January 22, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Month: June 2020

4 min read

Katie Thomas at the New York Times reports that BARDA has dropped considering funding applications for stem cells for COVID-19. The move is part of a larger shift in funding priorities away from lung treatments and toward vaccine development. The decision has puzzled and even angered some stem cell firms and researchers. BARDA stands for Biomedical Advanced Research and Development Authority. It has become a core decision maker related to funding for COVID-19. The BARDA shift can be found in a few notices such …Read More

3 min read

Organoids are providing a novel avenue into the pathogenesis of COVID-19 and novel models for drug screening. A number of new preprints on respiratory organoids shed new light in this area. They were highlighted in a Nature newsy piece, Mini organs reveal how the coronavirus ravages the body. It’s a challenge to study COVID-19 infections because just infecting 2D cultures of various respiratory cells in a dish doesn’t necessarily tell you all you need to know about what goes on in the patient. While 3D organoids aren’t …Read More

6 min read

Today’s post lists the best stem cell blogs and more generally the top biology blogs as well as websites. Making lists of “the best” of anything is fun yet tricky. However, I feel that it can also serve a purpose as a resource. You might also enjoy these other “top” lists I’ve done including List of 50 stem cell influencers on Twitter to follow in 2019, a list of top stem cell journals, and for fun, Elephant in the lab series: top list of science excuses. Blog-o-rama …Read More

3 min read

The FDA dropped a lengthy, extremely critical warning letter on a supplier of unproven exosome product called EUCYT Laboratories. For broader context, exosome therapy has somehow burst onto the scene when there’s no good data yet in my view to back up its use in the clinic. The FDA is taking notice with letters already sent to others including an untitled letter to Kimera Labs  and on the same date another to a physician who used Kimera products and was at one time amongst Kimera leadership, Doug …Read More

3 min read

My weekly roundups of biomedical news tend to focus on stem cells, but I read more broadly so it’s not just stem cells but also CAR-T cells and a lot more this week. CAR-T cells as senolytics? A team led by Scott Lowe has a new intriguing paper in Nature on using CAR-T cells to target senescent cells. The paper is entitled, “Senolytic CAR T cells reverse senescence-associated pathologies”. The core idea here is that CAR-T cells can be used to get rid of …Read More

5 min read

It was fascinating to read a new JAMA piece by the FDA on unproven stem cell clinics and other regenerative medicine firms. Many of these guys are profiteering off of buzz about exciting, but mostly unproven technologies. While the JAMA opinion piece reiterates the agency’s commitment to evidence-based regenerative medicine, it also makes some other key points, some of which are newer and worth digging into on a deeper level. What’s new here from the FDA? The piece by CBER Director Dr. Peter Marks …Read More

10 min read

One of the most common questions that patients have asked me over the last decade is, “how much do stem cells cost?” They actually seem most often to want to know more specifically how much the treatments should cost. To try to authoritatively answer this we need data from the present and past along with expert perspectives. These kinds of questions on what are common and reasonable prices have continued in 2021. However, the types of queries have also evolved as things have gotten …Read More

5 min read

My lab and I are fortunate that in our Sacramento-Davis area there are relatively few COVID-19 cases, but what kind of COVID-19 risk mitigation plan should one use for a careful lab ramp-up plan? COVID-19 shouldn’t be the “elephant in the lab”, but should be discussed openly. Communication is probably one key to optimal ramp-up. A COVID-19 lab ramp-up plan quick intro While no one-size-fits-all plan is going to work for every lab and institutional guidelines are going to vary (sometimes dramatically), I thought …Read More

5 min read

The term Regenerative Medicine covers so much biomedical science these days including everything from just about any kind of cell therapy (not just stem cells) to CRISPR gene editing, and with the the COVID-19 pandemic, it seems this umbrella use of the term now includes potential treatment of viral illnesses. It can be hard to keep track of it all. I’m regularly doing a kind of “regenerative medicine” digest these days to help. Today’s post is just such an aggregate with a focus on …Read More

3 min read

The Medical Board of California has been aware of the unproven stem cell clinic problem here for many years, but in my view the Board isn’t helping the problem in a real, meaningful way. It may actually be becoming part of the problem through inaction and lack of cooperation with other agencies. If by the end of this post you agree, you can contact them here or by phone the office of the Executive Director at (916) 263-2389 to tell them they need to …Read More