January 19, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Month: September 2011

3 min read

I know you care about stem cells and research, but do you know much about epigenetics? You should. If you do not understand epigenetics then you do not understand stem cells. Don’t be put off by the complicated sounding name “epigenetics”. It’s really simple conceptually and below is your easy-to-understand guide. Epigenetics controls nearly every aspect of the biology of every type of stem cell. One of the areas that my lab studies is stem cell epigenetics. While scientists may quibble about terminology, epigenetics …Read More

1 min read

Hi everyone, I’ve recorded a new stem cell podcast for the past week. Topics include the first patient in a CIRM-supported clinical trial, a proteomics paper on iPS and ES cells, stem cell tourism, the CIRM grantee meeting, and big tent team science amongst others.

2 min read

The stem cell field is exciting and the technology powerful. Not surprisingly there is a great deal of intense behind the scenes rumors about various hard to believe developments and news stories that also seem incredible. One such line of gossip was that the FBI was poised to crack down much more severely on dubious stem cell clinics in the U.S. Now more recently we have two more amazing stories that are percolating through the field. First, there is the report that football star …Read More

1 min read

As much as so many were excited yesterday about the enrollment of the first patient in a CIRM-funded clinical trial, I did not see a mention of a very important element. The patient. Our excitement about the clinical trial moving forward is understandable, but we also need to keep a sober perspective on the fact that a very real person had a catastrophic spinal cord injury recently. This is a very real person and we need to keep them in our thoughts, perhaps slightly …Read More

2 min read

Today marked a major milestone as the Geron spinal cord injury clinical trial, supported by CIRM funding, using human embryonic stem cell-derived oligodendrocyte precursor cells enrolled its first patient in California supported. CIRM funding = clinical trials progressing and patients treated. Many major media outlets covered the story including the North County Times in this piece. This event marks a major turning point I think as we will see more and more directly clinical readouts of CIRM funding over the next several years. This …Read More

2 min read

Drs. James Sherley and Theresa Deisher are the two adult stem cell researchers who sued the federal government over federal funding of ESC research. They claimed that NIH funding of ESC research violated the law and also was unfair to them. This case has been bouncing around in various courts over the last couple years and at one point last year caused chaos through an injunction barring NIH funding of ESC research. Much to the relief of the stem cell research community, the plaintiffs …Read More

7 min read

Some of the smartest people I have ever met in my life were scientists. But some of these same people made the dumbest mistakes I have ever seen in my life. Why? Their raw brainpower and knowledge of science is amazing, but they seemed to lack common sense and what I would call “science street smarts“. They had a hard time working within the context of the real world, which includes some dark alleys and traps, rather than their notion of an idealized scientific …Read More

3 min read

Another sports stars has been publicly “outed” as having received a non-FDA approved stem cell therapy in a foreign country. First, the big news earlier this year in June was that NY Yankees Pitcher Bartolo Colon had received a stem cell treatment. Then we all heard that Texas Governor and, at the moment, leading GOP candidate for President Rick Perry had received a stem cell treatment associated with back surgery that some have suggested might have “run afoul of federal rules”. Does that mean …Read More

1 min read

According to the Hill, Republicans have introduced legislation that would require “prioritization” of stem cell research by the Secretary of Health and Human Resources. Digging into the details, “prioritize” in this case means kicking hESC research to the back of the line so by “prioritize” what they really mean is politicize. The bill, sponsored by Republican Randy Forces of Virginia and co-sponsored by Democrat Dan Lipinski of Illinois and 18 house Republicans, might force NIH to reduce funding for hESC research. What does this …Read More