Some of these articles are no longer free-access and require paid subscriptions to view. Please contact us with any questions

SCoPE News Roundu - Sept. 14, 2007

National News and Commentary

The Broad Foundation Donates $20 Million to UCLA Stem Cell Institute, UCLA, 10 September 2007.
The Eli and Edythe Broad Foundation donated $20 million to fund adult and embryonic stem cell research at UCLA.  The money will be used in coordination with other grants UCLA stem cell scientists have received, in order to enhance a program that brings together biologists, chemists, engineers, geneticists and other scientists to develop new and more effective treatments for cancer, HIV/AIDS, Parkinson's disease, metabolic disorders and other medical conditions.

International News

Britain to Allow Creation of Hybrid Embryos, Washington Post, 10 September 2007.
The Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA), which oversees human embryo research in Britain, said that they would allow the creation of embryos that are part human and part animal for use in medical experiments.  HFEA is now expected to reach a decision on two previously submitted proposals on the creation of hybrid embryos by November.  Opponents of the decision argue that it is unethical to create partly human embryos solely to harvest their stem cells, and some have raised the argument that rogue scientists might grow the embryos into weird human-animal creatures.  British regulations demand that all human embryos used in research be destroyed no more than 14 days after their creation.

Expert urges caution over athlete stem cell storage plan, ABC Australian News, 7 September 2007.
The Australian Stem Cell Institute is urging caution on a proposal to store the stem cells of elite athletes for use later in the treatment of injuries.  Although stem cells have helped patients recover from fractures, the Institute says that most fractures heal rapidly regardless of the cells.

Embryo Cloning bill passes Legislative Assembly, ABC Australian News, 7 September 2007.
In a conscience vote, legislation allowing the cloning of human embryos for research purposes in Western Australia passed the Legislative Assembly.  The bill, which also allows excess embryos created through fertilization to be used for research purposes, now moves to the Upper House.


Embryonic Stem Cells Thrive When Shaken, Georgia Tech University, 10 September 2007.
Georgia Tech and Emory researchers discovered that moderate and controlled physical movement of embryonic stem cells in fluid environments, similar to shaking that occurs in the womb from the mother’s natural movement, improves their development and suggests that different types of movement could some day be used to control what type of cell they become.

Human Embryonic Stem Cells Used to Grow Cartilage, Stem Cell Research News, 7 September 2007.
Biomedical engineers centered in Rice University have developed a new technique for growing cartilage from human embryonic stem cells that could be used to grow replacement cartilage for the surgical repair of knees, jaws, hips, and other joints.  Building upon their work of converting stem cells into cartilage cells, researchers developed a process for using the cartilage cells to make cartilage tissue, and showed that cartilages can be generated that mimic the different types of cartilage found in the human body.

SCoPE News Roundup

September 7, 2007

National News and Commentary

ISSCR Backs Controversial California Effort, California Stem Cell Report, 4 September 2007.
The prestigious International Society for Stem Cell Research has endorsed the concept of a stem cell research facility linked to the current land development proposal in Northern California.

Ballot Proposal To Modify Missouri Amendment Protecting Embryonic Stem Cell Research in State Flawed, Opponents Say, Kaiser Daily Women’s Health Policy, 29 August 2007.
In Missouri, the group Cures without Cloning stated that they would revise their proposal that seeks to modify a state constitutional amendment that protects human embryonic stem cell research, after opponents said the proposal's definition of "human" would exclude people with common genetic abnormalities.  The amendment, approved in November 2006, ensures that stem cell research permitted under federal law is protected in the state, prohibits human cloning, and allows stem cell research that involves somatic cell nuclear transfer.  If accepted, the proposal would create a new definition of cloning that would ban somatic cell nuclear transfer, as well as bar tax dollars from funding research using techniques banned by the definition.

Within Discredited Stem Cell Research, a True Scientific First, New York Times, 3 August 2007.
Upon reexamination of discredited Korean scientist Dr. Hwang Woo Suk’s embryonic stem cells, a team of Boston scientists found that the cells were the product of parthenogenesis, or that they were derived from an unfertilized egg.  If they had recognized what had occurred, Dr. Hwang’s team would have been credited as the first to use parthenogenesis to develop embryonic stem cells.

International News

Hybrid embryo research likely to be approved, Telegraph, 5 September 2007.
The Human Fertilization and Embryology Authority (HFEA) will soon decide whether to permit scientists to create human-animal hybrid embryos to extract stem cells for research.  HFEA is expected to approve the concept in principle, especially after warnings that it would be a major blow to British science if the Government watchdog refused to allow it.  If they rule in favor of hybrids, two British applications will be sent before the license committee in November.  In the meantime, the Government has published a draft Bill which would allow hybrid embryos created using cloning techniques but not "true hybrids" where a human egg is fertilized with animal sperm or vice versa.

Is Totipotency of a Human Cell a Sufficient Reason to Exclude its Patentability under the European Law?, Stem Cells, 30 August 2007.
Human totipotent cells have the potential to generate either an entire new organism or only different tissues or organs of an organism, and hence simultaneously fit the definition of the unpatentable human body at the earliest stage of its formation as well as of an element of the human body.  However, the authors argue that while the Biopatent Directive maintains that that human body can not be patented, the patentability of human totipotent cells should be evaluated based on their location and method of derivation, specifically whether they were located in the human body, or were otherwise produced by means of a technical process.

Qld MPs to debate stem cell research, AAP, 20 August 2007.
Queenland MPs are expected to have a conscience vote on new laws that would allow embryonic stem cell research within tight restrictions.  The Research Involving Human Embryos and Prohibition of Human Cloning Amendment Bill 2007 allows for the creation of human embryos by cloning for research, and for the creation of hybrid embryos.


Haematopoietic stem cells do not asymmetrically segregate chromosomes or retain BrdU, Nature, 29 August 2007.
Scientists at the University of Michigan found that in blood-forming stem cells, the DNA they labeled divided in a manner consistent with random chromosome segregation, as opposed to the previously accepted model of an immortal strand.  The immortal strand hypothesis stated that adult stem cells segregate their DNA in a non-random manner during cell division, a process which allowed the cells to minimize their chances of accumulating harmful mutations.  The experiments also revealed that BrdU is not a general stem cell marker, but is instead quite insensitive and nonspecific.

Direct Reprogramming of genetically unmodified fibroblasts into pluripotent stem cells, Nature Biotechnology, 27 August 2007.
Scientists at the Whitehead Institute for Biomedical Research were able to separate reprogrammed cells from ordinary fibroblasts based on the different appearances of the two cells, rather than having to use markers to isolate successfully reprogrammed cells.  They are now working to eliminate the virus that was initially used to introduce the foreign DNA that induced the reprogramming of specialized mouse skin cells into unspecialized stem cells.

Differential Notch signalling distinguishes neural stem cells from intermediate progenitors, Nature, 26 August 2007.
Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Medical Institutions discovered that the active presence of a protein known as CBF1 denotes a neural stem cell, while cells in which the protein has been “turned off” age irreversibly into progenitor cells.

Mouse Adult Skin Cells Reprogrammed to Embryonic State, International Society for Stem Cell Research, 21 August 2007.
Japanese and American research teams have shown that mouse adult skin cells can be reprogrammed to acquire the properties of embryonic stem cells, such that they are capable of self-renewal and of generating all body cell types.  Thus far embryonic stem cells have only been derived from early embryos.

Teratoma Formation Assays with Human Embryonic Stem Cells: A Rationale for One Type of Human-Animal Chimera, Cell: Stem Cell, 16 August 2007.
Researchers justify the use of a specific type of human-animal chimera experiments, the evaluation of hES cell developmental potency via teratoma formation in immunodeficient mice.  They argue that the experiment raises no significant moral concerns and should fall under the jurisdiction of animal care and use committees, rather than be subject to formal review by the stem cell research oversight process.

June 15, 2007

National News and Commentary
Stem Cell Logic, Muskegon Chronicle, 11 June 2007.
Michigan's severe restrictions on embryonic stem-cell research defy logic, and threaten to push the state's studies in this field to the scientific backwaters. As it stands, surplus embryos created in Michigan for in vitro fertilization procedures can be, and are, discarded legally. But those same embryos, which hold much potential value for human medicine because of their versatility, are off-limits to the state's research laboratories.

Lieutenant Governor Paterson Urges President Bush to Sign Stem Cell Legislation, Media Newswire, 11 June 2007.
Lieutenant Governor David A. Paterson today issued the following statement regarding the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, which would provide for human embryonic stem cell research.

Geron Reports Stem Cell Research Data,, 11 June 2007.
Geron Corp. said Monday its stem cell treatment for spinal cord injuries is tolerated by the human immune system. At the Federation of Clinical Immunology Societies meeting in San Diego, the company presented research showing GRNOPC1, which uses embryonic stem cells, is not directly attacked by the immune system. That means patients treated with GRNOPC1 could need lower doses or less treatment with immune-suppressing drugs than other transplant recipients, according to the company.

UC Irvine Awarded $3.9 Million To Upgrade Stem Cell Research Facilities, Training, Medical News Today, 11 June 2007.
UC Irvine has been awarded $3.9 million to upgrade its core embryonic stem cell research laboratory and expand a program to train young scientists on research techniques involving human embryonic stem cells. The grant brings total CIRM funding for UCI to $17.5 Million

N.J. Voters to Decide on Stem-Cell Funding,, 13 June 2007.
In November, New Jersey voters will decide whether to use $450 million in taxpayer money to fund stem-cell research, including research that destroys human embryos. Gov. Jon S. Corzine and top legislators reached a 10-year agreement Tuesday. If approved by voters, grants would go to institutions that could include colleges and universities, state and local government agencies and entities that do scientific and medical research on both adult and embryonic stem cells and umbilical cord blood, Assemblyman Neil Cohen told The Associated Press.

Views Sought on Stem Cell Research, Media Newswire, 13 June 2007. Aberdeen researchers want to find out what the public really think about a controversial area of science that is often in the news. The University of Aberdeen team is trying to build a picture of the public's perception of stem cell research. They also want to establish the extent to which these views are shaped by the media.

WARF Enter Licensing Agreement for Stem Cell Products, Wisconsin Technology Network, 14 June 2007.
The Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation has entered into global licenses agreements with two prominent technology companies, allowing them to develop and commercialize growth media and tissue culture services used in embryonic stem cell research. Terms of the license agreements were not disclosed.

Harkin to Tie Stem Cell Research to Spending Bill, The Hill, 14 June 2007.
As President Bush prepares to veto the measure Congress sent him last week, Sen. Tom Harkin (D-Iowa) is planning to attach the pro-research legislation to the spending bill being crafted by his Appropriations labor subcommittee.

Fraudulent Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research in South Korea: Lessons Learned, NIHPA Author Manuscripts, 15 June 2007.
Now that most of the smoke has cleared from the South Korean human embryonic stem cell fraud, it is time to reflect on some lessons that one can learn from this scandal.


Developmental reprogramming after chromosome transfer into mitotic mouse zygotes
Nature 447, 679-685 (7 June 2007)
Dieter Egli, Jacqueline Rosains, Garrett Birkhoff& Kevin Eggan
Until now, animal cloning and the production of embryonic stem cell lines by somatic cell nuclear transfer have relied on introducing nuclei into meiotic oocytes. In contrast, attempts at somatic cell nuclear transfer into fertilized interphase zygotes have failed. As a result, it has generally been assumed that unfertilized human oocytes will be required for the generation of tailored human embryonic stem cell lines from patients by somatic cell nuclear transfer. Here we report, however, that, unlike interphase zygotes, mouse zygotes temporarily arrested in mitosis can support somatic cell reprogramming, the production of embryonic stem cell lines and the full-term development of cloned animals. Thus, human zygotes and perhaps human embryonic blastomeres may be useful supplements to human oocytes for the creation of patient-derived human embryonic stem cells.

Generation of germline-competent induced pluripotent stem cells
Nature advance online publication 6 June 2007
Keisuke Okita, Tomoko Ichisaka & Shinya Yamanaka
We have previously shown that pluripotent stem cells can be induced from mouse fibroblasts by retroviral introduction of Oct3/4 (also called Pou5f1), Sox2, c-Myc and Klf4, and subsequent selection for Fbx15 (also called Fbxo15) expression. These induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells (hereafter called Fbx15 iPS cells) are similar to embryonic stem (ES) cells in morphology, proliferation and teratoma formation; however, they are different with regards to gene expression and DNA methylation patterns, and fail to produce adult chimaeras. Here we show that selection for Nanog expression results in germline-competent iPS cells with increased ES-cell-like gene expression and DNA methylation patterns compared with Fbx15 iPS cells. The four transgenes (Oct3/4, Sox2, c-myc and Klf4) were strongly silenced in Nanog iPS cells. We obtained adult chimaeras from seven Nanog iPS cell clones, with one clone being transmitted through the germ line to the next generation. Approximately 20% of the offspring developed tumours attributable to reactivation of the c-myc transgene. Thus, iPS cells competent for germline chimaeras can be obtained from fibroblasts, but retroviral introduction of c-Myc should be avoided for clinical application.

In vitro reprogramming of fibroblasts into a pluripotent ES-cell-like state
Nature advance online publication 6 June 2007
Marius Wernig, Alexander Meissner, Ruth Foreman, Tobias Brambrink, Manching Ku, Konrad Hochedlinger, Bradley E. Bernstein & Rudolf Jaenisch
Nuclear transplantation can reprogramme a somatic genome back into an embryonic epigenetic state, and the reprogrammed nucleus can create a cloned animal or produce pluripotent embryonic stem cells. One potential use of the nuclear cloning approach is the derivation of 'customized' embryonic stem (ES) cells for patient-specific cell treatment, but technical and ethical considerations impede the therapeutic application of this technology. Reprogramming of fibroblasts to a pluripotent state can be induced in vitro through ectopic expression of the four transcription factors Oct4 (also called Oct3/4 or Pou5f1), Sox2, c-Myc and Klf4. Here we show that DNA methylation, gene expression and chromatin state of such induced reprogrammed stem cells are similar to those of ES cells. Notably, the cells—derived from mouse fibroblasts—can form viable chimaeras, can contribute to the germ line and can generate live late-term embryos when injected into tetraploid blastocysts. Our results show that the biological potency and epigenetic state of in-vitro-reprogrammed induced pluripotent stem cells are indistinguishable from those of ES cells.

Directly Reprogrammed Fibroblasts Show Global Epigenetic Remodeling and Widespread Tissue Contribution
Cell Stem Cell, Vol 1, 55-70, 07 June 2007
Nimet Maherali, Rupa Sridharan,Wei Xie, Jochen Utikal, Sarah Eminli, Katrin Arnold, Matthias Stadtfeld, Robin Yachechko, Jason Tchieu, Rudolf Jaenisch, Kathrin Plath,and Konrad Hochedlinger
Ectopic expression of the four transcription factors Oct4, Sox2, c-Myc, and Klf4 is sufficient to confer a pluripotent state upon the fibroblast genome, generating induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. It remains unknown if nuclear reprogramming induced by these four factors globally resets epigenetic differences between differentiated and pluripotent cells. Here, using novel selection approaches, we have generated iPS cells from fibroblasts to characterize their epigenetic state. Female iPS cells showed reactivation of a somatically silenced X chromosome and underwent random X inactivation upon differentiation. Genome-wide analysis of two key histone modifications indicated that iPS cells are highly similar to ES cells. Consistent with these observations, iPS cells gave rise to viable high-degree chimeras with contribution to the germline. These data show that transcription factor-induced reprogramming leads to the global reversion of the somatic epigenome into an ES-like state. Our results provide a paradigm for studying the epigenetic modifications that accompany nuclear reprogramming and suggest that abnormal epigenetic reprogramming does not pose a problem for the potential therapeutic applications of iPS cells.

