Volume 5.44 | Nov 10

ESC & iPSC News 5.44, November 10, 2010.
In this issue:  Science News |  Current Publications |  Industry News |  Policy News |  Events
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TOP STORY

Researchers Identify New Aspect of Cell Reprogramming  An interdisciplinary group of leading geneticists and stem cell researchers has found a new genetic aspect of cell reprogramming that may ultimately help in the fine-tuning of induced pluripotent stem cells into specific cell types. [Press release from Harvard University discussing online prepublication in Nature Genetics]

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SCIENCE NEWS

Team Implicates Wayward DNA-Repair Enzyme in Friedreich’s Ataxia
Scientists have taken a step closer to understanding the cause of Friedreich’s ataxia. After creating a stem cell model of the disease from patients’ skin cells, the scientists found strong evidence for the involvement of a DNA repair enzyme in the FXN triplet repeat expansion. [Press release from the Scripps Research Institute discussing online prepublication in Cell Stem Cell]

Fly Stem Cells on Diet: Scientists Discovered How Stem Cells Respond to Nutrient Availability
A study revealed that stem cells can sense a decrease in available nutrients and respond by retaining only a small pool of active stem cells for tissue maintenance. When, or if, favorable conditions return, stem cell numbers multiply to accommodate increased demands on the tissue. [Press release from the Salk Institute for Biological Studies discussing online prepublication in Current Biology]
 
Researchers Identify Protein That Regulates Magnesium and Can Restart Stem Cells
Researchers demonstrated for the first time that a protein called TRPM7 plays a key role in the maintenance of magnesium homeostasis and is essential for proliferation of embryonic stem cells. [Press release from the University of Medicine and Dentistry of New Jersey discussing online prepublication in Nature Communications]

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CURRENT PUBLICATIONS  (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

Large Intergenic Non-Coding RNA-RoR Modulates Reprogramming of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Researchers characterize the transcriptional reorganization of large intergenic non-coding RNAs (lincRNAs) that occurs upon derivation of human induced pluripotent stem cells and identify numerous lincRNAs whose expression is linked to pluripotency. [Nat Genet]
 
Epiblast Stem Cell Subpopulations Represent Mouse Embryos of Distinct Pregastrulation Stages
Embryonic stem cells comprise at least two populations of cells with divergent states of pluripotency. Here, researchers show that epiblast stem cells also comprise two distinct cell populations that can be distinguished by the expression of a specific Oct4-GFP marker. [Cell]
 
Highly Efficient Reprogramming to Pluripotency and Directed Differentiation of Human Cells with Synthetic Modified mRNA
Researchers describe a simple, nonintegrating strategy for reprogramming cell fate based on administration of synthetic mRNA modified to overcome innate antiviral responses. They show that this approach can reprogram multiple human cell types to pluripotency with efficiencies that greatly surpass established protocols. [Cell Stem Cell]
 
Friedreich’s Ataxia Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Model Intergenerational GAA-TTC Triplet Repeat Instability
Researchers report the derivation of induced pluripotent stem cells from Friedreich’s ataxia patient fibroblasts by transcription factor reprogramming. [Cell Stem Cell]
 
Stem Cell Dynamics in Response to Nutrient Availability
Data indicate that stem cells can directly sense changes in the systemic environment to coordinate their behavior with the nutritional status of the animal, providing a paradigm for maintaining tissue homeostasis under metabolic stress. [Curr Biol]
 
Phosphatidylinositol 3-Kinase (PI3K) Signaling via Glycogen Synthase Kinase-3 (Gsk-3) Regulates DNA Methylation of Imprinted Loci
Researchers demonstrate that deletion of both Gsk-3alpha and Gsk-3beta in mouse embryonic stem cells results in reduced expression of the de novo DNA methyltransferase Dnmt3a2, causing misregulated expression of the imprinted genes Igf2, H19, and Igf2r and hypomethylation of their corresponding imprinted control regions. [J Biol Chem]
 
Characterization of Axon Formation in the Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Motoneuron
Embryonic stem cell-derived motoneurons, identified by HB9 promoter-driven green fluorescent protein expression, showed characteristics of motoneuron-specific gene expression. [Cell Transplant]

Embryonic Stem Cell Transplantation into Seminiferous Tubules: A Model for the Study of Invasive Germ Cell Tumors of the Testis
In the light of the functional and genetic similarities between carcinoma in situ of the testis and embryonic stem (ES) cells, researchers have developed a tumor assay to study cancer invasion processes in testicular germ cell tumors based on the transplantation of ES cells into the seminiferous tubules. [Cell Transplant]

Agitation Can Induce Differentiation of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells in Microcarrier Cultures
Results indicate that the effect of agitation on cell growth and differentiation is cell line specific. Researchers assume that the changes in the growth and differentiation of the agitation-sensitive (HES-3) cell line do not result from the effect of shear stress directly on cell viability, but rather by signaling effects that influence the cells to differentiate resulting in slower growth. [Tissue Eng Part C Methods]
 
TRPM7 Is Essential for Mg2+ Homeostasis in Mammals
Results demonstrate that TRPM7 is essential for the control of cellular and whole body Mg2+ homeostasis. [Nat Commun]


