Say hello to iPSCORE- 05 Aug

Say hello to iPSCORE, new and improved tools for stem cell research

According to a recent study, published in Stem Cell Reports on April 6, a new set of improved tools are here to advance stem cell researches. The study was led by Dr. Kelly Frazer, the professor of pediatrics and director of the Institute for Genomic Medicine at University of California San Diego School of Medicine. The team described the collection of “222 systematically derived and characterized iPSC lines generated as part of the National Heart, Lung and Blood Institute’s NextGen consortium.”[1]

The Stem Cell Reports is one of the four studies, published by four different teams of researchers. But Frazer is the common factor in all four as he is senior author for all of them. The fourth study concentrated on iPSCORE, whereas the other three studies utilized the iPSCORE resource in order to explore answers to different questions related to human genetics. Some of the studies also focused on developing new tools to analyze iPSC lines.

The study confirmed that the induced pluripotent stem cells or iPSCs are collected from human adult cells. These cells are able to be differentiated in order to transform into a variety of cell types. By using this attribute, the scientists will be able to use the tool for all critical medical trails; from analyzing molecular processes that cause diseases to genetic variants that lead to human phenotypes.

According to Kelly Frazer, the iPSC Collection for Omic Research or iPSCORE is a collection that will be capable to address various issues that are currently disturbing iPSCs use as a standard system to study human genetics.

He mentioned in the study, “The iPSCORE collection contains 75 lines from people of non-European ancestry, including East Asian, South Asian, African American, Mexican American, and Multiracial. It includes multigenerational families and monozygotic twins. This collection will enable us to study how genetic variation influences traits, both at a molecular and physiological level, in appropriate human cell types, such as heart muscle cells. It will help researchers investigate not only common but also rare, and even family-specific variations.”[2]

Frazer and his team utilized the entire genome sequencing and gene expression analyzing 215 human iPSC lines, derived from different donors. The idea was to identify genetic variants related to RNA expression for 5,746 genes. The study highlighted that iPSCs are valuable to analyze genetic association investigate gene expression genetic regulation in pluripotent stem cells (PSCs). The team also showed important analysis and insights into aberrant methylation patterns in iPSCs. The patterns are helpful to use these cells in various studies as well as to treat diseases.

Another important thing to note in the study is, Frazer and his team built a set of easy-to-use techniques to decrease the cost and at the same time increase the production of effective iPSC lines. In other words, the group of scientists has invented a less expensive technique to develop highly effective iPSC lines. So, the invention will not only help the doctors to detect the source of the disease effectively, but also will help the medical teams to opt for it.

Source:

https://phys.org/news/2017-04-papers-tools-stem-cell.html

 

[1] In four related papers, researchers describe new and improved tools for stem cell research – April 6, 2017 – phys.org

[2] In four related papers, researchers describe new and improved tools for stem cell research – April 6, 2017 – phys.org

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