Search Results for: embryonic stem cell

What do sperm have to do with brain tumors?

H3.3

Sometimes in science there are unexpected threads tying seemingly very different things together. Unraveling the knots in these threads can lead to new insights into important developmental processes and mechanisms of disease. My lab studies epigenomic and transcription factors including a molecule called histone variant H3.3 (more here on H3.3). H3.3 binds to the actual …

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STAP NEW DATA

BS1

This is a crowdsource page for people who want to post their findings on their attempts to validate the STAP stem cell ( STAP細胞) method.  I’m going to color successful or even moderately encouraging reports green and failures/discouraging results in red. *For those with longer attention spans, see some additional important considerations for this crowdsourcing effort at …

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5 human therapeutic cloning talking points dissected

Knoepfler-art-Human-Cloning

Yesterday’s report of human therapeutic cloning to make embryonic stem (ES) cell lines is a big deal. I support the work and I believe it is very important. People’s reactions to it vary wildly depending on their agendas of course. This post is a no-nonsense overview of the main points. My overall point. This is …

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Why aren’t there vertebrate super pygmies?

Why aren’t there are super pygmy vertebrates? For most vertebrate animals, their early embryonic development unfolds in extremely congruent fashions. Embryo growth is stem cell-dependent and in large part, despite different gestational periods, the molecular and cellular machinery that controls vertebrate development is almost perfectly conserved. Yet at maturity vertebrates end up with a range …

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Why is the human brain super-sized?

human-brain

Why do people have such a big brain compared to other animals? Vertebrate embryonic development is a highly conserved process, particularly in the earliest phases. (note: you may find this September 2020 post on regulation of bee brain size to be interesting.) A wide variety of vertebrate animals including humans start out with embryonic body plans …

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Ian Wilmut, Dolly’s dad, says dump hESC? What does this mean?

Ian-Wilmut

Sometimes a top scientist makes news with a quote on research and that happened with Ian Wilmut recently on stem cells. Move away from research on human ES cells (hESC) in favor of very new and still largely unclear trans-differentiation technology? I say, no way. But, Bradley Fikes of the North County Times has reported …

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The news of CIRM and clinical trial: don’t forget the patient

As much as so many were excited yesterday about the enrollment of the first patient in a CIRM-funded clinical trial, I did not see a mention of a very important element. The patient. Our excitement about the clinical trial moving forward is understandable, but we also need to keep a sober perspective on the fact …

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Trumping hope

When does politics trump hope? It seems all the time. I think politicians frequently take positions on science-related issues that they either don’t really believe or understand. Perhaps I’m wrong, but for example, I don’t believe that most national level Republican leaders oppose ES cell research. Most of us have either ourselves faced injuries or …

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