There are weeks when it seems like papers on stem cells keep popping up. It can be a challenge to keep up with reading all the papers you want to read. Other times it is cell biology news that keeps breaking. The big news of the past week or so was unfortunately the concerning development on the halt of BlueBird Bio’s gene therapy trial for sickle cell.
Here are the many papers of this week that struck me as interesting.
Brain stem cell maintenance in mice and Ascl1
It’ll be interesting to see if this same normal Ascl1 mechanism described in the new paper is at work in people. The main data on Ascl1 is in Fig. 6, which is included above.
Stem cells and the Heart
Additional notable stem cell pubs
- Telomeres reforged with non-telomeric sequences in mouse embryonic stem cells, Nature Communications.
- MSCs for COVID-19. Effect of human umbilical cord-derived mesenchymal stem cells on lung damage in severe COVID-19 patients: a randomized, double-blind, placebo-controlled phase 2 trial, Signal Transduction and Targeted Therapy. Another umbilical cord MSCs for COVID-19 study. A January paper from University of Miami claimed some benefit, but with some sizable caveats including a very small study size and balance issues. Now this February paper also tends that positive way in tone even though in their own chosen outcome measures almost none were convincingly statistically significant. There were also some more adverse events in those given MSCs than placebo in some cases including 2 more severe adverse events versus none in the placebo group, although the authors stated, “The incidence of adverse events was similar in the two groups.”
- Formative pluripotent stem cells show features of epiblast cells poised for gastrulation, Cell Research.
- Modulating the unfolded protein response with ONC201 to impact on radiation response in prostate cancer cells, Scientific Reports. Onc201 is also being studied in high-grade childhood gliomas.