Welcome everyone to episode 37! Be sure to go to www.stemcellpodcast.com for previous episodes and to enter your name and email to sign up for our newsletter. On this episode we begin with our signature Science Roundup sponsored by Thermo-Fisher Scientific. In this episode of The Stem Cell Podcast, we discuss papers on a range of topics including making hair from stem cells, a new Parkinson’s disease trial, measles on the rise, BPA affects sperm stem cells, too much salt is bad for your brain, and birth controls link to brain cancer. Then we bring on Dr. Christine Mummery to discuss how stem cells are being used for heart disease. We also discuss the new open access journal Stem Cell Reports. After this we finish with a rant about botched weather forecasts.
Below are all of the papers mentioned on the show. We are working on a way to categorize all of the research papers we mention and possibly even provide audio summaries. Enter in your name and e-mail address below, and we will notify you of when this feature is available.
Resources, Links and Research Papers Mentioned In This Session Include:
CDC Reports Current Flu Vaccine Effectiveness at 23% This Season – In this article, a report published in the January 16 Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) estimates that getting a flu vaccine this season reduced a person’s risk of having to go to the doctor because of flu by 23 percent among people of all ages.
India’s Tiger Population Sees 30% Increase – According to this article, India says it now has almost a third more tigers than it did four years ago and it was willing to donate tiger cubs to the international community to help conservation efforts.
Scientists Give Genetically Modified Organisms A Safety Switch – In this article, researchers at Harvard and Yale have used some extreme gene-manipulation tools to engineer safety features into designer organisms, specifically reprogrammed the common bacterium E. coli so it requires a synthetic amino acid to live.
WSU Researchers See Effect Of BPA, Estradiol On Sperm Development – This article describes how bisphenol A (BPA) and estradiol contributes to disrupted sperm production resulting in decreased sperm counts.
Too Much Salt Intake Changes Key Brain Circuits – This article shows that excessive salt intake “reprograms” the brain, interfering with a natural safety mechanism that normally prevents the body’s arterial blood pressure from rising.
Trust Your Gut: E. Coli May Hold One Of The Keys To Treating Parkinson’s – In this article, researchers recently discovered a protein in E. coli that inhibits the accumulation of potentially toxic amyloids—a hallmark of diseases such as Parkinson’s.
Hidden Formaldehyde in E-Cigarette Aerosols – This article shows that the carcinogen formaldehyde, a known degradation product of propylene glycol that reacts with propylene glycol and glycerol during vaporization to produce hemiacetals, can be formed during the e-cigarette “vaping” process.
Laser-Generated Surface Structures Create Extremely Water-Repellent Metals – This article describes how scientists at the University of Rochester have used lasers to transform metals into extremely water repellent, or super-hydrophobic, materials without the need for temporary coatings.
Birth Control Pill Risks May Now Include Brain Cancer – In this article, scientists have found that women taking hormonal contraceptives — those containing estrogen, progestin or a combination of both — showed higher rates of a rare brain tumor known as glioma.
Measles Has Infected 84 People In 14 States This Year – According to this article, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) said 84 people in 14 states were diagnosed with measles from Jan.1 through 28, most were infected either at Disneyland or by someone who went there.
Carnegie Mellon, Weizmann Institute Researchers Discover “Idiosyncratic” Brain Patterns in Autism – In this article, scientists at the Weizmann Institute and Carnegie Mellon University found that the brains of individuals with autism display unique synchronization patterns, something that could impact earlier diagnosis of the disorder and future treatments.
Beyond Prevention: Sulforaphane May Find Possible Use For Cancer Therapy – According to this article, new research has identified one of the key cancer-fighting mechanisms for sulforaphane, and suggests that this much-studied phytochemical may be able to move beyond cancer prevention and toward therapeutic use for advanced prostate cancer.
Monkeys Seem To Recognize Their Reflections – In this article trained macaques studied themselves in mirrors, fuelling debate over animals’ capacity for self-recognition.
Obokata May Face Criminal Charges As Former Colleague Alleges She Stole Stem Cells – This article reports that a criminal investigation now seems likely after a former Riken researcher filed a criminal complaint against disgraced scientist Haruko Obokata, alleging she stole samples of embryonic stem cells before reporting that she had created her version of stem cells with a novel technique.
A One-Grant Limit: NIH Institute Puts Squeeze On Flush Investigators – In this article, the National Institutes of Health’s (NIH) basic science institute is imposing a strict one-grant limit on scientists who already have plentiful no-strings support.
Using Stem Cells To Grow New Hair – This article describes a new study from Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute (Sanford-Burnham) where researchers have used human pluripotent stem cells to generate new hair.
UM Study Explores How Stem Cells Can Help Burn Victims – This article is about a pair of doctors in University of Miami who are trying to develop new therapies using donor’s mesenchymal stem cells to restore tissue and reduce long-term scarring from burns.
Parkinson’s Stem Cell Trial Approaches – This article reports that International Stem Cell Corp. plans to implant neural stem cells into the brains of Parkinson’s patients, restoring dopamine production and normal movement in the patients.
BPA Exposure May Change Stem Cells, Lower Sperm Production – According to this article, chemicals that mimic estrogen hamper development of the stem cells responsible for making sperm in mice.
Promising Use Of Nanodiamonds To Kill Chemoresistant Cancer Stem Cells More Effectively – In this article, a study led by the National University of Singapore (NUS) found that attaching chemotherapy drug Epirubicin to nanodiamonds effectively eliminates chemoresistant cancer stem cells.
Defined Culture of Human Embryonic Stem Cells and Xeno-Free Derivation of Retinal Pigmented Epithelial Cells on a Novel, Synthetic Substrate – This article investigates the maintenance of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and their differentiation into retinal pigmented epithelium (RPE) using Synthemax II-SC, which is a novel, synthetic animal-derived component-free, RGD peptide-containing copolymer compliant with good manufacturing practices designed for xeno-free stem cell culture.
Imaging Captures How Blood Stem Cells Take Root – In this article, researchers in Boston Children’s Hospital’s Stem Cell Research Program describe a surprisingly dynamic system that offers several clues for improving bone-marrow transplants in patients with cancer, severe immune deficiencies, and blood disorders, and for helping those transplants “take.”
Epigenetic Predisposition To Reprogramming Fates In Somatic Cells – This article shows that reprogramming potential may in part reflect preexisting epigenetic heterogeneity that can be tuned to alter the cellular response to factor induction.
Photo Reference: Courtesy of Dr. Mummery