Month: February 2018

Journal club: Jaenisch lab paper on epigenetic CRISPR-Cas9 rescue of Fragile X in a dish

Liu-et-al.-Figure-6C-Fragile-X-CRISPR-Cell-e1519673510685

There’s much more to CRISPR-Cas9 than just gene editing and a new paper from the lab of Rudy Jaenisch in Cell highlights that in an exciting way. It reports epigenetic reversal of a Fragile X Syndrome phenotype in induced pluripotent stem cell (IPSC) neurons. Fragile X Syndrome is a neurological disorder in boys resulting from CGG repeat …

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Giant black widow spider & ant come eye-to-eye: surprising result

Ant-crawls-right-up-to-Black-Widow-Spider-e1517878439961

One of my hobbies is gardening, which helps keeps one’s sanity amongst all the grant writing, etc. However, I have a tough time leaving the science behind when I go out into the garden so sometimes I give in and go all science nerd in the garden. I’ve been doing a series on my blog …

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Just one word placentas: Can Celularity live up to hype?

Celularity-e1519061558939

I’ve been blogging about stem cells now for about 8 years and the recent level of hype about and fluffy media coverage of Celularity, the biotech spun out of Celgene, ranks right up here with the most extreme past cases I’ve seen. What is Celularity and who is its leadership? It’s a new biotech focused …

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On President’s Day: Dealing with Reality Trump is Threat to Science & Democracy

Trump-Liberty-Bell

On President’s Day, let’s think about our country’s leader, Donald Trump. Do we have to? Yeah, sometimes we do. For the first time in my lifetime, I see the President of the United States as a serious threat to overall science & to our country’s democracy. Trump is not well-acquainted with fact-based reality and that’s …

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TGIF: Guns, stem cells, science weekends reads & good news

Wakabayashi-et-al.-Cell-Stem-Cell-Figure-1F

I’ve got some TGIF recommend reads on stem cells, etc, but first, what a week, right? We need more action on preventing gun violence. It’s a uniquely American health crisis that doesn’t have to be. There’s no real, common sense reason that gun control can’t reduce mass killings of our kids and others like the …

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Pending State Medical Boards Group Report on Stem Cell Clinics Could be Game Changer

State-Medical-Boards-stem-cell-draft-recommendations

We have a big problem with clinics in the U.S. selling unproven and non-FDA approved stem cell “treatments” to patients and part of the reason in my view why we have this mess today with upwards of 700 such businesses from coast to coast is that regulators including both the FDA and state medical boards …

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Washington State Bill to Require Unproven Stem Cell Clinics to Post Notices

Charles-Murry-UW

There’s some also encouraging action at the state level on direct-to-consumer stem cell clinics operating without FDA approval including most recently in Washington State. Last year here in California we passed a bill into law that (1) requires stem cell clinics selling non-FDA approved therapies to post notices for patients and (2) instructs the state medical …

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Scientist in the garden: purple cauliflower & other cool photos

Purple-cauliflower-e1516921777825

I’ve been gardening since I was a kid and I guess I’ve been a scientist that long too so now it’s time for another installment of “scientist in the garden.” You can see past such posts here, which usually include various cool photos.  Today’s post is focused on unusual things in the garden. Getting out …

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Why did Texas A&M ink big deal with stem cell clinic firm Celltex on exosomes?

Texas-AM-Celltex-deal

The recent news that Texas A&M University has inked a full-blown deal with the direct-to-consumer stem cell clinic firm Celltex struck me as an unusual development. Recently we’ve seen more universities exploring the use of stem cells outside of the traditional FDA clinical trial process that is fundamentally based on an investigational new drug application (IND). Some …

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