Stem cells are appearing more often in pop culture including movies like Spiderman, newspaper articles (and advertisements), just about a year ago on Dr. Oz, and now yesterday for the first time that I remember in the New York Times (NYT) crossword puzzle.
There I was doing the NYT puzzle last night while munching a quick bite and that “aha moment” when an answer comes to you was amplified from me because the answer to 31 down was “stem cells.” You can see the screenshot here.
I haven’t been doing the NYT crossword for decades like some folks, but this is the first time I recall ever seeing “stem cells” as an answer and others I talked to had the same impression.
Stem cells have to be one of the areas of scientific research that is most familiar to the public and with deep penetrance into pop culture, stemming from both public debates (mostly in years past on embryonic stem cells) and growing awareness of the research and medical potential there.
It’s cool as a stem cell researcher to see people’s awareness of our field and its presence in pop culture, but it can get tricky too as there are so many stem cell myths (see some weird examples for 2012) and misperceptions out there….and tons of hype…and non-FDA approved stem cells clinics taking advantage of people. For better or worse stem cells are totally embedded in pop culture. Have you guys seen other examples of stem cells in pop culture?