January 27, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Month: September 2013

1 min read

This year will mark the second award for the global Stem Cell Person of the Year Award. Nominations are due tonight at midnight. Therefore, if you know of a person who you believe has made a transformative positive impact on the world of stem cells in 2013, please let me know by nominating them. Today is your last chance. The Award brings with it recognition for the winner and a $1,000 prize. See details and rules here.    

2 min read

We all have heard the expression “eyes on the back of one’s head”, but a nose on top of one’s head? What the heck? A Chinese doctor has apparently grown a new nose on top of a patient’s forehead. The patient had his nose damaged by an injury and then also ravaged by infection. It makes perfect sense to bioengineer a new nose for the man, but it’s a puzzling story in this case for many reasons. Why, for example, grow the nose on …Read More

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It’s only September 2013, but already stem cell aficionados are thinking ahead to 2014. What meetings should you go to? I have already started my new page for 2014 Stem Cell Meetings & Conferences. Check it out and start making plans. I already see several I am going to go to in 2014 and it’s still September 2013, but you need to plan ahead. Also if you are running a meeting or know of a good one in 2014 not already on the list …Read More

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Late in 2012 I did a piece on the global trends in stem cell clinical trial patterns. It is time for an update. Another look at stem cell clinical trials now (late Sept. 2013) based on the clinicaltrials.gov database shows an encouraging trend. Total Stem Cell Clinical Trials The total number of stem cell clinical trials registered in the database has risen in the last 10 months or so from 4,316 to 4,775, a 10.6% increase. The U.S. continues to dominate total stem cell …Read More

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I’m excited about a new development on my stem cell book. It should be available on Amazon in E-book form in 2 days on Friday, September 27th for $22. It looks like you can already get the E-book on the publisher’s site here today. The top 2 questions I’ve been asked lately about what I am up to are “why did you write a book?” and “how long did it take?” I wrote my book on stem cells (Stem Cells: An Insider’s Guide) because …Read More

3 min read

Fox News reports (and the Las Vegas Review-Journal too) that convicted stem cell fraud Alfred Sapse (see more on him & this case here and here) has been sentenced to 17 years in federal prison and ordered to pay more than $1 million in restitution. Sapse along with pediatrician Ralph Conti (see image above from the Review-Journal) were convicted late last year for a stem cell scheme that preyed upon vulnerable patients. Conti, 51, died before being sentenced late last year, but Sapse was placed immediately …Read More

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The 2013 Stem Cell Person of the Year Award process (see details and rules here) is off to a great start. With about a week remaining in the time period for nominations I have 2 dozen nominees so far. This group of nominees is very diverse, far more so than last year, and includes more scientists and physicians. A very interesting development. I will announce the nominees next week after the September 30th deadline. Things are going to be a little bit different in …Read More

4 min read

ABC News just reported that the FDA is allgedly “cracking down” on the publicly traded company, MiMedx (MDXG), which sells a placental derivative touted for healing powers. The Wall Street Journal is also following the story. According to ABC News: MiMedx is a publically traded, for-profit company that takes donated human placentas — solicited via a website featuring babies and a cartoon butterfly — and turns them into health products. These can be used as skin grafts or injections, and they’re intended to treat inflammation and scar …Read More

3 min read

Lately on average patients or patient relatives contact me about stem cells more than once a week. That’s about 50 times a year. The patients or their parents have questions about stem cells most often. Sometimes they have comments about this blog. Other times they ask for medical advice from me. Because I am a Ph.D. scientist  I do not ever give medical advice, but I often have fruitful discussions with patients about stem cell science and the realities of stem cell interventions. The …Read More

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A team at the Weizmann Institute of Science in Israel led by Jacob Hanna reports today near perfect reprogramming efficiency to make induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) by eliminating a single factor called Mbd3 from the cellular equation. On first glance, the Nature article (Rais, et al.) seems to be all about boosting cellular reprogramming efficiency to close to 100%. If that were the whole story of this paper then it would likely not draw major interest and probably would not have been published in Nature. Why? The …Read More