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Weekly science reads: Macchiarini trial, somites, CRISPR babies

organoids with somites, cool science

This has been one of those weeks where I spent some time thinking about taking risks in science. How much risk one should take? Risks can come in many forms. It could be at the core level at the bench doing specific experiments and not others. There’s risk in clinical trials, and even in advocacy. Sometimes …

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Google gets it dangerously wrong on stem cell side effects

Google stem cell side effects

In trying to figure out how unproven stem cell clinics get so many customers, I’ve found that these firms can in part thank Google. I recently wrote a guest piece on STAT News about this problem and called on Google to fix it. However, just this week I stumbled on another case of Google search …

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Recommend reads: CRISPR baby guy free, DNMT3, sperm, Editas, hearing loss, reprogramming

Dura et al sperm development

We often don’t think of them that way but reproductive cells like sperm and egg are also relatives of stem cells, and it turns out that there are stem cells that make the reproductive cells too like sperm stem cells. Sperm and germ cell stem cells DNMT3A-dependent DNA methylation is required for spermatogonial stem cells …

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Altos Labs: mission, leadership, jobs, & CIRM

Altos Labs

At the beginning of the year I wrote about a new kind of biotech called Altos Labs. It’s very different in some ways from other institutions. I find it an intriguing research entity. Where do things stand now with Altos Labs a few months later? More information, new ideas,  and questions have popped up in the …

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Weekly reads: Melton leaves Harvard, Fuji, BBC blunder, stem cell niche, more

Senolytics restore the stem cell niche in the brains of mice. Fatt, et al. Stem Cell Reports 2022.

Sometimes a post here on The Niche (named after the stem cell niche) sparks a debate between expert stem cell researchers and often that gives much more depth to a topic. Such was the case with my post this week on where things stand with stem cell therapy for heart disease. It led to a …

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Hub of Regenerative Medicine & Stem Cell Meetings 2022

stem cell meetings 2022

Science must go on and so must stem cell meetings in 2022 with all those great conferences out there, but hopefully this year will be better than 2020-2021. It seems that way with the pandemic easing in the U.S. and many other places. On the other hand, COVID is spiking in Asia and other regions. …

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Weekly reads: Google, stem cells & MS, VSELs, ‘hairy’ organoids, MYC

stem cells differentiating into neurons and glia

It’s been quite a ride doing this blog on stem cells and other technologies for more than a dozen years. So far it seems like I’ll keep it going. A large part of the reason is because of people needing good information about our field. Those people include scientists and physicians but also many in …

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FDA news: warning letter pattern, cancer moonshot, CAR-T & gene-editing guidance

FDA-draft-guidance

The FDA has been busy with the COVID pandemic but it has many other things on its plate as well including cell therapies. Today I’m sharing some recent agency news and brief perspectives on it. FDA focus on clinic-related umbilical cord cell drug makers The agency warned an Idaho company that produces and sells umbilical …

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