International News
Surrey and Irvine to Investigate Use of Nanomaterials in Stem Cell Therapies, Nanotechnology Now, 11 June 2007.
University of Surrey researchers, Dr Alan Dalton and Dr Richard Sear, have received grants totalling £100k from the SETsquared Applied Collaborative Research Programme and the EPSRC to support collaborative work with the University of California, Irvine, researching the use of nanomaterials in stem cell growth. The award will bring together Surrey's world-class expertise in materials and nano-technology with leading stem cell researchers at Irvine. It will develop new methods for studying and growing human embryonic stem cells, leading to new stem cell based therapies to treat human diseases. The research will tackle a key problem in growing embryonic stem cells, possible contamination from using 'feeder' cells and nutrients derived from animals. Surrey's work will lead to the development of wholly synthetic materials to create the structures on which stem cells are grown, reducing contamination of the new stem cells and increasing their safety.

June 8, 2007

National News and Commentary

Stem cell bill passes, faces new veto, Meadow Freepress, 8 June 2007.
The Democratic-controlled Congress passed legislation Thursday to loosen restraints on federally funded embryonic stem cell research, but the bill‘s supporters lacked the votes needed to override President Bush‘s threatened veto.

Govs Urge Stem Cell Passage, New York Press, 8 June 2007.
A coalition of Democratic governors, including our own Eliot Spitzer, have fired off a letter to President Bush urging him to sign the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act of 2007 into law following its successful passage in Congress. – includes links to the full letter

USCCB Official Comments on Approval of Bill to Fund Stem Cell Research Requiring the Destruction of Human Embryos,, 7 June 2007.
Richard Doerflinger, Deputy Director of Pro-Life Activities, United States Conference of Catholic Bishops (USCCB), issued a statement today regarding this week's votes on stem cell research and human cloning in the U.S. House of Representatives. This contains the text of the statement.

CNN's Koppel uncritically reported GOP argument that new research moots stem cell debate, MediaMatters for America, 8 June 2007.
On the June 7 edition of CNN's The Situation Room, during a segment on Congress' passage of a bill expanding federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, host Wolf Blitzer noted that President Bush had suggested that a recent breakthrough in which scientists reprogrammed skin cells in mice "could change the whole debate" by "creating, in effect, the equivalent of embryonic stem cells by another procedure that wouldn't require destroying these human embryos."

Stem Cell Institute Awards $4.1 Million To Stanford,, 6 June 2007.
Stanford University School of Medicine on Wednesday announced a $4.1 million grant from California's stem cell initiative to renovate laboratory space for stem cell research and to provide a stem cell training course for researchers.

Rick Hansen's "Wheels in Motion" Supports Embryonic Stem Cell Research, LifeSite, 5 June 2007.
Rick Hansen is the President and CEO of the Rick Hansen Foundation, an organization that supports research to find the cure for spinal cord injury. Paralyzed in a car crash at the age of fifteen, former-athlete Hansen has raised over $26 million dollars towards this goal. In 2003 the Rick Hansen Wheels in Motion was launched and since then has raised over 5.6 million dollars towards helping injury victims.


Simple switch turns cells embryonic, Nature, 7 June 2007.
Research reported this week by three different groups shows that normal skin cells can be reprogrammed to an embryonic state in mice1, 2, 3. The race is now on to apply the surprisingly straightforward procedure to human cells. If researchers succeed, it will make it relatively easy to produce cells that seem indistinguishable from embryonic stem cells, and that are genetically matched to individual patients. There are limits to how useful and safe these would be for therapeutic use in the near term, but they should quickly prove a boon in the lab.

Deficiencies in DNA damage repair limit the function of haematopoietic stem cells with age, Nature, 7 June 2007.
A diminished capacity to maintain tissue homeostasis is a central physiological characteristic of ageing. As stem cells regulate tissue homeostasis, depletion of stem cell reserves and/or diminished stem cell function have been postulated to contribute to ageing1. It has further been suggested that accumulated DNA damage could be a principal mechanism underlying age-dependent stem cell decline2. We have tested these hypotheses by examining haematopoietic stem cell reserves and function with age in mice deficient in several genomic maintenance pathways including nucleotide excision repair3, 4, telomere maintenance5, 6 and non-homologous end-joining7, 8. Here we show that although deficiencies in these pathways did not deplete stem cell reserves with age, stem cell functional capacity was severely affected under conditions of stress, leading to loss of reconstitution and proliferative potential, diminished self-renewal, increased apoptosis and, ultimately, functional exhaustion. Moreover, we provide evidence that endogenous DNA damage accumulates with age in wild-type stem cells. These data are consistent with DNA damage accrual being a physiological mechanism of stem cell ageing that may contribute to the diminished capacity of aged tissues to return to homeostasis after exposure to acute stress or injury.

Developmental reprogramming after chromosome transfer into mitotic mouse zygotes, Nature, 7 June 2007.
Until now, animal cloning and the production of embryonic stem cell lines by somatic cell nuclear transfer have relied on introducing nuclei into meiotic oocytes. In contrast, attempts at somatic cell nuclear transfer into fertilized interphase zygotes have failed. As a result, it has generally been assumed that unfertilized human oocytes will be required for the generation of tailored human embryonic stem cell lines from patients by somatic cell nuclear transfer. Here we report, however, that, unlike interphase zygotes, mouse zygotes temporarily arrested in mitosis can support somatic cell reprogramming, the production of embryonic stem cell lines and the full-term development of cloned animals. Thus, human zygotes and perhaps human embryonic blastomeres may be useful supplements to human oocytes for the creation of patient-derived human embryonic stem cells.

June 1, 2007

National News and Commentary

McGuinty, Schwarzenegger ink climate, stem cell pacts, London Free Press, 31 May 2007.
California Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger and Ontario Premier Dalton McGuinty signed climate change and stem cell agreements yesterday over some good-natured jousting about their respective hockey teams.

Stem Cell Researcher Saluted on ‘Time’ List, Chicago Sun Times, 31 May 2007.
Doug Melton's groundbreaking studies have established him as a leading stem cell researcher who also surmounted political obstacles to the controversial science. Time magazine lists him among the "100 men and women whose power, talent or moral example is transforming the world" for his extraordinary progress in the field of stem cell research.

Significant Scientific Breakthrough in Stem Cell Banking,, 31 May 2007.
Scientists from the Research Department of Cryo-Save Group NV together with the University of Cologne (DE) have developed a new scientifically validated method to collect adult mesenchymal stem cells ("MSCs") from the lining of umbilical cord tissue. This revolutionary new approach allows the collection and cryopreservation of very high quantities of valuable mesenchymal stem cells without invasive surgery.

WARF Response on Stem Cell Patents as Expected, Consumer Groups Say,, 31 May 2007.
The response to the rejection of all claims on patents on human embryonic stem cells by the holder of the patents, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), was as expected, consumer groups said today. Acting on re-examination requests by the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) and the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT), the U.S. Patent and Trademark Office rejected all claims on three patents. WARF had two months to respond.

Florida Supreme Court Allows Statewide Stem Cell Research Votes,, 31 May 2007.
The Florida Supreme Court has paved the way for two state ballot amendments about stem cell research funding -- one that forces the state government to pay for embryonic stem cell research and another that prohibits it. Now all organizers of the competing proposals have to do is get enough signatures to qualify.

Illinois Lawmakers Stamp Stem Cell Research Plan, Central Illinois, 31 May 2007.
Illinois lawmakers have put their signatures on a plan to allow all types of stem cell research in the state. A plan to back research, including embryonic projects, sailed out of the Illinois House. It's now headed for Governor Rod Blagojevich's desk. He's a big stem cell supporter and is expected to sign it.

Stem Cell :: Human stem cell treatment restores motor function in paralyzed rats,, 31 May 2007.
Rats paralyzed due to loss of blood flow to the spine returned to near normal ambulatory function six weeks after receiving grafts of human spinal stem cells (hSSCs), researchers from the University of California, San Diego (UCSD) School of Medicine report.


In vitro comparison of the biological effects of three transfection methods for magnetically labeling mouse embryonic stem cells with ferumoxides, Magnetic Resonance in Medicine, 29 May 2007.
In vivo MRI of stem cells (SCs) is an emerging application to evaluate the role of cell therapy in restoring the injured myocardium. The high spatial and temporal resolution combined with iron-oxide-based intracellular labeling techniques will provide a sensitive, noninvasive, dual imaging modality for both cells and myocardium. In order to facilitate this novel imaging approach, much effort has been directed towards developing efficient transfection methods. While techniques utilizing poly-L-lysine (PLL), protamine sulfate (PS), and electroporation (ELP) have been proposed, the fundamental biological effects of these methods on mouse embryonic SCs (mESC) have not been investigated systematically. In this study a longitudinal in vitro evaluation of cellular viability, apoptosis, proliferation, and cardiac differentiation of magnetically labeled mESC was conducted. No significant difference was seen in these biological parameters among the three transfection methods. However, cardiac differentiation was most attenuated by ELP, and iron uptake was most effective by PS.

Towards hematopoietic reconstitution from embryonic stem cells: a sanguine future, Current Opinion in Hematology, July 2007.
The literature firmly establishes that it is possible to isolate HSCs and certain mature blood lineages from both mouse and human ESCs. Although several issues remain to be addressed, these data demonstrate the value of ESCs as a potential source of transplantable HSCs.

Expression of AML/Runx and ETO/MTG family members during hematopoietic differentiation of embryonic stem cells, Experimental Hematology, June 2007.
Runx1/AML1 plays important roles in hematopoiesis, including the commitment of cells to hematopoiesis during embryonic development, and in the maintenance of hematopoietic cell populations. It is also one of the most common genes involved in chromosomal translocations related to leukemia. One such translocation is t(8;21), which fuses the Runx1 gene to the MTG8/ETO gene and generates the Runx1-MTG8 (AML1-ETO) fusion gene. Both Runx1 and MTG8 have two additional family members that are much less studied in hematopoiesis. Here we report the expression of every member of the Runx and MTG families as well as the Runx heterodimerization partner CBFβ during hematopoietic differentiation of murine embryonic stem cells. We observed substantially increased expression of Runx1, Runx2, and MTG16 during hematopoietic differentiation. Furthermore, the increase in Runx2 expression is delayed relative to Runx1 expression, suggesting their possible sequential contribution to hematopoiesis.

May 25, 2007

National News and Commentary

UC Davis Researches Stem Cells with Other Institutions, The California Aggie, 23 May 2007.
Contributions to scientific research don't always come in the form of funding and high-tech laboratories, as a new agreement between UC Davis, UC Merced and the Buck Institute for Age Research will soon demonstrate. The UC Davis Health System's medical and ethical standards oversight committee will be responsible for reviewing stem cell research practices at the other two institutions. One main goal of the cooperative effort is to reduce the amount of funding, granted by the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, directed toward establishing new oversight committees, according to a news release last week.

Hushlof Says He’s Seeking UM Position, Columbia Tribune, 24 May 2007.
Ending weeks of rumors, U.S. Rep Kenny Hulshof said yesterday he is in the running to be president of the University of Missouri system. Hulshof made the announcement as he left an hour-and-a-half interview with an advisory committee helping the UM Board of Curators pick the new president.

Activists Push Sununu to Change His Stand on Stem Cell Research, Union Leader, 24 May 2007
Activists renewed their criticism of Sen. John Sununu yesterday for opposing a bill that would ease restrictions on embryonic stem cell research.

National Academy of Sciences Bars Public From State Stem Cell Meeting,, 24 May 2007.
The Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) today sent a letter to the president and the executive officer of the National Academy of Sciences protesting that the public was barred from a meeting of representatives of state public stem cell research programs at the National Academies' Beckman Center in Irvine, CA.

Calgary student's stem cell research wins Canada's top student science award, CNW Telbec, 24 May 2007.
A breakthrough project targeting stem cells in adults that account for the recurrence of cancer won the EnCana Best in Fair and the EnCana Platinum for Best Senior project at the 46th Canada-Wide
Science Fair. Emily Cooley, an 18-year-old grade 12 student from Queen Elizabeth Junior Senior High School in Calgary, won the prestigious award which comes with a $10,000 cash award.

Vivalis Grants Glaxosmithkline a Commercial License to Develop and Market Human Flu Fvaccines Based on ebx® Cell Line Technology, Company News, 24 May 2007.
Vivalis announced today the signature of an agreement with GlaxoSmithKline ("GSK") to develop and commercialise new human influenza vaccines based on VIVALIS' proprietary EBx® cell line technology. Under this worldwide collaboration and license agreement, VIVALIS will participate in the vaccine process development, and GlaxoSmithKline Biologicals, the global vaccine division of GSK will be entitled to use VIVALIS' avian embryonic stem cell derived ebx® cell lines and related technologies to produce seasonal and pandemic human flu vaccines. Updates Outlooks on Stem Cell Companies,, 22 May 2007.
An online investment newsletter focused on long- term growth and income-generating stocks, announced today that it has provided subscribers with a detailed report updating outlooks on stem cell companies including Geron , Aastrom Biosciences , and ViaCell.

Stem Cell Dilemma a Job for Congress, Boston Herald, 22 May 2007.
Under an order issued by President Bush on April 20, 2001, federal funds could only be used on human embryonic stem cell lines that existed as of that date. Going forward no human embryo could be used in research and qualify for National Institutes of Health grants. There was no such prohibition on privately funded stem cell research, but there could be no intermingling of the two. Herald business reporter Jay Fitzgerald found that such dual research tracks must not merely navigate a thicket of regulation, it wastes millions of dollars as researchers who want to take advantage of federal funds have to set up dual facilities.


International News
Stem Cell Labs Deliver Medicines of the Future, The University of Manchester News, 23 May 2007.
New state-of-the-art laboratories that will allow scientists to make stem cells and turn them into tissue suitable for human transplantation will be officially opened at The University of Manchester today.

Number of China’s Stem Cell Donors Doubles in a Year, China View, 23 May 2007.
The number of stem cell donors in China has nearly doubled over the past year after a promotion campaign by the Red Cross Society of China. "The number of donors registered in the China Bone Marrow Databank increased from 360,000 in March, 2006 to the present total of 650,000," said Wang Yanjing, an official in charge of stem cell donation with the Red Cross Society in north China's Hebei province

May 11, 2007

National News and Commentary

Budget too Tight For Stem-Cell Bill, The Lakeland Ledger, 5 May 2007.
Lawmakers quit the session without approving a bill backed by Gov. Charlie Crist to create a program to funnel state money into stem cell research.

