January 18, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Malin Parmar

3 min read

In Parkinson’s Disease patients develop neurological dysfunction as they lose a special kind of brain cell called dopaminergic (or dopamine) neurons. While a number of different approaches to this disease have been studied for decades, nothing has proven particularly successful in slowing its progression. As a result there has been a big need for novel thinking about how to tackle Parkinson’s Disease including via stem cells. One of the most exciting ideas has been to use human induced pluripotent stem cells (hIPSC) or human embryonic …Read More

2 min read

One of the most famous living biological scientists, Sir Ian Wilmut, just announced that he has Parkinson’s Disease. I wish him the best in dealing with this illness. Wilmut is very well-known for having cloned the first mammal, Dolly the Sheep. This work followed on the earlier breakthrough by Sir John Gurdon of cloning the first vertebrate with his work in frogs. it just occurred to me: I’m not sure if the first cloned frog had a name! Over the years there has been …Read More

4 min read

By Jeanne Loring There are ten million people in the world who have Parkinson’s disease. 125,000 of these are living in California.  People with the disease often have to step away from their jobs because the main symptoms – tremor or freezing up of muscles – make it difficult to get through a whole day of work. Parkinson’s disease is caused by the loss of a specific neuron type in the brain.  The dopamine neurons in the region of the brain called the substantia …Read More

4 min read

New human clinical trials using derivatives of pluripotent stem cells in China for Parkinson’s Disease (PD) have raised expectations and some eyebrows. PD is a neurodegenerative condition, sometimes diagnosed or followed by PET scans such as the one at left, characterized by loss of dopaminergic neurons leading to severe and sometimes life-threatening symptoms. Pluripotent stem cells are powerful as their name implies and they have great clinical potential, but if they are not utilized properly they have robust tumor forming potential. This risk can …Read More

3 min read

With more than 4,142 votes cast, the readers of this blog have chosen the top 12 finalists for the Stem Cell Person of the Year Award for 2014 from the 27 nominees. You can see the final vote tallies at left. The votes came from more than 50 countries with some interesting geographic patterns (I may do a post on that as a follow up). I’ve pasted the brief bios of the twelve finalists below at the end of this post. Now comes the …Read More