Stem cell videos make the grade

One amazing aspect of living in the era of social media is the incredible way information spreads. A butterfly batting its little orange wings in a monarch grove in Santa Cruz could influence a tweet of a blogger heard ’round the world.

Or, in CIRM’s case, a few videos playing on YouTube could be used by a teacher heard ’round the world. In the past week a video about the difficulties of differentiating stem cells into therapeutically useful cell types has popped up in the curriculum of Harrison College, which offers a number of online and classroom courses. The video, which has been watched hundreds of times in the past week by those students, features Mark Mercola of Sanford-Burnham Medical Research Institute who is working to differentiate cardiac cells from human embryonic stem cells. Here’s that video:

In the past, a video about iPS cells featuring Jerome Zack from UCLA has made its way into college curricula, as has a video discussing the different types of stem cells with Stanford University’s Irv Weissman. These videos are all part of a stem cell basics CIRM put together to help educate people about stem cell research both in written form and in short videos.

Given the misperceptions of stem cell research in the public and in the media its nice to see these videos getting discovered and used for educational purposes.