January 17, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

COVID-19

6 min read

In any given field of biomedical science like stem cell research and regenerative medicine, it’s very useful if you can accurately predict the future. It seems, though, that predictions are far more difficult within the more exciting and rapidly-changing fields. The field of stem cells and regenerative medicine fits that bill. Past stem cell research predictions Still, each year in late December or early January I’ve made predictions for the coming year for stem cell research and regenerative medicine. More often than not I …Read More

4 min read

A new paper today in Stem Cells Translational Medicine on a small COVID-19 Phase 1/2a trial using an umbilical cord stem cell product reports a surprising degree of possible efficacy. What’s the scoop here and could there be some hype in the media about this new study such as one of the authors describing the cells as “smart bomb technology in the lung”? Study of umbilical cord stem cell infusions for COVID-19 The paper comes from the University of Miami and a team led …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

4 min read

I’m not a virologist, but I’m still getting asked these days about what the risks might be from the new generation of RNA vaccines for COVID-19. Approaching this question instead as a biologist and genetics/genomics researcher, I can see a handful of at least hypothetical risks. Below I discuss these possible risks and why I’m generally not so concerned. Barring some new worrisome data, I’m planning to get a COVID-19 vaccine when the time comes that it’s available to me. The early data suggests …Read More

2 min read

It’s fitting, given the edginess over the election, that Halloween is falling only a few days before election day so here is a list of recommended stem cell reads for you to dive into some biomedical science. Liver buds from stem cells Generation of human induced pluripotent stem cell-derived liver buds with chemically defined and animal origin-free media, Scientific Reports. In a decade might we have liver transplants based on this technology? If so, it will probably be small structures that are like a …Read More

2 min read

It’s usually a tossup as to whether my weekly reads skew more towards stem cells/regenerative medicine or cancer. Other times they are more enriched for genomics and epigenetics articles. Seeds of cancer in normal skin, Nature News & Views Engineering synthetic morphogen systems that can program multicellular patterning, Science. Pig fat can be used to grow jawbones for humans, Science Mag news piece. Pig fat stem cells can aid in jawbone growth. Here’s the original Science Translational Medicine research pub. Inherited myeloproliferative neoplasm risk …Read More

3 min read

It’s encouraging to see that the states including now Arkansas via their attorney generals (or is it attorneys general?) are taking more action against stem cell clinic firms, but the big scope of AG action has somewhat surprised me. Arkansas AG suit The latest AG action on a stem cell clinic type firm comes from Arkansas. The State AG there has just sued a regenerative clinic there along with people involved in the firm. Here are the core details from the AG announcement, which …Read More

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

4 min read

Are Trump and the Republican Party showing major hypocrisy over Trump’s use of experimental COVID-19 therapies in part developed by Regeneron using embryonic and fetal cells? The Internet is kind of blowing up over this. Trump’s collision with stem cells For example, people are directly confronting Trump on Twitter over his recent all caps tweet about voting pro-life (see below) despite using the Regeneron experimental therapy for his COVID-19, which again used cells that the GOP opposes. Note that while it’s hard to be …Read More

3 min read

Here are some recommended stem cell and other reads for the week ranging from COVID developments to prosecutors finally catching up with a stem cell surgeon who had many patients die to a list of interesting pubs. Because Trump now has COVID, I wondered on Friday if he might consider trying unproven stem cells or other cellular therapies for the novel coronavirus because so many in his universe seem upbeat about such stuff. Indictment of Paolo Macchiarini From the WaPo, Swedes indict surgeon for …Read More