Volume 5.40 | Oct 13

ESC & iPSC News 5.40, October 13, 2010.
In this issue:  Science News |  Current Publications |  Industry News |  Policy News |  Events
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Researcher Discovers Key Mechanism for Transforming Adult Cells
Researchers have discovered that so-called “grim-reaper” caspase genes are the gatekeepers that can open the door to allow differentiated adult cells to regress to undifferentiated induced pluripotent stem cells. [Press release from the University of Colorado Denver discussing online prepublication in Cell Stem Cell]

Defining Characteristics of Bona Fide Human iPS Cells
Speaker: Sutheera Ratanasirintrawoot, PhD Candidate
G. Daley & T. Schlaeger Labs, Harvard Medical School


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Stem Cell Model for Long-QT Syndrome May Spark New Avenues for Heart Research
Pluripotent stem cells, derived from skin fibroblasts of two relatives with familial long-QT syndrome and induced to differentiate into cardiac myocytes, exhibited the electrophysiologic traits of the disorder, showing for the first time that stem cell models “can recapitulate aspects of genetic cardiac diseases.” [Press release from Internal Medicine News discussing online prepublication in the New England Journal of Medicine]

‘Firefly’ Stem Cells May Repair Damaged Hearts
Stem cells that glow like fireflies could someday help doctors heal damaged hearts without cutting into patients’ chests. The “firefly” stem cells, engineered with the same enzyme that makes fireflies glow, become brighter and brighter as they develop into healthy heart muscle, allowing doctors to track whether and where the stem cells are working. [Press release from the University of Central Florida discussing online prepublication in Stem Cells and Development]


CURRENT PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

Patient-Specific Induced Pluripotent Stem-Cell Models for Long-QT Syndrome
Researchers generated patient-specific pluripotent stem cells from members of a family affected by long-QT syndrome type 1 and induced them to differentiate into functional cardiac myocytes. The patient-derived cells recapitulated the electrophysiological features of the disorder. [N Engl J Med]

Apoptotic Caspases Regulate Induction of iPSCs from Human Fibroblasts
Researchers report that caspases 3 and 8, two proteases associated with apoptotic cell death, play critical roles in induction of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from human fibroblasts. [Cell Stem Cell]

Identification and Classification of Chromosomal Aberrations in Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
The analysis indicated high incidence of chromosome 12 duplications, resulting in significant enrichment for cell cycle-related genes. Such aneuploidy may limit the differentiation capacity and increase the tumorigenicity of human induced pluripotent stem cells. [Cell Stem Cell]

Benefits of Utilizing Gene-Modified iPSCs for Clinical Applications
Researchers propose that patient-specific induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) marked with genetic modifications should be used in early autologous transplantation trials to track their safety and therapeutic performance. [Cell Stem Cell]

Phosphorylation of Sox2 Cooperates in Reprogramming to Pluripotent Stem Cells
Researchers provide new evidence for a phosphorylation-based regulation of Sox2 activity. Akt directly interacts with Sox2 and promotes its stabilization through phosphorylation at Thr118, which enhances the transcriptional activity of Sox2 in embryonic stem cells. [Stem Cells]

Phosphoproteomics Profiling Suggests a Role for Nuclear BetaIPKC in Transcription Processes of Undifferentiated Murine Embryonic Stem Cells
Results suggest that betaIPKC takes part in the processes that maintain embryonic stem cells in their undifferentiated state. [J Proteome Res]

Evaluation of Developmental Toxicant Identification Using Gene Expression Profiling in Embryonic Stem Cell Differentiation Cultures
The study suggests that the application of transcriptomics may improve the applicability of the embryonic stem cell test for the prediction of the developmental toxicity of chemicals. [Toxicol Sci]

Generation of Novel Reporter Stem Cells and Their Application for Molecular Imaging of Cardiac-Differentiated Stem Cells In Vivo
Results suggest that prior induction of cardiac differentiation in vitro enhances development and maintenance of a cardiomyocyte-like phenotype for mouse embryonic stem cells following transplantation into neonatal mouse hearts in vivo. [Stem Cells Dev]

