Stem Cells in the News - March 2017

Thursday, March 23, 2017 - 14:15
Stem Cells in the News

We have captured this month’s most interesting, innovative, and maybe some of the strangest examples of stem cells in the news from around the world.

Stem cell experiments blast into space - PostBulletin
Stem cells from the Mayo Clinic Florida campus were launched into space heading for the International Space Station. Why? The researchers behind the cells would like to see if stem cells can be produced more quickly in a microgravity environment.

Japan gives the green light to clinical testing with donor iPSCs - Nikkei Asian Review
The Japanese ministry has approved the use of donated stem cells in a clinical trial through Riken. This decision will significantly reduce the cost and time associated with cell therapy treatments by an estimated 90%. The study proposed will focus on patients with age-related macular degeneration and will be headed up by Masayo Takahashi.

Repeated doses of cardiac mesenchymal cells are therapeutically superior to a single dose in mice with old myocardial infarction - Springer
Researchers at the University of Louisville School of Medicine have demonstrated that multiple doses of cardiac progenitor cells have a greater benefit than a single dose in rats with myocardial infarction (MI). This concept could apply to other stem cell treatments in testing and could have significance in a number of other diseases in animal models.

Mesoblast announces Positive 9 month Reumatoid Arthritis using MSCs - Globe Newswire
The company Mesoblast released results of a 39-week trial using mesenchymal precursor cells to treat 48 Reumatoid Arthritis patients that have been determined to be TNF-α resistant. The findings of this phase 2 clinical trial show significant improvement in the patients ACR20/50/70 responses.

ISSCR announces new policy director - International Society for Stem Cell Research
Kaye Meier has been selected as the ISSCR’s new Director of Policy. Her background in politics and patent law will serve the organization well into the future.

Why the CRISPR patent verdict isn’t the end of the story - Nature
With the recent ruling, in favor of the Broad Institute of Harvard and MIT, UC Berkeley has had a setback. But is it really over? This article suggests 5 reasons why it is not.

Stem cell derived cells flag a possible new treatment for rare blood disorder - Bioscience Technology
Researchers from Boston Children’s Hospital have claimed to be the first researchers to successfully use iPS-derived blood progenitor cells to treat a patient with Diamond- Blackfin Anemia (DBA) with help from the molecule SMER28.

Induced pluripotent stem cells don’t increase genetic mutations - Laboratory Equipment
The researchers at the National Human Genome Research Institute (NHGRI), part of the National Institutes of Health (NIH) released findings that show the rate of mutation in iPSCs is not any higher than in subcloned cells. This challenges a long-standing concern that has slowed clinical research progress in this field over the last 10 years.

Vitamin C and L-proline have antagonistic effects on pluripotency - Phys Org
A research team funded by the Institute of Genetics and Biophysics in Italy found that these two compounds have a direct effect on the ‘naïve’ and ‘primed’ states of both ES and iPS cells. These findings could have implications in the study of cancer stem cells and how they are regulated by metabolites.

Ovarian hormones awaken newly discovered breast stem cells - Science Daily
Researchers at the Walter and Eliza Hall Institute in Australia have uncovered a subset of breast stem cells that become activated in the presence of progesterone and estrogen which can give rise to “triple-negative” breast cancers, which have a higher rate of recurrence than other breast cancers.

The New York Times interviews Dr. Yamanaka - The New York Times
Continuing the celebration of 10 years since the published discovery of iPSCs, NYT conducts an in-depth interview with Dr. Shinya Yamanaka. He provides updates on his current research and discusses the future of basic and clinical iPSC research.

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