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Stem Cell Assembly Line

The British government has given its approval for the creation of a £30 million stem cell therapy center, part of a £220 million program to turn British stem cell researchers' discoveries into "a new multimillion-pound industry to help drive Britain's recovery," reports the Guardian's Rupert Neate. The stem cell center, which is slated to open in April 2012, will take advantage of the UK's leadership in stem cell research, Neate says. The researchers will work to manufacture therapies for everything from Parkinson's disease to prostate cancer. A third of the money will come from the British government, another third from the European Union, and the rest from companies like Pfizer and AstraZeneca, which are contracting to use part of the site where the center will be located. "It will have a test manufacturing facility to help labs convert a couple of grams of potentially life-saving cells into kilos of the stuff that can be sold commercially," David Bott, director of innovation at the Technology Strategy Board, tells Neate.

The Scan

Expanded Genetic Testing Uncovers Hereditary Cancer Risk in Significant Subset of Cancer Patients

In Genome Medicine, researchers found pathogenic or likely pathogenic hereditary cancer risk variants in close to 17 percent of the 17,523 patients profiled with expanded germline genetic testing.

Mitochondrial Replacement Therapy Embryos Appear Largely Normal in Single-Cell 'Omics Analyses

Embryos produced with spindle transfer-based mitochondrial replacement had delayed demethylation, but typical aneuploidy and transcriptome features in a PLOS Biology study.

Cancer Patients Report Quality of Life Benefits for Immune Checkpoint Inhibitors

Immune checkpoint inhibitor immunotherapy was linked in JAMA Network Open to enhanced quality of life compared to other treatment types in cancer patients.

Researchers Compare WGS, Exome Sequencing-Based Mendelian Disease Diagnosis

Investigators find a diagnostic edge for whole-genome sequencing, while highlighting the cost advantages and improving diagnostic rate of exome sequencing in EJHG.