INDUSTRY NEWS

Helmsley Charitable Trust Awards More Than $15 Million to Salk Institute-Columbia University Collaborative Stem Cell Research Effort
The Salk Institute for Biological Studies and Columbia University Medical Center have been awarded a $15 million grant by The Leona M. and Harry B. Helmsley Charitable Trust, establishing a collaborative program to fast-track the use of induced pluripotent stem cells to gain new insight into disease mechanisms and screen for novel therapeutic drugs. [Salk Institute for Biological Studies Press Release]
 
Cellular Dynamics Awarded Four Therapeutic Discovery Grants Totaling Almost $978,000 for Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Programs
Cellular Dynamics International, Inc. announced that it has been awarded a total of $977,915 for investments in four qualifying therapeutic discovery projects. [Cellular Dynamics International, Inc. Press Release]
 
Athersys Secures Multiple Grants to Advance Key Therapeutic Programs in Regenerative Medicine and Obesity
Athersys, Inc. announced that it has secured three Therapeutic Discovery Project grants as part of the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act of 2010. [Athersys, Inc. Press Release]
 
Minerva Awarded Grant Under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act
Minerva Biotechnologies announced that it has been awarded a grant under the Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act. [Business Wire]
 
Athersys Announces FDA Authorization of Phase II Clinical Trial for Inflammatory Bowel Disease with Pfizer Regenerative Medicine
Athersys, Inc. announced that the U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) has authorized commencement of a Phase II clinical trial evaluating the safety and efficacy of administration of MultiStem®, Athersys’ allogeneic investigational cell therapy product, for the potential treatment of ulcerative colitis. [Athersys, Inc. Press Release]
 
USC Opens Eli and Edythe Broad CIRM Center
California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger joined University of Southern California (USC) administrators, trustees, elected public officials and more than 150 invited guests in the dedication and ribbon-cutting ceremony for the Eli and Edythe Broad California Institute for Regenerative Medicine Center for Regenerative Medicine and Stem Cell Research at USC. [University of Southern California Press Release]

POLICY NEWS

Last Brief Filed in Stem Cell Lawsuit
The documents are all in for the government’s appeal of a 23 August preliminary injunction that briefly shut down stem cell research. [Court of Appeals, United States]
 
Scientists to Congress: Pass the Stem Cell Law … While You Still Can
In a letter sent to the leadership of the House of Representatives and the Senate, the deans of American medical schools, chief executives of U.S. hospitals and heads of organizations with names like the American Society for Biochemistry and Molecular Biology and the American Society of Human Genetics said that federal funding for human embryonic stem cell research “is essential” if scientists are to succeed in turning the cells into usable treatments. [Congress, United States]
 
Federal Budget Rollback Could Slash NIH Grant Success Rates
Funding rates for biomedical researchers could drop by half, to a historical low of 10%, if Republicans follow through on their vow to cut overall federal discretionary civilian spending to 2008 levels. [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Guidance for Industry: Cellular Therapy for Cardiac Disease; Availability [Docket No. FDA-2009-D-0132] [Food and Drug Administration, United States]
 
New Format Change Announced for National Institutes of Health, Agency for Healthcare Research and Quality, Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, and Food and Drug Administration Funding Opportunity Announcements (NOT-OD-11-019) [National Institutes of Health, United States]
 
Notice of Clarification of the Project Period for Translational Scholar Awards in Pharmacogenomics and Personalized Medicine (K23) (PA-11-009) (NOT-RR-11-001) [National Institutes of Health, United States]
 
Notice to Extend the Expiration Date for PA-07-458, Technology and Methods Development for Genomics, Population Genomics and ELSI (R01), and PA-07-459, Feasibility Studies to Develop Technology and Methods for Genomics, Population Genomics and ELSI (R21) (NOT-HG-11-005) [National Institutes of Health, United States]
 
Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings (FR Doc. 2010-27743) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

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EVENTS

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

The 16th International Conference of the International Society of Differentiation: From Stem Cells to Organisms
November 15-18, 2010
Nara, Japan

8th Annual Commercial Translation of Regenerative Medicine Conference
November 18-19, 2010
London, United Kingdom

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

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

5th Annual Stem Cell Meeting on the Mesa
December 7, 2010
La Jolla, United States

Pharmacology in Stem Cells Research and Regenerative Medicine
December 17, 2010
London, United Kingdom

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

Select Biosciences 5th Annual Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine World Congress
January 24-25, 2011
San Diego, United States

Keystone Symposia-Stem Cells in Development, Tissue Homeostasis and Disease
January 30-February 4, 2011
Santa Fe, United States

Molecular Medicine Tri-Conference – Stem Cells: Revolutionizing Regenerative Medicine and Personalized Therapy 2011
February 23-25, 2011
San Francisco, United States

6th Annual Stem Cell Summit
March 1, 2011
New York, United States

American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Stem Cells, Development, and Cancer
March 3-6, 2011
Vancouver, Canada

Stem Cells, Cancer and Metastasis (C4)
March 6-11, 2011
Dillon, United States

United Kingdom National Stem Cell Network 2011 Annual Scientific Conference
March 30-April 1, 2011
York, United Kingdom

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



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