A new collaboration between the Harvard Personal Genome Project (PGP), and researchers from the New York Stem Cell Foundation (NYSCF) Research Institute has been announced today. NYCSF researchers will derive induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) from samples of patients participating in PGP. These cell lines can then be examined and compared to data gathered by the PGP including whole genomes, medical histories, body microbiomes and hundreds of other traits from over 3,000 participants.
To learn about stem cells and related differentiation protocols:
Researchers from the labs of prof. Robert Langer and prof. Jeffrey Karp, have developed a novel method for efficient propagation of intestinal Lgr5+ stem cells. Until now, researchers were able to culture these cells in-vitro only in a co-culture with supportive cells called Paneth cells. Now, it is possible to replace these supportive cells with two small mlecules CHIR99021 and Valproic Acid.
This open access review describes a method for direct isolation of muscle stem cells also known as satellite cells. In addition, it details their characteristics and their unique gene expression profile.
To learn more about the embryonic development of skeletal muscles, and related stem cells differentiation protocols:
A new paper from the lab of Shinya Yamanaka suggest that the let-7 family of microRNAs induce an inhibitory effect on the reprogramming process by regulation of pro-differentiation factors, such as EGR1. Inhibition of let-7 in human cells results in an increase in the level of the let-7 target LIN-41/TRIM71, which in turn promotes reprogramming.
Researchers derived induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells from skin cells taken from patients with a rare form of diabetes -- Wolfram syndrome. Then they differentiated these iPS cells into beta-like cells, and found that the derived cells failed to secrete insulin due to protein-folding, or endoplasmic reticulum (ER) stress. By adding 4-phenyl butyric acid, the cells regain the ability to secrete insulin.
This paper is a good example to the ability to use iPS cells as iin-vitro disease models, to gain insight into disease-related molecular mechanisms and to screen for potential drugs.
In this open-access short review, Liu. et al, discuss the achievements and current status of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) for cardiac tissue regeneration, including development of iPSC derivation, in vitro strategies for cardiac generation from iPSCs, cardiac application of iPSCs, challenges confronted at present as well as perspective in the future.
To learn about heart development, stem cell differentiation protocols, and cell therapies:
Fred Gage and Sally Temple published a very interesting review about neural stem cells (NSCs) in Neuron journal. This is an open-access, and highly recommended review from one of the leading scientist in the field.
Mesenchymal stem cells play an important role in cell therapy and are being currently tested in clinical trials for a variety of diseases. This open-access paper focus on their immunomodulatory effect.
This review, published on June in Cell Stem Cell journal, is now freely available, as part of the "Featured Five Reviews" of the Journal. It describes how researchers can use human pluripotent stem cells for drug discovery purposes.
Cardiomyocytes, differentiated from either human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) or induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs), are used in cardiovascular research throughout the last decade. In addition to their regenerative capacities and promise for clinical application, these cells provide an unlimited source of...
Researchers from the Columbia University Medical Center, published a new paper in Nature Bitechnology, describing a novel method for generation of functional lung cells from pluripotent stem cells. Their highly-efficient differentiation method resulted in the formation of clara, ciliated, type I and type II alveolar epithelial cells.
A new paper in PNAS describes a novel 3D culturing system for culturing and expansion of pluripotent stem cells. It is based on a unique hydrogel that allows to control the exact composition of the growth environment, free of any human- or animal-derived factors, and entailing only recombinant protein factors.
To learn about stem cells, embryonic development, and regenerative medicine:
A paper published this month in Cell by Shyh-Chang et al., suggests that expression of Lin28, a highly conserved RNA-binding protein, can lead to tissue regeneration. Lin28 was first identified as a developmental timing regulator in C. elegans. In mammals, Lin28a, a conserved mammalian paralog of Lin28, was shown to be expressed during embryogenesis and in embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and to repress let7 microRNA. However, during fetal development, ...(click the image or the link to read the full story):
The FDA gave permission to StemCell Inc. to start testing an experimental stem cell therapy in humans who have suffered spinal cord injuries. This experiment will be conducted mainly in the USA, but also in Canada, and its designed mostly to demonstrate that the stem cell injections are safe.
A team of researchers, led by Leonard Zon, Amy Wagers, and Ronald Kahn describe a novel technique to identify small molecules and chemicals that can promote myogenesis differentiation and proliferation. The main goal of the study was to identify novel molecules that will allow efficient skeletal muscle differentiation of induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. These skeletal muscle cells, could be then transplanted into patients with muscle loss.
In order to achieve that, the researchers first use a zebrafish embryo-based culture system to screen for molecules that promote myogenesis and expansion of muscle progenitors. Then they applied these molecules on iPS cells, to generate engraftable myogenic progenitors that contributed to muscle repair in vivo.