January 18, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Month: August 2013

3 min read

I get contacted by a growing number of people on a weekly basis wanting to communicate about stem cells. I think it is largely because of this blog and my educational outreach efforts. Mostly these folks have questions for me. Other times they cold contact me to provide me with information that does not address any question I have posed, but nonetheless the information is important for clarifying certain events or issues in the stem cell field. I realize that parties that give me …Read More

2 min read

In a first for the field, scientists have used human pluripotent stem cells to grow miniature brain-like structures (brain organoids) in a dish in a lab (see beautiful image of one of these “mini-brains” at left from the paper). This exciting, pioneering feat, accomplished by a team from the Austrian Academy of Science in Vienna led by Dr. Juergen Knoblich (see his lab page here), has drawn great attention in the mainstream media such as here at CNN. The paper, which Lancaster, et al., was …Read More

2 min read

Celulas Madres: Una Guia para el Conocedor es un Nuevo excitante libro que lleva a el lector adentro del mundo de celulas madres guiado por el internacionalmente experto en celulas madres el Dr. Paul Knoepfler. Celulas madres estan catalizando una revolucion en la medicina. El libro tambien destaca el caliente y excitante debate en el area de tratamientos con celulas madres que esta captivando la imaginacion del publico. En el futuro esta previsto que estas celulas podran transformar como envejecemos y nos reproducimos. No …Read More

5 min read

Some stem cell clinics are pressuring their own patients into potentially breaking federal law through something like smuggling. A big problem for certain clinics is how to bring the paying American customer (i.e. the patient) and the biological product that they are selling derived from the patient’s stem cells together outside the reach of the FDA so a lucrative stem cell transplant can occur. These clinics realize that exporting a human stem cell biological product out of the US with the intention of clinical …Read More

1 min read

I recently did a poll on stem cell homing. As you can see from the poll results above, most respondents believe that stem cells can home depending on circumstances. Almost 2/3 of respondents believe that stem cells sometimes or always home in to areas of disease. However, most respondents did not believe in this being a universal property. Why would stem cells home to diseases? It seems that injured tissues release cytokines that attract certain cells including immune cells. Maybe stem cells too? It’s …Read More

3 min read

There is a lot of talk about cloning celebrities so could we be seeing John Lennon again in the form of a clone? If a Canadian dentist named Michael Zuk has his way, the late Beatle may be back. In his quest to get back Lennon, Zuk reportedly purchased an old molar that once had its home in Lennon’s mouth even as he sang all those famous Beatles’ tunes. At least this is according to the rock solid bastion of media factuality, The NY …Read More

1 min read

  In the stem cell field we hear this all the time: “Stem cells naturally home to areas of disease or injury.” But is it really true or just a useful myth? Such homing could be local such as if you inject stem cells into the parenchyma of the brain they go within the brain to the site of a problem. Or such homing could be more global whereby, for example, stem cells injected IV home to a target diseased organ and then right …Read More

1 min read

Life Technologies makes all kind of great stem cell stuff. They are a sponsor on this website and they are very excited about stem cell technology. Life’s media brand, Gibco, has a hilarious new video out on YouTube on stem cells and media (the image right below here is a live video link–just click on it to view the video). The video stars a cartoon personified stem cell character, named, well, Stem Cell. The video gets really funny in a geeky way as it …Read More

2 min read

I met with Texas Governor Rick Perry, himself a recipient of stem cell transplants, last year to talk stem cells. He was enthusiastic about stem cells to put it mildly and it was great to talk with him. My impression from meeting with him in person is that he is clearly a very intelligent, energetic, and gifted leader. But even the best leaders make mistakes and I think stem cells may spell trouble for him in the long run. Now that he has announced …Read More

3 min read

What would your predictions be for 7 years down the road and by the way please read the eye chart below out loud. How’s your vision? Today’s post is a chance to let one’s optimism and excitement about stem cells run a bit wild looking ahead not to next year, but 7 years ahead to the year 2020. Can we make 20/20 (i.e. accurate) predictions for where the stem cell field will be that far down the road? In my upcoming book (you can …Read More