Right Turn: Autism, Stem Cells and the Tooth Fairy

Author: Stacey Johnson, 04/04/14

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This intriguing title is not completely my own. It is a shorter version of Alysson Muotri’s  (UCSD) title from a presentation he gave to the governing Board of the California Institute of Regenerative Medicine on March 13, 2014: “Reversing Autism in the Lab with Help from Stem Cells and the Tooth Fairy.” Dr. Muotri is working at the forefront of Autism Spectrum Disorder and his research interests include using “neural stem cells, human pluripotent cells and several molecular tools to investigate fundamental mechanisms of brain development and mental disorders.”

From a quick online search, I can see that Dr. Muotri is a fan of social media and recognizes its value when trying to reach and engage families with autism around the world. In his talk, he describes a Fairy Tooth Kit Collection campaign that he developed to obtain baby teeth to extract pulp cells and convert them into brain cells. He also mentions the importance of communicating science clearly so his lay friendly and catchy title makes sense. His research is equally worthy of attention.

 

Our regular feature, Right Turn, showcases the “lighter” side of stem cells and regenerative medicine. Every Friday, we will bring you cartoons, photos, videos and other content that may be just as thought provoking as the written submissions that you are used to finding here, but they definitely won’t be blogs.

As always, we welcome your feedback and we also welcome suitable submissions. Be creative! Use the right (!) side of your brain. Make us laugh! Let’s see if we can make this new direction a positive one for all of us. Send your submission to info(at)ccrm.ca.

 

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Stacey Johnson

Stacey Johnson

For almost 20 years, Stacey has been providing strategic communications counsel to government, corporate, technology and health organizations. Prior to that, Stacey was at the CTV Television Network, first as a researcher, then as a story producer for “Goldhawk Fights Back,” a special ombudsman segment that aired weekly on the National News and Canada AM. Before joining CCRM as the Director, Communications and Marketing, Stacey was the Director of Communications for the Canadian Arthritis Network. Stacey is editor of Signals. You can follow Stacey on Twitter @msstaceyerin.
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