October 27, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

20 best biology & stem cell blogs for 2020

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

Getting back to the top stem cell and biology blogs list, since this is kind of a “two-in-one” list of both stem cell and more general biology blogs, I’ve included 20 top sites on it for 2020, up from 10 before.

I can’t believe it’s already 9 years ago that I wrote about my first year blogging here on The Niche over at Nature back in 2011.  That article starts with some of the backstory to my starting to blog:

“The final week of October 2009 started badly for me, when Nature closed its stem-cell blog The Niche — one of my favourites as it covered my field. A few days later, events took a more serious turn for the worse when — out of the blue — I was diagnosed with aggressive prostate cancer. I was 42. Blogs and blogging were suddenly the last thing on my mind.”

If you had told me back then in early 2010 that I’d still be here now in 2020 doing well without sign of cancer recurrence (knock on wood) and still blogging away, I’d have probably been skeptical.

Best bio, cell bio, and stem cell blogs in 2020

How does one try to chose an exact order to the “best” list for anything? I’m not going to focus on the precise order so the blogs below are not in an exact order.

I’m starting with my own because I know it best and, of course, I’m glad you are already here reading it.

Also, note that I’m not including stem cell clinic and marketeer blogs since I don’t support their efforts, even if they may be good at gaming the Google system of website search ranking. Admittedly they sometimes have interesting articles and information.

In addition, I’ve added some biology blog sites that are new to me, but that I’ve checked out recently and that seem worth a regular read. And I’ve thrown in a few kind of different ones for fun too. You’ll probably notice a heavy emphasis on cell and molecular biology as well as genetics.

The Niche

Right here on this website we focus on stem cells, cell therapies, regenerative medicine in general, CRISPR, ethics, and scicomm. In that sense I guess we’ve evolved over the years into much more than a “stem cell blog.”

We’ve got some kudos over the years, which have been appreciated. Feedspot currently lists The Niche as the #1 stem cell blog (see image). Over at Medium we were listed as #4 in a list top cell biology blogs by Hani Ebrahimi.

Feedspot Best stem cell blogs The Niche
Feedspot’s Best stem cell blogs list has us here a The Niche as #1.

The CIRM Research Blog

The CIRM blog has a diversity of contributors and they collectively post more often than most other biomedical blogs. While their site The Stem Cellar is naturally CIRM-centric, it’s a great stem cell blog overall.

Signals Blog

This one from our friends in Canada is fantastic. They literally have dozens of authors, which is probably the most of any stem cell-related website, and their articles include many interesting angles. They post really often too. I might rank Signal and The Stem Cellar as tied for best stem cell blog on 2020.

EuroStemCell 

Another great stem cell website! It’s got a number of unique, useful resources. Its motto in a sense is to help Europeans make sense of stem cells, but it’s actually doing the same thing for people around the globe.

Stem Cell Battles

This great blog by long-time stem cell advocate Don Reed is insightful and refreshing. Some great story telling mixed with key info and perspectives.

NIGMS Biomedical Beat Blog

This is a relatively new one for me, but I wish I’d discovered it earlier. Great stuff.

Neuroskeptic

neuroskeptic
Neuroskeptic

I enjoy the Neuroskeptic blog, especially when I’m in a more neuroscience mode. It’s not just that skeptical part either. The neuroscience coverage there is great and often blunt. Plus frequent posts.

Cell Culture Dish

This is a helpful website on more technical aspects of cell biology and regenerative medicine.

The Node

Do you like stem cells and developmental biology? Then you’ll love The Node from the journal Development. So many great articles and resources there.

ISSCR’s Closer Look at Stem Cells blog

This blog is useful and supports a positive agenda. I wish they posted more often!  They also don’t say who writes the posts.

California Stem Cell Report

This long-running blog from my friend David Jensen is focused on CIRM, but has a lot to like.

Mayo Clinic Regenerative Medicine Blog

This looks interesting, although it’s kind of new to me. Frankly, I feel that Mayo has at times been too gung-ho about stem cell and regenerative medicine treatments, but I’m going to follow their blog to see how they portray things.

PLOS Biologue

The PLOS Biology blog is worth a regular read.

Cell Trials Data

While this one is not a blog, it’s an exceptionally useful cell medicine resource site so I’m including it on the list. The Cell Trial Data team includes Alexey Bersenev, Frances Verter, and Pedro Silva Couto.

The AddGene blog

Totally useful, very well-written, and often fun to read.

The PeerJ Blog

This is a great general science blog to follow.

Jung’s Biology Blog

Another professor blogging about biology. The tone of the pieces is refreshing.

The Tree of Life Blog

This blog from my UC Davis colleague Jonathan Eisen is worth being on your list of go-to science sites, even if not focused on cell biology.

Small Pond Science Blog

Long-time popular blog.

In the Pipeline

This blog by Derek Lowe is refreshing in its directness about science. He even got in a tussle over stem cells and got threatened by lawyers. A badge of honor for bloggers?

And some other notable science sites & blogs

  • Diary of a Cancer Cell blog. This one is quirky, but kind of fun to look through and the personified perspective of a cancer cell is different.
  • DrugMonkey Blog. It’s a great resource for no-holds-bar views on and insights into NIH funding, careers, and sometimes a bit about drug science. It’s not about cell biology or stem cells, but it’s practically-speaking a good one to follow for having a good sense of bigger issues.

Here are some past posts on “best” stem cell websites

To wrap it up for today, here’s the end of my 2011 Nature blogging article I cited above:

“Savvy scientists must increasingly engage with blogs and social media. A new generation of young researchers has grown up with an ever-present Internet. Publishers have been quicker than academics to react to this new world, but scientists must catch up. Even if you choose not to blog, you can certainly expect that your papers and ideas will increasingly be blogged about. So there it is — blog or be blogged.”

What do you think has changed most in the last 9-10 years about science blogging?

What’s your favorite blog that I didn’t include on my list? Let us know in the comments. Maybe I can add it for next year.