Volume 13.07 | Feb 27

Issue 13.07, February 27, 2012
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TOP STORY
Delivering RNA with Tiny Sponge-Like Spheres
Researchers have come up with a novel delivery vehicle in which RNA is packed into microspheres so dense that they withstand degradation until they reach their destinations. The new system knocks down expression of specific genes as effectively as existing delivery methods, but with a much smaller dose of particles. [Press release from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology discussing online prepublication in Nature Materials] Press Release | Abstract

[New Webinar] Discover How to Reduce Variability in Primary Neuron Cultures with NeuroCult SM


PUBLICATIONS (Ranked by Impact Factor of the Journal)

Oocyte Formation by Mitotically Active Germ Cells Purified from Ovaries of Reproductive-Age Women
Here researchers describe and validate a fluorescence-activated cell sorting-based protocol that can be used with adult mouse ovaries and human ovarian cortical tissue to purify rare mitotically active cells that have a gene expression profile that is consistent with primitive germ cells. Once established in vitro, these cells can be expanded for months and can spontaneously generate 35- to 50-μm oocytes, as determined by morphology, gene expression and haploid status. [Nat Med] Abstract | Press Release

Catheter-Deliverable Hydrogel Derived from Decellularized Ventricular Extracellular Matrix Increases Endogenous Cardiomyocytes and Preserves Cardiac Function Post-Myocardial Infarction
This study evaluated the use of an injectable hydrogel derived from ventricular extracellular matrix for treating myocardial infarction and its ability to be delivered percutaneously. [J Am Coll Cardiol] Abstract | Press Release

Tumor-Targeted T Cells Modified to Secrete IL-12 Eradicate Systemic Tumors without Need for Prior Conditioning
Herein, researchers present preclinical studies demonstrating that treatment with CD19-specific, chimeric antigen receptor modified T cells further modified to constitutively secrete interleukin (IL)-12 are able to safely eradicate tumors in the absence of prior conditioning. [Blood] Abstract

Thymic Gene Transfer of Myelin Oligodendrocyte Glycoprotein Ameliorates the Onset but Not the Progression of Autoimmune Demyelination
Researchers describe that intrathymic delivery of the autoantigen, myelin oligodendrocyte glycoprotein, via a lentiviral vector, led to tolerance induction and prevented mice from developing fulminant experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis. [Mol Ther] Abstract

Reversal of Diabetes through Gene Therapy of Diabetic Rats by Hepatic Insulin Expression via Lentiviral Transduction
In the present study furin-cleavable human insulin was expressed in the liver of autoimmune-diabetic IDDM rats and streptozotocin-diabetic rats after portal vein injection of INS-lentivirus. [Mol Ther] Abstract

Overexpression of Adiponectin Promotes Focal Angiogenesis in the Mouse Brain following Middle Cerebral Artery Occlusion
In this study, researchers investigated the cellular mechanisms of adiponectin (APN) action during cerebral ischemia. Adult mice received an intracerebral injection of adeno-associated viral vector carrying the APN gene (AAV-APN). The mice were subjected to a transient ispilateral middle cerebral artery occlusion after seven-day AAV-APN gene transfer. [Gene Ther] Abstract

Human Platelet-Rich Plasma- and Extracellular Matrix-Derived Peptides Promote Impaired Cutaneous Wound Healing In Vivo
Previous work has described several pro-angiogenic short peptides derived from endothelial extracellular matrices degraded by bacterial collagenase. Here researchers tested whether these peptides could stimulate wound healing in vivo. [PLoS One] Abstract | Press Release

Tumor Eradication and Induction of Memory Against Murine Mesothelioma by Combined Immunotherapy
Using a murine model of mesothelioma, scientists investigated the roles of regulatory T-cells, intratumoral transforming growth factor-β and the negative regulator molecule cytotoxic T lymphocyte-associated antigen-4 in immune tolerance to tumors. [Immunol Cell Biol] Abstract

Adenovirus-Mediated RNA Interference Targeting FOXM1 Transcription Factor Suppresses Cell Proliferation and Tumor Growth of Nasopharyngeal Carcinoma
An adenovirus vector (AdFOXM1shRNA) was constructed to express a short hairpin RNA (shRNA) specific to the Forkhead Box M1 (FOXM1). The efficacy of AdFOXM1shRNA for tumor gene therapy in nasopharyngeal carcinoma (NPC) cells and in vivo NPC grafting model was assessed. [J Gene Med] Abstract

