August 14, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Paul Knoepfler

3 min read

In Lewis Carroll’s masterpiece, Alice in Wonderland, there is a wonderful passage that came to mind as I read the latest response from the self-proclaimed ‘adult stem cell researchers’ suing the government to stop federally-funded ES cell research: “I don’t know what you mean by ‘glory,’ ” Alice said. Humpty Dumpty smiled contemptuously. “Of course you don’t—till I tell you. I meant ‘there’s a nice knock-down argument for you!’ ” “But ‘glory’ doesn’t mean ‘a nice knock-down argument’,” Alice objected. “When I use a word,” Humpty …Read More

2 min read

About one in ten people around the world will develop osteoarthritis (OA) at some point in their lives. In the U.S., it is the major cause of disability. This is an extremely serious illness in terms of its impact on society. At this time there is little in the way of effective treatments for OA. Most treatments are designed to reduce pain and enhance function, not address the actual underlying condition. One exception is join replacement surgery such as knee replacement. OA is a …Read More

3 min read

We live in a plastic world, full of BPA. Over the last 1/2 century, the proportion of our food and beverages that are consumed out of plastic containers has skyrocketed. Unfortunately, the concentrations of plastic-related chemicals in people around the world, even in remote corners, has gone up in parallel. I’ve written about avoiding plastic before, but the case grows stronger. There are many toxic chemicals in plastic, but one of the most common and frightening is something called “BPA”, short for bisphenol-A. The …Read More

6 min read

Here an anonymous stem cell scientist frankly answers questions about the field in an interview with me. Of course I have to ask you about the recent U.S. court ruling essentially declaring all federal funding of human ES cell work illegal. What’s your take on this? ANSWER: The ruling has so many flaws in it. It is purely political and the judge was crass. The legal wangling is nauseating. And the impact? ANSWER: For the moment, it is disastrous. Many are not getting the …Read More