What new papers and news in the stem cell sphere caught your eye? Here are some recent items that seem notable to me. Diabetes relief in mice by glucose-sensing insulin-secreting human α-cells. This paper reports cellular reprogramming to insulin-producing cells in mice. They reprogrammed α-cells with Pdx1 and MafA proteins. ‘Mitophagy inhibits amyloid-β and tau pathology and reverses cognitive deficits in models of Alzheimer’s disease’ in Nature Neuroscience. Using IPS cells for insights. “What open chromatin features predict pluripotency?” asked and answered by the authors of this review …Read More
Here is a link to the Ocata website, marking the start of a new era for what was formerly Advanced Cell Technology or ACT. It’s been a big summer for stem cell biotech Advanced Cell Technology (ACT; stock ACTCD) as it continues what I would call a process of reinventing itself. What’s been happening? ACT recently did a notable 100:1 reverse split on its stock, opening it up to a whole new group of investors. The company has also settled some previously lingering litigation and …Read More
Before I did the #icebucketchallenge, I challenged the leader of Advanced Cell Technology (ACT), Dr. Bob Lanza, to do the Ice Bucket Challenge. He did it and leading up to it he provided a quite articulate message for context (see video below). Bob is one very cool guy even without ice water. The purpose of the Ice Bucket Challenge is to raise money for ALS research. Bob nominated ACT scientists Irina Klimanskaya, Shi-Jiang (John) Lu, and Erin Kimbrel to go next.
A new human therapeutic cloning paper is out today, the third in a matter of months. This one is from the lab group of Dr. Dieter Egli published in Nature demonstrating production of nuclear transfer embryonic stem cells (NT-ESCs) from an adult human somatic donor via somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT). This human SCNT paper follows on the heels of a similar paper (Chung, et al.) from Bob Lanza’s group published in Cell Stem Cell and the pioneering Mitalipov human SCNT paper (Tachibani, et al.) …Read More
Advanced Cell Technology (ACT) is well into clinical trials for macular degeneration (the leading cause of blindness) using human embryonic stem cell (hESC)-based retinal pigmented epithelial cells (RPE). To date, the trials suggest the products are safe. Efficacy? We don’t know. I am cautiously hopeful, but it is frustrating to know that most clinical trials fail. Lest you think that ACT is a one trick pony, it is doing a bunch of other interesting stuff too including using induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells. Over …Read More
Today after years of following the company Advanced Cell Technology (ACT), I finally bought stock (ACTC) in it. Why? As a stem cell researcher myself working on human ES cells, iPS cells, and many other types of stem cells, I have been following ACT for years, but have never pulled the trigger to buy their stock….until now. They are conducting research on using human ES cell-based technology as treatments for blindness. They are also currently the only company with FDA approved clinical trials underway. At …Read More