Happy New Year to all of our Stem Cell Podcast fans! 2014 was a great year and Yosif and I look forward to another great year bringing you the latest and greatest from the world of stem cells and beyond. Just a reminder to visit www.stemcellpodcast.com for all of our episodes and to join our newsletter so we can keep you informed about what is going on with the show. In this show, as always, we start with the science round up brought to you by Thermo Fisher and we discuss the latest hot papers from a wide variety of topics including how cancer might just be bad luck, telomerase inhibition in cancer stem cells a new therapy, making sperm and eggs from stem cells, James Watson selling his Nobel Prize, a new sendai virus for iPSC generation, etc… Then we bring on a post-doctoral fellow from the lab of Michel Sadelain, Dr. Maria Themeli to talk to us about her work using stem cells to create killer T cells to seek and destroy cancer cells…a really cool idea and amazing technology. We finish off the show ranting about iPhone updates.
Below are all of the papers mentioned on the show. Enter in your name and e-mail address below to subscribe to our newsletter, and you will be entered into the monthly Stem Cell Podcast t-shirt drawing.
Resources, Links and Research Papers Mentioned In This Session Include:
Fat Isn’t All Bad: Skin Adipocytes Help Protect Against Infections – In this article, researchers report the surprising discovery that fat cells below the skin known as adipocytes help protect us from bacteria.
Researchers Target The Cell’s ‘Biological Clock’ In Promising New Therapy To Kill Cancer Cells, Shrink Tumor Growth – This article tells about the cell biologists at UT Southwestern Medical Center that have targeted telomeres with a small molecule called 6-thiodG that takes advantage of the cell’s “biological clock” to kill cancer cells and shrink tumor growth.
With Cancer, ‘Bad Luck’ of Random Mutations is Largely to Blame – In this article, scientists have created a statistical model that measures the proportion of cancer incidence, and have found that it’s caused mainly by random mutations when stem cells divide.
Macrophages Contribute to the Cyclic Activation of Adult Hair Follicle Stem Cells – According to this article, skin resident macrophages surround and signal to resting hair follicle stem cells (HF-SCs), regulate their entry into a new phase of hair follicle growth.
Methamphetamine Use Linked to Parkinson’s Risk – This article reveals that people who use methamphetamine have a greatly increased risk of developing Parkinson’s disease and that women who took the drug had higher odds of the disease than men.
Molecular Mechanism Behind Health Benefits Of Dietary Restriction Identified – This article shows the findings from researchers suggesting that hydrogen sulfide (H2S) is one of the key molecules responsible for the benefits of dietary restriction or calorie restriction such as slowing aging and extending lifespan.
Decoding Fat Cells: Discovery May Explain Why We Gain Weight – In this article, researchers discovered that a protein, Thy1, has a fundamental role in controlling whether a primitive cell decides to become a fat cell, making Thy1 a possible therapeutic target for obesity.
Egg And Sperm Race: Scientists Create Precursors To Human Egg And Sperm – According to this article, scientists at the University of Cambridge working with the Weizmann Institute have created primordial germ cells – cells that will go on to become egg and sperm – using human embryonic stem cells.
Billionaire Bought James Watson’s Nobel Prize Medal In Order To Return It – This article talks about Alisher Usmanov, the richest man in Russia and a major shareholder in Arsenal football club who has come forward as the buyer of James Watson’s Nobel Prize medal – declaring that he now plans to give the piece back and the money he spent on the item to be donated to scientific research.
Orangutan In Argentina Zoo Recognised By Court As ‘Non-Human Person’ – In this article, an orangutan named Sandra held in an Argentinian zoo can be freed and transferred to a sanctuary after a court recognised the ape as a “non-human person” unlawfully deprived of its freedom.
Variation In Cancer Risk Among Tissues Can Be Explained By The Number Of Stem Cell Divisions – This article describes how Tomasetti and Vogelstein plotted the lifetime incidence of various cancers against the estimated number of normal stem cell divisions in the corresponding tissues over a lifetime, and found a strong correlation extending over five orders of magnitude.
Scientists Create Artificial Human Sperm, Eggs From Stem Cells – In this article, scientists from Cambridge University have created artificial human eggs and sperm for the first time, using human embryonic stem cells and skin cells.
‘Pure’ Stem Cells Let Mice Fight Off HIV – According to this article, an improved gene therapy strategy using modified human stem cells shows promise in animal models as a functional cure for HIV.
lncRNA Maturation to Initiate Heterochromatin Formation in the Nucleolus Is Required for Exit from Pluripotency in ESCs – This article shows that maturation of the long noncoding RNA (lncRNA) pRNA is required for establishment of heterochromatin at ribosomal RNA genes, the genetic component of nucleoli, and this process is inactivated in pluripotent ESCs.
Restoration of Progranulin Expression Rescues Cortical Neuron Generation in an Induced Pluripotent Stem Cell Model of Frontotemporal Dementia – This article describes how scientists used induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) to better understand how haploinsufficiency of progranulin (PGRN) causes frontotemporal dementia (FTD).
New Type of Sendai Virus Vector Provides Transgene-Free iPS Cells Derived from Chimpanzee Blood – In this article, researchers developed a new Sendai virus vector, TS12KOS which is useful for generating induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) from the blood cells of both human and chimpanzee.
Tolerance Induction and Reversal of Diabetes in Mice Transplanted with Human Embryonic-Stem-Cell-Derived Pancreatic Endoderm – This article demonstrates that immunotherapies that target T cell costimulatory pathways block the rejection of xenogeneic human embryonic-stem-cell-derived pancreatic endoderm (hESC-PE) in mice.
Telomerase Inhibition Effectively Targets Mouse and Human AML Stem Cells and Delays Relapse following Chemotherapy – This article reveals that in xenografts of primary human acute myeloid leukemia (AML), genetic or pharmacological inhibition of telomerase targets leukemia stem cells (LSCs), impairs leukemia progression, and delays relapse following chemotherapy.
Photo Reference: Courtesy of Dr. Themeli