Does it seem like regenerative medicine is having its moment in the sun? Last week, the news that GE Healthcare and the Centre for Commercialization of Regenerative Medicine (CCRM) are building a centre for advanced therapeutic cell technologies, with $20 million coming from the Government of Canada and a matching $20 million coming from GE Healthcare, was reported everywhere in Canada, but it also made the news in such far away places as Iraq, Jordan and Shanghai.
We know stem cells have caught the attention of athletes and celebrities, because that’s all over the news too. Controversial as these treatments are, a long list of athletes have tried them, and celebrities appear to like stem cell “facials” and unproven “facelifts.”
Four years ago, CRISPR-Cas9 was “unknown to humans,” says Matthew Herper, of Forbes, in his August 2015 article with the headline “Bill Gates and 13 other investors pour $120 million into revolutionary gene-editing startup.” Today CRISPR is everywhere and this week it was trending on Twitter under “HeroesofCRISPR” in relation to the patent controversy.
Gene editing has moved from mainstream and social media to late night television. George Church, the revered geneticist, molecular engineer and chemist from Harvard, was recently a guest on The Late Show with Stephen Colbert. In addition to his many awards and honours, Dr. Church can now add this event to his lifetime achievements. If he resurrects the woolly mammoth, he’ll be invited back to the show and the media circus will really begin.
Our regular feature, Right Turn, appears every Friday and we invite you to submit your own blog to info(at)ccrm.ca. We encourage you to be creative and use the right (!) side of your brain. We dare you to make us laugh! Right Turn features cartoons, photos, videos and other content to amuse, educate and encourage discussion.
As always, we welcome your feedback in the comment section.
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