May 29, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Month: January 2011

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 and biomedical scientists like me. 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 scientist and cancer survivor. A …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

2 min read

Yesterday I wrote about how difficult it is to tell different cell lines apart, including normal stem cells and cancer stem cells. A new paper is coming out that makes this case on a genomic level. Tomorrow’s Cell Stem Cell edition includes a paper by a team of researchers led by Jeanne Loring that has identified relatively small genomic abnormalities in ESC and iPS cells. While both ESC and iPS cells share a subset of these genomic changes, iPS cells had a particularly high …Read More

3 min read

The stem cell field is faced with a dilemma. Stem cells and some non-stem cells are sometimes too similar to tell apart. Even worse, stem cells and cancer cells are especially similar. If one focuses specifically on cancer stem cells (aka tumor initiating cells), the similarity between cancer stem cells and normal stem cells is even more pronounced. From the point of view of the old expression “if it walks like a duck and quacks like a duck, it must be a duck”, many …Read More