Research

Stem cell research.

Weekly reads: stem cell activator, sleep & stem cells, clonal hematopoiesis

stem cells macrophages, stem cell activator

When people find out that I’m a stem cell researcher, a common question is whether there’s something they can take that is a stem cell activator. I’ve written before about whether there are stem cell boosts that one can do to try to be healthier. Sleep, stem cell activator and clonality Mostly when I bring …

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What is HSCT & its possible roles in MS treatment?

Selma-Blair-HSCT

Patients regularly reach out and ask me about something called HSCT. “What is HSCT?” and is it proven as a therapy? Often the patients asking about this have multiple sclerosis (MS) or some other autoimmune disease. I’m not a physician so I can’t give medical advice, but as a stem cell biologist here at UC …

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Weekly reads: stem cells for MS, blood origins, iPSCs

Types-of-Multiple-Sclerosis

How promising is the idea of stem cells for MS? I have been working slowly as time permits on a piece more specifically about hematopoietic stem cell transplantation (HSCT) for MS. Two new pieces caught my eye on this topic so I’ll start with those. Stem cells for MS NurOwn Found Safe, Shows Promise in …

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Recommended reads: stem cells for ALS treatment trial, epigenome editing, astronaut mutations, ‘3-person embryo’ DNA

stem cells for ALS treatment

A new stem cells for ALS treatment trial represents a big step forward. It’s early days still but this trial shows feasibility and provides a helpful foundation for moving forward. It also highlights challenges. The work is from a team led by Clive Svendsen. Stem cells for ALS treatment trial Here’s the study. Transplantation of …

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Paper sparks renewed interest in transdifferentiation & clinical potential

transdifferentiation, iOPCS

There was a time when I thought transdifferentiation based approaches might quickly move into clinical trials. Then things kind of cooled off. We didn’t see many papers reporting methods to transdifferentiate cells. I still think that this technology, sometimes called direct reprogramming, has major potential. A new paper on making human brain cells this way got …

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Weekly reads: CRISPR, FDA stem cell loss, pioneering AMD study, MS, Verve Therapeutics

FDA stem cell policy flow chart.

The big news of the week was the big FDA stem cell in court by Judge Jesus Bernal here in California, who ruled in favor of a chain of stem cell clinics called Cell Surgical Network. The FDA had been seeking an injunction against the clinics. I believe the ruling was founded in part on …

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Weekly reads: fibroblasts, gene-editing, Mitalipov, personhood, embryos

NIH 3T3 fibroblasts ATCC

I have a soft spot for fibroblasts, perhaps because one of the first immortalized cell lines I ever grew was NIH3T3. These are mouse fibroblasts that have been immortalized. They are very useful for a variety of experiments. I used them to study an oncogene called E2A-PBX1. Experience with fibroblasts including 3T3s I was amazed …

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Weekly stem cell reads: space, plagiarism, HIV, diabetes, more

blood stem cell biology

I took a cross-country road trip earlier this month that was pretty amazing and barely thought about stem cell research for the first time in years. We did run across one stem cell clinic in Florida by accident. I’ll write about that trip soon, but first we have our weekly reads including some very cool …

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A close look at new stem cells for COVID trial pub

stem cells for covid 19 kim knoepfler 2021

I’ve been following the stem cells for COVID arena for more than two years. During this time researchers have launched scores of trials. A few have been published including a new one. It’s been a wild ride that at times has included politics and an odd cast of characters. There was Rick Perry and also Rudy Guiliani getting …

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Recommended reads: Dux, 3D printed ear brings Vacanti mouse to mind, AMD, more

Vacanti Mouse

Eight years ago two new Nature papers broke on the scene reporting supposed STAP cells with one of the senior authors, Charles Vacanti of Harvard, most well known previously for making the so-called “Vacanti mouse” along with his brother Joseph. The Vacanti mouse had a bioengineered human ear growing on its back. While STAP cells …

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