Volume 6.24 | Jun 22

ESC & iPSC News 6.24, June 22, 2011
     In this issue: Science News | Current Publications | Industry News | Policy News | Events
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TOP STORY
Stem Cells from Patients Make ‘Early Retina in a Dish’
A team used human embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells to generate three-dimensional structures that are similar to those present at the earliest stages of retinal development. [Press release from the University of Wisconsin-Madison discussing online prepublication in Stem Cells]

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SCIENCE NEWS

Stem Cell Model Offers Clues to Cause of Inherited ALS
An international team of scientists used induced pluripotent stem cells derived from patients with amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS) to reveal for the first time how reduced levels of a specific protein may play a central role in causing at least one inherited form of the disease. [Press release from EurekAlert! discussing online prepublication in Human Molecular Genetics]

Engineers Control the Environment to Direct Stem Cell Differentiation
New research shows that systematically controlling the local and global environments during stem cell development helps to effectively direct the process of differentiation. [Press release from Georgia Tech discussing research presented at the International Society for Stem Cell Research]

Pigs Could Grow Human Organs in Stem Cell Breakthrough
Scientists have found they can create chimeric animals that have organs belonging to another species by injecting stem cells into the embryo of another species. [Press release from The Telegraph discussing research presented at the European Society of Human Genetics]

Nerve Cells Grown from Stem Cells Give Insight into Parkinson’s
Researchers have succeeded in using stem cell technology to grow nerve cells in the laboratory from initial skin samples taken from Parkinson’s patients. [University of Oxford Press Release]

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CURRENT PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

A Conditional Knockout Resource for the Genome-Wide Study of Mouse Gene Function
Scientists reported the establishment of a high-throughput gene-targeting pipeline for the generation of reporter-tagged, conditional alleles. [Nature]

CTCF-Mediated Functional Chromatin Interactome in Pluripotent Cells
Researchers applied chromatin interaction analysis by paired-end tag sequencing to elucidate the CTCF-chromatin interactome in pluripotent cells. [Nat Genet]

Inhibition of Glycogen Synthase Kinase-3 Alleviates T-Cell Factor 3 Repression of the Pluripotency Network and Increases Embryonic Stem Cell Resistance to Differentiation
Investigators demonstrated that β-catenin is not necessary for embryonic stem cell identity or expansion, but its absence eliminates the self-renewal response to glycogen synthase kinase-3 inhibition. [Nat Cell Biol]

Opposing Effects of Tcf3 and Tcf1 Control Wnt Stimulation of Embryonic Stem Cell Self-Renewal
Although the conventional view of Tcf proteins as the β-catenin-binding effectors of Wnt signaling suggested Tcf3–β-catenin activation of target genes would stimulate self-renewal, here scientists showed that an antagonistic relationship between Wnt3a and Tcf3 on gene expression regulates embryonic stem cell self-renewal. [Nat Cell Biol]

Differential Requirement for the Dual Functions of β-Catenin in Embryonic Stem Cell Self-Renewal and Germ Layer Formation
Researchers reported here the generation of a Ctnnb1 (β-catenin)-deficient mouse embryonic stem cell line and showed that self-renewal is maintained in the absence of β-catenin. [Nat Cell Biol]

Angiopoietin-1 Promotes Endothelial Differentiation from Embryonic Stem Cells and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Here, using COMP-angiopoietin-1, investigators explored the effect of angiopoietin-1 on endothelial and hematopoietic differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells in OP9 co-culture system. [Blood]

R-Spondins Function as Ligands of the Orphan Receptors LGR4 and LGR5 to Regulate Wnt/β-Catenin Signaling
Scientists demonstrated that LGR4 and LGR5 bind the R-spondins with high affinity and mediated the potentiation of Wnt/β-catenin signaling by enhancing Wnt-induced LRP6 phosphorylation. [Proc Natl Acad Sci U S A]

Optic Vesicle-Like Structures Derived from Human Pluripotent Stem Cells Facilitate a Customized Approach to Retinal Disease Treatment
Researchers demonstrated that three-dimensional populations of retinal progenitor cells can be isolated from early forebrain populations in both human embryonic stem cell and human induced pluripotent stem cells cultures, providing a valuable tool for developmental, functional, and translational studies. [Stem Cells]

Complete Meiosis from Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Using an in vitro protocol that aims at recapitulating development, investigators have achieved, for the first time, complete differentiation of human induced pluripotent stem cells to post-meiotic cells. [Stem Cells]

Downregulation of VAPB Expression in Motor Neurons Derived from Induced Pluripotent Stem-Cells of ALS8 Patients
Results suggested that optimal levels of VAPB may play a central role in the pathogenesis of ALS8, in agreement with the observed reduction of VAPB in sporadic ALS. [Hum Mol Genet]

Directed Differentiation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells to Interrogate the Cardiac Gene Regulatory Network
By maintaining a transgenic cardiac-specific MYH6-monomeric red fluorescent protein reporter human embryonic stem cell line in conditions that promote pluripotency, scientists tested the ability of combinations of 15 genes to induce cardiac specification. [Mol Ther]

INDUSTRY NEWS

ACT Announces First Patients Enrolled in Two Clinical Trials Using Embryonic Stem Cells to Treat Stargardt’s Disease and Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration
Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. (ACT) announced the enrollment of the first patients in its two Phase I/II clinical trials for Stargardt’s Macular Dystrophy and Dry Age-Related Macular Degeneration using retinal pigment epithelial cells derived from human embryonic stem cells. [Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. Press Release]

