January 23, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Politics

2 min read

Since Donald Trump was elected our new president the scientific community has tried to adjust to this new reality or at least absorb the shock that many felt. Responses from scientists range from “not my president” to “maybe it won’t be so bad”. Mostly it seems people are stressed about an uncertain future for science and our country overall. If you just look at a science-related Twitter feed you can feel the palpable tension in the air. How should we scientists deal with this …Read More

1 min read

The REGROW Act would drastically weaken FDA regulation of experimental stem cell therapies. I’ve criticized it in numerous posts (see those here) for its radical ideas that would put patients and the stem cell field at risk. I’m not the only one concerned about it as both ARM and ISSCR oppose it too. Now 10 top patient advocacy groups together announced their opposition to it as well.  The patient groups that include the Michael J. Fox Foundation (see complete list at the bottom of this email) cited …Read More

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The White House seems to be getting more active on genetics in the last six months. It’s refreshing to see them actually talking about real, important science. My feeling has been that up until now they’ve been giving too little attention to science so even if you may disagree with some aspects of what they are saying, at least they are more engaged. White House Precision Medicine Genetics Initiative (see photo above from WSJ, Obama with student Elana Simon, who was honored previously by …Read More

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The Obama Administration today weighed in on human germline genetic modification such as via CRISPR via a note from John Holdren, Assistant to the President for Science and Technology, and Director of the White House Office of Science and Technology Policy. The White House indicated support for the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and the National Academy of Medicine (NAM) plans to convene an international meeting on human germline genetic modification including CRISPR-Cas9 technology: “The White House applauds NAS and NAM for convening this dialogue and …Read More

1 min read

The Vatican 2nd Stem Cell Meeting starts tomorrow and by the looks of the schedule, which was just recently posted, it should be a very interesting adult stem cell meeting. The range of speakers runs from patients to celebrity advocates such as Meredith Vieira to Nobel Laureate Dr. John Gurdon to stellar cancer researcher, Ron DePinho, to many industry speakers. Some great speakers. Some other puzzling choices though. The Catholic New Agency (credit for picture at right) says that a key message is to overcome: the …Read More

3 min read

Last night President Obama decisively won re-election over GOP candidate Mitt Romney. Democrats also won quite a number of Senate seats that only a few months ago seemed destined to go to the GOP. Why was it such a bad night for the GOP? I believe the reasons they lost give insight into a new path for the GOP that would make it a better party and more in line with today’s Americans. Here are the top 10 lessons for the GOP: 10. Americans …Read More

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Think you know Mitt Romney? I don’t feel like I do. I hope those sandwiches he’s handing out are PB&J….. Here are the 10 most surprising things about Romney that you might not know. 10. He’s fluent in French. Nothing wrong with that, but his very anti-European rhetoric doesn’t seem to fit with this. See video below. 9. He was a cheerleader in high school (on the pep squad). Go team! Nothing wrong with being a cheerleader either. It’s just interesting. 8. Mitt Romney …Read More

2 min read

The Texas State Medical Board reportedly approved new rules for the use of adult stem cells. The ruling was at least in part a result of Texas Governor and former GOP presidential hopeful, Rick Perry, strongly pushing the issue. Perry himself received a controversial, non-FDA approved stem cell transplant in 2011 as part of a treatment for a spinal injury. Ever since Perry has been trying to push through new Texas medical rules that would make his treatment kosher. In other words, he’s been …Read More

3 min read

They say politics makes strange bedfellows….remember the Witherspoon Council? These are the fellows who are the BFFs of the two scientists suing to stop federal funding of human embryonic stem cell (hESC) research. They also wrote a large, very stodgy tome about stem cell research, in which they mentioned me and this blog…kinda implying we are, if not shady, at least misguided. But there were some things in their report that I agreed with too. I’m not joking and you can check out my …Read More

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We have a running series here on The Niche on the Republican candidates including Rick Perry for the GOP nomination for President for the 2012 Election. I blogged about Romney here, Huntsman here, and talked about Tex Guv Perry’s own stem cell transplant here. I also discussed the Republican field more generally in my podcast which you can listen to here or on iTunes. Perry just announced right now that he is running for President. Now, what if Perry became President? What would happen …Read More