Announcing an Educational Book on Stem Cell Research for People Who Don’t Have (or Want) a Degree in Biology, PR, 11 May 2007.
Without being overly academic, Right to Recover gives an accurate picture of the controversial field of embryonic (blastocystic) stem cell research and highlights the progress of therapies resulting from adult stem cell research as well as those from stem cells found in cord blood and amniotic fluid.

Stem Cell Opponent Endorsed, Columbia Tribune, 11 May 2007.
Democrats, including Sen. Chuck Graham, D-Columbia, were concerned about Rep. Bob Onder’s views against embryonic stem cell research. Graham said the appointment signaled the board wouldn’t pursue or support human life sciences research.

Stem Cell Company Plans Location in Bethlehem Twp., Penn Live, 11 May 2007.
A New York City-based company that offers adult stem cell collection and storage plans to open a facility in Bethlehem Township, Pa., a news release says. NeoStem Inc. would be the first such business in Eastern Pennsylvania and Western New Jersey, according to the news release from Azani Medical Spa, located on Emrick Boulevard in the township.

Massachusetts Proposes Stem Cell Research Grants, The New York Times, 8 May 2007.
Governor Deval Patrick on Tuesday unveiled a $1.25 billion proposal intended to help the state maintain its status as a pre-eminent place for stem cell research and other life sciences. The money would provide grants for university and hospital scientists, establish special research centers to make their work faster and more efficient, and train workers for biotechnology businesses.

Group Pushes State to Lift Restrictions on Stem Cell Research, The Oakland Press, 10 May 2007.
A bipartisan group is supporting proposed legislation to remove restrictions on embryonic stem cell research in Michigan, one of the last states in the nation not allowing such research. Michigan, North Dakota, South Dakota, Louisiana and Arkansas are the only states left that have restrictions against embryonic stem cell research, said Marcia Baum, the executive director of Michigan Citizens for Stem Cell Research and Cures.

Stem Cell Trial Involves Austin Heart Patient,, 9 May 2007.
A clinical stem cell trial involving Austin patients has some doctors saying it may change medicine forever. The trial involves heart attack patients using adult stem cells. The stem cells are from the donated bone marrow of healthy adults.

Culture adaptation of embryonic stem cells echoes germ cell malignancy, International Journal of Andrology, 9 May 2007.

Teratocarcinomas are a subset of tumours that result from the neoplastic transformation of primordial germ cells. Such germ cell tumours (GCT) are histologically heterogeneous, reflecting a capacity for differentiation (pluripotency) of their embryonal carcinoma (EC) stem cells. However, malignant evolution of these tumours may ultimately correlate with a decrease in pluripotency, because this would tend to increase the propensity of EC cells for self-renewal. Human embryonic stem (ES) cells, derived from early blastocysts, closely resemble EC cells and, on prolonged culture in vitro, acquire progressive genetic changes that show striking similarity to those seen in GCT (e.g. gain of material from chromosome 12). In parallel, these abnormal ES cells show enhanced population growth rates and plating efficiencies, indicative of their adaptation to culture conditions. Understanding the mechanisms that drive such culture adaptation of ES cells may also provide insights into the development and progression of GCT.

Induction of oocyte-like cells from mouse embryonic stem cells by co-culture with ovarian granulosa cells, Differentiation, 9 May 2007.
Granulosa cells were effective in inducing the differentiation of ES cell-derived PGCs into oocyte-like cells through direct cell-to-cell contacts. Our method offers a novel in vitro system for studying oogenesis; in particular, for studying the interactions between PGCs and granulosa cells.

Generation of functional hemangioblasts from human embryonic stem cells, Nature Methods, 7 May 2007.
Here we describe an efficient and reproducible method for generating large numbers of these bipotential progenitors—known as hemangioblasts—from human embryonic stem (hES) cells using an in vitro differentiation system. Blast cells expressed gene signatures characteristic of hemangioblasts, and could be expanded, cryopreserved and differentiated into multiple hematopoietic lineages as well as into endothelial cells. When we injected these cells into rats with diabetes or into mice with ischemia-reperfusion injury of the retina, they localized to the site of injury in the damaged vasculature and appeared to participate in repair. Injection of the cells also reduced the mortality rate after myocardial infarction and restored blood flow in hind limb ischemia in mouse models. Our data suggest that hES-derived blast cells (hES-BCs) could be important in vascular repair.

Directed Differentiation And Transplantation of Human Embryonic Stem Cell Derived Motoneurons, Stem Cells, 3 May 2007.
These data provide evidence for in vivo survival of hESC-derived motoneurons, a key requirement in the development of hESC based cell therapy in motoneuron disease.

Generation of Functional Cardiomyocytes From Adult Mouse Spermatogonial Stem Cells, Circulation Research,
Scientists transplanted maGSCs into normal hearts of mice and found that maGSCs were able to proliferate and differentiate. No tumor formation was found up to 1 month after cell transplantation. Taken together, we believe that maGSCs provide a new source of distinct types of cardiomyocytes for basic research and potential therapeutic application.

International News
Treatments for Anti Aging, Diseases and Injuries through Stem Cell Therapies Provided by StemCell Pharma, Inc, the Featured Company on, Transworld News, 9 May 2007.
StemCell Pharma, Inc., a privately held corporation that provides treatments and therapies for anti aging, diseases and injuries through the implementation of stem cell implants, is the Featured Company on StemCell Pharma, Inc will also be appearing the TransWorldNews site in China.

Panel Submits Stem Cell Guidelines,, 9 May 2007.
A government panel, set up to frame stem cell guidelines in a bid to regulate research activity in this emerging sector, has submitted the final guidelines to the Health Ministry.

March Of Dimes Awards $250K Prize To Stem Cell Research, Reproductive Biology Pioneers, Medical News Today, 9 May 2007.
Two internationally renowned experts in mouse development have been chosen by the U.S. -based March of Dimes Foundation to receive the 2007 March of Dimes Prize in Developmental Biology. Janet Rossant, Ph.D., FRS, FRS(C) and Anne McLaren, DBE, D.Phil, FRS, FRCOG, will share the March of Dimes Prize for their remarkable contributions to science's understanding of the entire cycle of mammalian reproduction and development, using the mouse as a model system.

German Scientists Plead for More Access to Stem Cells, Deutsche Welle, 5 May 2007.A group of top German scientists called for lawmakers to relax restrictions on stem-cell research, warning that Germany risks losing its status as a leader in research -- not to mention lucrative contracts.

SCoPE News Roundup
May 18, 2007

National News and Commentary

First Maryland Stem-Cell Grants Awarded, The Houston Chronicle, 18 May 2007.
A Maryland stem cell commission handed out its first research grants, supporting work ranging from facial reconstruction to spinal cord repair. Two dozen Maryland researchers, more than half affiliated with Johns Hopkins University, were chosen Thursday from among 86 applicants.

Hurdle to Stem Cell Funds Cleared, Los Angeles Times, 17 May 2007.
The California Supreme Court gave final clearance Wednesday to California's landmark $3-billion stem cell research effort, declining to hear an appeal of two lower court rulings upholding the constitutionality of 2004's Proposition 71.

Patient-Specific Stem Cell Lines Sought, Science Daily, 16 May 2007.
University of California-Irvine neurobiologist Hans Keirstead and his team are using a nuclear transfer technique to pursue the goal that will allow scientists to better study conditions ranging from diabetes to Parkinson's disease and provide the basis for potential patient-specific stem cell treatments.

Mum is Stem Cell Saviour, Totally Jewish, 17 May 2007.
A mother-of-three from Borehamwood this week called on members of the Jewish community to join the bone marrow registry as she prepared to make a potentially life-saving donation of her stem cells.

Stem Cell Breakthrough Lifts Geron Corp., Ant & Sons, 17 May 2007.
Geron Corp. reported this morning that its scientists and collaborators at the University of Alberta have differentiated human embryonic stem cells clusters that secrete insulin in response to elevated glucose levels. The study to be published in the August edition of Stem Cells demonstrates the feasibility of producing therapeutic cell types for the treatment of type 1 diabetes. In 2006, Geron received a patent covering the production of insulin-secreting cells.

Regulating Stem Cell Research, RxPG News, 11 May 2007.
Regulations governing human stem cell research must strive to assure strict oversight while simultaneously fostering scientific innovation through collaboration, says a group of scientists from the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), one of the world's largest supporters of such research.

MATC Teaches Stem Cell Skills, The Capital Times, 18 May 2007.
MATC's 20-year-old biotechnology program recently received human embryonic stem cells from WiCell through an agreement with the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation so students can learn lab techniques relating to the culture of stem cells

State Seeds Stem Cell Research Company Based on UW-Madison Research, University of Madison Wisconsin, 14 May 2007.
Gov. Jim Doyle presented Gabriela Cezar and Elizabeth Donley with a $1 million award to promote further development of Stemina Biomarker Discovery, a university spin-off company Cezar and Donley founded based on Cezar’s embryonic stem-cell research.

Stem Cell Lines Advance Human Embryonic Stem Cell Lines, Labratorytalk, 16 May 2007.
Millipore has announced the availability of its MEL cell lines - licensed, low passage, human embryonic stem cells (hES) used in research for the treatment and potential cure of disabling and terminal diseases and conditions.

Effects of RAS on the genesis of embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma, Genes and Development, 17 May 2007.
Embryonal rhabdomyosarcoma (ERMS) is a devastating cancer with specific features of muscle differentiation that can result from mutational activation of RAS family members. However, to date, RAS pathway activation has not been reported in a majority of ERMS patients. Here, we have created a zebrafish model of RAS-induced ERMS, in which animals develop externally visible tumors by 10 d of life. Microarray analysis and cross-species comparisons identified two conserved gene signatures found in both zebrafish and human ERMS, one associated with tumor-specific and tissue-restricted gene expression in rhabdomyosarcoma and a second comprising a novel RAS-induced gene signature. Remarkably, our analysis uncovered that RAS pathway activation is exceedingly common in human RMS. We also created a new transgenic coinjection methodology to fluorescently label distinct subpopulations of tumor cells based on muscle differentiation status. In conjunction with fluorescent activated cell sorting, cell transplantation, and limiting dilution analysis, we were able to identify the cancer stem cell in zebrafish ERMS. When coupled with gene expression studies of this cell population, we propose that the zebrafish RMS cancer stem cell shares similar self-renewal programs as those found in activated satellite cells.

Generation of Insulin-producing Islet-like Clusters from Human Embryonic Stem Cells, Stem Cells, 17 May 2007.
Geron Corporation reported that its scientists and collaborators at the University of Alberta have differentiated human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) into islet-like clusters (ILCs) that secrete insulin in response to elevated glucose levels. The studies demonstrate the feasibility of producing therapeutic cell types from hESCs for the treatment of diabetes.

International News
Hybrid Embryos Get Go Ahead, Guardian Unlimited, 16 May 2006.
The British government has announced a U-turn on its ban on the creation of human-animal embryos and has now proposed allowing them to be used to develop new treatments for incurable diseases such as Parkinson's and Alzheimer's disease.

Kalam Calls for More Stem Cell Research, The Hindu, 17 May 2007.
Calling for intensifying stem cell research in the country to address mental and physical problems, President A P J Abdul Kalam today said he was involved in such work with one of his students to deal with a genetic disorder.

Anglo-Israeli Tie Ups to Develop Cell Therapies For Lung Disease, Science Business, 16 May 2007.
UK stem cell specialist NovaThera Ltd announced a collaboration with its Israeli counterpart Gamida Cell Ltd aimed at developing cell therapies for lung repair and regeneration.

BMA Urges Against Merging Fertility and Transplantation Regulatory Bodies,, 18 May 2007.
Although the HFEA and the HTA have similarities, there are vast differences in the areas they cover. The complex and sensitive issues that surround reproduction and embryo research are very different from the equally complex and sensitive issues that relate to the retention and use of organs and tissues after death.

ReNeuron announces collaboration to enhance its stem cell expansion technology, Oxfordshire Bioscience Network, 18 May 2007
ReNeuron Group plc today announced that it has signed a Research Collaboration Agreement with Kings College London (KCL) to further develop the Company's c-mycERstem cell expansion technology. The research will be part-funded by the UK government under its Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) scheme.

May 4, 2007

National News and Commentary

U.S. Supreme Court Decision Boosts Stem Cell Patent Challenge,, 4 May 2007.
A U.S. Supreme Court decision in favor of KSR International Corp. on Monday strengthens challenges against overreaching human embryonic stem cell patents held by an affiliate of the University of Wisconsin, the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) and the Public Patent Foundation (PUBPAT) said.

Dundee Joins £9.5M Stem Cell Research Collaboration Programme, Science Business, 4 May 2007.
ITI Life Sciences is very pleased to announce that it has reached its first technical milestone in its Stem Cell Technologies (SCT) R&D programme, and as a result Dundee  University has joined the £9.5 million programme, which started in January 2007.

Differences Emerge as Republicans Debate, Los Angeles Times, 4 May 2007.
Sharing a stage for the first time, the 10 Republican presidential hopefuls alternated between tough talk and optimism Thursday night as they wrapped themselves in the conservative mantle of the party's patron saint and their spiritual host, Ronald Reagan. They managed to spell out their differences on a variety of issues, including abortion, stem cell research and congressional intervention in the Terri Schiavo right-to-die case.

House Committee Passes Stem Cell Bill, Delaware Online, 3 May 2007.
A bill regulating embryonic stem cell research in Delaware will get a chance this year to actually do just that when it reaches the House floor for debate. On a 6-2 vote, the House Health and Human Development Committee voted to send Senate Bill 5 to the full House as is.

Stem Cell Institute Names Acting President, Sacramento Business Journal, 4 May 2007.
The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine has named Lori Hoffmann as acting president following the announcement that Zach Hall would resign earlier than expected. Hoffman became chief finance and administrative officer in November, and will serve as president until a permanent replacement is named by CIRM's board.

Advanced Cell Technology and Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation Announce Commercial License Agreement, Pharma Live, 2 May 2007.
Advanced Cell Technology, Inc. (OTCBB:ACTC - News) today announced an expanded, non-exclusive commercialization agreement with Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF). The expanded agreement grants Advanced Cell rights to the commercial use of human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) to develop human therapies, with the exception of neuronal, pancreatic beta cells, and cardiac applications, and enables the marketing of a broad array of research products. This agreement bolsters Advanced Cell's existing patent estate which currently consists of over 380 owned or licensed patents and patent applications worldwide by granting commercial access to an additional 150 important stem cell technology patents and patent applications.

NYC Biotech Firm Gets Stem Cell Licenses, New York, 2 May 2007.
The state Department of Health issued two provisional licenses to NeoStem Inc. that will allow the Manhattan company to start commercializing its stem cell collection services in New York City.

Stem Cell Measure Defeated, Columbia Tribune, 1 May 2007.
A resolution that would have allowed voters to essentially overturn a recently passed amendment protecting embryonic stem cell research was voted down in the House Rules Committee. The move could prove fatal to the measure’s chances this legislative session.

Alleged U.S. Stem Cell Fraudsters Shielded by South African Legal Logjam, ABC News, 28 April 2007.
Two Americans wanted by the FBI for allegedly administering fraudulent stem cell treatments, are avoiding extradition from their current home in South Africa to the United States to face charges.


