Archive for May, 2013

Right Turn: Is an infographic about an infographic contest like a play within a play?

Author: Stacey Johnson, 05/31/13

Metaphorically speaking, Signals Blog has put its money where its mouth is by creating an infographic to demonstrate how easy it is to create one for our “Everybody loves infographics” contest. Two weeks ago Signals Blog launched its first contest, with an iPad mini as the prize, and, as promised, we are now posting the…Read more

Why research? The personal foundations of cancer research

Author: Sara M. Nolte, 05/30/13

. My interest (maybe even fascination) in cancer began when I was six years old: I was diagnosed with acute myeloblastic leukemia (a cancer of white blood cells), and am now able to say that I am a childhood cancer survivor. After realizing that I was no longer interested in going to medical school to…Read more

Political furor drives government funding for clinical trial – who should fund stem cell therapy trials?

Author: David Kent, 05/28/13

. A few weeks ago, Italian private company Stamina came under considerable pressure regarding their controversial use of mesenchymal stem cells in patients. The Italian government, it seems, had authorized an unproven stem cell therapy for use in patients. The International Society for Stem Cell Research issued a statement of concern and numerous leading stem cell…Read more

Rush to publish and the repercussions of carelessness in science

Author: Lisa Willemse, 05/24/13

Co-authored with Dr. Zubin Master, Assistant Professor at the Alden March Bioethics Institute, Albany Medical College and Research Associate at the University of Alberta’s Health Law and Science Policy Group. In the current discussion about the now controversial SCNT human cloning paper by Shoukhrat Mitalipov et al., much has already been said of the reported errors that resulted…Read more

Right Turn: Bench to bedside goes interactive

Author: Lisa Willemse, 05/24/13

. This is an anniversary celebration of sorts. One year ago (almost to the day), EuroStemCell and OptiStem released the graphic story From Hope to Hype and I recall being amazed: not just at the beauty and integrity of the finished product, but at the immense creativity of the project as a whole. Explaining stem…Read more

3D patterning of blood vessels: Creating a fertile landscape for engineered tissues

Author: Holly Wobma, 05/22/13

Nepalese terraces. Photo: strudelt via Flickr . Picture traveling back in time to an era before cell phones (*shudder*). Before radios. Before germ theory. In fact, try taking yourself back to when written language was first being developed around 6000 BC. It’s hard to imagine. And yet while these societies may have lacked our freeways…Read more

Right Turn: Everybody loves infographics (right?)!

Author: Stacey Johnson, 05/17/13

. Inspired by the first Right Turn featuring a regenerative medicine infographic, Signals Blog is holding a contest to seek the best original (i.e. not previously published) stem cell or regenerative medicine infographics out there! We’re keeping the subject matter broad to see how creative you are. We’re looking for the following: Scientific accuracy Skill…Read more

To the stars and beyond: Assessing the impact of the $100 Genome

Author: Natasha Davie, 05/16/13

We live in a time of extraordinary medical advances. So far in 2013, we’ve seen the successful transplantation of a bioengineered kidney into rats, an infant reportedly cured of HIV using anti-retroviral drugs that are currently on the market, and discovered a protein that has the potential to ‘reverse aging’ in the heart. These ‘small…Read more

Using stem cells to cure… extinction?

Author: Peter Raaymakers, 05/15/13

In last week’s Right Turn, we talked about how stem cells are responsible for the colours and patterns of bird feathers—and birds, as the graphic on the right demonstrates, are basically just tiny dinosaurs. Given that there is much promise in stem cell research (and also a great deal of hype), it makes one wonder:…Read more

Right Turn: Feathers as an example of stem cell complexity

Author: Lisa Willemse, 05/10/13

Pea Hen Feather. Credit: Bill Gracey The arrival of summer’s songbirds to much of Canada over the past month makes this a fitting time to talk about feathers. Coincidentally, a paper was released in Science in late April that revealed how stem cells function to create an incredible array of colours and patterns in bird…Read more