January 28, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Month: February 2015

1 min read

I’ve seen many crazy things over the years doing this blog. There was the Moriguchi IPS cell fraud, the electric stem cell bra, the stem cell supermodel case, the stem cell soup No. 7 aphrodisiac, the STAP cell scandal….and the craziness goes on. Today there’s a new one that even surprised me. Haruko Obokata, lead STAP cell author, has now entered the online game world, although it seems not of her own choosing. The Asahi Shimbun reports that a new character in the video game Star …Read More

3 min read

By Aaron Goldman Much like the winter weather we’ve been enduring on the east coast, cancer research is advancing at a rapid clip! For decades, researchers have considered pools of “cancer stem cells” (CSC) as the subsets within a tumor which both initiate progression and underpin the failure of therapy. Over the past 5 years, however, a number of published studies have expanded this concept by putting a greater emphasis on the inherent plasticity of cancer cells allowing for reversibility in the cell hierarchy …Read More

4 min read

Dr. Christopher Fasano, principal investigator at the Neural Stem Cell Institute and creator and host of THE Stem Cell Podcast founded a unique stem cell meeting in 2013. In this short interview I find out about The Next-Gen Stem Cell Conference (to be held this year on May 6-7) and how it differs from the others. What is the Next-Gen Stem Cell Conference? The Next-Gen Stem Cell Conference is a meeting where young stem cell scientist get together in a causal setting to exchange …Read More

2 min read

A cool new paper is out in Stem Cell Reports describing long-term tumorigenicity of human induced pluripotent stem cells (IPSC or IPS cells). See graphical abstract. The potential tumorigenicity of IPSC is a major concern when teams around the world are translating IPSC technology to the bedside. Past studies including one from my own lab have shown that there are some parallels between cellular reprogramming to make IPSC and tumorigenicity. MYC has often been viewed as the likely culprit but this paper expands the potentially …Read More

2 min read

The still mysterious BioGatekeeper had challenged Yamanaka’s IPS cell patent claiming that it was obvious. The potential implications were huge given the commercial interest in translating IPS cell technology. For background see here, here, and here. There’s pretty much zero information on BioGatekeeper otherwise. Despite the potential seriousness of this patent challenge, just a few days ago the Patent Trial and Appeal Board (PTAB) denied the challenge so for all intents and purposes BioGatekeeper’s effort is dead. A big hat tip to reader Shinsakan. You …Read More

6 min read

On Thursday here at UC Davis School of Medicine we held our second annual Stem Cell Ethics Symposium. The symposium was organized by Drs. Mark Yarborough and Nanette Joyce as well as me. In this post I report on key take homes from the meeting and summarize the specific talks. As far as I know, this is one of the few events in the world where there is such a wide diversity of stakeholders present both as speakers and in the audience to specifically discuss stem cell ethics for a full …Read More

1 min read

Here are some recent stem cell headlines. It was a busy week. The linked phrases in blue were the actual headlines from the media. ViaCyte Excites. A Pancreas in a Capsule Stem cells for malaria? (see video) Stem cells offer promising key to new malaria drugs: US research STAP Finally Snaps? Only moot penalties? RIKEN announces penalties related to stem cell fiasco Gordie Howe’s miracle challenged. The stem–cell ‘miracle’ is anecdotal Breast augmentation for the rich and famous through unapproved stem cell biological drugs? ‘Dr. 90210’ Robert Rey — Now Making Bigger Boobs … Using Stem …Read More

2 min read

NatureNews is a science news outlet so I’ve been wondering what the heck the deal is with their strongly biased news coverage of the mitochondrial transfer 3-person IVF technology debate. By way of context, I like NatureNews and am a regular reader, but their coverage of the mitochondrial transfer debate has been completely one-sided and inaccurate. Their two so-called news pieces on this have been extraordinarily biased in favor of the UK going ahead with the technology. Let’s take the first one entitled, “Scientists cheer vote to allow three-person …Read More

3 min read

Remember that old TV show the Odd Couple with very proper Felix Unger and his polar opposite Oscar Madison who has all kinds of baggage? They’ve cloned it into a remake to be on TV soon here in the US in 2015. It seems only fitting then that actual human cloning research has a new odd couple of a sorts of its own as well. One part of this pairing is Woo Suk Hwang, who is most well known for past fraudulent and unethical …Read More

4 min read

It’s been somewhat of a helter-skelter time for the new technology often referred to as 3-person IVF or mitochondrial transfer as the UK considers whether to legalize this experimental technology for use in humans. I believe that this technology is not ready now for use in humans and for more background on why as well as other opinions you can see articles here. The admirable goal of this experimental 3-person IVF approach is to prevent transmission of mitochondrial diseases from mother to child, but …Read More