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Presidential Commission on Bioethics Calls for Enhanced Federal Oversight in Emerging Field of Synthetic Biology

Washington, DC – The Presidential Commission for the Study of Bioethical Issues today released its first report—a wide-ranging review of the emerging field of synthetic biology— issuing 18 recommendations including a call for coordinated federal oversight of scientists working in both large institutions and smaller settings.

Full report

Former Hewlett-Packard exec to lead WARF's licensing team

By Kathleen Gallagher of the Journal Sentinel

Dec. 15, 2010 10:20 a.m.

The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation, one of the country's biggest university technology transfer organizations, has named Hewlett-Packard's former director of intellectual property licensing as its chief technology commercialization officer.

Leigh Cagan will oversee the foundation's nine-member licensing team that works to match University of Wisconsin-Madison discoveries with companies that can develop the technology for commercial markets. About 370 companies now have licensing agreements with the foundation, which is known as WARF.

Full story.

Cellular Dynamics earns recognition for stem-cell derived heart cells

By Kathleen Gallagher of the Journal Sentinel

Dec. 1, 2010 11:44 a.m.

A Madison company's stem-cell derived heart cells have been named by The Scientist magazine as one of the top 10 life sciences innovations of 2010.

Calling them a symbol of just how fast a basic-science breakthrough can lead to new products, the magazine ranked Cellular Dynamics International's heart cells fifth on its list. Cells distributed by the company, known as CDI, are likely the first of many commercially available cell lines from differentiated human stem cells.

CDI's cells, called cardiomyocytes, have all the properties of embryonic stem cells, but they are not grown from embryos. The company grows its cells from individual skin or blood samples from adults. Pharmaceutical companies use them to test new drug candidates.

Full story.