January 22, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Month: April 2019

5 min read

This post is a recap of some major points of Game of Thrones Season 8 Episode 3 and The Battle of Winterfell. Before you go on, there are tons of SPOILERS ahead so stop and leave now if you don’t want to see them. Really, many SPOILERs so go away if you don’t want to see them! Spoilers are coming… (Note that I’ve provided an update on this post after sleeping on the episode, see more below). In the lead up to this middle …Read More

4 min read

Trying to make a CRISPR baby any time soon would be a really bad idea. How bad? Last December 3rd I penned a piece for STAT News arguing for a moratorium on the heritable use of CRISPR in humans. This potential future, radical application of “gene editing” is now often colloquially referred to as “CRISPR babies”. Read that piece for the reasons behind my thinking and the risks involved in leaving the door open to using CRISPR to make people. Of course, this was …Read More

2 min read

My daughter Julie and I have written a book together entitled,  “How to Build a Dragon or Die Trying, A satirical look at cutting edge science.” The book will be out sometime in June most likely. This is a very different kind of book than my first two, Stem Cells: An Insider’s Guide and GMO Sapiens. In How to Build a Dragon we, first of all, take a satirical tone as highlighted by the subtitle. We are somewhat poking fun at science hype in …Read More

2 min read

It’s been a cool week for stem cell and other associated kinds of research. In this post I have a series of links to a variety of interesting developments and papers. Gene therapy cures bubble boy infants. William Wan over at the WaPo on this good news. Nope, this wasn’t done with CRISPR, but rather with a viral transgene approach (not TALENs as I mistakenly had originally written here). “The pigs were dead. But four hours later, scientists restored cellular functions in their brains”. This …Read More

4 min read

It’s been less than a year since the FDA sued for a permanent injunction against a major stem cell clinic firm in Florida, but there has been much back and forth in court filings in the lawsuit between them and the firm, US Stem Cell. Now the case is with the judge. My prediction remains that the feds will prevail, but it seems worthwhile to look at some of US Stem Cell’s arguments. Note as a sort of disclaimer that I’m not an attorney …Read More

2 min read

What’s so great about a rainbow bagel? Bagels are a favorite of mine. I’d pick them any day over just about any kind of bread for a sandwich. Also, who doesn’t like rainbows, right? So if you mix bagels and rainbows together, the end result should be great. Shouldn’t it? To find out, on a recent trip to New York City, the family went to this place called The Bagel Store Original Rainbow Bagel in Brooklyn. I also now know Brooklyn well enough to …Read More

2 min read

There are many potential causes of erectile dysfunction or ED and a host of ideas about how to treat it. Some approaches to erectile dysfunction are evidence-based and even have been rigorously proven such as the drugs Viagra and Cialis, which increase blood flow to the penis. Depending on the causes of the dysfunction, these drugs may be helpful for many people, but they are also very expensive and not panaceas. Other approaches to erectile dysfunction are not proven at all and also pose …Read More

3 min read

There’s nothing like stem cell good news and interesting publications to perk one up on a Monday. Enjoy. What recent papers have struck you as exciting? Novel stem cell-based cancer approaches (Part 1) It was exciting when Fate Therapeutics got the first induced pluripotent stem cell (IPSC) IND in the U.S. for their IPSC-derived natural killer cell (NK) product. Now in another milestone the first patient has received the investigational NK therapy at UC San Diego. From UCSD, “After 10 years in remission, Derek Ruff’s cancer …Read More

3 min read

The New York State Attorney General (AG) filed suit this week against a Manhattan stem cell clinic. It’s a landmark case. The defendants are Image Plastic Surgery, LLC, Park Avenue Stem Cell, and Joel B. Singer, M.D. The clinic markets adipose stem cell injections for a variety of health conditions. Park Avenue Stem had belonged to the clinic chain Cell Surgical Network, which itself is facing both a federal lawsuit seeking a permanent injunction and a patient lawsuit naming them as a co-defendant.  An …Read More

2 min read

Yesterday we learned that the FDA issued a warning letter to the cord stem cell firm, Cord for Life. In this warning, the FDA indicated that the firm’s product is actually a drug product and lacks necessary pre-market approvals. In addition, the agency highlighted apparent deviations from CGMP practices. The most important part of the warning letter is the clarity it brings that, yes, allogeneic umbilical cord stem cell and other perinatal stem cell products generally are drugs requiring a cleared IND and a …Read More