ACT and Roslin Cells Announce Collaboration for Storage and Distribution of Embryonic Stem Cells Using ACT’s Blastomere Technology
Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. (ACT) announced that it has entered into a definitive collaborative agreement with Roslin Cells Ltd. [PR Newswire Press Release]

King’s Appoints Stem Cell Expert to Lead New Center
King’s College London announced that it is set to launch a Centre for Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine to be led by Professor Fiona Watt, former president of the International Society of Stem Cell Research. [King’s College London Press Release]


NUI Galway, UL and UCC Partner in PhD Program
Research in the area of Biomedical Engineering and Regenerative Medicine will be furthered through the launch of a structured PhD Program in the field delivered through the National University of Ireland (NUI) Galway/UL Strategic Alliance and University College Cork (UCC). [National University of Ireland Galway Press Release]

UCSF Stem Cell, Cancer Scientist Honored for Pioneering Studies
University of California, San Francisco (UCSF)’s Robert Blelloch, MD, PhD, has received the 2011 Outstanding Young Investigator Award from the International Society for Stem Cell Research, for his pioneering research on the role of molecular tools known as microRNAs in embryonic stem cells and cancer. [University of California, San Francisco Press Release]

POLICY NEWS

Europe Tackles Huge Fraud
Italian authorities and the European Anti-Fraud Office in Brussels, Belgium, have confirmed that they are prosecuting members of a large network accused of pocketing more than €50 million (US$72 million) in European Commission grants for fake research projects. [European Commission, European Union]

European Medicines Agency and US Food and Drug Administration Receive First Parallel Quality-By-Design Application
The European Medicines Agency and the United States Food and Drug Administration have agreed to accept the first application under their pilot program for the parallel evaluation of marketing-authorization applications involving ‘quality by design’. [European Medicines Agency, European Union]

Egypt Invests in its Science
On 1 June, the Egyptian Cabinet approved the first post-revolution budget, which boosted science despite the severe social and economic crises gripping the country. [Egyptian Cabinet, Egypt]

NIH Expands Reach of National Clinical and Translational Research Consortium
The National Institutes of Health (NIH) announced that it will provide $200 million over five years to five health research centers to speed scientific discoveries into treatments for patients. [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings (FR Doc No: 2011-14688) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings (FR Doc No: 2011-14689) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings (FR Doc No: 2011-14693) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings (FR Doc No: 2011-14716) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings (FR Doc No: 2011-14872) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings (FR Doc No: 2011-1473) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings (FR Doc No: 2011-15005) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings (FR Doc No: 2011-15012) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings (FR Doc No: 2011-15093) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings (FR Doc No: 2011-15095) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings (FR Doc No: 2011-15289) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Center for Scientific Review; Cancellation of Meeting (FR Doc No: 2011-14690) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Center for Scientific Review; Amended Notice of Meeting (FR Doc No: 2011-14694) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

National Human Genome Research Institute; Notice of Closed Meeting (FR Doc No: 2011-14876) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

National Human Genome Research Institute; Notice of Closed Meeting (FR Doc No: 2011-15011) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

June 29, 2011: Cellular, Tissue and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee Meeting Briefing Document [Center for Biologics Evaluation & Research, United States]

June 29, 2011: Cellular, Tissue and Gene Therapies Advisory Committee Meeting Draft Agenda [Center for Biologics Evaluation & Research, United States]

Draft Guidance for Industry; Considering Whether an FDA-Regulated Product Involves the Application of Nanotechnology; Availability [Docket No. FDA-2010-D-0530] [Food and Drug Administration, United States]

Draft Guidance for Industry on Clinical Trial Endpoints for the Approval of Non-Small Cell Lung Cancer Drugs and Biologics; Availability [FR Doc No: 2011-15089] [Food and Drug Administration, United States]

Agency Information Collection Activities; Proposed Collection; Comment Request; Guidance for Industry on Formal Dispute Resolution: Scientific and Technical Issues Related to Pharmaceutical Current Good Manufacturing Practice [Docket No. FDA-2011-N-0447] [Food and Drug Administration, United States]

EVENTS

NEW World Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine Congress Asia 2011
October 11-13, 2011
Singapore, Singapore


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

JOB OPPORTUNITIES

Chemist (STEMCELL Technologies)

Research and Development Senior Technologist (STEMCELL Technologies)

Lab Technologist – Tissue Culture (Maternity Leave) (STEMCELL Technologies)

Research and Development Technologist, hPSC Media (STEMCELL Technologies)

Scientist (iPSC) (STEMCELL Technologies)

Research Laboratory Technician (Cambridge Centre for Brain Repair)

Staff Scientist Position (Spanish National Cancer Center)

Postdoctoral Position in Stem Cells and Epigenetics (Mount School of Medicine)

Senior Research Fellowship (Masaryk University)

Junior Research Fellowship (Masaryk University)

PhD Positions in Stem Cell Research (Masaryk University)

PhD Positions in Medical Biology (Masaryk University)

Postdoctoral Position in Stem Cells and Epigenetics (Mount Sinai School of Medicine)

Postdoctoral Fellow (Stanford University)

Postdoctoral Position (Spanish National Cancer Center)

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