Biozona Weekly: UA, St. Joe’s partner on valley fever; IGC’s Cancer Genome Atlas; BAI’s aids Colombian family

October 7, 2011

By hammersmith

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Arizona stands at the threshold of turning green slime to jet fuel
10/7/2011 | Inside Tucson Business | Clayton R. Norman

In a laboratory in Gilbert they’re turning vats of green slime into jet fuel. And food additives and vitamins and animal feed. These acts of alchemy are happening at a place called Heliae Development. Company CEO Dan Simon thinks algae growing and processing could mean big bucks for Arizona. Simon doesn’t mince words about the potential of the algal biomass industry – an industry in which Heliae aims to become a key supplier and driver of technology.

Valley Fever Center to open
10/5/2011 | Arizona Repubic | Ken Alltucker

St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center and the University of Arizona College of Medicine-Phoenix will team up to open a new Valley Fever Center at the Phoenix hospital in 2012. The new center aims to be a one-stop center to diagnose and treat a disease that affects an estimated 100,000 Arizonans each year, with most of the cases in Maricopa County.

UA creating Valley Fever Center at St. Joe’s in Phoenix
10/4/2011 | Phoenix Business Journal | Angela Gonzales

The University of Arizona, which has been on the cutting edge of Valley fever research for decades, is establishing the Valley Fever Center on the campus of St. Joseph’s Hospital and Medical Center in Phoenix. Dr. John Galgiani, who founded the Valley Fever Center of Excellence in Tucson in 1996, will be the director of the new center.

Mercy Health and Muskegon cancer patients to participate in national genetics study
10/4/2011 | Muskegon Chronicle | Dave Alexander

Muskegon-area cancer patients will have the opportunity to help national researchers create a genetic “atlas” that will direct future cancer treatments. Muskegon’s Mercy Health Partners, and its Johnson Family Center for Cancer Care, are among 14 hospitals around the country that will provide cancer tissue and blood samples to the National Institute of Health’s Cancer Genome Atlas project, managed by the Phoenix-based International Genomics Consortium.

Hoping to Crack Alzheimer’s, Together as a Family
10/3/2011 | New York Times | Pam Belluck and Salvador Rodriguez

In September, four family members of the Betancur family traveled from Medellin, Colombia, to the Banner Alzheimer’s Institute in Phoenix, along with eight distant relatives — all members of the largest extended family linked to an inherited form of Alzheimer’s disease. Banner’s researchers and a Colombian neurologist are studying the extended family, planning a clinical trial to determine whether Alzheimer’s can be prevented by giving drug treatment years before dementia begins.

Turmeric studied as stroke preventer
10/3/2011 | Arizona Daily Star | Will Ferguson

Turmeric might have uses in more than curries. UA researchers Janet Funk and Leslie Ritter said the spice, used in India for thousands of years as an anti-inflammatory agent, could help prevent the third leading cause of death in the United States – stroke. Ritter and Funk recently completed a three-year clinical trial that shows turmeric can reduce the severity of stroke in rats if administered during a stroke.

Civic leaders says Mayo Medical School will be boon for Valley
10/03/2011 | Arizona Republic | Beth Duckett and Edward Gately

Scottsdale civic and health-industry officials lauded plans announced this week for a future Mayo Clinic medical school that is expected to bring more physicians and educational opportunities to the city and state. The Mayo Medical School-Arizona Campus could open as early as 2014, offering small class sizes and innovative curriculum at the Mayo Clinic’s Shea Boulevard campus east of Loop 101.

Bio5 closes in on new drugs for patients
10/02/2011 | Arizona Daily Star | Michelle A. Monroe

Less than a year after the University of Arizona’s Bio5 Institute opened a drug-research branch in Oro Valley, researchers there say they’re exceeding their goals. The Oro Valley facility, which opened Nov. 19, was designed to get new therapies and drugs to patients faster by placing academia and industry closer. Researchers say the new facility has helped them meet grant deadlines and get their drug candidates closer to market.

Bioscience can bolster state (Editorial)
10/01/2011 | Arizona Republic

Arizona has a bright light in a gloomy job market: bioscience. It’s a broad field that includes health care, research, medical education and a wide range of devices and medications. Bioscience is meeting two of the state’s longstanding goals: diversify our economy and create higher-wage jobs. Here’s one way Arizona can compete and flourish in the fluid and developing 21st-century employment landscape.