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Brief reviews of recently published articles, organized by stem cell type.

November 3, 2010 | Pluripotent Stem Cells

By Carla Mellough

The clinical applicability of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) has been limited by the inefficiency of reprogramming methods, modification of the genome using most reprogramming protocols, and the lack of failsafe differentiation protocols to then generate functional differentiated phenotypes from iPSCs to provide patient-specific cell types for...

November 1, 2010 |

by Carla B. Mellough

MicroRNAs (miRNAs) are endogenous RNAs that direct the repression of protein coding genes. The way in which miRNAs elicit their effects on protein production has been an issue of great debate, whether they act to decrease translational efficiency, decrease messenger RNA (mRNA) levels or both. Recent results published in Nature from the laboratory of David...

October 26, 2010 | Pluripotent Stem Cells

By Stuart P Atkinson

Non-viral genetic modification of cells is a relatively inefficient process, be it modifying adult cells or in the generation of induced pluripotent stems cells (iPSC). It has been suggested that transposon-based methods of gene transfer may overcome this limitation, but this technique has been plagued by inefficiency problems. However recent work has...

October 26, 2010 | Pluripotent Stem Cells

We all know that vitamin C is important for keeping us healthy through its many activities including its capacity as an antioxidant and its involvement as an enzyme co-factor in collagen synthesis. Indeed this second property is the basis of the most obvious consequence of vitamin c deficiency that was the demise of many an eighteenth century mariner known as Scurvy which messes up the...

October 26, 2010 | Pluripotent Stem Cells

By Stuart P. Atkinson

Gene by gene, we are beginning to unravel and understand those members of the pluripotency network which give embryonic stem cells (ESCs) their identity. Other than giving us an understanding of the molecular networks, signalling pathways and regulatory mechanisms which exist in ESCs, such knowledge is also allowing us to make more and more critical...

October 18, 2010 | Pluripotent Stem Cells

The first official clinical trial using stem cells to treat patients with spinal injury is now underway (also see ‘US give Geron Go-ahead for ESC Trial for Spinal Cord Injury’). The first patient to receive the trial treatment was enrolled on Monday at Shepherd Center in Atlanta, Georgia. Another 9 patients who have recently suffered spinal cord injuries will be enrolled from 6 other potential...

October 12, 2010 | Pluripotent Stem Cells

Research published in the 30th September edition of Cell Stem Cell reports that human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) can be rapidly and efficiently derived with messenger RNA (mRNA). This research, from the laboratory of Derrick Rossi shows that daily transfection of differentiated human cells with modified synthetic mRNAs encoding the four canonical Yamanaka factors KLF4, c-MYC,...

September 20, 2010 | Pluripotent Stem Cells

With each month’s Featured Lab Series, the Stem Cells Portal extend an invitation to one of the Featured Lab members to contribute a short review of a paper of their interest for feature on the Stem Cells Portal. This month, Minh Hong from the Kaufman Laboratory has contributed an article which focuses on a key paper published recently in PNAS that addresses the further evolution of...

September 17, 2010 | Pluripotent Stem Cells

By Stuart P. Atkinson

DNA looping to allow proximity of enhancers and promoter sequences has been suggested as a means to regulate gene expression, but the mechanisms by which this occurs and the factors involved are still to be fully understood. However an advance online publication from Nature uncovers a mechanism by which DNA-looping-mediated regulation of gene expression...

September 9, 2010 | Pluripotent Stem Cells

Know which way to miRoam: Red means ‘GO’, Green ‘STOP’!

By Carla B. Mellough

Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) are shown to have many of the characteristics of human embryonic stem cells (hESC) including prolonged proliferative capacity and differentiation across all germ layers. The therapeutic potential of human iPSC (hiPSC),...

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