Odds and Ends
Odds and Ends
The stem cell initiative got on the November ballot in Missouri; the initiative petition has been certified…. The Chief Scientist of Australia has criticized John Howard as too conservative on the stem cell issue….Harry Reid told some of his Nevada constituents not to give up hope on stem cell funding….The Los Angeles Times had a fairly extensive story on the issue of duplicate lab facilities and the problems researcher are having interpreting exactly where federal dollars can go….The governor of Maine, John Baldaccci, issued a statement calling for expanded funding for stem cell research….
As is fairly evident from the above, stem cell research’s social and political effects are still much more prominent in the new than research about what is actually going on. I did some searching of clinical trials, only to find that almost all are still recruiting so there are no results to report yet—the Patel trials on hearts that began a year ago in Pittsburgh are still seeking people, for example.
So I went to the EurekAlert website, where scientific press releases are posted, and found two on stem cells, both to appear in the journal Cell. In the first, researchers at Rockefeller University have identified progenitor cells in the sebaceous glands. They also found that a gene known as Blimp1 appears to control how many progenitor cells there can be in any given gland. The researchers don’t know how this works yet, but they do think it is useful information in the study of how stem cells are regulated in the body. The second is key enough that I am reporting on it separately (see post titled “Mouse Pluripotency from Adult Cells”).