Volume 5.19 | May 19

ESC & iPSC News 5.19, May 19, 2010.
In this issue:  Science News |  Current Publications |  Industry News |  Policy News |  Events
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Aiming to Cure Deafness, Scientists First to Create Functional Inner-Ear Cells
Researchers report that they have found a way to develop mouse cells that look and act just like the animal’s inner-ear hair cells – the linchpin to our sense of hearing and balance – in a petri dish. [Press release from the Stanford University School of Medicine discussing online prepublication in Cell]



Low Oxygen Levels Prevent X Chromosome Inactivation in Human Embryonic Stem Cells
Oxygen levels in the lab can permanently alter human embryonic stem cells, specifically inducing X chromosome inactivation in female cells. [Press release from the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research discussing online prepublication in Cell]


CURRENT PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

Mechanosensitive Hair Cell-like Cells from Embryonic and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Researchers present a stepwise guidance protocol starting with mouse embryonic stem and induced pluripotent stem cells, which were directed toward becoming ectoderm capable of responding to otic-inducing growth factors. [Cell]

Derivation of Pre-X Inactivation Human Embryonic Stem Cells under Physiological Oxygen Concentrations
These findings indicate that the human blastocyst contains pre-X-inactivation cells and that this state is preserved in vitro through culture under physiological oxygen. [Cell]

Jarid2 Is a PRC2 Component in Embryonic Stem Cells Required for Multi-Lineage Differentiation and Recruitment of PRC1 and RNA Polymerase II to Developmental Regulators
These data indicate that transcriptional priming of bivalent genes in pluripotent embryonic stem cells is Jarid2-dependent, and suggests that priming is critical for subsequent multi-lineage differentiation. [Nat Cell Biol]

The Homeobox Gene Hhex Regulates the Earliest Stages of Definitive Hematopoiesis
To investigate the role of Hhex in hematopoiesis researchers adapted a murine embryonic stem (ES) cell co-culture system, in which ES cells can differentiate into CD41+ and CD45+ hematopoietic progenitors in vitro. [Blood]

Distinct Histone Modifications in Stem Cell Lines and Tissue Lineages from the Early Mouse Embryo
Here, researchers compare the genome wide location of active and repressive histone modifications in embryonic stem cells, trophoblast stem cells, and extraembryonic endoderm stem cells from the mouse. [Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A]

Genome-Wide DNA Methylation Profile of Tissue-Dependent and Differentially Methylated Regions (T-DMRs) Residing in Mouse Pluripotent Stem Cells
DNA methylation profile of T-DMRs contributes to the mechanism of pluripotency, and can be a feasible solution for identification and evaluation of the pluripotent cells. [Genes Cells]

Systemic Transplantation of Embryonic Stem Cells Accelerates Brain Lesion Decrease and Angiogenesis
These findings suggested that embryonic stem cell transplantation reduced the brain lesion through the acceleration of angiogenesis by endogenous endothelial cells. [Neuroreport]


The Pontifical Council for Culture and NeoStem Partner to Advance Adult Stem Cell Research
NeoStem, Inc., an international biopharmaceutical company with operations in the US and China, and the Vatican’s Pontifical Council for Culture, announced a joint initiative that includes their charitable organizations to expand research and raise awareness of adult stem cell therapies. [NeoStem, Inc. Press Release]

Tianjin International Joint Academy of Biotechnology and Medicine, Genzyme Enter into Strategic Partnership
The strategic partnership between Tianjin International Joint Academy of Biotechnology and Medicine and Genzyme will help quickly and successfully bring the company’s innovative drugs to China, promoting innovation and development of the Chinese biopharmaceutical industry. [PR Newswire Press Release]

The New York Stem Cell Foundation Receives $27 Million Grant from Robertson Foundation to Promote Stem Cell Research
The New York Stem Cell Foundation has received a grant of $27 million from the Robertson Foundation, established by Julian and Josie Robertson. [The New York Stem Cell Foundation Press Release]

Beike Biotechnology Opens World’s Largest Stem Cell Storage and Processing Facility
Beike Biotechnology Co. Ltd. and the Jiangsu government’s China Medical City opened China’s state-of-the-art stem cell storage and processing facility. [Beike Biotechnology Co. Ltd. Press Release]

Geron Announces Positive Study Data on GRNCM1
Geron Corporation reported positive preclinical study data showing that GRNCM1, Geron’s cardiomyocyte product derived from human embryonic stem cells, does not cause cardiac arrhythmias after transplantation into a model of chronic heart damage designed to test this potential safety concern.  [Geron Corporation Press Release]

