January 23, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Month: May 2017

3 min read

A new, brief study in mice from the Vinit Mahajan lab argues CRISPR can have very large numbers of off-target sites. Their paper is entitled “Unexpected mutations after CRISPR–Cas9 editing in vivo” and was published in Nature Methods.This work has garnered a lot of attention in the media. Let’s take a journal club review kind of approach to this pub. In this paper there were two major reported findings. First, the number of reported CRISPR-associated mutations in the two mice studied (versus one control) were high, over a …Read More

4 min read

Is there a proliferating stem cell fake news problem in the biotech world? More broadly, the SEC is cracking down on the mess that is fake biotech news, but what about fake news on stem cell biotechs more specifically? Already in the past year I’ve seen examples of possible stem cell fake news. Hyped press releases (PR) that might arguably be in part fake news are nothing new and there has always been stock pumping, but another more recent phenomenon consists of more extensive series of …Read More

2 min read

Stem cells and regenerative medicine are going to have big future impact across a broad spectrum of health problems, but there are specific ways they may be of particular positive impact for our men and women in service. Here on Memorial Day I’ve focused on 5 main areas where I predict that stem cells and regenerative medicine will help our troops in the future in the biggest ways and included key links. Research on stem cell military applications has really advanced in the past …Read More

2 min read

Late in 2015, one of the pioneering stem cell and regenerative medicine biotechs, Ocata Therapeutics (fka as ACT or Advanced Cell Technology) was acquired by Astellas Pharma. At the time of purchase, Ocata had a number of areas of focus, but was most closely followed for its development of human embryonic stem cell-based retinal pigmented epithelial cells (RPEs) for treatment of multiple kinds of macular degeneration. These products were advancing in promising clinical trials and had demonstrated good safety profiles. After the purchase of Ocata by …Read More

2 min read

Will Texas go it alone by giving stem cell clinics free rein or will it break new ground by passing laws that promote reasonable stem cell clinical practices with safeguards? Some middle ground? It’s a dramatic moment for the stem cell field as legislation under consideration in Texas could have big impact on stem cell businesses and patients in that state as well as on the stem cell field overall. As soon as tomorrow we may know what direction the state goes with the stem …Read More

1 min read

I’m working on an investigative story on fake news in the stem cell and regenerative medicine arena. Is there a growing stem cell fake news problem in the biotech world? More broadly, the SEC is cracking down on the mess that is fake biotech news, but what about publicly-traded stem cell biotechs more specifically? Already in the past year I’ve seen examples of possible stem cell fake news. If you have any tips about specific instances of fake news in this area please contact me (knoepflerATucdavisDOTedu). 

3 min read

Should there be a religious or moral litmus test for the NIH Director? A few dozen super conservative Republican members of Congress have written a letter to President Trump saying he should fire NIH Director Francis Collins. Why? Because they claim that Collins is not conservative enough for their taste and in particular they don’t like his support of embryonic stem cell research funding. You can read the actual letter here and see text in a clip from it below where religion is invoked. Does …Read More

3 min read

It’s fun and useful for me to learn about the readers of this blog in terms of who they are and what their interests are in terms of the types of posts that I do. Below are the results of two recent reader surveys that I did to get this kind of information. The two polls got 162 and 192 responses, respectively. Before I get to discussing the results, I also included a prize/raffle element to this survey whereby I would choose one winner …Read More

1 min read

Enjoy! A Sunday brunch for the brain of science news, helpful links, and notable new papers including on stem cells. News and links CBER Director Focuses on Flexibility to Advance Regenerative Medicines Lab-Grown Blood Stem Cells Produced at Last Transplanted stem cells become eggs in sterile mice Maryland fund awards $8.5 million for stem cell research Positively good news from Asterias for CIRM-funded stem cell clinical trial for spinal cord injury Sergio Canavero: Will His Head Transplants Roll? Century-old tumours offer rare cancer clues Papers Identification of hair shaft progenitors that …Read More

6 min read

Cut, modify, paste… It’s kind of a CRISPR mantra for those of us using gene editing in the lab. But it’s supposed to be happening just on DNA, right? Now it appears that someone on a team of human embryo CRISPR researchers possibly got carried away with the cutting-modifying-pasting mindset to take it beyond DNA to also do so with passages of another researcher’s published work that they apparently slightly modified and put into their own paper without any acknowledgement. The 2016 article in question containing plagiarized …Read More