January 20, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Month: April 2015

3 min read

A lot has happened in the week since the first human embryo genetic modification paper was published by a team led by Junjiu Huang. There have been a number of new events just in the last few days. Jocelyn Kaiser over at SCIENCEINSIDER has a new piece reporting a couple important developments including that the journal that published the human embryo editing paper, Protein & Cell, has issued an editorial explaining the review process for the paper. They argue that the review was fast, but …Read More

9 min read

By David Brafman (from a stem cell clinic infomercial event). With the vast amount of information about stem cells available to the general public, many misconceptions exist regarding stem cells and their potential applications. Paul and other prominent stem cell scientists have done an excellent job of educating the public about the facts regarding stem cells and their potential applications. Nonetheless, over the past several years there has been a proliferation of so-called stem cell ‘clinics’, which promise patients miraculous therapies often for currently …Read More

2 min read

‘Roundup Ready’ Humans? What the heck does that mean? One of my favorite parts of doing a blog is getting reader comments. It definitely makes the blogging experience more fun and keeps me on my toes. I also learn a lot. The more discussion there is, the better. One of the most frequent commenters is Brian Sanderson, who has a long track record of outside the box comments that spark discussion. I would say that one of Brian’s most explosive comments came yesterday on the …Read More

4 min read

Last week was a big one for the life sciences in that we saw the milestone of the first ever published paper reporting human embryo genetic modification (see here and here). It was one of those situations where we knew it was coming, but it was still a jolt. Not surprisingly this event sparked intense discussion and even some arguments. Below are 4 areas of contention at this moment and some additional thoughts on them. I value diverse views so please weight in with comments. A big deal …Read More

2 min read

The paper that came out Wednesday from a research group in China reporting the first genetic modification of human embryos has sparked a lot of discussion. Some concerns about this paper have surfaced. 2-day review? The paper (HT to John Borghi) was in review only from March 30-April 1 — so at most 48 hours. Really? That certainly raises a red flag of inadequate or absent peer review. That kind of “review” in the past with high-profile papers has been associated with a high risk of errors …Read More

4 min read

There is a big old blind spot in the discussion over germline gene editing in humans: preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD). There’s been a lot of talk in 2015 about worries over how gene editing technology such as CRISPR might be used prematurely in the clinic in an unsafe or unethical manner in humans in the germline to try to prevent genetic disease. This is a very serious concern and I share it. However, in a way the dialogue on this usually misses a crucial, …Read More

5 min read

The Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte group published a Cell paper today on using gene editing to reverse mutations associated with human mitochondrial disease. The paper is Reddy, et al. and is entitled, “Selective Elimination of Mitochondrial Mutations in the Germline by Genome Editing”. The authors report success using TALEN-based gene editing or mitochondrial-direct restriction enzyme (mito-ApaLI) to reduce the burden of mutant mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Their work was done primarily in mice, but also using chimeras made with murine oocytes fused with human cells bearing …Read More

3 min read

Rumors have been flying for months that researchers in China and possibly elsewhere were shopping papers around at high-profile journals that reported gene editing and genetic modification of human embryos. Update: apparently this paper (HT to @JohnBorghi) was only reviewed for 2 days (see image at bottom of post), raising major concerns about the depth of peer review. The rumors were right. Today, one of the Chinese teams of researchers published their paper on genetically modified (GM) human embryos in the journal Protein & Cell. …Read More

7 min read

I invited the Chief Scientific Officer (CSO) of Bioheart, Kristin Comella, to do an interview after hearing some buzz that this could be a critical time for the company and that it might have been recently visited by the FDA. Note that Comella not just Bioheart CSO, but also the primary instructor for physician training in stem cell methods offered by the company US Stem Cell Training. Can you update us on how Bioheart is doing with its clinical trials/INDs? Comella: Our completed clinical trials of …Read More