Volume 6.13 | Apr 6

ESC & iPSC News 6.13, April 6, 2011.
     In this issue: Science News | Current Publications | Industry News | Policy News | Events
 
TOP STORY

Study Shows Patient’s Own Cells May Hold Therapeutic Promise After Reprogramming, Gene Correction
Scientists moved gene therapy one step closer to clinical reality by determining that the process of correcting a genetic defect does not substantially increase the number of potentially cancer-causing mutations in induced pluripotent stem cells. [Press release from the University of Wisconsin-Madison discussing online prepublication in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences USA]

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SCIENCE NEWS
Newly Discovered Epigenetic Tag Offers Insight into Embryonic Stem Cell Regulation
Scientists have gained a new understanding of how molecular signals and switches control how an embryo develops into an adult. The new research details how a newly discovered form of epigenetic regulation controls the development of embryonic stem cells. [Press release from the Babraham Institute discussing online prepublication in Nature]

Tet Further Revealed! Studies Track Protein Relevant to Stem Cells, Cancer
A research team takes a broad look at Tet1’s location in the mouse genome, revealing a surprising dual function and offering the first genome-wide location of the protein and its product, 5-hydroxymethylcytosine—dubbed the “sixth base” of DNA. [Press release from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill discussing online prepublication in Nature and Genes & Development]

A New Scientific First Through Use of Human Embryonic Stem Cells
For the first time, through the use of human embryonic stem cells sourced from pre-implantation diagnosis, researchers have successfully identified the previously unknown mechanisms involved in Steinert’ disease, also known as type 1 myotonic dystrophy. [Press release from Inserm discussing online prepublication in Cell Stem Cell]

Progress Toward the Clinical Application of Autologous Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells and Gene Repair Therapy for Treatment of Familial Hypercholesterolemia
A study shows, for the first time, the successful reprogramming of diseased human hepatocytes into induced pluripotent stem cells. [Press release from EurekAlert! discussing research resented at the 46th Annual Meeting of the European Association for the Study of the Liver]

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CURRENT PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

Dynamic Regulation of 5-Hydroxymethylcytosine in Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells and During Differentiation
Researchers propose that the balance between hydroxymethylation and methylation in the genome is inextricably linked with the balance between pluripotency and lineage commitment. [Nature]

Dual Functions of Tet1 in Transcriptional Regulation in Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells
The study not only establishes a role for Tet1 in modulating DNA methylation levels at CpG-rich promoters, but also reveals a dual function of Tet1 in promoting transcription of pluripotency factors as well as participating in the repression of Polycomb-targeted developmental regulators. [Nature]

Mutant Human Embryonic Stem Cells Reveal Neurite and Synapse Formation Defects in Type 1 Myotonic Dystrophy
By using neuronal progeny derived from human embryonic stem cells carrying the causal myotonic dystrophy type 1 mutation, researchers have identified an early developmental defect in genes involved in neurite formation and the establishment of neuromuscular connections. [Cell Stem Cell]

A More Efficient Method to Generate Integration-Free Human iPS Cells
Researchers report a simple method, using p53 suppression and nontransforming L-Myc, to generate human induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) with episomal plasmid vectors. [Nat Methods]

Genome-Wide Analysis of 5-Hydroxymethylcytosine Distribution Reveals Its Dual Function in Transcriptional Regulation in Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells
Researchers present a genome-wide profile of 5-hydroxymethylcytosine in mouse embryonic stem cells. [Genes Dev]

Genetic Correction and Analysis of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells from a Patient with Gyrate Atrophy
Findings confirm that induced pluripotent stem cells themselves may carry a significant mutational load at initial isolation, but that the clonal events and prolonged cultured required for correction of a genetic defect can be accomplished without a substantial increase in mutational burden. [Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A]

Generation of Stable Pluripotent Stem Cells From NOD Mouse Tail-Tip Fibroblasts
The objective of this study was to determine whether somatic fibroblasts from NOD mice could be reprogrammed to become induced pluripotent stem cells, providing an alternative source of stem cells for the production of genetically modified NOD cells and mice. [Diabetes]

