Professor Jonathan Garlick has earned notoriety among the scientific community, and with his students, as the Stem Cell Rapper.
Jonathan Garlick is a stem cell researcher, and a college professor who helps freshmen negotiate the tricky ethical questions of science.
In his classes, the balding, bespectacled 60-year-old cranks a karaoke machine and raps out lyrics about science and society to music made popular by Kanye West, Jay-Z, and Sir Mix-a-Lot.
GET DOWN PROFESSOR GARLICK
Rather than explain the science of stem cells and didactically berate you about how important they are Garlick’s “poetic” message focuses on his motivation to investigate stem cells and suggest you make an effort to get informed and keep an open mind about the topic. In this sense he differs from other stuff I see on blogs and opinion pieces.
Somehow, I think he pulls it off.
Does it work, do people think this is cool, fun, entertaining and will it make any difference to how people think about stem cells, will it make, as Garlick urges us, to be more motivated to get a bit more informed and be open-minded? Prof Garlick certainly has a few fans looking at the comments.
WHO IS GARLICK?
Dr. Jonathan Garlick is Professor in the Department of Oral and Maxillofacial Pathology and Director of the Division of Cancer Biology and Tissue Engineering at Tufts University School of Dental Medicine. Dr. Garlick also holds appointments at Tufts University’s School of Medicine (Department of Anatomy and Cell Biology) and in the Department of Bioengineering and is a member of the Program in Cell, Molecular and Developmental Biology at Tufts.
He has authored over 60 articles and book chapters on these subjects. On the national level, Dr. Garlick has served as Chair and as a member of several NIH grant review panels, is on the editorial board of several scientific journals and has chaired numerous national symposia. In 2000, he was awarded Stony Brook School of Dental Medicine’s Distinguished Alumnus Award in recognition of his local and national contributions to the dental profession. In 2001, he was awarded the President and Chancellor’s Award, the State University of New York’s highest teaching honor for his educational contributions in Oral Pathology and Oral Medicine to the students of Stony Brook University’s Dental School.
DENTAL STEM CELLS
In 2000, scientists at the National Institutes of Health (NIH) discovered that potent stem cells are found in both baby teeth and wisdom teeth, providing a new, convenient and plentiful source of stem cells.
Stem cells are the body's "master" cells that regenerate the body's many cells, tissues, and organs. Most cells in your body can only make new cells of the same type - blood cells make blood cells, skin cells make more skins cells and so on.
Stem cells are unique not only because they can turn into many different types of cells - a stem cell might create blood, kidney, heart, or bone for example - but also because they can divide many more times than other cells.
There are two broad types of stem cells: embryonic stem cells and adult stem cells.
While there has been much debate on the ethical issues surrounding the use of embryonic stem cells, adult stem cells are free of this controversy and only adult stem cells, to date, have been used to treat people.