January 20, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Month: December 2018

3 min read

Stem cell injections at unproven clinics are expensive and unproven so a lot of patients have asked me: does insurance cover stem cell therapy at clinics? Mostly the answer is “no”, but in rare cases there is some kind of coverage. Update: Still in 2020, we just aren’t seeing insurance companies cover stem cell injections by clinics. Does insurance cover stem cell therapy? It’s an important question because the average total stem cell injection price tag for an individual customer can easily end up …Read More

5 min read

Each year I make a list of stem cell predictions for the following year and I’ll release my predictions for 2019 soon, but first I’m grading how my 20 predictions for 2018 turned out. It seems I did better than usual predicting what would happen this year. I only got a couple partial credit or were hard to grade. The rest were right. Here are my 20 predictions verbatim that I made in late 2017 for what would happen in 2018. 1. Combo cell-gene …Read More

4 min read

The US has been bursting at the seams with unproven stem cell clinics for years, which in my view necessitates some kind of bold action by the FDA and other governmental agencies so I’ve wondered what new FDA Commissioner Dr. Scott Gottlieb would do on this front. The lead up to and beginning of a likely crackdown A subset of these clinics are particularly risky and egregious in their behavior. While this subset constitutes may be “only” one or two hundred such clinics out …Read More

3 min read

When I say “gene edit” or “genome editing”, what’s the first thing that pops in your mind? It will depend on who you are. For many lay people until a few weeks ago when the world heard about He Jiankui‘s claim of CRISPR’d babies they may not have had anything pop in their heads when hearing “gene editing.” Now perhaps they think of babies bearing specific genetic changes. I bet most of them who think that way today are envisioning that He made very …Read More

4 min read

What’s the deal with lung stem cells and stem cells for lungs? For a long time researchers found that stem cells were elusive in adult lungs. There was debate about whether they even existed, but it now seems fairly established that there are some of the little guys in there. Just because one of the early papers on purported human lung stem cells came from Piero Anversa and has been retracted doesn’t mean these stem cell cells don’t exist at all. Other groups have reported …Read More

3 min read

Scrolling through a stem cell clinic website can be a surreal experience. Going from the top of the page to the bottom can leave one feeling turned upside down. I wonder what the FTC thinks when they see these sites? Usually at the top of the webpage for many unproven stem cell clinics are big claims, glossy pictures of healthy people, and a lot of buzz. However, often if you then scroll down to the bottom there is some very different fine print with …Read More

4 min read

Three national academy leaders have a new opinion piece in Science on what the community needs to do next regarding human germline editing now that we are most likely in the CRISPR babies era. Some of us have been wondering what the Academies and their empowered experts really think about this issue and what they are saying outside the public domain. Do some of them disagree with each other? There have been mixed messages. The new piece, entitled, Wake-up call from Hong Kong, gets a …Read More

2 min read

Is fat-free always a good thing…even for unproven stem cell clinics? It must be a challenge for a stem cell clinic firm like US Stem Cell, Inc. (USRM) to face an imminent possible future where it cannot sell injections of its main product, fat stem cells, in the US. After all, “US” and “Stem Cell” constitute its name. Ouch. It’s probable that a year or so from now the FDA lawsuit against USRM will be over and the “fat stem cell lady” will have sung …Read More

4 min read

Could He Jiankui have faked part or all of his CRISPR babies story? If so, how? Why? Or to put it another way, almost everyone seems to be assuming the story is real, but should we be more skeptical? Should we flip things around and assume the story isn’t entirely kosher until proven otherwise? I once said that the CRISPR field feels like it moves in dog years (very fast!) Consistent with that warp speed, the last 2 weeks have felt more like months. In …Read More