Recommended reads: stem cell pubs plus science news

When it comes to coverage of stem cell research in the media, science news can both be cool, but also surprising. Some of the more interesting publications don’t always draw news coverage too.

This post is a list of recent notable pubs and news.

First some pubs.

How good are human brain organoids at modeling human brain development? A new meeting abstract from the Arnold Kriegstein lab (covered here at The Scientist) claims not so good. The abstract concludes, ” Although organoids are a powerful model system, a better definition of their limitations and the best utilization of these models is required as we strive to both improve our understanding of the brain and how best to study it.”

From my UC Davis colleague Anna La Torre, “Let-7 regulates cell cycle dynamics in the developing cerebral cortex and retina.”The oscillation in Let-7 levels is particularly cool to me. See part of Fig. 2 I’ve included below.

Fairchild, et al Scientific Reports 2019, part of Fig. 2
Fairchild, et al Scientific Reports 2019, part of Fig. 2.

Getting old stinks, right? Same for fibroblasts apparently. From Nature on IPS cells and reprogramming ,”Heterogeneity in old fibroblasts is linked to variability in reprogramming and wound healing“.

From Cell Stem Cell we have links between cancer and IPS cells. I’ve covered this area for many years on The Niche, which is subject to much debate. Cancer-Related Mutations Identified in Primed and Naive Human Pluripotent Stem Cells.

My lab’s 2013 paper “Induced pluripotency and oncogenic transformation are related processes” compared reprogramming to make IPS cells to induced tumorigenicity in vitro, and found some common ground. More recently others have argued that with newer reprogramming methods you don’t get so many mutations or epi-mutations.

News & policy stuff.

From Pew Trust. FDA’s Framework for Regulating Regenerative Medicine Will Improve Oversight.

NIH and Gates Foundation lay out ambitious plan to bring gene-based treatments for HIV and sickle cell disease to Africa

California company Gallant will bank stem cells, not yours, but your dogs. I’m going to try to learn more about it. The company apparently has $11 million in funding.

Also, oddly we hear that police raided Osaka Medical College due to a now-fired stem cell researcher allegedly isolating fat stem cells from other people including a friend who he injected with them without authorization.

Scientists grew “living” mouse embryos just from stem cells. How “living” were they? Despite skepticism, the area of synthetic embryos including human embryos is a hot one.

New stem cell podcast, Bad Batch, from Laura Beil should be an interesting listen. I think I’m interviewed in it somewhere. I haven’t had time to listen to it as my bit of extra time has gone to watching Unnatural Selection (stay tuned for a review of that soon). But I’ll get to it.

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