Increased stem cell proliferation in the spinal cord of adult amyotrophic lateral sclerosis transgenic mice, Journal of Neurochemistry, 30 April 2007.
There is significantly increased gliogenesis, but an absence of convincing neurogenesis. The fact that the neurodegenerative process stimulates a regenerative response suggests that the adult spinal cord has at least limited ability for regeneration. Further studies will determine if this endogenous regenerative process can be enhanced and directed so as to slow or even reverse the natural progression of this devastating disease.

Bypassing genomic imprinting allows seed development, Nature, 29 April 2007.
These data provide functional evidence that the action of the FIS complex balances the contribution of the paternal genome. As flowering plants have evolved a special reproduction system with a parallel fusion of two female with two male gametes, our findings support the hypothesis that only with the evolution of double fertilization did the action of the FIS genes become a requirement for seed development. Furthermore, our data argue for a gametophytic origin of endosperm in flowering plants, thereby supporting a hypothesis raised in 1900 by Eduard Strasburger.

Environmental signals regulate lineage choice and temporal maturation of neural stem cells from human embryonic stem cells., Brain: A Journal of Neurology, 2 May 2007.
This study highlights the role of environmental signals in determining both lineage commitment and temporal maturation of human neural stem cells. Controlled manipulation of environmental signals appropriate to the pathological specificity of the targeted disease will be necessary in the design of therapeutic stem cell-based strategies.

Mouse Embryonic Stem Cell-Derived Embryoid Bodies Generate Progenitors That Integrate Long Term into Renal Proximal Tubules In Vivo, Journal of the American Society of Nephrology, 2 May 2007.
Defined differentiation of ES cells into embryoid bodies with Activin-A and selection for T expression provides a means to isolate and purify renal proximal tubular progenitor cells with the potential for safe use in regenerative therapies.

International News

Bracks to sell Stem Cell Plan to Governator,, 4 May 2007.
Victorian Premier Steve Bracks will ask Californian Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger to invest in Melbourne's stem cell research now that new therapeutic cloning laws have been passed.

Cloning Bill Gets Go Ahead, Herald Sun, 4 May 2007.
The passage of controversial therapeutic cloning laws in Victoria has sparked hope for medical researchers and anger from anti-cloning lobby groups.

Israeli Firms Get Michael J. Fox Foundation Grants, Jewish Journal, 4 May 2007.
Two Israeli companies working on treatments for Parkinson's disease have been awarded grants by the Michael J. Fox Foundation. Cell Cure Neurosciences and Proneuron Biotechnologies were awarded $660,000 and $430,000, respectively, under a new program started by the foundation to recognize that breakthrough research is being done in industry.

April 27, 2007

National News and Commentary

California Stem Cell Research Agency President Steps Down Now,, 23 April 2007.
The head of the California state agency that will ultimately spend about $3 billion on human cloning and embryonic stem cell research stepped down last week. Zach Hall indicated he would resign from the position at the end of the month rather than in June, as he previously planned.

Backers to Strategize on Stem-Cell Bill, Denver Post, 24 April 2007.
Leaders of a congressional effort to boost embryonic stem-cell research will huddle soon to develop strategies for passing their bill around President Bush's promised veto. One option is adding the legislation to a bill Bush will have a harder time vetoing.

Stem Cell Research Bill Passes Senate,, 25 April 2007.
University of Minnesota researchers could use taxpayer funds to conduct stem cell research through the destruction of human embryos, according to a bill approved today by the Senate. DFL lawmakers in supporting the bill said the state investment is needed to put Minnesota back on top when it comes to medical research. Opponents countered that any research that requires the destruction of human embryos is unethical and perhaps already illegal in Minnesota. The 36-26 vote is the first of two needed in the Senate. Similar support from the House is expected, and would set up a showdown with Gov. Tim Pawlenty, who has threatened a veto.

Stem Cell Therapy: A Ray of Hope for Diabetics and Researchers, Press Zoom, 25 April 2007.
The results of the stem cell therapy given to teenagers and young adults suffering from Type-1 diabetes were described to be “very encouraging” by the two researchers - Richard Burt of Northwestern University Feinberg School of Medicine, Chicago, and University of Sao Paulo’s Julio Voltarelli. The patients, on whom the test was done, could discontinue taking insulin following the successful knock out of their malfunctioning immune systems. The treatment also reconstructed them from their own stem cells.

Stem Cell Labs Stuck in Limbo, San Jose Business Journal, 27 /April 2007.
A lack of lab space is slowing research to create medical treatments based on embryonic stem cells authorized by California's Proposition 71, scientists say. The shortage is injecting complexity into what is already a complex subject, complicated by a ban imposed by the Bush administration on using federal money to study certain embryonic stem cell lines.

Agency to Propose Lifting Stem Cell Limits, The Boston Globe, 25 April 2007.
The state Department of Public Health will propose this morning the scrapping of restrictions on stem cell research that generated widespread concern among scientists who feared criminal penalties for conducting certain kinds of laboratory work.

Stem-Cell Amendment Fails in Senate, Radio Iowa News, 27 April 2007.
The Iowa Senate on Thursday approved funding for various building projects, including a new bio-medical research facility at the University of Iowa. Jerry Behn , a Republican senator from Boone, sought to add an amendment to ban on a certain type of stem-cell research, a cloning technique known as somatic cell transfer, from being done at the new facility. He called the research a "slippery slope."


Directed differentiation of human embryonic stem cells into functional hepatic cells, Hepatology, 26 April 2007.
This describes an efficient way to direct the differentiation of human embryonic stem cells into cells that exhibit characteristics of mature hepatocytes. Our studies should facilitate searching the molecular mechanisms underlying human liver development, and form the basis for hepatocyte transplantation and drug tests.

Non–cell autonomous effect of glia on motor neurons in an embryonic stem cell–based ALS model, Nature Neurology, 1 May 2007.
Here we report an in vitro model system for studying the molecular and cellular mechanisms that underlie the neurodegenerative disease amyotrophic lateral sclerosis (ALS). Embryonic stem cells (ESCs) derived from mice carrying normal or mutant transgenic alleles of the human SOD1 gene were used to generate motor neurons by in vitro differentiation. These motor neurons could be maintained in long-term coculture either with additional cells that arose during differentiation or with primary glial cells. Motor neurons carrying either the nonpathological human SOD1 transgene or the mutant SOD1G93A allele showed neurodegenerative properties when cocultured with SOD1G93A glial cells. Thus, our studies demonstrate that glial cells carrying a human SOD1G93A mutation have a direct, non–cell autonomous effect on motor neuron survival. More generally, our results show that ESC-based models of disease provide a powerful tool for studying the mechanisms of neural degeneration. These phenotypes displayed in culture could provide cell-based assays for the identification of new ALS drugs.

Generation of a defined and uniform population of CNS progenitors and neurons from mouse embryonic stem cells, Nature Protocol, 1 May 2007.
*See attached pdf

International News

Malaysia to be Stem Cell Producer’s Global Hub, Therapeutics Daily, 22 April 2007.
Malaysia is set to become the global hub for stem cell transplantation following a decision by the world's largest manufacturer of stem cells to site its main manufacturing plant here soon.

EU Lawmakers Back Rules for Stem Cell, Other Cures, The Washington Post, 25 April 2007.
European lawmakers backed new rules for stem cell and other advanced medical therapies on Wednesday, despite opposition from a key member of the European Parliament. The European Union legislature rejected so-called ethical amendments to the regulation that will create a centralized process for approving new tissue and cell engineering therapies.

Stem Cell Bank to be Opened in City by Malaysian Joint Venture, Vietnam News, 23 April 2007.
A stem cell bank will be opened in Viet Nam under an agreement signed last Friday in HCM City by the Ngoc Tam Hospital Joint Stock Co and Malaysia’s CryoCord Co. The planned bank would store stem cells taken from umbilical cord blood and other sources, as well as research their application in the treatment of disease.

Stem cell Therapy Enters Aesthetic Medicine, Newswire, 26 April 2007.
Breast enlargement, treatment of wrinkles and facial rejuvenation now can be achieved with highly improved success rates. "For some time we have known, that stem cells exist in fat and that we remove these cells in liposuction,", says Vienna based cosmetic surgeon DDr. Karl-Georg Heinrich, "We have learned what we can do with these valuable living cells and as a result we now harvest them instead of dumping them." DDr. Heinrich successfully uses stem cell therapy in his institute (Clinic Dr. Heinrich). That makes him the first in Europe to take this pioneering step.

April 20, 2007

National News and Commentary

Adoptive Parents of Girl Frozen as Embryo Battle Embryonic Stem Cell Research, LifeSite, 19 April 2007.
A couple who adopted their two-year-old daughter as a frozen embryo left stored in a fertility clinic freezer, are now using their story to fight against legislation that would permit research using human embryos, the Dialog reported April 16.

Michigan House Takes Up Embryonic Stem-Cell Research,, 20 April 2007.
A package of three bills that would lift restrictions on stem-cell research in Michigan and increase penalties for cloning was unveiled Thursday.

Patent Ruling Doesn’t Tarnish Wisconsin’s Stem Cell Research, Wisconsin Technology Network, 20 April 2007.
Concern apparently has been voiced across the state that the recent U.S. Patent and Trademark Office decisions rejecting three patents held by the patenting and licensing arm of the University of Wisconsin could be a devastating blow to the state's acknowledged leadership in stem cell research.

State Politics & Policy | Actions Taken on Stem Cell-Related Legislation in Florida, Maryland, Texas, Kaiser Network, 19 April 2007.
The Senate Commerce Committee on Monday approved a bill (SB 750), sponsored by Sen. Steven Geller (D), that would provide no less than $20 million annually for embryonic, amniotic and adult stem cell research for 10 years. The General Assembly earlier this month approved a $30 billion budget for fiscal year 2008 that allocates $23 million for stem cell research. The House State Affairs Committee last week approved a bill (HB 225) that would prohibit the use of state funds for biomedical research if that research was banned from receiving federal funding as of Jan. 1.

Article: “Despite Senate Victory, Stem Cell Prospects ‘Bleak‘”, Institute for Public Affairs, 19 April 2007.
A broad coalition of Jewish groups applauded last week's Senate passage of the Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, which would open the door to federal funding for embryonic stem cell research. But statements praising the Senate action barely concealed a deep gloom. Senate sponsors, while winning a majority, could not muster a veto-proof margin.

Release Key to Cures: Federal Funding For Stem Cell Research, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle, 19 April 2007.
The past few weeks have given the millions of Americans who suffer from a long list of devastating diseases reason to hope. New York is on the verge of making a historic commitment to stem cell science, and Congress will soon attempt to lift restrictions on federal funding for this important research.

Stem Cell Dispute Tinges Debate on Other Issues, STLToday, 19 April 2007.
Jockeying between opponents and supporters of such research is affecting the debate over several matters that, on the surface, might appear to be unrelated. That includes some business incentive measures and Gov. Matt Blunt's proposal to sell off some of the assets of the Missouri Higher Education Loan Authority.


Establishment and characterization of two new human embryonic stem cell lines, SYSU-1 and SYSU-2, Chinese Medical Journal, 5 April 2007.
Two new human embryonic stem cell lines have been established from surplus embryos. They can be used to understand selfrenewal and differentiating mechanisms and provide more choices for regenerative medicine.

Gametes from Embryonic Stem Cells: A Cup Half Empty or Half Full?, Science, 20 April 2007.
When first reported 4 years ago, gametogenesis from embryonic stem (ES) cells promised an accessible in vitro model to facilitate molecular analysis of the germ lineage. Formation of primordial germ cells is robust, but terminal gametogenesis remains inefficient and doubts about gamete function persist. Although useful for research, clinical use of ES cell-derived gametes appears a distant prospect.

A method for genetic modification of human embryonic stem cells using electroporation, Nature Protocols, 5 April 2007.
The ability to genetically modify human embryonic stem cells (HESCs) will be critical for their widespread use as a tool for understanding fundamental aspects of human biology and pathology and for their development as a platform for pharmaceutical discovery. Here, we describe a method for the genetic modification of HESCs using electroporation, the preferred method for introduction of DNA into cells in which the desired outcome is gene targeting. This report provides methods for cell amplification, electroporation, colony selection and screening. The protocol we describe has been tested on four different HESC lines, and takes approximately 4 weeks from electroporation to PCR screening of G418-resistant clones.

International News

UK Launches National Stem Cell Network, Cordis News, 20 April 2007.
The UK has launched a new network to coordinate and promote the country's stem cell research effort. By coordinating the work of the various disciplines working on stem cell research, the new UK National Stem Cell Network (UKNSCN) hopes to enhance basic research and increase the rate at which research results are translated into new therapies for diseases such as Alzheimer's, Parkinson's and diabetes.

Firm Hopes 2007 is Year of Stem Cell, St. Petersburg Times, 19 April 2007.
2007 could be the year when Trans-Technologies finally gets permission for the use of stem cell technologies in medical clinics. The St. Petersburg-based company has spent the last five years researching the field and now hopes to commercialize its discoveries.

Stem Cell Research: The Art of the Possible, Express Healthcare, 19 April 2007.
From a few institutes two years back, today over 30 institutions are involved in stem cell research, and India too has joined the ranks. "The Government has invested $8 million on stem cell research over the last two years. Now several Government agencies too are supporting this," says Dr Alka Sharma, Principal Scientific Officer, Department of Biotechnology, Government of India, New Delhi.

Friday, April 13, 2007

National News and Commentary

Stem Cell Debate, WHP-CBS, 12 April 2007.
The U.S. Senate has voted, nearly two-to-one, in support of more federal funding for embryonic stem cell research.

American Diabetes Association lauds Senate for passage of Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act, Medical News, 13 April 2007.
The American Diabetes Association has issued a statement in response to the passage by the Senate of the "Stem Cell Research Enhancement Act" (S.5), which will accelerate stem cell research by easing existing funding restrictions and supporting research that uses embryonic stem cells, while maintaining strict ethical guidelines.

Bush, Opposing Stem Cell Research Bill, Says Resist ‘Temptation to Manipulate Life’, International Herald Tribune, 13 April 2007.
President George W. Bush, at the national Catholic prayer breakfast, stressed his opposition to easing restrictions on federally funded embryonic stem cell research, a reference to a bill he has threatened to veto.

Like Congress, Min. Lawmakers Grapple with Stem Cell Bill, West Central Tribune, 13 April 2007.
Mirroring a debate in full bloom in Washington, lawmakers in Minnesota are nearing final votes on legislation that would permit state spending on embryonic stem cell research.

Advocates Say Expanding Stem Cell Research Could Boost Economy, Houston Chronicle, 12 April 2007.
Texas risks missing out on billions of dollars in economic benefits and tens of thousands of jobs if it does not create a more welcoming atmosphere for stem cell research, according to a study released on Thursday by advocates of the emerging field.

Robust & Reliable Stem Cell Viability Testing, Bioresearch Online, 12 April 2007.
Experts in stem cell storage, Cells4Life Ltd., using a Personal Cellular Analysis (PCA) system from Guava Technologies Inc., established a robust and reliable testing protocol for all umbilical cord blood samples upon arrival at its laboratory before freezing. Using the Guava PCA system, Cells4Life is able to ensure that only samples containing a high percentage of viable (living) cells are cryopreserved for storage.

