January 27, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Month: February 2011

1 min read

The Oklahoma State Legislature is reportedly poised to potentially pass an outright ban of ES cell research. While in the past similar legislation was vetoed by previous Oklahoma Governor, Democrat Brad Henry, current Republican Governor Mary Fallin is likely to sign the legislation. The Oklahoman newspaper website today contains a factually incorrect, inflammatory piece by Dr. Dominic Pedulla, equating ES cells to abortion. Dr. Pedulla refers to “embryonic patients” in talking about the few day old clusters of cells that make up the human …Read More

3 min read

When I was an eight-year-old kid, my older brother Dave was taking karate. I thought it was very cool. One day he came home from karate class and I asked him what they did that day. He said they were “learning to fall”. At the time I thought that was the dumbest thing I had ever heard in my life. Learning to fall? Isn’t the idea in karate to make the other guy fall and for you not to fall? He explained that in …Read More

1 min read

The U.S. House of Representatives may vote as early as tomorrow on a Continuing Resolution (CR) that includes a swath of cuts across the federal budget including a 5+% cut for NIH. Such a cut would have devastating consequences for not only research generally and the U.S. economy, but also specifically for stem cell research. If you care about research, we need you to contact your representative to voice your opposition to the budget cut for NIH and your support of an amendment that …Read More

2 min read

Overall, not focusing just on ES cell research, who is the largest funding agency in the world for stem cell research? If you think about CIRM, funding stem cell grants just in California, versus NIH funding stem cell research across the country, who might you imagine would have provided more funding? I would have thought NIH. However, a simple number crunching exercise reveals a surprising, if preliminary conclusion: CIRM funded more stem cell research than NIH during the last 5 years. During the period …Read More

2 min read

In it’s first five years in existence, CIRM has awarded almost $1.2 billion for stem cell research in the state of California in the form of just over 400 grants. To give you some perspective on that amount of research funding, let’s compare this CIRM funding to NIH funding for stem cell research across the entire country during the same period of time. Using the NIH grant search tool, RePORTER, I searched for grants with the title words “stem cell” or “pluripotency” or “pluripotent” …Read More

2 min read

Part of the Republican’s so-called “Pledge to America” was to cut $100 billion from the federal budget. Even though fiscal year 2011 is already almost half over, Republicans driven by Tea Party Mad Hatters have proposed to cut $100 billion from the budget for this year, increasing their proposed cuts of many programs including deeper cuts of NIH and NSF. If the Republicans have their way the NIH budget in 2011 would be 4% lower than it was in 2010. So in this way …Read More

2 min read

Each year brings more evidence that what causes many cancers is a case of biological betrayal on the part of stem cells via cancer stem cells. I have blogged before about the potential for stem cell-based regenerative medicine therapies to aid cancer patients. I have also written before about my own experiences as a cancer patient. As you can imagine, being a cancer and stem cell scientist but also now a cancer patient/survivor makes me especially eager to find ways to attack cancer.  An …Read More

1 min read

Everyone has been understandably stressed about how the ongoing federal legislative process might effect funding for research including stem cell research. Particularly worrisome was the proposal from the new Republican-controlled House of Representatives to cut $100 billion from the budget. Today brought news (reported at one of my favorite blogs, The Great Beyond) that in some respect things may not turn out as badly as we thought. House Appropriations Chair Hal Rogers released a partial list of spending cuts from Obama’s proposed budget for …Read More

2 min read

What’s going on these days with biotech companies working on stem cell-based products? Geron’s and Advanced Cell Technology (ACT)’s FDA-approved trials presumably continue. As expected, no news yet. It’s too soon. Two important questions regarding both these companies are (1) did they apply for CIRM funding and (2) if so, how did the review process a couple days ago go for them as CIRM reviewed applications for the $50 million stem cell trials round? Four firms in total applied for this CIRM funding, but …Read More

3 min read

It’s been more than 4 years since Shinya Yamanaka published the remarkable finding that his lab could transform or “reprogram” regular cells called fibroblasts into a very unique state that was quite similar to that of embryonic stem cells (ESC).  Yamanaka called these new cells “iPS cells” for induced pluripotent stem cells. Since that time, the discovery of iPS cells along with the accompanying revolutionary notion that cellular differentiation is a readily reversible state, took the field by firestorm. The number of publications in …Read More