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Paul Knoepfler
Dr. Paul Knoepfler is an Associate Professor in Cell Biology and Human Anatomy at the UC Davis School of Medicine, where his lab studies stem cells and cancer. He is also a faculty member of the UC Davis Genome Center and leader of the Cancer Stem Cell Initiative at the UCD Comprehensive Cancer Center. He also teaches graduate courses in stem cells and is an instructor for the histology course at UCD School of Medicine. Dr. Knoepfler did his postdoctoral training at the Fred Hutchinson Cancer Research Center in Seattle. He received his Ph.D. from UCSD School of Medicine in Molecular Pathology and his B.A. in English Literature from Reed College in Portland, OR. He is a cancer survivor, patient advocate, writer, and is currently the only faculty level academic blogger on stem cell research in the world.

Entries by Paul Knoepfler

GMO Sapiens: Human Genetic Modification on the Table

(0) Comments | Posted February 17, 2016 | 2:15 PM

I've written a new book on human genetic modification and designer babies. This is my second book as the first one was Stem Cells: An Insider's Guide, which is currently the top stem cell book on Amazon.

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Has Anti-Aging Finally Come of Age With Google's Calico?

(0) Comments | Posted November 25, 2013 | 10:57 AM

Can Google's new anti-aging company, Calico, have you Googling at age 140?

Don't sell your burial plot just yet.


The idea of anti-aging has been around for a very long time and efforts to combat aging have spanned millennia...

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Where's the Beef? Reality Check on Test Tube Burger Baloney

(1) Comments | Posted August 14, 2013 | 12:53 PM

What is the deal with the crazy hullaballoo over the so-called stem cell test tube burger? On the surface, this pseudo-burger sounds kinda cool in a geeky, comic book kind of way, but when I dug just a little deeper, it turns out I'm left asking: Where's the beef?

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Fertility Clinic Floats Idea of Human Cloning for Infertility

(0) Comments | Posted June 12, 2013 | 5:46 PM

Human cloning is not so far-fetched any more.

Cloning of the Star Wars variety where new copies of people (although they would be babies, not adults of course at first) are produced is something I believe that we'll see in the next 1-2 decades.

Why would anyone bother to...

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Time to Teach Our Doctors How to Be Stem Cell Specialists

(3) Comments | Posted April 9, 2013 | 4:04 PM

How can we make stem cell treatments safer? One way is by training doctors, and I have proposed that we establish academic fellowship training programs for doctors in stem cell-based medicine.

Doctors around the world are injecting patients with stem cells at an ever-increasing rate, but almost none...

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Writing the Book on Stem Cells

(0) Comments | Posted April 5, 2013 | 6:08 PM

After a couple of years blogging about stem cells here, I decided to direct some of my writing effort toward a book on stem cells. I started this project with the publisher last summer and I am happy to report that the book should be coming out later...

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The Future After Stem Cell Deregulation: Drive Thru

(1) Comments | Posted February 7, 2013 | 11:02 AM


My thoughts put into words on stem cell deregulation. You can read more about my perspectives on the dangers of stem cell deregulation on my blog here.

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23andMe and Me: Personal Genomics Coming of Age, Part 3

(1) Comments | Posted January 31, 2013 | 12:12 PM

I'm doing a series of blog posts on my experience with personal genomics. I tried it out for myself with the company 23andMe. You can read my first two posts here and here.

Today is part three of these series, where I focus on the potential...

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Top 10 Geeky Turkey Facts for Conversation at Thanksgiving Dinner Table

(9) Comments | Posted November 20, 2012 | 8:30 AM

Americans eat tens of millions of turkeys each year on Thanksgiving... but what the heck is a turkey really? It's a heckuva of strange bird, isn't it? Here in Davis, CA we have a huge population of wild turkeys too (see pic below from here in Davis) in addition to...

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23andMe and Me: Personal Genomics Coming of Age, Part 2

(0) Comments | Posted October 17, 2012 | 1:00 PM

In my first piece on personal genomics, I wrote about how data on one's genome delivered by companies such as 23andMe can provide information on one's disease risk. Such personal genomics studies estimate the probability of someone getting a disease.

The exception to this rule of genomics probability...

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23andMe and Me: Personal Genomics Coming of Age, Part 1

(10) Comments | Posted October 12, 2012 | 7:14 PM

A revolutionary biomedical phenomenon called "personal genomics" is poised to fundamentally change how you think about your health and your family history. Your own unique collection of DNA contained in your genome is called a "genotype." Just as we each have a blood type, we also each have a genotype...

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Induced Pluripotent Stem Cells Are Similar to Cancer Cells, But Nobel Prize Still Well-Deserved

(7) Comments | Posted October 8, 2012 | 6:37 PM

My lab just published a somewhat provocative paper (still in unproofed form at this point) arguing that induced pluripotent stem (iPS) cells are very similar in some ways to cancer cells. iPS cells are stem cells that have almost exactly the same properties as embryonic stem (ES) cells,...

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Top Ten Stem Cell Myths and Urban Legends

(5) Comments | Posted October 2, 2012 | 5:53 PM

Stem cells.

Understandably, just that phrase evokes all kinds of different reactions from people.

They might reflect a preference in favor of a particular type of stem. Or against another type. There is fear, anger, excitement, greed and hope.

All kinds of emotions.

There are also some popular myths...

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Considering a Stem Cell Treatment From a Clinic? Have a Listen

(24) Comments | Posted September 24, 2012 | 4:00 PM

"Stem cells" is a buzz phrase being used a lot these days. It's an exciting field of research, and I'm fortunate to be a part of it. I think it will transform medicine over the next two decades, but unfortunately today the phrase "stem cells" is being used right now...

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The Wide World of Stem Cell Sports

(8) Comments | Posted January 10, 2012 | 4:24 PM

As a scientist working on stem cells, I like to use sports analogies when explaining my work to non-scientists. I have found this to be a very effective tool for communicating about this very high tech, jargon-filled area. For example, I might say that when delivering stem cells as a...

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