January 18, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

hype

5 min read

Many are  jumping on the bandwagon of trying stem cells for COVID-19 or testing other cellular therapies for the novel coronavirus disease, but there have been problems with either the rationales for the trials themselves or more often with how they portrayed. Sometimes there has even been outright hype. I’ve called this collective trend of promotion of scads of trials of cell therapies for COVID “throwing spaghetti at the wall”. Some may stick, but most probably won’t. If fact, there’s a reasonable possibility that …Read More

2 min read

Meet The Screamers. After being a scientist in one form or another for 30 years and blogging about stem cells and other science for more than 10 years, I’ve seen a lot of science hype. However, some science hype goes above and beyond the usual level to outright smack readers in the face. It almost hurts your brain or makes you want to scream “No!” We definitely see this kind of uber-hype in the stem cell field at times, but also in many other …Read More

3 min read

A firm called Kimera labs just received an untitled letter from the FDA. The firm has been supplying non-FDA-approved exosomes to various customers including at least one stem cell clinic without sparking any obvious action from the agency, but on April 10th that changed with the letter, which in my view is quite serious. What sparked it? My sense is that a major trigger was Kimera Labs being linked some weeks back to an experimental infusion of exosomes into a COVID19 patient. The letter …Read More

5 min read

I thought I’d take a look again into the world of stem cell supplements since it’s been a few years. What I found now in 2020 wasn’t a pretty picture. This post has several sections so feel free to jump to sections below. What’s in this article Supplements in general   |   Stem cell supplements claims    |   Supplement ads and products    |   Stem-Kine    |   Regenexx Supplements    |   Big picture take-home Note that “supplements” here refer to things people can ingest to …Read More

3 min read

Last year an odd pub  made the big claim that the interstitium is a new organ. I didn’t buy that. Now an over-the-top stem cell advertisement that recently ran in the San Diego Union-Tribune (U-T) is piggybacking off of the supposed “interstitium as new tissue” claim to make all kinds of other claims about some mystery “stem cell” pill. You can see a picture at left of the ad that a The Niche reader sent to me. The word “cure” there is like a …Read More

3 min read

Swedish Medical Center in Seattle is now marketing regenerative medicine therapies including some things that in my view are not really scientifically proven to work including via an infomercial. This is part of a bigger trend where more legit medical centers have begun selling regenerative medicine “treatments” that are still being developed. Sometimes they even engage in questionable marketing of this stuff too. The latest entry here is unbelievable in some ways. In the above segment sponsored by Swedish Medical Center on a show …Read More

4 min read

The 60 Minutes show here in the U.S. has done sobering segments over the years on risky, unproven stem cell clinics, but now there is a new episode of 60 Minutes Australia that is the polar opposite: it mostly made a mess of things with its fluffy coverage of the story of a wonderful little girl with cerebral palsy receiving an unproven stem cell transplant at a clinic in Mexico. The new show segment, which you can watch in two parts (see below) on …Read More

3 min read

Three recent media pieces on unproven, for-profit stem cell clinics paint an unflattering picture of this industry. At the intersection of these pieces is the clinic “treatment” consisting of fat stem cells (being manufactured as in a screenshot at right from a clinic YouTube video), a product the FDA has indicated is most often going to be a biological drug requiring pre-market approval, which the clinics generally do not have. The newest newspaper article comes from The Washington Post. Laura McGinley and William Wan take …Read More

3 min read

About once each year or two, I try to schedule what I call a “big picture” lab meeting where my lab and I discuss major issues related to being a scientist. Also, I try to answer their questions about just about anything. In my lab we rotate between various lab meeting formats and also have a journal club, but it’s worth taking up one slot for this big picture meeting where we just talk. At the big picture lab meeting, we some times end …Read More

5 min read

What is stem cell media? When us scientists hear the phrase “stem cell media” we usually think about the liquid food that we feed our stem cells in the lab, which resembles a kind of nutrient-rich Kool-aid, but another kind of stem cell media consists of the news coverage of stem cells. This other kind of stem cell media does a service in education the public, but it sometimes goes astray to engage in hype or get things factually wrong. This media mess may …Read More