Constant and Steady Transgene Expression of Interferon-γ by Optimization of Plasmid Construct for Safe and Effective Interferon-γ Gene Therapy
In the present study, to optimize the efficacy/side effect ratio of interferon-γ (IFN-γ) gene transfer, researchers have developed plasmid vectors encoding murine IFN-γ under the control of different combinations of promoter and enhancer sequences. [J Gene Med] Abstract

Optimized In Vivo Transfer of Small Interfering RNA Targeting Dermal Tissue Using In Vivo Surface Electroporation
This paper details the optimization of electrical parameters for a novel low-voltage electroporation method to deliver oligonucleotides to dermal tissue in vivo. [Mol Ther Nucleic Acids] Abstract | Press Release

Watch The Video: Performing CFC Assays Using MethoCult™



SCIENCE NEWS
TxCell Presents Immuno-Monitoring Results of its Phase I/II Clinical Trial with Antigen-Specific Treg Cells in Crohn’s Disease
TxCell SA announced immuno-monitoring results of the phase I/II study in Crohn’s disease with its leading product candidate Ovasave®. [Press release from TxCell SA discussing research presented at the 7th European Crohn’s and Colitis Organization (ECCO) Meeting, Barcelona] Press Release

More Blood, Worse Outcomes for Kids’ Heart Transplants
After adjustment for other established risk factors for poorer transplantation outcomes, higher total amounts of red blood cells transfused were associated with a longer stay in the intensive care unit, more days intubated, and a higher inotrope score (P less than 0.05 for all), according to researchers. [Press release from MedPage Today discussing research presented at the Pediatric and Congenital Cardiovascular Disease Meeting, Orlando] Press Release

Tech Bulletin: Expansion Of Hematopoietic Stem And Progenitor Cells

 
POLICY

Stem Cell Action Coalition Opposes Virginia Personhood Bill
The Stem Cell Action Coalition opposes Virginia House Bill No.1, the so-called Virginia “personhood bill.” The law would prevent the pursuit of medical research in Virginia that utilizes human embryonic stem cells. [The Stem Cell Action Coalition] Press Release

Academic Sequencing Centers May Feel the Pinch of Budgetary Constraints and Data Deluge
National Human Genome Research Institute renewed $416 million over four years in funding for three centers but warned of lower funds in the future. [National Human Genome Research Institute, United States] Press Release

Canada’s Restrictions on Scientists’ Speech Raise Concerns
Government scientists in Canada are facing growing restrictions on their ability to speak directly to the public and the press, and could benefit from new policies being instituted south of the border in the United States. [American Association for the Advancement of Science, United States] Press Release

Nigeria’s New Science Fund Takes US as Its Model
Nigeria is to get a dedicated science fund similar to the US National Science Foundation, to provide support for research in the country. The National Science Research, Technology and Innovation Fund will be run by an independent board and headed by Nigeria’s president Goodluck Jonathan, a scientist by training. [Federal Executive Council, Nigeria] Press Release

Protests Delay Greek University Reform
As European leaders put the finishing touches to a €130-billion rescue package for Greece’s enfeebled economy, angry demonstrators are blocking university reforms that many researchers believe are crucial to the country’s recovery. [Greek Higher-Education Minister, Greece] Press Release

Budget Cuts Force Lay-Offs at United Nations Biotechnology Center
International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology seeks extra support after main funder slashes contribution. The Italian Ministry of Foreign Affairs is cutting €2 million from its €12.4-million contribution, as part of a multi-billion-euro package of austerity measures approved by the Italian parliament last November. [International Centre for Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology] Press Release

World Vaccine Cell Culture 2012



BUSINESS

$5 Million Gift from Miami Couple to Boost Gene Therapy Research at the University of Florida
Earl and Christy Powell are making another major push to accelerate help for people with genetic diseases. Their $5 million gift will establish the Earl and Christy Powell University Chair in Gene Therapy and Genetics Research at the University of Florida Health Science Center and reinforce the couple’s commitment to advancing the field of gene therapy. [University of Florida] Press Release

ISSCR Honors Stem Cell Research Pioneer with Prestigious McEwen Award for Innovation
The 2012 recipient is Rudolf Jaenisch, MD, in recognition of his pioneering discoveries in the areas of genetic and epigenetic control of development in mice that directly impact the future potential of embryonic stem cells and induced pluripotent stem cells for therapeutic utility. [International Society for Stem Cell Research (ISSCR)] Press Release

