Volume 5.31 | Aug 11

ESC & iPSC News 5.31, August 11, 2010.
In this issue:  Science News |  Current Publications |  Industry News |  Policy News |  Events
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TOP STORY

Human Embryonic Stem Cells and Reprogrammed Cells Virtually Identical 
Human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells exhibit very few differences in their gene expression signatures and are nearly indistinguishable in their chromatin state. [Press release from the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research discussing online prepublication in Cell Stem Cell]

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SCIENCE NEWS

Scientists Discover New Method for Regenerating Heart Muscle by Direct Reprogramming 
Scientists directly reprogrammed fibroblasts in the heart to become cardiomyocytes. In doing so, they also found the first evidence that unrelated adult cells can be reprogrammed from one cell type to another without having to go all the way back to a stem cell state. [Press release from the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease discussing online prepublication in Cell]

Death Dance Reveals Secrets of Apoptosis in Dissociated Human Embryonic Stem Cells
Researchers have unraveled the mystery of why human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells undergo programmed cell death when cultured in isolation. [Press release from the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology discussing online prepublication in Cell Stem Cell]

A Strategy to Fix a Broken Heart
Engineers and physicians have built a scaffold that supports the growth and integration of stem cell-derived cardiac muscle cells. [Press release from the University of Washington discussing online prepublication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA]

Human Embryonic Stem Cells Purified in New, Rapid Technique
Researchers are reporting the first success in very rapidly purifying one type of embryonic stem cell from a mix of many different types of embryonic stem cells in the culture dish. The technique avoids the need to genetically alter the cells to distinguish them. [Press release from the University of California, San Francisco discussing online prepublication in Stem Cells and Development]

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CURRENT PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

Direct Reprogramming of Fibroblasts into Functional Cardiomyocytes by Defined Factors
Researchers report that a combination of three developmental transcription factors (Gata4, Mef2c, and Tbx5) rapidly and efficiently reprogrammed postnatal cardiac or dermal fibroblasts directly into differentiated cardiomyocyte-like cells. [Cell]

Chromatin Structure and Gene Expression Programs of Human Embryonic and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Genome-wide maps of nucleosomes with histone H3K4me3 and H3K27me3 modifications indicate that there is little difference between embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) with respect to these marks. Gene expression profiles confirm that the transcriptional programs of ESCs and iPSCs show very few consistent differences. [Cell Stem Cell]

Molecular Pathway and Cell State Responsible for Dissociation-Induced Apoptosis in Human Pluripotent Stem Cells
Researchers show that the apoptosis of human embryonic stem cells, which is of a nonanoikis type, is caused by ROCK-dependent hyperactivation of actomyosin and efficiently suppressed by the myosin inhibitor Blebbistatin. [Cell Stem Cell]

Actin-Myosin Contractility Is Responsible for the Reduced Viability of Dissociated Human Embryonic Stem Cells
Researchers show that actin-myosin contraction is a critical effector of the cell death response to human embryonic stem cell dissociation. [Cell Stem Cell]

Lab-Specific Gene Expression Signatures in Pluripotent Stem Cells
Data are consistent with the hypothesis that in vitro microenvironmental context differentially impacts the gene expression signatures of both induced-pluripotent stem cells and embryonic stem cells. [Cell Stem Cell]

Proangiogenic Scaffolds as Functional Templates for Cardiac Tissue Engineering
Researchers demonstrate a cardiac tissue-engineering strategy addressing multicellular organization, integration into host myocardium, and directional cues to reconstruct the functional architecture of heart muscle. [Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A]

Generation of Genetically Modified Rats from Embryonic Stem Cells
To monitor the pluripotency of rat embryonic stem cells, researchers generated Oct4-Venus transgenic rats via a conventional method, in which Venus is expressed by the Oct4 promoter/enhancer. [Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A]

Proteomic Analysis of Sox2-Associated Proteins During Early Stages of Mouse Embryonic Stem Cell Differentiation Identifies Sox21 as a Novel Regulator of Stem Cell Fate
Researchers provide new insights into the range of molecular processes through which Sox2 is likely to influence the fate of embryonic stem cells (ESCs), and provide further support for the conclusion that the expression of Sox proteins in ESCs must be precisely regulated. [Stem Cells]

Vitamin C Promotes Widespread Yet Specific DNA Demethylation of the Epigenome in Human Embryonic Stem Cells
Data identify a novel link between ascorbate-mediated signaling and specific epigenetic changes in human embryonic stem cells that might impact on pluripotency and reprogramming pathways. [Stem Cells]

High Throughput Tracking of Pluripotent Human Embryonic Stem Cells with Dual FRET Molecular Beacons
Studies demonstrate that fluorescence resonance energy transfer-based FACS using molecular beacons provides a useful tool for isolating Oct4-expressing pluripotent human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), and may also be adapted to selecting differentiating hESCs at specific developmental time points determined by transcription factor expression without functional or genomic alteration. [Stem Cells and Dev]

