Professor Paul Knoepfler, Ph.D.

Paul Knoepfler, Ph.D. is a Professor at UC Davis School of Medicine in Cell Biology and Human Anatomy. His lab does research on stem cells and cancer, especially from an epigenomic angle. He also has been working on policy and ethics matters for many years. The author of 3 books, he also has a popular TED talk on designer babies.

Skepticism on the Bryan Johnson anti-aging extravaganza

Oliver Zolman, Bryan Johnson

Near-billionaire Bryan Johnson apparently does not like getting old and he’s trying to do something transformative about it. He and his team are experimenting in a big way.  As a 55-year-old myself, I can’t blame him for wanting to fight aging in general. However, his anti-aging project includes some extreme stuff. Will some in the …

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Weekly reads: ChatGPT as author, COVID pub concern, CRISPR kit

Sam Altman, OpenAI, Chat GPT

Have you had the chance to play around on ChatGPT, the open AI? It can “talk” to you in text kind of like a person. I have tried it out. It’s quite interesting to type in scientific questions and see what pops out. Often it is high-quality text and solid ideas, but not always. You …

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Superior Healthcare stem cell clinic to pay $250K+ in AG settlement

Justin-Paulk-a-defendant-in-suit-by-Georgia-AG-for-alleged-stem-cell-clinic-violations.

State regulators are starting to catch up with stem cell clinics and Georgia is a hot spot at the moment with a firm formerly known as Superior Healthcare now getting a large monetary hit. It was just a couple of weeks ago that we heard that a Georgia court in a different case sentenced a …

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Are immortal jellyfish actually mortal?

immortal jellyfish

About ten years ago I ran across the organism called the immortal jellyfish. Luckily I didn’t get stung because it wasn’t an in-person encounter like while swimming. Rather, I came upon the idea that these guys lived forever. Someone was even selling an immortal jellyfish extract. They claimed it would reverse aging in people. That …

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Weekly reads: H3.3 on the brain, Texas bill, HSCs

H3f3a, histone H3.3, knockout

It’s always exciting when your lab has a new paper and my team just published a study knocking out the H3f3a gene in mice, which codes for histone H3.3 protein. We found that loss of this gene leads to lethality at a late stage of embryonic development. There were also indications of more specific phenotypes …

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Does Medicare cover stem cell therapy? Mostly no & it’s poised to recoup tens of millions

Regenative labs, does Medicare cover stem cell therapy?

Does Medicare cover stem cell therapy? Readers of The Niche have regularly asked this question. They’re curious about insurance coverage too. The answer is “no” in almost every case, with some notable exceptions I’ll get to at the end of the post. Still, clinics appear to have already been charging Medicare for what collectively adds …

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Stem cell clinic ‘doc’ sentenced to 202 years in prison

Jimmy Lee Taylor going, stem cell clinic

I had heard that we might see criminal charges or convictions in 2022 for unproven stem cell clinic activities. This led to my prediction for last year of a criminal conviction in the stem cell clinic sphere. The prediction was correct as a Florida man selling unproven stem cell injections was been sentenced in late December …

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Weekly reads: reprogramming aging, astrocytes, cartilage, ChatGPT

Let’s start with a couple of new pieces on in vivo reprogramming. The idea here is to do something like making iPS cells but doing it inside organisms and not quite pushing cells all the way back to pluripotency. Just younger, healthier cells. Why do that? The goal is to achieve a kind of anti-aging …

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Why stem cell culture medium composition is such a big deal

Dr. Harry Eagle

Cells including stem cells are grown in liquid solutions called media and stem cell culture medium composition is crucial since the ingredients have a powerful impact on the cells. The media affects the cells’ identities and functions. It also impacts the risks of using specific regenerative products. My first job in science was isolating and …

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Desperately seeking stem cells: celeb quests for elixirs often mislead

lady gaga, stem cells

What could go wrong with celebrities desperately hunting for stem cells as a fountain of youth? A flaskful of problems. Some famous folks can’t seem to get enough of stem cells, even if those supposed therapies are unproven and risky. In recent years, dozens of celebs have gotten stem cell procedures of various kinds. The …

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