January 25, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Month: October 2017

3 min read

Some notable newly published Phase II data from the Duke cord blood for cerebral palsy trial unfortunately doesn’t give much reason for optimism that this approach is going to have a substantial positive effect for these kids. The double-blinded, placebo-controlled study did not find a meaningful benefit overall from infusions of autologous cord blood (ACB) for children with cerebral palsy. It didn’t meet its primary endpoint. The study was published in Stem Cells Translational Medicine and was entitled, “Effect of Autologous Cord Blood Infusion on Motor …Read More

2 min read

I recently flew up to Seattle from Sacramento to visit the UW Institute for Stem Cell and Regenerative Medicine (ISCRM). It was a great trip just on the science front and seeing some old friends from the UW and the Hutch, as well as making some new ones (yeah, corny, but true). I not only love stem cell research but also nature and I’ve got a weakness for aerial photography of landscapes and especially mountains. This post includes some photos I took from the …Read More

3 min read

How much does a stem cell treatment cost? $5,000 is a nice round number that is probably close to the mark on average, but the price varies a great deal and depends on many factors. Factors that influence perceived average price include what one actually sees as being under that umbrella term “stem cell treatment.” Does the transplant from a stem cell clinical trial count as a “treatment”? I’m not sure it should, but many view it as qualifying for that definition. By and large, you …Read More

7 min read

It’s germline, heritable human CRISPR time, right? Wrong. But the particularly enthusiastic supporters of heritable human CRISPR often cite hypothetical benefits in glowing terms, but either don’t mention risks or strongly downplay them. These fans also tend to leave alternative, proven and safe technologies such as preimplantation genetic diagnosis (PGD) out of the discussion or only mention them as an afterthought. In reality, the vast majority of anything that CRISPR could hypothetically achieve heritably in human reproduction can be done better, more simply, and …Read More

9 min read

When I think of the promise of stem cells for diabetes, the privately held California stem cell firm ViaCyte is the first biotech that comes to mind now. It has promising stem cell clinical trial work building. Today’s post is a new interview with the company’s CEO Paul Laikind. For past posts on ViaCyte see here, which includes an interview with Laikind a few years ago. PK: The last time we talked was in March 2015. Can you please update us on the VC-01 trial? How …Read More

3 min read

Time for some science humor. For past attempts at humor on this blog see here. Today, I’m asking: if science was more like sports such as football, soccer, basketball, etc., what penalties and fouls would us scientists get? Here is a humorous look at the things we mess up in small or mondo ways as we do our science, and how we would be penalized in a humor alternate universe. In some cases, I also have included my own reactions and indicated whether I’m …Read More

4 min read

For-profit stem cell clinic secrets are bad news for patients. Stem cell clinics are in the business of making profits above all else and to make steady money they need a strong flow of patients as their paying customers for their non-FDA approved offerings. In order to keep the money pouring in, some of the clinics may not be completely truthful with patients. These clinic secrets can be directly told to prospective customers or implicit in the operation of the business. Below are the top …Read More

1 min read

Bulls-eye! Here are some stem cell weekend reads including both interesting new papers & news headlines. Of course, this week also had stem cell awareness day and I wrote about 10 key issues for the field for the coming 10 years! Weekend reads Papers Chromatin and Single-Cell RNA-Seq Profiling Reveal Dynamic Signaling and Metabolic Transitions during Human  A simple and versatile system for the ATP-dependent assembly of chromatin Genetic Evolution of Glioblastoma Stem‐like Cells from Primary to Recurrent Tumor MYC Controls Human Pluripotent Stem Cell …Read More

3 min read

It’s stem cell day! Or more accurately, it is stem cell awareness day. It’s a good time to think about where our field stands and where we’ll be in 10 years. Below, I’ve outlined 10 for 10: 10 things to ponder about stem cells in a 10-year timeframe. Approved Therapies. How many new stem cell therapies will be approved as safe and effective in 10 years? I hope at least 10! These may include proven transformative regenerative medicine treatments for macular degeneration, Type 1 …Read More

2 min read

Snopes said what about stem cells? A brief search of Snopes for “stem cells” produces some wacky claims about our favorite cells. They tackle some stem cell myths floating around out there that overlap somewhat with a post I did about 5 years ago on stem cell myths. I’ve listed below the search results on the first page from Snopes for stem cells, with below each one my thoughts on it. Should You Save Baby Teeth for Stem Cells? Eh, maybe…maybe not. Can a …Read More