Inhibiting growth factor receptors stimulates stem cell regeneration in mouse study | Researchers produce cartilage from human stem cells | Preclinical study assesses use of hydrogel in stem cell treatments
May 20, 2015
AATB SmartBrief
News for the Tissue Banking Community

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Inhibiting growth factor receptors stimulates stem cell regeneration in mouse study
A study in the journal Oncotarget found that inhibiting receptors for the TGF-beta1 growth factor promoted stem cell activity in mouse brain and muscle tissue. Researchers at the University of California at Berkeley used an Alk5 kinase inhibitor that is being developed as a cancer treatment. KPIX-TV (San Francisco) (5/13), The Daily Californian (University of California, Berkeley) (5/17), (China) (5/18)
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Tissue Banking in the News
Researchers produce cartilage from human stem cells
Researchers from the McEwen Centre for Regenerative Medicine have developed small pieces of cartilage tissue from human stem cell-derived articular chondrocytes. The findings were reported in the journal Nature Biotechnology. (Canada) (5/13)
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Preclinical study assesses use of hydrogel in stem cell treatments
A study in the journal Stem Cell Reports found that cellular therapies surrounded by a hydrogel had a regenerative effect in mouse models. The findings indicate the hydrogel can promote stem cell survival in the brain and eye, according to researcher Molly Shoichet of the University of Toronto. United Press International (5/14), Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News (5/15)
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Other News
Government & Regulatory
Deadline for EHR hardship exemption is July 1
The deadline for submitting hardship exemption applications for the 2014 Medicare EHR Incentive Program is set for July 1. Reimbursement cuts will go into effect Jan. 1, 2016, for eligible providers who didn't attest to meaningful use in 2014. (5/15)
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Federal government develops reference material for DNA genetic testing
The U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology has developed DNA reference material that medical laboratories can use to ensure the accuracy of genetic testing. For $450, the agency will provide 10 micrograms of DNA from a known subject for testing by scientists and laboratories. The New York Times (tiered subscription model) (5/14)
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ICD-10 transition bill introduced in Congress
A congressional bill would introduce an 18-month period of transition to ICD-10 coding during which the Department of Health and Human Services would report to Congress on whether the standard is fully operational and whether claim fulfillment is being affected. The proposal would block the Centers for Medicare and Medicaid Services' rejection of claims that contain inaccurate or unspecified subcodes. The compliance date would be unchanged under the measure. Healthcare IT News (5/14)
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Business & Economic Trends
Environmental Protection Agency supports development of tissue chips
The Environmental Protection Agency has given a $6 million grant to researchers with Vanderbilt University and the University of Pittsburgh for the development of tissue chips for use in chemical toxicity testing. The four-year grant will be used to establish the Vanderbilt-Pittsburgh Resource for Organotypic Models for Predictive Toxicity. Pittsburgh Post-Gazette (5/19)
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Suture device maker obtains $35M loan
CRG has granted Ceterix Orthopaedics a term loan worth $35 million. The Menlo Park, Calif.-based company plans to use the money to improve its NovoStitch suture passing device that is intended for use during procedures to treat soft-tissue injuries in joints, specifically meniscal tears. The device can also be used during minimally invasive shoulder and hip surgeries. Healio (free registration)/Orthopedics Today (5/15), (Boston) (5/11)
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Other News
Nominations for all 2015 AATB Awards and Abstracts will close May 29
Winners of the Abstract Awards and Communication and Education Awards will have a chance to present at the 2015 AATB Annual Meeting in Scottsdale, Ariz., this fall. Nominations for all awards will close on May 29 at 5 p.m. Pacific Time. Read more about the award categories and submit an abstract or nomination.
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Constructive comments to drafts of two AATB Guidance Documents will continue to be collected until May 27
The draft Guidance Documents and comment forms can be accessed at the links below. Comments must be submitted using the appropriate AATB Comment Submission Form for each Guidance Document. Letters or other methods of submitting comments will not be considered, and directions on the submission forms must be followed.
  1. "Environmental Controls & Monitoring of a Dedicated Tissue Recovery Site." Access the comment form for this draft Guidance Document.
  2. "Tissue Donor Physical Assessment Form." Access the comment form for this draft Guidance Document.
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All truths are easy to understand once they are discovered; the point is to discover them."
-- Galileo Galilei,
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