Volume 9.09 | Mar 12

ESC & iPSC News 9.09 March 12, 2014
ESC & iPSC News
     In this issue: Publications | Reviews | Industry News | Policy News | Events | Jobs
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TOP STORY
Quality Control: Researchers Develop Standards for Gauging ‘Good’ Stem Cells
Researchers identified a set of 64 crucial parameters from more than 1,000 by which to judge stem cell-derived cardiac myocytes, making it possible for scientists and pharmaceutical companies to quantitatively judge and compare the value of the countless commercially available lines of stem cells. [Press release from Harvard University discussing online prepublication in Stem Cell Reports] Press Release | Full Article
New TeSR™-E8™ is Here. For Feeder-Free Culture of Human ES Cells and iPS Cells
 
PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Fip1 Regulates mRNA Alternative Polyadenylation to Promote Stem Cell Self-Renewal
Scientists showed that an mRNA 3′ processing factor, Fip1, is essential for embryonic stem cell (ESC) self-renewal and somatic cell reprogramming. Fip1 promotes stem cell maintenance, in part, by activating the ESC-specific alternative polyadenylation profiles to ensure the optimal expression of a specific set of genes, including critical self-renewal factors. [EMBO J] Abstract

Akt-mTOR Pathway Inhibits Apoptosis and Fibrosis in Doxorubicin-Induced Cardiotoxicity Following Embryonic Stem Cell Transplantation
The long term impact of embryonic stem cells and conditioned medium on apoptosis, fibrosis, cytoplasmic vacuolization, oxidative stress, and their associated mediators were examined. [Cell Transplant] Abstract

Embryonic Stem Cells and Released Factors Stimulate c-Kit+ve/FLK-1+ve Progenitor Cells and Promote Neovascularization in Doxorubicin-Induced Cardiomyopathy
Investigators transplanted conditioned media and embryonic stem cells in the doxorubicin induced cardiomyopathy injured heart and evaluated their potential to inhibit vascular cell death, activate endogenous c-kit+ve and FLK-1+ve cells, enhance neovascularization, and augment left ventricular dysfunction. [Cell Transplant] Abstract

Germline Transmission of an Embryonic Stem Cell Line Derived from BALB/c Cataract Mice
Researchers aimed to establish embryonic stem (ES) cells from inherited cataract mice. Embryos of cataract mice were cultured in chemical-defined N2B27 medium with the presence of two small molecules PD0325901 and CHIR99021 and an ES cell line was successfully established. [PLoS One] Full Article

Zscan4 Is Regulated by PI3-Kinase and DNA-Damaging Agents and Directly Interacts with the Transcriptional Repressors LSD1 and CtBP2 in Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells
Scientists showed that undifferentiated mouse embryonic stem cell lines simultaneously express multiple members of the Zscan4 gene family, with Zscan4c, Zscan4f and Zscan4-ps2 consistently being the most abundant. [PLoS One] Full Article

De Novo Formation of Insulin-Producing “Neo-β Cell Islets” from Intestinal Crypts
Researchers report that transient intestinal expression of these factors – Pdx1, MafA, and Ngn3 – promotes rapid conversion of intestinal crypt cells into endocrine cells, which coalesce into “neoislets” below the crypt base. [Cell Rep] Full Article | Graphical Abstract | Press Release

Footprint-Free Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells from Articular Cartilage with Redifferentiation Capacity: A First Step toward a Clinical-Grade Cell Source
Scientists showed that chondrocytes from autologous chondrocyte implantation donors can be efficiently reprogrammed into induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) using a nonintegrating method based on mRNA delivery, resulting in footprint-free iPSCs (no genome-sequence modifications), devoid of viral factors or remaining reprogramming molecules. [Stem Cells Transl Med] Abstract

Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Reveal Functional Differences between Drugs Currently Investigated in Patients with Hutchinson-Gilford Progeria Syndrome
Investigators undertook a systematic comparative study of the three main treatments currently administered or proposed to progeria-affected children, namely, a farnesyltransferase inhibitor, the combination of an aminobisphosphonate and a statin (zoledronate and pravastatin), and the macrolide antibiotic rapamycin. [Stem Cells Transl Med] Abstract

Mesenchymal Morphogenesis of Embryonic Stem Cells Dynamically Modulates the Biophysical Microtissue Niche
Scientists demonstrated that mesenchymal embryonic microtissues induced by BMP4 exhibited increased stiffness and viscosity accompanying differentiation, with cytoskeletal tension significantly contributing to multicellular stiffness. [Sci Rep] Full Article

Take the "if" out of "diff": reduce variability when differentiating to definitive endoderm.
 
