Medical Museion posts

Biomedical animation movies and biomolecularmindedness — selling new technologies to the public (but they really need to do something about those creepy sound tracks)

A couple of years ago there were only a few biomedical animation movies. Now they seem to be all over YouTube.

I have commented on the biomedanimation phenomenon before (e.g., here, here and here), but always feel an urge to come back to it, because I believe these movies (and there are many more in the pipeline because of the pull from the pharma industry marketing departments) will change the general public’s understanding of biomedicine and biotechnology dramatically in the future. As a consequence, a new kind of public biomolecularmindedness (analogous to airmindedness and terrormindendness) will probably emerge.

It’s just a question of time, I think, before a new generation of Spielbergs and Wachowski brothers will adopt this animation language into a new generation of films (perhaps a biomedanimation hybrid of Minority Report + The Matrix + Shrek 1-3 + Blade Runner as a starter). If so, biomolecularmindedness will be launched to the level of airmindednesses in the 1930 (and terrormindedness today).

Here are a few examples of current biomedanimation movies on YouTube:

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and, of course, the so far best of them all: ‘The Inner Life of a Cell’.

Just one final observation: As one commentator to ‘Inside the Cell’ points out, the sound track reminds her of “the music that’s played in line at the haunted houses at cedar point during halloweekends”. And another: “I noticed a lot of these kinds of cell-based animations have creepy music”.

Right they are! When there isn’t a didactic-sounding speak, there is often some spooky SciFi-ish sound track. Why are so many bioanimationists hooked on a creepy sound? It’s sort of become a label for the genre. Try The Knife for a change!

Thomas Söderqvist

Author Thomas Söderqvist

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