January 23, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Month: January 2014

3 min read

I spend some hours each week reading and thinking about the recent scientific literature and I’m sure many of you do the same thing, but do we gravitate towards hyped “holy crap” papers? Every so often, a new paper erupts on the scene. It makes a big splash with a flashy entrance that captures people’s attention all around the globe. What’s the best way for scientists to handle such super sexy science papers? This week I am of course referring to the STAP stem …Read More

2 min read

The STAP papers on making iPS like cells using acid treatment of differentiated cells really has people talking. See embryo at right made from GFP reporter STAP cells that glow green. As I said in my review of the papers yesterday, there are still some critical things we do not know about STAP cells and I posed 6 key questions that remain open so we cannot really predict their impact quite yet or the impact of this technology. I will, however, make a few predictions …Read More

1 min read

Turns out the show on stem cells that I and some others in the stem cell field will be on with Stephen Hawking that is airing next Monday, February 3rd, on the Science Channel is called “Stem Cell Universe with Stephen Hawking” (scroll down in this linked page to near the bottom as of Jan. 29 to look for the show listed at 10pm on February 3). It is brought to being by many of the same folks who do WormHole with Morgan Freeman. I …Read More

4 min read

In two Nature papers (here and here) published today researchers report the astounding finding of reprogramming differentiated cells back to a pluripotent or even totipotent state simply by exposing the cells to extreme environmental stress, creating cells they called STAP cells. Update: see more thoughts on STAP stem cells here. No genes. No proteins. No nuclear transfer. Just stressing the heck out of the cells, for example, by exposing them to acid. Nature writer David Cyranoski entitled his news piece on these papers “Acid …Read More

5 min read

Tonight, President Obama will give his “State of the Union” annual address on how our country is doing. I’m guessing he will say the state of the union is positive, but with challenges. What is the state of the union for stem cells in America today? Overall I think it’s extremely encouraging and the field has great momentum in 2014. Of course there are challenges too and big risks. On the positive side, there have never been more stem cell clinical trials underway than …Read More

1 min read

In the summer of 2013, the producer and crew of the Discovery Channel’s Through the Wormhole filmed two times at my house for a special episode on stem cells. I think it’s going to be a great show. The stem cell episode will first air on the Science/Discovery Channel on Feb. 3 (check your local listings for time). Update: on West Coast, Comcast has Science Channel most often as Channel 272. I saw an ad for the stem cell episode saying 10PM (not sure if …Read More

4 min read

A robot has joined our household. Wait, what? By way of disclosure, we didn’t exactly choose to have the robot join our household nor did the robot choose on its own like some kind of terminator barging into the place. Rather, my mom gave it to us as a gift. No it’s not quite like Rosie, the family robot maid on the Jetsons. It’s a Roomba, made by iRobot. Still, it’s a big step in the direction of Rosies of the future. A Roomba …Read More

2 min read

Stem cell biotech, Advanced Cell Technology (ACT; stock symbol ACTC), has started off 2014 with indications that it is in a phase of rapid evolution. Some changes, such as today’s announced departure of now former CEO Gary Rabin (see my 2013 interview with him here), are already in the public domain, but other big developments are likely based on private conversations. ACT’s CFO and executive VP, Edward Myles, will serve as interim president during a search to replace Rabin, according to WBJournal. Miles is …Read More