Embryonic stem cells

Where are ES cell foes James Sherley & Theresa Deisher now?

Theresa-Deisher

Four or five years ago the top stem cell story was the battle over federal funding of human embryonic stem (ES) cell research in the U.S. by James Sherley and Theresa Deisher. They were the two opponents of ES cell research making the most national headlines. Nature did a whole piece back then on Deisher …

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Ocata bought by Astellas of Japan: initial perspectives on end of an era

Astellas

Bombshell news in the stem cell field as Ocata Therapeutics (OCAT; formerly Advanced Cell Technology or ACT) is reportedly to be acquired by Astellas Pharma, Inc. The offer for purchase of OCAT will be $8.50/share or almost $380 million. For more details see this detailed PDF from Astellas. This quote on the deal form Ocata: “Paul …

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Advanced Cell Technology pub: Trial for Macular Degeneration

ACT-FIgure-1-

The stem cell biotech Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) reported new, positive data in a paper in Lancet from their clinical trials using retinal pigmented epithelial cells (RPEs) made from human embryonic stem cells (hESC) for treatment of different forms of macular degeneration (MD). The paper was entitled “Human embryonic stem cell-derived retinal pigment epithelium in patients with age-related …

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Review of Mitalipov Nature paper: cloned ES cells vs iPS cells

NT-ESC

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 …

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Interview with Bob Lanza on new ACT MSCs for MS paper

I did a brief email Q&A interview with Dr. Bob Lanza of Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) on their new hES MSCs pre-clinical data for Multiple Sclerosis. I discussed the paper itself in a concise review yesterday here. Thanks to Dr. Lanza for doing the interview. 1. Were you surprised at the fact that the therapeutic …

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Jury is still out on purported adult pluripotent stem cells despite new MUSE paper

MUSE-cells

Are MUSE cells for real? Stem cells come in different types that vary in a key property called “potency”, but very few are pluripotent. The more potency, the greater the flexibility of a stem cell to make other cell types. Flexibility in the cellular world is power. The most powerful stem cells generally used are …

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Natalie DeWitt Must-Read Comment on Cell Cloning Paper Mishap

Natalie-deWitt

Occasionally I call out a particularly important comment by a reader on a major issue and today it is commenter Natalie DeWitt (see my earlier interview with her about her experiences at Nature’s The Niche) who has contributed a particularly insightful, knowledgable comment on my recent perspective piece the Cell cloning paper mishap. Many in the …

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Analysis: what does the federal court embryonic ruling really mean & what’s next?

Knoepfler lab stem cells

Today the US Federal Court of Appeals via a 3-judge panel ruled in favor of continued NIH funding of human embryonic stem cell research (hESCR). The ruling is a setback for pro-life extremists trying to shut down a very promising avenue of stem cell-based regenerative medicine with their lawsuit. It’s a good day for the …

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The stem cell gestalt of Geron Goodbye and the future of ACT

Geron-300x2212

Last year one of the biggest events in the stem cell field was biotech Geron punting its embryonic stem cell (ESC) program. Much consternation followed. Some folks opposed to ESCs happily pronounced ESC research dead. Some folks in favor of ESC thought the world was ending a year early. Others tried to look on the …

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Obama giving up on embryonic stem cell research?

Obama1

Is Obama bailing out on support for embryonic stem cell research (ESCR)? As even casual readers of this blog easily surmise, I am a supporter of President Obama. I believe he has done a good job in his first term and deserves re-election. I also believe Romney would not be a good president, particularly as …

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