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

August 31, 2011 | Pluripotent Stem Cells

From the September Edition of Stem Cells
By Stuart P. Atkinson

Generation of induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) is both slow and inefficient; the route from somatic target cell generally takes a minimum of 4 weeks and only 1 in a thousand target cells being reprogrammed. The proper reconfiguration of the chromatin landscape is deemed a potential obstacle in the...

August 25, 2011 | Mesenchymal Stem Cells

From the August Edition of Stem Cells
Paper commentary by Stuart P. Atkinson

Tissue resident adult stem cells, such as mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) or adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs), have previously demonstrated a capacity to repair extensively injured tissues (Picinich et al, Horwitz and Dominici). However, major traumatic injuries such as large surface...

August 18, 2011 | Pluripotent Stem Cells

From Nature Cell Biology
Paper commentary by Carla Mellough

The differences between human embryonic stem cells (hESC) and their somatically derived counterparts, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC), have been under close scrutiny following the accumulation of various reports indicating greater disparity between the two cell types than originally envisaged (for example...

August 2, 2011 | Society

NASA’s space shuttle program came to an end last week after 135 flights over 30 years. Some might argue that the shuttle programme (total cost estimated at $200 billion) did not deliver the expected outcomes for space exploration but we cannot deny that some very useful technologies and scientific knowledge have arisen from this extended experiment in re-usable orbiting hardware. A...

August 2, 2011 |

NASA’s space shuttle program came to an end last week after 135 flights over 30 years. Some might argue that the shuttle programme (total cost estimated at $200 billion) did not deliver the expected outcomes for space exploration but we cannot deny that some very useful technologies and scientific knowledge have arisen from this extended experiment in re-usable orbiting hardware. A description...

August 2, 2011 | Haematopoetic Stem Cells

From Science
By Stuart P. Atkinson

A recent Stem Cells article (Woods et al) and associated review on the Stem Cells Portal described an optimized in vitro differentiation protocol for the generation of precursors of the hematopoietic lineage and primitive hematopoietic cells from human embryonic stem cells (ESC) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). The...

June 30, 2011 | Pluripotent Stem Cells

From the June 2011 Issue of Stem Cells
By Carla Mellough

The selective dimerization of transcription factors with binding partners can allow those factors lacking site-specific DNA binding capability to elicit transcriptional control. This type of synergistic action between the Sox and POU (Oct) family members of transcription factors is well known. Co-operation...

June 30, 2011 | Cardiac Stem Cells

From Nature
By Stuart P. Atkinson

The potential for cell replacement through the differentiation of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) or induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) is a promising means of therapeutic intervention in many disease states, but may be limited by several problems, such as limited graft survival, restricted homing to the site of injury and host immune...

June 30, 2011 | Direct Reprogramming

From Nature
By Stuart P. Atkinson

Of the most widely used transcription factors in reprogramming experiments, MYC is often considered the “problem child”. Although MYC boosts the efficiency of induced pluripotent stem cell (iPSC) generation, it also increases the tumorigenic nature of the resultant cells thereby presenting clear cautionary implications...

June 30, 2011 | Pluripotent Stem Cells

From PNAS
By Stuart P. Atkinson

Many questions surrounding induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) still remain, including a definitive answer to the question of the origin of the cells which ultimately undergo reprogramming. Two models exist; the stochastic model which suggests that random cells from an initial culture will eventually become iPSCs, and the elite model,...

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