In addition to doling out roughly $3 billion in stem cell research money, the California Institute for Regenerative Medicine also holds a poetry contest.
The contest was initiated last year to celebrate Stem Cell Awareness Day (also known as Sept. 23). The theme, "What stem cell research means to me," was broad enough to include entries from scientists, patients who could potentially be treated with stem cells, or anyone else who supports the research. There were enough entries to warrant two first-place awards.
Somehow, announcement of the winners escaped our attention until now. But since poetry is eternal — and many stem cells are immortal — we figured it wasn't too late to share the winning entries.
Jonathan Lee of the Drew School penned the blue-ribbon winner for short form poetry (a slight variation on a haiku):
Tis' the day to praise
The base of life unhazed,
The world in one cell.
First prize for long form poetry went to "The Non-Terminator" by Jessica Grubaugh of Purdue University:
Stem Cells, Oh Stem Cells,
Endless potentials have you.