January 23, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Month: August 2017

2 min read

There has been a wave of intense discussions both in the public domain such as on Twitter and behind the scenes over the new Egli, et al. preprint that challenges the main conclusions of the Ma, et al. Nature paper from Shoukhrat Mitalipov’s lab. Ma, et al. reported CRISPR gene editing of human embryos, arguing for a mechanism of HDR-based gene editing relying on interaction of the maternal and paternal genomes in the early embryos. Egli, et al. presented several alternative explanations — mostly involving …Read More

6 min read

Is it possible that CRISPR gene editing actually didn’t happen in many of the human embryos in that big Nature paper that made such news a couple weeks back? Some doubts have emerged that call the main conclusions of the paper into question and argue that more definitive studies are needed to be sure. An international team of top scientists led by first author Dieter Egli has responded via a preprint on Biorxiv to that Mitalipov team high-profile Nature paper on CRISPR gene editing of …Read More

3 min read

On one level a reasonable argument can be made for letting terminally ill patients have a right to try experimental as yet unproven therapies, but in the real world Right-To-Try laws have many downsides. On the whole, they are likely to be negative for patients as a group.  Raising the stakes is a push for a federal Right-To-Try law in the U.S. A bill passed the U.S. Senate so a law is a real possibility in coming months. What are the problems and risks? …Read More

2 min read

The FDA took some big action last week and issued a major statement today on stem cell clinics (see my post here). I asked Dr. Mark Berman of the Cell Surgical Network if he had any statement regarding the recent action and statement from the FDA today that involved flagship network member clinic, California Stem Cell Treatment Centers. Dr. Berman sent me the new press release from Cell Surgical Network, which you can read here. Amongst other things, the Cell Surgical Network PR makes some strong …Read More

3 min read

The FDA issued a historic statement today promising to more clearly define its regulatory policies on stem cell therapies and to take strong action on some stem cell clinics that it views as “bad actors”. I’ve never the FDA use such clear-cut language before. I give big kudos to new FDA Commissioner Scott Gottlieb. It already took some action too on clinics in Florida and in California. So today we heard about both a bold statement of vision on how the FDA will deal with …Read More

3 min read

It’s a difficult, but very important road to conclusively prove that an investigational stem cell therapy is both safe and effective in order to get final approval FDA or equivalents in other countries. For this reason, it is beneficial to highlight even small, but positive steps forward including encouraging pre-clinical data. Today I’m doing a review of stem cell therapy good news in the clinical path with a focus on biotechs in particular (in alphabetical order), but starting first with news from here at …Read More

4 min read

What happens following pluripotent stem cell transplants into the brain? Are human IPS and ES cells going to function similarly in this context? We recently published a new translational paper on the behavior of human pluripotent stem cells when transplanted into the adult mouse brain in collaboration with my great UC Davis colleague, Dr. Veronica Martinez-Cerdeno. Martinez-Cerdeno V, Barrilleaux B, McDonough A, Ariza J, Yuen B, Somanath P, Le C, Steward C, Horton K, Knoepfler P. Behavior of xeno-transplanted undifferentiated human induced pluripotent stem cells is …Read More

2 min read

There is a scientist’s dilemma: should you speak out on important, sometimes controversial issues in science, where you not only can potentially have positive impact, but also risk being attacked for it? Or do you remain silent? I’ve now been blogging for more than 7 years. I’ve battled the often exploitive for-profit stem cell clinics for years. But it goes beyond that. I’ve also worked against hype including sometimes that in the academic arena. For instance, in early 2015 I posted a probing review …Read More

5 min read

Imagine an old man and a teenager sitting side by side, with blood flowing from the kid to the oldster in a stab at anti-aging. Sort of like a one-way fountain of youth via blood flow…Sci-fi? People are kind of trying it in the real world. A self-described ‘clinical trial’ of a sort by a company called Ambrosia essentially lets you buy an infusion of a younger person’s blood in an attempt at anti-aging for $8,000. Interested? Reportedly tech guru Peter Thiel is: “I’m not convinced yet …Read More