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December 2005
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February 2006

Mad-cow culprit maintains stem cells

CAMBRIDGE, Mass. (January 30, 2006) — What do mad cow disease and stem cell research have in common? Whitehead Institute scientists have found that the same protein that causes neurodegenerative conditions such as bovine spongiform encephalopathy (mad cow disease) is also important for helping certain adult stem cells maintain themselves.

"For years we've wondered why evolution has preserved this protein, what positive role it could possibly be playing," says Whitehead Member Susan Lindquist. Along with Whitehead Member Harvey Lodish, Lindquist is a coauthor on the paper which will published online in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences during the week of January 30. "With these findings, we have our first answer," she says.

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Scientists spot solitary stem cells in living bone marrow

Scientists spot solitary stem cells in living bone marrow

The ability to study undisturbed blood-forming stem cells in their natural environment will help researchers understand how they work, says U-M scientist

ANN ARBOR, Mich. – Blood-forming stem cells are a bit like Greta Garbo, according to new research by scientists at Japan’s University of Tsukuba and the University of Michigan Medical School. They want to be alone.

Until now, scientists didn’t know exactly where to find these extremely rare, elusive adult stem cells – the only cells capable of forming all the different types of blood and immune cells found in mammals. Previous research suggested, and most scientists believed, that hematopoietic stem cells were clustered together somewhere in bone marrow.

But a new study published this week in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences online Early Edition provides compelling visual evidence that hematopoietic, or blood-forming, stem cells prefer a solitary life.

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Catching Obesity: Identifying Viruses That May Make Us Fat

Do human adenoviruses cause obesity? Is a vaccine possible?Researcher advises: ‘Eat right, exercise, wash your hands’

BETHESDA, Md. (Jan. 30, 2006) – There is a lot of good advice to help us avoid becoming obese, such as “Eat less,” and “Exercise.” But here’s a new and surprising piece of advice based on a promising area of obesity research: “Wash your hands.”

There is accumulating evidence that certain viruses may cause obesity, in essence making obesity contagious, according to Leah D. Whigham, the lead researcher in a new study, “Adipogenic potential of multiple human adenoviruses in vivo and in vitro in animals,” in the January issue of the American Journal of Physiology-Regulatory, Integrative and Comparative Physiology published by the American Physiological Society.

The study, by Whigham, Barbara A. Israel and Richard L. Atkinson, of the University of Wisconsin, Madison, found that the human adenovirus Ad-37 causes obesity in chickens. This finding builds on studies that two related viruses, Ad-36 and Ad-5, also cause obesity in animals.

Moreover, Ad-36 has been associated with human obesity, leading researchers to suspect that Ad-37 also may be implicated in human obesity. Whigham said more research is needed to find out if Ad-37 causes obesity in humans. One study was inconclusive, because only a handful of people showed evidence of infection with Ad-37 – not enough people to draw any conclusions, she said. Ad-37, Ad-36 and Ad-5 are part of a family of approximately 50 viruses known as human adenoviruses.

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Emageon Announces Record Backlog of $158 Million

Emageon Announces Record Backlog of $158 Million

BIRMINGHAM, AL – (January 25, 2006) – Emageon Inc. (NASDAQ: EMAG), a leading provider of enterprise visual medical systems to hospitals and healthcare networks, announced today that its contracted backlog at December 31, 2005 was a record $158 million, an increase of 34% over the backlog of $118 million at December 31, 2004. Contracted backlog represents the aggregate total of fees for contracted future installations and support of existing installations.

“We have grown our backlog significantly both through the addition of new customers and by expanding our contracts with our current customer base,” said Chuck Jett, Chief Executive Officer of Emageon. “Our acquisition of Camtronics in November, 2005 has extended our relationships to a total of over 600 hospitals, which provides us with a larger and more diversified platform for future growth.”

Emageon expects to release its financial results for the fourth quarter and full year 2005 on February 27, 2006.

About Emageon Inc.
Emageon provides an enterprise-level advanced visualization and infrastructure solution for the clinical analysis and management of digital medical images within multi-hospital networks, community hospitals and diagnostic imaging centers. Emageon’s software, including its HeartSuite set of cardiology solutions from its Camtronics subsidiary, provides physicians in multiple medical specialties such as cardiology, radiology, and orthopedics, among others, with dynamic tools to manipulate and analyze images in two and three dimensions. With these tools physicians have the ability to better understand internal anatomic structure and pathology, which can improve clinical diagnoses, disease screening and therapy planning. Emageon’s open standards-based solution is designed to help customers improve staff productivity, automate complex medical imaging workflow, lower total cost of ownership and provide better service to physicians and patients. For more information, please visit www.emageon.com.

