The latest stem cell news, interviews, blogs and commentary

STAP 'acid-bath stem cells' round-up

On 29th January, a research group from Japan published two papers describing a new and seemingly simple method for making stem cells in the lab. But serious problems with the papers were quickly raised and on 3 July the authors retracted both publications. The news media, Twitter and science blogs have been alive with comments and discussion on what happened, why and what can be learnt from this experience. We've put together a quick round-up of some of the useful articles out there, including timelines summarising how the controversy unfolded, and articles discussing what the original papers claimed and what went wrong.

Now ready for action! PluriMes scientists hone their science communication skills

Under a backdrop of high peaks of the Julian Alps of Slovenia, our partner project PluriMes held their inaugural summer workshop from the 9-11 July, 2014. With a focus on producing bone and muscle-forming cells in the lab from embryonic stem cells or iPS cells the 26 scientists heard progress talks and gathered to join thoughts on their research areas. The group is committed to engaging non-specialists with their work and so the workshop included a session on public engagement led by EuroStemCell's Emma Kemp and Cathy Southworth. Now PluriMes is looking for opportunities to practice their new public engagement skills - can you help?

Flying the flag for biomedical research at music festivals

The Scottish Executive-funded Hope Beyond Hype project recently spent three days at Scotland's largest music festival, T in the Park, painting faces, handing out comics and having conversations with festival-goers about stem cells and neuroscience. 

Stem cells and sports medicine: an overview

Regenerative medicine and stem cell therapies hold much promise for the treatment of various injuries and diseases suffered by sportspeople. While there are currently no approved stem cell treatments, researchers are working on harnessing the process by which stem cells repair and replace damaged tissues and cells.

ISSCR 2014: Awards for Public Service

We would like to offer our warmest congratulations to Paolo Bianco, MD, Sapienza University of RomeElena Cattaneo, PhD, University of Milan, and Michele De Luca, MD, University of Modena and Reggio Emilia, who received their ISSCR Public Service Award on the 18th of June at the ISSCR Annual Meeting in Vancouver. 

ISSCR 2014: Catch up on the action!

By all accounts, ISSCR's annual meeting 2014 in Vancover (118-21 June) was a vibrant and stimulating conference. 

Science In the City of Copenhagen

From June 21 to 26, the Danish Stem Cell Center (DanStem) coordinated an exhibition and outreach event on Stem Cell Research as part of the Science in the City Festival in Copenhagen.

Danish visit to The Centre for Regenerative Medicine

 Playing 'Start as a stem cell'Playing 'Start as a stem cell'A discovery visit to Edinburgh during their Easter break saw twenty six students and their two teachers visiting The Centre For Regenerative Medicine. As a break from the delights of the city centre, the students from Stenhus Gymnasium were introduced to the stem cell research at the centre through a range of activities described here in English and Danish by Mikkel & Alexander:

Bumper crop of factsheet translations in EuroStemCell

This month sees a bumper crop of new factsheet translations going live on the EuroStemCell website!  Did you know we aim to have our content available in English, Spanish, French, German, Polish and Italian - making our work accessible to 80% of European citizens? 

New study raises doubts over the benefits of heart stem cell therapy


Numerous clinical trials have attempted to test the benefits of using a patient’s own stem cells (taken from the bone marrow) to treat heart disease. Results have been conflicting; some claim significant improvements in heart function, whilst others report none at all. A group at Imperial College London investigated the possible reasons for this inconsistency and found strange, unexplained discrepancies within reports of many of the clinical trials. They have identified a link between claimed success rates and discrepancies, casting doubts over the validity of this treatment.

- 133 reports of 49 clinical trials were investigated
- 600+ discrepancies were found
- Discrepancies ranged from minor to serious mistakes and misrepresentation of data
- Reports with the most discrepancies claimed most benefit to patients, while those without discrepancies showed no improvement in patients’ conditions 

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