Volume 6.10 | Mar 16

ESC & iPSC News 6.10, March 16, 2011.
     In this issue: Science News | Current Publications | Industry News | Policy News | Events
 
TOP STORY

Reprogramming of Mouse and Human Somatic Cells by High-Performance Engineered Factors
Results not only demonstrate the feasibility of engineering more potent reprogramming factors, but also suggest that transcriptional reactivation of OCT4 target genes might be a rate-limiting step in the conversion of somatic cells to pluripotent cells. [EMBO Rep]

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SPECIAL FEATURE

Webinar: ALDHbr Cells and Regenerative Medicine

Aldehyde Dehydrogenase bright (ALDHbr) cells have been used in preclinical models and human clinical trials in applications such as critical limb ischemia, ischemic stroke, acute liver failure and ischemic heart failure.1 Learn more about how ALDHbr cells could be used in regenerative medicine by registering today for an exclusive webinar presented by Dr. Andrew E. Balber of Cicada Biopharmaceutical Consulting.

Join us on April 7 at:
10AM EST (ideal for Europe) | 2PM EST (ideal for Americas) | 8PM EST (ideal for Asia-Pacific)

1Reviewed in Balber AE. Stem Cells (in press). DOI: 10.1002/stem.613.

Dr. Balber holds equity in and is a consultant to Aldagen, Inc., a company that is developing research, diagnostic, and therapeutic products based on detecting and isolating ALDHbr cells.



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SCIENCE NEWS
Earliest Cardiovascular Progenitors That Arise During the Differentiation of Pluripotent Stem Cells Isolated
Researchers from the Université libre de Bruxelles have isolated the earliest cardiovascular progenitors that arise during the differentiation of pluripotent stem cells. [Press release from ScienceDaily discussing online prepublication in the Journal of Cell Biology]

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CURRENT PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

Defining the Earliest Step of Cardiovascular Progenitor Specification During Embryonic Stem Cell Differentiation
This study identifies the early multipotent cardiovascular progenitors residing at the top of the cellular hierarchy of cardiovascular lineages during embryonic stem cell differentiation. [J Cell Biol]

Snail and the miR-200 Family Act in Opposition to Regulate EMT and Germ Layer Fate Restriction in Differentiating ES Cells
Researchers show that Snail homolog 1 (Snail) is expressed during embryonic stem (ES) cell differentiation and is capable of inducing epithelial-to-mesenchymal transition (EMT) on day 2 of ES cell differentiation. [Stem Cells]

Direct In Vivo Cellular Reprogramming Involves Transition Through Discrete, Non-Pluripotent Steps
Findings suggest that direct cell type conversion occurs via successive steps, and that dedifferentiation can occur in the absence of cell division. Furthermore, the results suggest that mechanisms are in place in vivo to restrict cell potential during reprogramming, a finding with important implications for regenerative medicine. [Development]

Regulation of Mouse Embryonic Stem Cell Self-Renewal by a Yes-YAP-TEAD2 Signaling Pathway Downstream of LIF
Researchers show that YAP, TEAD2 and Yes are highly expressed in self-renewing embryonic stem cells, are activated by leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) and serum, and are downregulated when cells are induced to differentiate. [J Cell Sci]

REST Interacts with Cbx Proteins and Regulates Polycomb Repressive Complex 1 Occupancy at RE1 Elements
Researchers found that REST and nine REST-associated proteins co-purified with Cbx family Polycomb group proteins from mouse embryonic stem cells. [Mol Cell Biol]

Embryonic Stem Cells, Derived Either After In Vitro Fertilization or Nuclear Transfer, Prolong Survival of Semiallogeneic Heart Transplants
Researchers investigated the immunomodulatory properties of murine embryonic stem cells, obtained either by in vitro fertilization or by nuclear transfer, in heart transplant mouse models. [J Immunol]

Musashi 1 Cooperates in Abnormal Cell LINeage Protein 28 (Lin28)-Mediated Let-7 Family MicroRNA Biogenesis in Early Neural Differentiation
Results suggest that Musashi1 can influence stem-cell maintenance and differentiation by controlling the subcellular localization of proteins involved in microRNA biogenesis, as well as by regulating the translation of its target mRNA. [J Biol Chem]

Efficient Derivation and Concise Gene Expression Profiling of Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Mesenchymal Progenitors (EMPs)
Researchers report a simple and efficient method of generating human embryonic stem cell-derived mesenchymal progenitors and transcriptome profiling using a concise, custom-designed, oligomnucleotide gene expression microarray. [Cell Transplant]

DNA Methylation Assay for X-Chromosome Inactivation in Female Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Researchers provide a detailed protocol for a simple, reliable and affordable X-inactivation assay based on promoter methylation and CAG-repeat polymorphism in the human androgen receptor gene at Xq11.2. [Stem Cell Rev]