One-Dimensional Self-Assembly of Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells Using an Array of Hydrogel Microstrands
Researchers synthesized an array of one-dimensional alginate gel microstrands and aqueous microstrands through an SU-8 filter device by means of capillary action. Furthermore, they investigated self-assembly behaviors and differentiation potentials of mouse embryonic stem cells cultured in microstrands of varying diameters. [Biomaterials]

Feeder-Free Derivation of Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells from Human Immature Dental Pulp Stem Cells
Data demonstrate that human immature dental pulp stem cell-induced pluripotent stem cells offer an advantageous cell system for future cell therapy and basic studies, particularly as a model for pediatric developmental disorders. [Cell Transplant]

Differentiation of Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Retinal Progenitors into Retinal Cells by Sonic Hedgehog and/or Retinal Pigmented Epithelium and Transplantation into the Subretinal Space of Sodium Iodate-Injected Rabbits
Researchers differentiated initially retinal progenitors from adherent feeder-free human embryonic stem cells with the use of defined media supplemented with a specific combination of growth factors. [Stem Cells Dev]

INDUSTRY NEWS

Cellectis and Caisse des Dépôts Sign Agreement on a Project for the Industrial Development of iPS Cells
Cellectis has announced that its subsidiary Ectycell has signed an agreement with the Caisse des Dépôts (a French financial institution) for a planned capital investment of €12 million, in two steps, reserved in equal parts to Cellectis and Caisse des Dépôts. [Cellectis Press Release]

Stem Cell Voice Box Transplant Trials Could Begin in 2013
Professor Martin Birchall announced that the first clinical trials for stem cell voice transplants will begin in 2013, thanks to a million pounds provided by the Medical Research Council. [Medical Research Council Press Release]

University of Michigan Creates State’s First Disease-Specific Human Embryonic Stem Cell Lines
University of Michigan researchers have created the state’s first human embryonic stem cell lines that carry the genes responsible for inherited disease. [University of Michigan Press Release]

Mount Sinai Hospital Opens New Centre for Regenerative Medicine
Mount Sinai Hospital’s internationally respected Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute announced the opening of a new Centre for Regenerative Medicine and Musculoskeletal Research at 25 Orde Street. [Samuel Lunenfeld Research Institute Press Release]

EU Financed Stem Cell Research Lab Opens in Debrecen
A hi-tech stem cell research laboratory has been set up with EU funding at the Medical and Health Science Centre of Debrecen University in eastern Hungary. [The All Hungary Media Group Press Release]

Muscular Dystrophy Findings Fuel French Stem Cell Debate
A group of French scientists have now unravelled molecular pathways that may be responsible for some symptoms of type 1 myotonic dystrophy. They used a controversial source of material: disease-specific human embryonic stem cell lines. They hope that their results will influence a French political debate that threatens to restrict such work. [NatureNews]

POLICY NEWS

State Legislature Passes Bills Including Restrictions on Stem Cell Research
The Minnesota Senate passed a bill that includes a ban on state or federal funds being used for certain types of stem cell research. [Minnesota Senate, United States]

House Panel Takes Next Step Toward New Patent Rules
A sweeping overhaul of the U.S. patent system appears to be gaining momentum in Congress. Representative Lamar Smith (R-TX), chair of the House Judiciary Committee, unveiled his panel’s reform plan (H.R. 1249), called the America Invents Act. [Congress, United States]

NIH’s ‘Secret Plans’ for a Government Shutdown
With a possible government shutdown only a few days away, the National Institutes of Health (NIH) appears to be ready to send in a skeleton staff to care for patients and maintain animals and experiments at the agency’s Bethesda, Maryland, campus. [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Cellular, Tissue, and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee; Notice of Meeting [Docket No. FDA-2011-N-0002] [Food and Drug Administration, United States]

National Human Genome Research Institute; Notice of Closed Meeting (FR Doc. 2011-7625) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings (FR Doc. 2011-7641) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings (FR Doc. 2011-7617) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meeting (FR Doc. 2011-7818) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings (FR Doc. 2011-7923) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

EVENTS
NEW Discussion Workshop: Stem Cells
May 6, 2011
London, United Kingdom

NEW 2011 World Stem Cell Summit
October 3-5, 2011
Pasadena, United States

NEW Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells: Production and Utility in Regenerative Medicine 
October 6, 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)

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)

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