science policy

The big picture lab meeting: ethics, careers, publishing & other questions

elephant-in-the-lab

About once each year or two, I try to schedule what I call a “big picture” lab meeting where my lab and I discuss major issues related to being a scientist. Also, I try to answer their questions about just about anything. In my lab we rotate between various lab meeting formats and also have …

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Popping the bubble of stem cell populism

pop-bubble-populism

What happens if we mix stem cells with populism? From a populist view of stem cells, everyday patients should be able to do nearly anything they want with stem cells without any governmental interference or excessive expense. Even stem cells not proven to be safe or effective. This can sound like an appealing idea to …

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Fat stem cells are drugs & more: FDA final guidances point to a new era

FDA-stem-cell-policy-flow-chart-e1510854295902

Are fat stem cells a drug? Today the FDA definitively indicated “yes” without leaving much of any room for exceptions on this question. This morning the FDA made a major announcement on stem cell policy regarding its current thinking on oversight of regenerative medicine and issued four guidances, including two each in final and in …

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Will Right-To-Try Morph into Right-To-Profit for Stem Cell Clinics?

FDA-RMAT

On one level a reasonable argument can be made for letting terminally ill patients have a right to try experimental as yet unproven therapies, but in the real world Right-To-Try laws have many downsides. On the whole, they are likely to be negative for patients as a group.  Raising the stakes is a push for …

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Scientist’s dilemma: find a public voice on big issues or stay silent?

Scientists-Dilemma

There is a scientist’s dilemma: should you speak out on important, sometimes controversial issues in science, where you not only can potentially have positive impact, but also risk being attacked for it? Or do you remain silent? I’ve now been blogging for more than 7 years. I’ve battled the often exploitive for-profit stem cell clinics …

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