June 4, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog

STAP cells

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

2,000 is a big number. As of this week I’ve now published 2,000 posts here on The Niche since I started back in early 2010. I can’t quite believe it myself. To celebrate that milestone, I have revamped The Niche in terms of its organization and style with the help of a very skilled web developer. You might have noticed some of these changes around here. I hope you like them. The site should be speedier for one thing. We are also nearing another …Read More

3 min read

STAP is back? Really? No, I don’t believe so, but there’s an interesting development and twist on the STAP cell front. Just a few days ago on January 4, 2017 Dr. Charles Vacanti, the originator of the STAP cells concept, submitted a declaration to the USPTO affirming the belief that STAP cells are real and requesting that the patent office allow the rejected STAP patent application to be reconsidered. I find a number of aspects of this development notable: The declaration says they have generated new data …Read More

1 min read

What were the top posts here on The Niche for the past year? I’ve listed some of them below along with some posts from 2015 that remain highly read. Some top 2016 posts 20 Nominees for Stem Cell Person of the Year 2016 Award REGROW Act is Attack on Science-Based Stem Cell Trial Oversight Will new gene editing tech NgAgo challenge CRISPR? FDA Warning Letter to Irvine Stem Cell Treatment Center Clinics Across US Public stem cell skirmish erupts between Hanna & Jaenisch Controversy over …Read More

2 min read

When potentially game changing new technologies are reported such as NgAgo gene editing, both scientists and the public get excited, but especially if such new reports stem from a single paper it is wise to take a cautious approach for a while. The key question is whether the new findings will turn out to be reproducible. With the case of NgAgo specifically, the Nature Biotechnology paper reporting potentially very desirable gene editing properties, drew a lot of interest. See archived blog posts on NgAgo here. …Read More

2 min read

Does the new gene editing method NgAgo work or not? If not, what happened? The answers to both questions seem to depend on who you ask and what you read. As much as CRISPR has been the revolutionary in the genetic modification technology arena over past methods, could CRISPR itself in the next few years become obsolete having been replaced by other new technologies such as the upstart NgAgo? I doubt it. The odds for NgAgo making a run in this field may have …Read More