Assessment of Differentiation Aspects by the Morphological Classification of Embryoid Bodies Derived from Human Embryonic Stem Cells
Researchers sought to classify the differentiation potentials of embryoid bodies by morphologies to enable one to control the differentiation of specific lineages from human embryonic stem cells with high efficiency. [Stem Cells Dev]

INDUSTRY NEWS

UMass, UK Stem Cell Banks Sign Agreement
As part of Governor Deval Patrick’s Innovation Economy Partnership Mission 2011, global leaders in the field of stem cell banking and characterization—the University of Massachusetts (UMass) Human Stem Cell Bank and Registry and the United Kingdom Stem Cell Bank—signed an agreement to share best practices for stem cell banking and to collaborate on standards for stem cell line characterization, production and distribution in the U.S. and UK. [University of Massachusetts Medical School Press Release]

Cellectis and the Etablissement Français du Sang Launch StemRed, a Program to Produce Red Blood Cells from Stem Cells
Cellectis and Etablissement Français du Sang announce that StemRed, an ambitious collaborative program to produce red blood cells from induced pluripotent stem cells has started. [Cellectis Press Release]

Fortis Healthcare Ties Up with TotipotentRX to Set Up Stem Cell Therapy Center
Fortis Healthcare Ltd. and TotipotentRX Cell Therapy Pvt. Ltd. announced a collaboration to set up centers of excellence offering cellular therapies and stem cell clinical trials across select Fortis hospitals. [Fortis Healthcare Limited Press Release]

ACT Receives Positive Opinion for Orphan Drug Designation from European Medicines Agency for hESC-Derived RPE Cells for Treatment of Stargardt’s Disease
Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. (ACT) announced that the Committee for Orphan Medicinal Products of the European Medicines Agency has announced a positive opinion of ACT’s human embryonic stem cell (hESC)-derived retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells for designation as an orphan medicinal product for the treatment of Stargardt’s disease. [Advanced Cell Technology Inc. Press Release]

Leaders in Stem Cell Research and Discovery to Share America’s Most Distinguished Prize in Medicine
Three scientists whose pioneering work in isolating human stem cells holds great promise for the future of medicine have been named the recipients of the 11th annual Albany Medical Center Prize in Medicine and Biomedical Research. [PR Newswire]

Scottish Stem Cell Network Launch New Community Website to Help Grow Life Science Industry
The Scottish Stem Cell Network have launched a new member focused website to assist in the networks role of facilitating communication, learning and collaboration amongst the stem cell and regenerative medicine community – one which is anticipated to be worth £40.2 billion worldwide by 2015, tripling its current value. [PR Web]

Hidden Toll of Embryo Ethics War
At its heart, the ongoing legal battle to block U.S. federal funding for research on human embryonic stem (ES) cells seeks to protect embryos. But Nature has learned that in a bitter irony, the dispute seems to be holding up research on lines of human ES cells that can be derived without destroying embryos. The delay is also hampering work that researchers say could help to make adult cells a viable source of stem cells for therapies in a wide range of diseases. [NatureNews]

POLICY NEWS

Europe Rules Against Stem Cell Patents
Stem cell researchers in Europe are reeling after the Court of Justice of the European Communities issued an opinion questioning the ethics of their work and threatening to ban them from patenting procedures that involve human embryonic stem cell lines. [European Court of Justice, European Union]

China Bets Big on Small Grants, Large Facilities
The National Natural Sciences Foundation of China, the country’s main agency for funding competitive, peer-reviewed research grants, will get 12 billion yuan ($1.83 billion) in 2011—a 17% increase over 2010 and twice its budget just 2 years ago. [National Natural Sciences Foundation, China]

NIH Scientists Warming to New Translational Center
Despite concerns previously expressed by many extramural scientists, National Institutes of Health (NIH) campus researchers who showed up yesterday to hear Director Francis Collins unveil a proposed new center devoted to translational research appeared to like the idea. [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Human Cloning Ban Taking Steps in State Legislature
The House Judiciary Policy and Finance Committee approved the “Human Cloning Prohibition Act of 2011.” The bill specifically bans somatic cell nuclear transfer. [Minnesota House of Representatives, United States]

National Library of Medicine Celebrates 175 Years of Information Innovation
2011 marks the 175th anniversary of the National Library of Medicine (NLM), part of the National Institutes of Health. The world’s largest medical library and the producer of electronic information resources used by millions of people every day, NLM has changed the way scientific and medical information is organized, stored, accessed, and disseminated. [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings (FR Doc. 2011-5607) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings (FR Doc. 2011-5509) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

EVENTS

NEW Stem Cells in Development and Disease 2011
September 11-14, 2011
Berlin, Germany

NEW Stem Cells: A Pathway Through the Maze
December 7-9, 2011
Oxford, 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)

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

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

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

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