TGIF top 10 weird stem cell posts: magic testicle soup, Kim Kardashian, zombies, & more

kardashian-vampire-facialAfter six and a half years blogging here, I’ve seen so much crazy stuff. Not all of it was even “bloggable” due to its nature.

For TGIF, here are 10 of the weirdest posts from this blog over the years.

Where’s the Beef? Reality Check on Stem Cell Test Tube Burger Baloney

ZombieStem cells in my Pepsi? A new crazy stem cell myth

Please pass on bull testicles Soup No. 5 & on stem cell Soup No. 7

Haruko Obokata 小保方 晴子-like Game Character Conducts ‘Dangerous Research’

Stem cells sold for better sex part 2: bigger & better penis?

Strangest stem cell event of 2012: Moriguchi’s fake iPS cell transplants

Testimony in shocking supermodel stem cell fraud case: “I lied to patients”

Kim Kardashian vampire facelift: stem cells in there?Soup No.5

Beyond zombies: reviving dead people with stem cells & lasers?

Stranger than fiction: the electric stem cell bra for breast enlargement

Possible class action lawsuit against stem cell clinics

I often am asked if there are ongoing or possible upcoming lawsuits against stem cell clinics. Doing periodic searches such as on Google is one way to learn more about whether there are stem cell legal cases out there.stem cell therapy fraud ad

Recently I did such searches for a variety of terms including “stem cell lawsuit” and “stem cell fraud” and while no new actual Google results showed up that I hadn’t seen before, strikingly a new advertisement did show up for a law firm (see image above) looking into stem cell fraud with the latter search. I had not seen that before. Today I no longer see the ad, but it did pop up earlier in the week.

stem cell clinics southern california

When I clicked on the ad link it went to this website, which is seeking Southern California patients who believe they may have been harmed or misled by stem cell clinics:

“If you paid for a stem cell treatment at a Southern California (San Diego, Orange County or Los Angeles) stem cell clinic between December 8, 2013 and July 1, 2016, you may be a member of proposed class of customers or patients who may be entitled to compensation.   

The Law Offices of Mulligan, Banham & Findley are currently investigating a potential class action relating to potentially false or misleading advertising in web or other marketing relating to stem cell therapies in this region.  This investigation includes potential fraud and consumer statute violations.”

This investigation is focused on California where Leigh Turner & my recent paper identified more than 100 stem cell clinics marketing what seem to be non-FDA approved treatments and in particular Southern California. As you can see from the map above from the paper there are tons of stem cell clinics just in Southern California.

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Stem cell news bites: microbiota, clinic doc death, Stem Cells Inc, & more

This edition of our stem cell news bites finds a number of notable stem cell news items.

A potentially cool link between gut stem cells and microbiota is reported by Tae-Hee Kim of the Ontario Institute for Regenerative Medicine. See the nifty image of the stem cells from Dr. Kim showing proliferating gut cells in green in roughly the same location where the stem cells find their home.The work mentioned relates to necrotizing enterocolitis. Note that this article mentions only mouse work so implications in humans are unclear and I could not find an associated publication so we’ll have to stay tuned to see the meaning of this development.

gut stem cells microbiota

Dr. Tae-Hee Kim research image

Will formerly near death stem cell biotech Stem Cells Inc. ($STEM) be regenerated following its acquisition by another firm? This stem cell news has generated a lot of attention including this headline: “StemCells Inc picked up by Israeli medical devices firm.” What will $STEM shareholders get out of this? What is Microbot Medical exactly?

Stem cell clinic chain Cell Surgical Network has reported in the News section of the apparent death of a doctor who formerly was a member of that network, Dr. Steven Gitt. Dr. Gitt offered stem cell interventions via Phoenix Stem Cell Treatment Center. I was not able to find an obituary for Dr. Gitt, although his practice North Valley Plastic Surgery mentions a funeral held a few weeks ago. My condolences go out to his family.

More stem cell news on a happier note, noted stem cell researcher George Daley is the new Dean of Harvard Medical School.

I need to learn more about this other merger: Ireland’s Mallinckrodt buys US regenerative medicine firm. The firm in question is Stratatech…not one I’m familiar with.

What news on stem cells caught your eye?

Family Guy Cartoon Blows it on Stem Cells for Stroke

Do experimental treatments based on stem cells for stroke work and are they safe?

We simply do not know yet. There’s hope for the future, but more data are needed. I’m still hoping to do a post with an update on the science in the next month or so, but have been busy with grants and papers.

The animated show Family Guy weighed in on stem cells when main character Peter Griffin has a stroke that is then shown to be miraculously healed by a stem cell research facility of some kind that sure looks like a stem cell clinic.

Peter Griffin Stem Cells Stroke

In fact, the vague treatment of stem cells for stroke in the cartoon takes only 5 minutes we are told.

The character then asks, “why we aren’t funding this?”

It is possible that the show had good intentions in promoting stem cell research funding. However, the careless and inaccurate way it portrays stem cell treatments in general and in particular for stroke (which remain unproven and with sizable risks) is bad for the stem cell field and could put patients at risk.

New NgAgo protocol: helpful or more of a red flag?

The supposed new gene editing technology NgAgo has had the scissors taken to it with basically no one able to get it to work conclusively and now the professor who led the work, Chunyu Han, has posted a new NgAgo protocol on the Addgene website.

The new NgAgo protocol is really more of an abbreviated methods description with just a few new hints at getting it to work such as testing your cells for mycoplasma.

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