Volume 11.17 | May 4

ESC & iPSC News 11.17 May 4, 2016
ESC & iPSC News
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Genome Editing of Lineage Determinants in Human Pluripotent Stem Cells Reveals Mechanisms of Pancreatic Development and Diabetes
Investigators used TALEN and CRISPR/Cas-mediated gene editing and human pluripotent stem cell-directed differentiation for a systematic analysis of the roles of eight pancreatic transcription factors. Their analysis not only verified conserved gene requirements between mice and humans but also revealed a number of previously unsuspected developmental mechanisms with implications for type 2 diabetes. [Cell Stem Cell]
Abstract | Graphical Abstract
Register Now: Webinar by Dr. Chad Cowan on Investigating Metabolic Disease with Human Pluripotent Stem Cells
PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Self-Organization of the In Vitro Attached Human Embryo
Scientists report the use of a novel in vitro system to study the post-implantation development of the human embryo. They unveiled the self-organizing abilities and autonomy of in vitro attached human embryos. [Nature] Abstract

Pharmacological Reprogramming of Fibroblasts into Neural Stem Cells by Signaling-Directed Transcriptional Activation
Scientists report highly efficient reprogramming of mouse fibroblasts into induced neural stem cell-like cells (ciNSLCs) using a cocktail of nine components. The resulting ciNSLCs closely resemble primary neural stem cells molecularly and functionally. [Cell Stem Cell] Abstract | Graphical Abstract

The Pluripotency Factor Nanog Regulates Pericentromeric Heterochromatin Organization in Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells
Scientists identified a new role for the transcription factor NANOG as a key regulator connecting the pluripotency network with constitutive heterochromatin organization in mouse embryonic stem cells. [Genes Dev] Abstract | Full Article

Site-Specific Genome Editing for Correction of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Derived from Dominant Dystrophic Epidermolysis Bullosa
The authors performed genome editing with TALENs and CRISPR/Cas9 targeting the mutation, c.8068_8084delinsGA. They then cotransfected Cas9 and guide RNA expression vectors expressed with GFP and DsRed, respectively, into induced pluripotent stem cells generated from dominant dystrophic epidermolysis bullosa fibroblasts. Their data established the feasibility of mutation site-specific genome editing in dominant negative disorders. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract

Study of Mitochondrial Respiratory Defects on Reprogramming to Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Investigators utilized Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy as a mitochondrial disease model to study the effects of homoplasmic mtDNA mutations and subsequent oxidative phosphorylation defects in reprogramming. [Aging (Albany NY)] Full Article

Intercellular Adhesion-Dependent Cell Survival and ROCK-Regulated Actomyosin-Driven Forces Mediate Self-Formation of a Retinal Organoid
Scientists dissected retinal organoid morphogenesis in human embryonic stem cell (hESC)-derived cultures and established a convenient method for isolating large quantities of retinal organoids for modeling human retinal development and disease. Epithelialized cysts were generated via floating culture of clumps of Matrigel/hESCs. Upon spontaneous attachment and spreading of the cysts, patterned retinal monolayers with tight junctions formed. [Stem Cell Reports] Full Article | Graphical Abstract

Optimized Approaches for Generation of Integration-Free iPSCs from Human Urine-Derived Cells with Small Molecules and Autologous Feeder
Researchers optimized reprogramming approaches for human urine-derived cells (hUCs) with very poor proliferation. They report here that a compound cocktail containing cyclic pifithrin-a (a P53 inhibitor), A-83-01, CHIR99021, thiazovivin, NaB, and PD0325901 significantly improved the reprogramming efficiency for hUCs. [Stem Cell Reports] Full Article | Graphical Abstract

PI3K/AKT Signaling Pathway Is Essential for Survival of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
The authors focused on the apoptotic response of Alzheimer fibroblast-derived induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) and two other Alzheimer free iPSCs to five biologically relevant kinase inhibitors as well as to the death ligand TRAIL. [PLoS One] Full Article

Effects and Mechanisms of Melatonin on Neural Differentiation of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Researchers investigated effects and mechanisms of melatonin on neural differentiation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). iPSCs were induced into neural stem cells, then further differentiated into neurons in medium with or without melatonin, melatonin receptor antagonist or phosphatidylinositide 3 kinase inhibitor. [Biochem Biophys Res Commun] Abstract

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A New, Dynamic Era for Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer?
Somatic cell nuclear transfer has become a controllable process that can be used to ‘rescue’ endangered species, and for biomedical research such as therapeutic cloning and the isolation of induced pluripotent stem cells. [Trends Biotechnol] Abstract

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First Skin-to-Eye Stem Cell Transplant in Humans Successful
Researchers have safely transplanted stem cells derived from a patient’s skin to the back of the eye in an effort to restore vision. [Press release from Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (NewsWise, Inc.) discussing research presented at the 2016 Annual Meeting of the Association for Research in Vision and Ophthalmology (ARVO), Seattle] Press Release

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Two Scientists Receive 2016 March of Dimes Prize for Revolutionary Co-Discovery of MicroRNAs, the Smallest Genes in Biology
Victor R. Ambros, PhD, of the University of Massachusetts Medical School, and Gary Ruvkun, PhD, Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School, have been awarded the 2016 March of Dimes and Richard B. Johnston, Jr., MD Prize in Developmental Biology. [March of Dimes] Press Release

ORIG3N Opens Regenerative Medicine Laboratory and Expanded Headquarters in Boston’s Innovation District
ORIG3N, Inc. announced the formal opening of its new headquarters and laboratory in Boston’s Seaport District. ORIG3N’s new expanded facility will provide state-of-the-art functionality to sustain collaborative research programs that support ORIG3N’s cellular models called LifeSystems™, as well as the company’s product development and commercial activities. [ORIG3N, Inc. (PR Newswire Association LLC.)] Press Release
Nine Years of Censorship
Canadian scientists are now allowed to speak out about their work — and the government policy that had restricted communications. [Nature News] Editorial

U.S. And U.K. Universities Announce Binational Postdoc Program
Ph.D. scientists looking for a different kind of PostDoc may wish to consider applying for an unusual new fellowship announced by the University of Birmingham in the United Kingdom and the University of Illinois, Urbana-Champaign (UIUC), in the United States. The appointments last 3 years, with the first and third spent at Birmingham and the second at UIUC. Fellows will have a mentor at each institution. [Science] Editorial
NEW Nordic Life Science Days 2016
September 14-15, 2016
Stockholm, Sweden

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NEW Postdoctoral Position – Epigenetics and Aging (Leibniz Institute on Aging – Fritz Lipmann Institute)

Research Technologist – Myogenic and Progenitor Cell (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Scientist – Pluripotent Stem Cells (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Research Technologist – Pluripotent Stem Cell Biology (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Scientist – Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Neural Differentiation (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Scientist and Postdoctoral Positions – Stem Cells (National Institutes of Health)

Postdoctoral Positions – Stem Cell/Genome Editing/Neuroscience/Neurodegeneration (Brigham & Women’s Hospital)

Postdoctoral Researcher – Genomics and Stem Cells (Uniklinik Koln)

Cell Culture Technician (California Institute of Technology)

Postdoctoral Research Associate – Stem Cell Biology and Cell Differentiation (University of Illinois Chicago College of Medicine)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Stem Cell Research (Oslo University Hospital Rikshospitalet)

Postdoctoral Researcher – Stem Cell Biology Regenerative Medicine Institute (NUI Galway)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow – Cancer Stem Cell Biology (Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center)

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