Archive for January, 2014

Right Turn: It glows, its heart beats, and it grew from STAP cells

Author: Lisa Willemse, 01/31/14

> By now, most readers will be familiar with this week’s announcement of a remarkable new discovery that mouse cells were made pluripotent using a relatively simple and quick acid bath technique. For those who aren’t, there’s reams of coverage, including some great articles here (Paul Knoepfler’s blog), here (the Guardian) and here (Nature News)….Read more

Right Turn: From chemistry to biology: A plastic cell

Author: Stacey Johnson, 01/24/14

. My colleague, Casandra Gardner, PhD, was excited when she came across the image, below, of a plastic cell. Since my understanding of polymers is limited to what my university chem-eng boyfriend taught me many (many!) years ago, I thought Casey would do a much better job explaining the significance. As a CCRM employee –…Read more

The scientific pursuit of eternal youth

Author: Ben Paylor, 01/21/14

> “I resolve to not get any older.” This may seem like a somewhat outlandish New Year’s resolution, a desire more grounded in the realm of science fiction than science itself. But a growing group working in the field of biogerontology would argue that it is not. I was able to get an update on…Read more

Right Turn: Revenge of the Somatic

Author: Lisa Willemse, 01/17/14

> If you’ve ever wondered what makes a stem cell hasten its way down the mutational road to cancer, wonder no more. The answer is revenge – a kind of adolescent rebellion against parental (the body’s) and evoloutionary control. At least that’s how hip-hop artist Baba Brinkman imagines it. And whether or not you agree…Read more

Breaking out of our scientific cells

Author: Sara M. Nolte, 01/15/14

> I have recently been transitioning from “basic” science research to science communication. Why? Because there is a great disparity in what the public, policy makers, and even clinicians, know and think about research, and what the researchers know. I believe as researchers and academics, it is our responsibility to inform the public – not…Read more

Regenerative Medicine Deal Review: December

Author: Mark Curtis, 01/13/14

. Welcome to your Regenerative Medicine Deal Review for the month of December. Toronto-based Stem Cell Therapeutics successfully executed on a financing of $33 million, while Pluristem announces it is moving forward on a licensing agreement with Korea-based CHA. Cellular Dynamics International is back in the news this month with another collaboration, this time to…Read more

Right Turn: Some views on drug discovery

Author: Lisa Willemse, 01/10/14

> Earlier this week, we tweeted some articles published online at Scientific American that provide some perspectives on the complexity and high costs of drug discovery – so far, two have been published, here and here. The tweet elicited a thought-provoking response from one of our researchers, Christopher McCabe: This is one of many possible…Read more

Human brains, frozen for 11 years, still yield pluripotent stem cells

Author: Paul Krzyzanowski, 01/09/14

> If your morning cup of coffee wasn’t enough to wake you up today, researchers from the New York Stem Cell Foundation and Columbia University just reported being able to generate iPS cells from human brain tissue that’s been frozen for 11 years: Induced pluripotent stem cells (iPSCs) derived from patients with neurodegenerative disease generally…Read more

Update from the Clinic: December

Author: Mark Curtis, 01/07/14

. Welcome to your Update from the Clinic for the month of December. Athersys and NeoStem both confirm completion of enrollment for phase 2 studies while bluebird bio announces the first patient transplanted in its phase 1/2 study of HGB-205 in patients with beta-thalassemia and sickle cell anemia. Read on to find out more. Cleveland-based…Read more

Kidney engineering – a biological filter for drug development

Author: Holly Wobma, 01/06/14

> You need only look at an old air conditioner filter to gain an enormous appreciation for our kidneys. Every day, our kidneys filter just under 200L of fluid, filled with all kinds of gnarly toxins that we’d rather not know about. Most of the time, they operate glitch free. But sometimes, the toxins they…Read more