January 27, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Month: October 2013

4 min read

What does the future hold for the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine (CIRM), also known as the California Stem Cell Agency? While new CIRM grants should be awarded up until 2017, CIRM is rightly thinking about its future. Californians should be paying attention and thinking ahead too. You might say that since I’m a CIRM grantee, I cannot be entirely unbiased about looking to its future. Perhaps. On the other hand I have also been closely following CIRM for its whole existence and have …Read More

4 min read

Congratulations to Dr. Elena Cattaneo, the winner of the 2013 Stem Cell Person of the Year Award. Her lab studies neural stem cells, particularly as they relate to developing new therapies for Huntington’s Disease. Cattaneo is Director and Co-Founder of the Unistem, the Centre for Stem Cell Research at the University of Milano, Italy. She is also the Director of the Laboratory of Stem Cell Biology and Pharmacology of Neurodegenerative Diseases in the Department of Pharmacological Sciences. Beyond her great achievements in stem cell science, …Read More

4 min read

Osiris, a cellular therapy biotech, recently received a so-called “untitled letter” from the FDA. The text of the letter seems on the whole negative in my opinion, while the company’s public reaction to the letter on the other hand could be seen paradoxically as rather cheery. What’s going on here? With Halloween coming, one has to wonder if the FDA letter to Osiris was more like a trick or a treat. My take is that it sure doesn’t seem like a Snickers bar. The …Read More

2 min read

I recently held a flash 48 hour contest for free tickets to the World Alliance Forum on the future of stem cells at which Yamanaka and others will be speaking. Congrats to the winners, Sai Vemula and Johnathon Anderson. Here are their winning entries. Sai Vemula Editor, SSSCR-International, UC Berkeley, Molecular and Cell Biology B.A. This forum provides a unique opportunity to get a glimpse of the field from national and global perspectives and lets me go beyond the science and learn about various economical, …Read More

1 min read

Ben Paylor has made some awesome animated stem cell videos for educational outreach via his project called StemCellShorts supported in part by the Stem Cell Network. These videos are narrated by true scholars of the field and are a very effective means for teaching about stem cells. I really enjoyed them and highly recommend them to you The three in this post are out in the public domain now. Stayed tuned here as there will be more to come in the way of StemCellShorts videos in …Read More

2 min read

This morning I particularly enjoyed a talk by Sui Huang focused on the application of mathematics as a tool to understand cell behavior and fate. I love this stuff! I just wish I was better at math and physics so I could have a deeper understanding of how they apply to stem cells. Huang is a true expert in this area. I have to admit that I did not understand all of his talk, but I found it thought-provoking. Two things I confess to …Read More

3 min read

You can jailbreak your iPhone, but perhaps you can jailbreak a cell too to turn it into a stem cell. In his very cool talk up here at the Till & McCulloch Meeting on Stem Cells yesterday, Andras Nagy characterized the reprogramming process to make iPS cells as “jailbreaking” cell fate. Nagy described some intriguing studies done on reprogramming by his lab together in collaboration with an international consortium. I especially appreciated the fact that Nagy (see pic at left, credit to Peter Raaymakers) tackled head on …Read More

4 min read

What is “radically deterministic” cellular reprogramming? Jacob Hanna’s lab recently published a very high profile Nature paper on nearly 100% efficient iPS cell formation based on targeting a factor called Mbd3. This super efficiency is a major departure from past reported efficiencies. This morning here at the Till & McCulloch Stem Cell Meeting in Banff, Hanna gave an intriguing talk telling us more about his lab’s efforts in this area. He also fielded some incisive questions from the audience (including 2 from me) after …Read More

1 min read

Several people up here at the Till & McCulloch Stem Cell Meeting in Banff have asked who is going to be the winner of the 2013 Stem Cell Person of the Year Award. The winner will be announced on Tuesday, October 29th. As many of you know we have 12 finalists chosen by an Internet vote from 30 original nominees. Since the vote ended I’ve been doing what I am accustomed to doing most of my life it seems: research. I’m learning more about …Read More

1 min read

I have made it in one piece to beautiful Banff all the way from Davis, CA. Talk about a change of scene. Davis, CA couldn’t be flatter, while Banff is surrounded by beautiful snowy capped mountains. See image at right from the hotel. Wow. I walked over to the conference center and there was a distinct alpine crispness to the air, while I’m guessing it was 84 degrees in Davis in California’s central valley today. The one thing in common between Davis, CA and …Read More