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Nature Reports Stem Cells July issue: Notes from ISSCR
July newsletter: notes from ISSCR

In a Q&A, the new president of the International Society for Stem Cell Research describes career prospects for new scientists as "buoyant." An expert commentary warns about what scientists hunting epigenetic mechanisms might overlook. Several articles come straight from the annual meeting of ISSCR. There, experts discussed how to set standards for clinical trials and cell identities; the notions of cancer stem cells, cell fate, and transdifferentiation came up for re-examination.

Our top stories

Fiona Watt: expanding niches for stem cell researchers

The new president of the ISSCR explains why young scientists should think twice before making induced pluripotent stem cells

Stem cell meeting 2008: in with the old, in with the new

Natalie DeWitt and Monya Baker explore the growing resolution on mechanisms of cellular memory, the emerging questions on how cells can flit straight from one differentiated fate to another and whether cancer stem cells exist

How do you know a reprogrammed cell is reprogrammed?
Scientists consider minimum standards for induced pluripotent stem cells

Stem cell society condemns unproven treatments
Guidelines describing what is considered ethical behaviour for stem cell practitioners

Related story: Scientists face down stem cell tourism

How to assess a stem cell genome
In a commentary, Michael Teitell, of the University of California, Los Angeles, argues that to pick the best cell line for the job, genetic variation should be better understood

California's new lines: what got funded
The California Institute of Regenerative Medicine awarded $23 million for 16 grants to create pluripotent stem cell lines. Of the 50 submissions, 29 proposed creating lines from reprogrammed adult cells; 17 from IVF embryos; 3 from nuclear transfer. Twelve proposals came from for-profit companies; Find out how many of each were funded.

(You'll need to scroll to the end.)

Research highlights and news stories keying off recent publications:


The latest pluripotency factor is a lone warrior
Ronin takes a place beside Oct4, Nanog and Sox2
Dejosez, M. et al. Cell 133, 1162-1174 (2008).

Small molecules boost reprogramming rates
Induced pluripotent stem cells edge away from viruses
Shi, Y. et al. Cell Stem Cell 2, 525-528 (2008).
Huangfu, D. et al. Nature Biotechnol. advance online publication,
doi:10.1038/nbt1418 (22 June 2008).

Easing out the viruses in induced pluripotency
In neural stem cells, only two transgenes are necessary for
Kim, J. B. et al. Nature advance online publication,
doi:10.1038/nature07061 (29 June 2008).

Two networks of pluripotency
An analysis of transcription factor binding sites finds clusters that
clarify cooperative binding
Chen, X. et al. Cell 133, 1106-1117 (2008).

'Reprogramming-ready' mice
Transgenic mice offer a source of genetically identical induced pluripotent stem cells
Wernig, M. et al. Nature Biotechnol. advance online publication,
doi:10.1038/nbt1483 (1 July 2008).

Muscle, money, mind, blood and more

Embryonic stem cells answer questions about breast cancer
A cell-based assay identifies deleterious mutations in BRCA2 Kuznetsov, S., Liu, P. & Sharan, S. Nature Med. advance online publication, doi:10.1038/nm.1719 (6 July 2008).

A metasignalling network makes muscles age
Regeneration is actively repressed in a metasignalling network between TGF-beta and Notch
Carlson, M. E., Hsu, M. & Conboy, I. M. Nature advance online publication, doi:10.1038/nature07034 (15 June 2008).

Finding new muscle in cardiac stem cells
Researchers discover a new type of stem cell in the heart's protective layer
Zhou, B. et al. Nature advance online publication,
doi:10.1038/nature07060 (22 June 2008).
Cai, C.-L. et al. Nature advance online publication,
doi:10.1038/nature06969 (14 May 2008).

US stem cell scientists consider relocating
Survey shows state policies and resources influence decisions
Levine, A. Public Admin. Rev. 68, 681-694 (2008).

Growing blood in a dish
New models for generating functional haematopoietic stem cells ex vivo
Ledran, M. H. et al. Cell Stem Cell 3, 85-98 (2008).
Taoudi, S. et al. Cell Stem Cell 3, 99-108 (2008).

Mind control
Overexpression of single genes directs neural progenitors to adopt specific fates
Li, Z. et al. J. Neurosci. 28, 6557-6568 (2008).
Li, H. et al. Proc. Natl. Acad. Sci. USA doi:10.1073/pnas.0802876105
(published online 30 June 2008).
Jessberger, S. et al. Nature Neurosci. advance online publication,
doi:10.1038/nn.2148 (29 June 2008).

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