January 25, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Month: May 2014

2 min read

It’s been an important week for stem cells. Although I’ve been busy working on multiple grants and papers, when I take a break I like to read up on what’s been going on with stem cells. What are the top stem cell stories and headlines of the week? CIRM awarded Asterias (a subsidiary of BioTime) $14.3 million to continue clinical research into the use of hESC-derived OPCs for spinal cord injury. This is great news as the work formerly started by Geron lives again …Read More

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Japanese news media are reporting that Haruko Obokata and other key authors have agreed to retract the Nature STAP cell letter, but not the Nature article. This is a major development and a peculiar one because to many in the  field it is the Nature STAP cell article that is the more flawed of the two Nature papers on STAP. Why would Obokata and her colleagues agree to retract the STAP letter from Nature, especially after for so long categorically rejecting the idea? I suspect they are under pressure from other …Read More

3 min read

Two stem cell papers riddled with errors, with figures that resulted from potential misconduct, with plagiarism, and with other serious problems remain uncorrected and unretracted in the prestigious journal Nature. It is well past time for the journal to editorially retract them. It was about four months ago that Nature published the two astonishing STAP papers reporting the supposed creation of super-powerful stem cells (known variously as STAP cells or STAP stem cells) via simple methods such as weak acid treatment. Since their publication, it’s been all …Read More

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If you read this blog you know that I like stem cell contests and giving out awards. In the latest contest I am teaming up with ISSCR. The winner of the contest will receive a free registration to the upcoming ISSCR 2014 Annual Meeting in beautiful Vancouver, B.C. How do you enter and possibly win? Simply write an essay, 300 words or less, on the topic: “Why I want to go to ISSCR 2014”. Send it to me at [email protected] I will pick the …Read More

4 min read

When bioethicist Arthur Caplan talks about stem cells, people pay close attention and for good reason. Caplan has provided important perspectives on the stem cell field over the years. For example, you can see a guest post on this blog here about human cloning. However, in my post today I respectfully discuss how I disagree with several parts of this week’s piece by Caplan on why there are allegedly so many ethical problems in the stem cell research field. Caplan’s article (see screenshot from video at right) is focused on a question articulated by …Read More

1 min read

What happens if we start using induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells clinically in humans? A cool new paper recently came out that gets us closer to being able to predict an answer. It’s an important question as iPS cell-derived cellular products are getting closer to clinical use. For example, the first iPS cell-based clinical trial began to enroll patients in Japan last year in a clinical study related to macular degeneration (see my interview with Dr. Masayo Takahashi, who is leading that intriguing study). …Read More

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Sometimes there is so much craziness and outright bad stuff going on out there around the world related to stem cells that we can lose sight of all the good news and encouraging developments as well. I think the new paper (Chen, et al.) from a team led by Drs. Lane and Loring is good news. I haven’t had time to fully read it yet, but it reports some encouraging results whereby human neural progenitors injected into the spine of mice with an experimental MS-like …Read More

3 min read

They say a little knowledge is a dangerous thing and more specifically I say that a little stem cell training for MDs, such as from A4M, can potentially be a dangerous problem too. I’ve been very concerned about self-proclaimed “stem cell training courses” for MDs. These kinds of courses have claimed that over as short as a weekend (perhaps with golf) they fully prepare physicians to do stem cell interventions on patients. Such stem cell-related procedures can yield big profits for physicians, but what about the …Read More

2 min read

For more than 3 months I’ve been doing a tracking poll on the sentiments of the readers of this blog about STAP stem cells. The question is “Do you believe in STAP Stem Cells?” The result are summarized in the graph above. The latest poll results from period #9 are somewhat of a surprise. The overall trend for Poll #9 on STAP stem cells would seem to indicate a significant shift toward a more positive view, at least for the category “Close Yes”, meaning …Read More