Archive for the ‘News’ Category

Right Turn: New stem cell product for ALS seeking approval in Canada

Author: Stacey Johnson, 02/24/17

This week, BrainStorm Cell Therapeutics issued a news release announcing its intent to seek early regulatory approval to distribute its Amyotrophic Lateral Sclerosis (ALS) product to patients in Canada. This news was eagerly received by patient groups in Canada and internationally. ALS, also known as Lou Gehrig’s Disease, is a progressive neuromuscular disease in which…Read more

Right Turn: Good news for Canadian “butterfly boy”

Author: Stacey Johnson, 01/27/17

Epidermolysis bullosa (EB) is a rare, and exceedingly painful, skin condition that I’ve written about here and here. Children with EB are sometimes referred to as “butterfly children” because their skin is said to be as fragile as a butterfly’s wings. The severity of the condition ranges from mild to fatal. Jonathan Pitre is a…Read more

Making a case for research investment in Canada: Can we drive reverse brain drain now?

Author: Camila Londono, 01/11/17

Brain drain was a real problem for Canada in the late ‘90s. A study by Statistics Canada found that twice as many post-secondary professors and teachers went to the United States than came to Canada in that period. This untenable situation—in which education and infrastructure investments in people were lost through decreased funding, higher taxes…Read more

Crazy for CRISPR!

Author: Sara M. Nolte, 12/05/16

On November 15th, my social media pages exploded with posts and comments regarding the latest news about how the gene-editing ‘CRISPR-Cas9’ technology had been used in the first human patient. The article, published by Nature, was entitled “CRISPR gene-editing tested in a person for the first time.” It described how a group of Chinese scientists…Read more

Right Turn: What do the results of the U.S. election mean for science?

Author: Stacey Johnson, 11/09/16

This isn’t the blog that I planned to write this week, but I’m so preoccupied with the outcome of the U.S. election, I’m finding it hard to focus on anything else right now. So, let’s look at the implications of a Trump presidency on science. An article in Nature quotes Michael Lubell, director of public…Read more

Right Turn: “Comic” twist on CRISPR

Author: Lisa Willemse, 09/30/16

There’s nothing really funny about the patent debate on CRISPR-Cas9 gene editing. It’s been a contentious and expensive court battle, that has thankfully steered clear of mud-slinging (mostly). Which is good, since there’s more than enough of that in the U.S. these days, thanks to the Donald. For those who have followed the CRISPR patent…Read more

A new style of MSC immunotherapy – Instructions included

Author: Holly Wobma, 09/22/16

If you have been following stem cell news lately, you know that there have been several recent Food and Drug Administration (FDA) meetings regarding how to classify stem cells, which ultimately affects if and how they will be regulated. There are many medical practitioners, scientists, and patients who would like to see these therapies on…Read more

Right Turn: Hope for patients suffering from sepsis

Author: Stacey Johnson, 09/16/16

September is Sepsis Awareness Month and World Sepsis Day was acknowledged earlier this week – on Tuesday, September 13. That’s why there’s a good possibility that you have seen the video below, about a heartbroken mother who lost her young son to sepsis. (It has already been viewed millions of times.) Her grief is real…Read more

Tip of the iceberg? Scary stuff from international stem cell clinics

Author: David Kent, 08/02/16

Last week, a good friend of mine forwarded me a correspondence from the New England Journal of Medicine (NEJM). I was expecting to read about a new drug being tested in clinical trials or maybe a neat scientific perspective on leukemia biology, but what I got instead shocked and saddened me. The title of the…Read more

Right Turn: Has cancer immunotherapy arrived?

Author: Stacey Johnson, 07/29/16

It was Science magazine’s 2013 breakthrough of the year and called a “turning point in cancer.” It even scored its own awareness month that year. Cancer immunotherapy – therapies that harness the power of a patient’s immune system to fight their disease – had officially arrived. Fast-forward three years and now companies are tripping over…Read more