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.

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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Autologous stem cell transplant vs allogeneic: all you need to know

autologous vs allogeneic

There are many ways to classify different stem cells including yours versus someone else’s cells, or in a clinical sense what we call an allogeneic versus autologous stem cell transplant. This post is focused on the difference between allogeneic (someone else’s cells) and autologous (your own) stem cell injections. As a stem cell biologist I …

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Weekly reads: embryo pubs stir things up, organoids crying, & more

organoids tear glands sm

This was an unusual week in that three papers in a sense collided together related to embryo production and growth, raising new research possibilities but also serious ethical questions. New research: what is an embryo & what is not? The first two Nature papers reported generating the most realistic models of human embryos from scratch …

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Multipotent & totipotent vs pluripotent stem cells

Multipotent & totipotent vs pluripotent stem cells, very early human embryos totipotent stem cells

What’s the difference between multipotent stem cells, totipotent stem cells, and pluripotent stem cells? The goal of today’s post is to help you learn and be clear on the differences. What’s in this article Definition of stem cells |Totipotent vs pluripotent stem cells | Pluripotent stem cells | Multipotent stem cells | The best kind of stem …

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Weekly reads: stem cells for spina bifida & diabetes trials, pubs

arthur the dog helps test stem cells for spina bifida

It’s always great when there’s good news in the stem cell field and a new trial of stem cells for spina bifida here at UC Davis School of Medicine is very encouraging. So I’ll lead off with this story. Stem cells for spina bifida This pioneering work is led by Drs. Diana Farmer and Aijun …

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FDA warns Joseph Mercola on COVID-19 claims

joseph mercola and unproven stem cells

Those of you following the arena of unproven stem cells might recognize the name Dr. Joseph Mercola. He’s a promoter of alternative medicine. Over the years his name has also popped related to the marketing of unproven stem cell offerings in various ways. Now the FDA has warned Joseph Mercola on what it says are unapproved …

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What are embryonic stem cells & where do they come from?

Knoepfler lab stem cells

What are embryonic stem cells and how are they obtained? My lab has been doing research on embryonic stem cells for more than 14 years. You’ve come to the right place for expert answers on these very intriguing cells. What’s in this article Where do embryonic stem cells come from? | SCNT or cloning stem cells …

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