View from the floor: #ISSCR2013 day 2

Author: Lisa Willemse, 06/14/13

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Those watching the triple overtime hockey game or hitting one of the evening networking events will have found it an early morning on day 2. Fortunately, there were some fantastic talks to keep everyone awake, including a new Patient Advocate Address that was very well received by attendees. Here’s a snapshot of what happened in the plenary sessions, the poster hall and elsewhere around the conference, as we saw it and through the eyes of bloggers and tweeps.

Daily blog roundup

Forbes writer John Farrell posted a terrific summary of Shinya Yamanaka’s opening address on Wednesday in which he recounted the events that kept him in research and led to his Nobel winning discovery.

There were more posts based on the first day’s opening plenary: CIRM’s Don Gibbons provided a great summary of the Doug Melton and George Daley talks and David Brindley took a closer look at what George Daley presented and then went on to outline some of the barriers need to be overcome before synthetic blood will advance to the clinic.

If you missed the incredibly moving address by patient advocate Andres Trevino, have a look at the summary by Kevin McCormack of CIRM to get a sense of what it’s like to battle a disease – and win.

(Update: CIRM has been very busy as I just noticed they posted 3 more articles from the conference, here here and here. Nice work with the fast typing!)

The Node also posted a succinct overview of Day 1 events, and the folks over at Life Technologies enhanced their dynamic conference presence by putting up a video in which scientists spoke about what motivates them to attend ISSCR.

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The day according to twitter

Here’s our storify of the day’s tweets:

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Highlight of the day

Definitely the Patient Advocate Address. In case anybody had forgotten why they pursue stem cell research, Andy Trevino offers a compelling reminder.

Poster of the day

Selected by the Stem Cell Network’s Paul Cassar:
A High-Throughput Gene Expression-Based Screen for Factors that Modulate In-Vitro Chondrogenesis of Stem Cells Identifies Optimal Conditions and Novel Factors. Rune B. Jakobsen et al. (T-3081) Jakobsen T-3081Twenty-five percent of all people with crucial ligament injury stand a very high chance of needing cartilage repair, so it is important to have an available source of chondrocytes. This study is trying to optimize media composition for the in vitro differentiation of human bone marrow derived MSCs. Using a factorial design small molecule screen coupled with high throughput digital microarray profiling Jakobsen was able to screen 38 different compounds for the most optimal combination. He found that this screening method, which relies on a chondrocyte gene signature readout, is a novel approach for this problem. The findings validated the current formulation, but because he looked at MSCs (which make chondrocytes and bone), it suggests that the current formation is still not optimal if the goal is to make chondrocytes exclusively.

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Lisa Willemse

Lisa Willemse

Lisa is a science communicator with 15+ years' experience in the fields of regenerative medicine, language and literacy and high-speed networking/computing research. She launched this blog (first as the Stem Cell Network Blog) in 2009, and served as co-editor until April 2015. Among many other roles, she currently contributes to a number of blogs and publications, including the Canadian Science Publishing blog, Genome Alberta blog, Scientific American, and iPolitics. Follow her on Twitter @WillemseLA.
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