Volume 10.39 | Oct 14

ESC & iPSC News 10.39 October 14, 2015
ESC & iPSC News
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Scientists Convert Skin Cells into Functional Placenta-Generating Cells
Researchers succeeded in converting skin cells into stable and fully functional placenta-generating cells. They identified three genes (Gata3, Eomes and Tfap2c) that when introduced into skin cells, could initiate a cell fate program that completely converted the skin cells into stable and fully functional placenta-generating cells. [Press release from The Hebrew University of Jerusalem discussing online prepublication in Cell Stem Cell] Press Release | Abstract | Graphical Abstract
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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Directly Reprogrammed Human Neurons Retain Aging-Associated Transcriptomic Signatures and Reveal Age-Related Nucleocytoplasmic Defects
Researchers generated neurons from human donors across a broad range of ages, either by iPSC-based reprogramming and differentiation or by direct conversion into induced neurons. [Cell Stem Cell]
Full Article | Graphical Abstract | Press Release

Role of the Small Subunit Processome in the Maintenance of Pluripotent Stem Cells
Investigators applied an RNAi screen for RNA-binding proteins (RBPs) in mouse embryonic stem cells and identified 16 RBPs involved in pluripotency maintenance. Interestingly, six identified RBPs, including Krr1 and Ddx47, are part of a complex called small subunit processome that mediates 18S rRNA biogenesis. [Genes Dev] Full Article | Press Release

Differentiation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells into Cone Photoreceptors through Simultaneous Inhibition of BMP, TGFβ and Wnt Signaling
Upon exposure to recombinant COCO, human embryonic stem cells differentiated into S-cone photoreceptors developed an inner segment-like protrusion, and could degrade cGMP when exposed to light. [Development] Abstract | Press Release

Directed Differentiation of Embryonic Stem Cells into Cardiomyocytes by Bacterial Injection of Defined Transcription Factors
Scientists developed a bacterial type III secretion system-based protein delivery tool and showed its application in directing pluripotent stem cell differentiation by a controlled delivery of transcription factors relevant to early heart development. [Sci Rep] Full Article

MFG-E8 Is Critical for Embryonic Stem Cell-Mediated T Cell Immunomodulation
Investigators provided evidence that milk fat globule epidermal growth factor 8 (MFG-E8) is a vital mediator in this phenomenon and directly suppresses T cell immune responses. MFG-E8 is enriched in undifferentiated embryonic stem cells (ESCs) but diminished in differentiated ESCs. [Stem Cell Reports]
Full Article | Graphical Abstract

Calcineurin-NFAT Signaling Controls Somatic Cell Reprogramming in a Stage-Dependent Manner
Researchers report that calcineurin-NFAT signaling has a dynamic activity and plays diverse roles at different stages of reprogramming. At the early stage, calcineurin-NFAT signaling is transiently activated and its activation is required for successful reprogramming. [J Cell Physiol] Abstract

Phosphatidic Acid Improves Reprogramming to Pluripotency by Reducing Apoptosis
By using lentiviral expression of the Yamanaka factors in mouse embryonic fibroblasts for reprogramming, investigators identified that phosphatidic acid is beneficial for the generation of induced pluripotent stem colonies. [Stem Cells Dev] Abstract

Efficient Gene-Targeting in Rat Embryonic Stem Cells by CRISPR/Cas and Generation of Human Kynurenine Aminotransferase II (KAT II) Knock-in Rat
Researchers developed a method to improve the efficiency of homologous recombination in embryonic stem cells by the combination with the CRISPR/Cas system. [Transgenic Res] Abstract

Generation and Periodontal Differentiation of Human Gingival Fibroblasts-Derived Integration-Free Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Scientists successfully generated induced pluripotent stem cells from readily accessible human gingival fibroblasts through an integration-free and feeder-free approach via delivery of reprogramming factors of Oct4, Sox2, Klf4, L-myc, Lin28 and TP53 shRNA with episomal plasmid vectors. [Biochem Biophys Res Commun] Abstract

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Fluorescent Reporters in Human Pluripotent Stem Cells: Contributions to Cardiac Differentiation and Their Applications in Cardiac Disease and Toxicity
The authors discuss the various strategies that have been followed to generate and study fluorescent reporter lines in human pluripotent stem cells and provide insights how these reporter lines contribute to a better understanding and improvement of cell-based therapies and preclinical drug and toxicity screenings in the cardiac field. [Stem Cells] Abstract

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Cell Therapy Ltd. to Submit Heartcel™ for Conditional Marketing Authorization Post Meeting with the European Medicines Agency
Cell Therapy Ltd. (CTL) announced that, following a pre-submission meeting with the European Medicines Agency, CTL will begin the application process for a conditional marketing authorization for Heartcel™, the first allogeneic stem cell therapy to regenerate the human heart, in Europe. [Cell Therapy Ltd.] Press Release

Human Longevity, Inc. Launches the Health Nucleus, a Comprehensive and Personalized Health Platform for Individuals
Human Longevity, Inc. announced the launch of the company’s first Health Nucleus™, a genomic powered clinical research project that has the potential to transform healthcare. [Human Longevity, Inc.] Press Release

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UNESCO Panel of Experts Calls for Ban on “Editing” of Human DNA to Avoid Unethical Tampering with Hereditary Traits
At the close of a meeting at UNESCO in Paris, independent experts of the Organization’s International Bioethics Committee published a report “Updating its Reflection on the Human Genome and Human Rights.” In it, the experts argue that “gene therapy could be a watershed in the history of medicine and genome editing is unquestionably one of the most promising undertakings of science for the sake of all humankind.” [UNESCO] Press Release

Most Animal Research Studies May Not Avoid Key Biases
Researchers who conduct animal studies often don’t use simple safeguards against biases that have become standard in human clinical trials—or at least they don’t report doing so in their scientific papers, making it impossible for readers to ascertain the quality of the work, an analysis of more than 2500 journal articles shows. [ScienceInsider] Editorial

Cancer Research UK Announces Grand Challenges Competition
A £20 million grant awaits a team of researchers who submit the best proposal for tackling one of seven grand challenges in cancer. The new competition, announced by Cancer Research UK, the giant U.K. research charity, is meant to spur collaborations aimed at exploring untested but promising ideas. [ScienceInsider] Editorial
NEW Cell Symposia – 10 Years of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
September 25-27, 2016
Berkeley, United States

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NEW Research Technician – Basic Sciences\Cell and Molecular Biology (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center)

NEW Postdoctoral Position – Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine (Northwestern University)

NEW Postdoctoral Fellow – iPSC Research (Icahn School of Medicine at Mount Sinai)

Postdoctoral Position – Biomaterials for Cell Reprogramming (Institute of Tissue Regeneration Engineering)

Postdoctoral Position – Stem Cells, Development, and Cancer Biology (University of California, Santa Cruz)

Assistant/Associate/Full Professor – Biomedical Engineering (Worcester Polytechnic Institute)

Assistant Professor – Stem Cell Biology (University of South Carolina)

Postdoctoral Position – Spinal Cord Injury Research (Indiana University-Purdue University)

Laboratory Head – Stem Cell Biology (RIKEN)

Postdoctoral Fellow – HMGA Chromatin Remodeling Proteins in Cancer and Stem Cell Biology (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)

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