October 27, 2020

The Niche

Knoepfler lab stem cell blog


4 min read

What happens following pluripotent stem cell transplants into the brain? Are human IPS and ES cells going to function similarly in this context? We recently published a new translational paper on the behavior of human pluripotent stem cells when transplanted into the adult mouse brain in collaboration with my great UC Davis colleague, Dr. Veronica Martinez-Cerdeno. Martinez-Cerdeno V, Barrilleaux B, McDonough A, Ariza J, Yuen B, Somanath P, Le C, Steward C, Horton K, Knoepfler P. Behavior of xeno-transplanted undifferentiated human induced pluripotent stem cells is …Read More

4 min read

  There are a lot of myths in the stem cell field, some even embraced by some stem cell scientists such as the notion that teratoma are always benign. But when we start talking about translating stem cell technology into the clinic, to the bedside, it is especially important to cast aside our myths, no matter how comforting they might be. One such myth is the idea that there can be a perfect or entirely “normal” stem cell, one that is definitely 100% safe. …Read More

2 min read

Now and then we will revisit some of our most popular posts and/or posts with the most comments. One of the best: The Monster Tumor: What is a teratoma really? You can go to the link above to read the original post and comments but I’ve pasted the post itself below. In stem cell research there is a lot of talk about a very unusual type of tumor called “teratoma” and researchers often do “teratoma assays”.  The name teratoma literally means something like monster …Read More

3 min read

The trouble with the risk of teratoma presents a stem cell paradox. Stem cells possess two traits lacking in other cells: self-renewal and pluripotency. This duo of defining functions is key to the ability of stem cells to be used to treat patients via regenerative medicine. A paradox exists because while self-renewal and pluripotency are both needed for stem cells to be clinically useful, these cellular traits also are crucial factors in determining how likely stem cells are to cause tumors as a side effect. …Read More