Right Turn: Osmosis Jones redux

Author: Stacey Johnson, 06/21/13

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Today’s Right Turn, contributed by Erin Sugar at the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine, features the animated film “The journey of a white blood cell,” as well as several vibrant and detailed still animations that depict molecular snapshots of the inner workings of the human body, as imagined by the XVIVO team from Hartford, Connecticut. The movie magnifies the white cell and areas of the body up to 10 million times and was created for institutions ranging from Harvard to the United States Department of Defense in order to teach science in a more captivating way. The equipment used to produce the microscopic imagery does not show colour, so the illustrators used their imaginations to envision and produce the colourful masterpieces.

This is an image of kinesin (yellow, centre), a motor protein that is capable of moving across a cell. Kinesins are able to 'walk' along microtubules, filament-like protein structures within cells that are involved in a variety of cellular processes, ranging from cell division to transportation of certain chemicals within cells.

A magnified image of a virus 'blebbing' inside the human body. In cell biology, a 'bleb' is an irregular bulge in the plasma membrane of a cell. This often occurs when a cell dies but blebbing also has important functions in other cellular processes, including cell movement and cell division.

Image of a marrow cavity where Hematopoietic stem cells are found inside the human body. These cells are called 'multipotent stem cells', and are responsible for the production of all blood cells. Through a process known as 'hematopoiesis' these cells mature into white blood cells (which protect us from infection), red blood cells (which carry oxygen to the cells in our bodies), and platelets (which help curb bleeding after injury).

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.
Stacey Johnson

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