Volume 9.21 | Jun 4

ESC & iPSC News 9.21 June 4, 2014
ESC & iPSC News
     In this issue: Publications | Reviews | Industry News | Policy News | Events | Jobs
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TOP STORY
Coaxing iPS Cells to Become More Specialized Prior to Transplantation Cuts Rejection Risk, Study Shows
Researchers have found that coaxing iPS cells in the laboratory to become more-specialized progeny cells before transplantation into mice allows them to be tolerated by the body’s immune system. [Press release from Stanford University discussing online prepublication in Nature Communications] Press Release | Abstract
Free Wallchart: Small Molecules, Big Impact in PSC Research
 
PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by impact factor of the journal)
Loss of Transcriptional Control over Endogenous Retroelements during Reprogramming to Pluripotency
Scientists asked how endogenous retroelement control is maintained during the generation of induced pluripotent stem cells, as this procedure involves profound epigenetic remodeling. [Genome Res] Abstract

Generation of Organized Germ Layers from a Single Mouse Embryonic Stem Cell
Researchers present a method of generating organized germ layers from a single mouse embryonic stem cell cultured in a soft fibrin matrix. Spatial organization of germ layers is regulated by cortical tension of the colony, matrix dimensionality and softness, and cell-cell adhesion. [Nat Commun] Full Article | Press Release

Differential Role of Nonhomologous End Joining Factors in the Generation, DNA Damage Response, and Myeloid Differentiation of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Repair of DNA double-strand breaks is important for reprogramming of somatic cells into induced pluripotent stem cells. To compare the specific contribution of DNA ligase 4, Artemis, and DNA-protein kinase catalytic subunit in this process and to gain insights into phenotypic variability associated with these disorders, researchers reprogrammed patient-derived fibroblast cell lines with nonhomologous end-joining defects. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract

From Confluent Human iPS Cells to Self-Forming Neural Retina and Retinal Pigmented Epithelium
Scientists developed a simple retinal differentiation method, based on confluent human induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells, bypassing embryoid body formation and the use of exogenous molecules, coating, or Matrigel. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract

Reprogramming of Mouse Somatic Cells into Pluripotent Stem-Like Cells Using a Combination of Small Molecules
Somatic cells can be reprogrammed to generate induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells by overexpression of four transcription factors, Oct4, Klf4, Sox2, and c-Myc. However, exogenous expression of pluripotency factors raised concerns for clinical applications. Investigators showed that iPS-like cells were generated from mouse somatic cells in two steps with small molecule compounds. [Biomaterials] Abstract

The Effects of Triclosan on Pluripotency Factors and Development of Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells and Zebrafish
Mouse embryonic stem cells were acutely exposed to triclosan (TCS) for 24 hours, and general cytotoxicity and the effect of TCS on pluripotency were then evaluated. [Arch Toxicol] Abstract

Conversion of Partially Reprogrammed Cells to Fully Pluripotent Stem Cells Is Associated with Further Activation of Stem Cell Maintenance- and Gamete Generation-Related Genes
Researchers generated induced pluripotent stem cells from mouse embryonic fibroblasts (with Oct4-GFP reporter) by transfection of pCX-OSK-2A (Oct4, Sox2, and Klf4) and pCX-cMyc vectors. [Stem Cells Dev] Abstract

MicroRNA-Mediated Survivin Control of Pluripotency
Because the protein survivin is uniquely overexpressed in virtually all human cancers and in human embryonic stem cells, scientists sought to investigate its role in supporting the distinctive capabilities of these cell types. [J Cell Physiol] Abstract

A Multiplex High-Throughput Gene Expression Assay to Simultaneously Detect Disease and Functional Markers in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell-Derived Retinal Pigment Epithelium
Investigators used a multiplex high-throughput gene expression assay that simultaneously detects endogenous expression of multiple developmental, functional, and disease markers in induced pluripotent stem cell-derived retinal pigment epithelium. [Stem Cells Transl Med] Abstract

Free Cell Stem Cell Poster: Directed Differentiation of ESCs/iPSCs
 
REVIEWS
Self-Renewal and Cell Lineage Differentiation Strategies in Human Embryonic Stem Cells and Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
The authors highlight the current strategies used to maintain stem cell pluripotency, as well as provide an overview of the various differentiation strategies being used to generate cells from all three germ lineages. [Expert Opin Biol Ther] Abstract

Visit our reviews page to see a complete list of reviews in the ESC & iPSC research field.
 
