Volume 5.08 | Mar 3

ESC & iPSC News 5.08, March 3, 2010.
In this issue:  Science News |  Current Publications |  Industry News |  Policy News |  Events
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TOP STORY

Scientists First to Identify Wide Variety of Genetic Splicing in Embryonic Stem Cells
Human embryonic stem cells must sort through a seemingly endless number of options to settle on the specific genetic message that instructs them to become more-specialized cells in the body.  Researchers have shown that this tuning process is accomplished in part by restricting the number of transcripts produced from each gene. [Press release from the Stanford University School of Medicine discussing the online prepublication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA]

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SPECIAL FEATURE

Human Pluripotent Stem Cell Training Course
Friday, March 26 & Saturday, March 27
Vancouver, Canada



SCIENCE NEWS

Stem Cells Restore Sight in Mouse Model of Retinitis Pigmentosa
An international research team successfully used mouse embryonic stem cells to replace diseased retinal cells and restore sight in a mouse model of retinitis pigmentosa. [Press release from Columbia University Medical Center discussing the online prepublication in Transplantation]

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CURRENT PUBLICATIONS

Telomere Elongation in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells from Dyskeratosis Congenita Patients
Reprogrammed dyskeratosis congenita cells overcome a critical limitation in telomerase RNA component levels to restore telomere maintenance and self-renewal. [Nature]

Proviral Silencing in Embryonic Stem Cells Requires the Histone Methyltransferase ESET
A DNA-methylation-independent pathway involving KAP1 and ESET/ESET-mediated histone H3 lysine 9 trimethylation is required for proviral silencing during the period early in embryogenesis when DNA methylation is dynamically reprogrammed. [Nature]

Dynamic Transcriptomes During Neural Differentiation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells Revealed by Short, Long, and Paired-End Sequencing
To examine the fundamental mechanisms governing neural differentiation, researchers analyzed the transcriptome changes that occur during the differentiation of human embryonic stem cells into the neural lineage. [Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A]

Mouse and Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells as a Source for Multipotent Isl1+ Cardiovascular Progenitors
Using genetic fate-mapping, researchers show that Isl1+ multipotent cardiovascular progenitors can be generated from mouse induced pluripotent stem cells and spontaneously differentiate in all 3 cardiovascular lineages in vivo without teratoma. [FASEB J]

Generation of Skeletal Muscle Stem/Progenitor Cells from Murine Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Researchers demonstrate that murine induced pluripotent stem cells have the potential to develop in vitro into skeletal muscle stem/progenitor cells, which are almost equivalent to murine embryonic stem cells. [FASEB J]

Differentiation of Embryonic Stem Cells 1 (Dies1) is a Component of Bone Morphogenetic Protein 4 (BMP4) Signaling Pathway Required for Proper Differentiation of Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells
Researchers demonstrate that Dies1 is required for BMP4/Smad1 signaling cascade; in undifferentiated embryonic stem cells, Dies1 knockdown did not affect the expression of leukemia inhibitory factor downstream targets, whereas it resulted in a strong decrease of BMP4 signaling, as demonstrated by the decrease of Id1, -2, and -3 mRNAs, the decreased activity of Id1 gene promoter, and the reduced phospho-Smad1 levels. [J Biol Chem]

Adaptation to Oxygen Deprivation in Cultures of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells, Endothelial Progenitor Cells, and Umbilical Vein Endothelial Cells
Investigators sought to explore the in vitro response of cultures of human embryonic stem cells, induced pluripotent stem cells, human endothelial progenitor cells, and human umbilical cord vein endothelial cells to normoxic and hypoxic oxygen tensions. [ Am J Physiol Cell Physiol]

Transplantation of Reprogrammed Embryonic Stem Cells Improves Visual Function in a Mouse Model for Retinitis Pigmentosa
Retinal pigment epithelia (RPE)-like cells derived from embryonic stem cells sequentially express multiple RPE-specific markers. [Transplantation]



INDUSTRY NEWS

Merck KGaA and Millipore Announce Transaction
Merck KGaA and Millipore Corporation recently announced that they have entered into a definitive agreement under which Merck KGaA will acquire all outstanding shares of common stock of Millipore, for US$107 per share in cash, or a total transaction value, including net debt, of approximately US$7.2 billion. [Merck KGaA Press Release]

