October 28, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Embryonic stem cells

4 min read

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 called “pluripotent”, which refers to a special kind of stem cell that can make all 200+ other types of cells in the body through differentiation. Pluripotent stem cells are hard …Read More

2 min read

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 stem cell field and beyond have been unsure how to take the news of the problems with the Mitalipov cloning paper in Cell. Are these issues a big deal …Read More

3 min read

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 stem cell field. However, this legal battle is far from over. No champagne or noise makers. Perhaps just a glass of beer. Why? I’ve had several discussions today with …Read More

2 min read

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 bright side and hoped for a buyer for Geron’s ESC-related assets, but through the grapevine everything I was hearing was that that was not going to happen. Now that …Read More