Right Turn: The 9 best of 2013

Author: Lisa Willemse, 01/03/14

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What’s the end of a year without a recap, countdown or best of list? I admit that I enjoy reviewing lists of the events, films, music at the end of each year, to remind myself of what has passed and to see where my favourites stack up against the critics’ choices or the popularity lists. So, in keeping with our lighthearted theme on each Friday’s Right Turn, here is an annotated list of the nine most read blog posts on Signals in 2013. Why nine, you ask? Why not?

9. Our first entry on this list is by David Brindley, who, in the days following the death of Margaret Thatcher, put some eloquent thoughts down on why the cell therapy industry should not waver in its aspirations for a better future in Life and death: The human face of the cell therapy industry

8. One of only a few posts in our most read list that is drawn from google searches in an area of public interest rather than a more intimate view of the scientific process. Here’s what Angela McDonald had to say about Male infertility: Stem cells to the rescue?

7. Ever thought about crowd funding your science? Evidently, some of our readers have, as the popularity the “Science Idol” post by Nick Dragojlovic attests. Look for more on this and similar topics in 2014.

6. Stem cell detective work: How George Daley uncovers iPS cells’ secrets by Paul Krzyzanowski is one of the longest posts of the past year, but it’s depth of coverage is undoubtedly one of the reasons it was so popular — it’s a fantastic window into the mind and lab of one of the field’s most prominent researchers.

5. Our coverage of the annual ISSCR conference has always been popular among readers and this summary of a presentation by Doug Melton, written by Angela McDonald, shows us why: Making pancreatic beta cells, Doug Melton style: ISSCR 2013. Another summary from the 2013 conference was also high on the list and provides a survey of broad conference coverage using social media:

4. Lab science and social media may seem like strange bedfellows, but Ben Paylor presents a compelling case why researchers should get in on the game in Social media and stem cells: Time to start tweeting

3. How many facilities? Centralized vs. decentralized manufacture by Natasha Davie posed a critical question in the manufacturing of stem cells for commercial and clinical purposes: What’s the best way to make the cells?

2. The StemCellShorts animated videos, created by Ben Paylor and Mike Long were very popular, with two posts in the top 10: “What are embryonic stem cells? at #6 and the “What are stem cells?” in the #2 position.

1. Fireside chat with Jim Till and Janet Rossant. A surprise #1, given that this entry was posted almost four years ago, but you can’t argue with great content, especially if it’s a candid interview about the identification of stem cells. If you haven’t seen it, take a look, below:

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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Lisa Willemse

Lisa Willemse

Lisa is a science communicator with 15+ years' experience in the fields of regenerative medicine, child development and technology. She launched this blog (first as the Stem Cell Network Blog) in 2009, and served as co-editor until April 2015. She is currently the Senior Communications Advisor for the Ontario Institute for Regenerative Medicine and has recently contributed to Motherboard, Science Borealis and the Genome Alberta and Canadian Blood Services blogs. Follow her on Twitter and Medium @WillemseLA.
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