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.

Monkey human embryo chimera Cell paper: exciting, ethically complex direction

human embryo chimera

A new Cell paper from an international team led by Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte pushes human embryo chimera embryo research further than ever before. It is both exciting work and raises many complex bioethics questions at the same time. What is a human embryo chimera? By way of background, chimeric human embryos contain a mixture …

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The Niche 2021 stem cell picture contest: win $100 or swag

The Niche, epidermal stem cells

Every so often here on The Niche, I run some contests just to make things fun and today I have a new one to announce. The contest is for the best stem cell research images. Most often what people send in as entries are microscopy pictures, but you can use your imagination. You can see …

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As Neuroskeptic blog ends, reflections on skeptical science blogging

skeptic magazine science blogging

It seems like being somewhat skeptical would be an inherent part of being a biomedical scientist. But not always it seems. On the other hand, some of us take it to another level by science blogging out our skepticism about certain topics. Note that there’s something called the Skeptics Society that publishes a magazine Skeptic. …

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Fact checking stem cell therapy for knees: data, costs, risks

stem cell therapy for knees arthritis

One of the most common questions I get from patients is about stem cell therapy for knees. Can it help knee arthritis and pain? Today’s post is a fact-check of where things stand today on stem cells for knee issues. You can watch a video overview of this post on our Stem Cell YouTube Channel …

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Weekly reads: stem cell videos, cystic fibrosis, papers

stem cell videos

As part of our weekly reads I’m including one of my latest videos in our Stem Cell Channel on YouTube below. This particular video fact-checks stem cell face creams, but I’ve got quite a few more including on stem cell supplements, different kinds of stem cells and more. You might guess my view of such …

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Perspectives on BioLife: one name, distinct companies

boston biolife

In the stem cell world some corporate names end up being very similar with the latest example being several companies with the name “BioLife.” Get a BioLife…name I guess BioLife is a catchy term. You’ve got life and biology in there in one name. Let’s deconstruct what’s going on out there with this corporate name. …

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Snake oil history from century old elixirs to fake stem cells

stem cell snake oil new york times sm

I remember seeing a cowboy-type TV show when I was a little kid where a guy pulled into town not slinging guns but selling snake oil. He stood right up on his wagon and started pitching the wonders of what he was selling. He had some buyers pretty quick. Eventually, someone like a sheriff or …

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Weekly The Niche Reads: tooth repair, PRC2, beach pics

brandts cormorant jumping sm

I managed to escape to do some hiking along the coast so I’m behind on my weekly reading and I’m just getting back here on The Niche. Here are some articles I’m hoping to catch up on in coming days including an interesting overview of stem cells for tooth repair. I sometimes have a wistful …

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Fact-checking stem cell face cream: less than face value

Stem cell face cream. Taking a humorous look at what these might do.

I remember the first time I ran across an ad for a stem cell face cream and it wasn’t pretty. This was about 10 years ago. The stem cell cream in question made several claims that seemed highly doubtful. In a sense what the cream’s maker was selling was the idea of stem cell-based youth …

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