Contact: W. Randall Pittman, CFO, Emageon
205.980.7600
rpittman@emageon.com

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Internet Coalition Sets Up Anti-'Badware' Site

Internet Coalition Sets Up Anti-'Badware' Site

By Arshad Mohammed
Washington Post Staff Writer
Wednesday, January 25, 2006; Page D04

A group including Google Inc. and institutes at Harvard and Oxford universities plans to unveil a campaign today against spyware and other malicious computer programs that can steal personal information, snoop on your Web surfing and bombard you with pop-up ads.

The coalition, which is receiving unpaid advice from Consumer Reports WebWatch, is launching a Web site -- http://www.stopbadware.org/ -- to catalogue programs that infect unsuspecting users and to let them check whether something is dangerous before downloading it.

Full story.

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Robotic truck could haul supplies in combat zones

No driver required
Robotic truck could haul supplies in combat zones
By RICK BARRETT
rbarrett@journalsentinel.com
Posted: Jan. 24, 2006

First there was Terramax, an unmanned robotic truck that completed a 150-mile race through the Mojave Desert.

Now, Oshkosh Truck Corp. has developed a second version of Terramax that could be used to haul supplies in dangerous war zones. The 10-wheel-drive truck was tested this week in the desert near Yuma, Ariz.

The tests were done on an off-road course, with U.S. military officials watching from a sport utility vehicle.

It was "quite a viable demonstration," said John Stoddart, president of Oshkosh Truck's defense division.

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MATC aids state businesses

MATC aids state businesses
KAREN RIVEDAL krivedal@madison.com

A business assistance center at Madison Area Technical College helped Wisconsin companies secure $292.3 million in government contracts in 2005, a 42 percent increase over last year's record.

Innocorp. in Verona used the center to help it get a contract with the U.S. General Services Administration for sales of its Fatal Vision goggles, which simulate different blood alcohol levels for alcohol training programs. The GSA contract - getting one essentially certifies a vendor as a good risk - lets companies do business with government agencies for individual sales of up to $25,000, up from the $2,000 sales possible without such a contract.

Innocorp. president Mike Aguilar said MATC's Business Procurement Assistance Center streamlined the process of applying for the contract.

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Wisconsin called emerging biotech hot spot

Wisconsin called emerging biotech hot spot
JUDY NEWMAN jdnewman@madison.com

Wisconsin is one of five emerging biotech hot spots to be detailed today by e-mail newsletter FierceBiotech, according to a Forbes.com story Tuesday.

FierceBiotech pegs Wisconsin as an up-and-comer along with California, Maryland, New Jersey and Singapore, all of which are "going the extra mile for biotech," FierceBiotech editor John Carroll told Forbes.com senior editor Kerry Dolan.

Carroll said those areas provide financial support, such as tax grants and equity funding, and organizations to help biotechnology companies grow. But he conceded his choices are not based on scientific methodology.

Full story.

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Group calls for closer look at nanotech ethics, safety risks

Group calls for closer look at nanotech ethics, safety risks
The Nanoethics Group says development of the technology may be outpacing safety

News Story by Patrick Thibodeau

JANUARY 23, 2006 (COMPUTERWORLD) - The development of products that use nanotechnology is racing ahead of the understanding of their potential health and safety risks, according to Patrick lin, research director of The Nanoethics Group, which is assembling industry and academic representatives worldwide to examine ethical and social issues raised by the technology.

“More and more nanotechnology products are being introduced into the marketplace, and there’s enough questions surrounding nanotechnology where we should really pause and really think” about steps that may be needed to protect health and safety, said Lin. He called for studies, such as an environmental impact study, “before we rush these products to the marketplace.”


This Santa Barbara, Calif.-based group today announced that it has created an advisory board of about 30 researchers from a variety of disciplines, including molecular manufacturing, medicine, law, bioethics and chemical engineering, to study the issues raised by nanotechnology development.

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State leads neighbors in high-tech growth

State leads neighbors in high-tech growth
Exports rose 15% in 2003, report finds
By PAUL GORES
pgores@journalsentinel.com
Posted: Jan. 24, 2006

Growth in high-tech exports is happening faster in Wisconsin than in other Midwestern states, a report tracking the state's economic progress says.

Of Wisconsin's $12.7 billion in total exports in 2004, about $2.6 billion, or nearly 21%, were high-tech products and services, according to the report "Business, Finance & Entrepreneurship in Wisconsin: Shaping the New Wisconsin Economy."

The report, prepared by David J. Ward of NorthStar Economics Inc. in Madison, found that high-tech exports as a share of total exports in Wisconsin increased 15% from 2003. That is faster than the 13.9% rise in Illinois, 10.5% in Indiana, 9.5% in Minnesota, 4.7% in Iowa, 3.9% in Michigan and 11.7% in the U.S. as a whole.

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