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What’s the Stem Cells Buzz this Week? - Acetylated STAT3 and Cardiogenesis, Smoking-related effects on MSCs, Japanese Views on Chimeric Embryo Research, and Changing the Name of MSCs: A Response!

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A roundup of some of the new and exciting stories in the ever-changing world of stem cells, regenerative medicine, and beyond from the Stem Cells Portal!

Human Cardiogenesis Control by Acetylated STAT3

A new study from the labs of Ashish Mehta and Winston Shim (National Heart Research Institute Singapore) has recently determined a new factor that regulates the production of cardiomyocytes from human pluripotent stem cells (hPSCs). Specifically, Mehta et al. discovered that the acetylated form of STAT3α supported cardiogenesis following caspase-3 mediated cleavage to generate a novel STAT3ζ fragment that permitted enhanced signaling of the ErbB4-p38γ cascade. See STEM CELLS now for all the details.

Reviewing the Effects and Implications of Smoking on MSCs

A new review from the lab of Herman S. Cheung (Miami VA Medical Center, Florida, USA) hopes to provide a summary of current data regarding the damaging nature of cigarette smoke or nicotine on mesenchymal stem cell (MSC) populations. Greenberg et al. hope that this may highlight the use of smoking as an exclusion criterion when designing future stem cell-based trials and therapies that rely on the regenerative capacities of “healthy” stem cells. Get on over to STEM CELLS Translational Medicine now to read all about it!

How the Japanese View Human–Animal Chimeric Embryo Research

A recent “Letter to the Editor” from the group of Tsutomu Sawai (Kyoto University, Japan) has brought us the results of a Japan-wide survey on human–animal chimeric embryos following the publication of similar data from an American point of view. Overall, Sawai et al. indicate a high level of support for this types of research (81.0% of the public and 92.4% of researchers) although both the general public and researchers did have concerns regarding contributions of human cells to the brain and sperm/eggs. For more details, see STEM CELLS Translational Medicine now!

Responding to “Mesenchymal Stem Cells: Time to Change the Name!”

The lab of Daniel B.F. Saris (University Medical Center Utrecht, The Netherlands) responded recently to a Perspective piece in STEM CELLS Translational Medicine by Arnold I. Caplan titled “Mesenchymal Stem Cells: Time to Change the Name!”. De Windt et al. support the claims made in the Perspective by suggesting that “there is sufficient evidence to stop calling MSCs stem cells”. However, the team also pose further interesting questions; dead on over to this Response article to dive into the discussion!

That’s a wrap for now! Please feel free to leave a comment and discuss the papers covered here on the Stem Cells Buzz. Happy reading!