Volume 6.11 | Mar 23

ESC & iPSC News 6.11, March 23, 2011.
     In this issue: Science News | Current Publications | Industry News | Policy News | Events
 
TOP STORY

Smek Promotes Histone Deacetylation to Suppress Transcription of Wnt Target Gene Brachyury in Pluripotent Embryonic Stem Cells
Results suggest that the Smek-containing protein phosphatase 4 complex represses transcription of Wnt-responsive development-related genes through histone deacetylation, and that this complex is essential for embryonic stem cell pluripotency maintenance. [Cell Res]

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SCIENCE NEWS
Team Creates Stem Cells from Schizophrenia Patients
Using skin cells from adult siblings with schizophrenia and a genetic mutation linked to major mental illnesses, researchers have created induced pluripotent stem cells (iPS cells) using a new and improved “clean” technique. [Press release from Johns Hopkins Medicine discussing online prepublication in Molecular Psychiatry]

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CURRENT PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

Integration-Free Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Derived from Schizophrenia Patients with a DISC1 Mutation
Induced pluripotent stem cells, reprogrammed from somatic cells of healthy subjects and patients, offer an unprecedented opportunity to recapitulate both normal and pathologic human development, thereby enabling a new approach to understanding human disease mechanisms. [Mol Psychiatry]

Oxidase Deficient Neutrophils from X-Linked Chronic Granulomatous Disease iPS Cells: Functional Correction by Zinc Finger Nuclease Mediated Safe Harbor Targeting
Findings demonstrate how precise gene targeting may be applied to correction of X-linked chronic granulomatous disease using zinc finger nuclease and patient induced pluripotent stem cells. [Blood]

In Vitro Differentiation of Rat Embryonic Stem Cells into Functional Cardiomyocytes
Researchers successfully developed an in vitro differentiation system for rat embryonic stem cells through which functional myocytes were generated and displayed phenotypes of rat fetal cardiomyocytes. [Cell Res]

Cortical Network from Human Embryonic Stem Cells
Neurons were generated in vitro from human embryonic stem cells via forebrain-like progenitors. Maintained in culture for prolonged time, they acquired mainly a glutamatergic phenotype and morphological characteristics of cortical pyramidal neurons, including dendritic spines, and formed spectacular networks. [J Cell Mol Med]

Variation in Mesodermal and Hematopoietic Potential of Adult Skin-Derived Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Lines in Mice
Overall, researchers found that mesodermal and hematopoietic potential varies among induced pluripotent stem cells from an identical tissue source and that c-Myc expression likely underlies these differences. [Stem Cell Rev]

A Survey of Parameters Involved in the Establishment of New Lines of Human Embryonic Stem Cells
Although researchers identify some trends in the methodology for establishing human embryonic stem cell (hESC) lines, their data reveal a much greater heterogeneity of strategies than what is used for derivation of murine ESC lines, indicating that optimum conditions have not been consolidated yet, and thus, hESC establishment is still an evolving field of research. [Stem Cell Rev]

Geometric Control of Cardiomyogenic Induction in Human Pluripotent Stem Cells
Investigators’ objective was to elucidate cellular and molecular mechanisms underlying the endogenous control of human embryonic stem cell (hESC) cardiac tissue development, and to test the hypothesis that hESC aggregate size influences extraembryonic endoderm commitment and cardiac inductive properties. [Tissue Eng Part A]

Purified Mesenchymal Stem Cells Are an Efficient Source for iPS Cell Induction
Findings suggest that a purified source of undifferentiated cells from adult tissue can produce high-quality induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. [PLoS One]

Cysteine Proteases in Differentiation of Embryonic Stem Cells into Neural Cells
Researchers  propose that the inhibition of cysteine cathepsin proteases induces the differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells into neural progenitors cells and neurons, through a mechanism that is distinct from glycosylated mouse cystatin C-induced neural differentiation. [Stem Cells Dev]

MDM4 Downregulates p53 Transcriptional Activity and Response to Stress During Differentiation
Researchers determined that the p53 pathway is active in embryonic stem cells, but that p53 activity and the p53-dependent stress response decrease upon differentiation. [Cell Cycle]

INDUSTRY NEWS

CIRM Signs Agreement with France – As the French Debate the Ethics of Stem Cell Science
The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) has signed a collaborative agreement on stem cell research with the French Government’s Agence Nationale de la Recherche. [California Institute for Regenerative Medicine Press Release]

Cellular Dynamics International and Roche Transition Early Access Collaboration into a Standard Supply Agreement Ahead of Schedule
Cellular Dynamics International (CDI) announced that their two-year collaboration with Roche  to substantiate CDI’s iCell® Cardiomyocytes as a predictive tool for assessing the potential cardiotoxic effects of developing drug candidates was completed early and is now transitioning into a standard supply agreement. [Cellular Dynamics International Press Release]

ACT to Be Issued Broad Patent for Human ES Cell-Derived RPE Cells in China
Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. (ACT) announced that China’s State Intellectual Property Office has allowed the Company’s patent application to provide broad intellectual property protection in China for the manufacturing and pharmaceutical preparations of retinal pigment epithelial (RPE) cells from human embryonic stem (ES) cells. [Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. Press Release]

Q&A with Australia-Bound Stem Cell Ace
Martin Pera of the University of Southern California announced that he will return to Australia to lead Stem Cells Australia, a new national stem cell consortium. [ScienceInsider]

POLICY NEWS

Recommendations to the Review of the Legislation Governing the Use of Human Embryos in Research
The Australian Stem Cell Centre (ASCC) has submitted its recommendations to the independent committee reviewing the Australian legislation governing the use of human embryos in research. The ASCC’s submission makes a series of recommendations in support of the current regulatory framework and the ongoing requirement for Australian scientists to be able to apply for a license to derive new human embryonic stem cells for use in research. [Australian Stem Cell Centre, Australia]
 
Apex Body to Regulate Stem Cell Research Finally in Place
Four years after putting in place guidelines for stem cell research, prescribing stringent measures to regulate its use by research and medical institutions, the Union health ministry has finally set up the National Apex Committee for Stem Cell Research and Therapy. [Ministry of Health, India]

FDA, EMA Announce Pilot for Parallel Assessment of Quality by Design Applications
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) and the European Medicines Agency (EMA) have launched a new pilot program that will allow parallel evaluation of relevant development and manufacturing data components, known as Quality by Design, of new drug marketing applications that are submitted to both agencies. [Food and Drug Administration, United States]

Oklahoma House Votes Against Destruction of Embryonic Humans
The Oklahoma House has passed a bill that would prohibit human embryo destruction for experiments, by a vote of 86 votes in favor and 8 votes opposed. [Oklahoma House of Representatives, United States]

National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering; Notice of Meeting (FR Doc. 2011-6748) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings (FR Doc. 2011-6304) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Guidance for Industry: Cooperative Manufacturing Arrangements for Licensed Biologics [Docket No.FDA-2011-N-0085] [Food and Drug Administration, United States]

EVENTS
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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