September 27, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Month: January 2018

4 min read

My first job in science was as a lab technician at UCSD School of Medicine and a big part of that job was growing cells called HUVECs or human umbilical vein endothelial cells. We isolated and grew the HUVECs from umbilical cords that we retrieved from the maternity ward of the UCSD hospital, which first entailed getting the placenta and attached umbilical cord as our starting material. Some people viewed this material as “gross”, but as a newbie scientist I was kind of in …Read More

3 min read

Did you hear the one about the deep state FDA, big pharma stem cell conspiracy theory? This is the phony idea that the FDA, big pharma, and, heck, sometimes even certain academics (who could that be?) are plotting together as some kind of biomedical secret society or “deep state” to block promising stem cell therapies from reaching patients. It is one of the more persistent stem cell myths out there. Unfortunately, the stem cell arena is more prone these days to this kind of fake news. …Read More

3 min read

There are now so many clinics selling non-FDA approved stem cell offerings across the U.S. that tens or hundreds of thousands of patients are at risk. How did we get here? What if we had a way of understanding how stem cell clinics spread across the U.S. in the first place? For example, an animated map showing the spread of stem cell clinics selling non-FDA approved “treatments” across the U.S. would be useful. With publication of our new paper, the recent work of Leigh Turner …Read More

4 min read

Is monkey cloning a good idea? We’re about to find out. A new Cell paper today reports the first cloning of monkeys via somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), raising many questions. The paper from a team led by Qiang Sun is entitled, “Cloning of Macaque Monkeys by Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer.” The highlight bullet points from the paper are the following: “•Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) using fetal fibroblasts yielded two live monkeys •Epigenetic modulators promoted development and pregnancy rate of SCNT embryos •SCNT …Read More