January 16, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Month: March 2019

3 min read

Institutional review boards or IRBs are some of the biggest enablers of risky, unproven stem cell clinics. We often see statements on stem cell clinic websites to the effect that they have approvals from IRBs so the clinic firms must think that patients like to see that. Why would specific IRBs approve for-profit “experiments” by stem cell clinics using unproven fat stem cell injections, which are now clearly defined by the FDA as unapproved drug products being marketed unlawfully by clinics? First, let’s ask …Read More

3 min read

Stem cells for baldness? Where does that stand? Can hair loss be reversed using stem cells? I get asked these kinds of questions regularly here on The Niche that all converge on the issue of whether there might be a stem cell treatment for baldness soon. For that reason every couple of years I do an update on it. As someone with less hair than I used to have, I’m also just genuinely curious about this kind of research more personally. Sadly, I haven’t …Read More

2 min read

Japan is a leader in stem cell and regenerative medicine research, and in particular in clinical translation toward the bedside. Induced pluripotent stem cell (IPSC)-based investigational therapies are rightly an area of focus in Japan given their invention by Nobel Laureate Shinya Yamanaka. Small clinical studies based on IPSC have been initiated there for several diseases including related to vision loss and Parkinson’s Disease. David Cyranoski over at Nature reports on a new, different stem cell clinical effort in Japan for vision loss with …Read More

2 min read

Over the last couple of years the marketing of unproven clinic injections of non-FDA-approved stem cells seems in open-throttle mode. What used to just be on the web here and there is now on billboards, newspapers, flyers, infomercials, and on TV. It’s possible that millions of dollars are being spent yearly on advertising this stuff, which means far more than that huge amount is being taken in as revenue by clinics and their associated businesses such as marketing firms. But there’s a different and …Read More

3 min read

In a surprising development, the United States government (FDA and DOJ) and the stem cell clinic firm, US Stem Cell (USRM), Inc., that it has sued seeking a permanent injunction, have agreed on something! According to new court records on Pacer (see screenshot), they have both given up on mediation in the federal lawsuit. Further, they are both filing motions asking for summary judgment and asked for more pages to make their respective arguments. Things are moving fast now. Everything is due tomorrow to …Read More

3 min read

Maybe the announcement that Commissioner Scott Gottlieb will be leaving the FDA soon shouldn’t have caught us all off-guard, but it did. Gottlieb isn’t a perfect Commissioner, but he brought a sensible, open approach to running the FDA that was very refreshing. Amongst all the top leadership in the Trump administration, Scott Gottlieb stood out as being particularly supportive of his agency and its core mission. If anything he was the anti-politician in the room. Is that what did him in? It’d be helpful …Read More

2 min read

For more than a dozen years we’ve subscribed to The Sacramento Bee newspaper here in Northern California. During those dozen+ years, newspapers across the U.S. have been under huge financial pressures. At a science level, one of the terrible results of this pressure on newspapers has been the vast number of excellent science writers who have lost their jobs. Our family is starting to wonder if The Sacramento Bee can survive. I’m a big supporter of local papers, but I’m just about to give up …Read More

2 min read

Every so often here on The Niche I list science and news articles worth a look as “weekend reads”. Below is my list for this weekend. Enjoy! The first article doesn’t really fit into the other main categories, but the title “herding brains” caught my eye. Stem Cells Stem cells and regenerative capacity in aging brain, article in Cell. Quiescence Modulates Stem Cell Maintenance and Regenerative Capacity in the Aging Brain. Does this kind of research have relevance to humans? See interesting, complex graphical abstract …Read More