Volume 9.14 | Apr 16

ESC & iPSC News 9.14 April 16, 2014
ESC & iPSC News
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How a Silly Putty Ingredient Could Advance Stem Cell Therapies
The sponginess of the environment where human embryonic stem cells are growing affects the type of specialized cells they eventually become, a new study shows. The researchers coaxed human embryonic stem cells to turn into working spinal cord cells more efficiently by growing the cells on a soft, ultrafine carpet made of a key ingredient in Silly Putty. [Press release from the University of Michigan discussing online prepublication in Nature Materials] Press Release | Abstract
Free Wallchart: Small Molecules, Big Impact in PSC Research
PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Impaired Hematopoietic Differentiation of RUNX1-Mutated Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Derived from FPD/AML Patients
To investigate the physiological function of RUNX1 in human hematopoiesis and pathophysiology of familial platelet disorder (FPD)/acute myeloid leukemia (AML), researchers derived induced pluripotent stem cells from three distinct FPD/AML pedigrees and examined their defects in hematopoietic differentiation. [Leukemia] Abstract

Brf1 Posttranscriptionally Regulates Pluripotency and Differentiation Responses Downstream of Erk MAP Kinase
Scientists show that Brf1 (zfp36l1), an AU-rich element mRNA-binding protein from the Zfp36 protein family, operates downstream of FGF/Erk MAP kinase signaling to regulate pluripotency and cell fate decision making in mouse embryonic stem cells. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract

TET2 Deficiency Inhibits Mesoderm and Hematopoietic Differentiation in Human Embryonic Stem Cells
Scientists showed that Ten-Eleven-Translocation 2 (TET2) expression is low in human embryonic stem (ES) cell lines and increases during hematopoietic differentiation. ShRNA-mediated TET2 knockdown had no effect on the pluripotency of various ES cells. [Stem Cells] Abstract

Induced Pluripotency in Chicken Embryonic Fibroblast Results in a Germ Cell Fate
Using a reprogramming strategy, researchers demonstrate that over-expression of ectopic transcription factors in embryonic fibroblast can lead to the generation of chicken induced-PGCs. [Stem Cell Dev] Abstract

Heterogeneous Mixed-Lineage Differentiation of Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells Induced by Conditioned Media from A549 Cells
The authors compared the effects of A549-conditioned media (CM) treatment on the differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells organized in monolayer or embryoid bodies. They analyzed the cultures treated with A549-CM using specific lineage markers by qPCR and lineage-focused PCR arrays and demonstrated heterogeneous CM-induced differentiation. [Stem Cell Dev] Abstract

Telomerase Reverse Transcriptase has an Extratelomeric Function in Somatic Cell Reprogramming
Although induced pluripotent stem cells were successfully generated from telomerase reverse transcriptase-KO tail-tip fibroblasts (TTFs), the efficiency of reprogramming of these cells was markedly lower than that of WT TTFs. [J Biol Chem] Abstract | Full Article

Completely ES Cell-Derived Mice Produced by Tetraploid Complementation Using Inner Cell Mass (ICM) Deficient Blastocysts
Tetraploid complementation is often used to produce mice from embryonic stem cells (ESCs) by injection of diploid ESCs into tetraploid blastocysts. Scientists showed that mouse tetraploid blastocysts can be classified into two groups, according to the presence or absence of an ICM. [PLoS One] Full Article

Rapid and Efficient Conversion of Integration-Free Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells to GMP-Grade Culture Conditions
Researchers provide an optimized, fully chemically defined and feeder-free protocol for the derivation of human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) using synthetic mRNAs. The protocol results in derivation of fully reprogrammed hiPSC lines from adult dermal fibroblasts in less than two weeks. [PLoS One] Full Article

Enter to Win a Travel Award to ISSCR 2014
Stem Cells: Balancing Resistance and Sensitivity to DNA Damage
The authors describe the multiple pathways that have been proposed to affect the sensitivity of stem cells to damage, including proximity to the apoptotic threshold (mitochondrial priming) and the p53 signaling pathway, through activation of transcription or direct interaction with proapoptotic proteins in the cytoplasm. [Trends Cell Biol] Abstract

Visit our reviews page to see a complete list of reviews in the ESC & iPSC research field.
First Volunteers to Receive Blood Cultured from Stem Cells in 2016
Red blood cells cultured in a laboratory will be trialed in human volunteers for the first time within the next three years, as part of a long-term research program funded by the Wellcome Trust. The £5 million Strategic Award was granted to a consortium led by the Scottish National Blood Transfusion Service, and will follow on from previous research that proved that red blood cells could be generated from stem cells. [Wellcome Trust]
Press Release

ReNeuron Signs Agreement to Lease a New R&D, Manufacturing and Headquarters Facility in South Wales
ReNeuron Group plc, the leading UK-based stem cell therapy company, announced that it has signed an agreement with the Welsh Government to lease a landmark building at Pencoed Technology Park, near Cardiff, South Wales. [ReNeuron Group plc] Press Release

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Former NIH Stem-Cell Chief Joins New York Foundation
Stem-cell biologist Mahendra Rao, who resigned last week as director of the Center for Regenerative Medicine at the US National Institutes of Health (NIH), has a new job. He was appointed vice-president for regenerative medicine at the New York Stem Cell Foundation, a non-profit organization that funds embryonic stem-cell research. [Nature News] Editorial

Acid-Bath Stem Cell Scientist Apologizes and Appeals
Haruko Obokata, the Japanese scientist at the center of a controversy over studies purporting to turn mature cells to stem cells simply by bathing them in acid or subjecting them to mechanical stress, apologized for her errors in the work. [Nature News] Editorial

Pro-Life Citizens’ Initiative Worries E.U. Scientists
A group of European pro-life organizations is mobilizing against embryonic stem cell research in a way that the European Commission cannot ignore. One of Us, a so-called European citizens’ initiative, has collected 1.7 million signatures from all 28 E.U. member states for a proposal that would block funding for research in which embryos are destroyed; under E.U. rules, the European Commission must now consider turning the proposal into legislation. [ScienceInsider] Editorial

London Mayor Seeks to Form Biomedical ‘Golden Triangle’
London’s mayor, Boris Johnson, unveiled an initiative that aims to attract commercial investment to the bioscience research powerhouses of London, Oxford, and Cambridge. Johnson hopes that his plan – dubbed MedCity – will forge a “golden triangle” of research collaborations between the three cities, bring in venture capital financing for spinout companies, and encourage major pharmaceutical companies to establish bases in the region. [ScienceInsider] Editorial
NEW 18th International Congress on Toxicology In Vitro (ESTIV2014)
June 10-13, 2014
Egmond aan Zee, Netherlands

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the ESC & iPSC community.
NEW Full Professor – Stem Cell Research (HUST Tongji Medical College)

Postdoctoral Position – Stem Cell Biology (Yale Stem Cell Center)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow / Research Officer – Stem Cell Research (Bioprocessing Technology Institute)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Stem Cell Research (Washington University School of Medicine)

Postdoctoral Position – Embryonic Stem Cells and Chromatin Biology (University of Michigan)

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)

Research Associate – Cell Separation (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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