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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Cell and gene therapy products: what is an ATMP?

atmp therapy

If you were to see the phrase ‘Advanced Therapy Medicinal Product’ (ATMP) you might guess, ‘an advanced treatment that is a medicine?’ but you will not get much more from this without doing a lot more homework. What is an ‘Advanced Therapy Medicinal Product’ (ATMP)? Whoever decided that cell and gene therapy products should be described …

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Weekly reads & stem cell news: New York axes NYSTEM, fetal tissue rules reversed, pubs & more

stem cell book

It’s been a week with a wide variety of regenerative medicine papers and stem cell news. Here’s my earlier take from a few days ago on the Belmonte-led human-monkey chimeric embryo paper in Cell that broke this week. A few days ago I also put up a new video on our Stem Cell YouTube Channel …

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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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