January 20, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

Piero Anversa

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

4 min read

What’s on your weekend reads list including stem cell papers? In addition to hard-core research papers, I find some bigger picture publications to be helpful too. Then there are just fun items. Every so often I do a post about things that I’m hoping to find time to read over the weekend or that I’ve recently read. Today’s post is one of those items and here are some interesting science reads related in particular to stem cells, cancer, and CRISPR. Stem cell research and …Read More

4 min read

What’s the deal with lung stem cells and stem cells for lungs? For a long time researchers found that stem cells were elusive in adult lungs. There was debate about whether they even existed, but it now seems fairly established that there are some of the little guys in there. Just because one of the early papers on purported human lung stem cells came from Piero Anversa and has been retracted doesn’t mean these stem cell cells don’t exist at all. Other groups have reported …Read More

4 min read

Could He Jiankui have faked part or all of his CRISPR babies story? If so, how? Why? Or to put it another way, almost everyone seems to be assuming the story is real, but should we be more skeptical? Should we flip things around and assume the story isn’t entirely kosher until proven otherwise? I once said that the CRISPR field feels like it moves in dog years (very fast!) Consistent with that warp speed, the last 2 weeks have felt more like months. In …Read More

3 min read

Remember when the Piero Anversa situation first made news or at least when you first heard about it? In the public domain, it was back around April 2014. I didn’t even do a whole post on it, but rather it made two bullet points in a post about a set of bad overall news including the latest at the time on the growing mess from STAP cells.  However, clearly there were concerns about this Anversa thing well before 2014. What took so long? In my 2014 post here …Read More

3 min read

In a stunner, Harvard and Brigham & Women’s Hospital reportedly have jointly called for the retraction of 31 papers on heart stem cell research authored by embattled heart stem cell researcher Piero Anversa. The scoop on this by STAT/Retraction Watch written by Ivan Oransky and Adam Marcus gives further details on this mess and past travails of Anversa. He was the prime proponent of the idea of endogenous heart stem cells in adults, but things have gone south since his prime time as a …Read More

1 min read

It’s been a busy few weeks for the stem cell field. Below are some news briefs on developments. RetractionWatch reports that Piero Anversa is leaving Harvard/Brigham and Women’s Hospital after an investigation and dismissed lawsuit he filed against the institution. All still quiet on the STAP cell front at the same institutions. There’s some more clarity and confusion over the Japanese regulatory sphere for IPS cells. New regs may not be issued for another 4 or more months, leaving the clinical studies there in …Read More

1 min read

With these recommendations I’m aiming for a diverse range of content and perspectives, some of which I may not agree with, but all of which are interesting even if they are beyond research on medicine. Prostate Organoid from Stem Cells. More organoid news. Why Do Glowing Sharks Glow? Not exactly medicine, but a cool piece from Ed Yong. Damn. Inquiry into duplications reveals “multiple” image problems in tumor study in Cell Stem Cell. Comment on Proposed Framework for NIH-Wide Strategic Plan from NIGMS’ Dr. Jon Lorsch BioPolitical …Read More

3 min read

Brigham and Women’s Hospital cardiac stem cell researcher Piero Anversa along with collaborator Annarosa Leri (pictured) are suing both the hospital and Harvard Medical School as well as leaders at the institutions over a research misconduct investigation focused on Anversa and Leri. Boston Globe reporter Carolyn Johnson has been covering Anversa and for background on this new lawsuit she wrote: “Work overseen by Dr. Piero Anversa, a professor of anesthesia at the Brigham, was thrust into the spotlight earlier this year when one of his papers investigating …Read More

2 min read

We in the stem cell field should call this past week: A Nightmare on Stem Street. I can’t think of many weeks that have been worse for the stem cell field than this past one. I’m a new week is starting soon. It was a real nightmare, although I wish it was just something fictional out of the movies (see movie poster from Wikipedia). What happened? The STAP horror fest kicked it up a notch in providing pain to the stem cell field with a dramatic …Read More