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Cell Biology

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Article Review: Synthetic Genomics

In “Creation of a Bacterial Cell Controlled by a Chemically Synthesized Genome”, Venter et al. report the first successful design, synthesis, assembly, and transplantation of an artificial genome into a host cell. The bacterial host subsequently underwent phenotypic transformation, resulting in the first engineered species created from a synthetic genome. Continue reading

Novel murine model of regenerative capacity of in vitro-differentiated, iPSC-derived hepatocytes

The recent development of pluripotence induction in somatic cell lines raised the possibility of organ regeneration from a patient’s own cells. But until our lab’s research, it wasn’t known whether these induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSC) could fully restore vital organ function. We demonstrated that iPSC-derived differentiated hepatocytes possess the functional and proliferative capacities required for complete liver regeneration in a murine model of fumarylacetoacetate hydrolase (FAH) deficiency. However, because we transplanted fibroblast-derived iPSCs into strain-matched blastocysts, our model relied exclusively on iPSC differentiation in vivo during embryonic development, where exposure to developmental signaling may have contributed significantly to their functional capacities. Continue reading