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

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...

August 25, 2011 | Mesenchymal Stem Cells

From the August Edition of Stem Cells
Paper commentary by Stuart P. Atkinson

Tissue resident adult stem cells, such as mesenchymal stem cells (MSCs) or adipose-derived stem cells (ASCs), have previously demonstrated a capacity to repair extensively injured tissues (Picinich et al, Horwitz and Dominici). However, major traumatic injuries such as large surface...

August 18, 2011 | Pluripotent Stem Cells

From Nature Cell Biology
Paper commentary by Carla Mellough

The differences between human embryonic stem cells (hESC) and their somatically derived counterparts, induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC), have been under close scrutiny following the accumulation of various reports indicating greater disparity between the two cell types than originally envisaged (for example...

August 2, 2011 | Society

NASA’s space shuttle program came to an end last week after 135 flights over 30 years. Some might argue that the shuttle programme (total cost estimated at $200 billion) did not deliver the expected outcomes for space exploration but we cannot deny that some very useful technologies and scientific knowledge have arisen from this extended experiment in re-usable orbiting hardware. A...

August 2, 2011 |

NASA’s space shuttle program came to an end last week after 135 flights over 30 years. Some might argue that the shuttle programme (total cost estimated at $200 billion) did not deliver the expected outcomes for space exploration but we cannot deny that some very useful technologies and scientific knowledge have arisen from this extended experiment in re-usable orbiting hardware. A description...

August 2, 2011 | Haematopoetic Stem Cells

From Science
By Stuart P. Atkinson

A recent Stem Cells article (Woods et al) and associated review on the Stem Cells Portal described an optimized in vitro differentiation protocol for the generation of precursors of the hematopoietic lineage and primitive hematopoietic cells from human embryonic stem cells (ESC) and induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs). The...

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