Volume 8.18 | May 8

ESC & iPSC News 8.18 May 8, 2013
ESC & iPSC News
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Scientists Make Key Stem Cell Discovery
Researchers have found that a protein, which switches on genes to allow embryonic stem cells to self-renew, works better when the natural occurring level of the protein is reduced. It was previously thought that once levels of this protein - called Oct 4 - were reduced the numbers of new stem cells being produced would also fall. [Press release from The University of Edinburgh discussing online prepublication in Cell Stem Cell] Press Release | Abstract | 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)

One-Step Generation of Mice Carrying Mutations in Multiple Genes by CRISPR/Cas-Mediated Genome Engineering
Investigators demonstrated that CRISPR/Cas-mediated gene editing allows the simultaneous disruption of five genes (Tet1, 2, 3, Sry, Uty - 8 alleles) in mouse embryonic stem cells with high efficiency. [Cell]
Abstract | Graphical Abstract | Press Release

Directed Differentiation and Functional Maturation of Cortical Interneurons from Human Embryonic Stem Cells
Investigators demonstrated the highly efficient derivation of human cortical interneurons in an NKX2.1::GFP human embryonic stem cell reporter line. [Cell Stem Cell] Abstract | Graphical Abstract | Press Release

Functional Maturation of hPSC-Derived Forebrain Interneurons Requires an Extended Timeline and Mimics Human Neural Development
Researchers report the directed differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs) into medial ganglionic eminence (MGE)-like progenitors and their maturation into forebrain type interneurons. Both in vitro and posttransplantation into the rodent cortex, the MGE-like cells develop into GABAergic interneuron subtypes with mature physiological properties along a prolonged intrinsic timeline of up to seven months, mimicking endogenous human neural development. [Cell Stem Cell]
| Graphical Abstract | Press Release

Derivation of Extraembryonic Endoderm Stem (XEN) Cells from Mouse Embryos and Embryonic Stem Cells
At the time of implantation in the maternal uterus, the mouse blastocyst possesses an inner cell mass comprising two lineages: epiblast and primitive endoderm. Representative stem cells derived from these two cell lineages can be expanded and maintained indefinitely in vitro as either embryonic stem or XEN cells, respectively. Researchers described protocols that can be used to establish XEN cell lines. [Nat Protoc] Abstract

Engineering Bone Tissue Substitutes from Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells
Researchers induced three human-induced pluripotent stem cell (hiPSC) lines with different tissue and reprogramming backgrounds into the mesenchymal lineages and used a combination of differentiation assays, surface antigen profiling, and global gene expression analysis to identify the lines exhibiting strong osteogenic differentiation potential. They then engineered functional bone substitutes by culturing hiPSC-derived mesenchymal progenitors on osteoconductive scaffolds in perfusion bioreactors and confirmed their phenotype stability in a subcutaneous implantation model for 12 weeks. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA]
Abstract | Press Release

Hes1 Desynchronizes Differentiation of Pluripotent Cells by Modulating STAT3 Activity
Robust development of the early embryo may benefit from mechanisms that ensure that not all pluripotent cells differentiate at exactly the same time: such mechanisms would build flexibility into the process of lineage allocation. Researchers used a clonal commitment assay to confirm that pluripotent cells commit to differentiate asynchronously even under uniform differentiation conditions. [Stem Cells]
Abstract | Full Article

Tissue-Engineered Cardiac Patch for Advanced Functional Maturation of Human ESC-Derived Cardiomyocytes
Scientists investigated the effects of 3-dimensional tissue-engineered culture environment and cardiomyocyte purity on structural and functional maturation of human embryonic stem cell (ESC)-derived cardiomyocytes. [Biomaterials] Abstract | Press Release

SMRT Compounds Abrogate Cellular Phenotypes of Ataxia Telangiectasia in Neural Derivatives of Patient-Specific hiPSCs
Investigators presented a model of human ataxia telangiectasia using induced pluripotent stem cells, and showed that small molecule read-through compounds, designed to induce read-through of mRNA around premature termination codons, restore ATM activity and improve the response to DNA damage. [Nat Commun] Abstract | Press Release

Repression of Global Protein Synthesis by Eif1a-Like Genes That Are Expressed Specifically in the Two-Cell Embryos and the Transient Zscan4-Positive State of Embryonic Stem Cells
Researchers reported that the nascent protein synthesis is globally repressed in the Zscan4-positive state of embryonic stem cells, which is mediated by the transient expression of newly identified eukaryotic translation initiation factor 1A (Eif1a)-like genes. [DNA Res] Full Article

