January 27, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Month: February 2016

2 min read

The FDA has delayed the planned big April public meeting on stem cells until later this year. Basically, the reason given is that more time is needed for stakeholders to comment. It will be interesting to see if the FDA expands the meeting beyond the 1-day format, which was going to allow each speaker only 3 minutes. It would be helpful I think if the FDA held the meeting in a more centrally located city as well. I’m hoping now I might be able …Read More

3 min read

Should we be injecting bone marrow cells into someone’s eyes? it seems like a terrible idea to me based on what we currently know. Whenever I see a stem cell headline like this one from a recent Baltimore Sun piece, it raises many questions: Stem cells apparently reverse woman’s blindness. First of all, is the reporter, Meredith Cohn in this case, being cautious enough with that “apparently” in the headline? Part of the reason for this question is that the “treatment” in question is unproven, …Read More

1 min read

Here are some cool science reads to enjoy this weekend. Lab-grown sperm made from stem cells can’t swim, but are able to fertilize eggs, reports Eric Boodman over at STAT. Mouse-human neural crest chimeras: Not only a matter of black and white. Clever title. Antonio Regalado writes about a DNA App Store coming soon to a smartphone near you. Jacob Corn has a new piece at the Washington Post entitled, CRISPR will change lives, but not only through genetic engineering. Obokata tallies retraction number three, RetractionWatch …Read More

2 min read

We just ran a CRISPR backronym contest here at the Niche blog. What were we looking for in terms of CRISPR backronyms? We were hoping to see backronyms that were in a sense clever explanations using the letters C, R, I, S, P, R for what CRISPR might “really” stand for if it weren’t Clustered, Regularly, Interspace…you know, the official meaning. We received 58 entries, which were evaluated by the judges: Ben Zimmer, Antonio Regalado, and I. We each scored them separately and then added …Read More

2 min read

Medical News Today (MNT) published an article yesterday on a stem cell clinic in Mexico that caused a lot of concern because to many of us it came off as unbalanced and even promotional of the clinic. You can read my post from yesterday on this situation. In response, MNT has now revised their piece and included this statement: “When this article was first published on February 24th, we received criticism that it was promoting the World Stem Cells Clinic. Medical News Today always aim to provide balanced, reliable …Read More

4 min read

A new article by Honor Whiteman in Medical News Today (MNT) on a Mexico stem cell clinic really takes the prize so far in 2016 amongst media pieces that engage in stem cell hype. Update; Many on Twitter are calling for retraction of this MNT article. The MNT article entitled “Stem cell therapy: is the US missing a trick?” ends up overall being promotional for a Cancun stem cell clinic that is selling unproven stem cell “treatments” for a host of conditions including for kids …Read More

2 min read

Over the years some scientists including yours truly have expressed concerns about the possibility that mutations could crop up during the reprogramming process to make induced pluripotent stem cells (IPS cells or IPSC). How concerned should we be about IPS cell mutations? A cool new paper, Bhutani, et al, in Nature Communications from a team led by Jeanne Loring and Nicholas J. Schork presents data arguing against significant oncogenic mutations occurring during reprogramming to make IPSC. The authors summarize their findings this way: “Our results show a moderate …Read More

2 min read

Below is a my interview with an FDA spokesperson on the upcoming April public meeting on the four recent draft guidances related to the regulation of HCT/Ps, including stem cell treatments. This meeting and the draft guidances could have substantial impact on future regulatory frameworks for stem cell treatments so I thought it important to reach out to the FDA to clarify the process. PK: When the FDA issues draft guidances is it a standard approach to have a public meeting of the kind …Read More

4 min read

A great new piece in The New Yorker by Dana Goodyear, The Stress Test, gives us a window into Charles Vacanti’s side of the STAP cell mess and includes recent quotes from him. It’s a long, fascinating look inside of STAP, the tangled and ultimately tragic scientific implosion that created and then brought down two Nature papers and some careers. The most notable part of the article is that the stem cell community finally hears from Vacanti, postdoc mentor of lead author Haruko Obokata. We …Read More

2 min read

Last month the stem cell community learned that a patient of the business US Stem Cell Inc./US Stem Cell Clinic, previously known as Bioheart, had filed suit in a Broward County Florida Court against the publicly traded company alleging various charges including damage to her eye. Now US Stem Cell has more recently filed suit in the same court against one or more anonymous online critics for libel/slander. In this new case, US Stem Cell Inc versus John Doe, et al, the company points to specific …Read More