Millipore Corporation Confirms It is Evaluating Strategic Alternatives
Millipore Corporation confirmed that its Board of Directors is evaluating strategic alternatives to enhance shareholder value, including by pursuing a process with potential bidders to explore a possible merger or sale of the Company. [Millipore Corporation Press Release]

Celgene Opens European Research & Development Hub for Translational Science
The collaboration’s main objective is to minimize the gap between basic scientific research and clinical results, so that patients benefit sooner from laboratory discoveries. [New Statesman]



POLICY NEWS

Governor Pledges to Veto Any Restrictions on Stem Cell Research
Governor Granholm says she will veto any efforts to write new restrictions into the amendment that allows embryonic stem cell research at publicly funded research clinics. [Michigan Senate, United States]

Idaho Senate Votes 21-13 for ‘Conscience’ Bill
After a long and emotional debate, Senators voted 21-13 to allow pharmacists, nurses and other health-care workers to opt out of providing assistance for abortions, stem cell therapy, emergency contraception or end-of-life care, if they tell their employers first the procedures violate their conscience. [Idaho Senate, United States]

Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Awards $6.6 Million Grant for Next Phase of Development at Gateway Park
The Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Board of Directors recently awarded a $6.6 million grant to Worcester Polytechnic Institute to support the next phase of life sciences related development at Gateway Park in Worcester.  [Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, United States]

Massachusetts Life Sciences Center Launches 2010 Accelerator Program for Early-Stage Companies
The primary objective of the Accelerator Loan Program is to provide working capital to early stage life sciences companies that still are in the process of further developing their science/technology and have not yet raised more than $5 million in equity financing.  [Massachusetts Life Sciences Center, United States]

National Institutes of Health Director Ruffles Feathers Again With New Religion Book
National Institutes of Health Director Francis Collins is again riling some scientists by publicly sharing his religious beliefs – this time by publishing a new book about faith. [National Institutes of Health, United States]

National Institutes of Health Director Goes Shopping
Francis Collins, the new leader of National Institutes of Health, announced that he will spend more than $200 million out of the Common Fund over the next five years on seven programmes in areas ranging from global health to how to speed therapies to the clinic. [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposals, Submissions, and Approvals; Human Tissue Intended for Transplantation, 9226-9227 [FDA-2010-N-0066] [Food and Drug Administration, United States]

Health and Human Services Announces New Partnership Between the National Institutes of Health and the Food and Drug Administration [Health and Human Services, United States]

Notice from the John E. Fogarty International Center with Corrections Made to PAR-10-065: Independent Scientist in Global Health Award (ISGHA) (K02) (NOT-TW-10-002) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Advancing Regulatory Science through Novel Research and Science-Based Technologies (U01) (RFA-RM-10-006) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Status of Certain Human Embryonic Stem Cell Lines (NOT-OD-10-063) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Review Considerations for Applications and Awards under the New National Institutes of Health Guidelines for Human Stem Cell Research (NOT-OD-10-056) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

UPDATE TO RFA-OD-10-009: OS Recovery Act Limited Competition: Methodology Development in Comparative Effectiveness Research (RC4) Announcement of Non-Applicability of Requirement to Attend Meetings (NOT-OD-10-062) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Delays in Grant Application Submission to AHRQ due to Recent Winter Storm (NOT-HS-10-013) [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]

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards for Individual Predoctoral MD/PhD and Other Dual Doctoral Degree Fellows (Parent F30) (PA-10-107) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards for Individual Predoctoral Fellows (Parent F31) (PA-10-108) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards for Individual Predoctoral Fellowships to Promote Diversity in Health-Related Research (Parent F31 – Diversity) (PA-10-109) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSA) for Individual Postdoctoral Fellows (Parent F32) (PA-10-110) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Awards (NRSA) for Individual Senior Fellows (Parent F33) (PA-10-111) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute Will Provide Limited Supplemental Support to the National Institute of General Medical Sciences Medical Scientist Training Program in FY 2010 (NOT-HL-11-103) [National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute, United States]



EVENTS

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

3rd Annual Stem Cells Europe
August 24-25, 2010
Edinburgh, Scotland

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



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