January 28, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Month: September 2017

7 min read

Two new FDA inspection reports called 483s provide fresh insights on a stem cell clinic, the network of clinics that it belongs to, and adverse events in patients. These reports detail issues the FDA found at the stem cell clinic California Stem Cell Treatment Center and its parent chain of clinics, Cell Surgical Network. The latter is an affiliated group of dozens of stem cell clinics across the U.S. generally marketing experimental adipose (fat) stem cell therapies, sometimes called “stromal vascular fraction” or SVF). As …Read More

6 min read

Right now the FDA has a big fat stem cell conundrum on its hands. The agency is faced with a tough dilemma as how to deal with fat (adipose) stem cell products and the large number of businesses who sell them. Are fat/adipose stem cells a drug or not? If yes, what does the FDA do about the hundreds of clinics currently marketing them without approval? If not, then how does the agency reconcile that with its past statements and even words this year under …Read More

2 min read

Science hype is one of the more troublesome issues in our field today especially at its interface with the media, and unfortunately a ‘great’ example of that came this past week in a headline from the Daily Mail on the new CRISPR of human embryos paper from Kathy Niakan’s group in the UK. Although Niakan’s group was generally appropriately cautious in their new Nature paper about potential clinical implications of their work and didn’t hype possible reproductive use of CRISPR in humans at all, they …Read More

2 min read

If you garden long enough you may start to see some cool critters. We had an unusually wet winter and very hot, dry summer here in Davis, CA. Maybe it’s coincidence, but the range of creatures in my garden seems different. For instance, I’ve been seeing much bigger dragon flies this year and a lot more lizards. A few days ago I saw a very unusual lizard (see above). What a tail! What gene expression makes that unusual tail? The reddish color of the …Read More

5 min read

Scientist make knockout human embryos with CRISPR? Today we see a new Nature paper (Fogarty, et al.) on CRISPR “gene editing” of human embryos, this time from the UK from Kathy Niakan’s group. Niakan got UK permission about 18 months ago to CRISPR healthy human embryos so they’ve been hard at work since. Because Fredrik Lanner of Sweden (see my interview here) also has governmental permission to CRISPR healthy human embryos, I’m guessing we’ll see a paper from his lab soon too. If I …Read More

1 min read

The past few weeks have brought some exciting, thought-provoking stem cell papers and developments in the regenerative medicine field. Here’s a list of stem cell papers in the media that struck me as particularly cool along with some other developments in the field. Human Stem Cells Fight Parkinson’s Disease in Monkeys Organoids Reveal Clues to Gut-Brain Communication (see image) Stimulation of 3D osteogenesis by mesenchymal stem cells using a nanovibrational bioreactor Health Canada investigates Canadian stem cell clinics Stem cells: Japan’s scientific ‘moonshot’ – Financial …Read More

7 min read

What really happened at the DNA level in the experiments in that high-profile CRISPR of human embryos paper from a team led by Shoukhrat Mitalipov at OHSU? Is the team right that they successfully conducted CRISPR of human embryos to correct a mutant gene, as they reported in their Ma, et al. Nature paper? Or is the Egli, et al. preprint that came out later in response to the Ma paper more likely to be correct in their implied argument that something else very probably happened instead? We …Read More

4 min read

When patient families reach out to me, one of the most common questions is whether stem cells for autism offer real hope. The short answer at this time remains “no”. Of course, it’s not as simple as just “no” because there isn’t enough data to be sure, but there is reason for major skepticism about the use of stem cells for autism. I’ve covered this topic a number of times over the years because patients and families want to know and because it is …Read More