Archive for April, 2015

Cracking the code of pancreatic development: beta cells from iPS cells

Author: Mark Curtis, 04/28/15

. After several years of intense systematic research, and toiling with a differentiation protocol, Dr. Doug Melton, and his lab at Harvard University, finally decoded the sequence of genes that needs to be activated to yield mature, insulin-producing beta cells in vitro. While a few investigators have managed to get in the vicinity and generate…Read more

Right Turn: Gordie Howe and stem cell tourism

Author: Stacey Johnson, 04/24/15

. In North America, former Detroit Red Wings player Gordie Howe is fondly referred to as “Mr. Hockey” after career achievements that included holding the NHL record for most games and seasons played, and leading the league in scoring from 1950 to 1954. You can read more about his impressive career and numerous awards here….Read more

What drives research in the field of biomaterials?

Author: Guest, 04/22/15

. By Hamideh Emrani It always feels amazing to find a solution to a problem or challenge. I think this huge sense of accomplishment is what drives many people in the research community. During my academic career, I have come across some remarkable scientists and researchers who thrive on problem solving. I find it intriguing…Read more

Right Turn: Imagination according to GE

Author: Stacey Johnson, 04/17/15

. This week, General Electric (GE) announced that it is creating a six-part documentary series about science and technology that will be broadcast on the National Geographic Channel beginning in November. According to the New York Times, the series will focus on the brain, aging, water supply, alternative energy, pandemics and the fusion of biology…Read more

ISSCR takes a pre-emptive stand on ethical issues

Author: David Kent, 04/16/15

. Last month, Nature published a comment by Edward Lanphier and colleagues, which foreshadows the publication of a study in which scientists have used new genome editing tools to modify the DNA of human embryos. Author David Cyranoski weighed in, suggesting that scientists were divided on where the ethical boundaries for such a technology existed….Read more

Regenerative Medicine Deal Review: March

Author: Mark Curtis, 04/13/15

. Welcome to your deal review for the month of March. Cellular Dynamics threw shareholders for a loop after making a seemingly hasty decision to sell the company off to Fujifilm in a $307* million deal. Merck and synthetic biology specialist Intrexon announced a mammoth CAR-T deal, valued at nearly a billion dollars. Kite Pharma…Read more

Right Turn: He wants a clone

Author: Stacey Johnson, 04/10/15

. Who doesn’t love a science lesson communicated through song? (That’s rhetorical; there’s no need to leave a comment below.) Mr. W., aka Glenn Wolkenfeld, has been educating and enthralling high school students and ended up with a teaching excellence prize. Here he is rapping his thank you speech at the Alameda County Teacher of…Read more

Update from the Clinic: March

Author: Mark Curtis, 04/07/15

. Welcome to your Update from the Clinic for the month of March. Investors weren’t so keen on Neuralstem’s topline results in amyotropic lateral sclerosis (ALS). NeoStem’s follow-up data from its PreSERVE study in acute myocardial infarction (AMI) was somewhat lacklustre. Northwest Biotherapeutics continues to report positive data on its DCVax technology, breathing hope into…Read more

Right Turn: StemCellTalks in Tweets

Author: Stacey Johnson, 04/03/15

. Last month (March 13), StemCellTalks held a symposium on diabetes and stem cell tourism to educate Toronto high school students about the field. (These events happen across Canada.) The morning session began with Dr. Elia Piccinini (University of Toronto) giving an introduction to stem cell biology, followed by two debates: Drs. Derek van der…Read more