Volume 13.01 | Jan 16

Issue 13.01 January 16, 2012
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Publications | Reviews | Science | Policy | Business | NIH | CBER | Regulatory | Events | Jobs

TOP STORY
Smooth Muscle Cells Created from Patients’ Skin Cells
Scientists have for the first time created different types of vascular smooth muscle cells using cells from patients’ skin. [Press release from the University of Cambridge discussing online prepublication in Nature Biotechnology] Press Release | Abstract

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PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

Programming Human Pluripotent Stem Cells into White and Brown Adipocytes
Here researchers report the robust and efficient differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells into white or brown adipocytes. [Nat Cell Biol] Abstract

Bone Marrow Homing and Engraftment of Human Hematopoietic Stem and Progenitor Cells Is Mediated by a Polarized Membrane Domain
Here, researchers show that increased cell cycling during ex vivo culture of hematopoietic stem/progenitor cells results in disruption of a membrane domain, as evidence by disruption of polarity of the tetraspanin CD82. [Blood] Abstract

Betacellulin Promotes Cell Proliferation in the Neural Stem Cell Niche and Stimulates Neurogenesis
Researchers carried out an analysis of the interaction between endothelial cells and neural stem cells (NSCs), and show that betacellulin, a member of the EGF family and one of several signaling molecules made by the former, induces NSC proliferation and prevents spontaneous differentiation in culture. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract | Press Release

Attenuation of Extrinsic Signaling Reveals the Importance of Matrix Remodeling on Maintenance of Embryonic Stem Cell Self-Renewal
Researchers found that perturbing cell-secreted signaling causes mouse embryonic stem cells to exit their stable self-renewing state in defined conditions that normally support self-renewal and to exhibit properties characteristic of epiblast cells. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract

Indirect Evidence that Maternal Microchimerism in Cord Blood Mediates a Graft-Versus-Leukemia Effect in Cord Blood Transplantation
Researchers hypothesized that maternal anti-inherited paternal antigen immune elements cross the placenta and might confer a potent graft-versus-leukemia effect when cord blood is used in unrelated hematopoietic stem cell transplantation. [Proc Natl Acad Sci USA] Abstract

A Phase I Trial of Adeno-Associated Virus Serotype 1-γ-Sarcoglycan Gene Therapy for Limb Girdle Muscular Dystrophy Type 2C
Nine non-ambulatory patients (two males, seven females, mean age 27 years; range 16–38 years) with del525T homozygous mutation of the γ-sarcoglycan gene and no γ-sarcoglycan immunostaining on muscle biopsy were divided into three equal groups to receive three escalating doses of an adeno-associated virus serotype 1 vector expressing the human γ-sarcoglycan gene under the control of the desmin promoter, by local injection into the extensor carpi radialis muscle. [Brain] Abstract | Press Release

miR-290 Cluster Modulates Pluripotency by Repressing Canonical NF-κB Signaling
Here researchers demonstrate that microRNA (miR)-290 cluster, the most abundant microRNA family in embryonic stem cells, targets the NF-κB subunit p65 (also known as RelA) by repressing its translation. [Stem Cells] Abstract

A Role for MicroRNAs 99b, 181a and 181b in the Differentiation to Vascular Endothelial Cells from Human Embryonic Stem Cells
Here, researchers show that the reduction of microRNA maturation induced by Dicer knockdown suppressed human embryonic stem-endothelial cell differentiation. [Stem Cells] Abstract

Lentivirus shRNA Grb10 Targeting the Pancreas Induces Apoptosis and Improved Glucose Tolerance due to Decreased Plasma Glucagon Levels
Lentiviral vector small hairpin RNA (shRNA) targeting the growth factor receptor-bound protein-10 (Grb10) gene was injected in vivo via an intraductal pancreatic route to target pancreatic tissues in adult mice, which were studied 2 weeks post-injection. [Diabetologia] Abstract

Reversal of Type 1 Diabetes via Islet Beta Cell Regeneration following Immune Modulation by Cord Blood-Derived Multipotent Stem Cells
In an open-label, phase I/II study, patients with type 1 diabetes received one treatment with the Stem Cell Educator. [BMC Med] Abstract | Press Release

