Archive for April, 2013

The importance of unequal division in stem cells

Author: David Kent, 04/30/13

. Stem cells must strike a balance between different types of divisional outcomes in order to provide the correct numbers and types of cells for the lifetime of an organism. At each cell division, a stem cell either makes two replicates of itself to expand the population (a self-renewal division), makes two highly proliferating cells…Read more

Right Turn: A tail is a tail. Or is it?

Author: Lisa Willemse, 04/26/13

. Entire limb or organ regeneration is held out to be the holy grail of regenerative medicine. As an example, we look to certain reptiles such as salamanders, geckos and lizards, which have the incredible ability to regrow limbs or tails. Lots has been written on what we currently know about limb regeneration and whether…Read more

Ask, Ask, Ask: The views of patients and the public should inform stem cell treatments and research

Author: Lisa Willemse, 04/25/13

Co-authored with Geoff Lomax, CIRM’s Senior Officer to the Standards Working Group from the “Understanding Stem Cell Controversies” Workshop organized by the Stem Cell Network in Montreal. This article is cross-posted on the CIRM blog. The afternoon session on Day 2 at the Understanding Stem Cell Controversies workshop began picking apart the complex relationship between research…Read more

Stem cell tourism, safe, effective & routine? Not so much.

Author: Lisa Willemse, 04/24/13

Co-authored with Geoff Lomax, CIRM’s Senior Officer to the Standards Working Group from the “Understanding Stem Cell Controversies” Workshop organized by the Stem Cell Network in Montreal. This article is cross-posted on the CIRM blog. Dr. Harry Atkins speaking at Understanding Stem Cell Controversies in Montreal. “Stem cell tourism” “medical tourism” “unproven cell therapies” –…Read more

How does the U.S. public rate the FDA’s performance?

Author: Nick Dragojlovic, 04/23/13

. The U.S. Food and Drug Administration’s (FDA) ongoing efforts to assert its authority to regulate U.S.-based companies that offer unlicensed stem cell therapies (Regenerative Sciences or Celltex, for example) has prompted a mixed response from the regenerative medicine community. On the one hand, getting an unlicensed treatment has many potential downsides, so the FDA’s…Read more

Life and death: The human face of the cell therapy industry

Author: David Brindley, 04/22/13

. Within the past few weeks, we have all lost someone who has impacted our lives. And this I can guarantee. On Monday 8th April 2013, I woke up, grabbed my tennis bag and headed for a morning hit. In the car, I heard the lacquered voice of the BBC’s John Humphrys report the death…Read more

Right Turn: Primer on MSCs in clinical trials

Author: Stacey Johnson, 04/19/13

. In this podcast titled “Opportunities and Challenges in Developing Innovative Stem Cell Therapies,” Dr. Armand Keating focuses specifically on the commercialization of mesenchymal stem cells (stromal cells). He has established the largest stem cell transplant program in Canada and his clinical and research interests focus on anti-cancer cell therapy, blood and marrow transplantation, leukemia,…Read more

Why the pen is sometimes mightier than the pipette – Part 2

Author: Paul Krzyzanowski, 04/16/13

. Last week I posted a summary of the first half of a full day Communications for Scientists workshop organized by the Stem Cell Network. This post picks up where I left off, with a description of a “Dragon’s Den” style pitch session intended to introduce trainees to necessary communications skills within a commercialization context. The…Read more

Right Turn: Biting into some incredible art

Author: Lisa Willemse, 04/12/13

Developmental biologists among you may be aware that voting in the Node’s image competition wrapped this week. Five wonderful images were in the running for the cover on a future issue of Development – and bragging rights, of course. I discovered the contest too late to cast my own vote, but thought I’d include my…Read more

Why the pen is sometimes mightier than the pipette – Part 1

Author: Paul Krzyzanowski, 04/10/13

. If Edward Bulwer-Lytton were a biologist two centuries ago, he might have quipped that the pen is mightier than the pipette instead of immortalizing the sword in his expression. Yet phrases emphasizing the power of words have been around for nearly three thousand years and are more relevant to your science than you might…Read more