January 21, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

cloning

3 min read

As a researcher, is there ever enough time to get to everything that you want to read especially in newer areas like stem cells, organoids, and CRISPR, without even including non-scientific reads like Shakespeare or a new novel or something like that? Hopefully, putting together lists of recommended reads like today’s post is helpful. I wonder what Shakespeare would have thought about organoids? Media including COVID-19 updates Interesting change at Nature, which will be diving more into political coverage. Here’s their editorial on this …Read More

3 min read

Today’s post is the latest edition of my weekly recommended reads, which this week include Fate Therapeutics, COVID-19 updates, AAMC, and more including some great pubs such as one on 2 modes of PRC2 function. Also check out this handy resource: Helpful 2020 List of Stem Cell Journals and this blast from the past post of 10 years ago: Keep Your Stem Cells Away From BPA. I’ll start with the mid-August 2020 recommended pubs and then go to the media items, but first I wanted to …Read More

3 min read

“If I’m going to the trouble of cloning myself, I want the clone to be a copy of me!” I’m imagining what someone might say if they were told that their expensive and ethically dubious personal cloning efforts produced a clone that was somebody else instead of them. Even if the clone was very similar to the clonee, perhaps like a sibling who was nearly but not quite an identical twin, the clonee might be totally PO’d. When I think about “human “cloning” I …Read More

4 min read

Is monkey cloning a good idea? We’re about to find out. A new Cell paper today reports the first cloning of monkeys via somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT), raising many questions. The paper from a team led by Qiang Sun is entitled, “Cloning of Macaque Monkeys by Somatic Cell Nuclear Transfer.” The highlight bullet points from the paper are the following: “•Somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) using fetal fibroblasts yielded two live monkeys •Epigenetic modulators promoted development and pregnancy rate of SCNT embryos •SCNT …Read More

2 min read

What is morally acceptable and where do we draw the line at behaviors that might just go too far such as human reproductive cloning? Over the years American attitudes have shifted on a number of potentially hot button moral behaviors including reproductive human cloning and pollsters including Gallup have tracked these attitudes. Gallup just came out with a poll suggesting that Americans are shifting, at least relatively speaking, toward being more morally accepting of some controversial behaviors. For example, the percent of Americans who view …Read More

1 min read

I’ve been thinking a lot lately about how the future of human reproduction might be very different from today’s reality due to recent technological advances including cloning. Things like human cloning (the reproductive, “Star Wars” kind) and human genetic modification seem very real now. It feels almost imminent in a sense compared to the milleenia of the “old fashioned” natural way of making babies. I find this technology both fascinating as a scientist and also mind-blowing as a science writer. In fact, I’ve become so …Read More

4 min read

Advances in therapeutic cloning reported in the past year have been very exciting as somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) can be used to produce very powerful human embryonic stem cells (ESC). These new cells are called NT-ESCs for short. Neither embryos nor reprogramming factors are needed to produce human NT-ESCs. See here, here and here for discussions of the pioneering papers reporting creation of NT-ESC including the first paper by the lab of Shoukhrat Mitalipov of OHSU, which I called the stem cell event of the year for 2013. Now that human NT-ESC …Read More

4 min read

Just how good are human embryonic stem (ES) cells made by therapeutic cloning via nuclear transfer, with the successful technique first reported by the lab of Shoukhrat Mitalipov at OHSU last year? How do they compare to induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells or traditional ES cells made from IVF embryos? A new paper in Nature directly tackles these key questions, but first a bit of context. Three separate groups have now successfully made ES cells using somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). I have reviewed those three therapeutic cloning papers …Read More

4 min read

It was intriguing last week to read about another advance in somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT)-based therapeutic cloning of human embryonic stem cells (hESC). The first such work was published last year by Mitalipov’s group from OHSU. This second paper to produce so-called nuclear transfer hESC (NT-hESC) made the important advance to show that it could be done using adult and even old human somatic cells. This is a reproducible technology, which is very important. However, key challenges and concerns remain for human therapeutic cloning …Read More

3 min read

If you’ve been paying attention to the stem cell world, you’ll remember Woo Suk Hwang, who nearly derailed the future of stem cell research by very publically proclaiming that he had made human embryonic stem cells by somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). No, this has nothing to do with Shoukhrat Mitalipov’s report of successful generation of SCNT hESCs last year (reported by Paul at https://www.ipscell.com/tag/shoukhrat-mitalipov/). The difference is that Shoukhrat really did make human SCNT ESCs. Hwang did not.  He claimed that he had …Read More