Welcome to Episode 94 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, STEMCELL Technologies introduces a newer Connexon newsletter: Muscle Cell News. Muscle Cell News covers all three types of muscle – cardiac, smooth and skeletal. As with all of the Connexon newsletters, it’s free, and keeps readers current with the latest peer-reviewed publications, industry news, policy, events and jobs in the field. These newsletters save you time by doing the digging for you, so that you can stay current with one concise email per week. Subscribe to Muscle Cell News at http://www.musclecellnews.com
This week, in the world-famous Science Round Up, we discuss the latest science/stem cell news including:
- US to pull out of Paris Climate Accord.
- Plants can pollute the air.
- Climate change could help earworms?
- Prenatal facial recognition.
- Pro-stem cell Francis Collins to remain as NIH director?
- Stem cells to reverse brain death?
- Skin stem cells to treat congenital brain disease?
- A new method to freeze embryonic stem cells?
The interview with Dr. Shahin Rafii and Dr. Raphael Lis
Before we jump into the interview portion of this episode, STEMCELL Technologies presents the new Bone Marrow Niches and HSC Fates wallchart created by Nature Reviews Immunology and Nature Reviews Molecular Cell Biology:
- This reference provides a snapshot of the signals influencing HSC mobilization, quiescence and differentiation as well as factors leading to malignancy in humans or in mouse models.
- Stem Cell Podcast listeners can get their free copy at [stemcell.com/natureniche]
For this episode’s interview, The Stem Cell Podcast and STEMCELL Technologies welcome Drs. Shahin Rafii and Raphael Lis. Dr. Rafii is director of the Ansary Stem Cell Institute, chief of the Division of Regenerative Medicine, and the Arthur B. Belfer Professor at Weill Cornell Medicine.
Dr. Rafii’s lab investigates stem cell biology and angiogenesis using in vivo mouse models. They also use mouse and human genetics, tissue culture, and molecular biology to model angiogenesis, cancer and stem cell metabolic regulation.
Dr. Lis who was the first author on their recent Nature paper and is an Instructor in Medicine and the TRI-SCi Flow Cytometry Core Manager at Weill Cornell Medicine.
After the interview, we close the show with a signature SCP rant.
Resources, Links and Research Papers Mentioned in This Session Include:
US to Pull Out of Paris Climate Accord – According to this article, President Donald Trump announced June 1 that the United States will leave the Paris climate accord, calling it “simply the latest example of Washington entering into an agreement that disadvantages the United States.”
Plants – A Source of Air Pollution When Temperatures Rise – This article reports that during heat waves, city trees actually boost air pollution levels with as much as 60 percent of ground-level ozone created with the help of chemicals emitted by urban shrubbery.
Climate Change May Be Beneficial For Earworms – In this article, researchers analyzed 21 years of data from Maryland cornfields and suggest that rising temperatures might help corn earworms (Helicoverpa zea) develop resistance faster to a widespread genetically built-in crop protection.
Humans Love Looking at Faces Even Before Birth – This article shows that in the first-ever study of prenatal visual perception, fetuses were more likely to move their heads to track facelike configurations of light projected into the womb than non-facelike shapes.
New Therapy “Flags” DNA To Boost Cancer Fighting T-Cells – In this article, an antibody sold as the drug Keytruda helps turn on cancer-fighting T cells by blocking PD-1 proteins, freeing T cells to attack the cancer.
Trump Retains Collins as NIH director – This article reports that President Donald Trump has decided to appoint the director of the National Institutes of Health even though pro-life advocates called on Francis Collins to be replaced because of his support for embryonic stem cell research that involves the destruction of human life.
Using Stem Cells to Reverse Brain Death?? – In this article, the company, Bioquark, plans to initiate a study later this year to see if a combination of stem cell and protein blend injections, electrical nerve stimulation, and laser therapy can reverse the effects of recent brain death.
Skin Stem Cells to Treat Congenital Brain Defect – This article reveals that researchers developed a stem cell-based therapy for generating skin grafts to cover myelomeningocele defects before birth according to a study published in Stem Cell Reports.
CryoPause: A New Method to Immediately Initiate Experiments After Cryopreservation of Pluripotent Stem Cells – In this article, researchers describe a modification of PSC workflows that eliminates a major variable for nearly all PSC experiments: the quality and quantity of the PSC starting material.
Photo Reference: Courtesy of Dr. Shahin Rafii