January 17, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte

5 min read

Can hearts repair themselves via their own stem cells? Science evolves Sometimes what we scientists all know to be true turns out later on to be wrong and there are clear instances of this in the stem cell field. For example for decades the dogma was that the adult mammalian brain did not have stem cells, but now most researchers believe that the adult brain does have stem cells, although for humans this is still being debated. What we perceive as factual can change over time. Yamanaka …Read More

5 min read

There are many genomics meetings out there these days, but The Future of Genomic Medicine meeting (#FOGM18) at Scripps in La Jolla is one of my favorites. This meeting is uniquely empowering. The people and the talks combine for a one-of-a-kind experience. The venue doesn’t hurt either at the Scripps Seaside Forum. The evening before the meeting I walked from the hotel to the venue and took a picture from below at sunset. If you look up by the palm trees you can see hang gliders …Read More

4 min read

In the same way perhaps that some excited relatives or parents-to-be both gush and worry about a baby before it is even born, our field has been transfixed for a week by the Mitalipov paper on CRISPR’ing human embryos even though the paper just now came out. Now that the paper is out, we can take a closer look at this “baby” and for us scientists that involves giving it a critical review. In science, “critical” often means a thorough once over with a …Read More

3 min read

A new paper focused on human and other chimeras just came out today in Cell reporting a number of findings, but most strikingly successful generation of human-pig chimeras in utero. The paper, entitled, “Interspecies Chimerism with Mammalian Pluripotent Stem Cells” describes various chimeras including mouse-rat ones, although those have previously been reported. This work comes from a team led by Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte including first author Jun Wu, and also with important contributions from Pablo Ross’s lab here at UC Davis The big news …Read More

5 min read

The Juan Carlos Izpisua Belmonte group published a Cell paper today on using gene editing to reverse mutations associated with human mitochondrial disease. The paper is Reddy, et al. and is entitled, “Selective Elimination of Mitochondrial Mutations in the Germline by Genome Editing”. The authors report success using TALEN-based gene editing or mitochondrial-direct restriction enzyme (mito-ApaLI) to reduce the burden of mutant mitochondrial DNA (mtDNA). Their work was done primarily in mice, but also using chimeras made with murine oocytes fused with human cells bearing …Read More