May 29, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Month: May 2011

2 min read

While most readers here tell me they greatly value our stem cell blog, after some threats I’m wondering: is it time to shut this blog down? Some people are saying I should or else! Unfortunately, threats to scientists, scientific openness, and science itself are not unusual. This stem cell blog in its current incarnation has now existed for about a year. I’m happy to say that in the last year our readership has grown quite a lot such that we get about 2,000 page …Read More

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One of the commenters on this blog told me, in response to my post on the opponents of stem cell research, to “get a life.” What’s a “life” according to this guy? To me? To you? We all lead different lives and have different ideas about what is a valuable life. We all face different challenges. It would be a rare person indeed who escapes tragedy in the form of a health-related situation. It might be someone you love or yourself or perhaps most …Read More

1 min read

Dr. Kevin D’Amour, Director of Stem Cell Research at Viacyte, gave an excellent, extremely interesting talk Friday morning: Developing an Encapsulated Stem Cell Therapy for Diabetes. In the talk, Dr. D’Amour gave a very detailed description of their products Pro-Islet and Encaptra. Together these products form an encapsulated beta-cell product that is in pre-clinical development for the use in treating Type I Diabetes. In discussing Pro-Islet, he mentioned that it is 98% pancreatic cells and 2% other cells. Once encapsulated, Pro-Islet maintained normal human …Read More

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This morning there was a fantastic session here at the ASGCT meeting in Seattle on Clinical Trials on Stem Cells. One of the speakers was Geron VP, Jane Lebkoswki, PhD: Development of Human Embryonic Stem Cell-Based Therapies for Treatment of Human Degenerative Diseases. The talk was focused on OPC1 for the treatment of spinal cord injury. Dr. Lebkowski said there were three main potential functions of OPC1: (1) stimulation of neurite outgrowth, (2) re-myelination, and (3) neo-vascularization. She gave an update on the first …Read More

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The best talk today was the keynote address by Dr. George Daley focused mostly on iPS cells. Dr. Daley is one of the world’s experts on iPS cells and pluripotent stem cells more generally. He covered many interesting elements of the iPS cell field including the genetic mutations that seem to occur during the reprogramming procedure. Epigenomic changes. Ways to integrate gene therapy and cell therapy approaches that are very exciting. However, he also asked a cautionary question: How long will it take to …Read More

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There were three talks today on iPS cells here at the American Society for Gene and Cell Therapy in Seattle. Dr. James Ellis made the interesting case that it may actually be preferable to make iPS cells using genetic methods (while everyone else seems to be saying that non-genetic methods will be better). Dr. Ellis made the argument that it will be critical to have a genetic-based tracker (reporter) in the iPS cells to follow how they behave in the recipient in the context …Read More