A TGIF weekend reading list of new stem cell pubs & headlines

In case you have some free time for reading this week, here’s a list containing an assortment of interesting research articles and stem cell headlines. I’ve thrown some oddballs in there too including one article from May 1983, when I was just finishing up junior high. No, I didn’t write it. And no the headline for this current blog post is not referring to stem cell-themed pubs where you can go get some ale made from stem cells, but that’s not a bad idea, right?

Yeah, it’s been one of those long, busy weeks and it’s only Friday. And from the TGIF archives a piece from last year including stem cell soup, Kim Kardashian, and zombies.

And now the list.

PNAS, Butts, Et al. Figure 5H 2017

Newsy pieces

Research & other journal articles

And the one from 1983, Stem Cell is a Stem Cell is a Stem Cell. But is it? This reminds me of a fake journal name I came up with some time ago I imagine someone doing as a knockoff of the real top stem cell journal Cell Stem Cell. The fake journal name?

Stem Cell Stem Cell

My whole crazy list of fake and maybe future real stem cell journals with wacky names is here. Good for a laugh.

TGIF stem cell & science news bites

The FDA warning letter to Richard Burt of Northwestern related to noncompliance issues with his stem cell clinic trial for MS has dominated the news recently, but some other notable things have happened as well on stem cells and more generally in science. I’ve posted some notable news bites below.

TGIF top stem cell headlines of the week: Asterias, lasers, immunity, & more

Laser tooth stem cellsIt’s been an important week for stem cells. Although I’ve been busy working on multiple grants and papers, when I take a break I like to read up on what’s been going on with stem cells.

What are the top stem cell stories and headlines of the week?

CIRM awarded Asterias (a subsidiary of BioTime) $14.3 million to continue clinical research into the use of hESC-derived OPCs for spinal cord injury. This is great news as the work formerly started by Geron lives again and provides real hope.

Lasers, stem cells, and teeth came together in a cool new story that has nothing to do with teeth whitening, but provides promise for tooth repair. In a paper (Arany, et al.) in Science Translational Medicine, a Harvard team showed they could activate stem cells to make dentin, which I believe is even harder than bone and gives teeth their strength. In Figure 1E from the paper above you can see histology showing more dentin in the laser-treated tooth.

Bioscience Technology quoted team leader Dr. David J. Mooney, who is a professor of bioengineering at Harvard School of Engineering and Applied Sciences (SEAS):

“Our treatment modality does not introduce anything new to the body, and lasers are routinely used in medicine and dentistry, so the barriers to clinical translation are low”

Pretty cool.

STAP cell retraction OK’d for one, but not the other Nature paper? Author, Dr. Haruko Obokata, reportedly agreed this week to  retract her STAP cell letter, but not the STAP cell article. You can read more on my take on that here and my editorial the day before calling on Nature to retract both papers.

An interesting twist on iPS cells and immunity. For a long time folks have argued that pluripotent stem cells such as ES cells and iPS cells have a special trait of being immunoprivileged because of their early embryonic-like state. However, the opposite case–that ES and iPS cells are in fact more immunoreactive because they express unique antigens not seen by organisms throughout the rest of life–gained more ground with a new report from Stanford. Krista Conger of SCOPE published on an excellent piece on this new work from the great stem cell researcher, Joseph Wu. The Nature Communications paper (Almelda, et al.) argues that differentiation of iPS cells yields cells that are less immunoreactive. It’s intriguing to think about these different perspectives on stem cells and immunity from a human transplant perspective.