Monday, January 07, 2013

Reverse Engineering Grandpa

Stem cells are rarely the subject of cartoons, but one popped last week from Bizarro.

The cartoon appeared in the San Francisco Chronicle and elsewhere, including the Bizarro web site. The image was of a petri dish in a lab with tiny maternal speck giving parental advice to an even tinier speck: "You can be anything you want to be when you grow up." Artist Dan Piraro said the cartoon was his favorite of the week because of its “strangeness.”

Piraro wrote on his blog,
“To use a term common in the vernacular of geneticists, it’s creepy cool.”
The cartoon did not differentiate between embryonic and adult cells, much less reprogrammed adult cells. Using reprogrammed cells in the cartoon would have been even creepier and cooler, giving new meaning to the 1947 song, “I Am My Own Grandpa.”(See here and here.)

(A nod to "Bob" for calling our attention to the cartoon.)

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