s laboratory, was first author of the study. Dr. Deasy, a research assistant professor in the Department of Orthopaedic Surgery at the University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, discovered that a unique population of muscle-derived stem cells was able to undergo more than 200 population doublings, as well. These post-natal cells were able to undergo population doublings while maintaining their ability to regenerate muscle in an animal model, a key finding indicating that they could maintain their treatment potential.

Full story.

Please visit our sponsor Gehrke & Associates, SC to learn more about how to enhance and defend your intellectual property.  Thank you.