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From Point A to Point Z: thinking outside the box about stem cells

What is the best way to get new stem cell-based therapies to the millions of patients who need help? I would argue that this is the key question in the field of stem cell biology and regenerative medicine. Sometimes I think it is easy for folks to lose sight of that and fall into traps. …

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Challenges translating stem cell treatments to patients

Geron-300x2212

It has been a rollercoaster few months between the anti-hESC court cases as well as Geron and Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) receiving the OK from the FDA to proceed with initial clinical trials of stem cell treatments. It’s OK to be excited about the clinical trials and I for one am, but we have to …

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Great news: FDA gives ACT the green light bringing hope to millions of people with blindness

advanced-cell-technology

The FDA has given Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) the go ahead to begin their clinical trial using retinal progenitor cells derived from hESC by clearing the company’s IND application, bringing hope to those with vision loss and even blindness. The trial will be a combined Phase I/II to treat Stargardt’s Macular Dystrophy and has huge …

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The trouble with teratoma: a stem cell paradox

Teratoma

The trouble with the risk of teratoma presents a stem cell paradox. Stem cells possess two traits lacking in other cells: self-renewal and pluripotency. This duo of defining functions is key to the ability of stem cells to be used to treat patients via regenerative medicine. A paradox exists because while self-renewal and pluripotency are both …

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Not ready for prime time: the three critical challenges for IPS cells

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If IPS cells are not ready for prime time, it is probably due to these three critical challenges for these amazing cells. TUMORIGENICITY Those of us who work with IPS cells are very excited about their potential for use in regenerative medicine therapies. One serious hurdle we have talked about in the past is tumorigenicity. …

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How many scientist bloggers does it take to change a light bulb?

Stem-Cell-Blog

One question I am frequently asked by readers and colleagues is “what other stem cell blogs or bloggers can you recommend that are written by a stem cell scientist and updated on a regular basis?” The simple but surprising answer: there are none. It’s lonely out here in cyberspace! (2020 update: The good news today …

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Why scientists must be advocates too: Jeff Sheehy

Jeff-Sheehy

CIRM Board Member, Jeff Sheehy, has a wonderful piece in Nature Medicine on why patient advocates play a critical role in decision making on research priorities (hat tip to Amy Adams who first blogged on Sheehy’s piece). Patient advocates bring a unique and valuable perspective to the table. Their role in guiding CIRM research funding …

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Disease Focus Series: Stem cells for HIV/AIDS

HIV-virus-lymphocyte

2020 update: This post from almost 10 years ago on the HIV pandemic and particularly the first paragraph ring differently in the context of the COVID-19 novel coronavirus pandemic. Over the last several years, there has been great concern about a possible flu pandemic around the world, but meanwhile the great pandemic of modern history, …

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