Volume 5.05 | Feb 10

ESC & iPSC News 5.05, February 10, 2010.
In this issue:  Science News |  Current Publications |  Industry News |  Policy News |  Events
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TOP STORY

Virus-Free Technique Enables Scientists to Easily Make Stem Cells Pluripotent, Moving Closer to Possible Human Therapies
Tiny circles of DNA are the key to a new and easier way to transform stem cells from human fat into induced pluripotent stem cells for use in regenerative medicine. [Press release from Stanford University School of Medicine discussing the online prepublication in Nature Methods]

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SCIENCE NEWS

Czech, United States Scientists’ Discovery Eases Stem Cells Production
Czech and U.S. scientists have discovered certain regularities in the genesis of mammals’ embryos that might simplify the production of stem cells from body cells. [Press release from the Prague Daily Monitor discussing the online prepublication in Current Biology and Biology of Reproduction]

Researchers Cast Light On How Stem Cells ‘Make Decisions’
Researchers at the University of Toronto are part of an international collaboration which has shed new light on how stem cells “decide” what kinds of cells to become, opening up new opportunities for regenerative medicine such as cell-based therapies and even potential cancer treatments. [Press release from the University of Toronto discussing the online prepublication in Cell Stem Cell]

3-D Scaffold Provides Clean, Biodegradable Structure for Stem Cell Growth
Material scientists have built a three-dimensional scaffold out of a natural material that mimics the binding sites for stem cells, allowing the cells to reproduce on a clean, biodegradable structure. [Press release from the University of Washington discussing the online prepublication in Biomaterials]

Engineer Creates Unique Software that Predicts Stem Cell Fate
An assistant professor at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee is creating software that offers a completely novel approach to analyzing time-lapse images capturing live stem cell behaviors. [Press release from the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee discussing the online prepublication in Nature Methods]

Method of the Future Uses Single-Cell Imaging to Identify Gene Interactions
Researchers have developed a novel method of interpreting data from single-cell images to identify genetic interactions within biological networks, offering a glimpse into the future of high-throughput cell imaging analysis. [Press release from the Cold Spring Harbor Laboratory discussing the online prepublication in Genome Research]

Scientists Map Epigenome of Human Stem Cells During Development
Singaporean scientists led an international effort to build a map that shows in detail how the human genome is modified during embryonic development. [Press release from the Genome Institute of Singapore discussing the online prepublication in Genome Research]

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CURRENT PUBLICATIONS

Opposing MicroRNA Families Regulate Self-Renewal in Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells
The introduction of let-7 microRNA (miRNAs), a family of miRNAs highly expressed in somatic cells, can suppress self-renewal in Dgcr8 -/- but not wild-type embryonic stem cells. [Nature]

Tbx3 Improves the Germ-Line Competency of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
This study underscores the intrinsic qualitative differences between induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells generated by different methods, and highlights the need to rigorously characterize iPS cells beyond in vitro studies. [Nature]

Computational Prediction of Neural Progenitor Cell Fates
Researchers present a computational method, based on algorithmic information theory, to analyze dynamic features of living cells over time. [Nat Methods]

Screening the Mammalian Extracellular Proteome for Regulators of Embryonic Human Stem Cell Pluripotency
To analyze the physiological activities of the extracellular proteome, researchers developed a large-scale, high-throughput protein expression, purification, and screening platform. [Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A]

Development of the Circadian Oscillator During Differentiation of Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells In Vitro
Results demonstrate that an intrinsic program controls the formation of the circadian oscillator during the differentiation process of embryonic stem cells in vitro. [Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A]

Differentiation and Characterization of Metabolically Functioning Hepatocytes from Human Embryonic Stem Cells
Researchers generated a relatively homogenous population of hepatocytes from human embryonic stem cells, which appear to have complete metabolic function that is comparable to primary liver cells. [Stem Cells]

Polycomb-Like 2 Associates with Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 and Regulates Transcriptional Networks during Mouse Embryonic Stem Cell Self-Renewal and Differentiation
Researchers describe the role of Polycomb Repressive Complex 2 in both modulating transcription of embryonic stem cell (ESC) self-renewal genes in undifferentiated ESCs as well as developmental regulators during early commitment and differentiation. [Cell Stem Cell

The Nuclear Receptor Nr5a2 Can Replace Oct4 in the Reprogramming of Murine Somatic Cells to Pluripotent Cells
The orphan nuclear receptor Nr5a2 (also known as Lrh-1) can replace Oct4 in the derivation of induced pluripotent stem cells from mouse somatic cells, and it can also enhance reprogramming efficiency. [Cell Stem Cell