United States FDA Clears Phase 2 Trial for Cervical Spinal Fusion
Australia’s regenerative medicine company, Mesoblast Limited, announced that it has received clearance from the United States Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to begin Phase 2 clinical trials of its “off-the-shelf” or allogeneic stem cell product NeoFuse™ for fusion of the cervical spine in the neck. [Mesoblast Limited Press Release]

ImmunoCellular Therapeutics and Torrey Pines Institute Identify Peptides Which Show Potential To Generate Cancer Stem Cell Specific Immune Responses
ImmunoCellular Therapeutics, Ltd. announced that the Company and Torrey Pines Institute for Molecular Studies in San Diego, CA have identified several peptides which can generate CD-133 specific T-cells. CD-133 is found in high abundance on cancer stem cells which makes it promising for immunological targeting. [ImmunoCellular Therapeutics, Ltd. Press Release]

Fate Therapeutics Expands Scientific Advisory Board to Advance Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Technology and Stem Cell Modulator Pipeline
Fate Therapeutics, Inc. announced the appointment of six respected research leaders to the Company’s Scientific Advisory Board. [Fate Therapeutics, Inc. Press Release]

Johns Hopkins to Unveil Center for Biotechnology Education
The Johns Hopkins University’s Zanvyl Krieger School of Arts and Sciences, Advanced Academic Programs, will unveil the Center for Biotechnology at its fifth annual biotechnology research symposium. [Johns Hopkins’ Center for Biotechnology Education Press Release]

Kyoto University Opens iPS Cell Research Center
A research laboratory for studying induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells has been completed at Kyoto University Hospital, part of an effort to win the fierce global competition to put such cells to practical medical use. [The Daily Yomiuri Press Release]


House Nixes More Research Spending in COMPETES Bill
Catching the Democratic leadership by surprise, members voted 292 to 126 to block passage of a 5-year authorization bill that would have provided healthy increases in the research and education budgets of the National Science Foundation and research programs at the Department of Energy and the Department of Commerce. [House of Representatives, United States]

United States Department of Health and Human Services Secretary Sebelius Announces $1 Billion in NIH Recovery Act Awards to Construct or Improve Biomedical Research Facilities
U.S. Health and Human Services Secretary Kathleen Sebelius announced one billion dollars of American Recovery and Reinvestment Act funds have been awarded to construct, repair and renovate scientific research laboratories and related facilities across the country. [National Institutes of Health, United States]

European and International Experts Discuss the Way Forward in Stem-Cell Research and Development
The European Medicines Agency assembled for the first time European and international experts from academia, regulatory authorities and pharmaceutical industry to review opportunities and difficulties in developing stem cell-based therapies and to discuss regulatory challenges. [European Medicines Agency, European Union]

EU Agency Prepares to Assess First Stem Cell Drug
The first regenerative medicine based on stem cells could be filed for approval in Europe later this year, bringing the groundbreaking medical technology a step closer to reality. [European Medicines Agency, European Union]

Statement by HHS Secretary Kathleen Sebelius and NIH Director Francis Collins Regarding the President’s Intent to Appoint Dr. Harold Varmus as Director of the National Institute of Cancer at the National Institutes of Health [Department of Health and Human Services, United States]

Notice of Intent to Publish Request for Applications for the Clinical Proteomic Technologies for Cancer Initiative (CPTC): Proteome Characterization Centers (NOT-CA-10-027) [National Institutes of Health, United States]


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

Stem Cell Investor & Executive Networking Conference Event (S.C.I.E.N.C.E.)
June 1, 2010
New York, 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) 3rd Annual Scientific Conference
July 12-14, 2010
Nottingham, United Kingdom

CHI’s 5th Annual Immunotherapeutics and Vaccine Summit (ImVacS)
August 17-19, 2010
Cambridge, United States

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

International Society for Cell Therapy (ISCT) – Europe 2nd Regional Meeting
September 11-14, 2010
Belgirate, Italy

Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS) – Asia Pacific 2010
September 15-17, 2010
Sydney, Australia

2010 World Stem Cell Summit
October 4-6, 2010
Detroit, United States

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

Stem Cell Network 10th Annual Scientific Meeting
November 22-24, 2010
Calgary, Canada

Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS) – North America 2010 Annual Conference
December 5-8, 2010
Orlando, United States

Visit our events page to stay up to date with the latest events in the cell, gene and immunotherapy community.



Senior Scientist – Magnetic Cell Separation (STEMCELL Technologies)

Business Development Manager Europe – Cell Therapy Products (Pall Corporation)

Manager/Sr. Manager, Therapeutic Cell Solutions, Process Development (Lonza)

Sr. Product Support and Training Specialist (CardianBCT)

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