Stem cell humour.

The petri plate is the work of Satan. How does God know what a petri plate is in this ancient time before the advent of scientific achievement? It is because he’s God, which is really handy for that sort of thing.

There’s a lot of buzz over some research just published on stem cells (nyt). I haven’t had a chance to look over the scientific paper yet (will try to get to that next week), but the gist is that there’s some promising results detailing the ability to convert a differentiated “set in their way” cell (like a skin cell or heart cell or toe cell, etc) into a stem cell with abilities that look similar to embryonic stem cells (totally not set in their way, and in theory capable of developing, under guidance, into any other cell type). It’s big news primarily because of it negates the need to use embryonic material and hence most of the controversy surrounding the technology.

Anyway, I’ll weigh in more next week, but I can say that stem cell research is often fraught with these type of big headlines, which ultimately represent only a small step, but this does sound promising anyway.

For now, how’s about some stem cell humour? Here’s a piece (where the quote above was pulled from) that I wrote years ago at McSweeney’s.

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David (@ng_dave) is Faculty at the Michael Smith Labs. His writing has appeared in places such as McSweeney's, The Walrus, and He plans on using Terry as another place to highlight the mostly science-y links he appreciates. In fact, if you liked this one, you might also like his main site generally - this can be found at