During the week as I’m doing other stuff I keep my eyes open for interesting things to read, including over the weekend about stem cell research, COVID, CRISPR, and more for The Niche weekly recommended reads.
This week a lot was going as we updated The Niche site to our new theme and format. I hope you like it. Check it out by clicking on various pages. Please leave feedback in the comments. This goes along with our larger overall plan to make the site more user friendly and include a huge number of authoritative general resources about stem cells and regenerative medicine. I’m also going to do a more formal call soon for readers to provide feedback.
I’m putting together The Niche’s 2021 stem cell and regenerative medicine meeting hub so send me your meetings for 2021 and I’ll include them.
I happened to notice more stem cell and biology-related job openings than usual on Twitter along with a recommended seminar. I’ve included those first in today’s post. Scroll down for recommended pubs and more.
Stem cell and other jobs
Upcoming online seminar
This seminar is on deciphering therapeutic vulnerabilities in brain cancer by Frank Furnari and UCSD.
FDA untitled letter to The Body Building
This is a notable FDA untitled letter to a firm called The Body Building that somehow also is associated with the name, “Fresno Stem Cell Injections.”
They appear, based on the marketing cited by the FDA, to be selling umbilical cord “stem cells” and some kind of exosome product. At least as noted in the letter, some of the claims seem way over the top to me including this passage (bold emphasis mine):
“These stem cells when injected, are basically a blank slate into the body that has the ability to regenerate any tissue, bone, cartilage, etc in the body. They are highly anti inflammatory and immediately dissipate ANY PAIN in the body in any area desired. They help modulate the functioning of your immune system which helps reverse the effects of auto immune disease.”
I’d like to see the FTC step in here too as these claims seem to me like gross exaggerations of what these kinds of products are likely able to do. The website cited by the FDA (Stem Cell Injections Fresno .com) is now in “Coming soon” mode. The Niche in its new form is more squarely including fact-checking in its mission and these claims just don’t seem factual to me as a stem cell biologist.
News including Organicell IND, FDA Commish situation, Stem Cell Award
- This is good news for Organicell as they have an FDA-cleared IND. Organicell Announces FDA Approval of IND Application for the Use of Zofin™ in the Treatment of Chronic Obstructive Pulmonary Disease (COPD)
- The Acting Commissioner of the FDA and a strong candidate for the job in the long term, Janet Woodcock, is getting some pushback it seems. Advocacy groups urge against Woodcock as FDA commissioner, STAT
- ISSCR Award to Madeline Lancaster, https://twitter.com/BrainOrganoid/status/1354189420644229120
The Niche recommended papers
- Clinical characteristics and outcomes of COVID-19 in haematopoietic stem-cell transplantation recipients: an observational cohort study, The Lancet Hematology. This is a very important topic. I’ve been asked by stem cell transplant patients about what it means for them in terms of COVID-19 itself and the vaccine.
- Crispr editing of the gli1 first intron abrogates gli1 expression and differentially alters lineage commitment, Stem Cells
- Gene therapy of dominant CRX-Leber congenital amaurosis using patient stem cell-derived retinal organoids, Stem Cell Reports
- Microglia-Secreted Factors Enhance Dopaminergic Differentiation of Tissue- and iPSC-Derived Human Neural Stem Cells, Stem Cell Reports
- Cryo-EM structure of the RNA-guided ribonuclease Cas12g, Nature Chemical Bio
- Derivation of snake venom gland organoids for in vitro venom production, Nature Protocols. It’s interesting how more unusual organoids are being made and how organoid secretions may be useful in many ways. Beyond venom that may be useful in helping those who get snake bites and for other potential medical applications, I was struck last summer by Madeline Lancaster’s lab’s work on cerebrospinal fluid production by brain organoids. Do intestinal organoids make gut secretions? Mammary organoids apparently can produce human milk.
- Single-cell transcriptomic reveals molecular diversity and developmental heterogeneity of human stem cell-derived oligodendrocyte lineage cells, Nature Communications
- METTL3 regulates heterochromatin in mouse embryonic stem cells, Nature