Science, fashion and the best stem cell dress you’ll (n)ever wear.

A shameless cross-post from a topic I started at the Lablit forum.

Stem Cell Fashion

This wonderful dress is part of an exhibit at the Ontario Science Centre, entitled The Beauty of Stem Cells – Fashion Inspired by Stem Cell Research. Unfortunately, I completely failed to photograph much else of it (or to be accurate, took a few other photos that can be charitably described as “crap”), but there were several other unusual pieces of clothing, and a series of rather nice photomicrographs by Craig Aarts and Radha Chaddah of the Stem Cell Network.

I also completely neglected to record who designed this elegant gown, but it was one of the following students of the fashion program at Toronto’s RCC Institute of Technology.

Muhammad Alamgir / Gulmairam Amankogoeva / Hilary Birkenshaw / Elissa Contino / Liliane Fotso / Julie Hodge / Lena Meier / Sveta Shvedenkova

I’m going to have to get back to this, I think, especially since there are many other educational and public engagement activities and exhibits along with it. There’s plenty more information at the Stem Cell Network itself, or the relevant page at the Science Centre. For those in the area, it’s on until October the first, 2011.

About Richard Wintle

I am Canadian by heritage, and a molecular biologist and human geneticist by training. My day job is Assistant Director of a large genome centre, where I do various things along the lines of "keeping the wheels on". In my spare time, I tend to run around with a camera, often chasing race cars, abandoned barns, and sundry wildlife.
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12 Responses to Science, fashion and the best stem cell dress you’ll (n)ever wear.

  1. rpg says:

    *blows dust away*

    Thanks for posting that, r’pus. Reminds me of Primitive Streak, which I first saw… heck, nearly ten years ago in Cambridge, I think.

    I should go through my iPhoto collection, I’m sure I took photos…

  2. Does the dress directly represent anything, stem-cell wise? Reminds me of an apoptotic bleb, but that can’t be right.

  3. I don’t think we should be combining stem cells with fashion – well ok the dress might be ok without the hair net ….

  4. ricardipus says:

    @rpg – Primitive Streak looks to have been very cool. Thanks for the link.

    @Jenny – I hang my head in shame. I did a really bad job of documenting any of this – just a throw-away “oh that looks interesting” photo as we charged through from one place to another. Yes, it’s supposed to “be” some kind of stem cell event (or at least inspired by it) – but I don’t know what. Hence the need for a return visit!

    @Girl – it might be useful as a bug net, or maybe an umbrella if it were a bit more waterproof. It does seem to come a bit low over the head though. And it would look fabulous with a big, floppy, Queen Mum-type hat perched on top. 😉

  5. Heather says:

    Primitive Streak is doubly cool because Kate Storey was already a developmental biologist superstar before she did anything quite so public outreach. So I loved the first initiative, and was glad it was revised and a few pieces added to the collection recently.

    And it’s OBVIOUSLY a blastocyst injection, folks. See the liquid in the injection pipette? Or maybe they’re removing the (stem) cells from the inner cell mass. But that suggests that the wearer’s brains are being sucked out.

    I can’t seem to add a simple img src in here, but you can see what I mean here: http://research.uci.edu/tmf/images/blstinj.jpg .

  6. Grant says:

    Your post has interesting timing. I just got an email reminding me of the fashionomics event they run in the annual Queenstown Molecular Biology meetings:

    “Fashionomics is QMB’s signature social event, and has grown to be the social highlight of the conference. We encourage you all to dream up some fashion spin-offs from your laboratories, however simple or strange. Start thinking about some interesting lab-inspired costumes, and as always, last-minute improvisation is fine, if not expected. Be creative, and don’t be afraid to show off your talent(s). If you can’t think of anything too creative, simply dress up your supervisor in something funny, they won’t say no, and are probably gagging to do it.”

    (Personally, owning to my poor hearing, the social highlight to the meeting to me are small-group gatherings, but I’m sure other people see it differently.)

  7. Steve Caplan says:

    Uhh, is this an “Emperor’s New Clothes conspiracy?” Have all the OT bloggers and readers banded together and are all waiting for me to say something stupid, such as “Oh yes, definitely stem cell-like–” and then you’ll all laugh at me and say this is just a dress from a fashion catalog? Or am I completely out of touch and just don’t get it?

  8. ricardipus says:

    Steve – *everything* is a conspiracy that you’re unaware of. I suggest hiding in a bunker and wearing a tinfoil hat while the rest of us plot against you. 😉

  9. Steve Caplan says:

    No comment. You might figure out my IP address. And tinfoil causes Al’s Hammer disease.

  10. cromercrox says:

    It’s obviously an ontological metaphor on the eschatology of someone caught between two quantum states, heuristically, the agony of waiting to discover whether the bus goes to the station or not.

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