Should California’s Stem Cell Agency, more widely known as CIRM, get another round of funding from us California voters? I believe the answer is yes and I endorse Proposition 14, which would provide the funding for CIRM to translate dozens of clinical trials into some proven new stem cell-based treatments in the coming decade.
However, my just saying that as a stem cell scientist doesn’t necessarily have the same resonance as other approaches like a funny new video starring a stem cell who pitches giving another round of funding to CIRM.
The animated video stars Stemmy The Stem Cell. Stemmy is voiced by comedian Seth Rogen. He goes through all the reasons to back the new CIRM funding by voting for Proposition 14 on the November ballot.
While Stemmy gets a little carried away in my view with some of the claims about what’s been achieved so far, the potential to save the world, and such, he makes some good points about why a second round of CIRM support would be a good thing. Plus, with Rogen voicing Stemmy, it all just seems like good fun with some intentional hyperbole.
Toward the end of the video, Stemmy even has a bullet point list of reasons to say Yes to Prop 14 that you can see above.
Rogen already has had a CIRM connection as he is married to CIRM Board Member and actress Lauren Miller. I interviewed Miller years back about her experiences and hopes for her role at CIRM when she had just joined. It’s a fun read.
With the new animated video, one particular Q&A with Miller came to mind again and I’ve pasted it below:
Paul: I’m trying to think of movies that have dealt with Alzheimer’s in a touching, effective way and The Notebook comes to mind. Do you think it would help if there were more movies and other popular works about the disease?
Miller: A big “yes!” Cancer was taboo and now it’s not so much anymore, but Alzheimer’s still has this stigma attached to it. Portraying it more in books and movies can only be helpful to raise awareness. I think one key message to get out there is “you’re not alone”. Gray’s Anatomy has done a great job with raising awareness too.