A perspective on U.S. embryonic stem cell research from Israel

As we have blogged before, there are a host of different beliefs about embryonic stem cell research and about when life begins. This diversity of perspectives is sprinkled across the globe. Too often in the U.S. people take an ethnocentric view of this question, believing that everyone else should think the same as they do. …

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My Cancer: how I became an advocate too

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There is a kind of invisible cultural wall between patients such as cancer patients and biomedical scientists like me, but this wall does not have to exist and indeed it is a negative wall as patients, scientists, doctors, agencies, and advocates can achieve far more together than apart. But the wall is surprisingly strong. Last …

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Jerry Brown vs. California Education and Research

New California Governor, Jerry Brown, today proposed a 17% cut in funding for the UC System. Such a cut would be devastating to California at many levels including education, research, and competitiveness. The UC System is already under extraordinary stress from recent budget cuts that have inflicted serious injury upon the system. The new Governor’s …

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Devil in the details: small oncogenic lesions in iPS cells & ESC

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Yesterday I wrote about how difficult it is to tell different cell lines apart, including normal stem cells and cancer stem cells, especially since some accumulate accumulate oncogenic mutations that may make them seem more similar. A new paper is coming out that makes this case on a genomic level. Tomorrow’s Cell Stem Cell edition …

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FDA approves ACT’s second stem cell trial for blindness

Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) announced that the FDA has approved their second human ES cell-based clinical trial, a combined Phase I/II, for the treatment of blindness. As a result, soon ACT will have two active, human ES cell-based clinical trials, both using the same human ES cell-based drug. The aim of the 2nd trial is …

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One in a billion: finding stray cancer stem cells

Cancer patients and their doctors face daunting challenges at the time of diagnosis. Many crucial questions either cannot be answered or rely upon relatively low-tech methods whose accuracy is far from ideal. For example, how aggressive is this tumor? Has it already spread? After diagnosis and initial treatment, it is critical to monitor patients for …

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