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How to make a human

Technology meets biology with our new stem cell robots

How to make a human was developed by one of our Principal Investigators Dr Elisa Laurenti in partnership with Dr Stephane Magnenat, researcher in educational robotics, EPFL, Switzerland.

The activity presents the robot as a pluripotent stem cell, which requires programming to become a specific cell lineage. Visitors are taken through the choices a cell makes during differentiation and are then tasked with programming their robot by filling out a specially designed bar code. The robot is then put to the test, as it reads the code and makes it way across a floor map, making choices until it reaches it's cell type of choice.

We launched the activity at Cambridge Science Festival 2016 with two hands on days in the Guildhall on 12 and 13 March, and a session at the Clinical School on 20 March. Since then the robots have featured at a number of festivals and events and even returned to the Science Festival for a second year in a row!

Funded by a Public Engagement Seed Fund grant from the Stem Cell Institute

   

   

   

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Stem Cell Institute Group Leaders elected as EMBO members

Jul 07, 2020

Two Cambridge Stem Cell Institute Group Leaders are among the 63 scientists from around the world elected this year as Members and Associate Members of the European Molecular Biology Organisation (EMBO).

Institute PIs awarded university promotions

Jun 26, 2020

Many congratulations to our institute and affiliate PIs who have been awarded promotions through the University’s Academic Promotions process recognising their outstanding work.

Potentially cancerous cells kept in check by competitive neighbours, study of oesophagus finds

May 18, 2020

The expansion of ‘mutant’ cells that could lead to cancer is often kept in check by their neighbours, research from the Wellcome Sanger Institute, the University of Cambridge and their collaborators has found. The team discovered that when equally-matched cells in the oesophagus of mice coincided, they acted as a brake on one another’s growth.

Professor Ludovic Vallier elected to the Fellowship of the Academy of Medical Sciences

May 13, 2020

The Academy of Medical Sciences has elected 50 of the UK’s most prominent biomedical and health scientists to their Fellowship.

Key nose cells identified as likely COVID-19 virus entry points

Apr 23, 2020

Two specific cell types in the nose have been identified as likely initial infection points for COVID-19 coronavirus. Scientists discovered that goblet and ciliated cells in the nose have high levels of the entry proteins that the COVID-19 virus uses to get into our cells.

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The Cambridge Stem Cell Institute is a world-leading centre for stem cell research.

Our mission: to transform human health through a deep understanding of stem cell biology.

 

The Institute is funded by Wellcome and the Medical Research Council.

         

 

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