Welcome everyone to Episode 90 of The Stem Cell Podcast. As always go to stemcellpodcast.com for all of our episodes and to sign up or re-subscribe (if you are a current subscriber) for the newsletter.
The Science Round Up
For this week’s round-up, we have another Connexon Newsletter to introduce this week: Extracellular Matrix News! ECM News is sent out for free, every week, to researchers around the world who are interested in ECM biology. Keep current with the latest research, news, events and jobs related to the ECM at http://www.extracellularmatrixnews.com
This week, in the world-famous Science Round Up, we discuss the latest science/stem cell news including:
- Budget cuts can increase “sloppy” science.
- Device to pull water from air.
- CRISPR used to detect viruses.
- 3D cell library.
- The EPS cell, a new stem cell.
- Transcriptional variability amongst iPSC lines.
- In vivo reprogramming for Parkinson’s disease.
- iPSC derived endothelial cells to investigate hypertension.
The interview with Dr. Alysson Muotri
In the interview portion of this episode, STEMCELL Technologies announces a new product called CloneR™. Here are the highlights:
- Editing the pluripotent stem cell genome relies heavily on the survival of single cells to establish clonal cell lines.
- CloneR™ is a medium supplement designed for greatly enhancing the cloning efficiency and single-cell survival of pluripotent stem cells.
- Unlike current methods, CloneR™ will enable the robust generation of clonal cell lines without single-cell adaptation, thus minimizing the risk of acquiring genetic abnormalities.
- CloneR™ is coming soon!
Stem Cell Podcast listeners can sign up to receive notification when this product becomes available. Go to www.stemcell.com/cloner to sign up.
For this episode’s interview, we bring on Dr. Alysson Muotri, a Professor at the School of Medicine, University of California in San Diego. Dr. Muotri’s research focuses on modeling neurological diseases, such as Autism Spectrum Disorders, using human induced pluripotent stem cells. His lab has developed several techniques to culture human neurons and glia for basic research and drug-screening platforms. Most recently he and his group published a paper reporting the first cellular model of anorexia nervosa (AN), reprogramming induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) derived from adolescent females with the eating disorder. After this conversation, we close the show with a signature SCP rant.
Resources, Links and Research Papers Mentioned in This Session Include:
How a Budget Squeeze Can Lead to Sloppy Science and Even Cheating – According to this article, a funding crunch for scientific research is creating incentives for scientists to cut corners and even occasionally to cheat.
New Tech Harvests Drinking Water from (Relatively) Dry Air Using Only Sunlight – This article reports that a new device the size of a coffee mug can generate drinkable water from desert air using nothing but sunlight.
New CRISPR Tool Can Detect Tiny Amounts of Viruses – This article reveals that the new exquisitely sensitive and specific CRISPR tool promises to help detect diseases that other diagnostics miss, and it’s simple and cheap to use.
Allen Cell Explorer – In this article, Graham Johnson and the Allen Institute for Cell Science’s team of nearly 50 cell biologists, microscopy specialists, and computer programmers revealed what they’ve been working on the past two years: the Allen Cell Explorer, which is the largest public collection of human cells ever visualized in 3-D, that serves as fuel for the project’s engine: the first-ever deep learning model to predict how cells are organized.
The EPS Cell, A New Stem Cell – According to this article, Salk Institute and Chinese researchers said they have created a new kind of stem cell called an extended pluripotent stem cell or EPS cell, one that is more versatile than any other grown in the lab and can grow into any tissue in the body.
Patient-Specific iPSC-Derived Endothelial Cells Uncover Pathways that Protect against Pulmonary Hypertension in BMPR2 Mutation Carriers – In this article, researchers used comparison of induced pluripotent stem cell-derived endothelial cells (iPSC-ECs) from three families with unaffected mutation carriers (UMCs), familial pulmonary arterial hypertension (FPAH) patients, and gender-matched controls to investigate this variation.
Analysis of Transcriptional Variability in a Large Human iPSC Library Reveals Genetic and Non-genetic Determinants of Heterogeneity – This article reveals that ∼50% of genome-wide expression variability is explained by variation across individuals and identified a set of expression quantitative trait loci that contribute to this variation.
Reprogramming the Brain’s Own Cells for Parkinson’s Treatment – According to this article, a study from the Karolinska Institute in Stockholm shows it is possible to coax the brain’s own astrocytes—cells that typically support and nurture neurons—into producing a new generation of dopamine neurons.
Photo Reference: Courtesy of Dr. Alysson Muotri