January 16, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Search Results for: teratoma

4 min read

Sometimes on The Niche or while teaching students as a professor here at UC Davis School of Medicine, I’ve been asked: What is a teratoma? Not all tumors are created equal and some like teratomas are particularly unusual. Exactly what is a teratoma? Teratomas are germ cell tumors. What this means is that the cells that gave rise to the tumor in the first place were a powerful stem cell called a “germ cell”.  Normally, germ cells make reproductive cells including sperm and eggs. …Read More

2 min read

Anyone with a seemingly only semi-functional nervous system now post-election might be turning to science to help their brains bounce back. Here are some of the things I’ve been reading or hope to soon. In good news for the stem cell and regenerative medicine field, especially here in California, it looks like us California voters approved billions more in funding for CIRM, our state stem cell agency. Alzheimer’s new directions FDA scientists appear to offer major endorsement of Biogen’s controversial Alzheimer’s treatment, STAT News. An …Read More

2 min read

Now and then we will revisit some of our most popular posts and/or posts with the most comments. One of the best: The Monster Tumor: What is a teratoma really? You can go to the link above to read the original post and comments but I’ve pasted the post itself below. In stem cell research there is a lot of talk about a very unusual type of tumor called “teratoma” and researchers often do “teratoma assays”.  The name teratoma literally means something like monster …Read More

3 min read

The trouble with the risk of teratoma presents a stem cell paradox. Stem cells possess two traits lacking in other cells: self-renewal and pluripotency. This duo of defining functions is key to the ability of stem cells to be used to treat patients via regenerative medicine. A paradox exists because while self-renewal and pluripotency are both needed for stem cells to be clinically useful, these cellular traits also are crucial factors in determining how likely stem cells are to cause tumors as a side effect. …Read More

3 min read

What a year 2020 was, but there was still plenty of great science, which continues now in 2021 including published research like today’s recommended pieces and there’s one thread on MSCs today. The Niche new look, more features, and a Medical Advisory Board for 2021 Before we get to the recommended reads, note that 2021 will brings some changes to The Niche. Some of the new developments are already underway like our Bioethics and Medical Advisory Board. We are also going to be doing …Read More

6 min read

Drugs that restore the shape of the errant protein behind cystic fibrosis (CF) have, over the past eight years, helped the majority of patients, who have certain mutations. Gene-corrected stem cells might offer a “mutation agnostic” option to CF. CF results from a glitch in a glycoprotein with the unwieldy name “cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator”, or CFTR. The proteins normally fold into channels that regulate the flow of ions into and out of cells, controlling the balance of water and salts in linings …Read More

Over the years I’ve done a variety of videos that ended up on YouTube. While most of these were stem cell videos, some deal with other important topics such as CRISPR of human embryos. You can see an image from a PBS interview video at left that was particularly memorable (more below). In this post I include links to these videos and short summaries of what went into them. I’m planning to include many more new videos in the future. You may also find …Read More

2 min read

How does one keep up with all the regenerative medicine and stem cell happenings? There is always something happening in the stem cell and regenerative medicine field ranging from science to policy matters. This post is an update on some recent stem cell happenings that I see as notable or interesting. New Pubs Direct reprogramming pub. One of the more interesting recent papers was from direct reprogramming guru Marius Wernig as his team came out with a new transdifferentiation paper that strikingly reports conversion …Read More