January 18, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Month: April 2014

2 min read

Here are the remaining stem cell meetings, conferences, courses, etc. for the rest of 2014. What an amazing lineup! You should register and go to some of these if you are at all interested in stem cells. As always if you do not see your meeting on the list, let me know (e.g. on Twitter @pknoepfler or via a comment). See you there! You can also see my full 2014 stem cell meeting hub page here. Remaining meetings on stem cells in 2014. Wisconsin …Read More

2 min read

A new human therapeutic cloning paper is out today, the third in a matter of months. This one is from the lab group of Dr. Dieter Egli published in Nature demonstrating production of nuclear transfer embryonic stem cells (NT-ESCs) from an adult human somatic donor via somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). This human SCNT paper follows on the heels of a similar paper (Chung, et al.) from Bob Lanza’s group published in Cell Stem Cell and the pioneering Mitalipov human SCNT paper (Tachibani, et al.) …Read More

1 min read

About six weeks ago I had my head shaved to raise funds for childhood cancer research via the awesome St. Baldrick’s Foundation. It was an exciting week because by chance, I also was invited to be the guest on a Sacramento PBS TV discussion show called Studio Sacramento hosted by Scott Syphax just two days later. Scott is a tremendous interviewer and host. You can watch it here if you are interested. Why watch? It’s a real person (me) talking frankly about all the …Read More

1 min read

What’s up with STAP cells? Do people belief in them or not? Our STAP poll #8 polling results on STAP are in with more than 1000 respondents. The poll question was “Do you believe in STAP cells?” I will start STAP poll #9 soon. The poll #8 results remain about the same but there has been a slight shift toward more people indicating they are at least leaning positive. Again, recall that this polling is not scientific.

4 min read

It was intriguing last week to read about another advance in somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT)-based therapeutic cloning of human embryonic stem cells (hESC). The first such work was published last year by Mitalipov’s group from OHSU. This second paper to produce so-called nuclear transfer hESC (NT-hESC) made the important advance to show that it could be done using adult and even old human somatic cells. This is a reproducible technology, which is very important. However, key challenges and concerns remain for human therapeutic cloning …Read More

1 min read

Sometimes when we Google things we can find out surprising things about specific topics including the whole STAP cell train wreck. When I recently searched for STAP, here was my reaction: What the heck? A recent Google search for STAP cells yielded these two adjacent, completely contradictory results sourced from two Obokata mentors (see image above) by the same newspaper less than 1 day apart. That certainly clears things up on the STAP cell front, huh? Are they a hypothesis or “undoubtedly exist”? Neither, …Read More

3 min read

An international team of stem cell scientists has replicated human therapeutic cloning to make embryonic stem cells via somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). The team was led by Drs. Dong Ryul Lee of CHA Stem Cell Institute in Korea and Robert Lanza of Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) and reported the advance in the Chung, et al. paper today in the journal Cell Stem Cell entitled “Human Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer Using Adult Cells”. The cells expressed pluripotency markers (see Figure 1A at left) and …Read More

5 min read

The ultimate fate of the two Nature STAP cell papers remains in troubled limbo. One of the senior STAP cell authors, Dr. Sasai, held a news conference yesterday in Japan that included a call for the papers to be retracted. He was variously quoted as believing in STAP cells or alternatively as just thinking it was an unproven hypothesis. Whether STAP cells or STAP stem cells are real or not, overall the STAP cell situation has been disastrous. Can biomedical science learn anything from this …Read More

1 min read

Late last year I was hearing some exciting things about California Stem Cell, Inc. under the leadership of Hans Keirstead. (2020 update: interestingly 3 years ago Keirstead ran for congress, but the campaign didn’t quite make it.) In fact, I thought a big move for California Stem was in the cards for 2014 and looking into my stem cell crystal ball, I went so far as to make that one of my top 10 stem cell predictions for 2014. Today, that prediction came true with …Read More

2 min read

We in the stem cell field should call this past week: A Nightmare on Stem Street. I can’t think of many weeks that have been worse for the stem cell field than this past one. I’m a new week is starting soon. It was a real nightmare, although I wish it was just something fictional out of the movies (see movie poster from Wikipedia). What happened? The STAP horror fest kicked it up a notch in providing pain to the stem cell field with a dramatic …Read More