January 18, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Month: January 2011

1 min read

If a stem cell could talk, what would it say or tweet? I imagine stem cells like teenagers. So much potential but at times difficult or unpredictable. Below is my take on what a stem cell being prepared for transplantation would Tweet. Life is too short to always take everything 100% seriously so here’s some humor. Some other Twitter-related posts can be found here including a 2019 post on who to follow regarding stem cells on Twitter.

1 min read

A report will be issued today of the economic impact of CIRM on California. The Sac Bee and FierceBiotech are reporting on the economic infusion that CIRM has provided to the state. On average during its existence, CIRM has created 8 jobs day for the state of California. The jobs mostly consist not surprisingly of scientists and construction workers who have built the CIRM funded stem cell institutes around the state. Longer term the economic benefit to California is likely to grow as CIRM-funded …Read More

2 min read

Last night President Obama gave a state of the union speech. He seemed appropriately somber given the many issues facing the country. One issue of particular importance is the federal budget and the deficit. Will Obama strongly get behind biomedical research and request budget increases for 2011 for NIH and NSF? If not, then the Republican controlled Congress is even more likely to reduce the NIH budget to 2008 levels or at best keep it at 2010 levels. Either case is bad news for …Read More

3 min read

Can one creature directly give another creature cancer? It appears so in dogs and that cancer is highly contagious. When we think about transplants of cells, we think about hospitals and high-tech equipment used to give patients stem cells or other types of cells to help treat them for a disease. Generally cancer patients are excluded from being donors during transplants because there is some concern that a recipient of a transplant from a cancer patient, even in remission, could contain cancer cells. If …Read More

1 min read

A federal appeals court today threw out a lawsuit against federal funding of ES cell research. The lawsuit reportedly was filed on behalf of all cryopreserved embryos in the U.S. and the ruling was issued by the US Court of the Appeals of the 4th Circuit. While this decision does not directly have anything to do with a similar, more high profile case filed by self-proclaimed “adult” stem cell researchers including James Sherley, the 4th Circuit Appeals Court ruling that the embryos do not …Read More

1 min read

CIRM announced today that it had appointed Ellen Feigal, M.D., to be its first VP for Research Development. Dr. Feigal will begin the job on Jan. 31. Dr. Feigal is a graduate of UC Davis Med School (where I am writing this from; go UC Davis SOM!) and is currently Executive Medical Director for Global Development at Amgen. By choosing Dr. Feigal as its new VP, CIRM indicates its interest in moving forward translational research to the clinic and its continuing high level of …Read More

1 min read

As we have blogged before, there are a host of different beliefs about embryonic stem cell research and about when life begins. This diversity of perspectives is sprinkled across the globe. Too often in the U.S. people take an ethnocentric view of this question, believing that everyone else should think the same as they do. There’s an interesting article from Joy Resmovits in Forward that compares attitudes about and funding for embryonic stem cell research in Israel and in the U.S. In the article, …Read More

5 min read

There is a kind of invisible cultural wall between patients such as cancer patients and biomedical scientists like me, but this wall does not have to exist and indeed it is a negative wall as patients, scientists, doctors, agencies, and advocates can achieve far more together than apart. But the wall is surprisingly strong. Last year when I was diagnosed with prostate cancer, that wall was broken for me. I was suddenly both scientist and patient at the same time. Now I am both …Read More

2 min read

In 2010 I blogged about the exciting finding that researchers could derive most blood cell types from stem cells. You can read more about that here. Here also is a video of Micky Bhatia discussing the findings: Mick Bhatia on turning skin cells into blood. Now comes a new paper (you can read it here) from a team of researchers led by ACT’s Robert Lanza that reports the production of human platelets from human ES cells. The platelets functioned normally in tests in mice. Of …Read More

1 min read

New California Governor, Jerry Brown, today proposed a 17% cut in funding for the UC System. Such a cut would be devastating to California at many levels including education, research, and competitiveness. The UC System is already under extraordinary stress from recent budget cuts that have inflicted serious injury upon the system. The new Governor’s proposed additional deep cuts would be disastrous. UC leaders responded today and articulated the serious implications of Brown’s misguided proposal. UC President Yudof remarked that the cuts would result …Read More