Volume 9.06 | Feb 19

ESC & iPSC News 9.06 February 19, 2014
ESC & iPSC News
     In this issue: Publications | Reviews | Science News | Industry News | Policy News | Events | Jobs
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Rewriting the Text Books: Scientists Crack Open ‘Black Box’ of Development
We know much about how embryos develop, but one key stage – implantation – has remained a mystery. Now, scientists have discovered a way to study and film this ‘black box’ of development. [Press release from the University of Cambridge discussing online prepublication in Cell]
Press Release | Full Article | Graphical Abstract
Take the "if" out of "diff": Reduce variability when differentiating to endothelial cells
PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Expandable Megakaryocyte Cell Lines Enable Clinically Applicable Generation of Platelets from Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Researchers developed a clinically applicable strategy for the derivation of functional platelets from human pluripotent stem cells (PSCs). This approach involves the establishment of stable immortalized megakaryocyte progenitor cell lines from PSC-derived hematopoietic progenitors through the overexpression of BMI1 and BCL-XL to respectively suppress senescence and apoptosis and the constrained overexpression of c-MYC to promote proliferation. [Cell Stem Cell] Abstract | Graphical Abstract | Press Release

Tet and TDG Mediate DNA Demethylation Essential for Mesenchymal-to-Epithelial Transition in Somatic Cell Reprogramming
The authors derived mouse embryonic fibroblasts (MEFs) deleted in all three Tet genes and examined their capacity for reprogramming into induced pluripotent stem cells. They showed that Tet-deficient MEFs cannot be reprogrammed because of a block in the mesenchymal-to-epithelial transition step. [Cell Stem Cell]
Abstract | Graphical Abstract

An Evolutionarily Conserved Long Noncoding RNA TUNA Controls Pluripotency and Neural Lineage Commitment
Researchers performed an unbiased loss-of-function study in mouse embryonic stem cells and identified 20 long intergenic noncoding RNAs (lincRNAs) involved in the maintenance of pluripotency. [Mol Cell]
Abstract | Graphical Abstract

Discovery of Consensus Gene Signature and Intermodular Connectivity Defining Self-Renewal of Human Embryonic Stem Cells
To identify a set of key genes consistently altered during differentiation of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) regardless of differentiation conditions researchers performed microarray analysis on undifferentiated hESCs and differentiated EB’s and validated our results using publicly available expression array data sets. [Stem Cells] Abstract

Differential Regulation of Morphology and Stemness of Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells by Substrate Stiffness and Topography
Investigators applied a micro-fabricated polyacrylamide hydrogel substrate with two elasticities and three topographies to systematically test the morphology, proliferation, and stemness of mouse embryonic stem cells. [Biomaterials] Abstract

Modulation of L-Type Calcium Channel by Intracellular Magnesium in Differentiating Cardiomyocytes Derived from Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Researchers took advantage of an in vitro model of cardiomyocytes based on induced pluripotent stem cells to investigate the effects of intracellular Mg2+ on the phosphorylation or dephosphorylation processes of L-type Ca2+ channel at early and late stages of cardiac cell differentiation. [Stem Cells Dev] Abstract

Lead Exposure Disrupts Global DNA Methylation in Human Embryonic Stem Cells and Alters Their Neuronal Differentiation
Scientists investigated the effects of physiologically relevant concentrations of lead on the capacity of human embryonic stem cells to progress to a neuronal fate. [Toxicol Sci] Abstract

Small-Molecule Induction Promotes Corneal Epithelial Cell Differentiation from Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Scientists developed a directed differentiation method for human induced pluripotent stem cells toward corneal epithelial progenitor cells capable of terminal differentiation toward mature corneal epithelial-like cells. [Stem Cell Rep] Full Article

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All Roads Lead to Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells – The Technologies of iPSC Generation
This review presents overviews of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) technologies with the intention to provide a quick yet comprehensive reference for both new and experienced reprogrammers. [Stem Cell Dev] Abstract

Visit our reviews page to see a complete list of reviews in the ESC & iPSC research field.

