January 25, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Month: May 2019

4 min read

Today the FDA put an Arizona firm called R3 Stem Cell, LLC and its leader Dr. David Greene on notice that what they and 50+ affiliates centers are selling in the way of stem cells were not approved by the agency. R3 Stem Cell markets perinatal (birth-related) stem cell offerings on its website. There’s a lot of subtext in the FDA letter and accompanying PR, in my view none of it good for the company or its “centers of excellence.” The R3 website also …Read More

3 min read

The perinatal stem cell clinic supplier Liveyon has had many issues recently including an FDA inspection that  in my view didn’t go well and which I’ll return to in a minute. First, some background on the company and this troubled industry. E. coli and other pathogens ended up in some of the Liveyon product somehow prior to injections of it into patients at clinics. There was the recall.  A dozen or more patients ended up in the hospital. Patients lawsuits stemming from that are …Read More

2 min read

The exciting and sometimes downright crazy giant stem cell ecosystem of legit research and unproven stem cell clinics could use a dose of good news now and then. In today post, I highlight some upbeat news and some interesting recent pubs. Enjoy! From a team led by Hina Chaudhry, MD, Director of Cardiovascular Regenerative Medicine at the Icahn School of Medicine at Mt. Sinai, a new PNAS pub, “Multipotent fetal-derived Cdx2 cells from placenta regenerate the heart.” Congrats to first author Sangeetha Vadakke-MadathilThis is a …Read More

3 min read

Last year an odd pub  made the big claim that the interstitium is a new organ. I didn’t buy that. Now an over-the-top stem cell advertisement that recently ran in the San Diego Union-Tribune (U-T) is piggybacking off of the supposed “interstitium as new tissue” claim to make all kinds of other claims about some mystery “stem cell” pill. You can see a picture at left of the ad that a The Niche reader sent to me. The word “cure” there is like a …Read More

4 min read

A new Nature paper makes the striking claim that neural precursor cells of the brain migrate all the way to prostate tumors. Furthermore, the team led by Claire Magnon claims that these long-distance cellular travelers from the brain not only take up residence in the prostate but also strongly drive progression of the prostate cancer via neurogenesis there. From what I know, this claim goes counter to general principles of animal physiology so if it’s accurate, it’s a huge deal. Other than blood cells, …Read More

4 min read

The four words “California stem cell research” go nicely together and I hope they will continue to resonate in a special way to people around the world in the coming decade. We are at a crossroads for stem cell research in California as the original form of the California Stem Cell Agency (CIRM) winds down. Will CIRM get a new infusion of billions in state funding via a ballot initiative a la Proposition 71 from more than a decade ago? Will CIRM instead find …Read More

2 min read

Asilomar is known in the field of biomedical sciences as a great place to go for small meetings. I was there recently for the First Annual Bay Area Stem Cell Conference, which I helped to organize. It was an exciting meeting and all the presenters (except keynoters) were trainees. The amount of great stem cell science being done by these and other young researchers is amazing. They are the future of science and medicine. From the data presented at the meeting, one could also …Read More

2 min read

What are your weekend reads? Many of us scientists read up on specific articles over the weekend that caught our eye during the last week or two. Here are some of my weekend reads plus some other stuff that just generally looked really interesting or unusual. The list includes both primary papers and news articles as well as including biotech news. Enjoy! TGIF. On some of them I at times include positive (or even sometimes snarky comments). Some of the pieces in the science …Read More

2 min read

There’s a lot of questionable “stem cell” injections these days involving purported amniotic stem cell or other perinatal (birth-related) material. Regulators are taking note including the FTC, which took some unprecedented action last year on this front. Now the FTC has announced that more than half a million $USD have been returned to consumers who got dubious “amniotic stem cell” material. From the FTC announcement: “According to the agency’s October 2018 complaint, Dr. Bryn Jarald Henderson, D.O. and the companies he owns and operates, …Read More

2 min read

Here are some articles that look especially interesting on stem cells, cancer, and CRISPR. I was just at the SNO meeting in SFO on childhood brain tumors so those are on my mind more. Childhood cerebellar tumours mirror conserved fetal transcriptional programs (Nature) Childhood brain tumors “think” they are building organds in fetuses. H3.3 K27M depletion increases differentiation and extends latency of diffuse intrinsic pontine glioma growth in vivo. (Acta Neuropathologica) from Suzy Baker-led team. H3K27M induces defective chromatin spread of PRC2-mediated repressive H3K27me2/me3 and …Read More