COVID Traps Alveoli Cells in a Curious Progenitor State, Squelching Lung Regeneration

normal lung alveoli indicating examples at1 and at2 cells

Mere weeks into the COVID pandemic, stunning graphics began to appear depicting the path of devastation of SARS-CoV-2 through a human lung. It’s only recently that we’ve come to understand what, exactly, is happening on a cellular level. The new view is thanks to single-cell RNA-sequencing, which analyzes the abundance of messenger RNAs in individual …

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Fact-check of stem cell therapy for pain & neuropathy

knoepfler turner cell stem cell 2016 fig. 2b stem cells for pain and other conditions

Does it make any sense medically or scientifically to use stem cell therapy for pain or neuropathy? There isn’t much solid evidence that this is a good way to go. However, there’s a vast scope of research ongoing in this area. Stem cell clinics have been earning millions of dollars each year selling this idea …

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Weekly reads: oncodevelopmental factors, iPSC cancer vaccine, more

stem cell vaccine paper ouyang et al

One of my main research interests is in oncodevelopmental factors. These include factors that are important both for normal stem cell biology and development as well as driving cancer when misregulated. One example includes the MYC family of proto-oncogenes. When I was a postdoc I got especially interested in trying to understand the normal role …

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The Niche stem cell picture contest winners: gut & astrocytes

stem cell picture contest

I got some great entries for our The Niche stem cell picture contest. While I expected many bright colorful images, every year some of the pictures surprise me in certain ways. There was another surprise in that two entrants in the contest, both Assistant Professors, are sisters. A talented family! You can see the previous …

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Ukraine clinic seems to backpedal from CRISPR people idea

medeus clinic doctors. their recruitment emails had suggest a goal to crispr people for trait enhancement.

I wrote earlier this week about Medeus clinic in Ukraine seemingly trying to recruit genetics researchers to CRISPR people for trait enhancement. Aiming for CRISPR people with trait enhancement? In the recruitment emails they sent out it seemed fairly clear that they were planning to do CRISPR on people somehow via stem cells. They mentioned …

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Ukraine clinic plans to sell CRISPR enhancements: hair color, skin, & breast size

medeus clinic crispr enhancements

It was a couple of years back that researcher He Jiankui claimed he made three “CRISPR babies.” No one would think about doing any kind of rogue gene-editing again, right? Not even somatic gene edits. After all, as far as we know he’s in jail. We still don’t know the health risks that these three …

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FDA to end ‘grace period’ on stem cell clinics: agency should ‘go big’ on continued offenders

stem cell clinics map

Stem cell clinics violating federal regulations have been a major problem for the FDA. Next month the FDA faces a historic moment on this problem. A grace period for clinics to become FDA compliant ends in May. Even so, it appears that hundreds of clinics will remain non-compliant after that. Some of the worst clinics …

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Weekly reads: Stem cells for vision loss & recommended pubs

stem cells for vision loss ribeiro et al

I’m going to start off today’s recommended reads post with some stem cells for vision developments. I had some fun the last 2 weeks as people sent in their entries for our $100 stem cell picture contest. I’ll announce the winner this week. It’s going to be hard to choose given the great entries. Stem …

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Xenobots: can you really make living robots from stem cells?

pnas 2020 xenobots paper figure4 1

Can you really make living robots from stem cells called xenobots? How would this work? You take frog stem cells, supercomputers to tell you what to do with them, and you get xenobots? Well, kind of yes and no at this point. It’s a fascinating area. What are xenobots? What does the name “xenobot” bring …

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