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Pythons’ growing hearts may hold clues to curing human hearts (Morning Read)

Current medical news from today, including python heart could hold clues about the human heart, in vitro fertilization linked to ovarian cancer, and the most promising therapeutic vaccines.

Current medical news and unique business news for anyone who cares about healthcare.

Animal testing. We’re comfortable using small lab animals in medicine, but what about on large pythons? University of Colorado researchers are turning to pythons for hints on repairing the human heart. They discovered a key enzyme that protects pythons’ hearts after they eat and found that it also grew cells from rat hearts in a lab. Whether it could work on humans is still years down the road but an interesting thought.

In vitro fertilization linked to cancer. Women who undergo stimulation for in vitro fertilization double their risk for developing ovarian cancer later in life, according to a new study from the Netherlands.

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Most promising therapeutic vaccines. Since the approval of Provenge in 2010, the medical community has been hopeful that therapeutic vaccines can be successful in treating patients with minimal side effects. FierceHealth highlights the 10 most promising therapeutic vaccines currently being tested on humans.

Too old for an organ donation? In the wake of a profound shortage in organs to be transplanted to patients in need, researchers determined that organ donors over the age of 70 did not put their own health at risk by donating a kidney. The kidneys they donated did not last as long as those taken from younger living donors, but they did last as long as those taken from younger deceased donors.

Advice for cancer therapeutics. A panel of industry professionals offered their two cents on developing cancer diagnostics and therapeutics at the 2011 BIO Investor Forum. “Engage early, even with a small number of patients, in developing a package for a phase one,” said Rollie Carlson of Asuragen.

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