Hot Topics: Stem Cells

Blog Posts (23)

May 8, 2015

Gene Editing—Trying to Get Specific

In a comment last week, Mark McQuain pointed out the article “Engineering the Perfect Baby” in the MIT Technology Review.  Freely accessible online, it describes, in non-technical terms, several of the routes that genetic editing may follow.  Perhaps the most explosive:  adult skin cell transformed into an induced pleuripotent stem cell that then is used to give rise to germ cells that are then genetically... // Read More »
March 6, 2015

“The Natural”

Saying nothing new, but trying to say it in a different way… One response to ethical problems posed by bleeding-edge biotechnologies is to assert that there are some things that ought not be attempted, some boundaries that ought never be transgressed, regardless of the supposed good that may be envisioned.  (I continue to hold that human IVF was one such boundary, but that was definitively... // Read More »
February 16, 2015

Non-Embryonic Stem Cells and Malaria Treatment

A recent study from MIT (available here) has found that stem cells developed from blood and skin samples can be manufactured into liver like cells. The implications of this are exciting on two different levels: 1) this is another success for ethically derived stem cells; 2) this study is being used to develop treatment for malaria – a disease that has a lifelong impact on those it... // Read More »
September 11, 2014

Keeping up with Clinical Research with Human Embryonic Stem Cells

Unless one works daily in a specific area of biomedical research, it can be next to impossible to keep up with developments.  I have trouble keeping up with a reasonable amount of the progress in research for some cancers.  Trying to track stem cell research requires more bandwidth than I have.  Still, from time to time I do try to do at least a little... // Read More »
August 27, 2014

Direct cell reprogramming to grow a new organ and the ice bucket challenge

A recent article in The Guardian reports on an interview with Clare Blackburn of the Medical Research Council Centre for Regenerative Medicine at the University of Edinburgh where they have recently been able to induce a direct transformation of mouse skin fibroblasts into thymic epithelial cells. When these induced thymic epithelial cells were mixed with other thymus cell types and transplanted into mice they grew... // Read More »
July 24, 2014

The upcoming debate over “CIRM 2”–CORRECTION

(I made an error about a past video involving the late actor Christopher Reeve in my post yetsterday. I strongly implied, at least, that such a video was used in the 2004 campaign for passage of California Prop. 71.  That would not be correct.  The video in question, easily found on YouTube, was aired [it indicates there] by Nuveen Investments during the 2000 Super Bowl.... // Read More »
July 11, 2014

The Recent Stem Cell News

Last week’s edition of Nature includes developments in the world of stem cell research, also noted in the general press: First: A group from Portland, San Diego, and Stockholm published work (payment required to read article) seeking to define the “best” human pluripotent stem cells on cellular and molecular grounds.  They compared: Stem cells taken from an embryo, created in IVF and destroyed for the... // Read More »
June 12, 2014

Germline Alteration and Defining “Just Research”

Yesterday’s post by Steve Phillips raises a central question for us in the “biotech century”:  are there some sorts of experiments that fundamentally ought not be done because of the potential they will be grossly misapplied by bad actors?  Steve cited research by Lord Robert Winston seeking to create genetically altered pigs—that seem, from the description in the press, to be what scientists call “transgenic”... // Read More »
June 6, 2014

Getting An Earful

by Craig Klugman, Ph.D.

In the book (and film) Jurassic Park by Michael Crichton, dinosaur DNA from in insects that bit the dinosaurs and are now preserved in amber.…

May 1, 2014

“Curb Your Enthusiasm” about Adult Stem Cells?

This week, Nature has an online news article and editorial about a new meta-analysis published in the British Medical Journal (BMJ).  The BMJ article addresses discrepancies in published reports of clinical trials of adult stem cells to treat patients with heart disease/heart failure.  For some time now, this has appeared to many to be a particularly promising use of adult stem cells. Well, not so... // Read More »

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Published Articles (7)

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 14 Issue 2 - Feb 2014

Transferring Morality to Human–Nonhuman Chimeras Monika Piotrowska

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 13 Issue 1 - Jan 2013

The Argument from Potentiality in the Embryo Protection Debate: Finally “Depotentialized”? Marco Stier & Bettina Schoene-Seifert

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 13 Issue 1 - Jan 2013

Two Watershed Stem Cell Experiments: A Look Back Christopher Scott

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 8 Issue 12 - Dec 2008

Response to Open Peer Commentaries on ?Visual Bioethics?

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 7 Issue 10 - Oct 2007

"Show Me" Bioethics and Politics

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 6 Issue 5 - Sep 2006

Taking Stem Cells Seriously

American Journal of Bioethics: Volume 5 Issue 6 - Nov 2005

Rescuing Human Embryonic Stem Cell Research: The Blastocyst Transfer Method

News (572)

May 19, 2015 3:09 pm

Fetal stem cells and the sports heroes they revitalized

Their recoveries sparked a debate: The families say the stem cell treatments had a major impact, while skeptics say the therapies are unproven and that Brodie and Howe could have improved through natural healing, as stroke patients often do.

April 17, 2015 2:04 pm

ReNeuron stem cell therapy shows long-term promise for stroke

A pioneering stem cell treatment for patients disabled by stroke has continued to show long-term promise in a clinical trial, the British biotech company behind the project said on Friday.

October 9, 2014 1:31 pm

For diabetes, stem cell recipe offers new hope

Douglas Melton is as impatient as anyone for a cure for diabetes. His son developed the disease as an infant, and his daughter was diagnosed at age 14. For most of the past 2 decades, the developmental biologist at the Harvard Stem Cell Institute has focused his research on finding a cure.

September 11, 2014 1:35 pm

Scientists 'reset' stem cells to study start of human development

British and Japanese scientists have managed to “reset” human stem cells to their earliest state, opening up a new realm of research into the start of human development and potentially life-saving regenerative medicines.

July 3, 2014 1:46 pm

'Breakthrough' stem cell study retracted

It was hailed as a fast, easy, inexpensive and uncontroversial way to produce stem cells.

June 30, 2014 6:13 pm

Stem cells: Taking a stand against pseudoscience

Elena Cattaneo and Gilberto Corbellini are among the academics working to protect patients from questionable stem-cell therapies. Here, they share their experiences and opinions of the long, hard fight for evidence to prevail.

June 10, 2014 1:33 pm

Light-sensitive retina created with human stem cells

Researchers from the Johns Hopkins University School of Medicine in Baltimore, MD, have created a miniature human retina in a dish from human stem cells, which they say can sense light. They are hopeful their creation could eventually lead to technologies one day that restore vision.

June 4, 2014 2:07 pm

Japan researcher agrees to withdraw disputed stem cell paper

A Japanese researcher accused of fabricating scientific results originally hailed as a breakthrough in stem cell research has agreed to retract two papers, deepening doubts about her “game- changing” findings.

June 2, 2014 2:08 pm

A nice, bright smile: Scientists use lasers to regrow teeth

Scientists have come up with a bright idea – literally – to repair teeth.

May 2, 2014 3:32 pm

Neanderthals Are People, Too

Let us focus on such experiments using stem cells — not to create individuals, but to create cells and tissues in the test tube instead of the re-creation of Neanderthals

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