Anti-Human Embryonic Stem Cell Monoclonal Antibody Hesca-2 Binds to a Glycan Epitope Commonly Found on Carcinomas
Data suggest that Hesca-2 recognizes a surface marker found both in stem cells and certain cancer cells. [Stem Cells Dev]

Intestinal Lineage Commitment of Embryonic Stem Cells
Findings demonstrate that definitive endoderm derived from embryonic stem cells can carry out intestinal cell differentiation pathways and may provide cells to restore damaged intestinal tissue. [Differentiation]



STEMSOFT Connect — A Simplified Solution to a Complex Problem
STEMSOFT is pleased to announce the release of their new standard interfaces, STEMSOFT Connect™.  STEMSOFT Connect offers standard interface tools that easily connect commonly used applications and devices to STEMSOFT’s applications. [STEMSOFT Software Inc. Press Release]

Cell Cure Neurosciences Ltd., a Subsidiary of BioTime, Inc. and Hadasit Bio Holdings Ltd., Enters into an Exclusive License Option Agreement with Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. to Develop and Market OpRegen™ for the Treatment of Age-Related Macular Degeneration
BioTime, Inc., Cell Cure Neurosciences Ltd., and Hadasit Bio-Holdings Ltd. jointly announced that Cell Cure and Teva Pharmaceutical Industries Ltd. have entered into an exclusive license option agreement to develop and commercialize Cell Cure’s OpRegen™ product for the treatment of age-related macular degeneration. OpRegen™ is a proprietary formulation of embryonic stem cell-derived retinal pigment epithelial cells designed by Cell Cure. [BioTime, Inc. Press Release]

Regional Government of Andalusia, Spain and California Announce International Collaboration to Advance Stem Cell Research Toward Cures
The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine and the Andalusian Initiative for Advanced Therapies announced an international collaboration on stem cell research. [California Institute for Regenerative Medicine Press Release]

Genzyme Board Unanimously Rejects Sanofi-Aventis Tender Offer
Genzyme Corporation announced that its board of directors has voted unanimously to reject the unsolicited $69.00 per share tender offer from Sanofi-Aventis, and the board recommends that Genzyme shareholders not tender their shares to Sanofi-Aventis pursuant to the offer. [Genzyme Corporation Press Release]

American Cancer Society Awards New Research and Training Grants
The American Cancer Society has awarded 94 national research and training grants totaling $46,633,000 to 70 institutions nationwide in the first of two grants cycles for 2011. [American Cancer Society Press Release]
Geron Initiates Clinical Trial of Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Based Therapy
Geron Corporation announced the enrollment of the first patient in the company’s clinical trial of human embryonic stem cell-derived oligodendrocyte progenitor cells, GRNOPC1. [Geron Corporation Press Release]

Embryonic Stem Cell Research Receives Widespread Support from Americans
A large majority of Americans across various demographic groups agree that scientists should be able to use stem cells for biomedical research, according to a recent Harris Interactive/HealthDay poll. [Harris Interactive Press Release]

Shrinking U.S. Biotechnology Sector Lost 25% of Companies in Past 3 Years
One hundred publicly traded biotechnology companies in the U.S. have been acquired or ceased operations since the end of 2007, a 25 percent drop in the number of active companies, a report said. [Bloomberg]


Governor Doyle Announces State Has Filed Motion to Join Stem Cell Funding Amicus Brief
Governor Jim Doyle announced the state has filed a motion in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia seeking permission to join an amicus brief in Sherley v. Sebelius, a legal case challenging the National Institutes of Health’s embryonic stem cell research guidelines. [Office of the Governor of Wisconsin, United States]

NIH Announces New Program to Accelerate Research Independence
The National Institutes of Health intends to invest approximately $60 million over the next five years in the NIH Director’s Early Independence Award program to help junior investigators leapfrog over traditional post-doctoral training and move into independent academic positions at U.S. institutions, directly upon completion of their graduate research degrees. [National Institutes of Health, United States]

FDA’s $25 Million Pitch for Improving Drug Regulation
The U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) is pressing for a big funding boost for “regulatory science”—research that can help it evaluate new treatments better and faster. [Food and Drug Administration, United States]