LSI to Host May Symposium: Frontiers in Stem Cell Biology, WebWire, 13 April 2007.
Top researchers specializing in stem cell biology will discuss their latest findings at the Life Sciences Institute’s sixth annual symposium: Frontiers in Stem Cell Biology. The symposium is co-sponsored with the University of Michigan Center for Stem Cell Biology.

Stem Cell Therapy Shows Promise for Cardiac Treatment, Austin Business Journal, 12 April 2007.
Preliminary results of a stem cell therapy trial for heart and lung function are now in. The trial was conducted by the Heart Hospital of Austin along with nine other cardiac centers nationwide. According to six-month data on the trial, heart attack patients who received the Provacel therapy had improvements in heart and lung function compared to those who received a placebo.

Divided We Fail: The Need for National Stem Cell Funding, Center for American Progress, 12 April 2007.
States have made valiant attempts to advance stem cell research, but they cannot replace federal support. States lack the revenue, infrastructure, and incentives to properly promote basic research on their own, especially with federal policies that limit collaboration, impede their funding, and fail to provide guidelines for moving forward with research.

WARF Is Likely To Hold On To Stem Cell Patent Rights, Wisconsin Technology network, 12 April 2007.
A look at the facts in the dispute over three important University of Wisconsin stem cell patents - and the history behind similar disputes - shows a strong likelihood that the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation will retain all of its patent rights, even if some of its claims are changed or cancelled.

Doctor Scrutinized For Stem Cell Treatment, The Orange County Register, 12 April 2007.
A Mission Viejo doctor has been accused by the state of failing to cooperate with an investigation into an experimental stem cell treatment for a child.

Another Stem Cell Fraud Surfaces, The Hindu, 12 April 2007.
Even as the U.S. senate debates on expanding federal funding for embryonic stem cell research, it may be remembered that the claims professed in many papers of adult stem cells becoming any specialised cells should be taken with a pinch of salt. That is even when the claims are published in reputed peer-reviewed journals.


Females’ Regenerating Advantage, The Journal of Cell Biology, 9 April 2007.
The group shows that female muscle stem cells are better than their male counterparts at regenerating lost muscle.

Monitoring and analysis of dynamic growth of human embryonic stem cells: comparison of automated instrumentation and conventional culturing methods, Biomedical Engineering, 12 April 2007.
The new automated system enables rapid and reliable analysis of undifferentiated growth dynamics of hESCs. We demonstrate the effectiveness of the system by comparing hESC growth in different culture conditions.

Zic3 Is Required for Maintenance of Pluripotency in Embryonic Stem Cells Formula, Molecular biology of the Cell, April 2007.
Zic3 may prevent endodermal marker expression through Nanog-regulated pathways. Thus our results extend the ES cell transcriptional network beyond Oct4, Nanog, and Sox2, and further establish that Zic3 plays an important role in the maintenance of pluripotency by preventing endodermal lineage specification in embryonic stem cells.

Differential Lipolytic Regulation in Human Embryonic Stem Cell–derived Adipocytes, Obesity, April 2007.
In contrast to primary human adipocytes, hESC-derived adipocytes showed a very small response to classical ß-adrenergic agonists, although they expressed the major genes in the lipolytic cascade. In contrast, there was a significant lipolytic response to atrial natriuretic peptide. Although hESC-derived adipocytes seem to be morphologically and expressionally similar to mature adipocytes, there are important functional differences that could depend on their early developmental origin. We conclude that, in contrast to mature adipocytes, hESC-derived adipocytes display a differential response to atrial natriuretic peptide and catecholamines.

The Neuropeptide Pituitary Adenylate Cyclase-Activating Polypeptide Exerts Anti-Apoptotic and Differentiating Effects during Neurogenesis: Focus on Cerebellar Granule Neurones and Embryonic Stem Cells, Journal of Neuroendocrinology, May 2007.
Pituitary adenylate cyclase-activating polypeptide (PACAP) was originally isolated from ovine hypothalamus on the basis of its hypophysiotrophic activity. It has subsequently been shown that PACAP and its receptors are widely distributed in the central nervous system of adult mammals, indicating that PACAP may act as a neurotransmitter and/or neuromodulator. It has also been found that PACAP and its receptors are expressed in germinative neuroepithelia, suggesting that PACAP could be involved in neurogenesis. There is now compelling evidence that PACAP exerts neurotrophic activities in the developing cerebellum and in embryonic stem (ES) cells. In particular, the presence of PACAP receptors has been demonstrated in the granule layer of the immature cerebellar cortex, and PACAP has been shown to promote survival, inhibit migration and activate neurite outgrowth of granule cell precursors. In cerebellar neuroblasts, PACAP is a potent inhibitor of the mitochondrial apoptotic pathway through activation of the MAPkinase extracellular regulated kinase. ES cells and embryoid bodies (EB) also express PACAP receptors and PACAP facilitates neuronal orientation and induces the appearance of an electrophysiological activity. Taken together, the anti-apoptotic and pro-differentiating effects of PACAP characterised in cerebellar neuroblasts as well as ES and EB cells indicate that PACAP acts not only as a neurohormone and a neurotransmitter, but also as a growth factor.

April 6, 2007

National News and Commentary

DeGette’s Stem-Cell Bill Heads for Vote, The Denver Post, 4 April 2007.
Rep. Diana DeGette's bill lifting restrictions on embryonic stem-cell research is slated for a Senate vote next week, packaged with items aimed at preventing a repeat presidential veto.

Coleman Stem Cell Bill to Come Up For Vote Next Week,, 6 April 2007.
The Senate is scheduled to take up legislation next week by Sen. Norm Coleman, R-Minn., which he says will expand funding for stem cell research while ensuring that no human embryos are harmed. Coleman initially introduced his Hope Offered through Principled and Ethical Stem Cell Research Act, or HOPE Act, in January, but made some tweaks to the legislation in hopes of building more support for it. He recently reintroduced the bill with Sen. Johnny Isakson, R-Ga.

Stem Cell Injections Helping East Troy Girl Cope with Gene Disorder, Gazette Xtra, 6 April 2007.
Brooke suffers from glucose transporter deficiency (GLUT-1), a spontaneous gene mutation that leaves her with cerebral palsy-like symptoms and delayed brain development. Speech for Brooke is difficult and limited to strings of up to three words. She can't yet walk on her own, and standing without holding onto something is a challenge. Brooke received six stem cell injections containing about 60 million stem cells developed from the umbilical cord blood of Chinese babies. It's a procedure unavailable in the United States. After the third injection, her speech drastically improved.

Patrick Pushes Stem Cells, The Harvard Gazette, 6 April 2007.
Gov. Deval L. Patrick ’78 announced last Friday that he will push to reverse restrictions on stem cell research that were imposed by his predecessor, Mitt Romney.

Senate Committee Passes Embryonic Stem Cell Funding, Florida Baptist Witness, 5 April 2007.
The Florida Senate Health Policy Committee approved on March 27 SB 750, which provides state funding for destructive embryonic stem cell research. The bill is sponsored by Senate minority leader Sen. Steven Geller, D-Cooper City. In a matter of a few minutes at the very end of its scheduled meeting, the committee also approved an alternative stem cell funding bill, SB 2496, sponsored by Sen. Mike Haridopolos, R-Melbourne, only to find out after the fact that the committee vote came after the meeting time had expired, resulting in the measure not actually passing out of committee. Haridoplos's bill is the governor's legislation permitting stem cell research only among ethical sources, which would not include embryonic stem cells.

More Govs Boost Stem Cell Research, Info Zine, 6 April 2007.
Last week, New York's Eliot Spitzer won legislative approval for $600 million for stem cell research and Deval Patrick of Massachusetts began trying to undo a state regulation that hinders the research there. Iowa Gov. Chet Culver signed a law in February repealing that state's ban on the nascent science.

Stem Cell Funding in the Balance, Gazette.Net, 6 April 2007.
Maryland’s new Stem Cell Commission has reached the end of its first-year cycle and is ready to distribute $15 million to researchers at its next meeting on April 25.

PTO Rejects Human Stem Cell Patents at Behest of Consumer Groups,, 4 April 2007.
The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office has upheld challenges by consumer advocates to three over-reaching patents on human embryonic stem cells and rejected patent claims by the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation (WARF), the Foundation for Taxpayer and Consumer Rights (FTCR) said today.


Identification and Characterization of Mouse Cochlear Stem Cells, Developmental Neuroscience, April 2007.
These researchers have isolated “cochlear stem cells” located in the inner ear and already primed for development into ear-related tissue due to their proximity to the ear and expression of certain genes necessary for the development of hearing.

Telomere and Telomeras In Stem Cells, Nature, 10 April 2007.
Telomeres, guanine-rich tandem DNA repeats of the chromosomal end, provide chromosomal stability, and cellular replication causes their loss. In somatic cells, the activity of telomerase, a reverse transcriptase that can elongate telomeric repeats, is usually diminished after birth so that the telomere length is gradually shortened with cell divisions, and triggers cellular senescence. In embryonic stem cells, telomerase is activated and maintains telomere length and cellular immortality; however, the level of telomerase activity is low or absent in the majority of stem cells regardless of their proliferative capacity. Thus, even in stem cells, except for embryonal stem cells and cancer stem cells, telomere shortening occurs during replicative ageing, possibly at a slower rate than that in normal somatic cells. Recently, the importance of telomere maintenance in human stem cells has been highlighted by studies on dyskeratosis congenital, which is a genetic disorder in the human telomerase component. The regulation of telomere length and telomerase activity is a complex and dynamic process that is tightly linked to cell cycle regulation in human stem cells. Here we review the role of telomeres and telomerase in the function and capacity of the human stem cells.

Restriction Landmark Genome Scanning identifies culture-induced DNA methylation instability in the human embryonic stem cell epigenome, Human Molecular Genetics, 4 April 2007.
Current methods of hESC propagation can rapidly programme stable and unpredictable epigenetic changes in the stem cell genome. This highlights the need for 1) novel screening strategies to determine the experimental utility and biosafety of hESCs and 2) optimisation and standardization of procedures for the derivation and culture of hESC lines that minimize culture-induced instability.

International News

Weizmann Prof to Speak on Stem Cell Panel, The Canadian Jewish News, 5 April 2007.
Renowned scientists from Israel and Canada will be sharing their insights on stem cell research during an upcoming event at the Windsor Arms Hotel in Toronto. The evening, titled Stem Cell Research: Issues, Opportunities and Promise, will feature presentations by three prominent researchers, followed by a dessert reception.

Stem-Cell Registry to Boost New Therapies,, 3 April 2007.
The Commission decided on 29 March 2007 to fund the creation of a European registry for human embryonic stem-cell lines with some €1 million EU-funding from the Sixth Research Framework Programme (FP6). Keeping a register of all existing lines is expected to enhance the co-ordination, efficiency and rationalisation of human embryonic stem-cell research in Europe as it will provide a platform to allow the monitoring of existing research and ensure that the lines are better used by scientists.

March 30, 2007

National News and Commentary

Scientists Plan Interspecies Cloning,, 25 March 2007.
Cloning pioneer Ian Wilmut and three teams of U.K. scientists have asked their government for permission to restart cloning research, which they argue will eliminate the need for women volunteers to take fertility drugs in order to donate their eggs to science.

European Commission Creates Registry for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Lines, Eurofunding Mag, 29 March 2007.
The European Commission has today agreed funding for the creation of a European registry for human embryonic stem cell lines. The main objective of this new initiative, funded through the EU's Research Framework Programme, is to provide comprehensive information about all human embryonic stem cells lines available in Europe.

Senate Human Cloning Ban Reintroduced as Stem Cell Research Returns,, 29 March 2007.
As the Senate prepares to tackle the thorny issue of forcing taxpayers to fund embryonic stem cell research in the coming weeks, two senators are reintroducing a bill that would institute a national ban on all forms of human cloning.

Stem Cell Research Niche, Hartford Courant, 26 March 2007.
Wedged between UConn and Yale, the powerhouses of stem cell research in the state, two Wesleyan University professors are working to determine whether these building blocks of life can be used to treat epilepsy. The research being done by Jan Naegele and Laura Grabel involves implanting embryonic stem cells into the brains of mice that experience epileptic seizures

NIH Chief Pushing For Further Stem Cell Research, eCanada Now, 30 March 2007.
The National Institutes of Health has made a bold move stating that they want the ban on stem cell research funding by the government to be lifted so that they can push forward with more stem cell research. Dr. Elias Zerhouni, the director of the NIH stated that he believes that not allowing the research to go on is stopping medical breakthroughs from being discovered.

Startup Plureon Receives up to $4M Boost for Stem Cell Research, WRAL, 27 March 2007.
Plureon Corp.'s efforts in stem cell research are going to receive a boost, worth up to $4 million, from the National Institutes of Health.

More Institutions Developing Stem Cell Research Ethics Oversight, Survey Shows, University of Connecticut, 2 April 2007.

In the first attempt to track ethical oversight activity among U.S. research institutions engaged in human embryonic stem cell research, a survey done by UConn’s Office of Embryonic Stem Cell Research Oversight (ESCRO) finds that a majority have, or plan to establish, special ethics review panels for this research.

Breast Cancer, Stem Cell Research Said Cutting Edge in Israel, Jewish Review, 1 April 2007.
Hadassah Hospital's Dr. Miriam Sklair-Levy spoke to Portland and Vancouver women March 21 about Hadassah's state-of-the-art breast cancer imaging technology and stem cell research unrestricted by the national government.

Sklair-Levy, who works in Hadassah's Department of Radiology and specializes in breast cancer imaging, spoke about the constantly evolving imaging technology at Hadassah Hospital

NeoStem Names Renowned National Security Adviser, Author and News Commentator Dr. Neil C. Livingstone to Advisory Board,, 30 March 2007.
NeoStem, Inc. (OTCBB:NEOI), the first company to specialize in the collection, processing and storage of stem cells from healthy adult donors for personal use in times of critical medical need, today announced that Dr. Neil C. Livingstone has joined the Company's Advisory Board.


High-Throughput Identification of Genes Promoting Neuron Formation and Lineage Choice in Mouse Embryonic Stem Cells, Stem Cells, 30 March 2007.
This is a simple, fast and generally applicable strategy for the identification of genes promoting the formation of any specific cell type from embryonic stem cells.

Bioprocessing of Embryonic Stem Cells for Drug Discovery, Trends in Biotechnology, 26 March 2007.
This article provides an overview of current bioprocessing techniques that could be used to generate cells for drug discovery applications. This will generate further technical expertise that can be applied in the production of cells for potential therapeutic applications.

The Egg Trade — Making Sense of the Market for Human Oocytes, The New England Journal of Medicine, 29 March 2007.
In April 2005, the National Academy of Sciences published its Guidelines for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research, recommending that no payment be provided for donating oocytes for research. This article explores the policies and ethics surrounding paying women for their eggs for SCNT research.

Protection of Visual Functions by Human Neural Progenitors in a Rat Model of Retinal Disease, Public Library of Science ONE, March 2007.
Stem cell therapy has been proposed as a route for reversing the effects of many degenerative diseases. This study explores the feasibility of such treatment using an animal model of retinitis pigmentosa, the Royal College of Surgeons rat. Human neuronal progenitor cells both incorporated normally into the eyes of these rats and rescued their visual function.

