‘We don’t want to freak people out’: about that Jacob Hanna human embryo model startup

Jacob Hanna Renewal Bio

Stem cell biologist Jacob Hanna has a new startup called Renewal Bio. Its goal is to harvest cells or tissues from human embryo or fetus models for clinical use. I believe that their commercial ambitions have so far outstripped careful thought and discussion in the broader community of researchers. There are major risks here for …

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Regenerative medicine reads: retraction, FDA warning, CAR-T, ARM CEO

Timothy D. Hunt, new CEO of ARM, Alliance for Regenerative Medicine

I’ve tried to find some time to do some stem cell and other regenerative medicine reading too, but it’s been a busy week of teaching for me as a professor in our new academic year for the UC Davis School of Medicine. I help to teach the Histology part of the first-year curriculum. It’s an …

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Histone code series: H3K27me3 & H3K27ac functions & roles in diseases like DIPG

ASCL1 in K27M tumors, H3K27me3 loss

Histone proteins such as histone H3 are often popping up in science writing and news sometimes includes specific modified forms of H3 including one that we scientists call H3K27me3. What is in this article What is H3K27me3? | The histone code | H3K27ac and H3K27me3 function | H3K27 and human disease | References The goal of today’s post …

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Weekly reads: fibroblasts, gene-editing, Mitalipov, personhood, embryos

NIH 3T3 fibroblasts ATCC

I have a soft spot for fibroblasts, perhaps because one of the first immortalized cell lines I ever grew was NIH3T3. These are mouse fibroblasts that have been immortalized. They are very useful for a variety of experiments. I used them to study an oncogene called E2A-PBX1. Experience with fibroblasts including 3T3s I was amazed …

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How brain organoids are transforming research

Human brain organoids Knoepfler Lab.

Organoids including brain organoids are an exciting, relatively new area of research. This technology is having a powerful impact on biomedical science, which is the focus of today’s post. What’s in this post Definition of organoids | Brain organoids | Challenges for mini-brains | Cutting edge cerebral organoids | References Definition of organoids and brain organoids …

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Weekly stem cell reads: space, plagiarism, HIV, diabetes, more

blood stem cell biology

I took a cross-country road trip earlier this month that was pretty amazing and barely thought about stem cell research for the first time in years. We did run across one stem cell clinic in Florida by accident. I’ll write about that trip soon, but first we have our weekly reads including some very cool …

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In big shift Dr. Robert Lanza exits Astellas

Dr. Robert Lanza

The recent news of Vertex Pharma buying small stem cell biotech ViaCyte and Doug Melton moving to Vertex brought to mind an old stem cell biotech called Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) and its leader, stem cell biologist Dr. Robert Lanza. Years ago, big pharma firm Astellas bought ACT and Lanza moved to be a leader of regenerative …

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ViaCyte purchase puts Vertex in driver’s seat on stem cells for diabetes

Doug Melton, Vertex, ViaCyte

When I’m asked about the most promising areas of stem cell clinical research, cell therapy for type I diabetes is near the top including work by a biotech called ViaCyte. Other firms are in the mix too, boosting the overall odds of success in the coming decade. It’s really that promising even though there are …

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What are CAR-T cells & are they regenerative medicine?

CAR-T cells regenerative medicine

The first time I heard CAR-T cells referred to as a regenerative medicine it made me stop and think. Are CAR-T therapies really a type of regenerative medicine? Generally, CAR-T cells are a designer immune cell therapy. They work by killing cancer cells and that’s what came to mind to me. I don’t tend to …

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A close look at new stem cells for COVID trial pub

stem cells for covid 19 kim knoepfler 2021

I’ve been following the stem cells for COVID arena for more than two years. During this time researchers have launched scores of trials. A few have been published including a new one. It’s been a wild ride that at times has included politics and an odd cast of characters. There was Rick Perry and also Rudy Guiliani getting …

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