January 26, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

human embryonic stem cells

8 min read

ViaCyte is one of the most exciting stem cell and regenerative medicine biotech companies so I like to try to check in with them regularly. Today’s post is my new interview with ViaCyte leader Paul Laikind on recent developments. We had a great chat about the science and how things are looking upbeat for the company, which is growing (a heads up for stem cell biologists who may be job hunting). You can read my previous interview with them from about a year ago …Read More

2 min read

One of the highlights of Day 1 of #ISSCR2018 for me so far was the talk by Lorenz Studer (Co-Founder of BlueRock) on the use of human embryonic stem cell (HESC)-derived dopamine neurons for Parkinson’s Disease. Note that for this post and if I have time any others on this meeting, they are probably going to be somewhat stream of consciousness notes from the talks and may have some outlined points rather than sentences. I have some questions or notes for myself that I …Read More

2 min read

UK biologist Kathy Niakan has asked governmental permission to make GM human embryos using CRISPR. Earlier this year, a research team in China crossed a scientific line for the first time in history by using gene editing technology called CRISPR-Cas9 to make genetically modified (GM) human embryos. Other researchers around the world including now one in the UK according to Reuters have expressed interest in creating GM human embryos too as a means to learn more about early human development. In many countries around …Read More

1 min read

The challenge to the WARF/Jamie Thomson patents/IP on human embryonic stem cells (hESC) is at an end. The US Supreme Court declined to hear the case. Earlier, the USPTO had turned down the challenge leading to a winding road in the courts. What do you all think of this stem cell IP challenge and the outcome? The hESC IP includes 3 patents: 5,843,780, 6,200,806, and 7,029,913. For two great stories with helpful background on this development see here and here by David Jensen and Bradley Fikes, respectively. Scripps …Read More

4 min read

Federal funding of human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research is hanging by a tenuous thread at the moment. While currently legal, such funding is at the mercy of a legal case making its way through the courts. The latest stop for this case is a review by a 3-judge panel of the DC Circuit Court. The panel, randomly selected, is composed entirely of extremely right wing justices that are more inclined to rule based on ideology than law. Most observers, myself included, are convinced …Read More

3 min read

Sometimes a top scientist makes news with a quote on research and that happened with Ian Wilmut recently on stem cells. Move away from research on human ES cells (hESC) in favor of very new and still largely unclear trans-differentiation technology? I say, no way. But, Bradley Fikes of the North County Times has reported that Ian Wilmut, who cloned the first mammal Dolly the sheep, argued for a shift from ES cell research and toward trans-differentiation at the Stem Cell Meeting on the …Read More

2 min read

CIRM announced two sets of awards today that both should make major impact including its first clinical trial via Geron and $38 million for 27 basic biology studies. First Clinical Trial. Today CIRM awarded $25 million to support Geron’s FDA-approved clinical trial for spinal cord injury. This is CIRM’s first award to a for-profit company in support of a clinical trial and represents a major milestone.  The funding should help Geron accelerate the clinical trial and is wonderful news. You can read the grant …Read More