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As NIH gains ability to fund embryonic stem cell research, California stem cell institute poised to run out of cash

With the U.S. National Institute of Health poised to fund more grants in both non-embryonic and embryonic stem cell research, the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine hopes to focus on the research that can move the science to treating patients. But it’s set to run out of cash. Both Science and the LA Times have written about this recently (links below)  … Read more

Stem-cell tourism, what’s a scientist to do?

Members of the scientific community should lobby regulatory authorities to regulate bogus stem-cell clinics, according to the latest policy forum in Science this week (subscription required). The piece calls out the claims and (lack of) evidence put forward by stem-cell clinics in countries “not known as leaders in biomedical research.”  … Read more

Investors ♥ stem cells

Enthusiasm was more apparent than scepticism at the 4th Annual Stem Cell Summit, organized by investor, analyst and stem cell fan Robin Young, head of RRY Publications. This conference brought together a motley collection of companies, both well-known and obscure, and each was given ten minutes to tout themselves to potential investors and partners. Business models included cell banking, services, therapies, medical devices and tools; even the smallest companies were often relying on multiple business models.  Read more

Jerry Yang, cloning pioneer and stem-cell advocate, dies

I’ve just read with sadness that Xiangzhong “Jerry” Yang of the University of Connecticut has died of cancer. Here are articles from the Associated Press and the Contra Costa Times. The most extensive piece is this excellent one in the Hartford Courant.  Read more

How cancers resist treatment, and more

Here are a couple papers just out in Nature. One, from Mike Clarke of Stanford, shows how human breast cancers resist treatment. I talked to him about how the paper came to be. The other, from Tannishtha Reyes of Duke, finds an alternative pathway to attack resistant leukemia in mice.  Read more

Independent film-makers for stem cells

A documentary chronicling stem-cell research advocacy is screening at theaters around the United States this week. Actually, the film is a story of how a family coping with tragedy begins to explore what it takes to turn scientific ideas into medical procedures. For a schedule of screenings in various cities, you can go to the film’s website.  Read more

Researchers at ground zero of human embryonic stem cell research

The New York Times has a Q&A with Stanford’s Renee Reijo Pera, who “works at ground zero of the controversy over human embryonic stem cells.” It is a nice summary of relevant scientific questions, with a surprising take on Bush’s stem cell policy, plus a portrait of a scientist as a caring, curious individual.  Read more

Stem cell clinical guidelines, stem cell registry open for public comment

The University of Massachusetts has launched its international stem cell registry, which supports searches of particular cell lines. The full application should be launched within a month. The team decided to use an iterative approach for incorporating more data and functionality because the field is changing so quickly. See the press release.  Read more