January 21, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Month: January 2020

5 min read

In what could be a serious legal warning sign for the stem cell field, California federal district court Judge Jesus Bernal denied the government’s motion for summary judgment against Cell Surgical Network, et al. related to their marketing of an unproven fat stem cell product via their chain of clinics. The FDA is seeking a permanent injunction. You can read the new ruling here. The reasons why Bernal said he rejected the summary judgment request are concerning and don’t fit with my view of …Read More

4 min read

A new film-commercial entitled Awakening pitches unproven exosomes and has already been possibly tied to the troubled stem cell supplier firm Liveyon, but now it seems that the links go far deeper including a possible relative of Liveyon leader John Kosolcharoen. Even so, Kosolcharoen (pictured with another Liveyon leader Alan Gaveck below in a web video) recently denied involvement in an email exchange with me. Awakening drew so much attention in part because of its strong sci-fi vibe and its implication that the exosome …Read More

7 min read

Making a CRISPR baby is a controversial idea to even propose now for many reasons, yet even after He Jiankui’s train wreck some people have seemed eager to try it including apparently a scientist whose name perhaps many readers here are not so familiar with in this context: Professor Hui Yang. ‘CRISPR baby guys’ Is it really a good time to be pushing CRISPR babies? The original “CRISPR baby guy” He Jiankui was recently sentenced to three years in prison for a variety of actions …Read More

2 min read

I recently started 2 polls on the future of CIRM. The polls are focused on the effort led by Robert Klein to get more funding from the State of California for the stem cell agency. They asked readers about whether Californians will refund CIRM and whether Californians should refund CIRM. Basically, the polls are asking what readers think will happen and what they want to happen in terms of CIRM potentially getting $5 billion more in funding. The results of these non-scientific polls are …Read More

4 min read

A new, somewhat mysterious short film that serves as an advertisement for unproven exosomes has some of us scratching our heads. Can you guys as readers of The Niche help solve the puzzle of who’s behind this wild “cinematic commercial” and what the deal is with the unproven exosome product it seemingly promotes as some kind of sci-fi miracle med? I hope so! For more on exosomes and legit research into them see this past guest post. Note that allogeneic exosomes used clinically appear …Read More

2 min read

Police in Indonesia have busted a stem cell clinic. They shut down an allegedly illegal stem cell clinic and made arrests of those working there including potentially the doctor. The clinic was located in Kemang, South Jakarta, but the clinic is not named and the personnel are listed by their initials including a Doctor OH. Four news reports in Indonesian (here, here, here, and here) describe the dramatic events. The first one I listed included an uncredited photo that I’ve included in this post. …Read More

2 min read

Where do things stand today in 2020 with IPS cell research? It’s been 14 years since they were first reported, but they continue to make news. Back in 2006 I was wrapping up my postdoc with Bob Eisenman at The Hutch in Seattle, largely studying Myc, when Shinya Yamanaka published his first induced pluripotent stem cell (IPS cell) paper in Cell. For me it was one of those amazing moments reading a pub when you just go “wow!” Now all these years later we …Read More

3 min read

Gwyneth Paltrow has a new Netflix show coming up in a couple of weeks called “The Goop Lab” and her Goop company promotes a lot of wacky things so one Sunday over lunch I thought I’d take a look at what they sell related to stem cells. Going into this, I didn’t know for sure they sold stem cell stuff, but I thought it was likely and they do. Shocker, right? Note that the Goop Lab TV show hasn’t even aired yet but has …Read More

1 min read

Today I’m doing 2 polls on the future of the California stem cell agency better known as CIRM as it hangs in the balance, awaiting the results of us California voters going to the polls in November. At that time, Californians will vote on the new proposition that would fund CIRM for $5 billion more. You can read the proposition here. There has been some disagreement even amongst CIRM supporters of the exact nature of the initiative and the new form of CIRM should it …Read More

5 min read

Every year in December and early January I do a post predicting some key events for the stem cell and regenerative medicine field for the upcoming year and today’s post contains my predictions for 2020. You can see my past 2019 predictions along with my grades for them here. I gave myself a B+ for 2019. What grade will I get for 2020? I don’t yet of course, but I often can’t resist making positive predictions even if they are relatively high risk in …Read More