REVIEWS
Signals Controlling Un-Differentiated States in Embryonic Stem and Cancer Cells: Role of the Phosphatidylinositol 3′ Kinase Pathway
This review focusses on roles of the phosphatidylinositide 3-kinase (PI3K) signal transduction pathway components, with emphasis on functions in stem cell maintenance and cancer. Since the PI3K pathway impinges on and collaborates with other signaling pathways in regulating stem cell development and/or cancer, aspects of the canonical Wnt, Ras/mitogen-activated protein kinase, and TGF-β signaling pathways are also discussed. [J Cell Physiol] Abstract | Full Article

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

Attend ISCT 2014 in Paris, France!
 
INDUSTRY NEWS
Call for Acid-Bath Stem-Cell Paper to Be Retracted
Less than 40 days after a team led by Haruko Obokata of the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe, Japan, presented two stunning papers claiming a method of using a simple acid-bath method to reprogram mature mammalian cells back to an embryonic state – so called STAP cells – researchers in Japan, including one of the paper’s co-authors, are calling for them to be retracted. [Nature News] Editorial

NeoStem and Massachusetts Eye and Ear/Schepens Eye Research Institute Announce Second Research Collaboration Exploring NeoStem’s VSELTM Technology for Retinal Repair
NeoStem, Inc. announced that it has entered into a sponsored research collaboration with Massachusetts Eye and Ear/Schepens Eye Research Institute, an affiliate of Harvard Medical School. The objective of the research is to investigate the role of very small embryonic-like stem cells (VSELs™), as well as CD34+ cells, in a study that will compare the efficacy of these two cell types for retinal repair. [NeoStem, Inc.] Press Release

Catalent Announces Agreement for One of the First Regenerative Therapies to Employ iPS Cells in Humans with CiRA, Kyoto University
Catalent Pharma Solutions announced an agreement with the Center for iPS Cell Research and Application (CiRA) at Kyoto University in Japan to make a major advancement toward one of the first regenerative human therapies with induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells applicable to humans. [Catalent, Inc.] Press Release

OHSU Announces Creation of New Embryonic Stem Cell and Gene Therapy Center
Oregon Health & Science University announced the creation of the OHSU Center for Embryonic Cell and Gene Therapy, led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov, Ph.D., a world-renowned leader in embryonic stem cell and gene therapy research. [Oregon Health & Science University] Press Release

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POLICY NEWS
Switzerland to Provide Grants while European Funding Is on Hold
The Swiss government is stepping in to support individual researchers currently excluded from receiving grants from the European Union. Hundreds of Switzerland-based scientists who had applied, or intended to apply, for European Research Council grants have been badly hit by the fallout of a referendum last month which obliges the Swiss government to restrict immigration into the country. [Nature News] Editorial

Major U.S. Science Agencies Face Flat Prospects
President Barack Obama released a $3.901 trillion budget request to Congress, including proposals for a host of federal research agencies. The unveiling is just the beginning of the annual budget process; Congress will now chew on the proposal and is likely to ignore many of the White House’s suggestions. [ScienceInsider] Editorial
 
EVENTS
NEW Fraunhofer Life Science Symposium: Medicinal Stem Cell Products
October 9-14, 2014
Leipzig, Germany

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the ESC & iPSC community.
 
JOB OPPORTUNITIES
NEW Postdoctoral Position – TGFβ-Signaling Pathway in Embryonic Stem Cells (Tsinghua University)

Stem Cell Research Technician (Van Andel Research Institute)

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

Director of GMP/GLP Quality Operations (University of Pennsylvania, Perelman School of Medicine)

Postdoctoral Position – Human Stem Cell Biology and Hematopoiesis (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)

Postdoctoral Positions – Stem Cells (CREI Stem Cells, SkolTech)

Postdoctoral Position – Cardiovascular Electrophysiology Research Involving Human ESC or iPSC-Derived Cardiomyocytes (Stanford University)

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)

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

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

Scientific Communications & Publishing Coordinator (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

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

Research Technologist – Particle Chemistry (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

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


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