September 28, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

Hongkui Deng

5 min read

As a pivotal advance in the gene-editing field and timeline, CRISPR continues to be utilized for research on stem cells and human diseases. Today, I will explain some of the most notable recent findings in the stem cell-CRISPR field. To start things off, I have also created an infographic that briefly explains what CRISPR-Cas9 is, what stem cells are, and how they both can be used together to analyze human disease through genetics and potentially treat some specific diseases in the future. You may …Read More

3 min read

There’s some big, positive news on the stem cell front today. Two new innovative papers both by teams led by Sheng Ding of Gladstone Institutes with UCSF report all-chemical direct reprogramming of human somatic cells. Ding’s team took skin cells and by exposing them to cocktails of small molecules was able to turn them directly into precursors for heart muscle and neural cells. The two direct reprogramming papers were published in Science here and in Cell Stem Cell here. The former paper is Cao, et al. and the latter is Zhang, …Read More

6 min read

Today marks nearing the completion of a full circle for one of science’s biggest controversies: the STAP cell fiasco. Today STAP cells are completely refuted with the publication of two new papers in Nature and we know much more–with some notable gaps still–about what went wrong. In January of last year, an international team of collaborators from RIKEN in Japan and Harvard/Brigham & Women’s Hospital (including the lab of Charles Vacanti where the STAP idea reportedly originated) here in the US published two Nature …Read More

1 min read

I recently did a poll asking readers of my blog to vote on the iPS cell paper of the year for 2013. The vote kind of seesawed at the beginning, but in the end with 100 votes cast the paper by the Hannah lab on near-perfect iPS cell production won out (see votes at left). In second place was the Deng lab paper on all-chemical reprogramming. I suspect that just a couple years ago, this paper would have won by a landslide, which I …Read More