Generation of Integration-Free and Region-Specific Neural Progenitors from Primate Fibroblasts
Postnatal and adult human and monkey fibroblasts were infected with Sendai virus containing the Yamanaka factors for 24 hours, then they were cultured in a chemically defined medium containing leukemia inhibitory factor, transforming growth factor-β inhibitor SB431542, and glycogen synthase kinase-3β inhibitor CHIR99021 at 39°C for inactivation of the virus. Induced neural progenitor (iNP) colonies appeared as early as day 13 and can be expanded for >20 passages. Following transplantation into the forebrain, the iNP-derived cells retained the hindbrain identity. [Cell Reports] Abstract | Graphical Abstract | Press Release

Webinar: Groundbreaking Applications for Feeder-Free hESC & hiPSC Culture. Watch Now.

Pursuing Self-Renewal and Pluripotency with the Stem Cell Factor Nanog
The authors present a detailed overview of published work focusing on Nanog structure, function, dimerization, and regulation at the genetic and post-translational levels with regard to the establishment and maintenance of pluripotency. [Stem Cells] Abstract | Full Article

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

11th Annual International Cord Blood Symposium | San Francisco
Researchers Find Microglia Can Be Derived from Patient-Specific Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells and May Help Modulate the Course of Central Nervous System Diseases
Researchers announced new findings regarding the development of methods to turn human induced pluripotent stem cells into microglia, which could be used for not only research but potentially in treatments for various diseases of the central nervous system. [Press release from the American Association of Neurological Surgeons (AANS) discussing research presented at the 81st AANS Annual Scientific Meeting, New Orleans] Press Release

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Real Time Genomics and J. Craig Venter Institute Embark on Strategic Research Initiative
Real Time Genomics, Inc. announced a long-term strategic collaboration with the J. Craig Venter Institute aimed at understanding and analyzing the genetic changes that induced pluripotent stem cells may acquire during the process of differentiation. [Real Time Genomics, Inc.] Press Release

BioTime and Subsidiary LifeMap Sciences Announce Release of Enhanced LifeMap BioReagents™ Portal Offering Additional PureStem™ Human Progenitor Cells Including Those for Diabetes Research
BioTime, Inc. and subsidiary, LifeMap Sciences, announced the release of the enhanced LifeMap BioReagents™ portal featuring an improved user interface, product descriptions, and customer support options, as well as the addition of new PureStem™ progenitor cells to the site. [BioTime, Inc.] Press Release


Obama Promises to Protect Peer Review in Salute to NAS
President Barack Obama found an appreciative audience at the U.S. National Academy of Sciences (NAS), where he delivered a speech celebrating the august body's 150th anniversary. In addition to touting his administration's support for research, Obama took an oblique swipe at political adversaries in Congress who want to require the National Science Foundation and other funding agencies to adopt new grant funding criteria. [President Barack Obama, United States] Press Release

Italy Appoints New Research Minister
A bioengineer has been appointed minister of education, universities, and research in Italy's newly formed government. Maria Chiara Carrozza, 47, is a professor at the Sant'Anna School of Advanced Studies in Pisa and a member of Parliament for the center-left Democratic Party, which is about to lead a new government formed as a result of February elections. [Minister of Education, Universities, and Research, Italy]
Press Release


NEW International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR): Stem Cells in Translation
September 15-18, 2013
Florence, Italy

NEW International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR): Stem Cells in Science & Medicine
October 14-17, 2013
Suzhou, China

January 28-29, 2014
San Diego, United States

Visit our
events page to see a complete list of events in the ESC & iPSC community.


NEW Postdoctoral Fellow (Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine)

Genomic Study of Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Models of Human Disease (Stanford University - Dept. of Cardiovascular Medicine)

Research Assistant - Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells and Ocular Stem Cells (Mount Sinai School of Medicine)

Postdoctoral Positions - Stem Cells and Immunology (University of Connecticut)

Postdoctoral Position - Pluripotent Stem Cell Research (Masaryk University)

Postdoctoral Research Fellow - Ocular Stem Cell (Buck Institute for Research on Aging)

Postdoctoral Position - Developmental and Stem Cell Biology (Washington University School of Medicine)

Postdoctoral Fellow (Center for Molecular Medicine Cologne)

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