Weekend reads include stem cell pubs, cancer link to heart disease, CRISPR babies & of course emu oil

Here in the U.S. we just had our big Thanksgiving holiday, but science goes, stem cells keep growing and needing attention, and it’s another weekend chance to catch up on our paper reading.

Here’s this weekend edition of recommended reads including news items and pubs.

From Cell Stem CellSingle-Cell Transcriptome Analysis of Uniparental Embryos Reveals Parent-of-Origin Effects on Human Preimplantation Development.

and another there on stem cell machinery in cancer: Humanized Stem Cell Models of Pediatric Medulloblastoma Reveal an Oct4/mTOR Axis that Promotes Malignancy.

The idea of stem cell transplants to help heart disease has gotten a lot more controversial in the last 5 years including because of the fallout of one researcher, Piero Anversa. From Carolyn Y. Johnson at WaPo, “Benefits of stem cell heart therapy may have nothing to do with stem cells, a study on mice suggests.” See image above from Cincinnati Children’s showing immune cells migrating to a region where stem cells were injected. Here’s the pub.

stem cells heart disease trigger immune response
Stem cells injected for heart disease trigger immune cells. Cincinnati Children’s image.

What do you think of this video from the Mayo Clinic highlighting one patient’s possible positive results from a stem cell infusion? Here’s the text describing it, “Early research at Mayo Clinic using stem cell therapy to treat spinal cord injuries has produced results for one patient that doctors describe as “beyond expectations.”

One concern about stem cells is their ability to trigger scars or fibrosis in addition to regeneration.  Some of the molecular mechanisms are shared. Tppp3+Pdgfra+ tendon stem cell population contributes to regeneration and reveals a shared role for PDGF signalling in regeneration and fibrosis

From Nature on a non-traditional path in science: “A cell biology path outside of academia. Erika Shugart shares her experiences moving from the lab to policy and communication.”

From Emily Mulin over at OneZero, “There Still Aren’t Any Rules Preventing Rogue Scientists From Making Gene-Edited Babies.” One year past the He Jiankui news, are things any clearer? What’s going to pop up next including from Denis Rebrikov over in Russia?

The link between cancer and heart disease gets clearer with new work suggesting a few-fold higher risk of heart disease for cancer survivors. Cheery weekend reading, right? Not exactly. For me as a survivor of prostate cancer, that’s not exactly great news, but as a scientist I find it really interesting. Here’s one of the perspective pieces on this.  Also, here’s the new pub that sparked the recent discussion. Is the field of cardio-oncology going to get bigger?

And finally from Retraction Watch, Authors “in shock” when image reuse doesn’t fly with publishers of paper on emu oil and stem cells. What a title, right? Emu oil is a thing I guess.

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