January 15, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

IPS cells

4 min read

Sometimes patients or my students ask me, “What are the best stem cells?” what information are they looking for? I think they often are looking for the most powerful stem cells so perhaps they should be asking, “What are totipotent stem cells?” Other times it seems what patients specifically want to know is what might be the best stem cells for their particular condition. The answer to that is, of course, going to depend on many factors. I’m a long-time stem cell biologist so …Read More

8 min read

We often talk about stem cells but there are some pretty basic, important questions that often go unanswered like ‘where do stem cells come from?’ The Niche It’s a more complicated and interesting question than you might think, and some of the answers point to novel ways in which stem cells may be used to treat human diseases. Note that if you are looking for information in a language other than English, my stem cell outreach pages have key facts about stem cells in …Read More

7 min read

IPS cell research is a growing area of promise for regenerative medicine. These stem cells, also known as iPSCs or more formally as Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells, are engineered cells that are programmed to function the same way as embryonic stem cells. They can be differentiated into possibly any type of cell that is needed for therapeutic purposes. Since iPSC production was first reported by Shinya Yamanaka using mouse and human cells in 2006 and 2007, respectively, cells from a whole host of species have …Read More

4 min read

What’s been going on in the stem cell and regenerative medicine field over the past week and what are some worthwhile things to read? Today’s post has recommended recent reads from the scientific literature and the media. I’ve also got our weekly stem cell/regenerative medicine quiz question and the answer to last week’s. You can check out last week’s recommended reads here, which has last week’s quiz question. Toward the bottom of the post there’s also a “blast from the past” link to a piece …Read More

2 min read

There’s never enough time to get all of one’s science reading done, but we can try! It helps to have a list of “to-read” articles, whether actual research articles or media pieces. In the old days, I remember my mentors saying they literally had “piles” of journal articles on their coffee tables, bathrooms, bedrooms, etc. that they needed to read. Here are some past recommended reads. What would be the digital piles of science articles to try to dig into this week? Here are …Read More

2 min read

Over time I seem to collect more upbeat stories about stem cells and regenerative medicine as well as cool publications  so today’s “good news” post is a collection of these kinds of things plus one example of huge science hype. Here’s a list of past such upbeat posts. The preclinical good news in rats from my graduate alma mater UCSD, ‘New Injection Technique May Boost Spinal Cord Injury Repair Efforts‘ via stem cells. Here’s the actual Stem Cells Translational Medicine pub.from a team led …Read More

2 min read

Where do things stand today in 2020 with IPS cell research? It’s been 14 years since they were first reported, but they continue to make news. Back in 2006 I was wrapping up my postdoc with Bob Eisenman at The Hutch in Seattle, largely studying Myc, when Shinya Yamanaka published his first induced pluripotent stem cell (IPS cell) paper in Cell. For me it was one of those amazing moments reading a pub when you just go “wow!” Now all these years later we …Read More

2 min read

Masayo Takahashi is a leading stem cell researcher doing translational and clinical research on vision. She’s doing pioneering work on using pluripotent stem cells as a basis for helping patients with vision loss such as due to macular degeneration. She won The Niche’s Stem Cell Person of the Year Award in 2014 and a number of other awards. Last week I did a post on some exciting new clinical trial work starting here in the US by the NIH/NEI, and that sparked a great …Read More

3 min read

The NIH announced the launch of the 1st autologous induced pluripotent stem (IPS) cell trial for vision loss in the U.S., focused on macular degeneration. The protocol is based on a solid foundation of pre-clinical animal studies: “Researchers at the National Eye Institute (NEI) are launching a clinical trial to test the safety of a novel patient-specific stem cell-based therapy to treat geographic atrophy, the advanced “dry” form of age-related macular degeneration (AMD), a leading cause of vision loss among people age 65 and …Read More