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

October 14, 2011 | Pluripotent Stem Cells

From Cell
By Stuart P. Atkinson

While much is known about the relative contribution to pluripotency by key transcription factors such as Oct4, Nanog and Sox2, little is known about the role they may have, if any, in lineage-specific differentiation. Detailed transcriptional maps have been generated which show the integration of these factors into pluripotency networks (...

October 14, 2011 | Pluripotent Stem Cells

From Cell Stem Cell
By Stuart P. Atkinson

Multiple studies over the last 5 years have shown us that human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) growing under self-renewing conditions in vitro are surprisingly heterogeneous with individual cells displaying dynamic phenotypes (Hayashi et al and Stewart et al) while others studies have demonstrated cell-to-cell variance in the levels...

October 14, 2011 | Pluripotent Stem Cells

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

Oct4 (or Pou5f1) is one of a few genes recognised as being vitally important for the pluripotent nature of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) and is commonly used for induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) generation. Its downregulation during differentiation is essential, and indeed it has been suggested that a failure...

October 12, 2011 | Colon Stem Cells

From Nature Medicine
By Stuart P. Atkinson

A paper recently published in Nature Medicine, described as a major advance for regenerative medicine, has reported for the first time the isolation and in vitro culture of stem cells from the adult human colon (CoSCs) (Jung and Sato et al). This achievement, from the group of Eduard Batlle at the Institute for Research in...

October 12, 2011 | Pluripotent Stem Cells

From Cell Research
By Stuart P. Atkinson

Multiple studies into the differentiation capabilities of pluripotent stem cells (PSCs) such as human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) have shown that they all have some potential to generate an array of clinically relevant cell types, even if this can vary widely across different hESC...

September 23, 2011 | Pluripotent Stem Cells

From Nature Biotechnology
By Stuart P. Atkinson

Human pluripotent cells types, such as embryonic stem cells (hESCs) and induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) hold considerable promise for cell-based therapeutics through their directed differentiation to desirable cell types. However, current differentiation protocols are generally very inefficient and the risk of...

September 23, 2011 | Pluripotent Stem Cells

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

Studies into human induced pluripotent stem cells (hiPSCs) have recently begun to look at mutational changes which may occur during the reprogramming process (See Genetic Instability in Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells: One Step Forward in Understanding, Two Steps Back from the Clinic?) but mitochondrial...

September 15, 2011 | Germ Cells

From Cell
By Stuart P. Atkinson

Protocols for the differentiation of pluripotent stem cells to functional therapeutically relevant cells often give relatively low yield. However, new protocols from various groups have addressed this by going back to learn more about the in vivo development of the cell type or tissue that they wish to attain, and utilising this knowledge...

September 15, 2011 | Pluripotent Stem Cells

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

Multiple studies have shown that mouse and human embryonic stem cells (ESCs) can differentiate in vitro into primordial germ cells (PGCs) and oocyte- or sperm-like cells (Marques-Mari et al). Therapeutic use of these cells would require patient specificity, so generation of such cells from individualised induced...

August 31, 2011 | Pluripotent Stem Cells

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

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

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