science hype

2020 The Screamers Science Hype Award goes to Stephen Hahn

Dr-Stephen-Hahn-Commissioner-of-FDA

Today’s post announces the winner of the 2020 The Screamers Science Hype Award. Since this is the inaugural year for The Screamers, I’m just going to give out one main award: Overall Worst Science Hype. Science Hype Award to FDA Commissioner Stephen Hahn Remarkably, the winner of the overall The Screamers Award for Science Hype …

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Stem cell news bites: Astellas trial, cystic fibrosis claim, a few cool papers

Matoba-et-al-Figure-2c-2018

Stem cell news is always burbling up, sometimes right there in front of us on the web and other times via networks of people. Astellas news. Some may remember there used to be this pioneering stem cell biotech called ACT, which then became Ocata, and finally was acquired by the big company Astellas. One of …

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Divots fly from CNN puff piece on Jack Nicklaus & unproven stem cells

CNN-puff-piece-stem-cells-screenshot-from-video

This past week’s coverage of unproven stem cells exhibited a wide range both in tone and in topics including golfer Jack Nicklaus. There were the three critical articles on clinics that I blogged about earlier and then there was a CNN puff piece by Dr. Sanjay Gupta and Roni Selig mostly focused on Nicklaus. Note that …

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Just one word placentas: Can Celularity live up to hype?

Celularity-e1519061558939

I’ve been blogging about stem cells now for about 8 years and the recent level of hype about and fluffy media coverage of Celularity, the biotech spun out of Celgene, ranks right up here with the most extreme past cases I’ve seen. What is Celularity and who is its leadership? It’s a new biotech focused …

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Hope & hype on unpublished Huntington’s Disease trial splashy news

Huntingtons-brain-MRI

Some conditions like Huntington’s Disease are so bad and there are no treatments such that any bit of encouraging news can be cause for legitimate excitement, but at the same time things can go too far potentially, especially if there is news coverage not backed up by a published paper or some other definitive source …

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Burt Northwestern Stem Cell MS Trial Part 2: Marketing ‘Cure’-Like Outcomes?

stem-cells-MS-Northwestern-University

Can science now cure MS in some patients with stem cells or is that near on the horizon? What about stem cells for other serious autoimmune disorders? What are the risks to patients in terms of health, money, and hope? What if patients must find $100,000 or $200,000 just to get into a clinical trial for …

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Risky science metaphor: BDNF as ‘Miracle-Gro for the brain’

BDNF-Miracle-Gro-for-Brain

I appreciate fun linguistic approaches to explaining science such as a good science metaphor and I use them myself at times, but sometimes these end up risking doing much more harm than good. The best or should I say worst example I’ve heard recently is referring to a growth factor called BDNF as “Miracle-Gro for the brain”. …

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Stem cells on the 4th of July: plenty of fireworks lately

stem-cell-fireworks

It’s an exciting time to be a stem cell scientist and I feel fortunate to be doing research on stem cells today what with all the developments recently and real promise for clinical impact in coming decades. There’s also unfortunately a ton of hype out there including in academia, biotech, and the stem cell clinic …

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