Archive for November, 2010

What do you think of stem cells?

Author: Michelle Ly, 11/29/10

I was having my bathroom renovated a few months ago and got into a discussion with my contractor about work. I mentioned that I had done some work with the BC Cancer Research Centre and other biomedical research institutes. His comment was, “Cancer research? So do you do any stem cell work? That’s scary stuff…Read more

More from the Scientific Meeting

Author: Stem Cell Network, 11/29/10

If you didn’t have the chance to attend the Stem Cell Network’s scientific meeting in Calgary last week, you can get first hand accounts of the best the conference had to offer. If you were there, then there’s nothing wrong with experiencing it again, is there? Have a look at what Fabio Rossi of the…Read more

At the SCN 2010 Scientific Meeting: Xin (Kevin) Wang

Author: Stem Cell Network, 11/24/10

There’s been all sorts of fun so far at the Stem Cell Network’s 2010 Scientific Meeting, and we’ve been talking to a few of the attendees about what their thoughts are on what’s happened so far. Late on day two, we spoke with Kevin Wang of Sheila Singh’s lab at McMaster University about his experience:

SCN scientific meeting: Day 1

Author: Stem Cell Network, 11/23/10

It may be cold in Calgary but there’s plenty of warmth and amicable conversation at the Stem Cell Network annual meeting. Day 1 opened with an afternoon plenary featuring some impressive talks. Peter Lansdorp of the BC Cancer Agency gave an overview of his current work in epigenetics and Mickie Bhatia of McMaster University presented…Read more

Watching the watchers

Author: Chris Kamel, 11/20/10

Because of some vocal opposition, stem cell research is no stranger to controversy. Usually this comes in the form of protests or government lobbying, but Nature News is reporting the story of a group that is trying to discredit the scientists themselves. The anonymous group, calling themselves Stem Cell Watch, has sent out emails calling…Read more

Can stem cells end the need for blood donors?

Author: Paul Krzyzanowski, 11/17/10

In a previous post, Chris Kamel recently reviewed the Nature article about direct creation of blood progenitors from skin fibroblasts as discovered by Mick Bhatia’s research group. The fascinating thing about this article is the potential for enabling autologous cell treatments with a reduced risk of iPS-cell-induced cancer. Certainly, no one can deny that creating a…Read more

The Royal Society and the philosophy of openness: Are we moving backwards?

Author: David Kent, 11/10/10

One of the most memorable moments of my PhD training was at a 2006 Keystone conference where Shinya Yamanaka presented a little something called Pluripotency and Nuclear Reprogramming. He carefully presented the transcription factor screen that would culminate in the first re-programming of a skin cell into a pluripotent stem cell (iPS cells). It was in…Read more

Skip the iPS middle man: Direct conversion of skin fibroblasts to blood progenitors

Author: Chris Kamel, 11/07/10

Though methods to convert adult cells into induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells continue to improve, transition from the lab bench to the clinic can be a trickier proposition. Due to imperfect efficiency, each manipulation — conversion of adult cell to iPS cell to cell lineage of choice — decreases the yield of the cells of…Read more

Making livers in the lab

Author: Katie Moisse, 11/05/10

In 2009, surgeons transplanted 2,155 organs — nearly a quarter of which were livers – from live or deceased donors into grateful recipients. Sadly, another 3,796 Canadians remained on the transplant wait list, and 249 died while waiting, according to the Canadian Organ Replacement Register. To help mitigate the organ donor shortage, scientists are looking for ways…Read more

Stem cells back on Parliament’s agenda

Author: Stem Cell Network, 11/03/10

Yesterday, for the first time in seven years, the House of Commons Standing Committee on Health heard testimony on the current status of stem cell research in Canada. Although the topics covered by MPs during the Committee hearings did not seem to reflect any immediate legislative priorities, nevertheless it was a welcome opportunity for the…Read more