Volume 6.07 | Feb 23

     In this issue: Science News | Current Publications | Industry News | Policy News | Events
 
TOP STORY

Intrinsic Transition of Embryonic Stem Cell Differentiation into Neural Progenitors
Researchers show that the zinc-finger nuclear protein Zfp521 is essential and sufficient for driving the intrinsic neural differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells. [Nature]

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SPECIAL FEATURE

Of Mice and Humans
Induced pluripotent stem cells have great potential for human therapies. Although the first such cells were generated by introducing four transcription factors — Oct4, Sox2, Klf4, and c-Myc — into mouse somatic cells, we and our research benefited from the atmosphere generated in the community by the human genome project. [Science]

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SCIENCE NEWS
Reprogrammed Stem Cells Hit a Roadblock: Reprogramming Cells Leads to Genomic Aberrations
A study conducted by the Department of Biochemistry at the University of Geneva and the European Institute of Oncology in Milan concludes that reprogrammed cells exhibit a “genomic instability” that appears to be caused by the process used to return the cells to their embryonic state. Even more serious, the genetic mutations observed resemble mutations that are found in cancer cells. [Press release from ScienceDaily discussing online prepublication in Cell Death and Differentiation]

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CURRENT PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

Role for Dpy-30 in ES Cell-Fate Specification by Regulation of H3K4 Methylation Within Bivalent Domains
Results strongly indicate an essential functional role for Dpy-30 and SET1/MLL complex-mediated H3K4 methylation, as a component of the bivalent mark, at developmental genes during the embryonic stem (ES) cell fate transitions. [Cell]

Genomic Instability in Induced Stem Cells
Comparative genomic hybridization analysis of stem cells derived by the present protocols revealed the presence of genomic deletions and amplifications, whose signature was suggestive of oncogene-induced DNA replication stress. The genomic aberrations were to a significant degree dependent on c-Myc expression and their presence could explain why p53 inactivation facilitates stem cell reprogramming. [Cell Death Differ]
 
The Use of Leukemia Inhibitory Factor Immobilized on Virus-Derived Polyhedra to Support the Proliferation of Mouse Embryonic and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Human leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) was immobilized into insect virus-derived microcrystals (polyhedra) to generate LIF polyhedra that can slowly release LIF into embryonic stem (ES) cell culture media and thus maintain ES cells in an undifferentiated state. [Biomaterials]

Fezf2 Regulates Telencephalic Precursor Differentiation from Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells
Data suggest that forebrain embryonic zinc finger like (Fezf2) controls the specification of telencephalic progenitors from mouse embryonic stem cells through differentially regulating the expression of rostrocaudal and dorsoventral patterning genes. [Cereb Cortex]

Mismatch and Base Excision Repair Proficiency in Murine Embryonic Stem Cells
Data are consistent with the suggestion that embryonic stem cells have multiple mechanisms, including highly active mismatch repair and base-excision repair that preserve genetic integrity and minimize the accumulation of mutations. [DNA Repair]

Fibroblasts Derived from Human Embryonic Stem Cells Direct Development and Repair of 3D Human Skin Equivalents
Findings demonstrate that human embryonic stem (hES)-derived cells could be directed to specified and alternative mesenchymal cell fates whose function could be distinguished in engineered human skin equivalents (HSEs). Characterization of hES-derived mesenchymal cells in 3D, engineered HSEs demonstrates the utility of this tissue platform to predict the functional properties of hES-derived fibroblasts before their therapeutic transplantation. [Stem Cell Res Ther]

Bioluminescence Reporter Gene Imaging Characterize Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Teratoma Formation
Human embryonic stem (hES) cells were stably transduced with a double fusion reporter gene consisting of firefly luciferase and enhanced green fluorescent protein. Following bioluminescence imaging and histology, researchers demonstrated that engraftment of hES cells was followed by dramatically increasing signaling and led to teratoma formation confirmed by histology. [J Cell Biochem]

Effect of Melatonin on mRNA Expressions of Transcription Factors in Murine Embryonic Stem Cells
Melatonin may affect Akt activation, but does not influence the mRNA expressions of Oct4, REX-1, Sox2, or Zfp206, suggesting that melatonin may stimulate proliferation of ES-E14TG2a cells via Akt phosphorylation. [Brain Res]

INDUSTRY NEWS

CiRA and Shimadzu Enter Research Agreement
The Kyoto University Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA) and Shimadzu Corporation have entered into a collaborative research agreement focused on the analysis of reprogramming states and the search for biomarkers in induced pluripotent stem cells [Shimadzu Corporation Press Release]

CIT to Distribute Stemina’s hESC-Based Toxicity Assay
CIT – Safety and Health Research Laboratories and Stemina Biomarker Discovery inked a strategic partnership under which CIT will distribute Stemina’s devTOX™ assay in Europe. [Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News]

Stem Cell Assurance Obtains $1.3 Million in Financing
Stem Cell Assurance, Inc. announced that, between November 2010 and February 2011, it obtained debt financing in the aggregate amount of $1,347,500. [PR Newswire]

POLICY NEWS

Frustrated Researchers to Petition NIH to Change Rule on Resubmitting Grants
A draft petition urging National Institutes of Health (NIH) leaders to rescind a recent rule limiting the number of times a grant application can be submitted is generating a buzz — not all of it positive — in the scientific community. [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Final Guidance for Industry: Potency Tests for Cellular and Gene Therapy Products [Center for Biologics Evaluation and Resources, United States]

Notice of Intent to Publish a Funding Opportunity Announcement for Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell (iPSC) Resources promoting Translational Research Advancements in Neurodegenerative Diseases (U24) (NOT-NS-11-011) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings (FR Doc. 2011-3633) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

EVENTS

NEW BioBanking
July 11-12, 2011
London, United Kingdom

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the ESC & iPSC community.

JOB OPPORTUNITIES

Lab Technologist – Human Embryonic and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (STEMCELL Technologies)

Scientific Director (Adipose Derived Stem Cell Bank)

Process Technical Development Scientist (StemCells, Inc.)

Quality Assurance Specialist – Gene Transfer & Somatic Cell Engineering Facility (Memorial Sloan-Kettering Cancer Center)

Assistant Professor (University of Pittsburgh School of Medicine, Center for Cellular and Molecular Engineering)
 
Field Applications Specialist – Cell Therapy (Medical) (Pall Corporation)

Manager Clinical Affairs (Bioheart, Inc.)

Postdoctoral Position – Germline Stem Cells (R. L. Brinster, School of Veterinary Medicine, University of Pennsylvania)

Postdoctoral Position in Stem Cell Biology (St. Jude Children’s Research Hospital)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Differentiation of Embryonic Stem Cells (Mount Sinai School of Medicine)

Research Technician Position in Human Stem Cells (University of Pittsburgh)

Stem Cell Biologist (Albert Einstein College of Medicine)
 
Senior Scientist – Embryonic Stem Cells – Hepatocytes (Hays Pharma)

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