Welcome SCP fans to Episode 52 and thanks as always for tuning in. 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 STAP author accusations, stem cells go to space, different types of bacteria in homes, tricking the body to fight colon cancer stem cells, growing a human brain in the lab, the female “viagra” is now available, and much more. For the interview portion of the show, sponsored by STEMCELL Technologies, we bring on Dr. Flora Vaccarino from Yale University to discuss stem cells and autism, specifically her work on neural stem cells and how she is using them to study Autism Spectrum Disorder. We then finish off the show with a rant on the metal tops to Matrigel. 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:
Citizen Science Effort Highlights How Little We Know About Invisible Life in Our Own Homes – According to this article, scientists are announcing the discovery of thousands of unidentified species living in and around homes in the United States.
Reprogramming Cancer Cells Back To Normal Looks Feasible, Study Shows – In this article, a new study in Nature Cell Biology suggests there may be a way to change the code so that cancer cells revert back to normal cells.
Does This Phylum Make Me Look Fat? – This article describes that beyond carbs and fats, some studies have hinted that a key group of gut microbes — from the phylum Firmicutes — might be more common among people who are overweight.
Identifying The Gene Switch That Turns Fat Cells Bad – This article reports that using state-of-the-art DNA editing tools, scientists have identified a genetic switch that helps govern the body’s metabolism.
Human Brain Grown In A Lab Could Be Most Complete Yet – According to this article, scientists have developed a miniature brain in the lab that was grown from the skin cells of an adult human and, incredibly, boasts 99% of the genes found in a human fetal brain.
Science Of Making Memories: Part Of Your Hippocampus Decides Which Experiences Are New Or Different Versions Of The Same – This article reveals that the CA3 region, a region of the hippocampus, decides what you will and can remember by answering the question: Is it the same or is it different?
Major Publisher Retracts 64 Scientific Papers In Fake Peer Review Outbreak – This article reports that in the latest episode of the fake peer review phenomenon, one of the world’s largest academic publishers, Springer, has retracted 64 articles from 10 of its journals after discovering that their reviews were linked to fake e-mail addresses.
Safeguarding Gene Drive Experiments In The Laboratory – This article suggests that multiple stringent confinement strategies should be used whenever possible in creating gene drive systems.
Estimating The Reproducibility Of Psychological Science – In this article, scientists conducted a large-scale, collaborative effort to obtain an initial estimate of the reproducibility of psychological science.
Adding Chili To Food Really CAN Help You Lose Weight: Compound In Fiery Peppers Tells The Body It’s Full, Preventing Over-Eating – According to this article, eating chili peppers can activate the stomach to stretch and release the ‘full-feeling’ signals, stimulating a receptor called potential vanilloid 1 (TRPV1) channel protein which stops a person from overeating.
F.D.A. Approves Addyi, a Libido Pill for Women – In this article, Food and Drug Administration approved the first prescription drug to enhance women’s sexual drive.
Biogen, Columbia to Map ALS Disease Genes With Ice Bucket Money – According to this article, Biogen Inc. and Columbia University Medical Center will map the genes and clinical traits of 1,500 people with ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s disease, in an attempt to find a treatment for the devastating neurodegenerative disorder.
STAP Researcher Accuses NHK Of Grossly Violating Her Human Rights – This article reports that a panel tasked with promoting higher ethical standards in broadcasting will examine whether an NHK program violated the human rights of former Riken researcher Haruko Obokata.
Stem Cells Survive Wild Ride on Prototype Space Capsule – This article describes that despite a rough landing, stem cells riding in a prototype capsule called the RED-4U survived a long fall back to Earth during a drop test — part of an initiative to research the cells in space.
Humanized Mice Reveal Differential Immunogenicity of Cells Derived from Autologous Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells – According to this article, using a humanized mouse model (denoted Hu-mice) reconstituted with a functional human immune system, researchers demonstrate that most teratomas formed by autologous integration-free human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) exhibit local infiltration of antigen-specific T cells and associated tissue necrosis, indicating immune rejection of certain hiPSC-derived cells.
Landmark IPSC Clinical Study On Hold Due To Genomic Issue – This article reports that the pioneering induced pluripotent stem cell (IPSC) clinical study in Japan led by top stem cell clinical researcher Dr. Masayo Takahashi has been stopped due to mutation, potentially in a known oncogene, which is a serious concern.
Viral Infection In Colon Cancer Stem Cells Mimicked; Druggable Target Identified – According to this article, researchers targeting colorectal cancer stem cells – the root cause of disease, resistance to treatment and relapse – have discovered a mechanism to mimic a virus and potentially trigger an immune response to fight the cancer like an infection.
Rho-Signaling-Directed YAP/TAZ Activity Underlies the Long-Term Survival and Expansion of Human Embryonic Stem Cells – In this article, researchers found that the capacity of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) to undergo long-term expansion in vitro is intrinsically coupled to their cellular identity through interconnected molecular circuits that link cell survival to pluripotency.
Genome-wide RNA-Seq of Human Motor Neurons Implicates Selective ER Stress Activation in Spinal Muscular Atrophy – According to this article, selective activation of ER stress underlies motor neurons (MN) death in spinal muscular atrophy (SMA).
Limiting Replication Stress During Somatic Cell Reprogramming Reduces Genomic Instability In Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells – This article reveals that lowering replication stress during reprogramming, genetically or chemically, provides a simple strategy to reduce genomic instability on mouse and human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSC).
Functional Gene Correction for Cystic Fibrosis in Lung Epithelial Cells Generated from Patient iPSCs – This article describes the process of using CRISPR to target corrective sequences to the endogenous cystic fibrosis transmembrane regulator (CFTR) genomic locus, in combination with a completely excisable selection system, which significantly improved the efficiency of this correction.
Photo Reference: Courtesy of Dr. Flora Vaccarino