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Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived RPE Cell Transplantation Yields No ‘Untoward Pathologic Reactions’
A study under way to evaluate safety and tolerability of subretinal transplantation of human embryonic stem cells in patients with dry age-related macular degeneration so far has yielded no “untoward pathologic reactions,” Ninel Z. Gregori, MD said. [Press release from Healio discussing research presented at the Angiogenesis, Exudation, and Degeneration 2014 Meeting, Miami] Press Release

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Genea Biocells Becomes the World’s Largest Provider of Human Embryonic Stem Cells
Genea Biocells is now the world’s largest provider of human embryonic stem cell (hESC) lines on the USA National Institutes of Health Stem Cell Registry. The approval of 52 of Genea’s hESC lines provides academic and commercial researchers with innovative cellular tools to drive the discovery of new treatments for serious genetic or acquired diseases including orphan diseases. [Genea Biocells] Press Release

California Stem Cell Partners on CIRM Grant to Develop Transplantable 3D Retinas
California Stem Cell, Inc. (CSC) announced the initiation of a collaborative study with the University of California, Irvine aimed to create transplantable three-dimensional (3D) retinal tissue. The study, funded by a $4.5 million grant from the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), is a continuation of methods pioneered by CSC scientists in 2010, and will investigate the potential of improving a patient’s visual function by transplanting human stem cell-derived 3D retinal tissue into their retina. [California Stem Cell, Inc.] Press Release
Acid-Bath Stem-Cell Study Under Investigation
The RIKEN center in Kobe announced that it is looking into alleged irregularities in the work of biologist Haruko Obokata, who works at the institution. She shot to fame last month as the lead author on two papers published in Nature that demonstrated a simple way to reprogram mature mice cells into an embryonic state by simply applying stress, such as exposure to acid or physical pressure on cell membranes. [Nature News] Editorial

Myriad Wins First Round in Cancer Gene Testing Battle
After the U.S. Supreme Court last year invalidated human gene patents held by Utah-based Myriad Genetics, the firm’s competitors launched an array of products aimed at cracking Myriad’s stranglehold on the breast cancer gene testing market. Myriad, however, promptly filed a bevy of lawsuits against its challengers, arguing that the high court decision didn’t apply to related patents it held on testing for the BRCA gene mutations linked to cancer risk. A company called Gene by Gene retreated from its Myriad challenge, agreeing to stop selling test kits in North America. [ScienceInsider] Editorial

AAAS Announces Open-Access Journal
Joining a herd of other scientific societies, AAAS announced that it will launch the organization’s first online, fully open-access journal early next year. The new journal, called Science Advances, will give authors another outlet for papers that they are willing to pay to make immediately free to the public. [ScienceInsider] Editorial
NEW 20th Annual Meeting of the German Society for Gene Therapy
March 20-22, 2014
Ulm, Germany

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the ESC & iPSC community.
NEW Postdoctoral Position – Cardiovascular Electrophysiology Research Involving Human ESC or iPSC-Derived Cardiomyocytes (Stanford University)

NEW Research Technologist – Pluripotent Stem Cells (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

NEW Research Technologist – Particle Chemistry (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

NEW Research Technologist – PSC Biology and Bioengineering (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Stem Cell Biology (McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine)

Postdoctoral Scholar – Cell-Cell Interactions in Mammalian Development (University of California, San Francisco)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Initiative (European Bioinformatics Institute)

Senior Research Scientist – Immunogenicity and Epigenetic Regulation of hiPSC-Derived Endothelial Cells (Magdi Yacoub Institute)

Postdoctoral Position – Stem Cell Signaling and Epigenetics (Fondazione Istituto Nazionale Genetica Molecolare)

Postdoctoral Position – Systems Biology of Cellular Reprogramming (University of California, San Diego)

Postdoctoral Position – Stem Cells and Epigenetics (Mount-Sinai)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Morphogenetic Signaling Pathways in Development and Disease (University of Rochester Medical Center)

Postdoctoral Position – Epigenetic Regulation of Heart Formation Using Human ES & iPS Cells (University of Pittsburgh)

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