Wednesday, January 04, 2012

A Stem Cell Word Cloud: Slicing and Dicing CIRM Grants

The $3 billion California stem cell agency has handed out 454 grants since its inception in 2004 but what does it all mean?

Stem cell researcher Paul Knoepfler took a crack at an unusual analysis a couple of days ago, generating a word cloud from the titles of all the CIRM grants.

Writing on his blog, the UC Davis scientist and CIRM grant recipient said he was surprised by some of the results, including how small the word "induced" was in the cloud considering the hooha over induced pluripotent cells. Knoepfler also wrote,
"I found it fascinating that the next top word was 'differentiation.' As much as we all focus on stem cells in their native state, clearly the differentiation of stem cells is critically important."
Knoepfler used a free, word-cloud forming utility(Wordle) to generate the results, which Amy Adams, CIRM's communications manager, called "cool."

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