By Valerie Tucker Scientific American magazine has cited researchers at the Gladstone Institute of Cardiovascular Disease (GICD) and the University of California, Berkeley for one of the top 50 achievements in business, policy and research for the year 2007. GICD investigator Shinya Yamanaka, MD, PhD, was cited for his work with Kyoto University on reprogramming skin cells into pluripotent stem cells. And Bruce Conklin, MD, a GICD investigator, and Peidong Yang, PhD, of UC Berkeley collaborated to demonstrate a new way to show how external signals can affect differentiation of embryonic stem cells (ESCs) into other types of cells. The scientists used nanoscale silicon wires embedded in mouse ESCs to deliver signals from their surrounding environments. The mouse cells then became heart cells, which survived and proliferated for several days. Conklin and Yang noted that the technique could be used to guide differentiation of stem cells into specific tissue types through electrical pulses or chemicals transmitted via nanowires. The original results were reported in the Journal of the American Chemical Society in May 2007. The Top 50 issue of Scientific American is on newsstands now.