June 6, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

iPS cells

2 min read

Every now and then a paper on stem cells lands many international headlines and also captures people’s imaginations. This seems to be the case for the recent urine stem cell paper from a team in China, which has made huge headlines. In addition to mainstream media, the paper was covered in Wired here and also by one of my favorite writers, Monya Baker, of Nature here. Scientific American and other big-name sites covered it. What’s the big deal? Hmm….. On first glance, as much as I …Read More

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George Bush deserves credit for iPS cells? No way. One of the weapons in the war against stem cell therapies is the use of a seemingly simple word: “ethical”. What does it mean to do ethical science in general and in particular what is ethical stem cell research? Who decides? According to the opponents of embryonic stem cell (ESC) research, that line of research is unethical and even immoral and it is they who get to make those decisions for the rest of us. …Read More

3 min read

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. COST Another hurdle that is far less discussed, but is equally critical, is the potential cost of IPS cell based therapies. The therapeutic advantage of IPS cells over ESC …Read More

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Update in 2020: Wow, a lot has changed since this post almost 10 years ago, but Cell Stem Cell remains the main publisher of IPS cell articles still. The young iPSC field has published a truly massive number of papers in just 4 years. Searching ISI Web of Knowledge for papers with titles reflecting iPSC research (not just those that mention iPS cells), we find 424 total iPS cell articles from 2006-present. Interestingly, 32 of them (7.5%) were published in a single journal, Cell …Read More

3 min read

Update in 2020: It seems now after all these years that the consensus in the now more mature field is that IPSCs and ESCs are nearly identical in most cases, and both have some of the same translational challenges such as teratoma-forming activity. It’s interesting to read this post from nearly 10 years ago and the concerns that were so intense back then. An important question in the young iPS cell field has been– just how similar these reprogrammed iPS cells are to embryonic …Read More