January 27, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

2 min read

It’s usually a tossup as to whether my weekly reads skew more towards stem cells/regenerative medicine or cancer. Other times they are more enriched for genomics and epigenetics articles. Seeds of cancer in normal skin, Nature News & Views Engineering synthetic morphogen systems that can program multicellular patterning, Science. Pig fat can be used to grow jawbones for humans, Science Mag news piece. Pig fat stem cells can aid in jawbone growth. Here’s the original Science Translational Medicine research pub. Inherited myeloproliferative neoplasm risk …Read More

3 min read

It’s encouraging to see that the states including now Arkansas via their attorney generals (or is it attorneys general?) are taking more action against stem cell clinic firms, but the big scope of AG action has somewhat surprised me. Arkansas AG suit The latest AG action on a stem cell clinic type firm comes from Arkansas. The State AG there has just sued a regenerative clinic there along with people involved in the firm. Here are the core details from the AG announcement, which …Read More

9 min read

There is a puzzle when it comes to the controversial idea of using cord blood for autism, because two of the strongest proponents are the autism cord blood program at Duke and for-profit, unproven stem cell clinics. On first glance it seemed like this was a bit of an odd couple to me. The links between the Duke autism program and one particular Panamanian stem cell clinic called generically enough “The Stem Cell Institute” appear to go beyond just their enthusiasm about cord blood …Read More

3 min read

As a researcher, is there ever enough time to get to everything that you want to read especially in newer areas like stem cells, organoids, and CRISPR, without even including non-scientific reads like Shakespeare or a new novel or something like that? Hopefully, putting together lists of recommended reads like today’s post is helpful. I wonder what Shakespeare would have thought about organoids? Media including COVID-19 updates Interesting change at Nature, which will be diving more into political coverage. Here’s their editorial on this …Read More

4 min read

Are Trump and the Republican Party showing major hypocrisy over Trump’s use of experimental COVID-19 therapies in part developed by Regeneron using embryonic and fetal cells? The Internet is kind of blowing up over this. Trump’s collision with stem cells For example, people are directly confronting Trump on Twitter over his recent all caps tweet about voting pro-life (see below) despite using the Regeneron experimental therapy for his COVID-19, which again used cells that the GOP opposes. Note that while it’s hard to be …Read More

2 min read

The State of California is considering re-funding its stem cell agency, CIRM, to the tune of more than $5 billion dollars, but the issue has generated surprisingly little media attention. The main coverage has been by David Jensen over at California Stem Cell Report. Prop 14 polling data non-existent in public domain To my knowledge, there are also no poll results in the public domain about how California voters feel about Proposition 14, which is the measure that would give the stem cell agency …Read More

3 min read

Here are some recommended stem cell and other reads for the week ranging from COVID developments to prosecutors finally catching up with a stem cell surgeon who had many patients die to a list of interesting pubs. Because Trump now has COVID, I wondered on Friday if he might consider trying unproven stem cells or other cellular therapies for the novel coronavirus because so many in his universe seem upbeat about such stuff. Indictment of Paolo Macchiarini From the WaPo, Swedes indict surgeon for …Read More

3 min read

What a difference one day can make including in the types of questions I’m getting with this one rising to the top: should President Donald Trump get stem cells for his COVID-19? Whether he should or not, will he get them? This is more than a hypothetical as a surprising number of people in Trump’s orbit have promoted the idea of unproven stem cells more generally or specifically for COVID-19. Roger Stone For instance, Trump pal Roger Stone at some point reportedly was or …Read More

4 min read

In my view, it seems likely that the FDA has opened a big can of worms by starting to clear the COVID-19 trials and programs of for-profit stem cell clinics and other related firms. OK to Stemedica trial The FDA just approved another such effort, this one by the firm Stemedica. You can read more about previous such COVID-19 cell therapy clearances for the unproven clinic firms Celltex and GioStar here. The Stemedica trial is similar to some of the other cell therapy efforts for …Read More

6 min read

Drugs that restore the shape of the errant protein behind cystic fibrosis (CF) have, over the past eight years, helped the majority of patients, who have certain mutations. Gene-corrected stem cells might offer a “mutation agnostic” option to CF. CF results from a glitch in a glycoprotein with the unwieldy name “cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator”, or CFTR. The proteins normally fold into channels that regulate the flow of ions into and out of cells, controlling the balance of water and salts in linings …Read More