INDUSTRY NEWS
BioTime’s Subsidiary Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc. Announces a $14.3 Million Strategic Partnership Award from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine
Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc. announced that it has been awarded a $14.3 million Strategic Partnership III grant entitled “A Phase I/IIa Dose Escalation Study of AST-OPC1 in Patients with Cervical Sensorimotor Complete Cervical Spinal Cord Injury” from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine. AST-OPC1 is a population of cells derived from human embryonic stem cells that contains oligodendrocyte progenitor cells. [Asterias Biotherapeutics, Inc.] Press Release

Aastrom Completes Acquisition of Sanofi’s Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine Business
Aastrom Biosciences, Inc. announced that the company has completed its acquisition of Sanofi’s cell therapy and regenerative medicine business unit. [Aastrom Biosciences, Inc.] Press Release

Conrad T. Prebys Gives $25 Million to Salk Institute to Support Scientific Research
The Salk Institute for Biological Studies has received a $25 million gift from San Diego philanthropist and former Salk trustee Conrad T. Prebys to support cutting-edge biological research on a wide range of diseases. [The Salk Institute for Biological Studies] Press Release

New wallchart from our sponsor:
Mesenchymal Stem Cells (a Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology collaboration). Request your free copy.
 
POLICY NEWS
Last Remaining Support for Controversial Stem-Cell Papers Collapses
The retraction of two controversial papers which promised a simple way to create embryonic-like stem cells appears imminent after the lead author unexpectedly gave her full consent. Haruko Obokata, of the RIKEN Center for Developmental Biology in Kobe, Japan, had been the last obstacle to the retraction of both papers. [Nature News] Editorial

Human-Rights Court Rules that Evidence Must Support Compassionate Therapy
Patients do not have an automatic right to a compassionate therapy for which there is no scientific evidence of efficacy, according to a landmark ruling of the European Court of Human Rights in Strasbourg, France. The ruling referred to the case of Nivio Durisotto, whose daughter has a degenerative brain disease. He wished her to be treated with a controversial stem-cell-based therapy offered by the Stamina Foundation, based in Brescia, Italy. [Nature News] Editorial

Tests of Embryonic Stem Cell Treatment Back on Track
A potential treatment for spinal cord injury that made headlines in 2010 as the first human embryonic stem cell therapy to be tested in humans is pushing ahead after a stalled clinical trial and a change of ownership. [ScienceInsider] Editorial

E.U. Commission Rejects Plea to Block Stem Cell Research Funding
The European Commission turned down a request by pro-life organizations to block E.U. funding for research using embryonic stem cells – causing many scientists to breathe a sigh of relief. The commission says the existing rules under the European Union’s science program, Horizon 2020, are appropriate and will not change. [ScienceInsider] Editorial
 
EVENTS
NEW Biomedical Engineering (BME) 75th Anniversary Symposium
August 14-16, 2014
Detroit, United States

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the ESC & iPSC community.
 
JOB OPPORTUNITIES
NEW Postdoctoral Position – Functional Characterization of Neurons Derived from Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (Radboud University Medical Center)

NEW Postdoctoral Researcher – Hematopoietic Stem Cells as Well as on Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells (KU Leuven)

Postdoctoral Position – Epigenetics and Stem Cell Biology (Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research)

PhD Studentship – Molecular Mechanism of Asymmetric Stem Cell Division (King’s College London)

Postdoctoral Fellows – Reproductive Sciences/Embryonic Development (University of Maryland)

Postdoctoral Position – Epigenetics, Stem Cell Biology and Heart Development (Max Planck Institute for Heart and Lung Research)

Postdoctoral Associate – Hematopoietic Differentiation (Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine)

Postdoctoral Position – Basic and Translational Neuroscience/Stem Cell Research (University of California, Davis)

Scientist – Immunology/Cell Separation (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Research Technologist – hPSC (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

Research Associate – Cell Separation (STEMCELL Technologies Inc.)

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

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


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