AAV-Based Neonatal Gene Therapy for Hemophilia A: Long-Term Correction and Avoidance of Immune Responses in Mice
This study demonstrates the use of adeno-associated virus (AAV) in a gene replacement strategy in neonatal mice that establishes both long-term phenotypic correction of hemophilia A and lack of antibody development against factor VIII in this disease model where AAV is administered shortly after birth. [Gene Ther] Abstract

LIM Domain Protein-3 (LMP3) Cooperates with BMP7 to Promote Tissue Regeneration by Ligament Progenitor Cells
This study sought to explore whether gene delivery of LMP3 can promote periodontal ligament cell mineralization and bone formation. [Gene Ther] Abstract

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SCIENCE NEWS

First FDA-Approved Study of Stem Cells to Treat Hearing Loss Begins at Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital
Children’s Memorial Hermann Hospital and Cord Blood Registry® are launching the first FDA-approved, Phase I safety study of the use of cord blood stem cells to treat children with sensorineural hearing loss. [Cord Blood Registry] Press Release

Sangamo BioSciences Announces Initiation of Two New Phase II HIV Clinical Trials
Sangamo BioSciences, Inc. announced the initiation of two new Phase II clinical studies (SB-728-1101 and SB-728-902, Cohort 5) in its program to develop a “functional cure” for HIV/AIDS. [Sangamo BioSciences, Inc] Press Release

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POLICY

NSF Tweaks Its Merit Review Rules
The National Science Board has made two subtle but potentially important changes in how grant applications are reviewed at the National Science Foundation (NSF). [National Science Board, United States] Press Release

Peru to Boost Science-Industry Links
The Peruvian government will provide US $100 million for a new project aiming to finance and promote the development of science and technology links between the private sector, universities, and public and private research centers. [The Peruvian Government, Peru] Press Release

China Stops Unapproved Stem Cell Treatments
China has ordered a halt to all unapproved stem cell treatments and clinical trials as Beijing seeks to rein in the largely untested stem cell therapies now on offer across the country. [The Ministry of Health, China]
Press Release

ISCT 2012 Abstract Deadline



BUSINESS

NeoStem and Progenitor Cell Therapy Announce Entry Into Merger Agreement Companies to Form an Integrated Global Cell Therapy Company
NeoStem, Inc. and Progenitor Cell Therapy, LLC jointly announced the signing of a definitive merger agreement whereby NeoStem will acquire Progenitor Cell Therapy. [Progenitor Cell Therapy, LLC] Press Release

IntelliCell BioSciences Announces the Licensing of its Proprietary Patent, Pending Stromal Vascular Manufacturing Technology to IntelliCell BioSciences of Canada
IntelliCell Biosciences, Inc. has licensed its proprietary, patent pending technology for the manufacture of stromal vascular fraction from adipose tissue to RegenaStem Inc. [BusinessWire] Press Release

New Source of Stem Cell Generation Pioneered
A process that prompts a single gene to generate millions of supercharged stem cells, which can then turn into any kind of cell a body needs to repair itself, has been patented. [University of Central Florida College of Medicine] Press Release

Amorcyte, a NeoStem Company, Announces Expansion of Intellectual Property Coverage
Amorcyte, Inc. announced the expansion of intellectual property protection around its lead product candidate, AMR-001, with the grant of U.S. patent number 8,088,370 by the United States Patent and Trademark Office. [NeoStem, Inc.] Press Release

Vectalys Has Signed a Licensing Agreement with Kyoto University
Kyoto University, iPS Academia Japan Inc., and Vectalys, announced they have entered into a series of intellectual property agreements covering induced pluripotent stem cell technology. [Vectalys] Press Release

California State University, Long Beach (CSULB) Receives 3-Year, Nearly $1.7 Million Renewal Grant to Fund Stem Cell Research Internships
The caliber of the interns, selected from students in the stem cell option of CSULB’s Biotechnology Certificate program, pleased the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine officials enough to result in a three-year, $1,686,998 grant renewal for the university. [California State University, Long Beach] Press Release

With $10 Million Grant, Norma Sue Kenyon, Ph.D., Aims to Develop Co-Transplant Criteria
Years ago, Norma Sue Kenyon, Ph.D. discovered that delivering mesenchymal stem cells intravenously during islet transplantation more than doubled islet function, enhanced islet survival and reversed rejection episodes. Now, armed with a new five-year, nearly $10 million grant from NIH, Kenyon is poised to reproduce those novel findings, this time with an eye on identifying the optimal source of mesenchymal stem cells and developing the protocols for enhancing and infusing them during and after islet cell transplants. [University of Miami Miller School of Medicine] Press Release

