NIH funds effort to resurrect abandoned drugs for new uses

The most visible project of the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) new translational medicine centre came a little closer to reality today, with the announcement of nine awards that pair academic scientists with cast-off compounds from the pharmaceutical industry.  The aim of the plainly-named Discovering New Therapeutic Uses for Existing Molecules programme is to reemploy abandoned drugs for new uses — and in the process, show Congress that NIH’s youngest centre is delivering for the US taxpayer.  Read more

Report calls for open access to US food inspections

It has been just over a year since a widespread salmonella outbreak in the the US led to the recall of half a billion eggs. In the ensuing food safety scare, egg producers at two Iowa companies were hauled up before Congress to explain the deplorable conditions – including oozing manure, live rodents and flies too numerous to count – in their henhouses.  Read more

Quantifying bang for the biomedical research buck

Quantifying bang for the biomedical research buck

With the 2012 budget of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) up in the air as Congress struggles to craft next year’s spending bills, the Association of American Medical Colleges (AAMC) has issued a report that will doubtless provide fodder to NIH-boosters on Capitol Hill.  Read more

Reimagining disease by mining patients’ molecular data

Reimagining disease by mining patients' molecular data

In 2011, a patient newly diagnosed with type II diabetes will likely receive the same drug, metformin, that was first approved in 1957. What’s more – in the absence of information on the underlying molecular mechanisms of her particular case – that patient will likely end up taking a one-size-fits-all pill rather than a drug tailored for her unique disease subtype. Nor are there tests available that would allow her family members to pinpoint their genetic-based risk for the disease.  Read more

Universal HPV vaccination for boys recommended

Universal HPV vaccination for boys recommended

Today, on a vote of 13 in favor with one abstention, the CDC’s Advisory Committee on Immunization Practices said that 11- and 12-year-old boys, like their female counterparts, should receive the series of three immunizations against the virus, which infects some 20 million Americans and causes cancer of the cervix, vulva, vagina, penis, and anus as well as genital warts

Q&A: MIT biologist to head NIH’s basic sciences institute

Q&A: MIT biologist to head NIH's basic sciences institute

Chris Kaiser, a cell biologist who heads the department of biology at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology in Cambridge, will become director of the basic biosciences institute at the National Institutes of Health (NIH), the agency has announced.  Read more

Partnership aims to sequence 10,000 autistic genomes

Partnership aims to sequence 10,000 autistic genomes

A research project launched today will blend the muscle of a huge Chinese genome sequencing center with the funding prowess and ambition of a high-profile American advocacy group, to create the world’s largest library of sequenced genomes from people with autism.