AKC Canine Health Foundation Funds Project to Battle Lymphoma
Through the AKC Canine Health Foundation’s support, Texas A&M University is continuing a ground-breaking lymphoma treatment therapy research project that uses laboratory expanded T-cells to help extend the lives of dogs that unfortunately develop cancer. [American Kennel Club (AKC) Canine Health Foundation, Inc.]
Press Release

apceth and Indivumed to Develop Biomarker Platform for Targeted Cellular Therapies
apceth GmbH & Co. KG and Indivumed GmbH have entered into a partnership for the development of a predominantly tissue-based biomarker strategy for the treatment of solid cancers with cellular and/or gene therapeutics. [Indivumed GmbH] Press Release

MOLOGEN AG Also Wins Patent Protection in Japan for Cell-Based Cancer Therapy MGN1601
The Japan Patent Office has announced its decision to grant a patent to the biotechnology company MOLOGEN AG for its invention of an “allogeneic tumor therapy”. The cell-based cancer therapy MGN1601, which is already in clinical development, is covered by this patent. [MOLOGEN AG] Press Release

Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center Opens Cancer Transplant Institute
The Virginia G. Piper Cancer Center at Scottsdale Healthcare announced it has added a hematopoietic stem cell transplant program through its new Cancer Transplant Institute. [Scottsdale Healthcare] Press Release

Cellerant Therapeutics Appoints Lowell E. Sears to Board of Directors
Cellerant Therapeutics Inc. announced that Lowell E. Sears joined its Board of Directors. [Cellerant Therapeutics Inc.] Press Release

Coronado Biosciences Appoints Lucy Lu, M.D. as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer
Coronado Biosciences, Inc. announced that Lucy Lu, M.D. has joined the Company as Executive Vice President and Chief Financial Officer. [Coronado Biosciences, Inc.] Press Release

Vomaris Innovations, Inc. Names New CEO
Vomaris Innovations, Inc. has named Michael P. Nagel as its new President and Chief Executive Officer. [PR Newswire] Press Release



NIH

Extra Scrutiny for ‘Grandee Grantees’
As it released its 2013 budget proposal last week, the National Institutes of Health said that researchers who control more than $1.5 million in grants will undergo an extra layer of review from external advisers before further grants are approved. Press Release

Notice of Change of Participation of NIH Institutes and Centers in PAR-11-286 “Centers of Biomedical Research Excellence (COBRE) [P20]” (NOT-OD-12-065)

Notice of Clarification for the NIBIB Biomedical Technology Resource Center (P41) Program (NOT-EB-12-003)

Clarification of Letter of Intent Due Date for RFA-RM-12-002: NIH Health Care Systems Research Collaboratory – Pragmatic Clinical Trials Demonstration Projects (UH2/UH3) (NOT-RM-12-016)

Infrastructure Development Program in Patient-Centered Outcomes Research (PCOR) (R24) (PA-12-114)

Center for Scientific Review; Notice of Closed Meetings (FR Doc No: 2012-4345)

National Institute of General Medical Sciences; Notice of Closed Meeting (FR Doc No: 2012-4097)

National Institute of General Medical Sciences; Notice of Closed Meeting (FR Doc No: 2012-4102)

Submission for OMB Review; Comment Request; Application for Collaboration With the NIH Center for Translational Therapeutics (NCTT) (FR Doc No: 2012-4212)

Government-Owned Inventions; Availability for Licensing (FR Doc No: 2012-4376)



CBER
FY 2010 CBER Annual Report: Innovative Technology Advancing Public Health


REGULATORY

Food and Drug Administration (United States)

Guidance for Institutional Review Boards, Clinical Investigators, and Sponsors: Institutional Review Board Continuing Review After Clinical Investigation Approval; Availability (FR Doc No: 2012-4425)



EVENTS

NEW Keystone Symposia on Molecular and Cellular Biology: Non-Coding RNAs
March 31-April 5, 2012
Snowbird, United States

NEW 7th Symposium on Biologic Scaffolds for Regenerative Medicine
April 26-28, 2012
Napa Valley, United States

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



JOB OPPORTUNITIES

Scientist – Pluripotent Stem Cells (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

Research Technologist (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

Scientist – hPSC Bioengineering (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

Scientist – Antibody and Hybridoma Technology Platforms (STEMCELL Technologies, Inc.)

Business Analyst – Product Management (STEMSOFT Software, Inc.)

Senior Development Associate (Genzyme Corporation)

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

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

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

Postdoctoral Fellow and Technician Positions (North Carolina Central University)

Quality Assurance Manager, GMP (Cellular Dynamics International)

Research Technologist III (Medical College of Wisconsin)


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