Volume 6.12 | Mar 30

ESC & iPSC News 6.12, March 30, 2011.
     In this issue: Science News | Current Publications | Industry News | Policy News | Events
 
TOP STORY

Stem Cell Therapy for Age-Related Macular Degeneration – A Step Closer to Reality
Researchers have demonstrated, for the first time, the ability to create retinal cells derived from human-induced pluripotent stem cells that mimic the eye cells that die and cause loss of sight. [Press release from Georgetown University Medical Center discussing online prepublication in Stem Cells]

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SCIENCE NEWS
Investigators Discover Enzyme Essential For Healthy Lung Development
Investigators have provided the first evidence that Eya1 protein phosphatase is a crucial regulator of the development of embryonic lung epithelial stem cells. [Press release from Children’s Hospital Los Angeles discussing online prepublication in Development]

New Approach for Pluripotent Stem Cells
Researchers investigated the various ways of inducing pluripotency through the introduction of a rational method of optimization in mouse embryonic fibroblasts. [Press release from the Chinese Academy of Sciences discussing online prepublication in the Cell Research]

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CURRENT PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

Human iPS-Derived Retinal Pigment Epithelium (RPE) Cells Exhibit Ion Transport, Membrane Potential, Polarized VEGF Secretion and Gene Expression Pattern Similar to Native RPE
Researchers show for the first time that RPE generated from human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells under defined conditions exhibit ion transport, membrane potential, polarized VEGF secretion and gene expression profile similar to those of native RPE. [Stem Cells]

Rcor2 is a Subunit of the LSD1 Complex That Regulates ES Cell Property and Substitutes for Sox2 in Reprogramming Somatic Cells to Pluripotency
Researchers report that Rcor2 is predominantly expressed in ES cells and forms a complex with LSD1 and facilitates its nucleosomal demethylation activity. [Stem Cells]

Three-Dimensional Growth of iPS Cell-Derived Smooth Muscle Cells on Nanofibrous Scaffolds
Data suggest that induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cell-derived smooth muscle cell s can be an important cell source for personalized vascular tissue engineering applications. [Biomaterials]

Eya1 Controls Cell Polarity, Spindle Orientation, Cell Fate and Notch Signaling in Distal Embryonic Lung Epithelium
Findings uncover novel functions for Eya1 as a crucial regulator of the complex behavior of distal embryonic lung epithelium. [Development]

Generation of Dendritic Cells and Macrophages from Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Aiming at Cell Therapy
Researchers demonstrated the possibility of application of iPS cell-derived dendritic cells and macrophages to cell therapy. [Gene Ther]

A Defined, Feeder-Free, Serum-Free System to Generate In Vitro Hematopoietic Progenitors and Differentiated Blood Cells from hESCs and hiPSCs
Researchers showed that a single matrix protein in combination with growth factors and a hypoxic environment is sufficient to generate from pluripotent cells hematopoietic progenitors capable of differentiating further in mature cell types of different lineages of the blood system. [PLoS ONE]

Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived L1 Overexpressing Neural Aggregates Enhance Recovery After Spinal Cord Injury in Mice
Mice transplanted with L1 overexpressing embryonic stem cell-derived neural aggregates (SENAs) showed improved locomotor function when compared to mice injected with wild-type SENAs. [PLoS ONE]

Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Mesenchymal Stem Cells as Cellular Delivery Vehicles for Prodrug Gene Therapy of Glioblastoma
Findings suggest human embryonic stem cell-derived mesenchymal stem cells as a viable and attractive alternative for large scale derivation of targeting vehicles for cancer therapy. [Hum Gene Ther]

Generation of Red Blood Cells from Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Researchers showed that fibroblast-derived transgenic human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) generated using lentivirus-based vectors and transgene-free hiPSCs generated using episomal vectors can be differentiated into red blood cells with an efficiency similar to that of H1 human embryonic stem cells. [Stem Cells Dev]

Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Neurons Are a Novel, Highly Sensitive Tissue Culture Platform for Botulinum Research
Hypothesizing that embryonic stem cell-derived neurons (ESNs) might comprise a novel platform to investigate the neurotoxicology of botulinum neurotoxins (BoNTs), researchers evaluated the susceptibility of ESNs to BoNT/A and BoNT/E using molecular and functional assays. [Biochem Biophys Res Commun]

Rational Optimization of Reprogramming Culture Conditions for the Generation of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells with Ultra-High Efficiency and Fast Kinetics
Researchers show that reprogramming can be improved and dramatically accelerated by optimizing culture conditions. [Cell Res]

INDUSTRY NEWS

Stem Cell Agencies for California and India Sign Agreement to Fund Collaborative Research Projects That Can Accelerate Regenerative Medicine Toward Therapies
The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine and the Institute for Stem Cell Biology and Regenerative Medicine have signed a Memorandum of Understanding that outlines ways the two agencies can jointly fund collaborative research projects that bring together top stem cell scientists in California and top stem cell scientists in India. [California Institute for Regenerative Medicine Press Release]

Two New Basic Science Departments Established
The University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health has created two new basic science departments – the Department of Neuroscience and the Department of Cell and Regenerative Biology. [University of Wisconsin School of Medicine and Public Health Press Release]

University Stages Poignant Stem Cell Drama
A play aimed at teenagers, which explores the social and ethical implications of stem cell research, was staged at the University of York on the eve of a major conference on the subject. [University of York Press Release]

POLICY NEWS

U.K. Unearths £100 Million More for Research Infrastructure, Launches Agency to Eliminate Clinical Trial Red Tape
The United Kingdom’s budget for 2011-12, announced by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, has some good news for scientists with a £100 million boost in spending on capital projects as well as promised removal of red tape surrounding biomedical research and clinical trials. [Her Majesty’s Treasury, United Kingdom]

China Hints at Science-Funding Reform
In his annual report to China’s top legislature at the National People’s Congress in Beijing earlier this month, Premier Wen Jiabao highlighted the need for government science funding to be allotted and spent more efficiently – raising the hopes of Chinese researchers that the funding system will soon be overhauled. [National People’s Congress, China]

Minnesota Stem Cell Research Ban Could Mean Criminalizing Patients
A bill in the Minnesota Legislature that would ban some forms of stem cell research could have unintended consequences for patients and researchers if it becomes law. [Minnesota Legislature, United States]

Translation of Pluripotent Stem Cell Therapies for Blood Diseases (R01) (PA-11-186) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Laboratory Animal Welfare: Proposed Adoption and Implementation of the Eighth Edition of the Guide for the Care and Use of Laboratory Animals (FR Doc. 2011-7316) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award (NRSA) Institutional Research Training Grants (Parent T32) (PA-11-184) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Ruth L. Kirschstein National Research Service Award Short-Term Institutional Research Training Grants (Parent T35) (PA-11-185) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

National Center for Research Resources; Notice of Closed Meeting (FR Doc. 2011-7137) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings (FR Doc. 2011-7193) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

EVENTS
NEW International Symposium on Stem Cells
April 7-8, 2011
Manila, Philippines

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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