Welcome everybody to Episode 46, be sure to visit stemcellpodcast.com for current and past episodes and to sign up for our newsletter. We begin as always with our Science Roundup sponsored by Thermo Fisher. In this episode, we discuss topics ranging from sex hormones regulate stem cells, status of the female “Viagra” pill, differentiation of pluripotent stem cells on a chip, a new CRISPR method to make knock-ins, a quiz that tells you when you’re going to die, and more. Then we bring on Heather Rooke, science director at ISSCR to preview the 2015 ISSCR conference that begins in 2 weeks in Stockholm Sweden. THE Stem Cell Podcast will be there recording live from the floor. We then finish off the show with a rant on Microsoft Word not recognizing science words. Enjoy!
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:
On The Verge Of Extinction, Female Sawfish Resort To ‘Virgin Births’ To Survive – According to this article, scientists have discovered that some of the smalltooth sawfish have resorted to “virgin births” or what is called facultative parthenogenesis in the wild in an effort to survive.
First Steps Taken For Regenerating Whole Limbs – In this article, the first steps toward developing “bioartificial” replacement limbs that are suitable for transplantation have reportedly been taken by a team at Massachusetts General Hospital in Boston.
Study Uncovers Link Between Blood Type And Risk Of Cognitive Decline – This article reveals that blood type also may affect cognitive function as we age according to a study conducted by researchers at the University of Sheffield in England.
‘Landmark Discovery’ Of Vessels Connecting Brain To Immune System – According to this article, the University of Virginia claim that “decades of textbook teaching” have been overturned by their researchers, who have found a previously undiscovered connection between the brain and the immune system.
‘Female Viagra’ Won’t Help Many, But That’s Not Stopping The Drug Company – This article describes the transition of Flibanserin, a pill initially intended to be an anti-depressant, to be marketed as a ‘female viagra’ or a pill to increase women’s sexual desires.
Ubble: The Online Test To Predict If You’ll Die Within Five Years – According to this article, if you are a middle-aged man and want to know if you are going to die in the next five years, you simply need to ask yourself how healthy you think you are based on the website called Ubble (for UK Longevity Explorer).
How An Undergraduate Discovered Tubes Of Plasma In The Sky – This article describes the discovery of tubes of plasma drifting above Earth by an undergraduate student – Cleo Loi of Sydney Institute for Astronomy.
The Philosophy of the Large Hadron Collider – According to this article, the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) at the European Organization for Nuclear Research CERN in Geneva has been built for fundamental physics, but it will also challenge and advance the philosophy, sociology and history of science.
This Smart Robot Learns To ‘Heal’ Itself After Damage – In this article, researchers at Pierre and Marie Curie University in Paris recently published their paper detailing their findings of attempting to quantify the adaptive “healing” abilities of certain robots.
It’s Alive! Yeast With Human DNA Raises New Genetic Possibilities – In this article, Edward Marcotte and his colleagues at the University of Texas at Austin created hundreds of strains of humanized yeast by inserting a single human gene into each strain and turning off the corresponding yeast gene.
Retracted Gay-Marriage Study Debated At Misconduct Meet-Up – This article reports that over rum cocktails at the World Conference on Research Integrity, experts discussed what can be learnt from the fallout of a flawed political-science paper.
430,000-Year-Old Skull Suggests Murder Is An ‘Ancient Human Behavior’ – In this article, archaeologists found an ancient skull deep in a cave in Spain, thought to be an evidence of the earliest known murder among our ancestors.
Fetal Cells Injected Into A Man’s Brain To Cure His Parkinson’s – This article shows a man in his mid-50s who had fetal brain cells injected into his brain as a treatment for Parkinson’s disease.
Nature V Nurture: Research Shows It’s Both – In this article, researchers reveal that on average the variation for human traits and diseases is 49 per cent genetic, and 51 per cent due to environmental factors and/or measurement errors.
Gene-Editing: Hold Off For Now, White House Says – In this article, the White House suggests that scientists should hold off on experiments that could permanently alter people’s DNA and pass the changes along to future generations.
Seminar Series on Stem Cells Begins June 24th – In this article, the Dallas PRP and Stem Cell Institute announces a new public seminar series starting June 24, 2015 to educate the public about the latest breakthrough applications for platelet rich plasma (PRP) and autologous stem cells.
Sex Hormones Maintain Stem Cells, May Explain Why 95% Of Supercentenarians Are Women – This article suggests that a long life comes down to an individual’s sex hormones, especially for supercentenarians according to emerging stem cell research.
Functional Differentiation Of Human Pluripotent Stem Cells On A Chip – This article describes a robust microfluidics-based approach for the differentiation of human pluripotent stem cells directly on a chip.
A CRISPR/Cas-Mediated Selection-free Knockin Strategy in Human Embryonic Stem Cells – According to this article, researchers recently developed an efficient gene-editing platform – iCRISPR, demonstrating a knockin strategy without drug selection for both active and silent genes in hESCs.
Functional Cortical Neurons And Astrocytes From Human Pluripotent Stem Cells In 3D Culture – This article presents a simple and reproducible 3D culture approach for generating a laminated cerebral cortex–like structure, named human cortical spheroids (hCSs), from pluripotent stem cells.
Transcriptome Signature and Regulation in Human Somatic Cell Reprogramming – In this article, scientists extends the previous transcriptome studies by performing RNA-seq on cells defined by a combination of multiple cellular surface markers.
Limited Hair Cell Induction From Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Using A Simple Stepwise Method – This article examines the efficacy of a simple induction method for inducing the differentiation of human iPS cells into hair cells.
Photo Reference: Courtesy of Dr. Heather Rooke