January 18, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Aging

4 min read

Is a head transplant actually going to be an option for extending life or changing what it means to be human? What about brain transplants? Background on the idea of head transplant surgery Given the extreme nature of the idea of taking one person’s head and putting it on another’s body, why does this area attract so much attention? Immortality has a certain attraction. For thousands of years humans have been obsessed with fighting aging and death. Over the years there have been all …Read More

3 min read

This week we have some interesting new reading including both on the stem cell basic and translational fronts as well as on COVID-19 vaccines. COVID-19 vaccine considerations From Derek Lowe at In The Pipeline on COVID-19 vaccine expectations at Science Translational Medicine, Get Ready for False Side Effects. You can read my views on possible side effects of RNA-based COVID-19 vaccines, which I conclude are low or hypothetical. Stem cell tinkering and aging From Heidi Ledford at Nature, Reversal of biological clock restores vision …Read More

3 min read

My weekly roundups of biomedical news tend to focus on stem cells, but I read more broadly so it’s not just stem cells but also CAR-T cells and a lot more this week. CAR-T cells as senolytics? A team led by Scott Lowe has a new intriguing paper in Nature on using CAR-T cells to target senescent cells. The paper is entitled, “Senolytic CAR T cells reverse senescence-associated pathologies”. The core idea here is that CAR-T cells can be used to get rid of …Read More

3 min read

Remember our old friends Liveyon? Their leader John Kosolcharoen? Liveyon’s continuing metamorphosis This biologics supply firm has gone through several stages of corporate metamorphosis as a supplier of biologics including at first a purported living umbilical cord stem cell product. That stem cell thrust ultimately landed a dozen or more people in the hospital as some of the product was somehow contaminated with bacteria along the way before injection in patients. There was a recall, an FDA warning letter, lawsuits, and a voluntary suspension …Read More

4 min read

What’s on your weekend reads list including stem cell papers? In addition to hard-core research papers, I find some bigger picture publications to be helpful too. Then there are just fun items. Every so often I do a post about things that I’m hoping to find time to read over the weekend or that I’ve recently read. Today’s post is one of those items and here are some interesting science reads related in particular to stem cells, cancer, and CRISPR. Stem cell research and …Read More

3 min read

Gwyneth Paltrow has a new Netflix show coming up in a couple of weeks called “The Goop Lab” and her Goop company promotes a lot of wacky things so one Sunday over lunch I thought I’d take a look at what they sell related to stem cells. Going into this, I didn’t know for sure they sold stem cell stuff, but I thought it was likely and they do. Shocker, right? Note that the Goop Lab TV show hasn’t even aired yet but has …Read More

5 min read

A fitness guru named Ben Greenfield has now reported self-injecting non-FDA approved stem cells from US Stem Cell. He says the stem cells came from a clinic that lost a big federal court case 9 days ago. Greenfield posted a Facebook video of the actual injection, which he narrates. There’s some text along with the video. Together they raises many troubling questions. Date of video vs. date of court ruling Greenfield says in the text describing the video that the stem cells were sent …Read More

2 min read

Every so often here on The Niche I list science and news articles worth a look as “weekend reads”. Below is my list for this weekend. Enjoy! The first article doesn’t really fit into the other main categories, but the title “herding brains” caught my eye. Stem Cells Stem cells and regenerative capacity in aging brain, article in Cell. Quiescence Modulates Stem Cell Maintenance and Regenerative Capacity in the Aging Brain. Does this kind of research have relevance to humans? See interesting, complex graphical abstract …Read More

4 min read

Historically, the main route of proposed healing via stem cell therapy was cell replacement. In this way of thinking the transplanted cells engrafted (took up home) in the patient’s tissue and replaced dead or diseased cells. However, interest continues to grow in other possible modes of healing by stem cells that don’t rely on cell replacement. In today’s post I cover 4 other possible mechanisms for stem cell therapy to aid health. Secreted factors An alternative, not mutually exclusive model to cell replacement is …Read More

2 min read

What is the Billionaire’s blood & stem cell club and how does one get into that? The focus of what I’m satirically calling this “billionaire’s club” is on anti-aging and prolonging life. If you have a lot of money and are willing to take risks on yourself toward some specific goal such as staying young or fixing some disease or injury via spending big bucks, the young blood & stem cell club might be right for you. Billionaires tend to be risk-takers any way, …Read More