Reviews of P shot & O shot stabs at sexual enhancement

Something called a P shot has sparked interest from some men interested in high-risk attempts at enhancement. The goal of today’s review post is to fact-check P shots. They’re sold for supposed penis enhancement or to address erectile dysfunction (ED). I’ll also fact-check so-called O shot stabs at vaginal rejuvenation or enhancement. These are both …

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Weekly reads: Marc Tessier-Lavigne probe, Neuralink on the brain, Ras unchained

Marc Tessier-Lavigne

We’ll start with a story related to possible research misconduct, Stanford’s President Marc Tessier-Lavigne, and Science Magazine.  In some ways the news on Science itself could be the bigger long-term story. Marc Tessier-Lavigne pub investigation, Science oops moment Here’s some of the coverage: Stanford investigates potential misconduct in president’s research, Science. Multiple publications of Marc Tessier-Lavigne …

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He Jiankui says he’s back in the lab after prison for CRISPR babies

He Jiankui

Earlier this year Chinese researcher He Jiankui finished his prison sentence. When I saw that news I wondered about the next chapter for him. It seems he’s already back in the lab doing genetics research. At least that’s according to a blog by He Jiankui himself. Can we trust that what he has written on his website is …

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Weekly reads: Gamida Cell, Siddhartha Mukherjee, CRISPR in viruses

Abigail L. Jenkins, Gamida Cell

Hematopoietic stem cells have many clinical applications and a company called Gamida Cell has an interesting product in this area called Omidubicel that may have several applications.  I’m going to start the weekly reads with news there. Gamida Cell and the FDA A recent piece discussed how Omidubicel is progressing with the FDA. FDA extends …

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Updates on CRISPR therapy development and clinical trials

When I first heard of CRISPR gene editing I was excited for my lab to try it out, but it seemed a long way from the field having even one CRISPR therapy available to treat human disease. In the Knoepfler lab, we study genetic and genomic programming in human development and disease. Gene editing seemed …

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Stem cells & the philosopher’s stone, P53, thyroid organoids

philosopher's stone

I hadn’t remembered the history of the philosopher’s stone until reading a new review article about stem cells and aging. Here’s the article. Is the philosopher’s stone to rejuvenate blood stem cells an epigenetic regulator? Nature Aging. This preview kind of piece discusses how inhibiting a specific factor called PHF6 can “rejuvenate” HSCs in mice. …

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Clinical utility & examples of unipotent vs. multipotent stem cells

mesenchymal cells

What are examples of unipotent and multipotent stem cells? More broadly, stem cells have the ability to do two key things. They can make more of themselves through a process called self-renewal. Also, they have the ability to differentiate into other cell types. This latter property is called potency. Taken together this means by definition …

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Weekly reads: NurOwn, key gene screen, MS, Croce mess

Nurown BrainStorm

I get a lot of questions about stem cells for ALS and more recently people have been specifically interested in NurOwn from BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics. Recently, the FDA denied BrainStorm’s request for a BLA for NurOwn. The company felt its Phase III trial was encouraging. It sounds like they will move forward with a follow-up …

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What is Mastodon & why so far it’s a clunky alternative to Twitter

Mastodon

Lately it seems like something called Mastodon is on the minds of many a Twitter user. There is a wave of people tweeting “let’s dump Twitter and go to Mastodon now that Musk has taken over!” However, so far I don’t see Mastodon as a solid alternative to the admittedly annoyingly musky Twitter. I do …

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Weekly reads: death in CRISPR trial, sickle cell, nose picking & dementia, epilepsy

CRISPR gene editing

As both a scientist who works on stem cells, cancer, and CRISPR, and a research advocate I’ve been fortunate to meet many patient advocates over the years. Some have been participants in clinical trials themselves. Benefits & risks of clinical trial participation It is very sobering to find out that a clinical trial participant has …

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