19F magnetic resonance imaging for stem/progenitor cell tracking with multiple unique perfluorocarbon nanobeacons, The FASEB Journal, 30 March 2007.
Researchers have found a new technique that allows stem cells to be tracked as they move through the body, potentially allowing a greater understanding of regenerative medicines. The researchers from the Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have described a new technique that uses liquid perfluorocarbon nanoparticle labelling of stem cells to track their migration to tumour vasculatures after they are injected into mice models.

Heart Attack Patients Treated With Novel Stem Cell Therapy Experience Significant Improvement In Heart And Lung Function, Medical News Today, 30 March 2007.
Heart attack patients who received an new intravenous adult stem cell therapy, Provacel™, experienced a lower number of adverse events, such as cardiac arrhythmias, and had significant improvements in heart, lung and global function compared to those who received a placebo, according to six-month Phase I study data presented at the American College of Cardiology's Innovation in Intervention: i2Summit in New Orleans on March 25.

International News

Increased Funding and Developing Regulatory Framework Provide Impetus to Stem Cell Therapeutics Market, Business Wire India, 26 March 2007.
Stem cell research is among the most exciting frontiers of medical science as it promises to cure a number of debilitating disorders. Not surprisingly then, several start-ups with innovative research programmes covering a wide range of therapeutic disorders have already been established. And, despite several regulatory, social, ethical, scientific and financial hurdles, funding increases and developing regulatory frameworks are supporting the expansion of the global stem cell therapeutics market.

March 23, 2007

National News and Commentary

Panel Declines Stem Cell Language, The Ledger, 21 March 2007.
A House committee backed away from language tucked into a medical research bill that would have prohibited state money from going toward embryonic stem cell research. Rep. Aaron Bean proposed removing it from the broader bill because it would have been controversial and could have bogged down the larger bill.

Science Institute Attracts Researchers, Ozarks Local News, 22 March 2007.
With a modern mix of limestone and glass on the outside and a cutting-edge scientific playground on the inside, the Stowers Institute has proven to be an alluring stop for scientists who otherwise might have passed on Kansas City.

Senate OKs Stem Cell Donation Bank, Savannah Morning News, 20 March 2007.
The Georgia Senate on Tuesday passed and sent to the House a bill designed to increase the amount of stem cells made available from postnatal tissues and fluids.

Delay is Urged on Stem Cell Cloning Grant, San Fransisco Chronicle, 23 March 2007.
Two consumer watchdog groups called Thursday for the California stem cell program to put a hold on a $2.6 million cloning grant announced last week for a Los Angeles research enterprise that the groups say is linked to ethical lapses involving a South Korean fertility specialist.

Stem Cell Summit Launched, Bioresearch Online, 23 March 2007.
The Burrill Life Sciences Media Group, the Genetics Policy Institute (GPI), and the Harvard Stem Cell Institute (HSCI) have joined forces to produce an annual global conference on stem cell research and regenerative medicine. The “Stem Cell Summit” is scheduled for October 2-3, 2007 in Boston, MA.

Stem Cell Therapy Helps Vanderbilt Professor, Inside Vandy, 22 March 2007.
English professor John Plummer recently underwent stem cell heart regeneration therapy, an experimental surgery performed for the first time in Tennessee at Vanderbilt University Medical Center. This surgery, performed just eight times in the United States, is a novel therapy that uses bone marrow stem cells to stimulate regeneration of the heart muscle after a heart attack.

Fresh Questions on Stem Cell Findings, New Scientist, 21 March 2007.
Fresh questions surround some of the highest-profile research on adult stem cells. For the second time, New Scientist has discovered apparently duplicated data being used to describe results from different experiments in work published by a group of scientists at the University of Minnesota, Minneapolis.

Patrick Eyeing Biotech Funds, Telegram, 23 March 2007.
The administration of Gov. Deval L. Patrick will consider whether the state could fund a proposed University of Massachusetts stem cell institute from a future bond sale, Lt. Gov. Timothy P. Murray said yesterday.

Downstate Debate: Stem Cell, Cloning Legislation: Proposed Bills Create Controversy, Newszap Delaware, 21 March 2007.
About 80 supporters and opponents of two controversial bills tackling embryonic stem cell research and human cloning packed Legislative Hall Wednesday for two combative hearings that saw one measure move forward and the other sent back to the drawing board. Senate Bill 5, which would regulate embryonic stem cell research and ban human reproductive cloning, cleared the Senate Small Business Committee after two hours and 22 speakers.

Bergen Academies Unveils Stem Cell Lab,, 23 March 2007.
The expanding field of stem cell research has reached Bergen County Academies. The county high school on Thursday unveiled $500,000 in upgrades to its biotechnology labs that allow students to study and manipulate adult stem cells.

NeoStem Announces Expansion of Nationwide Network with Launch of Third Cutting-Edge Stem Cell Collection Center, PharmaLive, 22 March 2007.
NeoStem, Inc. (OTCBB:NEOI), the first company to specialize in the collection, processing and storage of stem cells from healthy adult donors for personal use in times of critical medical need, has announced that the Company has entered into an agreement to expand the Company's nationwide Physician's Network. The new Pennsylvania location will be among the first such centers to target a projected $8.5 billion adult stem cell industry.

BioStem (OTCBB: BTEM) to Obtain One of the Largest Stem Cell Inventories in the World Through Merger, Market Wire, 22 March 2007.
Bio Stem, Inc. recently announced that through their planned acquisition of Cryobanks International, Inc. (CII), BioStem will acquire nearly 9,000 internationally registered cord blood stem cell units presently being inventoried at their Altamore Springs, FL location. This represents one of the largest inventories of donated stem cell units in the world. If and when cord blood units offered by Cryobanks are used for transplantation, Cryobanks receives $19,000 to $22,500 per unit in reimbursement.


Isolation of Human Oral Keratinocyte Progenitor/Stem Cells, Journal of Dental Research, 23 March 2007.
Progenitor/stem cell populations of epithelium are known to reside in the small-sized cell population. Our objective was to physically isolate and characterize an oral keratinocyte-enriched population of small-sized progenitor/stem cells. Primary human oral mucosal keratinocytes cultured in a chemically defined serum-free culture system, devoid of animal-derived feeder cells, were sorted by relative cell size and characterized by immunolabeling for ß1 integrin, nuclear transcription factor, peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma, and cell-cycle analysis. Sorted cells were distinguished as progenitor/stem cells by functional assays and their ability to regenerate an oral mucosal graft. Small-sized cells demonstrated the lowest expression of peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor-gamma, the highest colony-forming efficiency, a longer long-term proliferative potential, an enriched quiescent cell population, and the ability to regenerate an oral mucosal graft, implying that the small-sized cultured oral keratinocytes contained an enriched population of progenitor/stem cells.

Functional Neural Development from Human Embryonic Stem Cells: Accelerated Synaptic Activity via Astrocyte Coculture, The Journal of Neuroscience, 21 March 2007.
These results lay the foundation for future studies examining the functional development of human neurons and provide support for the potential application of human cells in restorative neuronal therapies.

Phosphoinositide 3-kinases and regulation of embryonic stem cell fate. Biochemical Society Transactions, March 2007.
Activation of the enzyme PLC (phospholipase C) leads to the formation of second messengers Ins(1,4,5)P3 and diacylglycerol. RTKs (receptor tyrosine kinases) activate this reaction through PLCg isoenzymes. It has been shown that PI3K (phosphoinositide 3-kinase) may regulate PLCg activity through the interaction of PI3K product PtdIns(3,4,5)P3 and the PLCg PH domain (pleckstrin homology domain). Here, we analyse the potential functional roles of the PI3K/PLC pathway.

International News
S. Korea Allows Research With Cloned Human Eggs in Wake of Stem Cell Scandal, International Herald Tribune, 22 March 2007.
South Korea decided Friday to allow the continued use of human eggs in cloning research despite a scandal involving a prominent scientist who admitted to forging work and ethics violations in acquiring eggs.

Ethical Aspects of Stem Cell Research in Europe, Cordis News, 23 March 2007.
A workshop on the ethical aspects of stem cell research in Europe will be held in Berlin, Germany, on 19 and 20 April 2007. Organised by the EU-funded EuroStemCell and ESTOOLS projects, the meeting will focus on ethical aspects of possible clinical application of stem cell research and derivation of human embryonic stem cell lines and their alternatives. Issues up for discussion include when and under what conditions clinical trials of stem cell based therapy can be justified, and whether there is a need for more human embryonic stem cell lines for research at the present.

Dr. Amish Raval’s Stem Cell Therapy Begins, IndoLInk, 23 March 2007.
Injecting stem cells isolated from a person's own blood into an ailing heart in hopes of repairing years of accumulated decay is an idea whose time has come. So far, clinical studies have produced mixed results; but with ongoing trials scientists hope to nail down the precise set of conditions needed to effectively heal a sickly heart.

Ireland is set to play a significant role in field of stem cell research, Irish Medical Times, 22 March 2007.
Gary Culliton looks at progress in the field of stem cell research and finds that Ireland could be a major player as developments unfold over the next five years, particularly in NUI Galway's Regenerative Medicine Institute

March 9, 2007

National News and Commentary

N.M. Advances Embryonic Stem-Cell Legislation,, 9 March 2007.
The New Mexico Senate narrowly passed a bill Thursday to allow research on human embryos, KOB-TV reported. The bill now heads to the House.

$66 Million Stem-Cell Facility Proposed, Amherst Bulletin, 9 March 2007.
University of Massachusetts trustees say the school needs $66.4 million from the state to kickstart a new biomedical stem-cell research institute to increase the university's visibility as an important player in the emerging life sciences field. The UMass Institute for Stem Cell Research and Regenerative Medicine, as it is tentatively called, would mainly be hosted at the Amherst and Worcester campuses.

Stem Cell Research Proponents Gather at Capitol to Lobby, The Daily Texan, 8 March 2007.
Activists, legislators and religious leaders met on the steps of the Capitol on Wednesday to promote legislation aimed at protecting the legality of embryonic stem cell research by setting ethical guidelines for the practice.

Stem Cell Research Limits Hurt Michigan Legislators Need to Change Restrictions, Ann Arbor News, 7 March 2007.
Michigan law forbids destroying human embryos for research.
A change in Michigan's law wouldn't be the kind of aggressive support we see in states like California, where voters approved $3 billion over 10 years to fund stem cell research. In comparison, easing restrictions on Michigan's embryonic stem cell use would be a relatively modest step. But in comparison to current conditions, it would keep us in the running with most of the country. And at the least, we need to be able to compete in that race.

US Millions Fun Global Stem Cell War, Business Weekly, 7 March 2007.
California and other US states are piling millions of dollars into a battle with Cambridge for supremacy in the area of stem cell science and commercialised regenerative medicines.

Will stem cells in cord blood, umbilical cord, bone marrow and peripheral blood soon be unnecessary in transplantation?, Reproductive Biomedicine Online, March 2007.
There are now various sources of stem cells. Those derived from blastocysts, named embryo stem (ES) cells, have attracted most attention and are highly multipotent. Human cord blood became widely used as a source of stem cells with differing properties to ES cells and their therapeutic application has grown steadily as they are stored in increasing numbers of stem cell banks. Other sources of human stem cells are derived from peripheral blood and amniotic fluid. They may arise from a common origin in epiblast. This review stresses the use of cord blood stem cells, but describes new approaches which may supersede the use of most stem cells. The advantages and disadvantages of these various classes are described in relation to potential methods involving gene conversion to change somatic cells to ES cells.


Stem Cell Homing and Functional Recovery after Vaginal Distension in Female Rats, URO Today, 9 March 2007.
Intravenously-injected mesenchymal stem cells home to urethral tissues following VD-induced injury but do not home to non-injured tissues. Rats subjected to VD, then treated with stem cells, demonstrate recovery of urethral resistance to normal values by day 10. These findings suggest that stem cell homing after injury may be utilized to accelerate recovery after vaginal birth trauma.

A hypothesis for an embryonic origin of pluripotent Oct-4+ stem cells in adult bone marrow and other tissues, Leukemia, 8 March 2007.
Accumulating evidence demonstrates that adult tissues contain a population of stem cells that express early developmental markers such as stage-specific embryonic antigen and transcription factors Oct-4 and Nanog. These are the markers characteristic for embryonic stem cells, epiblast stem cells and primordial germ cells. The presence of these stem cells in adult tissues including bone marrow, epidermis, bronchial epithelium, myocardium, pancreas and testes supports the concept that adult tissues contain some population of pluripotent stem cells that is deposited in embryogenesis during early gastrulation. In this review we will discuss these data and present a hypothesis that these cells could be direct descendants of the germ lineage. The germ lineage in order to pass genes on to the next generations creates soma and thus becomes a 'mother lineage' for all somatic cell lineages present in the adult body.

Interplay of leukemia inhibitory factor and retinoic acid on neural differentiation of mouse embryonic stem cells, Journal of Neuroscience Research, 8 March 2007.
Embryonic stem (ES) cells have great potential for cell replacement in neurodegenerative disorders. Implantation of these cells into the brain, however, requires their prior differentiation. We examined the interplay between leukemia inhibitory factor (LIF) and retinoic acid (RA) on neural differentiation of mouse ES (mES) cells. Mouse embryonic stem cells were allowed to form cell aggregates, the so-called embryoid bodies (EBs), in the absence or presence of LIF. In the absence of LIF, mES cells downregulated the expression of the undifferentiated mES cell marker Oct-3/4, and increased mRNA levels of two neural precursor markers, Sox-1 and Nestin, as well as the neuronal marker -tubulin III. This neuronal differentiation was enhanced by treating EBs with RA. Moreover, RA irreversibly increased the number of postmitotic neurons in culture, as shown by the reduction of proliferating mES cells and the increase in -tubulin III-positive cells 6 days after RA removal, which in turn affected mES cell viability. The addition of LIF during EBs formation, however, blocked completely this neuronal differentiation. Our findings also showed that pre-differentiation of mES cells in vitro avoided the teratocarcinoma formation observed when proliferating mES cells were grafted into the brain. In addition, mES cells pre-differentiated with RA in culture showed a reduction in proliferation and the presence of neural phenotypes after grafting. In conclusion, the present results indicate that RA enhances neuronal differentiation of mES cells in the absence of LIF, although it compromises cell viability and transplantation.

Serpin-6 Expression Protects Embryonic Stem Cells from Lysis by Antigen-Specific CTL, Journal of Immunology, 15 March 2007.
The immune response to embryonic stem (ES) cells is still poorly understood. In this study, we addressed the adaptive cellular immune response to undifferentiated and differentiated ES cells infected with lymphocytic choriomeningitis virus (LCMV), a vertically transmitted pathogen in mice and humans. In contrast to the prevailing view, we found that undifferentiated and differentiated murine ES cells express MHC class I molecules, although at low levels. When cocultured with LCMV-infected ES cells, syngeneic but not allogeneic LCMV-specific CTL secrete IFN-{gamma}. Strikingly, LCMV-specific CTL do not efficiently kill LCMV-infected ES cells. ES cells showed high-level expression of the serine protease inhibitor 6, an endogenous inhibitor of the CTL-derived cytotoxic effector molecule granzyme B. Down-regulation of serpin-6 by RNA interference sensitized ES cells for CTL-induced cell death. The results of this study suggest that LCMV-infected murine ES cells present viral Ags and are recognized by LCMV-specific CTL in a MHC class I-restricted manner, yet resist CTL-mediated lysis through high-level expression of serine protease inhibitor 6.

