January 16, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Year: 2011

2 min read

For a long time many of us in the stem cell field have been worried about dubious stem cell treatments, so-called ‘stem cell tourism’.  How do we stop it or at least fight back to keep people safe and help them avoid losing what is often their life savings? Many activities related to stem cell tourism occur right here in the U.S. and almost entirely or entirely involve adult stem cells. Interestingly it is often the folks who are most opposed to embryonic stem …Read More

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If you truly believe someone is breaking the law using stem cells, I encourage you to contact the FBI and tell them your concerns. You may do so by going to this FBI tip site. I’m so pleased to see the FBI taking action against alleged law breakers who are accused of using the excitement about stem cells to take money from vulnerable patients. However, please keep in mind that not only the indicted folks but also others in the stem cell universe who appear …Read More

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Reportedly, a second, new federal indictment against 4 men including fake doctors Morales and Stowe today indicates 24 more additional charges. The group took as much as $1.5 million from patients and their families for dubious stem cell treatments. It is unknown if any of the patients were harmed physically by the treatments, but surely in this economy they and their families could ill afford to lose all that money.

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Who is the stem cell fugitive? When I was a kid I loved re-runs of that program The Fugitive. I always knew that Dr. Richard Kimble was innocent. Then in 1993 Harrison Ford starred in a movie based on the TV show, which was a fun one. Now we have a real life fugitive story involving stem cells, but the innocence or guilt of the party on the run in this case, Dr. Lawrence Stowe, remains to be determined. (2020 update: we have more …Read More

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There was another federal indictment just handed down that alleges that one Francisco Morales (aka Dr. Frank Morales) broke the law with stem cells. Allegedly he took umbilical cords (telling patients that they would be used for medical research), facilitated isolation of stem cells, and shipped them out of state to be used in dubious stem cell treatments. The Houston Chronicle has an informative article on the case and quotes FBI Special Agent in Charge Cory B. Nelson: “This investigation identified a scheme whereby the suffering …Read More

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Four GOP hopefuls–Gingrich, Bachmann, Santorum, and Perry–attended an anti-cure meeting tonight to reaffirm their pledges to give human rights to fertilized eggs. Remarkably, these 4 supposedly mainstream GOP candidates for President of the United States, have embraced the notion of giving the same rights to single celled fertilized eggs that living, breathing, thinking human beings have…and this wild idea is one that was viewed as so extreme that the voters of one of the most conservative states in the U.S., Mississippi, rejected it by …Read More

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Merry Christmas!  You heard me, Merry Christmas! I’m a Democrat and I love Christmas! As we think about the holiday season, it seems appropriate to make our list, just as Santa is doing, of the elves and grinches of the stem cell world. For today on Christmas, let’s forget the grinches and not even give them attention…let’s focus on the ‘nice’ elves! Bernie Siegel, Executive Director of the Genetics Policy Institute (GPI) and Chair of the fantastic World Stem Cell Summit.  As I said in …Read More

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The opponents of hope, those anti-cure crusaders, will not give up and they are active on both the state and federal levels. Today we heard from the S. Louis Beacon that “Missouri Roundtable for Life” is aiming for a 2012 ballot initiative to change the definition of human cloning in such a way that some forms of stem cell research would become illegal. The good guys in this battle, Missouri Cures, are on top of this, but they need our support. Cures director Dena Ladd …Read More

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The anti-stem cell folks have the University of Minnesota in their crosshairs of late, even making personal attacks on specific stem cell scientists. What the heck? Let me explain what is going on. The propaganda arm of the anti-stem/anti-women’s rights movement is the National Right to Life News (NRLN). This is one of those extremist opinionated websites that for some inexplicable reason Google treats as a News organization and hence gives it prominent places in search results. NRLN is not happy with University of …Read More

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I recently posted a poll (you can still vote here) asking readers what they thought was the biggest stem cell news story of the year. Surprisingly, when the poll first went up, almost all the votes went to the Vatican Stem Cell Meeting, but then as we started getting a larger number of votes, things shifted. Now, the biggest story of the year according to the readers of this blog was Geron’s decision to leave the stem cell field. In second place was the …Read More