Private Project

The Hidden World of Cell Lines

Cells! They are grown in labs around the world to study diseases, produce vaccines, and even to make (expensive) hamburger. Cells are amazing, but for scientists who work with them every day, it's easy to take these small miracles of biology for granted. 'The Hidden World of Cell Lines' is a video made to teach young scientists about the cell lines that they may encounter in laboratories worldwide and why it is important to never take them for granted. Cell lines are passed from one lab to another and may become cross-contaminated or 'misidentified' over time. More than 500 cell lines are now known to be misidentified. These identity surprises can threaten research - for example, if a scientist is trying to do research on breast cancer using a cell line that actually came from from melanoma. (By the way, this is a real example - the melanoma cell line in the video, M14, has cross-contaminated more than 20 other cell lines so far.)

The video is designed to be accessible to young scientists of any age, from school students to postdoctoral scientists. It was the brainchild of the International Cell Line Authentication Committee (ICLAC), a voluntary committee of scientists, with funding from the European Tissue Culture Society (ETCS) as a legacy donation. We are grateful to Nathan Burgess and Sid Shukla of The VAPCO, a Sydney-based animation studio, who brought our script to life.

  • Amanda Capes-Davis
  • Sid Shukla
  • Darryn Capes-Davis
  • Sid Shukla
  • Nathan Burgess
    Lead Animator
  • Project Type:
    Animation, Short
  • Runtime:
    3 minutes 23 seconds
  • Completion Date:
    May 26, 2021
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Director - Sid Shukla