January 25, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Month: August 2019

3 min read

“HSCT Chicago Clinic Closing!” is the startling header in all caps on a patient-run Facebook page about a stem cell therapy clinical trial program at Northwestern University. What’s going on? Unfortunately, the promising field of hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) for multiple sclerosis (MS) and other autoimmune diseases seems to have suffered an unexpected setback here. Dr. Richard Burt of Northwestern, one of the leading figures in the area of developing HSCT approaches for MS and other autoimmune disorders, is going on a sabbatical …Read More

3 min read

When you write a book like our new dragon book, as the first reviews of it start coming in you just never know what they’ll be like. When the person or outlet doing the review has a huge audience, the stakes are higher. How have the early reviews been for our new How to Build a Dragon or Die Trying book? For background, my daughter Julie and I wrote a book about how one would try to make a real, living, fire-breathing dragon. You …Read More

2 min read

Stem cell treatment cost is a big issue for patients now and longer term also for the stem cell field. If proven stem cell treatments end up costing too much then all that hard work to invent and test the therapies won’t have helped people much. Million or multi-million dollar new therapies are not so unusual these days in the biotech world. Here are some recent examples: From ASH Clinical News on a Novartis drug:“AVXS-101, a treatment for spinal muscular atrophy, will cost $4 …Read More

5 min read

Up until now Utah hasn’t immediately come to mind as a hub for stem cell issues, but things are heating up there in 2019. Utah? I was going to do a blog post here on The Niche last month about perinatal (birth-related) biologics and stem cell-related supply companies in Utah. Some of their customers appear to be unproven stem cell clinics so that concerned me. I even started writing a draft post many weekends ago. However, it’s taken some time to try to square …Read More

3 min read

When you read “spam, spam, spam” do you think of Monty Python? I do. Some folks may immediately think of email spam. There might even be a connection between the ubiquitous email spam and the old Monty Python spam. See the video below. What’s spam got to do with stem cells? Is there stem cell or cellular spam? Hold on a sec. When I first started The Niche blog almost a decade ago in early 2010, so much was different. This blog wasn’t even …Read More

5 min read

Looking for some tomato tips? I do sometimes escape the lab into the outside world and once out of there I can often be found in my vegetable garden  looking after my tomatoes. I’ve written many times here on The Niche about gardening including tomatoes and have an occasional series “Scientist in the Garden.” After a couple of decades growing tomatoes, I have a good sense of how to grow a lot of great tomatoes and some reliable tomato tips. While each gardener’s experience …Read More

3 min read

By Jeanne Loring A stem cell anniversary: 18 years ago today that the US initiated funding of human embryonic stem cell research. August 9, 2001 was a big day for me.  George W. Bush was the US president, and it was an understatement to say that I was not very fond of his policies; but that day he defined my career for the next 18 years. That day Bush gave an 11-minute speech (see Youtube of the video below) at his Texas ranch that …Read More

2 min read

A couple weeks ago I launched our 2019 stem cell pic contest here on The Niche. It was a challenge for me choosing the winner from the top 9 finalists, whose images I made a composite of that is included toward the end of this post. The picture at the bottom of the composite seems to be of a smiling human dental pulp stem cell, from biologist Matthew Wilgo, which I thought was great. I love contests and holding them here on The Niche …Read More

4 min read

Back in 2013, a half dozen years ago, I went out on a limb and made predictions for the stem cell field for 2020. These are different than my yearly predictions for the coming year (for instance, you can see my predictions made in 2018 for this year of 2019 here). As to my 2013 predictions, of course, it’s only 2019 and not yet 2020, but how are my old predictions looking at this point? I can’t be sure how they’ll look next year …Read More

2 min read

In a surprise, Dr. Masayo Takahashi has announced that she has left RIKEN. Takahashi indicates she will be new President of a company called Vision Care, Inc. as part of the Kobe Eye Center. I’ve pasted a picture of Takahashi’s Tweet with translation more toward the bottom of the post. A big thanks to Piero Carninci, a biologist at RIKEN, for the heads up on this news. I’m sure they are very sad to see her go, but wish her the best! Here is …Read More