Stem Cell Research is the study of stem cells; their properties, and how they could be applied to medicine.
What are Stem Cells?
Stem cells are the source of every single tissue within our bodies. As researchers understand more. About stem cells and their properties, a greater understanding can be obtained about how the body reacts and develops, during both health and disease, towards a state of homeostasis. What’s more, this interesting page highlights how orthopedic diseases could be treated with the potential of stem cells.
Stem cell research has had its fair share of controversy over the years. Nevertheless, research in this area is maintaining a steady pace towards the following predictions in 2019:
Thanks to biomedical scientist Dr. Paul Knoepfler, we have a decent overview of the direction that stem cell research could be heading for this year. Dr. Knoepfler is not only a man of science but is a cancer survivor as well. With his work, he aims to make a positive impact on the biomedical science community and the world community in general.
Take a look at his predictions for stem cell research in 2019:
This area of study relates to brain organoids and vascularization. While this could bring breakthroughs in research, it will also highlight certain questions of morals and ethics. This is due to the fact that the area of study will also bring to light the reports of brain wave-like activity in human fetuses.
2. Parkinson’s Disease
This could be an area where stem cell research reveals some positive hope for a condition without a known cure. In Japan, there are reports of the very first patient transplant with IPS cell product. While this happened last year in 2018, it alludes to the direction in which stem cell research is heading.
Two major biotechs in specific, ViaCyte and Athersys. Keep your eyes and ears peeled on these two companies if your interests lie with stem cell research with regards to biotech as these are the only two companies that could yield positive results in 2019.
These days it seems few predictions (in just about every major topic and industry) will have some sort of connection to Trump. Vice President Pence has hinted at placing restrictions on embryonic stem cell research.
5. California Stem Cell Agency
There may be an official announcement regarding The California stem cell agency, otherwise known as the CIRM, and a state proposition for funding in 2020. However, the funding could also be directed to a private plan.
6. CRISPR babies
This prediction has to do with He Jiankui and the two different claims that have been made. The first claim is that mutations were made in human babies. The second is that these mutations were not actually made as per the first claim. 2019 may reveal more on the story and the supposed genetic mutations, and if the twins will be able to be sampled by the Chinese government.
7. More on CRISPR
Because of the initial report of genetic mutation, the Chinese government may decide to take action against He Jiankui. Either way, the result of this saga will be a cornerstone in the future of stem cell research.
8. Action on US stem cell firms
The FTC will be cracking down on US stem cell firms In 2019.
9. The FDA
In 2019, things will start heating up in terms of regulations. It is predicted that at least three different stem cell clinics in the US will be the recipients of warning letters.
10. State Medical Boards
News will emerge regarding stem cell clinics and how the state medical boards will begin the task of facing ‘snake oil’ stem cell research clinics. In fact, California recently set up a California Medical Board task force and this could spell trouble for some clinics.
11. Legal Action
In 2019, the Attorney General office is expected to take legal action against some stem cell clinics. What’s more, legal action could also come into play against some clinics.
12. State Law
There is the possibility that Florida will release a new bill regarding stem cell research and stem cell clinics.
13. Federal Court Cases
More news on the legal front; there are two major stem cell clinics that will find themselves in a federal court case. Both the U.S Stem Cell (USRM) and the California Stem Cell Treatment Center will be facing the FDA in court although the chances are slim that the cases will be resolved by the end of this year.
This is a non-FDA approved therapy that could see increased interest in 2019.
15. Multiple Sclerosis
Stem cell research for multiple sclerosis sees a positive surge in this year. Particularly with regard to HSCT and its combination with a type of immunoablation. A new paper should be released this year with regard to this area of study.
16. Many More Legal Battles
2019, it seems, is a year for the stem cell clinics to be on their toes. Dr. Knoepfler reports that there are several different court cases and investigations that will be revealed in this year.
While the above points are the top predictions for 2019, there are several other areas that are seeing major development and research. In particular is the research into stem cells and how the aging brain can regenerate cells. Furthermore, there could be an investigation into Liveyon, supplier of umbilical cord stem cells. This area of study is controversial as there have been several reports of negative side effects. In another positive prediction, it seems as though hope for diabetes patients could also be on the cards in 2019. Scientists and researchers at the Washington School of Medicine are looking at how stem cell research can be used and applied to the treatment of diabetes. According to a study published in Stem Cell Reports on January 17, certain cells can be utilized and made to produce insulin.
Stem cell research could bring in a new understanding of how the human body reacts and regulates essential systems, bring researchers new vision and ideas for medicine and healing.