Welcome everyone to Episode 54. 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:
- A new type of cells called calendar cells
- STAP cells finally put to bed
- An amazing visualization of the bone marrow stem cell niche
- A new CRISPR enzyme discovered
- Standing up and getting dizzy might mean bad things for you down the line
- GMP stem cell manufacturing
- Predictions for the Nobel prize awards announced next week
- A new drug for Alzheimer’s
- And much more…
For the interview portion of the show, sponsored by STEMCELL Technologies, we bring on Dr. Andrew Cohen, Associate Professor at Drexel University, to discuss his work on creating new software and programs to track stem cell lineages using time lapse video data. We then finish off the show with a rant on “double dipping.” 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:
Antidepressants Plus Blood-Thinners Slow Down Brain Cancer – In this article, Ecole Polytechnique Fédérale De Lausanne (EPFL) scientists have found that combining antidepressants with anticoagulants slows down brain tumors (gliomas) in mice.
Seasonal Body Clocks Are Controlled By ‘Calendar Cells’: Scientists Identify Proteins That Determine When Mammals Mate – According to this article, experts found that “calendar cells” in a structure called the ‘pars tuberalis’ respond according to how much daylight there is and can change dramatically over the year, driving the seasonal reproductive cycle.
Wine’s Darkest Secret Revealed – It’s All In The Fungi: Study – This article reveals that a type of yeast called Saccharomyces cerevisiae, makes a “small but significant” contribution to a wine’s flavor and taste.
Edges Of Human Embryonic Stem Cell Colonies Display Distinct Mechanical Properties And Differentiation Potential – This article describes the results found after the live imaging of the differentiation process of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs), and reveals that cells on the outer edge of the undifferentiated colony begin to differentiate first and remain on the perimeter of the colony to eventually form a band of differentiation.
Orthostatic Hypotension May Indicate Neurological Disease – According to this article, orthostatic hypotension (OH) may be an early warning sign of a serious neurological disease and may be associated with an increased risk of premature death.
Nature Concludes: STAP Cells Do Not Exist – In this article, the prestigious Nature magazine slammed the door on any lingering notions that STAP cells could exist, citing multiple experiments that proved the novel cell reprogramming phenomenon was completely fake.
Why People in ‘Tall’ Nations Are More Likely to Be Slim – This article reports that researchers from Australia looked at nearly 9,500 people in 14 European countries and found a strong connection between genes that boost height and those associated with lower amounts of body fat.
Salsalate Drug Offers New Hope For Treating Alzheimer’s Disease And FTD – According to this article, scientists from the Gladstone Institutes have discovered that salsalate, a drug used to treat rheumatoid arthritis, effectively reversed tau-related dysfunction in an animal model of frontotemporal dementia (FTD).
A Barrier Against Brain Stem Cell Aging – In this article, scientists from the University of Zurich now identified a diffusion barrier that regulates the sorting of damaged proteins during cell division.
New Study Finds Brain Disease In 95% Of Deceased NFL Players – In this article, researchers found evidence of brain disease in 95% of brains tested belongs to former NFL players with the repeated minor head trauma as the biggest risk to neurological health for footballers.
Pinpointing Punishment – This study describes a new study co-authored by Joshua Buckholtz, an Assistant Professor of Psychology, René Marois, professor and chair of psychology at Vanderbilt and colleagues, explaining how a brain region called the dorsolateral prefrontal cortex (or DLPFC) coordinates third party punishment decisions of the type made by judges and juries.
UK Scientists Apply For License To Edit Genes In Human Embryos – This article reports that scientists from London’s Francis Crick Institute have asked for permission to edit the genomes of human embryos use CRISPR/Cas9 technology — a request that could lead to the world’s first approval of such research by a national regulatory body.
New Technique Lets Scientists Better See, Study Interface Where Two Cells Touch – According to this article, University at Buffalo researchers and their colleagues at other institutions conducted a research to better understand myelin and the fatty insulator that enables communication between nerve cells, studied how damage to myelin occurs, and how that damage may be repaired.
Sonogenetics Is A Non-Invasive Approach To Activating Neurons In Caenorhabditis Elegans – In this article, researchers demonstrate the use of low-pressure ultrasound as a non-invasive trigger to activate specific ultrasonically sensitized neurons in the nematode, Caenorhabditis elegans.
Stem Cell Manufacturing Now Ready – This article announces the availability of master cell banks for induced pluripotent stem cells, hoping for U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s approval on its manufacturing process.
cGMP-Manufactured Human Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Are Available for Pre-clinical and Clinical Applications – In this article, researchers develop a process for the manufacturing of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) master cell banks (MCBs) under current good manufacturing practice (cGMPs) and announce the availability of such banks.
SD Science Calendar: Nobels, Stem Cells And Robots – This article shows the calendar of events starting with the future of digital mobile health, Nobel prize week with predictions, stem cell meeting on the Mesa, and contextual robotics.
Failed Replications Put STAP Stem-Cell Claims To Rest – This article provides an account of the history of STAP stem cells and how multiple labs conclude that the seemingly miraculous results originated from contamination with ordinary stem cells, putting the controversy to rest.
Vatican To Host Conference On Stem Cells, Other Regenerative Medicine – According to this article, the Third International Conference on the Progress of Regenerative Medicine and its Cultural Impact will be held at the Vatican from April 28 to 30, 2016 with the goal of engaging in discussions about the potential for adult stem cells, and other ethical cellular therapies, to treat cancer, diabetes, and other debilitating medical conditions and diseases.
Hallmarks Of Pluripotency – In this article, researchers describe the functional and molecular hallmarks of pluripotent stem cells, propose a checklist for their evaluation, and illustrate how forensic genomics can validate their provenance.
Cpf1 Is a Single RNA-Guided Endonuclease of a Class 2 CRISPR-Cas System – This article reports how the researchers do the characterization of Cpf1, a putative class 2 CRISPR effector, demonstrating that Cpf1 mediates robust DNA interference with features distinct from Cas9.
Scientists Discover New System For Human Genome Editing With Potential To Increase Power And Precision Of Genome Engineering – According to this article, a team including the scientist who first harnessed the revolutionary CRISPR-Cas9 system for mammalian genome editing has now identified a different CRISPR system with the potential for even simpler and more precise genome engineering.
Deep Imaging Of Bone Marrow Shows Non-Dividing Stem Cells Are Mainly Perisinusoidal – In this article, researchers use a green fluorescent protein (GFP) knock-in for the gene Ctnnal1 in mice (hereafter denoted as α-catulinGFP), and discover that α-catulinGFP is expressed by only 0.02% of bone marrow haematopoietic cells, including almost all HSCs.
Hematopoietic Differentiation Is Required for Initiation of Acute Myeloid Leukemia – This article shows that myeloid differentiation to granulocyte macrophage progenitors (GMPs) is required for leukemia stem cell (LSC) formation and acute myeloid leukemia (AML) initiation.
Generation of Self-Renewing Hepatoblasts From Human Embryonic Stem Cells by Chemical Approaches – This article describes how human embryonic stem cell-derived hepatoblasts can be captured and stably maintained using conditions previously established for mouse hepatoblast self-renewal, which includes basal media supplemented with insulin, transferrin, sodium selenite, epidermal growth factor, glycogen synthase kinase 3 inhibitor, transforming growth factor β receptor inhibitor, lysophosphatidic acid, and sphingosine 1-phosphate.
Photo Reference: Courtesy of Dr. Andrew Cohen