International Research

Scientists Plan China, HK, Taiwan Stem Cell Trial, The China Post, 9 March 2007.
Scientists are preparing for a large clinical trial in 2008 which aims to use stem cells to help 400 patients with spinal cord injuries in Hong Kong, mainland China and Taiwan grow new cells and nerve fibers.

DTI Pays For New Stem Cell Debate, Medical Laboratory World, 7 March 2007.
The Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) has announced a £300,000 grant for research organisations to run public debates on stem cell research on the back of another public consultation launched by the independent regulator two months ago.

The Irish Council for Bioethics Public Consultation on Stem Cell Research, The Irish Council for Bioethics, March 2007.
The Irish public is being asked to give its opinions on stem cell research. The Irish Council for Bioethics is launching a consultation forum on Monday to get as many views as possible on whether this research should be allowed in this country

March 2, 2007

National News and Commentary

Stanford Gets $33 Million Donation, The Washington Post, 27 February 2007.
The founder of Business Wire, an electronic distributor of news releases, donated $33 million to help Stanford University build a stem cell research center, the school announced Tuesday. Lorry Lokey's donation is the largest contribution from an individual to the Stanford medical school. Stanford hopes to complete construction by 2011.

Culver Signs Legislation Easing Limits on Stem Cell Research, The Des Moines Register, 1 March 2007.
Gov. Chet Culver signed legislation Wednesday lifting restrictions on types of stem cell research in Iowa. Senate File 162 allows medical researchers to create embryonic stem cells through cloning.

Stem Cell Research Backed By House, The Chicago Tribune, 2 March 2007.
The Illinois House voted Thursday to offer state support for embryonic stem cell research, the second legislative victory for the idea in less than a week. The 67-46 vote means the House and Senate each have passed separate pieces of stem-cell legislation.

Stem Cell Agency Says it Has Fixed Spending Lapses, San Fransisco Chronicle, 1 March 2007.
State auditors have criticized California's Proposition 71 stem cell agency for loose contracting procedures and generous travel and meal allowances, but the program's chairman said Wednesday that changes have been made to fix any concerns.

California Stem Cell Research is Upheld by Appeals Court, New York Times, 27 February 2007.
California’s stem cell research program is legal, a state appeals court ruled Monday in a decision that could hasten the day when the state’s $3 billion research effort can get fully under way. The San Francisco-based court upheld a decision made by a lower court last spring that found that the program did not violate laws concerning state spending, the structure of ballot initiatives or rules regarding conflicts of interest.

Stem Cell Institute Hires General Counsel, San Jose Business Journal, 2 March 2007.
The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine said Thursday it has selected Tamar Pachter as its new general counsel, effective March 19.

Undertaking Research in Other Countries: National Ethico-Legal Barometers and International Ethical Consensus Statements, PLoS Medicine, 27 February 2007.
Is it ethical for scientists to conduct or to benefit from research in another country if that research would be unlawful, or not generally accepted, in their own country?

Family Travels to China for Stem Cell ProcedureTMJ4 Milwaukee, 1 March 2007.
Rachael's going to have a controversial stem cell procedure. Her parents believe it's one of few options they have to help their daughter. Four years ago, Rachael developed a rare brain disorder that has left her in a wheelchair and made it hard for her to communicate. In China, Rachael will receive experimental stem cell injections as well as a month of extensive therapy. Her parents are hoping the procedure will improve the quality of her life.

Reducing Tissue Damage After a Heart Attack, Chester Daily Local, 2 March 2007.
Called NX-CP105 in its experimental phase, the Neuronyx is creating a product that involves injecting stem cells harvested from adult bone marrow, via a catheter, several places in a patient‘s heart to spur tissue there to regenerate and repair itself. Currently, Neuronyx is testing the product in six patients at the Arizona Health Institute and Hospital in Phoenix, where the company is hopeful to treat 12 more by year-end. More clinical trials will take place at the Scripps Green Hospital in La Jolla, California and the Minneapolis Heart Institute.

Stem Cell Research: Breakthroughs and Controversies, New Jersey Jewish Standard, 1 March 2007.
A Hadassah Young Leaders event, scheduled for March 15 at the Montclair Art Museum, will tackle the issues generated by this provocative technology.

Transcriptional analysis of early lineage commitment in human embryonic stem cells, Developmental Biology, 2 March 2007.
These findings, that show that maintenance of pluripotency and lineage commitment are dynamic, interactive processes in hESC cultures, have important practical implications for propagation and directed differentiation of these cells, and for the interpretation of mechanistic studies of hESC renewal and commitment. Since embryonic stem cells at defined stages of commitment can be isolated in large numbers by immunological means, they provide a powerful model for studying molecular genetics of stem cell commitment in the embryo.

International News
CalbaTech Stretches its Stem Cell Microbank Service into the U.K., Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News, 2 March 2007.
CalbaTech is creating a subsidiary to enable it to take its stem cell service, the Stem Cell Microbank™, to the U.K. The subsidiary will seek to be listed on the London Stock Exchange. CalbaTech focuses on the collection and banking of adult stem cells and providing products and platforms to the biotech, pharma, and academic research markets. It expects that this subsidiary will be managed entirely within the U.K. without distracting from its U.S. focus.

Royal Vic Becomes Special Stem-Cell Centre, The Gazette, 2 March 2007.
Quebec Health Minister Philippe Couillard has designated Royal Victoria Hospital's stem-cell transplant facility a "centre of excellence," leading the way for patients from as far away as Nunavut to come to the downtown hospital for the life-saving cancer treatment.

February 23, 2007

National News and Commentary

Britain to Allow Women to Donate Eggs for Stem Cell and Cloning Research, The International Tribune, 21 February 2007.
The British government on Wednesday approved plans to allow women to donate eggs for stem cell and cloning research — and said they will also be entitled to compensation for costs incurred.

HFEA Statement On Donating Eggs For Research, Human Fertilization and Embryology Association, 21 February 2007.
Today the Authority agreed to allow women to be able to donate their eggs to research projects, provided that there are strong safeguards in place to ensure the women are properly informed of the risks of the procedure and are properly protected from coercion…”

Kuehl Wants Bigger Revenues For State's Stem-Cell Institute, The Mercury News, 22 February 2007.
A bill expected to be introduced as early as today would require companies doing business with California's $3 billion stem-cell institute to give the state a larger portion of their revenues than the institute has proposed. The bill by Sen. Sheila Kuehl, D-Los Angeles and Sen. George Runner, R-Lancaster, would require firms that make products based on the institute's stem-cell grants to pay the state up to 5 percent of the product's lifetime revenues.

U of M Panel Finds Stem Cell Study was Flawed, KTTC, 23 February 2007.
The University of Minnesota now says part of its groundbreaking stem-cell study from five years ago was flawed. The 2002 study found that a type of adult stem cells in mice could have as much potential to treat disease as those taken from embryos

House Approves Bill to Ease Stem Cell Restrictions,, 22 February 2007.
The House has approved a proposal to ease Iowa's restrictions on stem cell research. The bill now goes to Governor Culver, who has already voiced his support for the proposal.

Stem Cell Research Debated in Public Hearing at Statehouse, Waterloo Cedar Falls Courier, 22 February 2007.
The issue was debated during a three-hour public hearing in the Iowa House chamber. Supporters --- who outnumbered opponents on the speaker's list but not in the gallery above --- portrayed the bill as a crucial step toward finding new treatments for debilitating diseases.

Stem Cell Transplants Possible Treatment For Hearing Loss, Medical News Today, 22 February 2007.
Stefan Heller's dream is to someday find a cure for deafness. As a leader in stem cell-based research on the inner ear at the Stanford University School of Medicine, he's got a step-by-step plan for making this dream a reality

Stem Cell Research Passes House Panel, Sioux City Journal, 22 February 2007.
A bill lifting restrictions on a certain type of embryonic stem cell research cleared a House committee Monday on a party-line vote.

Ethics Director Laments Fields Politicization, The Darmouth, 22 February 2007.
Professor Ronald Green, the director of the Ethics Institute at Dartmouth, criticized the influence of the religious right on the U.S. government's policies concerning bioethics in a Wednesday evening lecture in Filene Auditorium.

Weisman Will Speak to the Nation’s Top Scientists About Stem Cell Research,  PharmaLive, 20 February 2007.
Reporters are invited to attend a lecture by stem cell expert Irving Weissman, MD, of the Stanford University School of Medicine, who will share his perspective on stem cell research with some of the nation's top scientists. The event will take place Feb. 26 at a meeting of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences that will be held on the Stanford campus. The lecture begins at 5 p.m. at the Faculty Club

Prevalence of HCV Infection in Nongastric Marginal Zone B-cell Lymphoma of MALT, Annals of Oncology, February 2007.
This paper suggests that autologous stem cell transplantation plays a major role in the treatment of patients with T-cell lymphomas. -cell lymphomas are a relatively uncommon form of non-Hodgkin’s lymphoma (NHL) that in general responds less well to treatment than B-cell NHL. And while patients with B-cell lymphomas have benefited significantly from Rituxan® (rituximab) therapy over the past decade there is no comparable T-cell antibody for treatment of T-cell lymphomas

Brain tumour stem cells: the undercurrents of human brain cancer and their relationship to neural stem cells, The Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society of London, 19 February 2007.
Conceptual and technical advances in neural stem cell biology are being applied to the study of human brain tumours. These studies suggest that human brain tumours are organized as a hierarchy and are maintained by a small number of tumour cells that have stem cell properties. Most of the bulk population of human brain tumours comprise cells that have lost the ability to initiate and maintain tumour growth. Although the cell of origin for human brain tumours is uncertain, recent evidence points towards the brain's known proliferative zones. The identification of brain tumour stem cells has important implications for understanding brain tumour biology and these cells may be critical cellular targets for curative therapy.

Challenges and prospects for the establishment of embryonic stem cell lines of domesticated ungulates, Animal Reproduction Science, March 2007.
Embryonic stem (ES) cell lines provide an invaluable research tool for genetic engineering, developmental biology and disease models. These cells can be maintained indefinitely in culture and yet maintain competence to produce all the cells within a fetus. While mouse ES cell lines were first established over two decades ago and primate ES cells in the 1990s, validated ES cell lines have yet to be established in ungulates. Why competent, pluripotent ES cells can be established from certain strains of mice and from primates, and not from cows, sheep, goats or pigs is an on-going topic of interest to animal reproduction scientists. The identification of appropriate stem cell markers, functional cytokine pathways, and key pluripotency-maintaining factors along with the release of more comprehensive bovine and porcine genomes, provide encouragement for establishment of ungulate ES cell lines in the near future.

Semi-quantitative expression and knockdown of a target gene in single-cell mouse embryonic stem cells by high performance microinjection, Biotechnology Letters, March 2007.
Semi-quantitative control of the EGFP gene expression in mouse ES cells and its knockdown was successfully demonstrated.

Passage number affects the pluripotency of mouse embryonic stem cells as judged by tetraploid embryo aggregation, Cell and Tissue Research, March 2007.
The aim of this study was to determine whether the number of passages affected the developmental pluripotency of embryonic stem (ES) cells as measured by the attainment of adult fertile mice derived from embryonic stem (ES) cell/tetraploid embryo complementation. Our results demonstrate that the number of passages affects the developmental pluripotency of ES cells.

Establishment of mouse embryonic stem cell lines from somatic cell nuclei by nuclear transfer into aged fertilization-failure mouse oocytes, Current Biology, 20 February 2007.
Researchers have found that mouse oocytes that fail to become fertilized during in vitro fertilization are nevertheless often capable of succeeding as "cytoplasmic donors" during a subsequent cloning step using so-called nuclear transfer. Although the implications for human eggs are not yet clear, the findings are of interest because of the ethical and practical concerns surrounding the need for fresh human oocytes for similar nuclear-transfer procedures using human cells.

Liposuctioned Fat Stem Cells To Repair Bodies, Innovations Report, 23 February 2007.
Unwanted fat contains stem cells with the potential to repair defects and heal injuries in the body. A team led by Philippe Collas at the University of Oslo in Norway has identified certain chemical marks that allow him to predict which, among the hundreds of millions of stem cells in liposuctioned fat, are best at regenerating tissue.

International News
Korea Reignites Stem Cell Engine, The Korea Times, 22 February 2007.
Korea has restarted its stem cell engine, which has sputtered over the past year after a scandal involving the country’s disgraced cloning scientist Hwang Woo-suk. Science and Technology Minister Kim Woo-sik on Thursday chaired a meeting of the science-related ministers on measures to boost stem cell research. The government plans to channel up to 31 billion won ($33 million) into stem cell experiments this year alone, up 20 percent from 25.8 billion won in 2006.

Increased Funding and Developing Regulatory Framework Provide Impetus to Stem Cell Therapeutics Market, Drug Newswire, 22 February 2007.
Several start-ups with innovative research programmes covering a wide range of therapeutic disorders have already been established. And, despite several regulatory, social, ethical, scientific and financial hurdles, funding increases and developing regulatory frameworks are supporting the expansion of the global stem cell therapeutics market

Apollo Signs MoU for Stem Cell Therapy, Therapeutics Daily, 21 February 2007.
Apollo Hospital Group today signed an MoU with StemCyte, a umbilical cord blood stem cell transplantation company, for collaboration in the use of stem cell therapy in the treatment of blood disorders.

Scientists Find New Use For Stem Cell Treatment, The Nation, 22 February 2007.Scope News Roundup
A successful cure for chronic hoarseness using stem cells is in full swing at Ramathibodi Hospital and will be made public soon, National Research Council of Thailand (NSTC) secretary-general Prof Anont Bunyarattavej said yesterday.

February 16, 2007

National News and Commentary
MU Buildings Back in Latest Higher Ed Build, Columbia Tribune, 14 February 2007.
The sponsor of a comprehensive higher education bill has proposed placing six capital improvement projects, including two in Columbia, back in the bill. The projects were stripped out in a Senate committee over concerns about whether they would be used for stem-cell research.

New Stem Cell Measure Stalls in Committee, Columbia Tribune, 14 February 2007.
Legislative proposals to gut the major goal of an amendment protecting stem cell research are off to a slow start. Voters in November narrowly approved a constitutional change guaranteeing that any research permitted by federal law can occur in Missouri. The chief point for supporters was heading off legislative attempts to prevent a certain form of embryonic stem cell research from taking place.

Stem Cell Bill Squeaks Through the Senate, Des Moines Register, 14 February 2007.
With no votes to spare, the Iowa Senate today approved legislation that would allow medical researchers in Iowa to create embryonic stem cells through cloning.

California Stem Cell Agency Awards Nearly $45M in Research Grants, International Herald Tribune, 16 February 2007.
Far outdoing the U.S. government's annual spending on the controversial work, California's stem cell agency on Friday gave out nearly $45 million (€34.3 million) in research grants to about 20 state universities and nonprofit research laboratories.

BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics Initiates Stem Cell Safety Study in Primates for Parkinson's Disease, Genetic Engineering and Biotechnology News, 14 February 2007.
BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics (OTCBB:BCLI), a leader in Adult Stem Cell Research, announced today that it has initiated a safety trial using an animal model of Parkinson's disease in primates. The study utilizes BrainStorm's proprietary adult stem cell technology which has shown efficacy in animal models of Parkinson's Disease in previous pre-clinical trials. In those studies, human-bone-marrow-derived stem cells were differentiated into astrocyte-like cells (supporting cells) and transplanted into mice and rats brains. The engrafted cells survived, kept their function and significantly improved the motor symptoms of Parkinson's Disease animal models over a long period of time.

Flawed Stem Cell Data Withdrawn, New Scientist, 15 February 2007.
It is one of the best-known stem cell papers in the past five years, describing adult cells that seemed to hold the same promise as embryonic stem cells. Now, following inquiries by New Scientist, some of the data contained within the papers is being questioned.

Utah Residents Going to China for Stem Cell Research, KSL TV, 14 February 2007.
A 16-year-old girl returned home Monday, and a 23-year-old Layton man gets back this Saturday from getting stem cell transplants in China.
While the issue of stem cell transplants remains embroiled in controversy in this country, it's not even a debate in China. In fact, surgeons there have been transplanting the cells in a variety of patients for some time now.

Bill Promotes Non-Embryonic Stem Cell Research, Atlanta Journal Constitution, 13 February 2007.
Georgia lawmakers once again are pushing a proposal to allow any woman who gives birth in Georgia to donate postnatal tissue and fluid to an umbilical cord blood bank or network of such banks for non-embryonic stem cell research.

Fusion of Human Hematopoietic Progenitor Cells and Murine Cardiomyocytes Is Mediated by 41/Vascular Cell Adhesion Molecule-1 Interaction, Circulation Research, 15 February 2007.
Researchers at The University of Texas M. D. Anderson Cancer Center have described how the stem cells fuse with heart muscle cells to create new cells can repopulate the ailing organ.

Extensive Neuronal Differentiation of Human Neural Stem Cell Grafts in Adult Rat Spinal Cord, PloS Medicine, 14 February 2007.
Human nerve stem cells transplanted into rats' damaged spinal cords have survived, grown and in some cases connected with the rats' own spinal cord cells in a Johns Hopkins laboratory, overturning the long-held notion that spinal cords won't allow nerve repair.

Olig2-Regulated Lineage-Restricted Pathway Controls Replication Competence in Neural Stem Cells and Malignant Glioma, Neuron, 15 February 2007.
Researchers have discovered that a gene that triggers the growth of stem cells during early brain development is also key to the growth of deadly adult brain tumors called gliomas. The protein is produced by the gene called Olig2.

International News
UK and US Stem Cell Banks Plan Working Relationship, Public Health Genetics Unit, 14 February 2007.
The UK Stem Cell Bank and the US National Stem Cell Bank (NSCB) have announced they will work together on common goals such as promoting research, forming international standards and making distribution of their stem cell lines more efficient. Glyn Stacey, director of the UK Stem Cell Bank stated, “Our main focuses are very similar: we want to promote the research and development of potential therapies in the future.” Together the banks hope to foster a rewarding partnership that will advance this form of research.

Stem Cell Co Pluristem to Raise $8M in Private Placement, Globes Online, 14 February 2007.
Israeli stem-cell research company Pluristem Life Systems (OTC BB: PLRS.OB) announced today that it has signed a binding term sheet with new investors for a private equity investment of $8 million, an amount almost equal to the company’s current market cap. The company added that it had already received $1.25 million of this sum.

February 9, 2007

National News and Commentary

Stem Cell Summit to Convene Monday in San Diego With Close to 300 Participants, PharmaLive, 8 February 2007.
The attendance figures will make the conference the largest gathering of stem company executives, scientists, investors and physicians worldwide that is focused on the commercialization of stem-cell-based products.

Research Building Purchased to House Stem Cell Institute, University of Connecticut - Advance, 12 February 2007.
With authorization from the Board of Trustees, the University has purchased the former FarmTech building near the Health Center in Farmington. Officials plan to renovate the nearly 113,000-square-foot structure to establish a Center of Innovation that will include the University’s new stem cell institute, along with cutting edge cell biology and genetics research.

Stem Cell Research Guidelines Ignore Pressing Issues, Mercury News, 5 February 2007.
The California Stem Cell Research Oversight Committee has come up with the first guidance on this issue, but much more needs to be done. There are many other pressing issues that have received little attention. It is time for groups to stop going over the same ground and to try to break new ground

New Stem Cell Treatment May Save Toddler, Cambridge Evening News, 9 February 2007.
TODDLER Sorrel Mason was today (Friday, 09 February) undergoing a pioneering bone marrow transplant which could transform her life. Two-year-old Sorrel is battling a rare form of acute myeloid leukaemia, which affects only about 10 children in the UK each year.

Sydney Uni Bans Stem Cell Research on Church Land,, 6 February 2007.
A deal between Sydney University and the Catholic Church means that Australia's largest medical research centre, due for completion in 2012, won't be allowed to do any work on embryonic stem cell research.

Stem Cell Innovations Seeks European Union Registration for Its in vitro Toxicology Suite, Genetic Engineering News, 9 February 2007
Stem Cell Innovations (SCI), Inc. (OTCBB: SCLL) announced today that the Company has submitted its ACTIVTox(R) in vitro toxicology suite to ECVAM to seek validation as an alternative to animal testing in the European Union. Toxicity testing in the pharmaceutical and chemical industries is often performed in rodents. The use of ACTIVTox would reduce the need for animals in clinical testing, saving pharmaceutical companies time and money.

Bill Tests Pawlenty’s Tailored Stance on Cell Research,, 5 February 2007.
Stem cell research legislation that doesn't explicitly restrict the use of embryonic cells would face a gubernatorial veto, Gov. Tim Pawlenty said Monday, two days before state legislators delve into the issue

Stem Cell Dispute Stings MU, Columbia Tribune, 8 February 2007.
State Sen. Chuck Graham says he will work to get two University of Missouri-Columbia building projects back into a higher education bill after they were eliminated in a flap over embryonic stem cell research.

Stem Cell Pioneer Warns of Roadblocks Before Cures, Gazette Xtra, 9 February 2007.
Major roadblocks remain before human embryonic stem cells could be transplanted into humans to cure diseases or replace injured body parts, a research pioneer said Thursday night.

CIRM Receives IOM Report on Risks to Egg Donors, California Institute for Regenerative Medicine, 6 February 2007.
The California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM) received a report from the National Academies’ Institute of Medicine (IOM) and National Research Council (NRC) on the medical and psychological risks to women who donate oocytes (human eggs) for research.

Beyond HLA: the significance of genomic variation for allogeneic hematopoietic stem cell transplantation, Blood, 15 February 2007
Allogeneic stem cell transplants are associated with an increased risk of diabetes and hypertension. The process of an allogeneic stem cell transplant typically includes the use of high-dose chemotherapy or total body irradiation. These treatment approaches tend to kill more cancer cells than conventional doses; however, they are also associated with more severe side effects.

Adaptation to culture of human embryonic stem cells and oncogenesis in vivo, Nature Biotechnology, 7 February 2007.
We observed the formation of a chromosomal homogeneous staining region in one HESC line, a genetic feature almost a hallmark of cancer cells. Identifying the genes critical for culture adaptation may thus reveal key players for both stem cell maintenance in vitro and germ cell tumorigenesis in vivo.

Qualification of Embryonal Carcinoma 2102Ep As a Reference for Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research, Stem Cell, February 2007.
As the number of human embryonic stem cell (hESC) lines increases, so does the need for systematic evaluation of each line's characteristics and potential. Comparisons between lines are complicated by variations in culture conditions, feeders, spontaneous differentiation, and the absence of standardized assays. These difficulties, combined with the inability of most labs to maintain more than a few lines simultaneously, compel the development of reference standards to which hESC lines can be compared. The use of a stable cell line as a reference standard offers many advantages. A line with a relatively unchanging hESC-like gene and protein expression pattern could be a positive control for developing assays. It can be used as a reference for genomics or proteomics studies, especially for normalizing results obtained in separate laboratories. Such a cell line should be widely available without intellectual property restraints, easily cultured without feeders, and resistant to spontaneous changes in phenotype. We propose that the embryonal carcinoma (EC) line 2102Ep meets these requirements. We compared the protein, gene, and microRNA expression of this cell line with those of hESC lines and alternative reference lines such as the EC line NTERA-2 and the karyotypically abnormal hESC line BG01V. The overall expression profiles of all these lines were similar, with exceptions reflecting the germ cell origins of EC. On the basis of global gene and microRNA expression, 2102Ep is somewhat less similar to hESC than the alternatives; however, 2102Ep expresses more hESC-associated microRNAs than NTERA-2 does, and fewer markers of differentiated fates.

International News

Stem Cell Research Lab Coming Up in Jaipur, Daily India, 9 February 2007.
The Sawai Man Singh (SMS) medical college here will set up a stem cell research laboratory by April to undertake research in biotechnology, genetics and stem cells.

Stem Cell ‘Therapy Labs’ Unveiled,, 9 February 2007
New facilities designed to carry out pioneering stem cell research have been unveiled in the North East of the UK. The £4m laboratory suite, funded by the regional development agency One NorthEast, will be used for growing cultures of stem cells. Scientists from the North East Stem Cell Institute (NESCI), made up of experts from Newcastle and Durham Universities, will carry out the work at Newcastle's Centre for Life, hoping to develop clinical therapies for degenerative diseases like Alzheimer's and multiple sclerosis.

February 2, 2007

National News & Commentary

Coleman Bill Seeks ‘Middle Ground’ On Stem Cell Debate, La Crosse Tribune, 24 January 2007.
Minnesota Sen. Norm Coleman introduced legislation Tuesday which he said will expand funding for stem cell research while ensuring that no human embryos are harmed, in an effort to carve out a middle ground on one of the most divisive political issues.

Culver Pushes Stem Cell Research Plan, 4 Eyewitness News, 25 January 2007.
In his first budget proposal, Governor Chet Culver says he wants to spend millions on stem cell research in Iowa. The democrat is asking for $12.5 million to help build a stem cell research center at the University of Iowa.

Bishops Press Richardson to Drop Stem Cell Research, 4KOBTV, 26 January 2007.
New Mexico’s Roman Catholic bishops are pressing Governor Richardson to reconsider his plan
to spend state money on stem cell research.

Arrowhead Funding Caltech Stem Cell Research, Small Times, 26 January 2007.
Arrowhead Research Corporation will sponsor the continued research of Dr. Eric Davidson's laboratory at the California Institute of Technology focused on the re-engineering of the internal control systems of cells.

Branson Launches Stem-Cell Company,, 26 January 2007.
Sir Richard Branson will launch a stem-cell storage company which will offer parents the chance to put the umbilical blood of their newborn children into cold storage.

Presentations of Latest Stem Cell Scientific Developments to Highlight Second Day of Next Month’s Summit in San Diego, PharmaLive, 25 January 2007.
RRY Publications today announced that presentations of the latest scientific developments in the transformation of stem cells into therapeutic products will highlight the second day of the 2nd Annual Stem Cell Summit, which is set for Feb. 12-13, 2007, in San Diego.

New WARF Stem Cell Rules to Benefit Biotech Research, BioWorld Today, 25 January 2007.
Embryonic stem cell research should advance a bit more freely because of policy changes announced this week by a major patent holder in this area, the Wisconsin Alumni Research Foundation. The move could clearly benefit biotech companies and possibly negate for now some criticism that the organization has endured.

Stem Cell Opposition Could Steer Research Away from Texas,, 26 January 2007.
Texas' plans to pour $300 million a year into cancer research for a decade, is part of an arms race underway for the world's top researchers, with various states and nations bidding for the best scientific minds. Those minds are expected to lead the way to enormous advances in medicine, which will spawn an industry generating wealth, jobs, tax base and acclaim.

Venables Introduces Stem Cell Bill, WBOC 16, 26 January 2007.
A new bill introduced Thursday in the Delaware Senate would surpass current legislation by regulating all types of stem cell research.

Fees Relaxed to Boost Stem Cell Research, The Washington Post, 24 January 2007.
The Wisconsin foundation that holds patents covering U.S. embryonic stem cell research will waive some of its fees to encourage more industry-sponsored research.

Should Women Be Paid for Their Eggs?,, 24 January 2007.


LIF-immobilized nonwoven polyester fabrics for cultivation of murine embryonic stem cells, Journal of Biomedical Materials Research, January 2007.
LIF was active in immobilized form; undifferentiated colonies had not only a significant AP and SSEA-1 immunoreactivity, but also a higher undifferentiated colony ratio on LIF-immobilized surfaces than that of hydrolyzed surfaces. The immobilized LIF protein might be a good model to provide a feeder-free system, but the physical properties of the scaffold is more convenient for differentiation studies.

Tissue Engineering of Vascularized Cardiac Muscle From Human Embryonic Stem Cells, Circulation Research, 11 January 2007.
Using a multicellular scaffold with human embryonic stem cells, scientists in Israel created heart-muscle tissue that grows its own network of tiny blood vessels.

FoxOs in Tumor Suppression and Stem Cell Maintenance, Cell, 26 January 2007.
The FoxO transcription factors have been implicated in many processes including tumor suppression and cell death. In this issue, two groups now report on mice that conditionally lack the three predominant FoxO transcription factors. Tothova et al. (2007) demonstrate that FoxOs are critical for the long-term maintenance of hematopoietic stem cells, and Paik et al. (2007) show that FoxOs suppress the formation of hemangiomas and lymphomas in mice.

International News

Norway May Ease Ban on Stem Cell Study, The Washington Post, 26 January 2007.
Norway's government on Friday proposed lifting a national ban on using human embryonic stem cells for research, saying the change might help find cures to a broad range of diseases.

Stem Cell: Patients Have Only Relatives to Fall Back On, India Times, 26 January 2007.
Whenever Indian patients need stem cells, they have to fall back on relatives. Mumbai's Tata Memorial and Delhi's AIIMS have stem-cell banks, but the donors are patients' relatives.

UK Grants GBP1.1 Million to Robotic Stem Cell Research, Pharmaceutical Business Review Online, 25 January 2007.
The UK's Department of Trade and Industry has said it is giving GBP1.1 million to a consortium led by London-based biotech firm Plasticell, in order to develop robotic stem cell research. British Scientists will develop robotics to automate important stem cell research, meaning thousands of experiments will be able to be conducted at once, rather than just a handful being possible by a single scientist.

National Stem Cell Explores Ventures in China, Prime News Wire, 25 January 2007.
A National Stem Cell senior leadership team traveled to China to cultivate scientific and business relationships with the intent of launching National Stem Cell's operations in the region.

Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research: An Australian Perspective, Cell, 25 January 2007.
A conscience vote of individual parliamentarians in the Australian government last month regarding amendments to current legislation regulating human embryonic stem cell research yielded a surprising outcome. Despite opposition by the Australian Prime Minister, the Senate and House of Representatives voted to adopt the recommendations of the Lockhart Review and approve human somatic cell nuclear transfer, thus providing a consistent national policy for all researchers in Australia.