INDUSTRY NEWS

Lonza Announces Collaboration with Roslin Cells for Pluripotent Stem Cell Media Development
Lonza Walkersville, Inc. (U.S.) has entered a worldwide, in kind research collaboration agreement with Roslin Cells for the development of customized cell culture media and processes for the production of pluripotent stem cells to advance the field of cell therapy. [Lonza Group Limited Press Release]

ACT Files Documentation with FDA for Clinical Trials Using ES Cells to Treat Eye Disease
Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. (ACT) announced that it has submitted documentation and a complete response to substantively address the issues raised by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) in connection with the Company’s plans to initiate a Phase I/II multicenter study using embryonic stem (ES) cell derived retinal cells to treat patients with Stargardt’s Macular Dystrophy. [Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. Press Release]

Panel Recommends Defining Select Agents by DNA Sequence
The way to bring synthetically designed genomes that could be potentially as deadly as known pathogens under regulation, according to a new National Academies report, is to develop a new system of defining select agents based on DNA sequences. [ScienceInsider]

Free Access to U.S. Research Papers Could Yield $1 Billion in Benefits
A new economic analysis finds that making taxpayer-funded scientific papers freely available would yield more than $1 billion in benefits to the U.S. economy over 30 years–five times the costs of archiving the papers. [ScienceInsider]

POLICY NEWS

Scientists Decry Proposed Ban on Chimp Research
In the latest twist in the protracted debate over the use of chimpanzees in biomedical research, U.S. senators introduced the Great Ape Protection Act, an identical bill to one that has been stuck in a House of Representatives committee for more than a year. [Senate, United States]

Senate Bill Would Encourage Drugs Targeting Rare Kids’ Diseases
A group of bipartisan senators introduced legislation to entice drug makers to focus more intently on cures for uncommon children’s diseases. [Senate, United States]

Decision Memo for Allogeneic Hematopoietic Stem Cell Transplantation for Myelodysplastic Syndrome (CAG-00415N)
The Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services have determined that the evidence does not demonstrate that the use of allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation improves health outcomes in Medicare beneficiaries with myelodysplastic syndrome. [Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services, United States]

FDA Issues Assessments of the 510(k) Program and Use of Science in Decision-Making
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration issued two comprehensive evaluations containing recommendations that address three key objectives of the agency’s public health mission as it relates to medical devices — foster device innovation, create a more predictable regulatory environment, and enhance device safety. [Food and Drug Administration, United States]

Solicitation for Nominations: New Clinical Preventive Health for the United States Preventive Services Task Force [2010–19117] [Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, United States]

Technical Assistance Videocast for RFA-RR-10-007: Clinical and Translational Science Coordinating Center (U54) (NOT-RR-10-012) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

NIH Common Fund Transformative Research Projects Program (R01) (RFA-RM-10-010) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Chimpanzee Biomedical Research Program Limited Competition (U42) (RFA-RR-10-008) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Assessing the Long-Term Impacts of the John E. Fogarty International Center’s Research and Training Programs (FR Doc. 2010-19160) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meeting (FR Doc. 2010-19167) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

2010 Biological License Application Supplement Noteworthy Approvals [Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, United States]

Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Generic Food and Drug Administration Rapid Response Surveys [Docket No. FDA-2010-N-0380] [Food and Drug Administration, United States]

Agency Information Collection Activities; Submission for Office of Management and Budget Review; Comment Request; Administrative Procedures for the Clinical Laboratory Improvement Amendments of 1988 Categorization [Docket No. FDA-2010-N-0199] [Food and Drug Administration, United States]

EVENTS

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

Select Biosciences Inaugural Cellular Therapy Summit

August 24-25, 2010
Edinburgh, Scotland

Select Biosciences 2nd Annual World Biobanking Summit
August 24-25, 2010
Edinburgh, Scotland

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

Hydra VI: The European Summer School on Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine
September 11-17, 2010
Hydra, Greece

Stem Cells USA & Regenerative Medicine Congress 2010
September 13-15, 2010
Philadelphia, United States


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

5th Annual Meeting of the German Society for Stem Cell Research
September 30-October 2, 2010
Lübeck, Germany

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

Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells: Production and Utility in Regenerative Medicine
October 7, 2010
Hertfordshire, United Kingdom

Fraunhofer Life Science Symposium Leipzig 2010
October 29-30, 2010
Leipzig, Germany

Select Biosciences 2nd International Forum on Stem Cells
November 12-13, 2010
Tianjin, China


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

Biotech Showcase 2011
January 10-12, 2011
San Francisco, United States 

Stem Cells World Congress
January 24-25, 2011
San Diego, United States


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



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