January 17, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

IPS cells

2 min read

365 days a year, 24 hours a day stem cells are growing in labs around the world, providing a never-ending stream of data and products, with real hope, good news, and lots of surprises. You can see some past examples of good news in the stem cell and regenerative medicine field highlighted on The Niche here. Today’s post brings 2 examples of recent good news and a brain organoid surprise. And one bonus more about space and when you’d run out of air (or not …Read More

3 min read

Here we go again with people trying to ban funding of embryonic stem cell research. Really? Yes, including according to a new article from the Catholic News Agency. Who is trying to get this ban? Some Republicans in The U.S. Senate. I’ve wondered for years if the Trump Administration might take action against embryonic stem cell research in part because of the views of VP Mike Pence. But for a long time nothing has happened. I don’t know if the senators mentioned in the …Read More

3 min read

In Parkinson’s Disease patients develop neurological dysfunction as they lose a special kind of brain cell called dopaminergic (or dopamine) neurons. While a number of different approaches to this disease have been studied for decades, nothing has proven particularly successful in slowing its progression. As a result there has been a big need for novel thinking about how to tackle Parkinson’s Disease including via stem cells. One of the most exciting ideas has been to use human induced pluripotent stem cells (hIPSC) or human embryonic …Read More

2 min read

A much-anticipated induced pluripotent stem (IPS) cell trial for Parkinson’s Disease reportedly will soon launch led by Professor Jun Takahashi. The news broke on Yahoo Japan, which included an unusual number of appropriately sober statements regarding the trial, even though it is an exciting trial as well, compared to most media stories on stem cells. Parkinson’s Disease is a result of a loss of dopaminergic neurons in the brain so it is a particularly attractive target disease for stem cells, which can be readily …Read More

3 min read

The Japan stem cell and regenerative medicine oversight system has been designed to move investigational therapies forward fast, much faster than the systems in other countries such as the U.S. But how well is it working so far? It’s an important question both for that country and more globally as the Japanese system was touted by some as a model and a reason why the U.S., to remain more competitive in this industry. Some of the same folks felt that the U.S. should also …Read More

2 min read

Where do things stand with IPS cell translational research? The newest development is that regulators in Japan just have given conditional approval to an Osaka University team to an induced pluripotent stem (IPS) cell-based study for ischemic heart disease. For years IPS cell-based products have been on-again off-again in active clinical study for macular degeneration, work led by Dr. Masayo Takahashi. The new heart disease study is led by Yoshiki Sawa. This appears to be the third conditionally approved IPS cell study in Japan. I’m not …Read More

2 min read

I’ve got some TGIF recommend reads on stem cells, etc, but first, what a week, right? We need more action on preventing gun violence. It’s a uniquely American health crisis that doesn’t have to be. There’s no real, common sense reason that gun control can’t reduce mass killings of our kids and others like the latest one in the Florida high school. That kind of gun control won’t interfere with hunting or other legitimate gun ownership. There are clearly going to be politicians who …Read More

3 min read

A researcher working at Kyoto University has reportedly engaged in misconduct leading to an institutional request for retraction of a paper from the journal Stem Cell Reports. The paper in question appears to have rather large-scale problems: “Kohei Yamamizu, a specially appointed assistant professor at the university’s Center for iPS Cell Research and Application, falsified all six main figures in the paper that claimed he had succeeded in generating a brain structure in vitro using iPS cells, according to Kyoto University.” The Center for iPS Cell …Read More

4 min read

CRISPR and IPS cells are two of my favorite things so when they come together as in a cool, new paper from Sheng Ding’s lab, I’m excited to read it and curious as to what the scoop is. Since 2006-2007 when mouse and human reprogramming were first reported, many different methods have been explored to make induced pluripotent stem (IPS) cells. Along the way we’ve all learned quite a lot about how pluripotency is regulated, whether it is in the context of maintenance or …Read More

3 min read

A team of researchers at RIKEN and Kobe City Medical Center reported at a press conference today a serious adverse event in a clinical trial participant receiving an induced pluripotent stem cell (IPS cell)-based therapy for vision loss. According to Japan Times and Yahoo! Japan (in Japanese), the patient in question in the IPS cell trial for macular degeneration developed a problem with his eye following the cell transplant. From Yahoo! Japan: “The patient had an operation on Monday to remove pre-retinal membrane, deemed to …Read More