Right Turn: My bloody valentine (a new StemCellShort video)

Author: Lisa Willemse, 02/13/15

The blood stem cell (or hematopoietic stem cell as it’s known in scientific parlance) was the first stem cell to be identified, which makes it a bit of a celebrity, as stem cells go. Here in Canada, we like to think of Drs. James Till and Ernest McCulloch, who made that initial discovery in Toronto back in 1961 as celebrities too — or perhaps more aptly — heroes.

When creating the short list of topics for the StemCellShorts series, there was never a doubt by creators Ben Paylor and Mike long, or the Stem Cell Network, that blood stem cells needed to be there. Apart from their historic beginnings in research, hematopoietic stem cells (via a bone marrow or hematopoietic stem cell transplant) have been routinely used as a treatment for blood disorders, such as leukemia, for many, many years. Currently, they are also being explored, via clinical trials, as a possible treatment for a range of other disorders, such as multiple sclerosis.

Fittingly, we (co-funders Stem Cell Network and the Canadian Stem Cell Foundation) are releasing the latest addition to the StemCellShorts video collection, “What are hematopoietic stem cells?” today, the day before Valentine’s day. It’s narrated by Connie Eaves, one of Canada’s most esteemed researchers, whose scientific credentials include significant contributions to our understanding of blood stem cells.

Finally, to all you fans of the Irish alternative rock band My Bloody Valentine, thanks for viewing and sorry, apart from the title, there is no MBV anywhere else on this site. But you should still go and watch the rest of the StemCellShorts videos.

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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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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