January 26, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Month: December 2016

1 min read

What were the top posts here on The Niche for the past year? I’ve listed some of them below along with some posts from 2015 that remain highly read. Some top 2016 posts 20 Nominees for Stem Cell Person of the Year 2016 Award REGROW Act is Attack on Science-Based Stem Cell Trial Oversight Will new gene editing tech NgAgo challenge CRISPR? FDA Warning Letter to Irvine Stem Cell Treatment Center Clinics Across US Public stem cell skirmish erupts between Hanna & Jaenisch Controversy over …Read More

3 min read

Each year I make a list of predictions for the stem cell and regenerative medicine field for the coming new year. Later in this post I list my top 20 stem cell predictions for 2017. In looking at my past predictions I realized this will now be my 7th year doing stem cell/regenerative medicine yearly predictions. You can see below links to these predictions for past years, which sometimes seems rather far removed from today and in other cases strike me as strangely apropos of …Read More

3 min read

Below are the 2016 stem cell predictions I made last year and their status now color-coded near year’s end. Green is right, orange is mixed bag, and red is flat out wrong. Overall, I did better than most past years with only having entirely blown it on four. Stay tuned later this week for my 2017 predictions, which looks to be a dramatic year in the field of stem cells and regenerative medicine. The Score Card on 2016 Predictions Another stem cell biotech acquisition by pharma …Read More

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The University of Utah has a nifty stem cell learning resource called Go, Go Stem Cells! One of the things I like the most about it is that it is interactive. It is also a bit quirky and funny. Both kids and adults will enjoy learning about stem cells this way. I’ve taken a screenshot above to show you the kind of interface. What do you think of Go, go stem cells? Do you know of other stem cell educational resources on-line?

2 min read

Some amniotic stem cell clinics seem to be trying to have their cake and eat it too. Generally the amniotic stem cell clinics market their products as “stem cells” and the implication is that living stem cells are used to effectively treat many medical conditions. I have not seen it mentioned that what some of the clinics, perhaps most of them, inject into patients is really a “dead” extract of amniotic membranes instead. Not living cells.  Are the clinics injecting amniotic stem cells or …Read More

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What are the hottest stem cell trends in the field today? Depends who you ask, right? One impartial way to look at stem cell trends is through the lens of publication citations and the focuses of top stem cell papers. In that perhaps somewhat skewed, but interesting approach, the words used in the titles of the 50 most cited research publications of 2016 with the phrases “stem cell(s)” in their titles should tell us something interesting. Fortunately publication citation platforms these days like ISI may …Read More

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Dear FDA, The stem cell clinic clock is ticking on you. Before the Trump administration rolls in to possibly tie your hands on many important areas of oversight including stem cell clinics, you should take bold action now. Your CBER branch has been preternaturally quiet on taking actual regulatory actions on stem cell clinics for several years now even though there about 600 such clinics in the U.S. operating without any FDA approvals putting thousands of patients and the stem cell field at risk. …Read More

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The voting on the 20 nominees for Stem Cell Person of the Year finished at midnight last night. After more than 1,000 votes, we have the top 10 finalists. These ten are some of the most remarkable people in the world of stem cells today. They have all had great impact, but in very diverse ways. They run the spectrum from patient advocates to the President of CIRM to a host of top stem cell researchers. Patient advocates Ted Harada and Judy Roberson have the …Read More

4 min read

A new Cell paper from Juan Carlos Izpisua Berlmonte’s group has made headlines about anti-aging across the globe because it suggests that the four core induced pluripotent stem cell (IPSC) factors use by Shinya Yamanaka to make IPSC can reverse aging. I’ve pasted the graphical abstract from the paper below and done a quick journal club style overview based on a quick skim of the paper. Some of the media headlines are rather dramatic on this story. For instance, in a story on it over at STAT …Read More

6 min read

Recently I had the opportunity to talk with the leadership of Asterias, a California biotech doing exciting clinical research using stem cells as the basis for treatment of spinal cord injury. The interview covers the past (Geron patients), present, and future. I spoke with Asterias President and CEO Stephen Cartt and CMO Edward Wirth. How are the Geron patients doing? Asterias: They are doing well. We have to remember that they got the low dose (2 million OPC1 cells) and we estimated that an …Read More