June 5, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

stem cells

7 min read

Today’s post is a review of Unnatural Selection, the new Netflix science docuseries focused on CRISPR and other disruptive genetic and reproductive technologies. The show is an interesting mix of personalities and stories from patients, scientists, biohackers, and more. One patient thread is the story of a wonderful little boy named Jackson Kennedy. He wants to be an astronaut. He also happens to have the random misfortune of two mutant copies of a gene that together are causing him to lose his vision. Unnatural …Read More

3 min read

After almost a decade blogging about stem cells from just about every angle, it’s interesting to consider trends in the types of questions I get asked such as this much more common one now as compared to 2010: How much is stem cell therapy? What does a patient pay on average for stem cells in 2019? How much does insurance cover? Cost is on people’s minds. In a way that’s not so surprising for a few reasons. First, as compared to many years back, …Read More

4 min read

Historically, the main route of proposed healing via stem cell therapy was cell replacement. In this way of thinking the transplanted cells engrafted (took up home) in the patient’s tissue and replaced dead or diseased cells. However, interest continues to grow in other possible modes of healing by stem cells that don’t rely on cell replacement. In today’s post I cover 4 other possible mechanisms for stem cell therapy to aid health. Secreted factors An alternative, not mutually exclusive model to cell replacement is …Read More

4 min read

Ain’t nothing like the real thing…right? No, by the ‘real thing’ I’m not talking about Coke versus Pepsi or Coke versus Diet Coke, but rather stem cells. (On a side note there’s still some people who apparently believe the stem cell myth that there are stem cells in Pepsi). I get a regular stream of emails from patients and sometimes phone calls asking questions about stem cells and especially stem cell treatments, but at times I’m not sure the treatment in question really involves …Read More

3 min read

There are now so many clinics selling non-FDA approved stem cell offerings across the U.S. that tens or hundreds of thousands of patients are at risk. How did we get here? What if we had a way of understanding how stem cell clinics spread across the U.S. in the first place? For example, an animated map showing the spread of stem cell clinics selling non-FDA approved “treatments” across the U.S. would be useful. With publication of our new paper, the recent work of Leigh Turner …Read More

4 min read

By Samantha Yammine When our TV stops working, it’s usually because one of the wires has come unplugged. We begrudgingly huff and puff over to the back of the TV, track down the loose culprit, plug it back in, and boom: back to Netflix. If you multiply all those wires in the back of your TV by several billion, that will approximate what the wiring in your central nervous system is like. Your eyes, brain and spinal cord are made up of different types …Read More