January 21, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

hESC

2 min read

A new Cell Stem Cell paper by Victoria L. Mascetti and Roger Pedersen on human-mouse chimera modeling is quite interesting and important. I really enjoyed this short paper, but I do have a reservation about one way that it is being interpreted. The authors show that human pluripotent stem cells (hPSC) including induced pluripotent stem cells and embryonic stem cells (hIPSC and hESC, respectively) are pluripotent in vivo during early development. They come to four main conclusions as outlined in their highlights section: •hiPSCs and …Read More

25 min read

By Michael Cea Jeanne Loring of the Scripps Research Institute in La Jolla, California kindly sat down with me at the ISSCR annual meeting for a broad discussion of her history, views on the field and developments in the science. I found Jeanne a refreshing character, as I did a number of others I was fortunate to meet in Sweden. Her style I can only best describe as natural. It must be the Southern California air or something but there is a definite quality of relaxed …Read More

1 min read

The challenge to the WARF/Jamie Thomson patents/IP on human embryonic stem cells (hESC) is at an end. The US Supreme Court declined to hear the case. Earlier, the USPTO had turned down the challenge leading to a winding road in the courts. What do you all think of this stem cell IP challenge and the outcome? The hESC IP includes 3 patents: 5,843,780, 6,200,806, and 7,029,913. For two great stories with helpful background on this development see here and here by David Jensen and Bradley Fikes, respectively. Scripps …Read More

2 min read

We had the big news last week that for the first time ever, human embryo cloning (aka “therapeutic cloning”) worked to produce apparently normal embryonic stem cells. I posted about it a few times here, here, and here. I have tried my best to be factual, open minded, and realistic about the issues. Frankly, the stem cell field as a whole has done mostly a lousy job handling the human cloning dialogue sparked by the publication of the therapeutic cloning paper last week. It …Read More

3 min read

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 just one paper folks. It’s a turning point paper for the stem cell field to be sure, but there is a great deal to still be learned about this …Read More

3 min read

For the first time ever, scientists have successfully used somatic cell nuclear transfer (SCNT) via the process of therapeutic human cloning to generate normal human embryonic stem cells (hESC). Recall that there are two kinds of human cloning: therapeutic (which is reported in the new paper discussed in this post) and reproductive, which is making an actual new person with an identical genome to an existing person. The latter has never been achieved, but some of us are worried it is coming sooner than …Read More

2 min read

Adult stem cells are very powerful and important, but it is basically now an established fact that pluripotent stem cells will have important, unique applications in the clinic. Adult stem cells are not a panacea and we need pluripotent stem cells too. But what is the most promising type of pluripotent stem cell? Take our poll above to voice your opinion. A couple words about the possible challenges with each type. “Traditional” human embryonic stem cells (hESCs) have important potential, but with today’s technology …Read More

3 min read

Today the US Federal Court of Appeals via a 3-judge panel ruled in favor of continued NIH funding of human embryonic stem cell research (hESCR). The ruling is a setback for pro-life extremists trying to shut down a very promising avenue of stem cell-based regenerative medicine with their lawsuit. It’s a good day for the stem cell field. However, this legal battle is far from over. No champagne or noise makers. Perhaps just a glass of beer. Why? I’ve had several discussions today with …Read More