Plasticell to Collaborate with Pfizer, Cellzome and University of Sheffield in a £1.4 Million Technology Strategy Board-Funded Stem Cell Project
The project will develop methods of characterizing stem cells through protein fingerprints predictive of changes in stem cell behavior. [Plasticell] Press Release

Oregon Health & Science University Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute Receives Grant for AIDS Vaccine Development
Researchers at Oregon Health & Science University’s Vaccine and Gene Therapy Institute have been awarded an $8 million grant from the Bill & Melinda Gates Foundation to further develop a promising HIV vaccine candidate to combat the worldwide AIDS epidemic. [Oregon Health & Science University] Press Release

CIFAR Announces Dr. Alan Bernstein, O.C. As New President and CEO
On behalf of the Board of the Canadian Institute for Advanced Research (CIFAR), David Dodge announced the appointment of Dr. Alan Bernstein as the Institute’s new President and CEO commencing May 1, 2012. [Canadian Institute for Advanced Research] Press Release



NIH

US Translational-Science Center Gets Under Way
Scarcely a year after plans to establish it were made public, the National Center for Advancing Translational Sciences, the newest branch of the US National Institutes of Health in Bethesda, Maryland, is up and running. [National Institutes of Health, United States] Press Release

Bill Blocking National Institutes of Health Public Access Policy Draws Fire
A little-noticed proposal in Congress to block a federal policy requiring free access to biomedical research papers went big time, adding fuel to a long-running debate in the blogosphere. [The United States Congress, United States] Press Release

Center for Scientific Review: Notice of Closed Meetings (FR Doc No: 2012-377)

Center for Scientific Review Notice of Closed Meetings (FR Doc No: 2012-556)

National Heart, Lung, and Blood Institute; Notice of Closed Meeting (FR Doc No: 2012-476)

Request for Information (RFI): Input into the Deliberations of the Advisory Committee to the NIH Director Working Group on Diversity in the Biomedical Research Workforce (NOT-OD-12-031)

Amendment of NOT-HL-11-154, NHLBI Will No Longer Participate in the Investigator-Initiated Innovative Research Grant (R21) Program (NOT-HL-12-001)



REGULATORY

Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (United Kingdom)

MHRA Organization Chart
A high-level organization chart of the Medicines and Healthcare Regulatory Agency (MHRA) is available.
Press Release



EVENTS

NEW The Jackson Laboratory: Leverage the Power of Cre-Lox Technology for Mouse Modeling
January 19, 2:00 PM (ET in US)
Webinar

NEW Keystone Symposia on Molecular and Cellular Biology: Th17 Cells in Health and Disease
February 5-10, 2012
Keystone, United States

NEW Keystone Symposia on Molecular and Cellular Biology: The Biology of Cytokines
February 5-10, 2012
Keystone, United States

Visit our events page to see a complete list of events in the cell, gene and immunotherapy community.



JOB OPPORTUNITIES

Research and Development Technologist, hPSC Media (STEMCELL Technologies)

Scientist – Pluripotent Stem Cells (STEMCELL Technologies)

Research Technologist, Manufacturing Sciences (STEMCELL Technologies)

Business Analyst – Product Management (STEMSOFT Software)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Adult Neurogenesis and Neural Signaling (University of Kentucky)

Postdoctoral Position (The Laboratory for Equine and Comparative Orthopedic Research)

Research Associate II/III (Louisiana State University)

Associate Professor, Biology and Medicine in Maternal, Perinatal and Child Health (Wayne State University)

Postdoctoral Position – Center for Human Genetics (VIB Research Institute)

Senior Development Associate (Genzyme Corporation)

Scientist II, Innovation – Cell Processing Technologies (Lonza Walkersville, Inc.)

Senior Manager, Innovation – Cell Processing Technologies (Lonza Walkersville, Inc.)

Postdoctoral/Research Associate (Children’s Memorial Research Center)

Postdoctoral Fellow – Program in Children’s Regenerative Medicine (The University of Texas Medical School at Houston)


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