January 25, 2021

The Niche

Trusted stem cell blog & resources

the Niche

3 min read

Today’s The Niche recommended weekly reads post includes both primary papers and also a few media pieces. I’m especially interested in the first piece on making more complex embryo-like structures from ES cells. This is a long way from just making embryoid bodies or EBs. At the end of the post I discuss an article that highlighted what seems to be a super-pricey new fee-scheme for open access work and review at Nature Publishing. Artificial embryos, bioengineered thymus Mouse embryonic stem cells self-organize into …Read More

4 min read

After all this time writing on The Niche here since 2010, I still haven’t entirely resolved certain blogging dilemmas including when a patient discloses something. It’s kind of a jungle out there on the internet. What kinds of tough blogging dilemmas do I face? I’m just going to give you some examples of the more common ones in this post. Patient disclosures & accusations Privacy. One dilemma that still feels like it needs more concrete approaches on my end is when patients publicly disclose things …Read More

6 min read

Drugs that restore the shape of the errant protein behind cystic fibrosis (CF) have, over the past eight years, helped the majority of patients, who have certain mutations. Gene-corrected stem cells might offer a “mutation agnostic” option to CF. CF results from a glitch in a glycoprotein with the unwieldy name “cystic fibrosis transmembrane conductance regulator”, or CFTR. The proteins normally fold into channels that regulate the flow of ions into and out of cells, controlling the balance of water and salts in linings …Read More

3 min read

Reading to them was one of my favorite things to do with my kids when they were little, but it’s a long way from Goodnight Moon to this week’s list of recommended reads, although “bee brain” may have got their attention. Please take a minute to complete our The Niche reader survey for a chance at a bundle of free stem cell swag including my 3 books and a t-shirt. Media James Gorman, NY Times, The Vikings Were More Complicated Than You Might Think …Read More

1 min read

It’s helpful for me to learn about the readers of this blog The Niche in terms of who you are and your backgrounds. Because some people may want to vote more than once on the types of posts they like the most, I’ve allowed re-voting on that poll. Free stuff Those who participate and leave a comment or email me to indicate they did (knoepflerATucdavisDOTedu) will be entered in a random drawing for a bundle of free swag: a stem cell t-shirt and signed …Read More

6 min read

Today’s post lists the best stem cell blogs and more generally the top biology blogs as well as websites. Making lists of “the best” of anything is fun yet tricky. However, I feel that it can also serve a purpose as a resource. You might also enjoy these other “top” lists I’ve done including List of 50 stem cell influencers on Twitter to follow in 2019, a list of top stem cell journals, and for fun, Elephant in the lab series: top list of science excuses. Blog-o-rama …Read More

4 min read

When I think of cookies, I first think of chocolate chip, peanut butter, or macaroons, but an arguably more important kind these days is the type of thing that websites implant on your computer sometimes to monitor your web activities. Not delicious. I did a little experiment inspired by the New York Times Privacy Project. I essentially turned off the ability of websites to place cookies on my browsers on all my computers at home. At the start I thought, “Cheers to privacy!” but …Read More

5 min read

In what could be a serious legal warning sign for the stem cell field, California federal district court Judge Jesus Bernal denied the government’s motion for summary judgment against Cell Surgical Network, et al. related to their marketing of an unproven fat stem cell product via their chain of clinics. The FDA is seeking a permanent injunction. You can read the new ruling here. The reasons why Bernal said he rejected the summary judgment request are concerning and don’t fit with my view of …Read More

5 min read

Every year in December and early January I do a post predicting some key events for the stem cell and regenerative medicine field for the upcoming year and today’s post contains my predictions for 2020. You can see my past 2019 predictions along with my grades for them here. I gave myself a B+ for 2019. What grade will I get for 2020? I don’t yet of course, but I often can’t resist making positive predictions even if they are relatively high risk in …Read More

6 min read

Last year around this time I took my annual plunge to make 20 predictions for the coming year for the stem cell and regenerative medicine field. I even made a crystal ball graphic to highlight the complexity of the stem cell ecosystem into which these predictions were embedded (see image) for 2019. How’d I do? Below I grade my 20 predictions for this year. You can in addition see my grading of my 2018 predictions here. In the next week or so I’ll also …Read More