Volume 6.37 | Sep 21

ESC & iPSC News 6.37, September 21, 2011
     In this issue: Publications | Industry News | Policy News | Events | Jobs
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TOP STORY

Researchers Discover a Switch that Controls Stem Cell Pluripotency
Scientists have found a control switch that regulates stem cell “pluripotency”. The discovery reveals that pluripotency is regulated by a single, crucial event in a process called alternative splicing. [Press release from the University of Toronto Faculty of Medicine discussing online prepublication in Cell] Press Release | Abstract

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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

The Noncoding RNA Mistral Activates Hoxa6 and Hoxa7 Expression and Stem Cell Differentiation by Recruiting MLL1 to Chromatin
Here, scientists demonstrate that the long, noncoding RNA Mistral activates transcription of the homeotic genes Hoxa6 and Hoxa7 in mouse embryonic stem cells by recruiting mixed lineage leukemia 1 (MLL1) to chromatin. [Mol Cell] Abstract

Large Scale Transcriptional Profiling and Functional Assays Reveal Important Roles for Rho-GTPase Signaling and SCL During Hematopoietic Differentiation of Human Embryonic Stem Cells
In this study researchers have compared transcriptional profiles of hematopoietic progenitors derived from human embryonic stem cells at various developmental stages of a feeder and serum free differentiation method and show that the largest transcriptional changes occur during the first four days of differentiation. [Hum Mol Genet] Abstract

Zfp281 Functions as a Transcriptional Repressor for Pluripotency of Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells
Researchers performed microarray profiling in combination with previously published datasets of Zfp281 global target gene occupancy, and found that Zfp281 mainly functions as a repressor to restrict expression of many stem cell pluripotency genes. [Stem Cells] Abstract

Modeling the Relative Relationship of Transcription Factor Binding and Histone Modifications to Gene Expression Levels in Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells
Transcription factor binding and histone modification are important for the precise control of gene expression. Hence, investigators constructed statistical models to relate these to gene expression levels in mouse embryonic stem cells. [Nucleic Acids Res] Abstract

Mitochondrial Gene Replacement in Human Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Neural Progenitors
Here, researchers describe a novel approach that uses recombinant human mitochondrial transcription factor A protein to transfect and express a pathogenic mitochondrial genome carrying the G11778A mutation associated with Leber’s hereditary optic neuropathy disease, into dideoxycytidine-treated human pluripotent stem cell-derived neural progenitors. [Gene Ther] Abstract

Pdx1 and Ngn3 Overexpression Enhances Pancreatic Differentiation of Mouse ES Cell-Derived Endoderm Population
In order to define the molecular mechanisms regulating the specification and differentiation of pancreatic β-islet cells, scientists investigated the effect of upregulating Pdx1 and Ngn3 during the differentiation of the β-islet-like cells from murine embryonic stem (ES) cell-derived activin induced-endoderm. [PLoS One] Abstract

Progesterone and 17β-Estradiol Increase Differentiation of Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells to Motor Neurons
In this work, using immunocytochemistry, flow cytometry, and quantitative RT-PCR, researchers investigated whether progesterone or 17β-estradiol have inductive effects on embryonic stem cell-derived motor neurons, as it has been demonstrated that these hormones modify proliferation and neural differentiation of pluripotent cells. [IUBMB Life] Abstract

Liver Sinusoidal Endothelial Cells Support the Survival and Undifferentiated Growth of the CGR8 Mouse Embryonic Stem Cell Line: Possible Role of Leukemia Inhibitory Factor
In the present study scientists investigated whether liver sinusoidal endothelial cells might promote the survival and undifferentiated growth of murine embryonic stem cells. [Cytokine] Abstract

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INDUSTRY NEWS

ACT Secures First Patent for Generating Hemangioblast Cells to Treat a Broad Spectrum of Vascular and Hematopoietic Disorders
Advanced Cell Technology (ACT), Inc. announced that it has been issued a patent (patent number 8,017,393) for the Company’s proprietary method for generating and expanding hemangioblast cells from human embryonic stem cells. [Advanced Cell Technology, Inc] Press Release

Genetics Policy Institute Announces 2011 “Stem Cell Action” Award Winners and Honorees
The Genetics Policy Institute will honor individuals and organizations that have positively impacted the advancement of stem cell research at the 7th Annual Stem Cell Action Awards Dinner. [Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News] Press Release

POLICY NEWS

Stem Cell Lawsuit Back Again
As expected, the plaintiffs in a law suit claiming that federally funded research on human embryonic stem cells is illegal have appealed a ruling that dealt them a defeat earlier this summer. [U.S. Appeals Court, United States] Press Release

Senate Plan Gives NSF a Choice on Facilities vs. Research
A Senate proposal that would reduce next year’s budget for the National Science Foundation (NSF) by $162 million includes unprecedented flexibility for the agency to decide how best to spend a portion of that shrinking pot of money. [U.S. Senate, United States] Press Release

Republicans Seek to Prioritize Stem Cell Research Programs
Republican Randy Forbes introduced legislation that seeks to focus federal stem cell research in areas that show “evidence of providing clinical benefit for human patients,” and promote research that does not involve the creation of or damage to human embryos. [Republicans, United States] Press Release

U.K. Masks Cuts to Science By Redefining ‘Science Budget’
Despite promises by the U.K. government last year that its science budget would stay level between 2010 and 2015, a new analysis concludes that the government has masked cuts by redefining what is and isn’t included in its science budget. [U.K. Government, United Kingdom] Press Release

French Bioethics Law Addresses Embryonic Research
France passed a law on bioethics on July 7 called Loi du 7 juillet 2011. The law, which addresses several major areas of bioethics, above all confronts the question of what legal framework applies to research on human embryos and embryonic stem cells. [French Government, France] Press Release

South Korea Sets Sights on Becoming Stem Cell Powerhouse, Again
South Korea’s president vowed on a series of regulatory reforms to help regain its place as a stem cell research powerhouse, trying to reclaim momentum five years after a cloning scandal. [South Korea’s President, South Korea] Press Release

EVENTS

NEW The Australasian Society of Stem Cell Research 4th Annual Conference
October 23-25, 2011
Leura, Australia

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

JOB OPPORTUNITIES

Lab Technologist – Tissue Culture (STEMCELL Technologies)

Research and Development Technologist, hPSC Media (STEMCELL Technologies)

Scientist (iPSC) (STEMCELL Technologies)

Contract Assay Service Technologist (STEMCELL Technologies)

Research and Development Technologist (STEMCELL Technologies)

Postdoctoral Fellow/Research Scientist (Stem Cell Research) (Institute of Bioengineering and Nanotechnology)

Postdoctoral Positions in Stem Cells and Immunology (University of Connecticut)

Postdoctoral Scholar (University of California, Irvine)

PhD Research Position in the Department of Biological Chemistry (Weizmann Institute of Science)

Research Group Leader – Human Epigenomics and Stem Cells (MRC Clinical Sciences Centre)

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