January 22, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

organoids

2 min read

It’s usually a tossup as to whether my weekly reads skew more towards stem cells/regenerative medicine or cancer. Other times they are more enriched for genomics and epigenetics articles. Seeds of cancer in normal skin, Nature News & Views Engineering synthetic morphogen systems that can program multicellular patterning, Science. Pig fat can be used to grow jawbones for humans, Science Mag news piece. Pig fat stem cells can aid in jawbone growth. Here’s the original Science Translational Medicine research pub. Inherited myeloproliferative neoplasm risk …Read More

3 min read

Clinical trials using organoids are still rare and a Clinicaltrials.gov search for such organoid work largely brings up in vitro studies. A new clinical study in Japan where organoid material will actually be transplanted into patients is causing a lot of excitement. Masayo Takahashi (高橋 政代) is a pioneer in stem cell-based clinical trial work and more specifically induced pluripotent stem cell (IPSC)-based trials. Her new clinical study is another groundbreaking step in that it is organoid based, in this case for Retinitis pigmentosa. …Read More

3 min read

Organoids are providing a novel avenue into the pathogenesis of COVID-19 and novel models for drug screening. A number of new preprints on respiratory organoids shed new light in this area. They were highlighted in a Nature newsy piece, Mini organs reveal how the coronavirus ravages the body. It’s a challenge to study COVID-19 infections because just infecting 2D cultures of various respiratory cells in a dish doesn’t necessarily tell you all you need to know about what goes on in the patient. While 3D organoids aren’t …Read More

5 min read

Every year in December and early January I do a post predicting some key events for the stem cell and regenerative medicine field for the upcoming year and today’s post contains my predictions for 2020. You can see my past 2019 predictions along with my grades for them here. I gave myself a B+ for 2019. What grade will I get for 2020? I don’t yet of course, but I often can’t resist making positive predictions even if they are relatively high risk in …Read More

2 min read

Every so often here on The Niche I list science and news articles worth a look as “weekend reads”. Below is my list for this weekend. Enjoy! The first article doesn’t really fit into the other main categories, but the title “herding brains” caught my eye. Stem Cells Stem cells and regenerative capacity in aging brain, article in Cell. Quiescence Modulates Stem Cell Maintenance and Regenerative Capacity in the Aging Brain. Does this kind of research have relevance to humans? See interesting, complex graphical abstract …Read More

4 min read

For a long time at the end of each year, I’ve been making stem cell predictions for the coming year. Most often I’ve been making a “top 20” list of predictions and today’s post has my list for 2019. You can see how I did for 2018 here, which might have been my best year ever for predictions. We’ll see if I can match that here for 2019. I doubt it. However, I do think my prediction that 2019 will be the worst year …Read More

3 min read

There’s a new paper in Cell Stem Cell on esophageal organoids that has really caught people’s attention. It is entitled, “3D Modeling of Esophageal Development using Human PSC-Derived Basal Progenitors Reveals a Critical Role for Notch Signaling.” It comes from a team led by Jianwen Que. Update: I didn’t realize when I first did this post that there were 2 related esophageal organoids papers in the same issue of the journal and the second one led by James M. Wells at Cincinnati Children’s has some cool …Read More

2 min read

What are your typical weekend reads? If you are a scientist, they might often include a great deal of science. I always hope I can find time for reading for pleasure too, but about as close as I get to that is the New York Times on Sunday. Here are some recommended science reads for this weekend including approachable media articles on interesting developments. Blood test shows promise for spotting early cancers. In addition to being a cancer researcher, as a cancer survivor myself and …Read More

3 min read

The classic sci-fi movie Fantastic Voyage keeps coming to mind for me as I see and do research involving organoids. In it, the heroes travel inside of the human body in a craft, observing all kinds of awesome biology in an up close and personal kind of way on route into the brain with the goal to do microsurgery of a sorts. Even though this movie came out a year before I was born, I saw it later as a kid and found it captivating. …Read More

4 min read

Organoids are pretty big in stem cells right now with the last couple of years having attracted a lot of media attention on mini lungs, mini brains, mini kidneys, mini guts and more, giving the impression that scientists know how to specify and organise cells into mini functional organs in the lab. Organoids have become a hot topic in a stem cell environment where our understanding of disease is limited by studying only cell autonomous effects in single cells. If Thursdays ISSCR 2015 plenary …Read More