January 22, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Month: September 2015

2 min read

We’ve been hearing a lot this week about an important new clinical study for vision loss (macular degeneration) in the UK. This team is using retinal pigmented epithelial cells (RPEs) made from embryonic stem cells (ESC). They are now testing safety. The new work in the UK is Moorfields Eye Hospital is a great addition to the growing list of vision stem cell clinical studies and provides real hope for those dealing with macular degeneration. In their PR on the study, part of the …Read More

1 min read

Congratulations to Lorenz Studer as a MacArthur Fellow. The annual selection of MacArthur Fellows highlights creative leaders in a variety of fields. The fellows receive $625,000 with no strings attached. Stem cell biologists have been selected on a regular basis over the years as MacArthur Fellows including Kevin Eggan (2006), Sally Temple (2008), and Yukiko Yamashita (2011). This year’s group of two-dozen 2015 MacArthur Fellows includes stem cell biologist Lorenz Studer (see video above). You can learn much more about Dr. Studer’s work on his …Read More

4 min read

By Jeanne Loring Last Tuesday I visited the FDA headquarters in Maryland, for a meeting called Public Meeting on Patient-Focused Drug Development for Huntington’s and Parkinson’s Diseases. The FDA holds about 6 meetings on different diseases each year, inviting patients and advocates to speak while a panel of FDA directors listens. The FDA representatives at this meeting included Billy Dunn and Eric Bastings, (Director, and Deputy Director, respectively, Division of Neurology Products [DNP], Office of New Drugs), Susanne Goldstein (Medical officer, DNP), and Theresa …Read More

1 min read

With nearly 200 votes in, our poll on whether sex should be considered a form of genetic modification reflects a big divide. The two most polar answers of “definitely yes” and “definitely not” are almost equal, but “yes” is a bit ahead. In the “probably” category of responses, the “yes” answers lead over “not” by a 2:1 margin. Thus, while overall there isn’t a clear consensus, the respondents definitely leaned toward “yes”. It is striking that only about 6% of respondents were undecided as …Read More

1 min read

David Jensen reports on the future of CIRM as a “beautiful machine”. CIRM funds brain cancer research in a big way: Funding a clinical trial for deadly cancer is a no brainer. Glioblastoma is a fatal tumor that needs new clinical approaches so this is exciting. One of the goals of my lab is to find new pathways to treat glioblastoma in children. Jacob Corn of IGI has a Wish List for Science on CRISPR science, but also science more generally. The case for possibly retracting a retraction …Read More

2 min read

The Vatican will again hold a stem cell meeting and this time it is planned for 2016 as you can see from the conference website. A full list of 2016 stem cell meetings is here on our meeting hub. Over the past several years the Vatican has held and tried to hold different stem cell meetings. The 2012 attempt ending in disarray amidst a heated controversy amongst Catholics with differing views on embryonic stem cell research. That meeting was cancelled and rebooted to 2013, when …Read More

2 min read

The publication yesterday of two papers refuting the existence of so-called STAP cells marches us closer as a field toward closure on this unfortunate situation. Close, but not quite there. We know a lot more about what went happened, but 5 key questions remain. There is a chance that we may never get answers to some or even all of these questions, but without more information STAP will remain not entirely resolved. It will be harder for the field to learn from it and …Read More

6 min read

Today marks nearing the completion of a full circle for one of science’s biggest controversies: the STAP cell fiasco. Today STAP cells are completely refuted with the publication of two new papers in Nature and we know much more–with some notable gaps still–about what went wrong. In January of last year, an international team of collaborators from RIKEN in Japan and Harvard/Brigham & Women’s Hospital (including the lab of Charles Vacanti where the STAP idea reportedly originated) here in the US published two Nature …Read More

2 min read

Imagine what stem cells might be able to do in terms of revolutionizing medicine and society in coming decades including via a human body shop. It’s an exciting time. One cool notion that’s been out there for a long time (e.g. see this Tech Review piece from 2001) is The Human Body Shop. I’d extend that to The Stem Cell Human Body Shop as I’ve discussed in my book and in this 2013 radio interview. How would this work?In the future it may literally be …Read More