Most popular animations published in 2021

Here at Science Animated, we work on a huge range of projects throughout the year, collaborating with everyone from individual researchers to NGOs to create engaging animations designed especially to explain complex ideas. Of all the animations we published in 2021, the following ten have been our most popular. Topics range from cell therapy, anaemia, and how plants communicate with each other, to type 2 diabetes and, of course, COVID-19. All of our animations are available to watch and share on YouTube. Keep reading to count down to our most popular animation of the year!

10. Stimulate plants’ natural defences against pathogens with Charge, ADAMA’s new biological solution


Charge is ADAMA’s new biological solution based on 100% chitosan hydrochloride. Charge works as an elicitor: it stimulates the natural defences of plants against various pathogens. ADAMA Northern Europe B.V. is a subsidiary of ADAMA Solutions for Agriculture Ltd., a leading global manufacturer and distributor of crop protection solutions. ADAMA is characterised by the farmer-oriented approach to product development and the strict standards for environmental protection and quality control.

9. Can cell therapy restore muscle function?


AMELIE (Anchored Muscle cELls for IncontinencE) is a 5-year H2020 EU-funded research project. The consortium proposes a novel regenerative intervention using autologous skeletal muscle derived cells (ASMDC) to restore the function of the sphincter muscle. Scientists will attach ASMDC to implantable microcarriers, to improve cell delivery and engraftment in patients with faecal incontinence. This strategy is expected to improve cell viability and increase the likelihood of muscle regeneration, contributing to improved continence.

8. How does the small molecule AGX51 cause the degradation of ID proteins?


Together with Angiogenex, Inc. Dr Robert Benezra, Member of the Cancer Biology and Genetics Program at Memorial Sloan Kettering Cancer Center, has identified a small molecule, AGX51, that inhibits ID proteins and disrupts the cellular pathways by which cancers repropagate, and could therefore be an important new anti-tumour therapy.

7. What is Anaemia?


Anaemia is extremely common, affecting nearly one-quarter of the world’s population and often considered relatively harmless. However, it can be a serious condition with dire implications. is intended to promote meaningful conversations between patients and healthcare professionals about improved quality and more timely treatment of anaemia. In turn, patients can experience increased quality of life and better outcomes.

6. How do plant cells talk to each other using systemic signalling?


Plants transmit signals from cell-to-cell over long distances, sometimes traversing their entire length within minutes. These signals convey information about changes in the environment and/or the presence of pathogens. As they pass from cell-to-cell, the signals turn “on” different defence and acclimation responses that make the plant more resilient to the stresses that triggered the signal. Cell-to-cell waves of reactive oxygen species, calcium, and electric signals mediate this process. But how they do so is a mystery.

5. Beyond Glucose: a beta-cell centric approach to prevent Type 2 Diabetes


Professor Yoshifumi Saisho’s research focuses on beta cell dysfunction in type 2 diabetes (T2DM). He advocates for moving the focus away from glucose levels and towards protecting pancreatic beta cell mass – the cells which produce insulin – to prevent patients from developing T2DM and to promote a healthy lifestyle.

4. Smart Mask: Rapid COVID-19 identification of infected populations


A colour changing patch attached to a face-mask alerting the wearer of the stage of infection, if any.

3. Do post-COVID 19 patients need a second dose of the vaccine?


The Richmond Research Institute compared the level of antibody response to COVID vaccines between those who have and have not previously been infected by the virus to establish their degree of immunity. Background on the safety measures in place; Testing for COVID-19 is crucial to understand who is infected and therefore a risk to others by spreading the infection. By repeating these tests over time, we can establish how long the antibodies take to develop and how long immunity may last in each person. Routine testing of staff, trial volunteers, and visitors began on 19 March 2020. The rigorous testing procedure consists of multiple tests to ensure the results are reliable. This minimizes the risk to all entering the unit. All staff have been offered a COVID-19 vaccine.

2. Why do Cardiovascular Science? Come see for yourself at the Watts lab


A short view into the integrative cardiovascular science of the Watts lab.


And our most popular animation published in 2021 is…

1. How does COVID-19 affect pregnant women and their babies?


Since the identification of the novel severe acute respiratory syndrome coronavirus 2 (SARS-CoV-2), there have been concerns about how the virus might affect pregnant women and their babies, including whether the virus can be transmitted from the mother to child, via the placenta, body fluids during delivery or while breastfeeding. An international team of researchers working with the World Health Organisation at the University of Birmingham’s WHO Collaborating Centre for Global Women’s Health are carrying out a continuous and comprehensive systematic review of all published and unpublished studies on COVID-19 in pregnancy, to address questions on prevalence, symptoms and complication of COVID-19 in pregnant women, to provide up-to-date information which can be used to inform and improve care for pregnant women and their babies.


Thank you for watching – we look forward to sharing new science animations with you in 2022!