FDA to Push for More Investment in Science
Health regulators plan to spend millions of dollars to step up their scientific prowess in a move that officials say will help quickly get new treatments to patients and protect the public against possible health threats. [Food and Drug Administration, United States]

Plan to Develop a Genetic Testing Registry at the National Institutes of Health; Public Meeting; Request for Comments (FR Doc. 2010-25411) [National Institutes of Health, United States]

Proposed Collection; Comment Request; National Evaluation of the Clinical and Translational Science Awards (CTSA) Initiative (FR Doc. 2010-25589) [Department of Health and Human Services, United States]
Agency Information Collection Request. 30-Day Public Comment Request (FR Doc. 2010-25587) [Department of Health and Human Services, United States]
National Human Genome Research Institute; Notice of Closed Meeting (FR Doc. 2010-25634) [National Institutes of Health, United States]
Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings (FR Doc. 2010-25595) [National Institutes of Health, United States]
Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings (FR Doc. 2010-25597) [National Institutes of Health, United States]
Center for Scientific Review; Amended Notice of Meeting (FR Doc. 2010-25598) [National Institutes of Health, United States]
Center for Scientific Review; Amended Notice of Meeting (FR Doc. 2010-25601) [National Institutes of Health, United States]
National Cancer Institute; Notice of Closed Meeting (FR Doc. 2010-25636) [National Institutes of Health, United States]
National Cancer Institute; Notice of Closed Meeting (FR Doc. 2010-25640) [National Institutes of Health, United States]
National Center for Research Resources; Notice of Closed Meeting (FR Doc. 2010-25176) [National Institutes of Health, United States]
National Institute of Biomedical Imaging and Bioengineering; Notice of Closed Meeting (FR Doc. 2010-25172) [National Institutes of Health, United States]


Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine – New Solutions to Old Problems
October 18-20, 2010
San Antonio, United States

European Society of Gene and Cell Therapy (ESGCT) 18th Annual Congress
October 22-25, 2010
Milan, Italy

World Stem Cells & Regenerative Medicine Congress Asia 2010
October 26-28, 2010
Seoul, Korea

Fraunhofer Life Science Symposium Leipzig 2010
October 29-30, 2010
Leipzig, Germany

NEW 5th UK Cancer Stem Cell Symposium
November 2, 2010
London, United Kingdom

Stem Cell Society Singapore Symposium 2010: Translating Science to Therapy
November 2-3, 2010

BioMalaysia 2010 Conference and Exhibition
November 1-3, 2010
Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia

Select Biosciences 2nd International Forum on Stem Cells (2010 IFSC)
November 12-13, 2010
Tianjin, China

The 16th International Conference of the International Society of Differentiation: From Stem Cells to Organisms
November 15-18, 2010
Nara, Japan

8th Annual Commercial Translation of Regenerative Medicine Conference
November 18-19, 2010
London, United Kingdom

Stem Cell Network’s 10th Annual Scientific Meeting
November 22-24, 2010
Calgary, Alberta

Tissue Engineering & Regenerative Medicine International Society – North America (TERMIS-NA) 2010 Annual Conference
December 5-8, 2010
Orlando, United States

NEW 5th Annual Stem Cell Meeting on the Mesa
December 7, 2010
La Jolla, United States

Biotech Showcase 2011
January 10-12, 2011
San Francisco, USA

Select Biosciences 5th Annual Stem Cells and Regenerative Medicine World Congress
January 24-25, 2011
San Diego, United States

Keystone Symposia-Stem Cells in Development, Tissue Homeostasis and Disease
January 30-February 4, 2011
Santa Fe, United States

Molecular Medicine Tri-Conference – Stem Cells: Revolutionizing Regenerative Medicine and Personalized Therapy 2011
February 23-25, 2011
San Francisco, United States

American Association for Cancer Research (AACR) Stem Cells, Development, and Cancer
March 3-6, 2011
Vancouver, Canada

Stem Cells, Cancer and Metastasis (C4)
March 6-11, 2011
Dillon, United States

Visit our events page to stay up to date with the latest events in the cell, gene and immunotherapy community.


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