A Chimeric Vitronectin:IGF-I Protein Supports Feeder-Cell-Free and Serum-Free Culture of Human Embryonic Stem Cells
This study demonstrates that the novel, fully defined, synthetic vitronectin:IGF-I chimera-containing medium is a viable alternative to media containing serum, and that in conjunction with laminin-coated plates, facilitates feeder-cell-free and serum-free growth of human embryonic stem cells. [ Stem Cells Dev]

mTeSR  
Derive iPSCs feeder-free* with mTeSR®1
by STEMCELL Technologies
 
 
*Sun et al., PNAS, 2009 STEMCELL Technologies Inc
 


INDUSTRY NEWS

Fate Therapeutics Receives Allowance of First U.S. Patent for Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Technology
Fate Therapeutics, Inc. received a Notice of Allowance from the United States Patent and Trademark Office for U.S. Patent Application Number 10/997,146 entitled “Methods for Reprogramming Somatic Cells.” [Fate Therapeutics, Inc. Press Release]

Stem Cells: Science, Economy Edge Religion at the Polls
When it comes to stem cell research as a political issue, Wisconsin voters are more likely to be motivated by ideas of economic benefit and scientific progress than by religious objections, according to a new report. [University of Wisconsin-Madison Press Release]

Roche Allies with Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard to Develop Stem Cell-Derived Cell Lines for Drug Discovery
Roche is teaming up with the Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard University to develop new stem cell-based cell lines as disease models for early drug candidate testing. [Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News]

‘Clique’ of Scientists Skewing Stem Cell Research by Influencing High-Profile Journals
A small clique of scientists are skewing stem cell research by unduly influencing which breakthroughs get published in high-profile journals, experts have warned. [Telegraph]

Private, Public Research Under One Roof at the University of Wisconsin-Madison
When it opens in December, the $205 million Wisconsin Institutes for Discovery will be a showcase of high-tech design and model of collaboration. [Journal Sentinel]

University of Colorado Applies for Federal Grants to Help Finish Biotechnology Hub
The University of Colorado has applied for multi-million dollar federal grants to help finish the construction of its biotechnology building since the cash-strapped state is rejecting the school’s funding requests. [Daily Camera]



POLICY NEWS

Senate Rejects Stem Cell Legislation
By a vote of 21 to 12, the South Dakota Senate shot down a bill that could have repealed South Dakota’s ban on embryonic stem cell treatments. [South Dakota Senate, United States]

Parsing National Institutes of Health’s 2011 Budget: Is Big Science Up, Small Science Down?
Is National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins planning to steer his ocean liner of an institute toward “big biology” at the expense of single-investigator grants? [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Medvedev Talks Science in Moscow
Russian science has been getting some bad press recently, what with a recent report on its declining productivity in scientific papers and a letter from expatriate scientists to the Russian president and prime minister warning of the parlous state of basic research. [Russian Academy of Sciences, Russia]

Impersonation of MHRA Staff [Medicines and Healthcare Products Regulatory Agency, United Kingdom]

Waivers for Conflicts of Interest for the February 22, 2010 Vaccines and Related Biological Products Advisory Committee Meeting [Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, United States]

Recovery Act Limited Competition: Program to Enhance National Institutes of Health-Supported Global Health Research Involving Human Subjects (S07) (RFA-OD-10-006) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Institutional Clinical and Translational Science Award (U54) (RFA-RM-10-001) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

IACUC 101 Workshop and PRIM&R 2010 IACUC Conference: March 21-23, 2010 in Baltimore, MD (NOT-OD-10-059) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Delays in Grant Application Submission Due to Blizzard (NOT-OD-10-060) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Notice of Intent to Establish a New National Institutes of Health Common Fund Program: Library of Integrated Network-Based Cellular Signatures (LINCS) (NOT-RM-10-002) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Investigator Initiated Multi-Site Clinical Trials (Collaborative R01) (PAR-10-096) [National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, United States]



EVENTS

SMi’s 2nd Annual Stem Cells Conference 2010
February 15-16, 2010
London, United Kingdom

Keystone Symposia: Stem Cell Differentiation and Dedifferentiation (B4)
February 15-20, 2010
Keystone, United States

5th Annual Stem Cell Summit
February 16, 2010
New York, United States

American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) 101st Annual Meeting 2010
April 17-21, 2010
Washington, DC, United States

Society for Biological Engineering’s (SBE) 2nd International Conference on Stem Cell Engineering
May 2-5, 2010
Boston, United States

World Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine Congress 2010
May 11-13, 2010
London, United Kingdom

16th Annual International Society for Cellular Therapy (ISCT) Meeting
May 23-26, 2010
Philadelphia, United States

Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS) – European Union 2010
June 13-17, 2010
Galway, Ireland

International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR) 8th Annual Meeting
June 16-19, 2010
San Francisco, United States

United Kingdom National Stem Cell Network (UKNSCN) Third Annual Scientific Conference
July 12-14, 2010
Nottingham, United Kingdom

5th World Congress on Preventive & Regenerative Medicine
October 5-7, 2010
Hannover, Germany



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